PCP: The Meeting

The Meeting

There’s obviously waaaaaaaay more to our meeting than that, as we had met randomly on Xanga (a now defunct blogging platform) and our shared interest in a Saturday Sabbath led us to email and become friends. Still in the days of dial up so things went much slower. We never thought we’d have a chance to meet because of being on opposite sides of the US, but when the wedding of my friend “Stamps” occurred, we decided to meet in real life. I was with my group of Bibleschool Graduate friends and she was with her brother, so everyone was safe. It was almost literally love at first sight, but even that was tempered by the several years we had had of getting to know each other as friends. We had a rock solid foundation too, as we were both very dedicated Christians. So we began courting.

What came next? Well, I guess you’ll have to come back next Saturday for …..
* cue dramatic music *

The Land of Water and Fire!

Author Index: Update

Back in November I began to work on my Author Index Project for the blog. I started out haphazardly but then decided to be a bit more organized about it. I started at Z and have been steadily working my way backwards. Once I finish I’ll go through and add all the new authors I’ve read since then and then try to update it on a monthly basis.

BUT!

I am finished with up to the M’s. What a chore! 79 authors with the last name starting with “M”. And only about half of them had their names as tags so I had a bleeding lot of work to do. The only other letter with more authors is “B” at 87. I am not looking forward to that already :-/

But rejoice with me. Things like this make me happy 😀

The Hastur Cycle (The King in Yellow Anthology #6) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Hastur Cycle
Series: The King in Yellow Anthology #6
Editor: Robert Price
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Cosmic Horror
Pages: 329
Words: 139K

Price appears to be a HP Lovecraft and Cthulhu buff and one of those bores who will kill a party quick as spit by telling you the historical importance of the works of HPL and why it matters. HPL did enfold some of the King in Yellow mythology into his works and thus, Price splits this book into stories directly about the King in Yellow and the rest are about Cthulhu with some of the KIY mythology names tacked on.

They were still good stories and I enjoyed them, but I wanted All the King in Yellow, All the time and I didn’t get that. So I waffled between giving this 3 or 4 stars and ended up coming down in the middle because my disappointment was perfectly balanced with my overall enjoyment.

This definitely felt puffed. Price includes a full story from both Chambers (who wrote The King in Yellow) and Lovecraft (who wrote Cthulhu) and while I appreciated that as it helped tie down the other stories by reminding us of why they were included. Saying a “random” name once in your story appeared to be enough to be included, so knowing how that “random” name actually tied into the mythology was good. But it didn’t take away from the fact that Price was including copyright/royalty free stories to pad the page and word count. Instead, I wanted all new stories and I didn’t get that.

Overall, between the “feels like padding” stories and the fact that this wasn’t strictly a KIY collection, I had to ding it. As a cosmic horror collection, I think it’s pretty good though. So there’s your mixed message for the day 🙂

★★★✬☆

Mending Fences (Bone #17) ★★✬☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Mending Fences
Series: Bone #17
Author: Jeff Smith
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 22
Words: 1K

Gran’ma Ben reveals that Thorne is a lost princess, that the Lord of the Locusts is her deadly enemy and that war is now inevitable. We also learn that the Lord of the Locusts is just an underling to some invisible spirits who live in a deserted cave. Yeah, that is EXACTLY what I want to find out when I read a comic.

When I read the One Volume way back when, the turn into an epic fantasy storyline took me by surprise. Here, with the change in direction taking so long, I’m almost ready to close my eyes and take a nap while Smith drives us around that curve.

★★✬☆☆

Trouble for Lucia (Mapp & Lucia #6) ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Trouble for Lucia
Series: Mapp & Lucia #6
Authors: E.F. Benson
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humorous Fiction
Pages: 281
Words: 81K

The final Mapp & Lucia book by Benson.

While I enjoyed this, I am at the same time glad it is over. Both Mapp and Lucia were so petty and small minded that it stopped being fun part way through it. In one instance Lucia is so taken up with presenting an “image” that she even freezes out her husband Georgie, who has been used to seeing her in private as she really is and loves that side of her. That was unpleasant to read about. Then Mapp. She becomes the Mayor’s Woman (a post to empower females) AND becomes a Town Councilor and her only goal is to stymie and undercut Lucia. The level of backstabbing and bickering jumps to a whole new level too.

There are still flashes of the humor from previous books but it wasn’t as prevalent. Definitely not a series I ever plan on re-reading and it really put the kabosh on me seeking anything else by Benson.

★★★☆☆

January ’23 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Novels 13 ⭤

Short Stories 0 ⭤

Manga/Graphic Novels 2 ⭤

Comics 3 ⭤

Average Rating 3.19 ⭤

Pages 3238 ⭤

Words 1002K ⭤

The Bad:

Cat Magic – 2stars of cult programming masquerading

Bone #16 – 2stars of complete and utter filler

The Good:

Santiago – 5stars of re-read goodness

James and the Giant Peach – 5stars of just the right book hitting at the exact perfect moment.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

January has been one of the worst we’ve had in about a decade. Even worse than last year’s January when we both got covid and had to go to the hospital via ambulance.

I got a light case of food poisoning between Christmas and New Years. On New Years, Mrs B had the start of a crohn’s flair up that turned into the worst one she’s had in 10 years. Then she got vasculitus and we’re still dealing with that. Urgent Care visits, ER visits, dr visits, specialists being as unhelpful as possible, it all came together to make life as close to a living hell as we could imagine. While Mrs B is doing better now and her primary care doctor has started her down the right path of specialists to see and taken care of getting her out of work, Mrs B still has a good way to go before she’s healthy again. This has obviously been preying on my mind the entire month.

