Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mid-October 2016 reading: part II

Here's what I've read this past week:

1)  Wolf Star by R. M. Meluch.  Further adventures of the USS Merrimack against the Roman Palatine Empire in space.

2)  Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell.  I'm about four chapters into this novel.  It's a fast read.  It's about the Midway star system and its quest for independence from the Syndicate Worlds empire, which is breaking up after a century long war with the Star Alliance.  The main characters discussed sending their underlings on a dangerous mission.

3)  The War of Spanish Succession by James Falkner.  More about warfare in the Age of Reason in the early 1700s.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Mid-October 2016 reading...

Here's what I've been reading this week:

1)  Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell.  Third in The Lost Stars series.  Personalities around Midway star system and their former master's attempts to retake it.  Shows the chaotic break up of the Syndicate Worlds empire.

2)  Finished The Myriad by R. M. Meluch.  I'm now reading Wolf Star.  Myriad had an interesting ending wormholes and time travel in a globular star system.  Sets the stage for the United States vs. the Roman Empire in space.

3)  Finished The Last Stand of Fox Company by Bob Drury.  Review is now on the blog.  Brutal reading from start to finish.

4)  Started The War of Spanish Succession on E-book.  More about European warfare in 1700.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review of The Last Stand of Fox Company by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Authors:  Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.
Title:  The Last Stand of Fox Company:   A True Story of US Marines in Combat.
Publisher:  Atlantic Monthly Press.
Copyright:  2009.
Pages:  273.

Overview and Impressions:

This was a hard E-book to read.  Its the true account of Fox Company, US 7th Marine Regiment at the Chosin Reservoir during Thanksgiving 1950.  The unit struggled to survive against overwhelming odds when it was attacked by the Chinese People's Liberation Army.  Part of a military miscalculation by General Douglas MacArthur, 8,000 American soldiers might have been slaughtered by the Red Chinese in the mountains of North Korea. 

How Fox Company survived is a story unto itself.  Let's say, it hurt reading about all the frostbite and walking wounded, besides the dead and dying.  I haven't read much about Korea.  The Last Stand of Fox Company killed any desire I had to game this conflict.  The reality of the brutal fighting when most of America wanted to forget it set the stage for the later Vietnam malaise.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

28mm FPW Game, 01OCT16: AAR

                                         French Foreign Legion troops waiting for the Bavarians to advance.

                                         Hole in the Bavarian center.

                                          What's left of my regiment advancing into the French firing line.

Horrible die rolls and bad luck got me in this game.  I'd wanted to GM.  I got suckered into playing 28mm 1870 Bavarians.  I have enough room to run a 28mm brigade aside for Chassepot and Needlegun.  I have entire 28mm French and German divisions for this game.  I should have stopped with an infantry brigade each.  Little did I know I wouldn't have the room to run a full game.

Getting back to the game.  My camera died toward the end of the game.  It's still recharging tonight.  I advanced my infantry regiment towards the enemy.  I blew numerous command rolls for my Bavarian artillery.  I blew further rolls for movement.  The French had a grand time drinking their cherry and shooting me up.  Much to my fellow gamer's discuss (Sapper Joe).  See his blog for further mayhem regarding me and my dice.  All Joe did was complain.  That's par for the course with Joe.  However, I hoped he enjoyed the game as much as the French players (Mute Bystander and Hostile Contact).


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Early October 2016 reading...

Here is what I've read so far this week:

1)  Proxima by Stephen Baxter.  Book review is on the blog.  I don't know whether to recommend it or not.  It took six months to read.  That's far too long to finish an ebook.  I made a vow to read at least 50 pages per day when I do read...

2)  The Myriad by R. M. Meluch.  The Merrimack engaged the Hive.  The bugs are ugly and uglier to deal with.  Interesting concepts with wormholes and time travel inside a global star cluster, though.

3)  Dhamphir by the Henlees.  Started a fantasy book about vampire hunters who want to retire from their jobs of hunting the undead.  Will see how it works out...

4)  The Last Stand of Fox Company by Bob Drury.  Read about the 1st Marine Corps Division to break out of the Chosin Reservoir in 1950.  They about reached Fox Hill and the tattered remains of Fox Company by marching at night through the snow covered mountains and hills.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Review of Proxima by Stephen Baxter

Author:  Stephen Baxter
Title:  Proxima.
Publisher:  Roc Books.
Copyright:  2012.
Pages:  490.
Price:  $7.99 (US).


This book took about six months to read.  I spent one day a week reading four chapters.  I finished off the remaining 90 pages today.  Proxima is about the colonization of Proxima c by UN convicts left from Earth.  There's a cold war between China and the remaining UN states.  The UN gains access to "wormhole" technology.  The Chinese want it.  The two sides wind up destroying Mercury and killing off the human race on Earth....

Yuri Eden and Stef, a UN major wind up using a wormhole that takes them to another M class star system.  They wind up meeting a Roman who demands why they're there.

Stephen Baxter's books have a way of destroying the home world.  The idea of a new cold war in space was interesting.  But I have trouble accepting the same premise in two different books that the human race is too stupid to survive.  Yet, I still have to figure out who created the wormhole technology...


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Late September 2016 reading....

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  Tour of the Merrimack:  The Myriad/Wolf Star by R. M. Meluch.  Read another chapter in The Myriad.  The UN earth politicians in the book are as nerve racking as the real one.  Chapter 8 had LEG (League of Earth Governments) gave the commander of the Merrimack flack for staying at an alien's home world in a globular star cluster.  The Merrimack was on a Bug hunt for the Hive, an alien life-form who likes eating other organic races.  The UN pols have trouble dealing with the fact that Hive can't be reasoned, they'll wind up on the lunch menu if they interfere too much....

2)  Proxima by Stephen Baxter.  Yuri Eden and his family go to Mercury from Proxima c.  His wife decides to become an astronaut again.  She takes her daughter back to earth.  Yuri can't go home because of the show trials of the Heroic Generation and their heirs.  Eden would wind up being punished again if he headed back to earth.  He chooses to go back to Proxima c the way he came through the alien gateway.  Stef, an engineer, joins him in their return trip to Proxima c...

3)  The Last Stand of Fox Company by Bob Drury.  The Marines endure more encirclement and besieging as the battle takes its toll on Fox Company's effectives.  Enough to move a grown man to tears...