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review 2018-04-28 12:28
SF-of-a-Different-Persuasion: "James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon" by Julie Phillips
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon - Julie Phillips

"What I do with emotion is not, strictly, to ‘bottle it up.’ I parcel it out. I make it drive me in work; I try to use it to understand the world; I occasionally try to form or express little bits in objective writing or drawing; I try to stay out of situations which encourage it; I take it out in physical exertion – and what still can’t be handled I do ‘bottle up’ and sit on. What else can one do? […]”

 

Alice Sheldon in “James Tiptree, Jr. - The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon” by Julie Phillips

 

 

Biographies have traditionally had a complex relationship with "truth." Hesketh Pearson's brilliantly readable mid-twentieth-century biographies favour "good stories" over the boring facts. Julie Phillips didn’t have to tackle one of the most difficult things in writing a biography: correct the distortions and myths in previous biographies. It was all a blank sheet. Phillips seems to favour the "bag of facts" approach to biography which has been gaining favour but this too has its problems – notably, that reading such a book tends to be a chore, not a pleasure. The challenge, I think, is to keep a balance between telling the story and being rigorously, “checkably” factual.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2018-04-27 22:45
Quick Read
Double Protection: Menage Suspense Romance - Selina Coffey

Double Protection by Selena Coffey is a fairly short contemporary romance, a great choice for those with limited reading time.  This is a menage romance though, so it may not be for everyone.  Allison is a college student that accepts a date with her professor.  After the date she is the witness to a murder.  Hank is a police detective and guards Allison along with Allison's professor, Carlson.  Their story is full of drama, humor, steamy sex and suspense.  I enjoyed this quick read and look forward to reading more from Selena Coffey.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

I voluntarily read a complimentary copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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review 2018-04-22 21:49
A nostalgic re-read after 45 years
Plague Ship / Voodoo Planet (Ace Double, D-345) - Andre Norton

Rating: 3.5* of five

Why not more stars, as this is a sentimental favorite? Because I'm rereading it at closer-to-70-than-4o instead of closer-to-10-than-20. It's dated, of course, but it's still a thumping good read for its wonderful interconnectedness to the other parts of Norton's universe: the Forerunners, the Salariki (a catlike people from Planet Sargol), the gems so bewitchingly described...after all, gems are perfect high-value low-bulk trade goods...the horrible, misery-sowing religious professionals, the Patrol, the finny rockets.

As I'm rereading at a time in life where I've had more and vastly enriching experiences translating ideas from page to screen, or at least trying to, I kept looking for the modern technology to slot into the story. It was surprisingly easy to do. Also surprisingly easy was gaying it up. When the <I>Agatha Christie's Marple</i> adapters showed the way to tart up a fairly drab story, by today's TV standards, was to chuck a gay subplot into it, I was galvanized. Heck fire, most of it was already there already! Like with Dame Agatha's stuff, Grand Master Norton's practically has footnotes saying "re-interpret this passage, 21st century storyteller" and wowee toledo does the Solar Queen (heh) have the goods.

The cover of the edition I'm posting is the one I had as a youth. The Kindle Megapack is more convenient, of course, but I still sigh wistfully at the laughable cover art from an era when we hadn't even been to the Moon yet.

Had I been consulted, I'd've told Reed Hastings' people to skip rebooting <I>Lost in Space</i> (which was a dog in 1966 and is a prettier dog in 2018) and instead *make* an episodic entertainment of the Solar Queen chronicles. Someone should...all the elements are there. The youthful, handsome protagonist Dane leaving school, joining the crew he bonds with, growing as a man and as a trader with lurches forward and swattings backward.

I don't know if modern (under-45) readers would have the patience to mentally update the old tech (space ships with mag-tape computers?!) but I'd say this series is a decent place to test the tepidarium of Papaw's stories.

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review 2018-04-09 22:45
Double Blind (Special Delivery, #2) by Heidi Cullinan Review
Double Blind - Heidi Cullinan

Know when to show your hand…and when to hedge your bets.

Randy Jansen can’t stand to just sit by and watch as a mysterious man throws money away on the roulette wheel, especially since Randy’s got his own bet going as to the reason this guy is making every play like it’s his last day on earth. The man’s dark desperation hits Randy right in the gut. Half of him warns that getting involved is a sucker’s bet, and the other half scrambles for a reason—any reason—to save the man’s soul.

Ethan Ellison has no idea what he’s going to do with himself once his last dollar is gone—until Randy whirls into his life with a heart-stealing smile and a poker player’s gaze that sees too much. Randy draws Ethan into a series of wagers that leads to a scorching kiss by midnight, but he isn’t the only one with an interest in Ethan’s vulnerability. Soon they’re both taking risks that not only play fast and loose with the law, but with the biggest prize of all: their hearts.

 

Review

 

I love this author and I really like Randy and Ethan and Mitch and Sam. All the romance and sexy times are great. It is intersting look into poly love as well. 

However, everything outside the relationship was way less interesting to me. I didn't care about the secondary characters and much of the action was opaque. I couldn't settle and found myself skipping around. 

Not my favorite.

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review 2018-03-30 17:29
Double Digit - Annabel Monaghan
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I have not read the first book in this series. I found this is a Little Free Lending Library awhile back and was intrigued by the cover. It was even better than I was expecting.

I don't think you necessarily have to read the first book before you read this one, but like most series, it would definitely help if you did. The narration backtracks enough to give you an idea of what happened in the first book so you can get away with not knowing anything about the story. 

This is an exciting, well-written book. I love how much math and coding played into it. It is a very fun read. There is a good mix of typical young adult girl stuff going on alongside exciting math-related crime stuff. A very cool premise. 

There is a love triangle, which is a plot devise I absolutely hate, but it doesn't take up a ton of space in the novel. There is enough awesome stuff going on that I was still entertained despite the annoying relationship bits. 

Good book. I definitely want to go back and read the first book.
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