The Future of Work: Compulsory (Murderbot 0.5) by Martha Wells (Four Stars)

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The Future of Work: Compulsory” (Murderbot #0.5) by Martha Wells

(Five Stars)

“With my governor module inert, I sometimes do things and I’m not entirely sure why. (Apparently getting free will after having 93 percent of your behavior controlled for your entire existence will do weird things to your impulse control.) Without thinking about it, I stepped off the edge Continue reading

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Book Review: Imager’s Battalion by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Three Stars)

Book Review: Imager’s Battalion (Imager Portfolio #6) by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

(Three Stars)

“I want a land where Pharsi, scholars, and imagers can be what they will, under the same laws as everyone else.” “You are either mad … or a lost one.” “Is there any difference?”

A fun story, well-told, but lots of repetition–and war. One continuous series of battles with the climax mirroring that of the previous volume. Every skirmish and every staff meeting, not to mention the bureaucratic in-fighting, related in excruciating detail.

“He doesn’t forget, Quaeryt.” Neither do I. Ever.

Book of Rholan has become Modesitt’s philosophic hand puppet. Much of that philosophy–in fact the basic plot–is foreshadowed in the first three books of this series, which occur hundreds of years after this book.

Editing quirks: “In less than a fraction of a quint …” Twice. “Rain began to come down.” What else? Dozens of blotting head and adjusting brim cap.

“It’s hard not to think about the consequences when you’re the one who causes the deaths of so many.”

His Will, Not Mine, Be Done

“Even though I’m born again, I have nothing in me to do God’s will. I have the will, but not the doing. Until the Holy Spirit in us overcomes the flesh, he can’t inhabit us and take us over.” Gary Garner

“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13)

The fear and trembling comes from pretending we do his will when we’re doing our own. The only will we have naturally is our will. To be all we were designed to be, we must have his will and his power.

Meaning and Darkness

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” C. S. Lewis

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12

We not only see the son, but by his light we see everything else as it really is.

Wilson to Blame for Delayed Armitice

21465842Woodrow Wilson delayed the armistice because he was in secret negotiations with the Germans, leading them to think they were getting a better deal and unconditional surrender, based on his famous 14-points. In fact, The Treaty of Versailles was so bad it virtually guaranteed World War Two.

The full story of this debacle may be found in Charles L. Mee, Jr’s book, which I reviewed here.

Plans for You to Prosper

“God is not content to see you do (or be) good; he wants you.” Gary Garner

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11-12)

But we stand in the way of his plans. We must die to our current selves and receive a new life–the living presence of Jesus. That changes everything.

Field Notes from My Retro Utopian Adventure

Worth looking into.

Misty Midwest Mossiness

I’m in the final phase of my Hugo finalist reading, concentrating on the Best Novel category.  In the right-hand panel of my blog, you’ll find my “Currently Reading” widget which is just the RSS feed for my GoodReads status updates.  Three of the four books I’m currently actively reading are finalists.  I’m listening, or attempting to listen despite major shortcomings of the Axis 360 app, to Ann Leckie’s Provenance.  When I get too frustrated with listening, I switch to the ebook edition.  Last night and this morning, I’ve been powering through the middle of Raven Stratagem.  Earlier this week and most of last weekend, I immersed myself in the 1943 Best Novel finalist Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright.

I wish there existed a well researched biography of Mr. Wright, aside from the few paragraphs found in his Wikipedia entry.  His immediate family alone would…

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My Mini-Quest for a Retro Hugo Holy Grail

Misty Midwest Mossiness

Earlier this month, I began the process of finding all the Retro Hugo Finalists short fiction selections in various anthologies through my wonderful local libraries and the miracle of the modern world commonly known as inter-library loan (ILL for short).  I requested the majority of the anthologies through my local home library in Lansing but the one I thought would have the least chance of fulfillment I requested through my other favorite library, the Kansas City Public Library.  Two of the short stories finalists for the 1943 Retro Hugo were only available in an anthology which was last printed in 1980.  I searched various websites that sell used books but as I suspected, any copies of Asimov’s The Great SF Stories 4: 1942 were hard to find and priced accordingly.  I should not have been surprised when I received an email from KCPL letting me know my ILL was…

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Daughter Featured at Contralto Corner

My niece posting about her talented daughter’s coming appearances.

Misty Midwest Mossiness

This post at Contralto Corner featuring my daughter became the high point of my evening.

I really need a Spring/Summer home in the Pacific Northwest so I can enjoy her live performances in person this season, or any season for that matter.  I miss hearing her unique, powerful and beautiful voice.

For a full list of her upcoming engagements, visit her web site here:

http://rachellemoss.com/engagments/

Visit her Patreon page and become a supporter for exclusive content, such as behind the scenes view of the creative process of preparing and performing classical music, discussions on the history and origin stories of operas she’ll be performing, videos featuring the music from those works, discussing opera history, and the current life of an opera singer.

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Looking a Lot Like Christmas Around Here

Thanks.

Misty Midwest Mossiness

As I promised earlier this month in my post about my building’s less than traditional holiday decorating, I managed to snap a few photos of some of my favorite things – and my that I mean Christmas lights, displays and decorations.

In roughly chronological order, starting with Thanksgiving weekend decorating the exterior of our home.

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Followed by a drive by on Grand Avenue past one of the tallest Christmas trees in the country in the heart of Crown Center two days later:

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I started off December right by stopping just before dawn on Broadway to snap this photo of the annual decorations hung at the Kansas City Life Insurance building:

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A week later I made it to work very early, with the sun still below the horizon with the help of some cloud cover and took several photos of the Country Club Plaza Christmas lights from the top floor…

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