Category Archives: BookWorm on Books

What If Chamberlain Said NO to Hitler?

On Monday, I final devoured the last morsel of Harry Turtledove’s Hitler’s War.  Now, four days later, it’s like eating Chinese food.  I hardly remember what I read and it’s as if I’ve never picked up the book.

I hate to say this about Harry Turtledove because I’m a huge fan of his and after six years, I still sometimes see child-size lizards running around with guns after reading his Alternate History of the Second World War Series.

What if Neville Chamberlain didn’t appease Hitler with Czechoslovakia and Hitler started WW2 with the invasion of the Sudetenland?

I’ve been in that region and it’s spectacular–if I say so myself.

What if Poland joined the war on the side of the Nazis? 

What if Japan focused their attacked Siberia? 

What if Franco never became the leader of Spain?

See why I was so interested in this book?

All the what if’s were cool, but Harry Turtledove didn’t execute the plot very well.

There’s a few lessons here:

1. Even a big name author with lots of award-winning books flop.

2. Don’t get too comfortable because your next book may suck.

3. A good premise line does nothing without a well-developed plot.

4. Even if you do flop–because of previous success–fans are forgiving.

Truth be told, I’ll probably buy the next in the series, just to see what course the alternate history will take–and because it’s Harry Turtledove. 

Would I recommend it?

If you’re a history buff like me–especially in WW2–the premise line alone you should by this book, but be prepared for a weak plot.

I just hope the next one is better than this one. 

Now, here’s a story that I really want to read:  “The Last Article”. An alternate-history piece, where the Germans won WWII and took control of India from the British.

Keep Writing!

BW.

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Stephen King, Frank Herbert, and the Force

“You cannot sweep someone else away by the force of your writing, unless it’s been done to you.” ~Stephen King from “On Writing” 

 
I have this ambitious goal to write the next great science fiction saga.  I wanted to write a series worthy of being an inheritor of Dune, Foundation Series, The Vorkosigan Saga, and tar Wars. 
 
Yes, I know, it’s extremely ambitous…so what.
 
For the first time after many tries I finally finished the book Dune by Frank Herbert.  I read it because Dune has nearly everything that I want to write.
Frank spins a tale of the four-fold nature of humanity–our physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental natures and how they add to the complexity of life around us.
 
But I found his writing dry, hard to follow at times.
 
The only thing that kept me reading was that this was one of the great masterpieces of literary fiction in the last 100 years.   At first I thought it was a bad book because it did not move me–captivate me as I’ve been by the prequels written by Brian Herbert [Frank’s son] and Kevin J. Anderson.   
 
If it weren’t for the mastery of spinning such a complex tale I would have put the book down long ago.
 
As I read it, I could not help but remember the quote above by Stephen King.
 
I like being swept away in a story.  It’s what makes reading a 100,000+ word story possible.
 
Every story that has been seared into my mind as been one that swept me away.
 
I was not swept away by Dune. 
 
Now I need to find out why.
 

BW.

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What Dune Teaches About Dreams

I just finished the Dune Prequel: House Corrino and I liked it.  It was a nice setup for the Dune Series by Frank Herbet.  One of the many reasons I like reading is that you find golden nuggets of quotes that have real life application.  Here’s one:

“Every man has the same final destination–death–at the end of life’s road.  But the path we travel makes all the difference.  Some of us have maps and goals, others are just lost. ~Prince Rhombur Vernius, Dune: The House Corrino.

Do you have a dream?

One of the main reasons people just follow the crowd is they don’t have a dream.  If there is nothing to pursue then why bother being different?

Have you ever been lost? 

I have, trust me, it’s a terrible feeling.

The feeling of hoplessness begin to descend and the fear of not finding your path out arises.

But that’s exactly what it’s like to not have a dream, a goal, or a purpose in life.

Dream provide that roadmap that is customized for your life–that GPS unit for you to follow.

It questions logic and introduces the improbable.

In whatever situation you may find yourself in, there has to be something that will get you up in the morning beyond the “have to’s”.  

Going through life because you have to…well…that just suck.

BW

So see part 2 of What Dune Teaches About Dreams, Click HERE.

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Fight Club, A Fantasy?

Fight Club?  A Fantasy?

I was doing a google search of 1000 books to read.

Why? I’m a bookworm…duh.

And I came along a article in the guardian.co.uk on 1000 novels everyone must read.

I chose the Science Fiction and Fantasy as that’s what I read and write most.

There was a suprise on the list.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

taken from the back cover of the book:

A godforsaken young man who discovers that his rage at living in a world filled with failure and lies cannot be pacified by an empty consumer culture.  Relief for him and his disenfranchised peers comes in the form of secret after-hours boxing matches held in the basements of bars.

Where in that means fantasy in the way the genre is interpretated as?

I ask you..for the love of God…

How can this be classified in the fantasy genre?

I ask you again, FIGHT CLUB, A FANTASY?

What is Fantasy?

Fantasy is a genre that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot,theme, and/or setting.

That’s taken from wikipedia…so…you debate whether it’s true or not, but I’m inclined to agree.

Fight club is not a fantasy…okay okay…MAYBE an urban fantasy…but even that’s stretching.

Heh, Fight Club a Fantasy…

That cracks me up.


BW.

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One Proven Way To Ruin A Good Book

Have you ever got wrapped up in a story and grew impatient with the movement of events?

sometimes books can be that way…

Have you ever grew so attached to the character that whenever any other character appeared you skipped ahead to the section where your guy comes back?

do this and you miss all the good juicy bits…

How many of you have seen Starship Troopers, the movie , and not read the book

and think it’s the same story?

come on…I know you people are out there…hey! I see you in the back!

Yeah…these are only a few ways to ruin a good story but I’ll give a sure fire way to make you put that book down.

READ THE NOVEL’S WIKI WEBSITE WHILE READING SAID NOVEL

Yup, I did it and it ruined an entire series for me.

A couple of months ago I was reading the Wheel of Time Series and being who I am, I start in the chronological order.

I started with New Spring, which is a prequel to the actually Wheel of Time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

As I should, I grew attached to the protagonists and when I was done…

I had an Obscene Obsessive Curiosity to know more about the hero.

That’s good right?  Yeah, I thought so too.

So, as I started the first book, The Eye of the World, I started not liking what I was reading about the hero.

My obscene obsessive curiosity struck with a vengeance.

I thought I’d just peek at the wiki.

don’t say it…I know...

I ended up reading the whole thing and grew even more dispondent towards the series.

shame, shame, shame, shame, shame…

BW.

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