Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A day in the life...

I filled the tank in the Zed Three yesterday, from bone dry to brim-lippin' full, with 89 octane gas for less than $20. That's the first time I've done that since... well, before I started blogging, at least.

I met Staghounds for lunch at Calhoun's and corrected the horrible dietary deficiency I've developed (BBQ ribs contain an enzyme necessary for life; lack thereof causes one to say "you guys" instead of "y'all".)

Went by McKay's (the best used bookstore I know of) but it was a madhouse, so I bid adieu to Staghounds, and went back to casa de Gunsmith Bob. We made a second assault on the North Face of McKay's later in the afternoon, and the crowd had thinned out somewhat. I picked up my first Stephen Hunter novel, some non-fiction stuff, and I decided to give Oh John Ringo No's Posleen universe another try, because everyone keeps telling me that Watch on the Rhine is a good read. Y'all better not be pulling my leg. I also tried to find some boxed sets of House on DVD. Fail.

I stopped by the outpost of the vast petroleum conspiracy at which I worked briefly, and had my old job offered to me again. It's nice to be missed; apparently good help really is hard to find these days.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

BBQ? Deficiency?

Don't you live right around the corner from some of the finest pig in the world?

-Shootin' Buddy

Turk Turon said...

First Stephen Hunter novel!?

I love those books. Stephen Hunter writes the best fiction about guns ever.

the pistolero said...

apparently good help really is hard to find these days.

A-yep. Almost two years after I left my former place of employment, every time I go in there I am still being asked if I'd like to come back.

BryanP said...

Ringo is hit or miss with different people. Me, I love the Posleen books and his Council Wars books. That series about the BDSM obsessed specops guy though? Meh.

Hands down my favorite thing of his has to be the Prince Roger series he co-wrote with David Weber.

Quilly Mammoth said...

Have you tried Tom Kratman's books? Desert called Peace and Carnifex are good reads. He out does Ringo on killing them that deserves it. He's improved a great deal since State of Disobedience.

As for the BDSM books. John says upfront his Ghost books aren't for everyone and I took him at his word and haven't read them.

Earl said...

I like Earl a bit better than Bobby Lee, but I pretend to identify with each - the drop dead favorite Hunter book in the prison is "Dirty White Boys", "March to almost anywhere but here" books were great until "We Few" where Weber came back with a heavy pen. Ringo's spec-ops is sex-ops and I must have missed the point, too old, too old.

Kevin said...

Watch on the Rhine isn't really Ringo's, it's Tom Kratman's. Ringo did the outline, Kratman wrote the story.

I admit to enjoying the "Oh John Ringo, NO!" series, as wince-inducing as it is in places.

Ruzhyo said...

I wish Stephen Hunter would do a prequel that covered more of Earl's WWII service, or even told Earl's father's story (loathsome character that he was)

Ross said...

I'll ignore the comments on the Ghost series, as I happend to like them (being the gun-owning pervert that I am). However, Watch on the Rhine left me pretty cold... perhaps it's because I'm Jewish and have a really hard time considering a Nazi as a character I can empathize with.

Now, if you want some seriously awesome hard SF... pick up Through the Looking Glass. It's very good, but not awesome... that is reserved for it's sequels: Vorpal Blade, Manxome Foe and Claws That Catch. Don't start them late at night. You won't sleep. There should be a law passed that John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor are NOT allowed to write books without each other until the entire Looking Glass saga is finished.

Seriously... those two lunatics have produced three books together that should be the new standard by which space opera should be judged. Forget Honor Harrington. Han Solo can go retire. Kimball Kinnison should be looking nervously over his shoulders to see if Two-Gun Berg is standing there with an annoyed look on his face.

They're that good.

stainles said...

Most honored and respected Miss Tamara:

Which Stephen Hunter novel? If it isn't *Pale Horse Coming*, you're in for a treat when you get to that one.

I'm also curious about the non-fiction stuff, too. I liked the Hunter/Bainbridge non-fiction collaboration *American Gunfight*, if you haven't read that.

D.W. Drang said...

I enjoy the Ghost books, although I can see where the BDSM would be off-putting for many.

Do pick up Ringo's latest, The Last Centurion, though, before Obama has it suppressed.

El Capitan said...

I'll second the recommendation for 'Pale Horse Coming', and add 'Hot Springs' to the recommendation list, cause how often do you get to read about people getting in a gunfight in a cathouse with a BAR?

I'll have to also second Ross's apprehension about 'Watch On The Rhine'. Good story, but having the SS as heroes? Call me squeamish if you must, but I felt like taking a shower after the last chapter.

Chas S. Clifton said...

