Book Review of Galactic Patrol

Image captured from Amazon

In some ways, E.E. “Doc” Smith’s third Lensman novel Galactic Patrol feels like the first “real” Lensman novel. I suppose that’s largely due to the character Kimball Kinnison having a central role in the book. He is the Lensman hero I think all of my friends looked up to when these books were popular when I was in Junior High in the late ’60s. Of course I also think these novels were better consumed over 50 years in the past by boys between the ages of 12 and 14 than they are by a fellow in his late 60s today.

It also hung together a bit better than the previous two (“Triplanetary” and “First Lensman”). That said, most of the book felt incredibly episodic. It was like a television show where the season hadn’t been plotted out cohesively from start to finish. A great deal of the action bounced all over the place, introducing seemingly random characters, planets, and events throughout the first two-thirds of the story.

Eventually, Smith was able to tie (most) things together showing relationships in the last third, but even that seemed rushed.

Continue reading

Donate using Ko-Fi and Buy Me a Coffee

Ko-Fi logo

I came across Ko-Fi by accident. I happened to click a link on the twitter account of someone I follow and discovered it.

Ko-Fi is a different sort of model for supporting an artist’s or writer’s work. Unlike, Patreon, I don’t have to constantly create new content that only my Patreon subscribers can see.

With Ko-Fi, people can make a one time donation and it’s always $3 USD or about the price of a cup of coffee. You can donate once or as many times as you want. Pretty simple.

Continue reading

A Candle For Our Freedom

“Your death amounts to the same as your life, a zero sum!” -Dr. Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) from the (2014) film Captain America: Winter Soldier

I’m kind of feeling that quote right now. No, I’m not dying or anything, but I do feel like everything I believe in is a “zero sum.”

If any of you follow me on twitter or Facebook (and amazingly, I still have active accounts on both, although twitter is restricting me somewhat), you know what I mean.

I’m almost too despondent to write this, but I feel compelled anyway.

Continue reading

A Beautiful Friendship

lovers

Lovers by Harry Hollard, 1982

Eugene hadn’t felt the warmth of a woman’s touch in too long. The pandemic, lockdowns, and all the rest made most people reluctant to become intimate with a stranger. His life had always been dependent on a near endless string of brief, anonymous affairs. He had been starved for what he needed for what felt like an eternity.

“Come here, lover.” Brenda cooed and sighed as he took the nipple of her right breast between his lips and expertly fondled it with his tongue.

They were both nude and his penis began to stir, but the longing he felt went far beyond that. However, as he was about to strike, he was startled out of the moment.

“And now you’re mine, you poor sap.” Brenda clutched his head in both of her palms and began a ritual Eugene knew all too well.

Continue reading

Vengeance for a Sorceress

Image is of concept art from King Arthur II, a NeocoreGames video game. This work is free and may be used by anyone for any purpose. -Wikimedia Foundation

Her lips and fingernails were chiseled rose quartz and her eyes were irresistible. Standing on the railway platform clouded with steam from the monolith locomotive, she waited in the darkness of an indeterminate night.

The full-length gown beneath her loosely draped overcoat was ashes of roses. To gaze into her jade eyes was to dive into the aortistic. To even briefly brush against her fingertips was to chance ecstasy.

People went to and fro on the concrete, passing like specters in the fog. Only she and the locomotive to her left remained motionless. She was not only waiting, but fixated on the other, as a spider might be captivated by a victim in her web.

Continue reading

Read an Advanced Review Copy of Planetary Anthology Saturn

saturn

Cover image for the anthology Saturn.

As I’ve mentioned before, my science fiction/time travel short story “Saving the Apostle” is to be featured in the Tuscany Bay Press Planetary Anthology Saturn.

It’s available for pre-order from Amazon now (see the link above) for delivery to your kindle device on February 16, 2021.

However, if you can’t wait, you can read it right now. The publisher has placed an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) on Booksprout. Of course you have to be a Booksprout member AND you have to agree to leave a review in order to read the book.

From our point of view, this means that the reviews you leave will already be on Amazon when the book launches.

If you are not a Booksprout member but would like to review an advanced copy of the anthology, contact me by commenting on this blog post. I’ve got copies in PDF, epub, and MOBI. As long as you’re willing to leave a review, I’ll be glad to send you a finalized copy of the book in your desired format.

Let me know.

Continue reading

2021 Helicon Award Winner for “The Three Billion Year Love”

“The Three Billion Year Love” wins a 2021 Helicon Award for best short story in an anthology

First of all, no one is more surprised than I am to have won an award. I have no idea what the nomination process was or how I got on the list, but “wow.”

I actually found out on Facebook first before I checked my email. Then once I did, I saw that Richard Paolinelli announced it on his blog:

Thanks to our new overlords and masters in Silicon Valley, the announcement of the 2021 Helicon Awards has been moved up 36 hours.

Check out the 16 winners and buy the books and discover some great authors!

Yes, it’s been a rough week for a lot of us, especially as many high tech platforms continue to censor anyone who leans even slightly right, but I’ll cover that another time.

Anyway, that leads to the 2021 Helicon Award Winners announcement.

Continue reading

Waif

AlexandraSophie on Deviantart

Twin pairs of leather aeronaut’s boots crushed brittle green leaves and stems as gently as they could. Amanda Westcott and her love Wyatt Ellison approached the unconscious girl as quietly as if they were entering the room of a sleeping baby.

“Oh God, Wyatt, you were right. She is here, but how?” Amanda appeared some six or so years older than her thirty-year-old companion, but her hair was a rich and thick ebony restrained only by her pilot’s goggles. Equally “restrained” as it were, was her full figure, dressed in her leather aviation jacket, scandalously short knee-length wool skirt, and shear black silk stockings, she looked both innocent and alluring.

She bent over slightly as if to touch the child but then held back, perhaps not wanting to disturb her.

Continue reading

This Time the Curse Comes from Berkeley

Promotional image from the 2018 film “How to Summon Your Demon”

“What, were you expecting a cauldron?” Dorothy’s voice communicated her indignation at her younger sister Emily’s surprise.

“But a soup pan on the stove?”

“All the recipe calls for is a metal container that’s heated.”

“But a soup pan on the stove. That’s how you’re going to summon a…”

“Not another word.” Twenty-seven year old Dottie pressed a pale, stiff index finger against Emily’s pouting, ruby lips. For an instant, she felt a forbidden thrill at touching her sister so intimately, but then realized it was probably just the fumes from the potion affecting her. On the other hand, she did find Emily kind of hot.

Continue reading

Review of The World of Science Fiction 1926-1976: A Personal Past and Uncertain Future

skylark

Image captured on Amazon

This my second and last review of the late Lester Del Rey’s 1980 book The World of Science Fiction, 1926-1976: The History of a Subculture. The first review was more political and cultural. This one is more personal.

First of all, the copy I currently possess is a first edition. Like I said, the first printing of this tome was in 1980, and according to the old fashioned stamps in this library book, it was first acquired by my local library system on January 24, 1980. It’s like holding a piece of history in my hands.

The first 22 chapters are interesting, but also made up of long lists of ancient science fiction stories, their authors, which magazines they appeared in, the editors, and occasionally what was going on in the world around them. A tad dull overall.

Continue reading