This is as Esoteric and Difficult as it Looks


My first time playing Twilight Imperium. Eight players with the expansion. I only have the slightest idea what I’m doing, the only thing I’m sure of is that I’m losing.

PS – I wrote this post from my phone!? I’m pretty sure we are living in the future…

DiMortuiSunt April Book Giveaway #2

Fantasy Realism or Classic Science Fiction? You Choose

Welcome to week two of the DiMortuiSunt April Book Giveaway. Congratulations to Denton Froese on winning a copy of Rebirth of a Nation! This week I’m giving away two books! One is a piece of fantasy literature that doesn’t have any magic or wizards or dragons, it has Roman legions in a fictional land. The other is an old American written sequel to H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds that most people have never heard of but set a surprising number of firsts in the genre. My reviews for both are below.

My review from the San Francisco Book Review:

Paul Kearney’s Corvus is the second book to take place in the fictional classical world of Kef. Kearney again focuses his story on a legion of mercenaries with magic armor. The protagonist, Rictus, is the leader of these mercenaries. He is aging and thinking of retiring to his farm with his wife and two daughters. Unfortunately, fate has plans that drag Rictus, his legion, and his family into a war of survival as their homeland is invaded by an army from across the sea lead by a mysterious young man who calls himself only Corvus.  Kearney is a talented writer who has a knack for presenting the chaos of the ancient battlefield in such way that excites the reader without reducing the horror of melee combat. This book is full of descriptions of battles, perhaps a few too many; Kearney doesn’t have the time to develop his characters as much with all that fighting going on. So, instead of having characters we have quick studies and archetypes. This is hardly going to be an issue for fans of the genre though; most characters in fantasy are nothing more than archetypes and Kearney certainly makes it work.

From my upcoming review in either the Sacramento or San Francisco Book Review:

H.G. Wells was a visionary writer, rightfully considered one of the founders of Science Fiction. One of his most famous works is The War Of The Worlds, a chilling tale wherein humanity is saved from the predations of more technologically advanced Martians not by any of their own actions but by mere microbes. The story when it was first serialized in the United States that the Hearst newspaper group commissioned a sequel to be written by one of their own writers. The result? Garrett P. Serviss’ Edison’s Conquest of Mars which for the first time since originally appearing in 1898 is now in print complete and unabridged.  Serviss’ Edison’s Conquest of Mars despite being a product of its time, whose science has, mostly, been surpassed or discredited the book remains a charming, pulpy, adventure tale that holds a number of “firsts” in genre fiction: ancient astronauts, disintegration rays, alien abductions, and more. The story takes place shortly after the events of Wells’ book: the governments of Earth have united to act together and with the helpful genius of Thomas Edison take the war to Mars and succeed in defeating those aliens who caused so much destruction on Earth.

Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win one of these books. Random winners will be selected on the 15th when the next book(s) go up.

Thoughts on Steampunk

Steampunk is one of those underground genres, it’s like cyberpunk in the early 80’s before Gibson came along and made it mainstream with Neuromancer. It is basically the same ideas as cyberpunk as well except instead of looking into the near dystopic future, it gazes longingly on a a past that never happened. Steampunk is revival Victorian Science fiction, it’s the world of Verne and Wells but with 20/20 hindsight. It’s how luddites wished the future would have happened as opposed to how it did, it’s capping technology with steam engines and early electrick works… It’s very much in its infancy a genre still trying to find its way.

I’ve taken somewhat of a liking to it, I’ve been reading articles on, short stories in it, submerge myself in it on occasions. I haven’t been able to write anything though that could be construed as belonging to the genre… A few times I thought I had something, but no, I worry that the confines of the genre are too limiting for good storytelling. All pieces of the genre I’ve read have been poor things or have reached outside the genre to legitimize themselves (if you can call what some of them have done legitimizing).

If you’re curios to know more just Google the word or you could check out Steampunk Magazine, and e-zine that is specializing in the genre. Brass Goggles is a blog that concerns itself solely with the genre as well. So there you go, knock yourself out

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