Monday Book Picks - 2009

My Monday book picks from the Blog

Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn.
The "Climate Change" novel that was out long before "climate change" was cool.

In the Courts of the Crimson Kings by S.M. Stirling.
The sequal to The Sky People (the Monday Book Pick from November 7, 2008). This book takes place on Mars, one where John Carter would have felt at home.

March Upcountry by David Weber and John Ringo.
The first book in a fast paced action/adventure series set on primative planet in the far future. It has a spoiled Prince (third child of the current head of the Empire of Man), Space Marines, four armed natives that John Carter would probably recognize, deadly jungles, deadly battles against amazing odds and tells the story of a Imperial Heir having to come to face with his heritage and responibilities.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein.
The Libertarian classic by the grand master of Science Fiction.

Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper.
This Libertarian novel points out how you keep politicians honest.

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein.
The classic from the Grandmaster of Science Fiction. If you have only seen the movie, do yourself a favor and read the book.

Ghost by John Ringo.
Best known for his military themed Science Fiction, John Ringo breaks away from that mold for this modern day military/political thriller with a bit of serious B&D based sex thrown in for good measure. To give you an idea of the level of action (i.e. violence against bad guys) is this book, here is what Richard Marcinko, "The Rogue Warrior" himself had to say about it: "John Ringo's done it again! Ghost is a complete adrenaline rush, filled with nonstop, kick ass action and hair-raising suspense."
The overt level of sex in this book (which tones down later books but is still present) put some of his fans off, but in my opinion, it's about as shocking to todays mainstream literature as Ian Flemings sex scenes where in the 1960's James Bond books.
If you like rough and tumble close quarters military action, especially where terrorists drop like flies, and are not upset by equally rough and tumble sex, you will like Ghost. Just to keep the Weird Meter pegged, this book won an award as a Romance novel.

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
A well written tale of betrayal, revenge and englightment. A SciFi classic from the 1950s.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
This classic has seen its sales triple in the past two months. Probably because its messages rings true in the current political climate.

To Your Scattered Bodies Go, the first book in the RiverWorld series by the late Philip Jose Farmer
PJF passed away recently, so this week's pick is his Hugo award winning classic, To Your Scattered Bodies Go. The book features literally everyone who lived and died from early Man's first appearance on Earth to 1985.

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
In a departure from his classic Cyberpunk works, Pattern Recognition is a modern day story that involves the dark corners of the Internet and modern Guerrilla Marketing. Protagonist Cayce Pollard is an expert on spotting market trends and is hired to track down one of the latest bits of Internet culture.

On Basilisk Station by David Weber
The first book in David Weber's best selling Honor Harrington series. Often, and accurately called "Horatio Hornblower in Space," this series tells the tale of an Officer in Royal Manticorian Navy. In this book, she is a Commander and has just received her second "Hyper" command, a light cruiser. Set in the far future, the series has a definate "Age of Sail" feel, with missle broadsides instead cannon broadsides.

The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds by Tammy Bruce and Laura C. Schlessinger
Tammy Bruce is a classic Liberal, not a leftist. A very important distinction these days. Unlike the far left, Classic Liberals are defenders of Free Speech.

Uller Uprising
H. Beam Piper's brilliant SciFi telling of the Sepoy Rebellion. Set early in his Future History series timeline, this is a solid adventure story. For you Military SciFi fans, there is character, only mentioned once, named "Major Falkenberg" of Falkenberg's Rifles.
Also available on the Kindle.

Psychoshop, by Alfred Bester and Roger Zelazny
Roger Zelazny finished a manuscript that Bester didn't complete before his death. The result is an interesting blend of the two writer's styles complete with really well written fight scenes (Zelazny was an Aikido instructor for years).

The Mote in God's Eye by Dr. Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven
One of the classics of modern SciFi, vetted by the Grand Master Robert A. Heinlein prior to publishng. A brilliant first contact novel set in the Second Empire of Man.

Princess of Wands by John Ringo
A slightly different hero than the genre usally sees in this modern day horror/adventure tale by NY Times best selling author John Ringo. Barbara Everett is a Christian soccer mom from the southeastern United States. Who just happens to an expert in martial arts and combat shooting. Which comes in handy when Lovecraftian evil comes a calling on her quiet vacation spot. This book is actually a collection of several stories, including one that takes place mostly at a SciFi/Fantasy con. A lot of industry inside baseball in that one, which makes it way cool.

Semper Mars: Book One of the Heritage Trilogy by Ian Douglas
Ian Douglas is one of the many pen names of William Keith, Jr. He has multiple best selling series under multiple pen names. He cut his teeth on SciFi back in the late 1970s, along with his late brother Andrew, working on the classic SciFi RPG, Traveller.

Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy by Gwyneth Cravens
An environmentalist opposed to Nuclear Energy did some honest research and came to the conclusion that only Nuclear Power can provide the base load of clean electricity needed. Actual science trumps rhetoric.

Citizen of the Galaxy
Another classic by the Grandmaster of Science Fiction, Robert A. Heinlein.

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest by Stephen E. Ambrose
A Memorial Day special Monday Book Pick. If you have seen the series and haven't read the book, do so. There is a lot of detail that didn't make it to the screen. This book follows Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne, from their initial training to the unit's deactivation in November 1945. The Normande landings on D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, and more.

The Peshawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling
A fine example of the alternate history sub-genre of Science Fiction. The change in history occurred in 1878, when a series of asteroid strikes caused a "nuclear winter" effect. As a new Ice Age quickly over ran Europe, the British Empire relocated their seat of power to Imperial India. It's a "rousing good adventure", complete with Airships and large, steam powered mechanical Difference Engine type computing devices.

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change by Jonah Goldberg

Recently released in paperback, the well researched book explains the history you should know.
As Dr. Pournelle pointed out:

Goldberg's book is an anomaly: serious students of political science shouldn't find anything here they didn't already know. Alas, I had to say "shouldn't", because a very great number of people who consider themselves serious students of political science will be shocked and astonished to discover that Fascism, Progressivism, and modern American Liberalism have many intellectual roots in common. Roosevelt's New Deal incorporated many elements of Italian Fascism, and in fact before the mid-30's many Western statesmen had admiring things to say about Fascism and about Il Duce Mussolini who made the trains run on time and brought prosperity - or its illusion - to Italy. Goldberg documents all this as well as the Jacobin roots of both Fascism and Progressivism. The notion that human life can be improved by central planning and tinkering with the legal and economic system is the common thread to them all.

Conquistador by S.M. Stirling
Another alternate history book by Mr. Stirling. In this novel, a WWII Veteran, shortly after the end of the war, finds a gateway to an alternate Earth, one where Western Civilization didn't take hold. The planet is lightly populated with people and still mostly an untamed wilderness. Most of it takes place in California, and what would be California in this alternate world.
A fun and exciting read, with a nifty Sluggy Freelance reference near the end.

The Android's Dream by John Scalzi
A fun romp through Interstellar politics, romance, advenure and the Android's Dream, an electric-blue breed of sheep. Yup, that's a big tip of the hat to Philip K. Dick. There is also a big jab made a religion based on the rantings of a SF writer of "modest talents."

Eye of the Storm by John Ringo
The latest by John Ringo. It's the next book in his Legacy of the Aldenata series. "Iron Mike" O'Neil is back, and boy is he pissed!

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
A delightful murder mystery wrapped in some really good SciFi. The hero, who really is not a nice man, finds himself back on Earth in a new body. A bit of suprise, since his last one was killed on another planet, involved in crimes that should have kept his consciousness in storage for quite a bit longer. It proceeds to get weird from there, but in a good way for the reader.

A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo
John Ringo's first novel, and the first in his Posleen War Series, also know as the Legacy of Aldenata series. A ripping good yarn. It has back stabbing alien "allies", really bad bad aliens, and ends with a massive battle on an alien planet.

Space: The Free-Market Frontier by Edward L. Hudgins
The way to make space travel work is let the free market do it. It's the way God and Robert Heinlein intended it to be.

Fur and Loafing in Yosemite: A Collection of Farley Cartoons Set in Yosemite National Park by Phil Frank
The story of a family of bears in Yosemite National Park and how they deal with nature, campers and the National Park Staff. Very funny stuff. If you have ever been to Yosemite National Park, you will recognize a lot of what he's poking fun at. Funny even if you haven't been there!

Culture of Corruption by Michelle Malkin
The era of hope and change is dead....and it only took six months in office to kill it.
Michelle Malkin details the sordid level of corruption in the Obama White House that the DNC/MSM turns a blind eye to.

Mad Science by Theodore Gray
Mad fun science experiments that hark back to the day when Chemistry sets had real chemicals in them! Great fun in here, and ya, more than a wee bit dangerous at times.

The Sackett Brand by Louis L'Amour
Classic American Western literture by the master of the genre. First published in 1965, this tale of revenge still grabs the reader with L'Amour's prose and love for the American West.

Forge of the Elders, by L. Neil Smith
In world where Communism won, a team from the World Soviet, in old American Space Shuttles, go to visit an asteroid called Eris. Predictably, chaos is the result, when they find other Earthly intelligent beings, from more Libertarian realities, have gotten ther first.

Two Hawks From Earth, by Philp Jose Farmer
This classic alternate history/alternate reality book is back in print, which is a good thing. During WWII, Army Air Corps bomber pilot Roger Two Hawks bails out of his shot up bomber and lands in a different reality, one also experiencing a world spanning war.

