Review of Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

I almost bailed early on Steel Crow Saga.  It didn’t wind up blowing on me, but it did grow on me.  I’m glad I didn’t bail.

Steel Crow Saga is sort of a secondary world, fantasy version of the Asia theater of WWII.  An awkward, info dumpy prologue threw me off a bit.  The prologue is set in the middle of fantasy Philippines’ (the Sanbu Islands) occupation by fantasy Imperial Japan (Tomoda).  By the time the first chapter opens, Sambuna and the other occupied countries have thrown off their Tomodanese shackles and are figuring out what the new world order will look like.  Much of the information dumped in the prologue, then, isn’t relevant, and much less information is given in the first chapter.  It becomes apparent later why Krueger did what he did, but I still have to think that it could have been done in a better way.

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Robert Jordan’s Warrior of the Altaii Foreshadows The Wheel of Time More Than His Conan Pastiches

Decades ago James Oliver Rigney Jr. wrote a book.  That book allowed him to break into the publishing industry.  He sold it several times.  It established his working relationship with Harriet McDougal, who would become his wife.  It led to his first published book, The Fallon’s Blood (as Reagan O’Neal).  It led to a gig writing (eventually seven) Conan pastiches for Tor, this time as Robert Jordan, the pseudonym he would make famous.  It also heavily foreshadows themes and elements from The Wheel of Time, his landmark work of epic fantasy.  It was not, however, published before his death.

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Can’t Wait for Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan and The Walking Dead Compendium 4

Today’s post should really be a review of Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger, but I wasn’t quite able to finish reading it last night, and I wouldn’t have time to write a full review in any event.  And I am about to become very, very distracted after the UPS man comes today.

Out today and soon to be in my grubby little hands: Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan and The Walking Dead Compendium 4.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.

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September 2019 Month-in-Review

For once, September was a nice, chill, easy month with plenty of time for reading and blogging . . . Ha!  Just kidding.  September was crazy again.  Any pace that allows me to keep up with reading and blogging (and, uh, family time) is sustainable.  no-angel, by the way, started walking this month.  She remains a remarkably dutiful child, is starting to babble, and is the star of her swim class.

It was business as usual around the blogs.  September was a bit of a step back, view-wise, at Every Day Should Be Tuesday, but it was by no means a bad month.  It was also my fifth-best month ever at Hillbilly Highways.

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Review of Dark Forge by Miles Cameron

How is it that Miles Cameron keeps impressing me more with each book?  The Traitor Son Cycle is one of my favorite fantasy series of all time.  After Dark Forge, I already think Cameron may surpass it with his Masters & Mages trilogy.

If it wasn’t entirely clear after Cold Iron that Cameron is writing an Epic Fantasy with a capital-E and capital-F, it certainly isn’t now.  This is also definitely Flintlock Fantasy—early modern guns play a much more significant role in Dark Forge than they did in Cold Iron.  Cameron also continues to play with Chosen One tropes.  Aranthur isn’t the Chosen One, or at least he doesn’t appear to be.  He has immense capabilities, or at least potential capabilities, but his talents are not singular.  He is mostly in the right place at the right time (or the wrong place at the wrong time, depending on how you look at it).

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SF: Desper Hollow by Elizabeth Massie

Today over at Hillbilly Highways I review a zombie story set in backwoods Virginia.

Hillbilly Highways

Just a couple of weeks ago I was talking about how a crime story fit uneasily into a second-world fantasy shell.  A country noir shell, on the other hand, is an excellent fit for any number of sorts of SF stories.  Including a zombie yarn.  Desper Hollow is just that: a country noir zombie fantasy set deep in the hollers of Virginia.

The framing that opens the book and slow reveals the zombie angle is a little weird and unwieldy, but it builds to an incredibly taut set piece in the final third of the book.

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Vintage Science Fiction Month: Science Fiction’s Family Tree

It is almost the most magical time of the year: Vintage Science Fiction Month!  By “almost,” I mean more than three months away, because January is Vintage Science Fiction Month, but it is never too early to start plotting what you will read and discuss.  Today I am pleased to facilitate thinking about Vintage Science Fiction Month by hosting a guest blog by Andrea from The Little Red Reviewer.  And I love this topic.

Have you ever asked your grandparents what their childhood was like?  What did they do for fun, what did they want to be when they grew up, how did people meet up back then, what did they think the future was going to be like?    Did they think we’d be vacationing on the moon in year 2020?  Did they think we’d all be living in arcologies?   Did they wonder when we’d finally meet aliens and talk to them?

It’s neat to see how much things have changed, hasn’t it?  We’re using dating apps, our grandparents went to dances to meet people.  We send texts, they sent letters.  How many web-enabled devices are in one room of your house?  How many families shared one phone line once upon a time?

Your favorite brand new science fiction and fantasy books have grandparents too.

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