Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Recent Reading

  • King of the Wood, by John Maddox Roberts, Tor, 1986. This is one of the early, fantastic works of Roberts, who may be best known now for his SPQR mysteries featuring Roman Decius Cecilius Metellus. King of the Wood is an interesting alternate history where the pagan Norse colonized what we knows as easter North America and introduced the horse, followed by Christian Norse, and the Aztecs still flourish, mixed with straightforward adventure and an appealing mixture of cultures.

  • The Wizard Hunters, by Martha Wells, HarperCollins, 2003. Its good to see a fantasy that avoids the psuedo-medieval trappings of so much fantasy, and even better to find one that uses a setting that is more Edwardian, perhaps, though it is set in a world that is clearly not our own, despite some inklings of a common background. As this is labeled “Book One of The Fall of Ile-rein” I look forward to reading the rest.

  • Ode to a Banker, by Lindsey Davis, Mysterious Press, 2001. Another volume in Roman mystery series featuring wise-cracking private informer Marcus Didius Falco, this caries the series forward adequately. It is good to see that he has avoided monetary embarrassment for a while longer.

  • Crown of Slaves, by David Weber & Eric Flint, Baen, 2003. Billed as the start of a new series set in the universe of Honor Harrington, this book features Harrington only in a cameo appearance, focusing as it does on other characters, some introduced earlier, and does a good job. I recently read someone who had a very low opinion of the Honor Harrington series, and it once again brought to mind the fact that people are looking for different things in their entertainment, and that this can blind them to those things that other people are looking for in their entertainment. In an event, I think that this book, as with the other books set in Harrington's universe, does a very good job at what it sets out to, and is an enjoyable read for anyone who enjoys military/special ops/espionage science fiction.

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