Monthly Archives: January 2014

Review: New Beginnings (Vitalis)

One dung Beetle (1 out of 4 rating) I chose this story because in its marketing blurb there is talk of space pirates, and there are also some vague statements which, to me, implied the heroine might have a past as a secret agent. There was absolutely nothing to warn me that I would soon […]

What am I looking at?

I thought I’d look at some other blogs which do book reviews, and I ran across this insane text posing as a book review. At first, I assumed it was an automated system for writing book reviews, but then I realized any self-respecting programmer would pull the plug. My second thought was “drugs”, but that’s […]

Review: Merry Christmas, Mr. Babbers!

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) To me, this story breaks into two very different halves. I interpreted the first half as social commentary about technology and human relationships; since it’s fairly depressing, you might even call it “literature”. The second half of the story takes a left turn into la-la land; the […]

Review: Eat Fish and Die

Four Royal Crowns (4 out of 4 rating) I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this story from the description; I was expecting a two-fisted, butt-kicking shoot-em-up with a side order of humor. The main character seems to fit my expectations; he sounds like a man who’s been around the galaxy, and now sits […]

The Spoiler Dragon

The Spoiler Dragon

I try to keep my reviews as vague as possible concerning plot twists or resolutions. Sometimes, it’s difficult to make a point about a story’s strengths or weaknesses without getting specific. When I’m about to get into details, I’ll display the spoiler dragon (image from, a provider of free public-domain clip art).  The spoiler […]

Review: The Last Manned Fighter

  Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) This story begins with a preface (about 5% of the work’s length) about how science fiction could influence military planning, but my comments will be limited to the fictional portion of the work. I’ve tried to avoid writing anything specific enough to be a spoiler, although […]

Review: Change by Design

One dung beetle (1 out of 4 rating) I chose this story because the main character is supposedly fighting against a bureaucracy. Who hasn’t fought with a bureaucratic government agency, military organization, corporation or university? I guess the answer is: everyone who’s smarter than I am, and realized there’s no hope of victory. Change by […]

Ranking System

Most websites that rank things use a 1 star (awful) to 5 star (great) system, but I decided to do something a little different here.  I use 4 ranks, because otherwise it’s just too easy for me to call something “average” and give it 3 stars out of 5. I won’t be using stars, because […]

Planetary Defense Command is now operational

Amazon’s Kindle store currently has 62,597 science fiction titles.  If you pull up a list or run a search on those titles, works by popular authors naturally come up first.  I’ve created this blog to help newer authors by pointing out stories I’ve enjoyed, and to help readers by pointing out stories that should be skipped.  Due […]