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swynn

swynn

Joined March 2018

Librarian - sf/fantasy addict - runner - germanophile - he/him or they/them
review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1966) "The Sphere From Time and Space"

Last ep. ended with the destruction of the Masters' of the Island base on Siren, after which the MotI's forces, including all Twonosers, fled the Andro-Beta cluster for Andromeda. Now Perry regroups his teams to begin setting up a new Terran base on Gleam, where he is visited by the superintelligence IT (missing since ep. 151) and Harno the Living Television, and fights off an army of survivors from Siren.

review
swynn
Fear and Trembling | Robert Bloch
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Mehso-so

(1989, selections originally published 1937-1989)

I very much like Bloch's horror and suspense stories, though some have ethnic and gender references that interrupt the experience. But several stories here are humorous, of the broad kind I associate with Robert Scheckley: full of puns, Dad jokes, and randomness. A little of that goes a long way for me, and this collection has too much.

But "Floral Tribute" and "Killing in the Market" are great.

Leftcoastzen Great cover! 1w
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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swynn
Fear and Trembling | Robert Bloch
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" ... the subtleties of the Perry Rhodan series ..."

You don't often find references in English to PR, but in 1976 Ace was publishing translations of the early episodes, and Robert Bloch makes a joke referencing them in "ETFF", a short story satirizing SF conventions. (The joke being that "subtleties" is a word that shouldn't co-sentence with "Perry Rhodan")

"I even read the first four pages of Dhalgren."

The #ClassicLSFBC group might relate.

Ruthiella The first four pages of Dhalgren! 😂😂😂 I got to about 100 and couldn‘t go on. 1w
swynn @Ruthiella 100 pages beats me! I didn't participate in the Dhalgren reading because I knew I didn't have the time, but from others' comments I could appreciate the reference here. 1w
RamsFan1963 @Ruthiella @swynn I finished Dhalgren, but I really wish I'd bailed, it gave me a headache. 1w
21 likes3 comments
review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1966) "Space-scout 008"
Terrans now know that the Moby activity in Andro-Beta is directed by signals from Siren, moon of the planet Gleam. But events of the last two episodes have exposed the Terrans' presence: Siren is now surrounded by a Twonoser fleet. To disable the base on Siren, Terrans hatch a plan involving Gucky, the parasprinters and superbombs. But the entire scheme is threatened when Twonosers hijack a space-jet and crew...

RamsFan1963 That's an amazing cover! 1w
swynn @RamsFan1963 Isn't it great? The composition has such a compelling focus, the atmosphere is so mysterious and menacing, and the monster's eye just *glows*. It's a good one. 1w
24 likes2 comments
blurb
swynn
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With the #readyourkindle picks in, I can complete my #BookSpinBingo card for June. I can see my first bingo already ...

Thanks @TheAromaofBooks !

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Looks fantastic!! 2w
30 likes1 comment
blurb
swynn
Artifact | Gregory Benford
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Thanks @Cbee for #readyourkindle picks! Here are my four for June.

CBee Looks great 😊 2w
26 likes1 comment
review
swynn
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Mehso-so

(1966) "The Riddle of the Swamp Planet"

Captain Don Redhorse's task Force continues to search for the origin of an alien military signal on or near the swamp planet Gleam. They meet representatives of an indigenous group, who are at first excessively friendly and helpful -- but the Gleamors have their own agenda which does not benefit the Terran scouts. I'm not crazy about this one, as some motivations and actions seem random.

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swynn
Naked to the Stars | Gordon R. Dickson
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Here are my #Bookpin and #DoubleSpin read for June: an old Gordon Dickson I don't know much about, and a newer Spanish novella set in a world where all men have died -- and then start coming back to a world that has moved on without them.

Thanks for hosting @TheAromaofBooks !

