Tag Archives: mike resnick

The Dark Lady by Mike Resnick

The Dark Lady by Mike Resnick: I have long declared Mike Resnick to be my very favorite author, not because his are the best books I’ve ever read, but because they are the most consistently good. There are plenty of novels that are better than anything he’s written, but I know that when I sit down to read a Resnick novel, I am in for a really good time. This book is no exception. Leonardo, an alien working at a human art gallery through an exchange program, is hired by a wealthy old man to help him track down portraits of The Dark Lady, a woman whose likeness has appeared across the galaxy for millennia. He is joined in his search by an art thief interested in monetary gain and a man hoping to track down the Lady herself, in the flesh. One thing I’ve always found fascinating in Resnick books is his depiction of aliens. They are not human and do not act human. Leonardo’s narration is often a little frustrating, as he is so completely tied down by the traditions of his species, but it stays believable. I admit I’m only about 98% sure of what happened at the end and why the plasma painter was so special, but I can live with that. Though his books take place in the far future, what Resnick is writing are legends: exciting, memorable, and a touch grandiose. And that’s what I love about them.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Walpurgis III by Mike Resnick

Walpurgis III by Mike Resnick: A lot of Resnick books are about a super criminal being hunted by a super bounty hunter/assassin in the far future, and this book is no exception. Luckily, this is the sort of story he tells very well. The trouble here is that the criminal (Conrad Bland) fancies himself Satan incarnate, intent on killing everything and everyone in his path. Which would be fine – his quotes at the beginning of each chapter are often scandalously amusing – but he’s decided to base himself on the planet Walpurgis, a haven for a large number of Satanic religions. This is where things get a little silly. Told from the alternating viewpoints of the assassin (Jericho) as he attempts to find Bland, and the chief of police (John Sable) as he tracks down Jericho for killing random civilians in his jurisdiction. There’s a little bit of “who’s more evil, the man who kills compulsively or the one who does it emotionlessly as a means to an end,” but this is overshadowed by the focus on the fairly ridiculous religious practices of the assorted sects of Satan-worshippers. I guess if you’re easily shocked and titillated, this might be a delightfully scandalous read, but I could have skipped this one and been none the worse for wear.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

2011 BookCrossing Convention Bonus Features – now on sale!

Bring home part of the convention with this exclusive DVD! Included:

Professionally edited by Eleanore Stasheff and featuring music by Binary Souls / Other Dimensions, this is one DVD you don’t want to miss!

Price Guide:

  • In person/at the convention: $2 cash or check
  • PayPal (USA; shipping included): $5
  • PayPal (int’l; shipping included): $8

The small print: PayPal prices include shipping. DVDs are only available in Region 1 format.  All orders placed before the convention will be shipped on Tuesday, April 19, 2011.  You do NOT have to be a BookCrosser to purchase (or enjoy) this DVD.

DVD+shipping

 

 

Please note: We are NOT making any money on this. Purchasing this DVD will not affect the fund meter on the convention website. If by some miracle we manage to cover our production costs, any profit will be given to those who so generously donated their time and resources. We are offering this one-of-a-kind feature because we love it and want to share it. We hope you love it too.

Weekly Geeks

WG 2009-39 is about book recommendations. To be perfectly honest, most of the book recommendations I follow come in the form of books literally shoved into my hands by fellow BC in DC members. We get passionate sometimes, and more than once I’ve shown passing interest in a book, only to get a glowing “OMG you must read this”-style exclamation from whoever brought it. More often than not, I give it a try. And am rarely disappointed. I’ve come across several great authors this way, including Simon Singh, Neil Gaiman, and Catherine M. Petrini. Basically if a book looks interesting, regardless of genre, I’ll give it a shot.

Sometimes the books I read are a random find, such as the infrequent occasion when I catch a BookCrossing book in the wild, or if I happen to win it in a contest. I usually have a large number of to-be-read (TBR) books on my shelves, so it is rare indeed for me to finish my current book and have to go searching for something else to read. If I do, though, there’s always The Book Seer, Literature-Map, and Debbie’s Idea, all of which are fine tools for discovering new books and authors.

The official assignment this week involves reader participation. Since the vast majority of my readership exists solely in my head, I may have to play music to drown out the crickets, but hey, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. But anyway. The assignment is to ask for recommendations, and give my own, both within a single genre. So I’m going to choose science fiction/fantasy (SFF) as my genre. Some people may protest and tell me that’s two genres, but I beg to differ. First, several popular authors write books that are difficult to categorize as one or the other (e.g., Anne McCaffrey and Christopher Stasheff), and as Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

First off, I’d love to hear your recommendations. I don’t mean stuff that necessarily aligns with my established tastes, I mean great SFF books in general. What are some titles/authors I simply should not miss?

