– by Wombat-socho
Reviews of a number of books, including The Last Straw:
The Last Straw – John C. Wright
John C. Wright’s review of the execrable movie The Last Jedi reminds me of the legendary quip by Mary McCarthy regarding Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: “This is not a book that should be cast aside casually. Rather, it should be thrown with great force.” This is not to denigrate Mr. Wright’s review, which is a work both hilarious and depressing, but the movie it reviews, which is truly one of the worst things to come out of Hollywood since the all-female Ghostbusters.
Other books reviewed include:
The Compleat Martian Invasion: Earth’s Defense Awakens – John Taloni
There’s a subgenre of steampunk, or perhaps more correctly, Edisonades, which is made up of sequels to H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. These range in quality from the truly awful Edison’s Conquest of Mars to the tragic early issues of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with a detour sideways into parallel worlds with George H. Smith’s The Second War Of The Worlds and Larry Niven’s Rainbow Mars.
The Last Dance – Martin L. Shoemaker
In the ancient mists of time, back in the 1930s, many SF novels were what’s now called “fix-ups”, collections of short stories knitted together to create a coherent novel. These days, with SF novels often being mistaken for doorstops, this isn’t as common, but Martin Shoemaker pulls it off nicely with The Last Dance, which frames several mysteries in the setting of a court-martial of what at first appears to be the 22nd-century version of Captain Bligh – Captain Aames, a martinet whose harsh criticism and rigid standards nonetheless attract a crew of spacers who would do anything for him, while giving the powers that be the cold shoulder.