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Enjoy!! 2w
27 likes1 comment
blurb
swynn
Relics | Tim Lebbon
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And here's 20 random titles from my unread Kindle books for the June edition of #ReadYourKindle

I only finished one pick in May, and the next few days aren't likely to change that. Hoping to log at least 2 next month (and I kinda hope one of them is "Nunslinger")

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swynn
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May continued my April reading slump thanks to work and life. I'm hopeful things will pick up a little in June.

#BookSpin #DoubleSpin #BookSpinBingo
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3w
29 likes1 comment
review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1966) The Terrans have fled the Andro-Beta star cluster to avoid increased attacks by Mobys, which are apparently sent by the mysterious and powerful Andromedan "Masters of the Island." From their new vantage point, the Terrans identify several signals that may be guiding the attacks, and Perry sends scout teams to investigate. One team tracks their signal to a monster-infested swamp planet and it wouldn't be Perry Rhodan if they didn't land...

Bookwomble You must have read my mind - I was wondering earlier today when you'd post your next Perry Rhodan summary 😊🚀 3w
swynn @Bookwomble So glad others enjoy them! It's been a crazy last couple of months, and I hope to post them more regularly soon. 3w
Bookwomble @swynn No pressure - they have become a part of my routine that I look forward to! I never bought these myself, but used to see them on the bookshelves as a kid, being put off by the high series count and a lack of investable funds 😄 3w
25 likes3 comments
review
swynn
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Mehso-so

(1976) This is a sequel to "Don't Bite the Sun," set in a city where all needs are met by machines, and youth spend their days in sex, drugs, and parties. In this one our narrator is exiled from the city for reviving dueling. But outside the city she thrives, and the city cannot tolerate her success.

Mixed feelings: The writing is engaging and the characters interesting, but the binary city = oppression, rural life = freedom feels false to me.

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swynn
Humanas | Carolina Martnez Vzquez
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Los hombres comenzaron a morir.

"The men began to die."

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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swynn
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Litsy doesn't have an entry for this one and I won't add one. It's clearly a product of generative AI. Which is fine: I got it for free and that's a fair price. I'm only posting this blurb because it's one of my #ReadYourKindle picks this month. But while I'm here I'm genuinely curious: I assume one puts one's crappy AI thing on Amazon to Make Money Fast, but how does one make a profit by pricing the thing at $0? Does anyone know how this works?

Suet624 Haha. Great question. 1mo
Ruthiella Maybe they are testing the waters regarding reviews/star ratings? 1mo
swynn @Suet624 @Ruthiella I should have checked Amazon again before I asked. It was free when I picked it up, but it's currently priced at $5.42. I assume the seller temporarily made it free to attract some downloads and reviews. Mystery solved. 1mo
Suet624 I think you‘re right. 1mo
30 likes4 comments
review
swynn
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Pickpick

(2020) It's the old noir trope about the guy who got out of the life, now forced back in to do one more job. It's an old song, but Cosby knows how to play it fresh all over again. It's sordid, it's violent, it's ruminative, it's so very noir, and it is good.

CBee I just finished this and agree 100% with your review - Cosby is an automatic read for me 🙌🏻🙌🏻 3d
swynn @CBee Yay for Cosby love! 2d
46 likes2 comments
blurb
swynn
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And here's my #BookSpinBingo card for May.

Thanks for hosting @TheAromaofBooks !

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Looks fantastic!! 1mo
27 likes1 comment
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swynn
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Here are my #ReadYourKindle picks for May.

Thanks @CBee !

