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LemmiSchmoeker's books

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reviewed The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Old Man's War, #3)

John Scalzi: The Last Colony (2007) 4 stars

Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony …

Again, quite different from the first two books

4 stars

Again, this one is quite different from the first two books: everything encountered before falls together (or at least gets a cameo) to create a monumental story that encompasses even the parts of the universe not yet explored. There are a few threads that don't seem to go very far and are mainly used to shed more light on the situation as a whole, but that is hardly noticeable among the many other events that do form a part of the larger puzzle.

Politically, Scalzi doesn't want to take a clear stance for or against the Colonial Union and what it stands for, and instead has his characters discuss both sides thoroughly and with contantly shifting sympathies. The reader will have to follow along whatever arguments seem to make the most sense.

Originally, this was meant to be the last story in the Colonial Defense Forces universe, but at the …

reviewed The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi (Old Man's War, #2.5)

John Scalzi: The Sagan Diary (EBook, 2007) 4 stars

Often a bit too much poetic waxing

3 stars

Like Questions for a Soldier, this is just a filler that mainly repeats what we already know. (If you read the afterword, you'll see that he was compelled to write something for a special cause.)

However, Scalzi gets a little experimental this time and tries to look at his subject from different angles, both philosophically and linguistically. The result is interesting, but his (or Sagan's, as this is supposed to be verbatim from her brain) poetic phrasings are often a bit too much ("I have signed on for a mermaid’s sacrifice and will walk on knives for dumb love"), distracting from the quite touching notions this is meant to transport.

commented on Short Fiction by Frederik Pohl

Frederik Pohl, C. M. Kornbluth: Short Fiction (EBook, 2023, Standard Ebooks) No rating

This selection of Frederik Pohl’s science fiction short stories covers topics ranging from out-of-body experiences, …

Contains the following 15 short stories:

  • Asteroid of the Damned
  • Conspiracy on Callisto
  • Double-Cross
  • A Hitch in Time
  • Let the Ants Try
  • The Tunnel Under the World
  • Pythias
  • The Day of the Boomer Dukes
  • The Engineer
  • My Lady Greensleeves
  • Survival Kit
  • The Hated
  • The Knights of Arthur
  • Wolfbane
  • The Five Hells of Orion
Lyon Sprague de Camp: The Prisoner of Zhamanak (Paperback, 1983, ACE) 3 stars

Percy Mjipa, diplomat-adventurer, and Alicta Dycknan, interplanetary runaway, both aliens on the alien world of …

Really quite a fun read, but many issues make it hard to like the book

3 stars

Though Lyon Sprague de Camp was clearly fascinated by the diversity of peoples around the world, he was certainly not a racist. His vocabulary was not modern, and might sometimes appear offensive to today's tastes, but he always had an affection for all his characters that makes it easy (or at least possible) to forgive any inappropriate word choices.

However, the same is unfortunately not true concerning his view of women. While he tries to treat the female main character fairly, he has undeniable problems with the idea of "modern" women. Alicia Dyckman has zero regard for other people's lives (especially if they are alien) and demands somebody be killed more than once. She is a detached scientist without any sexual drive (but really just hasn't met the right man yet) and with a confused concept of men who should sometimes be more masculine and sometimes less. Of course, this …