And now for my recommendations, again in SFF. The WG page suggests I start with something like “If you’re looking for…” which could just mean narrowing it down by genre, but I’m going to narrow it down a little further. So here goes:

If you’re looking for a rowdy yarn set in the far future… Mike Resnick is your man. Most of his books are set within the future chronology laid out in Birthright: The Book of Man, but my personal favorites are Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future and the Penelope Bailey trilogy.

If you’re looking for a beautiful fairy tale… then march right up to Neil Gaiman and Stardust. This is one of the few books I’ve kept and intend to reread. I hear Neverwhere is his best novel, but I haven’t read it yet (though I do have a copy on my shelf).

If you’re looking for a powerful tale of children in an adult world… I cannot recommend Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card highly enough.

If you’re looking for hilarious satire in the guise of SFF… then you want definitely to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

If you’re looking for time travel… The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is your best bet. There are other notables in this sub-genre, but Wells tops them all IMHO.

If you’re looking for good YA SFF… I really enjoyed the Borderlands books, especially Elsewhere and its sequel Never Never by Will Shetterly.

If you’re looking for great concept stories… Larry Niven, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov are all excellent choices for expanding your horizons.

And finally, if you’re looking for mythology in the modern world… you’re sure to get a kick out of Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips.

So there you have it.  I’m sure I’ll missed a bunch, but this is a good start.  What glaring omissions do you spot on this page? Have you read any of these?  What did you think of them?

Most importantly: enjoy! :)

Eros Ascending by Mike Resnick

Eros Ascending by Mike Resnick: Harry Redwine has been sent to cook the books of the Velvet Comet, and orbiting pleasure palace singled out for sabotage by an unnamed, power-hungry bureaucrat in the upper echelons of parent company Vainmill. Despite the science fiction backdrop, this is more of a thriller, full of complex power struggles and intrigue. I wasn’t all that satisfied with the ending, but it’s only the first in a series so I can’t really complain too much. Not Resnick’s best work, but still a decent read.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Redbeard by Mike Resnick

Redbeard by Michael Resnick: This is one of Mike Resnick’s earliest books, evidently before he started going by Mike professionally, and it shows. Though full of memorable characters, from the elusive mutant Gareth Cole to the savage barbarian Red Will Donahoe to the wickedly logical Baron Andrew Craston, the story is still a little rough around the edges. The ending feels rushed and I had trouble wrapping my head around Cole’s true motivations. Our story takes place in post-apocalyptic New England, during a war being waged between the mutants and the “Normans” (Normals). Donahoe, though born to misfits, is physically normal, and struggles with his conflicting hatreds for the Normans and for Cole himself. It’s a rather dizzying story, but not all together a bad one. Just a little unpolished.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

The Wild Alien Tamer by Mike Resnick

The Wild Alien Tamer by Mike Resnick: This is the third in a series of four, though it stands on its own fairly well. It’s another tale of Thaddeus Flint’s galactic traveling carnival, this time about Jupiter Monk, the animal trainer. When his Earthling animals eventually die, Monk has no act and must find alien beasts to replace them. When he comes across a tour guide who looks as foreign as any animal, they come up with an interesting idea for a con. However, things eventually get out of hand. It’s a fun book, almost as light-hearted as the prior two in the series. Good beach read.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

The Three-Legged Hootch Dancer by Mike Resnick

The Three Legged Hootch Dancer by Mike Resnick: Thaddeus Flint’s traveling carnival has taken to the stars, and it’s…pretty dull, actually. The aliens aren’t too interested in seeing a human take off her clothes, or an animal tamer when the animal more closely resembles the audience, or rigged games when the marks are telepaths. Luckily, Flint still has a few tricks up his sleeve. This brief novel is just as much fun as its predecessor, Sideshow, and can probably stand on its own just fine.

Also posted on BookCrossing

Sideshow by Mike Resnick

Sideshow by Mike Resnick: A cute little yarn about a New England traveling carnival which buys up a competing freak show. These freaks turn out to be aliens. Like many of Resnick’s tales, the characters here are rowdy, bawdy, and a hell of a lot of fun. And like your average carny, it doesn’t overstay its welcome: a quick 150 pages and you’re out.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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