CBee You‘re welcome ☺️ 1mo
26 likes1 comment
review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1966) "At the Brink of Hell"

Last episode's events attract a Twonoser fleet to the secret base on Arctis. But when the Twonosers fail to defeat the Terrans, their Andromedan overlords, the "Masters of the Island", send a space whale to destroy the entire system. I'm not sure what Doc Savage is doing on the cover, but the image seems to reference a subplot in which a Terran agent is blown into an overlapping universe at a different "energy level"

Bookwomble Ha, ha! I thought it was The Man of Bronze as I was scrolling down 😄 1mo
swynn @Bookwomble The Man of Bronze is clearly an inspiration here (to put it generously), but its audience may not have recognized it. The first German translations of Doc Savage didn't appear until 1966, according to the history here: https://www.herr-rau.de/wordpress/2004/07/doc-savage-in-german.htm 1mo
33 likes2 comments
blurb
swynn
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The #BookSpin fates are kind this month: after a reading-slumpy April, they grant me two short, punchy genre works I'm almost guaranteed to finish.

I'll wait to post my card until after @CBee 's #ReadYourKindle picks come out this weekend

Thanks for hosting, @TheAromaofBooks

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swynn
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And here's my #ReadYourKindle list for May, selected (mostly) randomly from my large and growing unread list

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swynn
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Work blew up early in April, and isn't likely to settle down soon, so my April #BookSpinBingo card is embarrassingly bare and the forecast for May isn't much more promising. But dang me if I'll go Bingocardless for that flimsy reason.

#BookSpin #DoubleSpin @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks I feel you!!! And when things are super busy at work, I don't even feel like reading as much in the evenings when I'm home! 2mo
30 likes1 comment
review
swynn
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Mehso-so

(2015) Another read for April's #ReadYourKindle challenge. This one has been in my Kindle since 2015, when I picked it up for free (and with a different cover FWIW). It's not bad. Considering the stuff you get free on Kindle it's even quite good: a manic sorta-cyberpunk story about drugs, androids, kink, drugs, body switching, crime, and drugs. I probably won't continue the series-- it's a ride, but I think it's not mine.

review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1728) A sailor caught in a whirlwind is carried away to the world on the moon, which is inhabited by furries (well: "Brutes and half Brutes" that "walk'd upright and spoke"). The sailor learns the Moon language by eating a dictionary, then has several encounters that satirize 18th century society. It's an imitation of 1726's "Gulliver's Travels," and a mostly entertaining one, aside from some cringey misogyny of a type that isn't unusual for 1728

Texreader This sounds fun! 2mo
swynn It definitely was for me! 2mo
33 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
swynn
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Mehso-so

(2013) One of my April #ReadYourKindle reads. The Enterprise is on a diplomatic mission when it receives a distress signal. When they respond, Kirk and crew discover a bunch of starships suspended in "folded space" -- and of course they must investigate, immediately and personally and with risk-maximizing strategies. Because TOS, I guess. It's fine, but also nothing special.

RamsFan1963 I like the cover 2mo
swynn It's striking, isn't it? I can't find a credit in the book, but ISFDB credits Doug Drexler (who has a long history with Star Trek in various roles from makeup artist to CGI designer) along with Ali Ries. Decker and Ries have collaborated on covers for nine ST novels. This was their first (according to ISFDB) 2mo
25 likes2 comments
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swynn
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To satisfy a violent Inclination which I always had to see foreign Countries, and being incapacitated by my Circumstances to travel barely for the improvement of my Mind, I thought it most advisable to turn Sailor; and in Pursuance to my Design, I bound my self to one James Anderson, Master of the Runner, a Vessel of about 75 Tun (tho' the Custom-House had it but 70) belonging to Dublin, in the year 1718.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

Dilara A 1728 space-travel book 😍 2mo
Suet624 That‘s quite a line! 2mo
24 likes2 comments
review
swynn
Magic Breaks | Ilona Andrews
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Pickpick

(2014) Seventh in the "Kate Daniels" urban fantasy series. This one brings together multiple threads and characters from the beginning of the series. I was a little impatient with the last one, but this one delivers the action, characters, and humor I like about the series.

review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1966) "World Under Hot Radiation"

The Terrans establish a base beneath the surface of the ice planet Arctis. The system has only one other planet: Destroy, a radioactive hellscape leveled by some planet-wide nuclear apocalypse hundreds of years ago. It appears lifeless, but Perry has an uneasy feeling so after settling into Arctis he leads a recon team to Destroy -- where they meet an old adversary and patch a plot hole.

review
swynn
Way Station | Clifford D. Simak
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Pickpick

(1963) Joining the #ClassicLSFBC this month, and I'm glad I did. I remember trying to read Way Station in my early teens and running out of interest early. And though I still see why -- there's little of the peril and rapid pacing that defined a good read for me then -- man, was I wrong about this. It's thoughtful and humane and just lovely, a sort of proto-cozy sf, and I wonder what else I've missed from Simak.

