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Read in April 2017
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Steve Coltrin
2017-05-01 23:22:02 UTC
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Hunters of the sky cave / Poul Anderson
---------------------------------------

Dominic Flandry verbally jousts with Blofeld^WAycharaych, mouths off to his
boss, then jets off to smoke, drink, treat women like toilet paper, smoke,
and foil the invasion of a backwater planet. (Which is backed by
Aycharaych. And we're reminded how large the Empire is.)

I am no longer able to not picture Flandry as Sterling Archer.

The warriors from nowhere (short story) / Poul Anderson
-------------------------------------------------------

Dominic Flandry lectures his current conquest (who's also his slave) on
Anderson's politics, mouths off to his boss, then jets off to smoke,
drink, treat women like toilet paper, smoke, and rescue a kidnapped princess.

In the walls of Eryx (short story) / HP Lovecraft and Kenneth J. Sterling
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

A prospector on pre-probe Venus dies because he doesn't know the right
hand rule for mazes. Written a third of a century after Vesto Slipher
determined that the Venusian day was very, very long rather than
slightly shorter than Earth's.

Winter tide / Ruthanna Emrys
----------------------------

In 1928, the United States government descended on Innsmouth, Massachusetts,
rounded up its inhabitants, and imprisoned them in a camp in the desert
interior. Far from the sea their lives revolved around, most died over
the next two decades, from dehydration, from standing where a soldier
was about to shoot, or from being unable to enter the ocean as they
reached their age of metamorphosis.

Now it's 1948, and Aphra Marsh and her brother Caleb, the only survivors,
have their lives back, after a fashion. Aphra, in San Francisco, has her
Japanese American adoptive family (met in the camp), a job in a used and
antiquarian bookstore (and magical student in her employer), and an uneasy
but cordial working relationship with an FBI agent assigned to the occult
threts desk. [See Emrys' "Winter Tide".]

Events call Aphra back to Massachusetts: the Feds suspect Soviet spies
have infiltrated Miskatonic University in Arkham, where they seek to learn
body-stealing magic, and Aphra's brother Caleb hopes to retrieve Innsmouth's
stolen books from the university library. Aphra quickly, if not at all
intentionally, becomes the nucleus of a coterie including an associate
professor who is not at all what she seems, a coven of students who will
probably kill themselves studying magic if Aphra does not relent and teach
them, and a government research team who thinks that magic can be approached
as a science, which puts them in serious danger of calling up that
which they cannot put on hold.

This book rewards, but by no means requires, familiarity with the Mythos;
the influence of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" is blatant (and the book
could be elevator pitched as Innsmouth meets _Allegiance_), and elements
of many of HPL's later, stronger stories are evident to those who have
read them. _Winter Tide_ delivers a vision of cosmicism that, while far
from safe, is not regulation horror. Aphra Marsh is eldritch; nothing
eldritch is inhuman to her.

Ninefox gambit / Yoon Ha Lee
----------------------------

Kel Cheris just made the mistake of coming to her superiors' attention by
winning a battle through unorthodox tactics. As punishment for this
success, she is assigned to retake the Fortress of Scattered Needles,
recently fallen to heretics and a linchpin of the calendar that much of
the hexarchate's magic relies on. To assist her,
she is possessed by Shuos Jedao, a brilliant tactician who never lost
a battle while alive or dead, unless you count that time where he
deliberately annihilated his own troops, for reasons he claims not to
remember...

