While I try to pull myself from obsessively following the conflict over the Hugo Awards, I thought I’d start commenting on some of the thing I’ve been reading. I read, and reread, compulsively. It’s my principal vice and addiction, displacing many other worthy and even necessary pursuits. I read fast and write slowly, so I naturally prefer to read.
So, I’ve decided to do review of some of the authors involved in current controversies, and the works they write. I may branch out.
First of all, I don’t much care for urban fantasy. I find something rather morbid about the obsession with werewolves, vampires, zombies and ghouls, and the like. I have a relative who really likes Jim Butcher, and his books about the wizardly career of Harry Dresden. Poor Harry can’t get a break. He is always either being beaten up, has just been beaten up, or is about to get beaten up. In spite of being agnostic, he’s on the side of the good guys. He respects those warriors who are avowedly Christian, and supports and is in turn supported by them. OK, so that makes him tolerable. 4 stars out of 5.
I’ve also been through Monster Hunters International by Larry Correia. Again, not really my thing. The author is evidently a gun-lover who knows his stuff. It’s the same stuff as urban fantasy, (Werewolves, vampires, undead, and demons) (two downticks) transplanted to the countryside (one uptick). The story wades in gore. (two down icks). The hero exercises some restraint in sex and doesn’t hop into bed with the heroine first change. (three up-ticks). It says good things about Mormons (two up ticks) but is little bit too favorable (one down). 3 stars out of 5.
The Chaplain’s War, by Brad Torgerson. Borrowed from the public library. This is military SF; not my favorite, but tolerable. This shows signs that the author has been through military training. As a child growing up during the Vietnam War, I saw a film in school which portrayed basic training. Since I could was slow, clumsy, and weak, (and well despised for it, by the jock types) and could not run, catch, or throw, and my attempts at pushup, pull-ups, chin-ups, and assorted calisthenics were pathetic, I knew right away that I did not belong in the military. Since I fiercely resent being ordered about and tended to break down under hazing, this book was full of everything I would personally hate about it. Three upticks for a realistic portrayal of what’s good and bad about military training. One downtick, for it being nearly half the book. The mantes (the insectoid enemies) were portrayed has having become overly dependent on technology, and potential problems with addiction to virtual reality among humans were shown (an uptick). Again, positive portrayal of Mormons (for an up tick), but a little bit overly positive, for a down. The reasonably accurate portrayal of various religions and religious conflicts among humans is good. A positive view of humans, but not overly positive, is good. The Mantes, once you get to know them, are perhaps a bit too human-like in their emotions. Overall, I’ll give it 4 stars, or maybe four and a half. This goes on my reread list, If I get a chance to pick it up,