Bookwomble Great review. I utterly agree 😁 2mo
28 likes1 comment
review
swynn
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Mehso-so

(1966) "Convoy into the Unknown"

The Terrans in the Andro-Beta star cluster regroup after events of the last few episodes. As Perry and the CREST were off adventuring, the crew of the Troja station scouted a potential base of operations. Next step is to move in without attracting notice -- but notice is attracted and space battles are fought. This one is exposition-heavy and serves mostly to recap the story thus far and set up future adventures.

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swynn
Untitled | Unknown
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Here are my #ReadYourKindle picks for April.

Thanks @cbee !

CBee Looks great!! 2mo
30 likes1 comment
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swynn
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I love this moment of the #BookSpinBingo month when a blackout seems possible. All I have to do is read about a book a day, and I've read a book in a day before .... Reality will settle in another week or so, but it's looking like a tremendously fun and enlightening month right now.

Excuse me but I have a day to read a book in.

Thanks @TheAromaofBooks !

Thanks @thearomaofbooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Looks fantastic!!! 3mo
28 likes1 comment
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swynn
An Untouched House | Willem Frederik Hermans
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My #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin for April are an unlikely pair: in the one hand a literary novella about desperate lives in wartime, translated from Dutch; on the other, urban fantasy featuring demigods and shapeshifters and vampires and who knows what all else.

Looking forward to both of course. Thanks @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Enjoy!! I read books 4 and 5 in the Kate Daniels series this month, so I may get to 6 and 7 in April haha 3mo
swynn @TheAromaofBooks It's such a fun series. Hope you like them, whenever you get to them! 3mo
TheAromaofBooks I was a little iffy on the first book, but I've just enjoyed them more and more as I go along!! 3mo
26 likes3 comments
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swynn
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And here's my #Bookspinbingo list for April.

@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3mo
24 likes1 comment
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swynn
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Two bingos for March in #Bookspinbingo

I'm happy with that. Thanks for hosting @TheAromaofBooks !

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Fantastic month!! 3mo
22 likes1 comment
review
swynn
The Mystery of the Laughing Shadow | Alfred Hitchcock, William Arden
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Mehso-so

(1969) Twelfth in the "Three Investigators" series of juvenile mysteries. This one has the boys stumbling across a sinister plot to steal the lost treasure of a fictional Native American tribe. The mystery is mostly transparent, and several things haven't aged well -- most noticably the depiction of Native Americans. It's still the Three Investigators but not one of the better ones.

review
swynn
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Mehso-so

(1966) "The Three Star-Brothers"

The ship BAGALO arrives in the Andro-Beta star cluster, with supplies and reinforcements for the Terran outpost there. They are met by a Moby and, finding no signs of life, investigate. The Moby is dead and has not been colonized, but as they wander the vacant carcass, they hear telepathic voices: one wants to talk to them, but the other wants to eat them. It's okay, but some plot developments feel forced.

Leftcoastzen Love the car! 3mo
swynn @Leftcoastzen Me too! I have no idea what it's referencing in the story, but who cares: the rocket engine ... the bubble canopy ... the fins ... the whitewalls ... I'd drive it to Detroit in a heartbeat. 3mo
30 likes2 comments
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swynn
Northworld Trilogy | David Drake
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Mehso-so

(1990-1992) This is an omnibus edition of Drake's three "Northworld" books, which retell myths from the Eddas relocated to a science-fiction multi-dimensional bubble universe. It's okay, pretty much what you expect from Drake: solid plotting, detailed battle scenes, and cool military tech. But it's also excessively male-gazey: women characters are typically described by their level of attractiveness, body weight, and bust size.

