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Madness!


I have decided to just go crazy, and commit myself to the several year long task of reading, and reviewing, every Star Wars novel. Even at a rate of one book per week, it will take years, but I’ve made my way through 4 or 5 already, and I have discovered that they grow on you. This may be an addiction, I will let you know at the end. Coming soon I will begin the sequence with a review of these books:

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Knight Errant, Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void, Red Harvest, and Kenobi.

Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales


 

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by Robert Hood (Editor), Robin Penn (Editor)

Like many Sci-fi fan-boys out there, Kaiju movies and stories have a special place in my heart. Seeing Godzilla battle enemy monsters on Saturday morning was a quintessential childhood experience, and was hugely entertaining. Well into my adult life, I still contend that one of my most terrifying nightmares was a Godzilla dream, on which I was in an abandoned house, on a remote island, there was a terrible storm coming, and then it slowly dawned on me that it wasn’t a storm heading for me. I craned my head up to the sky and saw Godzilla’s head shrouded by the clouds, and I realized there was no point in running, there was nowhere to run to.

When I started reading Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales (Volume 1), I was immersed once again into those wonderful, thrilling, and frightening childhood memories. Every once in a while, you discover a hidden gem, that somehow got past everyone’s radar, and when you find them, it’s like showing a gold nugget to your friends and family, this book, and the entire series, is pure gold.

One of the ways that you can know whether or not a book is especially good or not, is if you find yourself thinking about the stories, even months after you have read it. One such story that did that for me, from Volume 1, was a FANTASTIC and intensely written story about a group of “extreme sports” types who find their thrills “running with the monsters”. Like pro-surfers they scan the news daily for any sign of Kaiju, and at the first rumblings they are on the most direct flight there. They are drawn like moths to a flame, to play this game of  life-and-death parkour! Keeping pace with a monster while dodging falling building, exploding gas pipes, sizzling electrical cables, and of course, corpses.

The story center’s around a young man who was pulled into this insanity when his family was killed in a Kaiju attack, with him as the sole survivor, and when the leader of his Kaiju running group dies, he winds up being the new group leader. He is addicted, and does not seem to be able to escape this cycle or re-experiencing the most traumatic event of his life, and cannot shake the intense feeling of life that comes with each successful monster run, and the throbbing terror that comes from getting ever closer to an inescapable conclusion. I don’t want to tell you how the story ends, but if your curious, you should order this book immediately because there are half a dozen stories in Volume 1 that are just as amazing, and intense.

5 stars! This is an enormously satisfying read.

COMING SOON!!!


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The Sci-Fi Book-reader did not die!! He just relocated to the mainland. Be ready for my coming soon review of the book -

Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales by by Robert Hood (Editor), Robin Penn (Editor)


Here is a list of my top 20 favorite Sci-Fi books of ALL TIME (So far)

#20) Flatland: A romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott

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#19) Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem

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#18) Galactic Pot Healer by Phillip K. Dick

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#17) Neuromancer by William Gibson

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#16) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick

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#15) The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea

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#14)  Shards of Honor by Louis McMaster Bujold

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#13)  The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

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#12) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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#11)  The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

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#10)  The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson

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#9)  SlaughterHouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 

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#8) Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

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#7) Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany

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#6) Ware Tetralogy by Rudy Rucker

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#5)  Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) by Kim Stanley Robinson

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#4) A Canticle For Liebowitz by Walter Miller

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#3) Dune (Series) by Frank Herbert

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#2)  Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

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#1)  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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Nicholas Valentin Yermakov, born 1951, has quite a few impressive writing credits to his name, including Start Trek the Next Genration credits and a novelization series of the Friday the 13th franchise. he legally changed his name to Simon Hawke, and made that his pen name. He has also written near future adventure novels under the pen name “J. D. Masters”.

Check out his Timewars Series, any series of books with names like Cleopatra Crisis and Lilliput Legion have to be fun reads.

Roger Joseph Zelazny (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995) was a talented and prolific writer who is probably best known for his The Chronicles of Amber series. He was a master of World Mythology, using characters and myths from many cultures and times to weave his intricate stories.


Robert Edward Wilson, or better known as Robert Anton Wilson, born January 18, 1932, and died January 11, 2007 (aged 74), was an extraordinary intellect, and the writer of the cult series of books about the Illuminati, The Illuminatus! Trilogy (co-authored with Robert Shea.), Cosmic Trigger, The Schrodinger’s Cat Trilogy, The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles, and Masks of the Illuminati.

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Wilson was an extremely educated man, whose expertise spanned several fields, such as Psychology, Philosophy,  Futurist, Writing, and self-proclaimed “Agnostic Mystic” whose goal was to make people “Agnostic about Everything.”

In his books he pokes fun at every single conspiracy theory ever known to man, mainly by reinforcing them, compounding them with humor and unknowns, and then exploding them with farce and humor.

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In his book he has an island called “Fernando Poo”, characters with names like Hagbard Celine and Mary Lou Cervix, and a man named “Ignotum Per Ignotius” (which is a phrase for a logical fallacy: “the unknown explained by the still more unknown”) . It deals with conspiracies known only as “Operation Mindfuck”  and secret societies trying to “Immanentize the Eschaton” (which is a clever way of saying “bring about the end of the world”), he has famous historical people make guest appearances in his books such as the famous horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and the famous Occultist Aleister Crowley.

I am still reminded of a funny passage from the series, one character has been brought aboard a secret submarine known as the Leif Erickson, and is questioning if he can trust Hagbard Celine, and if this man does in fact have mystical powers such as ESP. The Character smokes a joint and ponders these dilemmas, and then hears Hagbards voice in his mind telling him to come to the bridge. He goes to the bridge, almost convinced this man does in fact have ESP and says “That was a pretty slick trick you did there putting your voice in my head”, Hagbard smiles and laughs, “Dude, I called you on the intercom. You’re just stoned.”

Pick up any or all of the series, you will have fun reading them, they will open your mind, make you feel like you took acid, have you wondering if you really do speak English, or if you actually are a brain in a jar somewhere being fed hallucinations.

Great Fun!


Herbert George Wells, otherwise known as H.G., was a wonderfully prolific writer from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) who is sometimes called “The Father of Science Fiction” and it is an apt title.

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His work and ideas are globally known, and people of every Nation and every Language know his works such as “The War of the Worlds“, “The Time Machine“, “The Invisible Man“, “The Island of Dr. Moreau“, “The Food of the Gods and How it Came to Earth” and “In the Days of the Comet“.

He was a good visionary of mankind’s future, having accurately predicted Atomic Weapons (in his book “The World Set Free”) and the Internet (in his collection of essays titled “World Brain” in which he tackles the notion of a permanent world encyclopedia) and mechanized warfare in many of his works such as “The War in the Air”, but he wasn’t a good visionary for just having predicted these things, but in the light he portrayed them and with the hopeful future and kinder wisdom that he expressed that we could develop to wield these massive powers without destroying ourselves.

He had a difficult childhood, having been placed in several unhappy apprenticeships all the while pursuing a life in Academia that he eventually attained and became a Biologist. He often expressed socialist sentiment, having been a member of the Fabian Society.

Even though his works are world-famous, taking a stroll through his lesser known work is very rewarding, I highly recommend his short story “The Country of the Blind”  in which an explorer tumbles into a hidden mountain village where a disease of the local environment robs newborns of sight. I also recommend “The Star” in which a star enters our solar system on a collision course, very interesting and reminiscent of the modern movie “Melancholia”, but one of my favorites of his short works is the story “The Land Ironclads” which can also be found in the audio-book collection The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories. His vision and excellent writing really shine through in that story.

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