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Urgathoa

Blue Tyson's page

183 posts. 20 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.



1 to 5 of 20 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

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Broropemance

****( )

SOS the Rope does make an interesting pair with Steppe. However, rather than a barbarian travelling into the future, this time we have a barbarian living in the future.

A post-apocalyptic future that has nomadic warrior tribes or loners, as well as more advanced technological groups that keep them fed and housed, in an interesting symbiosis.

Two men meet and challenge in the Battle Circle - one a fine warrior, but the other a master, as the former learns. The stakes escalate because they are both intrigued by the same woman, and the predictable happens. Both having the same three letter name Sol, the vanquished has to change his to Sos, and doesn't get to become married, either.

The winner has a plan, build an empire, and realising that Sos is an educated planner, wants him as his adviser, despite having wagered the right never to use any of the six major weapons again. So you can tell from the title what happens there. Not to mention the almost hilariously slashy cover.

This scenario progresses as their differences and the chance meeting at the same time with the one woman they both live affecting all things further in the novel, and discoveries of the other parts of society.

Again, better than I thought it would be. It is also illustrated.

3.5 out of 5


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****( )

An interesting story that is a precursor of work like Larry Niven's Dream Park, but on a bigger scale.

A very settled Galactic Society uses a live action roleplaying historical scenario as entertainment and an outlet for those that seek adventure. The game scale has compressed time to allow for different eras to be played out. Interestingly this Galactic society is displayed as largely post-literate, from a book from 1976.

A group of players decides to gain an advantage by time travel - but snatching a Uigur man just about to die from the 800s to use his knowledge to tactical advantage.

However, he is intelligent and cunning, and decides to use his knowledge for himself, getting into the game - as staying in Galactic society is better than being a dead Steppe dweller. So time for alliances, raids, etc.

The other nice twist is that the game substitutes spaceships and stunners for the historical weaponry, so the scale is interstellar, while still talking about 'bows' and 'horses', and this actually works.

And if you know a bit of your Asian nomad barbarian history, you might have some inkling of what is coming.

3.5 out of 5


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****( )

I think the author said this might be a little Vancian, and he is probably right, there. That being said, I am no big Jack Vance man, so not the greatest reason to read a book, for me.

The protagonist is a professional game 'Player', working for a master who hires him out to other wealthy players, and also uses his knowledge to make plenty on the betting market, as well.

The whole society that surrounds this gaming is completely focused on money and simple contracts as being pretty much the be-all and end-all. The gaming setup can be virtual, so you can have multiplayer swordfights, or whatever, with no-one actually getting stabbed for real, and it seems these environments work well.

All this standard day to day existence is broken up upon the murder of the man who is the closest thing to a friend that our man Conn has.

An off-world woman, an object to be worked out, and some secrets of why people were literally trying to take him out, need to be found.

That is all pretty straightforward, but the super-competent and confident Larbro has his eyes opened as he goes off planet and encounters other people and races that behave and believe in ways and things that are completely foreign to him. This includes another planet with a dedication to a different sport, so some fun to be had.

There are some twists coming I didn't see, and the end is certainly an improvement, even if throwing in a concept or two that perhaps should have been mentioned or hinted at earlier.


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Not Free SF Reader

****( )

A collection of stories about a whacky future inventor who can invent crazy stuff like time machines, but only when he is drunk enough to let his subconscious come out and take a crack at it. The problem is that he is the get so smashed he can't remembers what he has done kind of drunk.

The future as seen from the 1940s, of course. So, you have 3-D tv, computers, but nothing like communications now. Retina printing, though.

Time machines, annoying robots, little furry guys from the future who want to take over the world, and other silliness is to be found here.

I find them amusing, but not hilarious.

Robots Have No Tails : Time Locker - Henry Kuttner
Robots Have No Tails : The World is Mine - Henry Kuttner
Robots Have No Tails : The Proud Robot - Henry Kuttner
Robots Have No Tails : Gallegher Plus - Henry Kuttner
Robots Have No Tails : Ex Machina - Henry Kuttner


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****( )

The second of Kline's Martian Planetary Romances again sees a man with reasons to be happy to get the hell out of dodgy planet Earth. This time, Jerry Morgan, a falsely disgraced army officer ends up with his wealthy uncle.

Who just happens to be Richard Morgan (also writing something that just may be planetary romancesque, too, in The Steel Remains).

Richard Morgan happens to have hopefully perfected a way to transport a man to Mars, as opposed to doing the body inhabiting-mentality switching type trick employed elsewhere.

Once he makes it there, Jerry is propelled into sword swinging action, as he becomes embroiled in an interracial conflict and war - and is also caught between two space princesses and their various relatives who would like to see him lose a few vital body parts.

Some great monsters in here, flying beasties, sentient vegetable balls and more, including the trusty dalfs.

Not quite as good as the first, but certainly still up there with Burroughs best few Mars books, by way of comparison.

3.5 out of 5


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