#ReadYourKindle

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swynn
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Here's my list for April #ReadYourKindle , mostly selected at random from my very large bought-but-unread list.

Thanks for hosting @CBee !

CBee Like your collage! And you‘re welcome ☺️ 3mo
23 likes1 comment
review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1966) "In the Outlaw Camp"

Perry and some other Terrans escape captivity, and flee into wilderness, where they meet up with a band of outlaw Twonosers. Together, they plot how to help the rebels establish a new social order, and how to help the Terrans get back to their ship. This closes the Twonoser/Moby storyline with a rousing showdown, but also leaves a loose thread that deserves a future visit.

review
swynn
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Panpan

(1727) STG this is about a wayward gentleman who drugs and rapes his love interest, then abandons her while he spends a couple of years gambling and drinking and sleeping around. Later he hears that the woman's child is his spitting image, and he rethinks his life choices while being treated for syphilis, so he marries her and that's a happy ending.

I know you can't judge art of generations past by modern standards, except just watch me.

Dilara 😐 3mo
TrishB Wow 😮 3mo
Bookwomble Yeah, Wow! ? I guess in a culture in which the "dishonour" of rape attaches to the victim, marrying the preparator is some kind of social redemption. A not necessarily historical situation, sadly. 3mo
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Suet624 Ugh. 3mo
dabbe #fanofthepan! 🤩🤩🤩 3mo
swynn @Bookwomble Exactly that is part of it. The other part is legitimizing the parentage of their son. The happy ending is not necessarily happy for the bride, who has little enthusiasm for marrying her rapist, but she agrees to marry for her son's sake. Her father OTOH is very happy that the marriage will mend their family's disgrace. The hero's conscience, the son's prospects, the father's reputation .... it's all about the men. 3mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Yikes. Sounds absolutely awful. 🤢 3mo
34 likes7 comments
review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1725) A Tory gentleman and a Whig lady exchange letters. They begin with political sparring and platonic friendship then end in love. The plot is unsurprising, but the period politics and anecdotes are very interesting, and the prose is a class in the 18th century art of saying a thing by saying its opposite. Fun and fascinating, but for me a critical edition was absolutely necessary to understand what was happening. I recommend Martha Bowden's.

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swynn
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Mehso-so

(1724) Amoranda, young beautiful orphan heiress, is overly fond of gentlemen's attentions. Her wise and rich uncle appoints Formator, an elderly warden, to guide her into adulthood. With Formator's help, Amoranda dodges physical, sexual, and financial ruin before Formator reveals himself to be the best of all suitors in disguise. This is romantic and not at all creepy, which I offer as evidence that 18th-century amatory fiction is weird stuff.

Ladygodiva7 😂 “Not at all creepy” 3mo
26 likes1 comment
review
swynn
The Jewel in the Skull | Michael Moorcock
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Pickpick

(1977, original edition 1967)

First in Moorcock's series featuring Hawkmoon, a warrior in a post-apocalyptic pseudo-medieval Germany, fighting the evil empire of Granbretan. Loved this -- it's pulpy fantasy adventure that knows exactly what it's about. Looking forward to the next.

This was my #DoubleSpin read for March

RamsFan1963 I've read Moorcock's books about Corum and Elric but not Hawkmoon. I'll have to stack this for future reading. 3mo
swynn @RamsFan1963 Hope you like it as well as I did! 3mo
30 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1997) The author contemplates ways that a religion grounded in science might be realized: what should be the areas of concern for such a religion? Its values? Its texts? Its myths? Its ceremonies? Some of her answers resonate with me, others don't, and sometimes her critics seem to have stronger points. Still, I'm giving it a Pick for making me think thoughts I hadn't thought before, and for a stroll down a path I find very intriguing.