Also, Mrs B takes a monthly injection and her specialist has completely dropped the ball on getting the authorizations for that. Thankfully, since I am me, and expect the worst of everyone and every situation, I had prepared for just such an eventuality. But it means the safety cushion is now gone so I have to start building it back up again.

Outside of work, I pretty much retreated into our condo and outside of church, had zero social time in real life. I’m still pretty raw emotionally right now and it doesn’t take much to hurt me, hence the limited real life social thing. There’s no need to take it out on other people who are just asking an innocent question.

What this whole time has also shown me is that when I am in the middle of a situation, I have ultra-mega-tunnel vision. I can’t trust myself to look at the big picture or to think properly. Not being able to trust myself is very unpleasant and for an introvert like myself, extremely unsettling.

Because I’ve been so unsettled, my writing has gone up about 10,000%. I figured I was going to have many days in January where I had no posts and was kind of looking forward to doing nothing. But when I stress, I write. So I wrote every day here on the blog and actually already have half of February taken care of too. My personal journal writing became a daily thing instead of a weekly thing. The Cervantes Journal I showcased in November? I’m already 2/3rds of the way through it. It used to take me a year to go through one of those. I’ve also been reading my journal from my junior year in Bibleschool and I hope to be talking about that sometime in March. It’s slow going because as emotional as I am now, I was a daily rollercoaster of ups and downs in my 20’s. It’s making my Freshman Journal look pretty even-keeled!

Multiple rain and snow storms have also meant work has been unsettled and so it feels like every aspect of our lives is in turmoil right now. All small stuff, you know, but like I said, tunnel vision makes it hard to get perspective. Even with church I am dealing with some interpersonal stuff, which while not bad, is just one more thing that makes me go “Oh come on, I do not need to deal with this right now”.

I am tired and am not sure when I’ll get to stop being tired. And so as you can see, the words just spew out like a raging torrent.

Plans for Next Month:

Pretty much exactly like this month. No movie, can’t handle it at the moment (not that I’m not watching stuff. I’m actually watching quite a bit more to try to turn my brain off). So Magic Mondays, books, manga’s and comics, some more of the PCP (Project Christmas Present) and if I get really words’y, probably some silly double posting just to vent and get it all out.

The Currents of Space (Galactic Empire #2) ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Currents of Space
Series: Galactic Empire #2
Authors: Isaac Asimov
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 165
Words: 69K

Rik is a victim of soicumstances! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk….

I’m never going to re-read this, you’re never going to read it and I just don’t care. While a step better than the previous Galactic Empire book, that is because Asimov left out the romance angle. While the absence of something can make the whole better, it doesn’t mean that what is left is actually better. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it now and I’ll say it again in the future, Asimov couldn’t write a full length novel to save his life.

His strength was in the short story, in the “Idea”. His anthologies are great. Some of the best SF out there in my opinion. But these Galactic Empire novels, well, they’re already on the dust heaps of history and sinking fast.

On a funny side note, every time I see the title all I can think of is Currants of Space. And I imagine The California Raisins in space suits playing their instruments, hahahahaa.

Thankfully, there is only one more book to go and I’m already girding up my loins to do battle. Conan AND Tarzan, combined, couldn’t do more loin girding that I am doing. And with that wonderful image, I shall say my goodbyes.

★★★☆☆

Three Doors to Death (Nero Wolfe #16) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Three Doors to Death
Series: Nero Wolfe #16
Author: Rex Stout
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 151
Words: 65K

A collection of three novellas. I am finding that I do not enjoy these collections nearly as much as the full novels. There is nothing wrong with the novellas collected together but it is like getting one serving of eggnog (1/2cup, misers!) when I want to simply chug about 3cups worth of the stuff.

Plus, in one of the stories not only does Wolfe leave his house, but he goes blundering about in the dark, in the snow, through a stream, to break into a house. I found it too unbelievable. It would have been like me recommending the Tripitakas to all of you. Inconceivable!

I am tempted to skip all of the books with “Three” in the title so I don’t have to deal with this, but the fact is that I still do enjoy these and skipping them would make me sad. So it’s time to pull up my big boy pants and just read the books. All of them. The Great and Powerful Bookstooge will never be accused of not manning up.

★★★✬☆

Cain’s Last Stand (WH40K: Ciaphas Cain #6) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Cain’s Last Stand
Series: WH40K: Ciaphas Cain #6
Authors: Sandy Mitchell
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 326
Words: 110K

This really should have been called Ciaphas Cain versus Space Hitler. Cain is retired and teaching on the world where the Shadow artifact is and suddenly a chaos fleet is on its way to take over the planet and find the artifact. They are led by a small, dumpy guy with a small mustache who can turn even the most ardent Emperor Botherer (Cain’s description) into a full supporter of chaos, who is Space Hitler. It was pretty blatant and made me laugh. Unfortunately, he and Cain only have one encounter and Cain wins by pushing him over a cliff. Yeah, for real. And it made me laugh too. But I was hoping for more fighting between them. Oh well

You’d think from the title and the fact that Cain is in his late 100’s (hadn’t hit 200 yet I don’t think) that this was going to be the last book, but nope, there are at least 3 more and I think I saw that a 10th one recently came out?
* elevator music *
Ok, so it was 2018, but that’s recent as far as I’m concerned.

I was pleased by my read of this and if I could find some more non-Space Marine Warhammer 40K stories, I’d be very tempted to dive into them after this series. Wanting to read more is usually a good sign.

★★★✬☆