Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review of Doc Savage: The Infernal Buddha

Author:  Kenneth Robeson (Will Murray).
Title:  Doc Savage:  The Infernal Buddha.
Publisher:  Altus Press.
Pages:  300.
Copyright:  2012.
Price:  $24.95 (US).

Overview:
Ghost writing under the the name of Kenneth Robeson, Will Murray has written some new Doc Savage adventures for Altus Press.

The Infernal Buddha involves Doc, Monk, Ham, and the gang in the waters of the South China Sea in 1936.  Someone has discovered a crystalline material that consumes water.  The object is carved in the shape of an infernal Buddha.  People soon use it as a weapon to kill each other.

I liked the pulp feel of the story.  I felt like I was reading an old Robeson story from Doc Savage Magazine.  Murray does a good job keeping the action flowing.  Much of the action is set around Singapore and the South China Sea.  Doc becomes a pirate in order to capture the infernal Buddha.

The whole concept of another otherworldly crystalline matter that consumes water is interesting.  It was the only thing I had to accept for my willing suspension of disbelief.  I would have liked a more scientific explanation of the macgruff.  Plot wise, it works for the story.

But the characters are believable as Doc, Monk, Ham, and Renny.  I read Doc Savage stories when I was an undergraduate in college.  It's been along time since I remember the "Man of Bronze's" exploits.  The new Doc Savage stories are worth reading for a pulp-buff.  The only complaint I have are the price of the books.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Review of The Emperor's Finest by Sandy Mitchell

Author:  Sandy Mitchell.
Title:  The Emperor's Finest.
Publisher:  The Black Library.
Copyright:  2010.
Pages:  316.
Price:  $24.99 (US).

Overview:
This is a Warhammer 40K novel told by Commissar Ciaphas Cain about his exploits as an Imperial Guard liaison to the Reclaimer Space Marines.  Cain and the Reclaimers come to the Fidelis star system to deal with a planetary rebellion.  It turns out to be a genestealer infestation.

The space marines make short work of the stealers and infected Planetary Defense Force.  Cain becomes involved the planetary governor's daughter, who has eyes for him.  Cain's underling, Jurgen, catches up to his old boss.  But the Reclaimers and their techmarines have unfinished business for a drifting space hulk, called The Spawn of Damnation.  Cain, his lover, and Jurgen get carted away by the Space Marines who are in pursuit of the genestealers.

Along the way, the Marines accidently run into a huge Ork fleet.  After barely escaping, they arrive in the Serendipita star system.  Cain learns the techmarines want to board the hulk for rare Dark Age technology.  He advises against it.  But Cain is overruled.  The hulk then appears at the outskirts of Serendipita.  But the boarding parts are repulsed.

Left trapped on the hulk, Cain and Jurgen survive by their wits as they find there are two competing armies of xenos on The Spawn of Damnation, namely genestealers and Orks.  Both men avoid patrols of Orks and Gretchin before running into a brood of sleeping stealers.  They finally make it to the center of the hulk as the genestealers close in.  But Cain and Jurgen are saved when they are teleported back to the Reclaimer's battle cruiser.

The meantime, Cain's former lover turns her attention to the local planetary governor.  She politely asks Cain to leave the planet in the time of her wedding day...

Good book.  Entertaining.  Recommended.

WIP, 30AUG14

Here is what I've gotten done this past week (despite all the doctor appointments).  I'm now officially done with GW Blood Angel Army...

Blake

                                          GW Blood Angel Stormraven Gunship (second one of two).

Saturday, August 16, 2014

WIP, 16AUG14

Here are photos of works in progress, 16AUG14:



                                          28mm 1870 Bavarian jagers and mounted command.


                                          28mm High Elf Archer Cavalry.


                                          30mm Menoth individual figures and mercenaries.


                                          30mm Menoth Choir and Knights Examplars.

Mid August 2014 Update...

I been occupied by real-life recently.  My father has stomach/esophagus cancer.  He's supposed to find out out where it's located and if it's spread to the rest of his body.  Dad isn't a candidate for surgery.  His oncologist would treat his with radiation and chemotherapy.  I don't think my father will handle the radiation well.  It's hard on the body.  A friend of mine lost 80 pounds during his fight with liver cancer back in 2005 before he finally died.  He couldn't hold down any food because of the radiation.

That's what I remember when I visited him in the hospital in Des Moines, IA back in late 2004.  Craig Moran went through two surgeries and radiation.  And his cancer came back the second time.  But that was more work related to his exposure to carbon black fibers.  My father's mother died of stomach cancer at 84.  I think my father inherited it...

But my father has numerous other health problems.  The cancer is just the latest.  He'd been dealing with dementia and memory loss.  That's a horrible fate in itself.  If the cancer is terminal, I hope my father goes fast.  I don't want him to suffer.  If it's treatable, then my father has more time to enjoy his life.

I've made my peace with him.  I don't get along with my father.  I've never been the favored one.  I've been the dependable one.  My patience with my father tirades and temper tantrums over a lack of grandchildren have worn my patience thin.  I could go on about his self-centeredness and lack of objectivity in his life.  But that's part of the disease he suffers from.  Part of it is himself.  When my father does die, it won't affect me as much as my brother who is upset at my father's potential demise.  Then again, my younger sibling is as narcissistic as my father.  I've limited my contact with both of them for my own mental health....

The only gaming stuff I've been able to get done has been painting of 28mm FPW figures and some Warmachine Protectorate of Menoth stuff.  I'll take photos and try and post them tonight.

Regards,
Blake

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review of The Martian Tales Trilogy by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Author:  Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Title:  The Martian Tales Trilogy.
Publisher:  Barnes and Noble.
Copyright:  1912, 1913, 1914, (2004).
Pages:  669.
Price:  $9.99 (US).

Overview:
I hadn't read Edgar Rice Burroughs's works.  I started his novel back several months ago.  I just got finished with it today.  The three related books are Princess of Mars, Gods of Mars, and Warlord of Mars.  

The protagonist is ex-Confederate soldier John Carter and his adventures on the Red Planet.  He is magically transported to Mars and begins an odyssey on a new world.  John Carter fights, makes friends and falls in love.  All in an epic telling.  The writing is fast-paced and first person from John Carter's viewpoint.

The second book, Gods of Mars, is about John Carter's quest to win his wife back and put an end of evil practices of Martian theocrats who feast off the remains of the planet's ignorant masses.

Warlord of Mars continues John Carter's quest to free the Princess of Helium and the final battle on the northern polar region of Mars.

Recommend for Victorian Sci-Fi fans.




Friday, July 25, 2014

Real life getting in the way of things....

I've been dealing with insurance companies and making phone calls this past week.  My car got totaled.  I get to go car shopping next week.  And I'm without a car right now.  I also sat down and figured my finances.  There are many things I won't be able to get/do.  Bills come first (financial responsibility from a WH40K player, it's the End Times, aggh!).

I'd like get another 18mm SYW Swedish army and a 18mm SYW Prussian army.  Maybe next year....