The cosmos says hello. Well, not in so many words, but, yes. You are all bits of the universe and while many would prefer that the universe find some way to just brush you off, like dog hair off a coat, perhaps into a convenient black hole, the fact remains that you belong. We’ve been out in the Oort cloud, taking selfies, looking at comets, trying to figure out gravitational disturbance ratios and basically just eating popcorn and watching streaming video. We did bring a pile of bathroom reading, some more useful than others, which we are going to share with you because, frankly, you need all the good advice you can get. Not that you ever pay attention to any of it, but it makes us feel better for the giving.
Chariots of the Gods, Erich Von Daniken, Berkely, ISBN 978-0-451-49003-2, $24.00, 212 pgs.
We can ‘t do the little double period thing over the a when we are in space. We just don’t have enough room for all the fonts in the universe. So, just use your imaginations. We know it’s hard but do it anyway. It will be good practice for what is to come. This is the original ground breaking classic. We’re not sure what ground it broke and we are not sure it is really a classic, but there it is anyway. The basic idea is that aliens pushed humans to make all the monuments that they now wonder about, and it is this wonder that is supposed to feed the human search for alien life. Talk about a circular loop. There is supposed to be a giant spaceport in South America, an alien astronaut in a pyramid and more alien babies running around than you can shake a taser at. This is all, according to the author, incontrovertible proof that aliens not only visited but directed and impregnated. Look, we have had this discussion before. You are not central to the universe. You are at the end of a spiral arm in a galaxy that is not really near anything and that is not really visited by anyone. And no one is all that interested about impregnating you. Probing, sure, here and there, but that’s different. Anyway, read this for the humor and the chuckles. Unless you are a true believer in which case this book holds deep truths that you need to know. Now!
The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher, Roc, ISBN 978-0-451-46681-5, $9.99, 751 pgs.
Okay, let us harken back to the good old days that never existed as we journey with the aeronaut’s across the spire reaches. Klaarg loves this stuff. He tried, three times, to outfit the ship with sails. Each time they burned up the first time we hit atmosphere at speed. We’re pretty sure he’s not done trying though. There’s just something about a ship moving through the ether that tugs at the…well it tugs at something, otherwise we’d be talking about something else entirely.
We enjoyed this and, yes, it’s been around for a while, but we don’t get sent all the new stuff and occasionally have to actually buy our own material and when we do we go cheap. Anyway, we figure there’s a lot of you out there as well who might be looking for a good piratical, steam punky kind of adventure series and this fits that description to a T or maybe a P. Besides all that, we like the way Butcher presents his material. We are pretty sure you will too. Space pirates, Aargh.
The Omen Machine, Terry Goodkind, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-2772-7, $29.99, 525 pgs.
This is a Richard and Kahlan novel (and we promise to return it to them the next time we see them). Events here take place right after the events chronicled in Confessor. This means it is part of the Sword of Truth series although not directly linked and you do not have to have read any of the previous or following to understand what is happening here. The focusing event is prophecy and how much it controls or does not control one’s life. Prophets seem to be appearing in the land, the people seem to be flocking to them, and, in the palace a machine which spits out prophecy is found and activated by mistake or chance. Or maybe it was prophetic?
Richard and Kahlan need to figure out what is going on, why this sudden interest and dependence on prophecy and where the machine came from as it looks like the palace was actually built around it. It’s an interesting set of problems for them to wrestle with. And there is more going on as well. We enjoyed this effort and we know, if you are a fan of the series that you will as well. If you have not read any then this is not a bad place to start if you can not find your way to the beginning.
The Military Science of Star Wars, George Beahm, Tor, ISBN 978-1-250-12474-6, $27.99, 318 pgs.
We worried that this was going to be some geek trying to explain why everything seen in Star Wars represented solid military science when the empire can’t hit the side of a barn with the side of a barn. Don’t they make their troops go through training? Don’t those giant ships of theirs have computers? They have sophisticated robots, don’t they have computers? Why are they still firing weapons by having some schmuck (is that the right term) grab a trigger handle? Anyway, that is not what is done here. Instead the writer starts with current military tactics and training the way it should be done and uses them to critique the Star Wars efforts. Most of the time the Star Wars efforts come out lacking. But any 12 year old will tell you this. We found the analysis quite enlightening and the reading well worth doing. We enjoyed it all. If you have any interest in military matters grounded in reality, then this is definitely the book for you. The more we think about it the more we need to recommend it.
Silly humans, you have once more wasted your time here instead of solving your global warming issues. In the words of one of your greatest minds “What, me worry?” You really need to get better minds. We’re heading to the sun to get rid of some contaminated plasma. We’re not sure how the soy sauce got in there in the first place but it’s no good to us now. We’ll return when we come back.