No Progress on Projects, Several Book Reviews, and Other Topics

Chris Van Deelen

Two weeks has passed since my last blog. Those of you who read it on a regular basis will remember I mentioned going to Seattle and Vancouver for the long weekend.

Other than the airport, I had never been to either, so it was quite the nice trip for my wife and I, although it was a major pain in the ass to try and find a hotel! Lesson learned.

I won’t go into the boring details, other than to say we hit some of the big tourist locations in Seattle and Vancouver.

We probably won’t be going back until next summer.

I’m also having issues with my laptop. I used to be able to log in just fine, but all of a sudden no matter what I try, my computer keeps telling me I am entering the incorrect password. Yes I’ve checked the usual culprits, such as caps on and the like, and nothing is working like it should.

See, I would be writing during my breaks at work if it wasn’t for this issue. So I haven’t been able to do any, and by the time I get home at night, I’m usually too exhausted to bother!

Ugh.

Enough with the whining now. This was just to let you know why I haven’t worked on any projects.

Except for New Mutant Monday. I have tomorrows written and ready to go, and here are the three I posted last week… Selachimorpha, Scorpionoid and Anatig.

Thanks to skipping the past week for a blog, I have three books to review. First is Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy. This is the second in the 5th Wave trilogy and I was NOT impressed. The book jumped from character to character with little warning, and there were stupid editorial mistakes all over the place – things that should have been caught by the editor at the very least. A prime example – the aliens are supposed to be 10,000 years old, and yet numerous times it was mentioned they were ten centuries…. That’s a thousand years.

It seemed the book now has two major female leads, which is likewise confusing, and the whole alien invasion and destruction of humanity is making less and less sense.

I think it’ll be at least another two years before I finally download and listen to the final book in the trilogy, I was that unimpressed.

Oh and as for giving a damn about the characters? Never happened.

The second book I read was far better… Robinson Crusoe 2244 by E.J. Robinson. A retelling of the classic tale, set in a post-apocalyptic environment. Young Robinson is forced to leave the British isles after his father is framed for killing the current leader of the One People. He flies a aircraft to Washington DC after discovering the co-ordinates written in his mother’s locket.

There he discovers mankind was not wiped out, or turned into the twisted mutant monsters that plague the planet. He learns to survive and try to figure out his next move, and if he’s ever going to be able to return home.

Unlike Infinite Sea, I really enjoyed this tale. So much so I have the sequel called Robinson Crusoe 2245 in my wish list, ready to download in a few months.

And finally I read the novel Proteus Cure by F. Paul Wilson and Tracy L. Carbone.

The novel is about a cure for cancer, one which will defeat the dreaded disease 9 times out of 10, no matter how advanced or terminal the cancer is.

Something nefarious is taking place, and there are side effects which the creator of this magic bullet against the disease are willing to silence anyone to keep it a secret.

I found it to be a damn good book, but then again I am biased because I am such a fan of F. Paul Wilson. I have never read anything by Tracy L. Carbone though, but I have to assume this author is likewise very talented and I should remedy this.

The other aspect of the book which really hit home is it brings up a genetic defect which has run rampant in my family - Osteogenesis Imperfecta. It is an exceedingly rare disorder which causes the bone of those suffering from it to be extremely brittle, and causes all manner of bone deformity and other issues.

I was damn lucky I never got it, nor did my son... There is always a small chance his kids might be affected by it.

My mom and her siblings have all been struck by it, one of my uncles far worse than the rest.

This is only the second time I have ever seen this genetic defect appear in any form of media - the first being the movie Unbreakable.

So I guess this book means just a little bit more to me.

I could not recommend this novel more.

No movies, but I did finish season one of ‘Dark Matter’. A quirky show about a group of bad-ass mercenaries who wake up aboard a ship with no memories of who they are or how they got there. They spend the season learning about their identities and their past, and learn some unpleasant and unexpected secrets about themselves.

Furthermore, they realize that for the most part they don’t really want to be the people they were, and they become more of a family than simple ship-mates.

Damn good show. I’m looking forward to watching season two in the near future.

I do have one RPG book to mention. It is a very well put-together publication called Nuclear Sunset: Pacific Northwest. This book by Vigilance Press provides a ready to use campaign set in this region of the world. It is written for the OSR game Mutant Future, and goes into detail the various factions as well as communities and ruins. They are all quite detailed and contain adventure hooks to be used.

There are even quite a few new mutant and robotic creatures to be used at the end of the book, although the descriptions do not include the mutations as I am used to reading. That’s just a minor point, and this is the kind of material I would write!

I really hope they will continue to publish material just like this.

And I guess I could get into a few rants about various topics but… who would want to read those?

So that’s it for this week. I bet those of you who happen to have kids are really happy they are back to school! The next few weeks – Halloween is just around the corner and FALL is only about 10 days way, which means the colder weather is on its way.

Until next week, stay happy and stay safe!