To Where Your Scattered Bodies Go, by Philp Jose Farmer
This is the first book in Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series, which includes a cast of everybody who was born and died from early proto-humans to 1985. We're talking grand scale, epic Science Fiction here.

Tokyo Suckerpunch, by Isaac Adamson
The first of his Billy Chaka adventures. Billy is an American writer who covers the Japanese teen scene for American teenagers, and a student of wide range of martial arts. The stories are fast paced fun "urban noir" with Chaka delivering lines that would make Raymond Chandler proud.

The Tuloriad (The Legacy of Aldenata) by Tom Kratman with some help by John Ringo
The latest in the Posleen War series.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
The classic anti-war military SciFi book seen by many as an answer to Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Haldeman claims that isn't how he wrote it, and Robert Heinlein thought it was a damn good good book. An opinion I share.

Arguing with Idiots by Glenn Beck
That candy munching round faced former acoholic is at again. This time, he's dressing up as "the Book Czar" and telling you to buy his book. Fact filled and organized to counter the pretty consistantly fact free arguments of the typical leftiest. No wonder they hate this guy over at MSNBC.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
Another classic by the Grandmaster of Science Fiction. Valentine Michael Smith, born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned mission to Mars. Raised by Martians, he looks at Human society through a very different perspective than the rest of his species. Heinlein takes on sex and religion in a most irreverent fashion.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming by Christopher C. Horner
Since the BBC finally figured out that the planet stopped getting warmer a decade ago, today's pick is by someone who pointed out some of the problems with broken model of the anthropogenic global warming Luddites a few years ago.

March to the Sea by John Ringo and David Weber
Second in the Empire of Man series. Prince Roger continues his education as he and the Bronze Barbarians continue their trek across a harsh alien wilderness filled with hordes of aliens, hostile and otherwise, but mostly hostile.

She Murdered Me with Science by David Boop
A delightful mix of hard boiled dective story and good old fashioned pulp science story, with a dash of Jazz thrown in for flavor.

Kildar by John Ringo
The second book in the Ghost series. The story of how a wayward, Tango killing, ex-SEAL, buys a valley in Georgia (the country, not the state) and stumbles on a lost tribe of dedicated warriors who farm between battles.

Going Rogue by Gov. Sarah Palin
It's coming out tomorrow and has been a best seller for weeks. The Associated Press has managed to get an advanced copy, or so they claim, and has eleven so-called "reporters" doing opposition research on it already.
That is more vetting by the, ahem, media than Barack Obama got during the entire 2008 campaign season! It makes you wonder why the folks who were so infatuated with BHO are so afraid of this Alaskan Hockey Mom with actual government executive experience.

Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live by Ben Thompson
As billed, a collection of Badasses through out history. The list includes Alexander the Great, General George S. Patton, Bruce Lee, Chandragupta Maurya, Tomoe Gozen, Carlos Hathcock, and many more.
I have my own six degrees of connection to world class badass, back when I was a little kid, we lived in a D.C. suburb in Virginia while my dad was doing his scenic tour of Southeast Asia courtesy of the US Army, the school teacher who used to babysit for my brother and I, was the daughter of the USMC's Lewis "Chesty" Puller. From what I remember, she was nice, but we didn't get away with anything.

Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses by Timothy P. Carne
This book explains in detail why any Obama voter who thought that product of the corrupt Chicago democrat machine was going to clean up corruption in D.C. falls into the category of "useful idiot."

Tom Paine Maru by L. Neil Smith
This is the "author's edition" release, recovered from an old hard drive, in an obsolete word processor format. This is what was originally submitted to a publisher who then edited it with a weed wacker. A delightful bit of space opera in the classic L. Neil Smith Hard Core Libertarian style.

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
An interesting bit of historical fantasy that reads like a cross between Horatio Hornblower and Jane Austen, with dragons. Yup, dragons, and the best dragons, of course, come from China. This is the first in series about a British Navy Officer who captures a dragon's egg in a sea battle and ends up bonding with the beast when it hatches. Of course, it speaks English, and French. An interesting read. While I'm a mostly a hard core SciFi reader, I do enjoy good alternate history stories.

2008 Monday Book Picks.
2010 Monday Book Picks.
2011 Monday Book Picks.
2012 Monday Book Picks.
2013 Monday Book Picks.
2014 Monday Book Picks.
2015 Monday Book Picks.
2016 Monday Book Picks.
2017 Monday Book Picks.
2018 Monday Book Picks.
2019 Monday Book Picks.
2020 Monday Book Picks.
2021 Monday Book Picks.
2022 Monday Book Picks.
2023 Monday Book Picks.
The current picks.

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