Friday, February 5, 2016

Review of Alien vs. Alien by Gini Koch

Author:  Gini Koch.
Title:  Alien vs. Alien.
Publisher:  DAW Books.
Copyright:  December 2012.
Pages:  498.
Price:  $7.99 (US).

Overview & Impressions:
Alien vs. Alien is a lite "chick-lit" sci-fi parody/satire starring Kitty-Kat Martini and her Alpha Centaurian husband, Jeff.

Aliens are already here on Earth.  They look like supermodels, have great sex, and can move hyperfast.  The A-Cs are also empaths.  Earth is being invaded by a reptile race who want to wipe out humanity.  There's also the human mad scientists who want to side with the baddies.  The good guys are able to use wormhole technology to get around and employ an army of androids to fight the invaders.

Jeff's family from Alpha Centauri show up with their fleet and put a stop to the reptiles' plans for Earth.  They are still upset at their genetically engineered dinosaurs being wiped out 65 million years ago in an asteroid strike.  However, Earth being ruled by Alpha Centauri finally comes out into the open.

Ms. Koch has all sorts of movie and comic references in her novel.  It's a geek's paradise.  There's also the baby drama with all the human/Alpha Centaurian children, who the invaders want to capture.  The Alien series is at least a half-dozen books to its credit.  It's a change from all the "serious" sci-fi/fantasy reading I've done recently.  Recommended.

Early February 2016 reading...

I spent this morning reading "Masters of the Arts:  A Fight Marine's Memoir of Vietnam" by Winter.  He was an aviation tech and door gunner on a CH-46 "Sea Knight" from 1966-1969.  I'm into his first tour in late 1968.  He talked about medevac missions and being helpless while other US Marines were wounded waiting to be transported to military hospitals.  It's been an interesting read.  I'm at page 162 of 242 pages in my Nook.  I find its easier to read an Ebook than deal with a hard-copy.  I'm hoping to have it finished up two weeks.  I'll write a formal review and post it on the blog when I'm done.

I'm also reading Guards.  Its' a manuscript written by a fellow writer about a schizophrenic security guard in South Boston during the 1980s.  He's just met his old psychiatrist, who wants to permanently commit him back to the hospital where he escaped.  The security firm he works for was awarded the contract for the place and he had to go and check things out.  I'm only halfway through the novel....

The last books is Alien vs. Alien by Gini Koch.  It's a satire/parody sci-fi piece.  It's pretty funny.  Light fare of usually serious subject.  The author has a whole bunch of this chick-lit Alien novels out now.  It's not something I'd normally read.  However, I thought I'd read one book a shot to see what I thought.  I should be done with this in two weeks and will then have a formal review posted online, too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New year, new projects...

I've been delayed by a month in putting together any posting on what new projects I'm working in 2016.  Now into February 2016, I thought I mention what I'm doing painting and reading wise...

This past month saw me buy painting and gaming tables for the basement office/den.  I got the painting table set up last week.  I started in priming an entire 15mm SYW Reichsarmee infantry brigade and command.  I got through the first series of base colors before stopping for the week.  That's my own painting.

In painting for others, I'm trying to finish up an 18mm Fantasy Orc Football team pictured here:

My goal is to get them done by Feb. 15, 2016.  I've had these figures since my father's death last summer.  I wasn't able to get around to them until now.  Fortunately, the person I'm painting for understands.

A normal painting routine is Monday evening:  paint for others; Thursdays and Sundays:  paint for myself.  That's how things have worked out over the past two years.

But my literary pursuits got reorganized this past fall.  I went to reading six days a week  Monday and Tuesday was for work related manuscripts; Thursday was for non-fiction; Friday and Saturday was for speculative fiction; and Sunday was for Analog Magazine.

I normally try and read 100 pages worth of work related writing a week; 100 pages of speculative fiction; 30 pages of non-fiction; and 30 pages of Analog Magazine.  When my father was dying, I barely kept up with my work related reading and critiques.  I let Analog Magazine pile up and then let my subscription lapse.