It didn't surprise me to learn that _Legend of the Five Rings_ was a
strong original influence on this book. The hexarchate is as formal
as Heian Japan, as fond of unusual weapons as the Lensmen, as accepting
of necessary sacrifice as any player of Warhammer 40,000. _Ninefox
Gambit_ is where space opera meets milSF meets low fantasy.
--
Steve Coltrin ***@omcl.org Google Groups killfiled here
"A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel
to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."
- Associated Press
a425couple
2017-05-03 18:47:30 UTC
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Post by Steve Coltrin
Hunters of the sky cave / Poul Anderson
---------------------------------------
Dominic Flandry verbally jousts with Blofeld^WAycharaych, mouths off to his
boss, then jets off to smoke, drink, treat women like toilet paper, smoke,
and foil the invasion of a backwater planet. (Which is backed by
Aycharaych. And we're reminded how large the Empire is.)
I am no longer able to not picture Flandry as Sterling Archer.
The warriors from nowhere (short story) / Poul Anderson
-------------------------------------------------------
Dominic Flandry lectures his current conquest (who's also his slave) on
Anderson's politics, mouths off to his boss, then jets off to smoke,
drink, treat women like toilet paper, smoke, and rescue a kidnapped princess.
OK, but?
Did you enjoy them?
Do you suggest others will enjoy them?
Is Dominic Flandry quite similar to Nicholas Van Rijn?
Dorothy J Heydt
2017-05-03 19:34:25 UTC
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Post by a425couple
Post by Steve Coltrin
Hunters of the sky cave / Poul Anderson
---------------------------------------
Dominic Flandry verbally jousts with Blofeld^WAycharaych, mouths off to his
boss, then jets off to smoke, drink, treat women like toilet paper, smoke,
and foil the invasion of a backwater planet. (Which is backed by
Aycharaych. And we're reminded how large the Empire is.)
I am no longer able to not picture Flandry as Sterling Archer.
The warriors from nowhere (short story) / Poul Anderson
-------------------------------------------------------
Dominic Flandry lectures his current conquest (who's also his slave) on
Anderson's politics, mouths off to his boss, then jets off to smoke,
drink, treat women like toilet paper, smoke, and rescue a kidnapped princess.
OK, but?
Did you enjoy them?
Do you suggest others will enjoy them?
Is Dominic Flandry quite similar to Nicholas Van Rijn?
Well, he weighs less. And he's in the public rather than the
private sector.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Steve Coltrin
2017-05-03 23:53:35 UTC
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begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by a425couple
OK, but?
Did you enjoy them?
I do not view that as a purpose of the form, although there are inferences
to be drawn.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by a425couple
Do you suggest others will enjoy them?
It's not my place to _tell_ the unknown reader if they will or not.
Only they can decide the proper impedance matching between their
prejudices and mine, if they even choose to.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by a425couple
Is Dominic Flandry quite similar to Nicholas Van Rijn?
Well, he weighs less.
But does he weigh the same as a duck?
--
Steve Coltrin ***@omcl.org Google Groups killfiled here
"A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel
to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."
- Associated Press
Dorothy J Heydt
2017-05-04 02:04:30 UTC
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Post by Steve Coltrin
begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by a425couple
OK, but?
Did you enjoy them?
I do not view that as a purpose of the form, although there are inferences
to be drawn.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by a425couple
Do you suggest others will enjoy them?
It's not my place to _tell_ the unknown reader if they will or not.
Only they can decide the proper impedance matching between their
prejudices and mine, if they even choose to.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by a425couple
Is Dominic Flandry quite similar to Nicholas Van Rijn?
Well, he weighs less.
But does he weigh the same as a duck?
More, I should think.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Robert Carnegie
2017-05-04 06:53:20 UTC
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Post by Steve Coltrin
begin fnord
Post by a425couple
OK, but?
Did you enjoy them?
I do not view that as a purpose of the form, although there are inferences
to be drawn.
Post by a425couple
Do you suggest others will enjoy them?
It's not my place to _tell_ the unknown reader if they will or not.
Only they can decide the proper impedance matching between their
prejudices and mine, if they even choose to.
Well, you read two, anyway. So you weren't so
