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Up to this point, this light novel survey has been focused on stories set in the writers’ present. The recent history of the medium can be organized into three great periods: the secondary fantasy worlds of  the 1980s and 1990s, the primary fantasy adventures of the 1990s and 2000s, and the isekai portal fantasies of the 2000s and […]

A couple of books I picked up for a long flight:   The Seventh Circle – “A former Australian soldier’s extraordinary story of surviving seven years in Afghanistan’s most notorious prison”.  No surprise that the Afghan justice system is corrupt and that money talks but the book provides great insights into life behind bars in […]

Two months ago, I wrote a piece about Marvin Albert writing as “Ian MacAlister’s” Skylark Mission. Strike Force 7 was the third novel under this pseudonym. Another Fawcett Gold Medal paperback from June 1974. Originally sold for $.95 cents. The cover has a distinct pulp atmosphere to it. Strike Force 7 has a contemporary setting […]

Previous entries in this light novel recommendation series have explored Tolkien’s primary and secondary worlds, with the aim of explaining the mechanics of isekai portal fantasies that take characters from the present and fling them into fantasy worlds. As a result, the selections have dealt with heroes from the primary world–our world. But self-contained and internally consistent fantasy worlds […]

This is a guest post by Rich. Take it away:   It has now been more than forty years since small press stalwart David Madison shot himself dead in an Arlington railway yard. He was twenty six years old. I do not presume to understand why he did this. And I am not about to […]

Friend of the blog, Karl K. Gallagher, best known for his Torchship trilogy of hard sci-fi novels (previously reviewed here), took a swing at the fantasy genre fastball this spring with the release of his Lost War duopoly.  The result is a solid, stand-up triple with much to recommend it.  It’s a wild blend of […]

Yesterday was the 204th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo making this week’s WW post a perfect time to recommend two excellent books and an interview I conducted with author (Waterloo Betrayed) Stephen Beckett.  Always a risky thing recommending books on Waterloo as there have been a multitude of books published on the topic but […]

Brand new from DMR Books is Byron A. Roberts’ The Chronicles of Caylen-Tor. I have mentioned Roberts’ fiction in the past in Swords of Steel and Swords of Steel III. The Chronicles of Caylen-Tor is a collection of three novellas along with some appendices. The setting is antediluvian, just before the “Second Cataclysm.” “The Siege […]

In the far-distant future, mankind has traversed the stars and settled distant worlds. But no matter how advanced the technology of the future becomes, it seems the spacefaring nations cannot entirely shed their human nature. Jinto Lin finds this out the hard way when, as a child, his home world is conquered by the powerful […]

If you are a fan of classic Weird Tales fiction, you will encounter poetry by the H. P. Lovecraft circle if you delve deep enough. Poetry was a part of “The Unique Magazine.” An average issue would contain two to three poems. If you bother looking at the poetry of the Lovecraft Circle, you will […]

“I will enjoy speaking with the architect of HALO’s success.”  The four XSeed pilots exchanged glances. “You probably won’t.” Before the asteroid drops, combat frame battles, betrayals, and ultimate victory of the Systems Overterrestrial Coalition (SOC)–described in the first Combat Frame Xseed novel and the Coalition Year 2 (CY 2) short story–Senzan Kaimura discovered something in the Martian ruins. […]

Printed before the war ended, Thrilling Stories of the Russian-Japanese War covers the 1904 – 1905 war up to the Battle of Mukden but before the final naval catastrophe at Tsushima.  The title is a little misleading as the first eight chapters provides a comprehensive overview of Japanese history, the Mikado (imperial dynasty), home life […]