The original idea behind reading Analog Magazine was because I wrote short stories, I should support a magazine that publishes them.  Sadly, there are few magazines that publish speculative fiction.  I've tried marketing some short pieces.  I've met with little luck.  My pleasure reading also took a hit when my father died.  I have backlog of 30 fantasy and science-fiction novels to read.  That works out to about 15,000 pages.  I read about 100 pages of speculative fiction per week.

That's a 150 weeks worth of reading!  Enough for three years.  I also have 2.5 years worth of non-fiction to read.  Much of it is on the Vietnam War.  That was one of my recent book purchases.  I also have books on ancient Rome, the Korean War, the bush wars in Rhodesia, the War of Spanish Succession, and the battle of the River Plate in WWII.  Both hardcopy and Ebook form.  So I'm reading four different things at once.

Steven King suggested a writer spend four hours a day reading and four hours a day writing.  That leaves little time for television or movies.  I'm probably the only person in America not to see Star Wars:  The Force Awakens.  What time I spend on television is sports related.  I'm spending about four days a week editing/revising.  This go on for months.  I have three different manuscripts I'm working:  a  novel and two novellas.  All I seem to write now are novellas.  I have the rough draft of a fourth manuscript ready to go.  That won't be started until the end of the year.  It's steampunk related.

I'm trying to focus my speculative fiction reading on authors I should know when I finally start a literary agent query.  I've organized literary agents by the authors they represent and who's open to new queries.  That list has helped mold some of my pleasure reading.

I'll have more on my forthcoming painting projects later...      

Sunday, January 31, 2016

WIP, 15mm SYW Reichsarmee infantry brigade 2, 31JAN16

Here a photo on of what I've been working on this weekend:

                                          WIP, 15mm SYW Reichsarmee infantry brigade 2, 31JAN16.

Yes, I'm insane enough to base and prime my 15mm figure before painting them.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Breaking in painting table and WIP, Paladin of the Wall, 28JAN16

Here are some photos from this evenings painting projects:

                                          Priming an 18mm SYW Reichsarmee infantry brigade.

                                          WIP, Paladin of the Wall Menoth solo, 28JAN16.

Late January 2016 reading...

I've been reading a local manuscript called Guards.  It's about security guards working in South Boston, MA during the 1980s.  It's pretty funny.  The author is a great humorist.

I'm also reading Alien vs. Alien.  I'm about 2/3rds of the way done with the novel.  It's another satire/parody of "serious" sci-fi by Gini Koch.  I've enjoyed the premise and will have a full review when I get done with the novel.  Ms. Koch has an entire series of these books.  I picked up one at random and began reading it.  I'm not sure if I'd go back and read the rest of them (I don't have the time with all the other reading I need to do).

The last ebook I'm reading is "Masters of the Art:  A Fighting Marine's Marine of the Vietnam War" by Winter.  I read about his trip over the continent USA to California and then across the Pacific to Hawaii and then Vietnam.  I just began Winter's actual combat tour in Vietnam.  He was a door gunner on a CH-46 Sea Knight.  It's taken awhile to get his combat experiences.  So far, it looks like it'll be good.  However, Mr. Winter is a decent writer.  That's made "Masters of the Art" an easy read...

Guards and "Masters of the Art" are ebooks.  Alien vs. Alien is an old fashioned hard copy.  I'm trying to read both because of the backlog of novels and ebooks I have on my bookshelves and NOOK Ereader.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blake's painting queue, 27JAN16

Here are photos of all the miniatures that need painting.  They've piled up over the past several months....

                                          My brother's old painting table.  I'm using as a work table.

                                          Two books I kept for extra books and my gaming stuff.

   18mm Fantasy Football Orc team started back in June 2015 for Mute Bystanding.  Need to be finished.

                                          18mm SYW Saxon infantry and heavy cavalry brigades.

                                          28mm 1860 French Foreign legion needing to be touched up.

                                          28mm Colonials and 30mm Warmachine Rhulic Dwarf Mercs.

                                          More 30mm Warmachine Rhulic Dwarves.