Year of Books 2020: The Best

Every year from July 4 to July 3, I set aside anything I read so I can gaze upon the shelf of things I’ve read. And every year I do a little write-up on what I’ve read. Today, I’m presenting pellet reviews of my favorites. I’ve broken down two different top lists. First are the favorite prose things I’ve read, and then I’ll present my favorite graphic novels of the last year.

Continue reading “Year of Books 2020: The Best”

A Year of Books 2019 — The Best of the Year

The time has come.

Every year about this time, my Bride and I assess.. the BOOKSHELF OF DOOM!

Actually, it’s not very doom-y. It’s this bookshelf that sits next to our bed. The goal every year is to fill it with what we read. Finish a book? It goes on the shelf!

(Other than my professional reading for the ministry… those reviews go up every week over on my other blog.)

And now… it’s time to look at what we’ve read! I’m starting with what I consider the best of the year. These are the books that touched me the most. That doesn’t mean that everything else I read this year is bad. It also doesn’t mean that these are the books that will win the most awards. They’re the books that held my attention best and made me go, “Hm.”

These aren’t in any particular order, so don’t read into that at all. It’s just, as I said, the best of what I read this particular year.

Without further ado… Continue reading “A Year of Books 2019 — The Best of the Year”

Review: Company A

Company A
by H. K. Devonshire

Devonshire’s already famous on Mars, and with reason. His historical fiction about the Martian rangers provide fast-paced novels that keep the attention in marvelous ways, and I’m glad they’re finally being made in Terran editions.

In Company A, Devonshire introduces us to the first Martian rangers, led by Greg Farer, an Arizona Ranger transferred to start the new law branch on the red planet. Danger finds him at every turn, as it appears someone wants to make sure that the law doesn’t get a firm hold on Mars. There’s plenty of action in just about every chapter, twists and turns, and plenty of death.

If you’re looking for more in the realm of Terran authors like L’Amour, or you loved Firefly with the mix of Western and Science Fiction, this is a book for you. It reads fast and quick, and it’ll keep you entertained for an evening or two. I’m looking forward to more in this series and seeing the Martian Rangers begin cleaning up the Martian frontier!

On the writing side, if you want to learn how to plot a fast story and introduce readers to a well-lived in world, you could do well to read this book. Devonshire really does set up his world well, and even if you’re not familiar with Martian tech or history, you’ll have everything you need here. The background doesn’t get in the way of the story, but only enhances it, while setting up future storylines for the next books. Check it out!

The Martian Author continues his reign of terror and bibliophilia…

Welcome back! I still have H. K. Devonshire tied up — I mean, we’re still chatting over coffee. Also, Martian coffee is something else. You should try it sometime.

So, let’s talk about how you create worlds with your words. What’s a typical day look like for you?

Probably not all that different than yours, to be honest. I get up a bit before sunrise and have a cup of coffee while watching the morning break over the crater rim. I check water reclamation and supply for both the ranch and the cattle, then shower. After I’m dressed, it’s a once-over for O2 levels in the dome, then if there hasn’t been a seepage, I’ll have breakfast. Steak and beans is my normal fare, though sometimes just cereal. Finally, after making sure the surface suits have all passed diagnostics and are filled, I go into the puterverse and finish up the morning chores there and check on the news around the system. I get off in about an hour, have another cup of coffee, then start my day. If it’s a writin’ day, I spend it at my desk. I use an external interface so I don’t get distracted. If it’s a research day, I go back into the puterverse. If it’s a ranch day, I suit up and help the hands with the cattle and range. The B&H is a small place – just the crater, three hands, and a couple hundred head of cattle – so I’m not needed much. But I like to get my gloves dirty, so I pitch in, time to time.

After lunch is writin’ time, even if it’s already been a writin’ day. I try to get six hours in on non-writin’ days, and ten on writin’ days. I finish up around dinner an’ we have the family meal. Final checks on atmo, water, commlinks, and make sure suits are chargin’, then off to bed!

Continue reading “The Martian Author continues his reign of terror and bibliophilia…”

The Martian Author

Come one, come all! I have a chronicle here that will be beyond your wildest dreams! Well, maybe not beyond yours, kid. You look like you have some pretty fierce imaginings. But for MOST people, it will be beyond your wildest dreams!

You see, I collect authors. Well, not their bodies. Normally. You have to pay extra to see those. But I love collecting the odd book that’s not well-known or perhaps the author is unique.

And in a recent author-hunting expedition, I found myself on the Red Planet itself!

Kid, you already paid for your ticket. You can’t have it back.

I encountered the famous H. K. Devonshire! Who, you may ask? Well, why not have him tell you himself! He consented to an interview once I freed him from my devious trap. Devious? Did I say devious? I meant we sat down to coffee. Really. Continue reading “The Martian Author”