Saturday, October 10, 2015

Early/mid October reading...

When I haven't been assembling 28mm Masai warriors and 28mm Colonial German regulars, I've been hunting down books and putting databases of place to submit short stories/novellas/poetry.

I wasted an afternoon today looking up Writers Market 2016 at the local library branch.  There aren't that many places to submit short stories for fantasy and science fiction.  I only came up with one lead via writers market.  I submitted a short story for the third time.  I have no idea what I'll do with it if it doesn't get accepted someplace.  I'm running out of places to submit!

I tried writing short stories.  I'm short stories wind up becoming longer works.  I vowed not to write anymore.  I'm focused on writing two new manuscripts.  The first rough draft should be done by the end of June 2016.  I'll get the second novel done next year...

I'm looking at not painting for another 8-12 weeks.  Ugh.  I have too much to do.  I should be done with basing all the 28mm Masai by the middle of next week.  A warmachine order came Friday morning.  I got the last of my 30mm Rhulic Dwarf units and paint.  They are the next project in my painting queue once I get the 28mm Darkest Africa figures completed this winter.

I also rummaged around for reading material.  I talked to some friends about getting Horus Heresy No.4:  Flight of the Eisenstein and Horus Heresy No. 9:  Mechanicum.  The consensus was both of those books were good reads.  I also have a bunch of Ebooks to buy for my Nook in the following months.  However, Orion and King Arthur and Alien vs. Alien came in the mail this week, too.  It was cheaper to get the paperbacks than pay for the Ebooks.  Go figure..

Reading-wise, I read a chapter more in Beyond the Reach of Empire:  Wolseley's Failed Campaign to Save Gordon and Khartoum.  I'm also starting Mike Shepherd's Vicky Peterwald:  Target tomorrow.  Reviews will be posted when I get done with the books...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WIP, 28mm Masai Warriors and 28mm Colonial German Seebattalion infantry

Here are photos of some WIP, 28mm Masai Warriors from Foundry and 28mm Colonial German Seebattalion infantry from Old Glory Miniatures:

                                          28mm German Seebattalion infantry from Old Glory.

                                          28mm Masai Warriors from Wargames Foundry.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Review of Hammer's Slammers: At Any Price by David Drake

Author:  David Drake.
Title:  Hammer's Slammers - At Any Price.
Publisher:  Baen Books.
Copyright:  1985.
Pages:  288.
Price:  $3.50 (US - OOP).

Overview and Impressions: 
I'd read David Drake about fifteen or twenty years ago with his Ranks of Bronze science-fiction novel about Romans legionnaires in space.  Since then, I hadn't touched anything by him.  I finished up Hammer's Slammers:  At Any Price tonight.  It was a collection of short stories about the men of Colonel Hammer's mercenaries.

Hammer's Slammers are mechanized grav tank/APC units.  Most of At Any Price takes place on the world of Oltenia.  It's a planet inhabited by humans and Molts, a race of teleporting reptiles.  The lizards are at war with the humans who settled the planet three centuries ago.  Hammer's Slammers have been hired to help win the war against the Molts.  An Oltenian general decides to make peace in order to end the bloodshed.  He uses Hammer's men as a way to make the lizards want to end the conflict.

There are two other short stories about guerrilla pacification.  I assume Drake based this on his Vietnam experiences.  He briefly talks about that at the end of At Any Price.  One story is set on a tropical world.  Another is on an Arabic world with a former Hammer's Slammer veteran as a local.

Being military science-fiction, there's lots action and violence.  Drake makes no bones about not making carnage and violence chic or bloodless.  I like that in his writing.  However, I find the reliance on mechanized forces a little disconcerting.  I would have liked more infantry/or combined arms action.  I guess I'm believer in having ground-pounders holding a piece of real-estate at the end of the day.

However, I enjoyed Hammer's Slammer:  At Any Price.  Recommended military sci-fi.    

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review of The Unforgiven by Gav Thorpe

Author:  Gav Thorpe.
Title:  The Unforgiven:  Book Three in the Legacy of Caliban.
Publisher:  The Black Library.
Copyright:  2015.
Pages:  446.
Price:  $14.00 (US).

Overview and Impressions:
I'm disappointed in the ending of The Unforgiven by Gav Thorpe.  It's as if someone from GW's corporate office told Gav Thorpe to write the ending so as to keep the storyline of the WH40K universe intact.  I'd enjoyed reading this novel until the last twenty pages.  Then everything went to hell.  I feel like I've been cheated for all the time I put in reading Ravenwing and Master of Sanctity.

Getting to the plot, the Inner Circle of the Dark Angels deal with Cypher, who's come to supposedly save the chapter from a Nurgle led daemon plot sponsored by Typhus, leader of the Death Guard chaos marines.  There's double dealing, treachery, and a chaos daemon located in the Rock, the asteroid that serves as the Dark Angels' HQ.  It seem the daemon can reverse time and prevent Lion El Johnson from being killed.  Typhus wants the daemon for himself.

The daemon is one huge macguffin.  It opens up the warp from 10,000 years ago to the present 41st millenium.  Things go haywire from there.  Supreme Grand Master Azrael has the creature send everyone back their own time frames, including Typhus & his Nurgle plague Marines.  But the Dark Angels are responsible for the destruction of their homeworld.  It's the old time traveler argument of going back and becoming your own granddad.  Ugh.  I feel ripped off.

This will be my last WH40K battle-force space marine novel for sometime...

Read more The Unforgiven by Gav Thorpe tonight...

I read more of The Unforgiven by Gav Thorpe tonight.  I'm on page 250....

Still reading The Unforgiven by Gav Thorpe

I read to page 213 today in Gav Thorpe's The Unforgiven.  I'd like to be at page 250 by the end of tomorrow evening.  And I want to be done with the book by the end of next weekend.  I'll see how far I get.  I'm still not far long enough to write a proper review.  The Unforgiven has been enjoyable.  But it's pure WH40K popcorn fare...

I started Beyond the Reach of Empire:  Wolseley's Failed Campaign to Save Gordon and Khartoum by Colonel Mike Snook.  This is a serious books for those interested in the 19th century Sudan campaign.  Unfortunately, I'm able to devote one day (Thursday) to reading it.  I didn't get far (about 30 pages). The book is over 500 pages long.

I'm revised my reading.  Monday and Tuesday are devoted to reading manuscripts from a local writing group.  Thursday is my nonfiction reading.  The weekends are devoted to reading fiction.  I'll see how this goes.  A disciplined approach to reading is the only way I'll catch up on my reading piles.  I'm probably looking at least 25 books (both hardcopies and ebooks).  I'd like to be able to done with everything in 18-20 months.  I'd go 24 months if I'm only reading 100 pages/per weekend of fiction.  It should probably be about 150 pages.

I spend too much time wasting time on television, anyway.  I'm try to just watch what I record on a DVR.  Or watch watch something live if I'm done with my reading for a particular afternoon.  That's what happened today...

Eventually, the reading pile will be under control and I won't have to worry about it.  LOL.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Reading The Unforgiven by Gav Thorpe

I'm at page 97 of The Unforgiven by Gav Thorpe.  It's the third book in the Legacy of Caliban Trilogy.  It opened with the surrender of Cypher.  The chapters have skipped around with different battles happening on the planet of Tharsis.  Nurgle plague marines are trying to invade the planet along with Chaos cultists.  I'd like to get further.  But I'm prepared to stop there for now.  I'll write a real review when I finally get done with the book.  That will be sometime in October 2015...