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review 2018-11-03 12:59
"TNT: Telzey Amberdon & Trigger Argee Together" by James H. Schmitz
T.N.T: Telzey Amberdon & Trigger Argee Together - Eric Flint,Guy Gordon,James H. Schmitz


(Original Review, 1980-12-19)



The story is the “The Telzey Toy” and it is in a collection of the same name. There are about 3-4 stories in the novella. It was the second time I had encountered the lady and it took some time to make the connection. I thought that the first story I had read was much better. I don’t recall its name, but it was the story in which she first realized that She Had Powers. 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-09-02 20:19
Good Back-in-the-Day-SF: "Telzey Amberdon" by James H. Schmitz
Telzey Amberdon - James H. Schmitz,Eric Flint


A lot of very readable and entertaining SF is grounded in Clarke's observation that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A character who pops what looks like an aspirin tablet into what looks like a microwave and then retrieves and eats a vindaloo is behaving as realistically as I am when I order a pizza. If the character then steps into a time machine, he or she needn't know any more about how it works than I need to know what really happens when I turn on the lights. In fact, I'd worry about the success of a book that said "Gwen's knowledge of farming and baking enabled her to eat a pizza, and since she understood the principles of electrical transmission, she was able to eat it with the lights on." If anything, I think that too many SF books try to explain made up science that their characters, if real, would probably just take for granted.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-04-07 14:48
Flint blends premises that have been better done elsewhere
1632 - Eric Flint

Reading Eric Flint’s 1632 reminded me of two classc science fiction works.  The first is L. Sprague de Camp’s Lest Darkness Fall, which is predicated on a similar premise: a man from the present finds himself suddenly transported to the collapsing Roman Empire, where he uses his knowledge of modern ways to change history.  In this novel, however, it is not a solitary historian who is dropped into the past, but an entire West Virginia town.  This gives them a significant advantage over de Camp’s character, as they have tools, weapons, even a functioning power plant to provide electricity in a pre-steam engine age.  The circumstances may not be quite as challenging, but the similar goals lead to a lot of fun, as the residents of Grantville find themselves bringing American values and know-how to the tumultuous struggle of the Thirty Years War.

 

This transformation of 17th century Germany brought to mind another science fiction tale, the Janissaries series by Jerry Pournelle.  In it, a group of American mercenaries are plucked off of a hill in Africa and taken to a planet to supervise the harvesting of a narcotic plant.  Like Eric Flint’s West Virginians, they encounter humans from earlier ages who had been deposited there previously.  Yet whereas Pournelle used this scenario to depict very human fragmentation and conflict between the mercenaries, Flint’s Grantvillians present a virtuous front adhering to idealized values – a front that is perhaps a little TOO virtuous.  Such an approach constricts the novel, as well as creating lopsided clashes between the united Americans and their outmatched opponents.  It would have been far more interesting to depict a divided community with opportunists allying themselves with Grantville’s enemies.

 

It all adds up to a series that is entertaining but largely predictable.  Hopefully Flint and his subsequent collaborators overcame these limitations in later volumes of this popular series, which makes for enjoyable reading but left me with the sense that it could have been so much better.

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review 2017-04-28 03:59
Well Written, Fun Brain Candy
1632 - Eric Flint

This book had a great deal going for it; Eric Flint clearly did a lot of research on military strategy, history, and both early modern and modern weapons. This is evident throughout the novel, and helped make his novel a superior and interesting work of fiction. However, his research was not the only thing that made this book wonderful.

 

One problem I have with a lot of science fiction and fantasy novels written by men is a lack of credible female characters. Throughout the story, there were several wonderful female characters, none of whom were the same. One woman was a nurse, another a polyglot and diplomat, and another was an olympic biathlon participant who became one hell of a sniper. They were respected by their male peers as equals, even those who were non-Americans from the past.

 

Overall, I would recommend this novel, as it is well worth the necessary time to read it. It does drag in a couple places, but that is a pretty small complaint in the grand scheme of things.

 

 

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review 2016-09-06 07:01
Character & Culture: The Course of Empire | Review
The Course of Empire - Eric Flint,K.D. Wentworth,Chris Patton

A complex if slightly cliche SF with a great cast of characters.

 

Conquered by the Jao twenty years ago, the Earth is shackled under alien tyranny - and threatened by the even more dangerous Ekhat, one of whose genocidal extermination fleets is coming to the solar system. The only chance for human survival is in the hands of an unusual pair of allies: a young Jao prince, newly arrived to Terra to assume his duties, and a young human woman brought up amongst the Jao occupiers. But, as their tentative alliance takes shape, they are under pressure from all sides. A cruel Jao viceroy on one side, determined to drown all opposition in blood; a reckless human resistance on the other, which is perfectly prepared to shed it. Added to the mix is the fact that only by adopting some portions of human technology and using human sepoy troops can the haughty Jao hope to defeat the oncoming Ekhat attack - and then only by fighting the battle within the sun itself.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Whispersync Deal Alert*: Kindle + Audible = $1.99 (must "purchase" free Kindle ebook first, prices may change)

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I purchased this book myself from Audible.

 

BOOK DETAILS:

The Course of Empire by Eric Flint & KD Wentworth, read by Chris Patton, published by Audible Studios (2012) / Length: 18 hrs 50 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #1 of 2 (so far) in the "Jao" series. The 3rd book, The Span of Empire, has been long delayed due to the death of Ms. Wentworth, but is scheduled to be released on Kindle & hardcover today (9/6/16). I did not receive a response regarding the release date for the audiobook.

 

SUMMARY:

There are a lot of cliches present in this book: It takes place in America, which was among those who fought the hardest; our weapons might be superior to theirs & we might be able to help them win a war they've been fighting for centuries; we might have won if only we hadn't been so divided etc. But that doesn't mean it isn't well done. This is my kind of military SF - in that it focuses a lot on the characters, especially people who think, and not just on actions.

 

One of the things that determines if a book is a "repeater" for me, and thus a recipient of more stars, is whether or not it has memorable moments & scenes that I enjoy revisiting. This book has many such "highlights," making it difficult to limit myself to my usual 3 below.

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