Thursday, May 07, 2009

What Christianity Is All about: How You Can Know and Enjoy God
Alan Kent Scholes

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And another re-read of this. As noted before, this is a nice, succinct book of theology. Like Mere Christianity it serves as a good devotional work to re-read from time-to-time to think about the basics.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb


For one fateful weekend, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Rubicon, has all but taken over a usually ordinary hotel. Now the halls are alive with Trekkies, tech nerds, and fantasy gamers in their Viking finery *all of them eager to hail their hero, bestselling fantasy author Appin Dungannon: a diminutive despot whose towering ego more than compensates for his 5' 1" height . . . and whose gleeful disdain for his fawning fans is legendary.

Hurling insults and furniture with equal abandon, the terrible, tiny author proceeds to alienate ersatz aliens and make-believe warriors at warp speed. But somewhere between the costume contest and the exhibition Dungeons & Dragons game, Dungannon gets done in. While die-hard fans of Dungannon's seemingly endless sword-and-sorcery series wonder how they'll go on and hucksters wonder how much they can get for the dead man's autograph, a hapless cop wonders, Who would want to kill Appin Dungannon? But the real question, as the harried convention organizers know, is Who wouldn't ?

Not a book easy to find (I downloaded it as a library e-audiobook) - this was McCrumb's first book - and it got an Edgar for it's depiction of an SF Con. Interesting now as a period piece as it is extremely dated in its rendition of the F/SF landscape. Enjoyable enough, but... there is an antipathy for the milieu despite the female protagonist's being an English prof who teaches an SF course. Partway through the (only) sequel, Zombies of the Gene Pool, and it is again an interesting enough story - but her attitude toward fandom seems more pitying than sympathetic, which I think works against the story.

Last Colony by John Scalzi

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Publishers Weekly

Full of whodunit twists and explosive action, Scalzi's third SF novel lacks the galactic intensity of its two related predecessors, but makes up for it with entertaining storytelling on a very human scale. Several years after the events of The Ghost Brigades(2006), John Perry, the hero of Old Man's War(2005), and Jane Sagan are leading a normal life as administrator and constable on the colonial planet Huckleberry with their adopted daughter, Zoƫ, when they get conscripted to run a new colony, ominously named Roanoke. When the colonists are dropped onto a different planet than the one they expected, they find themselves caught in a confrontation between the human Colonial Union and the alien confederation called the Conclave.
Again, excellent - I'm glad that his pledge to "end" this series - at least as far as penning "Zoe's Tale" to complement this book (waiting for it now at the library).

Scalzi is someone who I'd put down as a "new Heinlein" - except I think I like his morality better than Heinlein's.