revolted by the first one as to quit. We assume
you read for pleasure and then comment... for
pleasure, in fact - and why not - and not out of
a sense of duty, except for warning sensitive
millennials that Flandry smokes, drinks, and...
swings?
James Nicoll
2017-05-03 20:23:27 UTC
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Post by a425couple
Is Dominic Flandry quite similar to Nicholas Van Rijn?
No: Flandry is a knowingly corrupt functionary of the sort Anderson
sometimes used as antagonist who serves a rotten state because he
thinks the alternative is much worse. Van Rijn would deny it but
he's an idealist of sorts (whose activities will lead pretty much
directly to Flandy's Empire and whose subordinates will set up the
conflict between the Mersians and the Empire).
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Dorothy J Heydt
2017-05-03 20:50:58 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Post by a425couple
Is Dominic Flandry quite similar to Nicholas Van Rijn?
No: Flandry is a knowingly corrupt functionary of the sort Anderson
sometimes used as antagonist who serves a rotten state because he
thinks the alternative is much worse. Van Rijn would deny it but
he's an idealist of sorts (whose activities will lead pretty much
directly to Flandy's Empire and whose subordinates will set up the
conflict between the Mersians and the Empire).
Actually, it wasn't even his subordinates. It was he who made
the decision to give the coordination duties to the Gethfennu.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
James Nicoll
2017-05-03 22:04:01 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by James Nicoll
Post by a425couple
Is Dominic Flandry quite similar to Nicholas Van Rijn?
No: Flandry is a knowingly corrupt functionary of the sort Anderson
sometimes used as antagonist who serves a rotten state because he
thinks the alternative is much worse. Van Rijn would deny it but
he's an idealist of sorts (whose activities will lead pretty much
directly to Flandy's Empire and whose subordinates will set up the
conflict between the Mersians and the Empire).
Actually, it wasn't even his subordinates. It was he who made
the decision to give the coordination duties to the Gethfennu.
That's even better.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Steve Coltrin
2017-05-03 23:56:28 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by James Nicoll
No: Flandry is a knowingly corrupt functionary of the sort Anderson
sometimes used as antagonist who serves a rotten state because he
thinks the alternative is much worse. Van Rijn would deny it but
he's an idealist of sorts (whose activities will lead pretty much
directly to Flandy's Empire and whose subordinates will set up the
conflict between the Mersians and the Empire).
Actually, it wasn't even his subordinates. It was he who made
the decision to give the coordination duties to the Gethfennu.
And as I recall (it's taken me five years to get this far into the
Polesotechnic League/Terran Empire stories), the only alternative
was Kentucky Fried Merseia. Now, maybe the League _did_ attempt
nation-building after the supernova, and just did a poor job...
--
Steve Coltrin ***@omcl.org Google Groups killfiled here
"A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel
to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."
- Associated Press
Gene Wirchenko
2017-05-06 13:56:08 UTC
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On Wed, 03 May 2017 17:56:28 -0600, Steve Coltrin <***@omcl.org>
wrote:

[snip]
Post by Steve Coltrin
And as I recall (it's taken me five years to get this far into the
Polesotechnic League/Terran Empire stories), the only alternative
was Kentucky Fried Merseia. Now, maybe the League _did_ attempt
nation-building after the supernova, and just did a poor job...
At the virtual meeting where Falkayn announced his decision, the
leader of the Gethfennu had blank screens around his image as none of
the lords wanted his image next to that of the Gethfennu leader. (This
was explicitly stated.)

Falkayn stated his decision, and the disapproval was voiced
immediately.

I really do not think that the League could have done much
against that.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

Dorothy J Heydt
2017-05-03 20:51:34 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Post by a425couple
Is Dominic Flandry quite similar to Nicholas Van Rijn?
No: Flandry is a knowingly corrupt functionary of the sort Anderson
sometimes used as antagonist who serves a rotten state because he
thinks the alternative is much worse. Van Rijn would deny it but
he's an idealist of sorts (whose activities will lead pretty much
directly to Flandy's Empire and whose subordinates will set up the
conflict between the Mersians and the Empire).
Oh, blast, no, you're right and I'm wrong. It was Falkayn, not
Flandry. Duh.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
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