How to Avoid Victimhood: Lessons From My Father – Sean McDowell

How to Avoid Victimhood: Lessons From My Father – Sean McDowell.

A good lesson for us all, despite our cultural or spiritual differences. Everyone can talk themselves into being a victim, especially with all the help they get in social media.

The trick is to be you. Let all the junk go.

Third Party Candidates as Spoilers

What happens when a flamboyant, big-mouthed cartoonish character runs for President? Actually, it’s happened before—several times.

Twice in the twentieth century “third” candidates have spoiled Republican chances. Both led to the election of a Democrat who might not have defeated the GOP nominee alone.

The first time was in 1912 when former President Teddy Roosevelt Continue reading

Windows 10? Privacy Issues to Consider Before Upgrading

No wonder Microsoft is giving it away; they’ll cash in selling your data … if not your identity.

Misty Midwest Mossiness

More and more reasons to try or switch to Linux. Beware of Windows 10 “Free” upgrade … it will only cost your privacy.

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

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Book Review: Triplanetary by E. E. “Doc” Smith (Three Stars)

Book Review: Triplanetary by E. E. “Doc” Smith

Three Stars out of Five

“In which scientific detail would not be bothered about, and in which his imagination would run riot,” Smith’s biographer Harry Smith said of the Lensman stories. And how.

Interesting more as a historical document than as literature, this includes the 1934 story which was the first Lensman story of classic science fiction. The writing is over-the-top, the characters heroic and chauvinistic, but it’s all great fun. The books influenced military development and future science fiction. (George Lucas enjoyed the Lensman series as a youth.)

Three stars is a gift. I wouldn’t have finished such an outlandish tale if written today, but it was hot stuff back then.

Thanks, Doc.

Book Review: Relentless by Robin Parrish (Four Stars)

Book Review: Relentless by Robin Parrish

Four Stars out of Five

Bourne Identity meets Captain America meets DaVinci Code meets … no, that would be telling.

A delightful mash up of modern thriller genres to produce a fun, fast read. The reader is sucked along with the bewildered, tired, often beat up protagonist into a world of apocalyptic threat set in modern (well, 2006) Los Angeles.

Most geographic and cultural references are close enough, though I’ve yet to see a Corvette convertible with a back seat and trunk, not to mention one in which “scooting over” from the passenger’s seat to the driver’s is expedient. Oh, and several characters jump from vehicles going 60 mph or faster without apparent injury. Don’t try this at home.

Logical and satisfying conclusion to first of a three story series

But, hey, it’s not that kind of story. Tighten your seat belt and enjoy the ride.

PEGGY NOONAN: Don’t Mourn Atticus Finch

PEGGY NOONAN: Don’t Mourn Atticus Finch.

I haven’t yet read “Go Set a Watchman” but found this column thought provoking. I briefly lived in the South in the 50s and again in the 60s. There were many people for whom none of the stereotypes work.

I tend to mistrust the simple as over-simplified.

Yes, it’s probably too bad greed trumped good sense in publishing this book. Welcome to modern America.

The Writer and the Magician

The Writer and the Magician. from Alton Gansky.

“The best tricks … don’t look like tricks.”

the best tricks are those that don’t look like tricks. – See more at:
the best tricks are those that don’t look like tricks. – See more at:

Book Review: Prador Moon by Neal Asher (Three stars)

Book Review: Prador Moon (Polity Universe #1) by Neal Asher

Three stars out of Five

This is space opera.

Well-conceived, fast-paced, galactic war. Men and women off the street rise to the challenge of first contact with an alien species who will devour us—literally and figuratively. The science is plausible, which is not a given in modern SF. The writing is up to the challenge. And minimal typos.

The cast is large and diffused enough (as the narrative jumps to their points of view) to get the reader fully engaged but keep the energy up.

Interesting subplot about human society being run by hopefully-benevolent Artificial Intelligences. Not everyone buys in.

Satisfying conclusion to the first in a series. A healthy chunk of the next book is included to set the hook.

Book Review: The Empress Game by Rhonda Mason (Two Stars)

Book Review: The Empress Game by Rhonda Mason

Two Stars out of Five

Think Hunger Games meets Double Star with a dash of Tristan and Iseult.

The wonder is not that I rated this book so low, but that I finished it. The setup is hokey, plot is derivative, and characters are cardboard. But I did read it all because Mason’s storytelling is wonderful. Her prose is compelling and just when you’re starting to wonder why you’re still reading this, she throws a curve.

Probably the only worse way to choose a ruler than heredity is Continue reading