Category Archives: Devoured 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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What Dune Teaches About Dreams Part 2

Part 2 of What Dune Teaches About Dreams

“Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.  ~ORANGE CATHOLIC BIBLE, DUNE

Here is the serious matter:

A dream is what sets you above the average person.  Not having a dream means driving down the road of mediocrity on autopilot.

I have a simple word for this…Automaton.

An automaton (plural: automata or automatons) is a self-operating machine A robot.

Yeah, you have enough working brain matter  to feed yourself and/or your family but any complex thinking is left to others.

Basically you’re a thinking machine and you better not let fanatics of the Butlerian Jihad of the Machine Crusade catch you or they’ll destroy you for being a thinking machine.

Do you really need me to tell you that being average suck?

You know what’s the problem with Americans today–somebody convinced us that being average is okay.

BULLOCKS!!

I bet you KNOW you’re going on autopilot but decide somewhere along the way that you’re okay with that.  Somebody has convinced you that to have a little is better than nothing.

 Serious matter: The danger of being an automaton is that it can be manipulated to do what someone else wants it to do.  Is that you?

What are you doing?

BW.

 

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You Might Be A Bookworm

The weekend was good for me. I hope it was great for you.  I celebrated the birthday of my two year old nephew.

Hi NYE!

In addition to my nephew’s birtday, I saw the makings of another bookworm.

What makes a bookworm?

cracks knuckles and stretches, lemme tell ya…
  1. If you would rather read than go outside and play.
  2. When your parents tells you go to your room and you shrug because that’s where you wanna be…to finish reading your book.
  3. If you can finish a 300 paperback page book in one day to three days.
  4. If you’re tired in the morning because you stayed up all night reading.
  5. Every where you go you have a book or books.
  6. In school, you read the school text books because you were bored.
  7. The bookstore is akin to a candy store
  8. If a fun scavenger hunt is finding hole in the wall bookstores.
  9. You’re addicted to the smell of books.
  10. You talk about your favorite authors by their first names.
  11. You rather read the book than go see the movie.
  12. You’ve read nearly all the books of your favorite genre in the school library when you were a kid
  13. The local bookstore employees know you by your first name.
  14. If your spouse or significant other has banned you from the bookstore or Amazon.com for purchasing books.
  15. When you go to sleep at night you dream about the characters in the book you’re reading.
  16. If have poor eyesight because you would read at night with hardly any light.
  17. If you read pamphlets while waiting for an appointment.
  18. If you read the back of the cereal box while eating breakfast.
  19. If books aren’t just something to play with, but an fetish.
  20. If curling with with a good book and tea is the high life.
  21. Your imaginary friends (as a kid) are all characters from books
  22. If you bring more than one book with you because you don’t know what book you might be in the mood for.

Ugg…is there more?  No doubt…

Have more?  Tell me!!

::points to the comment section::

alright…I gotta go…

need to  finish Variable Star

Robert Heinlein

&

Spider Robinson.

BW.

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I Want To Be A Vor

Miles Vorkosigan Saga

Sometimes I hate reading…

Especially when it’s a book that shares a similar theme as the one I’m writing.

“What’s so special about your book?”

“What’s different, that hasn’t been done before?”

See, it’s questions like those that cause unrest.

A year ago I was so confident that I had the next great scifi masterpiece.

The heir to Dune, Star Wars, and the Foundation Series, I thought to myself.

heh…I hear you laughing…go ahead and laugh…punks.

So, in the infinite wisdom of all the advice of literary agents, editors, and already publushed authors, I decided to read all those books in my genre that I missed.

One of the was the Miles Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMasters Bujold.

Napolean in Space, with a lot of energy, except, he’s the good guy.  That’s my description by the way.

Somehow with all the reading of the Star Wars and Star Trek novels, I seemed to have missed all the good stuff.

Not that the Star Wars and Star Trek novels aren’t good.

But we’re talking about a Hugo Award winner, multiple times already!

Sometimes you just got to put the Wookies down.

I loved reading about Miles Vorkosigan, short crippled genius, that doesn’t understand the word, NO and shares my tastes in women.  And he’s one helluva military strategist…or just lucky.

You figure it out.

Check out the series, you’ll like it.

Just don’t tell your parents about the Orb of Unearthly Delights.

What’s a Vor? You’ll have to come back to find out.

BW.

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