30 likes1 stack add
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swynn
The Jewel in the Skull | Michael Moorcock
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Count Brass, Lord Guardian of the Kamarg, rode out on a horned horse one morning to inspect his territories.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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swynn
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Mehso-so

(1966) "The White-Trunk Caste"
Last episode left Perry and crew captives of a community of Twonosers operating inside the carcase of a "Moby" space whale. We follow the Terrans as they are carried to their destination: a labor farm among the "white-trunks," lowest of the Twonosers' three castes. And as they plot an escape. The idea and setting are great, but the story picks an annoying viewpoint character with an unsatisfying redemption arc.

review
swynn
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Pickpick

(2019) I've reached a point where animal stories are a comfort genre, and these filled that Rx. I expected a book of odd vet stories, but got a variety, including insights into the business of veterinary practice, pet medical care 101 (including tips on pilling your cat and reading dog poop), and yes odd vet stories. Speaking of which: on the left is a sad boy who chewed his dewclaw off (because dog) so is seeing a vet in the morning.

Leftcoastzen Awww, poor guy!🐶 3mo
TheBookgeekFrau Awwww, poor pup 😔 3mo
Jari-chan Get better soon, little pup ❤️🐶 3mo
See All 9 Comments
dabbe Feel better, sweet pup! 🖤🐾🖤 3mo
swynn @Leftcoastzen @TheBookgeekFrau @Jari-chan @dabbe Update on the dewclaw-chewer: the vet prescribed a round of painkillers and antibiotics and an entire week of wearing the e-collar. The injustice! 3mo
swynn @Leftcoastzen @TheBookgeekFrau @Jari-chan @dabbe Update on the dewclaw-chewer: the vet prescribed a round of painkillers and antibiotics and an entire week of wearing the e-collar. The injustice! 3mo
Jari-chan @swynn Oh no! I hope that after this week everything goes back to normal 🤞 3mo
dabbe @swynn As Scooby-Doo would say, #ruhroh! And that should be a hashtag: #dewclawchewer! Hang in there, sweet boy! 🖤🐾🖤 3mo
TheBookgeekFrau All good dogs end up in the collar at some point, so there's that 🙃 Speedy recovery 🐶🐾 3mo
39 likes1 stack add9 comments
review
swynn
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Pickpick

(1966) "Guard Command Andro-Beta"

Terrand proceed with their plan to establish a base of operations in the star cluster Andro-Beta. First they investigate a barren ice planet where they discover hypnotic crystals; then they investigate the carcass of a space whale - now called a "Moby" - only to find that the dead Moby has already been colonized by one-eyed double-trunked aliens they name "Twonosers", and the Twonosers don't want to share ...

review
swynn
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Pickpick

(2009) Fourth in Penny's series featuring Quebec detective Armand Gamache. In this one, Gamache investigates murder at a forest resort where he & Mme Gamache celebrate their anniversary. Penny's mysteries strike me not so much as mysteries but as stories about being human that just happen to involve murder. This one is about families and how they feed and fail us. It made me squirm repeatedly.

This was my #BookSpin read for March
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
bthegood Starting this series this month - sounds interesting - 🙂 3mo
rretzler It‘s a great series! 3mo
CarolynM I think you are right about the nature of Louise Penny‘s stories. The mystery isn‘t the important bit. 3mo
45 likes4 comments
review
swynn
Bridges of Madison County | Robert James Waller
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Mehso-so

(1992) This was the bestselling book in the U.S. in 1992. Back in 1992 I worked the service desk of a public library and set a goal to read everything on the Bestseller list. No fan of romance, I liked it better than expected: I liked its direct language, attention to detail, and its brevity. This time around I like it less -- its excessive sentimentalism makes my eyes roll -- but still think it's a pretty good example of the kind of thing it is