IMHO, the best of Hunter is "Hot Springs."

He does know firearms quite well.

perlhaqr said...

I've read all the available Posleen series and Sex-Ops series books, and, I will admit, generally enjoyed them. But I'm kind of an SF vacuum.

Recently, I did some calculations, and though I haven't double checked them yet, the upswing of them was that in the Posleen books, according to the listed specs, the guns the powered armor unit carry have roughly 27 times as much muzzle energy per shot as a U.S. Navy 16 inch gun. Which has some rather humorous recoil consequences for the poor fellows holding the guns and pulling the trigger.

tanksoldier said...

"Watch on the Rhine" is good. It probably has the fewest "Oh John Ringo No"s in it.

Also, you really don't have to read the others to read it.

Have fun.

Tennessee Budd said...

I love McKay's; I stop by every time I'm in Knoxville (which isn't much anymore--they don't let me do onsites since I got the Great Titanium Leg Implant).

Nathan Brindle said...

Ross: Don't you dare dis Doc Smith. Them's fightin' words. :)

AmericanMercenary said...

I liked "Watch on the Rhine" better than the rest of the Posleen series.

The SS were elite fighting units, steeped in the Prussian school of military science and the Machiavellian school of charm. And yes they did horrible things.

But when you must fight, you don't need saints to hold the line, monsters will work just fine.

Ian said...

The Posleen stuff is pretty good. I keep meaning to re-read the first few books, but then I remember the Battle of Fredericksburg, and in particular one scene... (Not to turn you off the books, far from it - they're excellent reads, and the B of F is kick-ass. But I grew up just north of there and I *know* the ground they're fighting over. And the one scene (you'll know it when you get to it) is wrenching).

Jim - as in ME! said...

Definitely read the Hunter books in the order they were written, ie, read "Point of Impact" first! (Feel free to skip the lousy movie adapation with marky mark.)

Ringo's books tend to be pretty decent popcorn stories.

Oh, and Weber's stuff is also pretty good. (Though the last few Harrington books were getting rather silly.)

eriko said...

You can watch House on Hulu.com there are a couple of seasons at least. As a plus it is free.

I am in no way affiliated with hulu other than as a viewer of House.

pdb said...

John Ringo is well moderated by a coauthor.

Watch On The Rhine and Yellow Eyes are my favorite Posleen books so far.

Marcus said...

John wrote "Ghost" with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Fact is, he didn't originally even want to submit the manuscript for publication--he thought it was stupid, but was having a ball writing it. Some of his fans read snippets of it and begged him to publish... so he did. And there it is.

Personally, I think Kratman is a genius. An evil genius, but a genius nonetheless.

Marcus

TBeck said...

Try CALLY'S WAR and SISTER TIME. Both take place a few decades after the first 3.5 books of the 'verse. Cally is now a professional assassin along with Gramps and Tommy Sunday. It's kind of like a cyberpunkie version of LA FEMME NIKITA. Coming out next year are THE HONOR OF THE CLAN and THE EYE OF THE STORM. In EYE, we welcome the return of Mighty Mite!

buzz_knox said...

If you want to try John Ringo risk free, download the e-books at http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/.

As for Watch on the Rhine, it took me a long time to read it because of the "SS save the world" aspect. While reading it, I realized that Kratman (who should be required reading) was using the story as an opportunity to show the reality of the SS as opposed to the mythology, which condemns the organization all the more.

Jeff said...

I'm with Ross, the Looking Glass series is my favorite of Ringo's, and the only one I have actual hard copies of. The Posleen stuff was popcorn. I'm cringing at the 89 octane in the BMW, don't they have 93 there? I'm stuck with 91 pisswater in Arizona unless I want to fork out $6 a gallon for Trick 101 octane.

Owen said...

The Rigo Posleen books are a good quick read, but they are hardly literature.

Right now the guys that have me twitching for new books are Alastair Reynolds and John Scalzi

(BTW, recoil is proportional to momentum, not energy)

dan said...

+1 on Ringo's "Last Centurion" -- an enjoyable, quick and amusing read. Rather abrupt ending to it, though. I thought the final chapter had somehow gone missing when I hit that last page... I guess he took "leave 'em wanting more" to heart.

Scott said...

Ringo's stuff is always fun (I have yet to read Watch on the Rhine for similar reasons as others), the Looking Glass series is great, most of the physics go over my head because I don't have or can't remember the math but that just gives me an excuse to practice my google fu and edumicate myself some more. John Scalzi is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
I like Hunter but for me the folksy(redneckish)writing style gets annoying about halfway through any of his books IMHO.

JHardin said...

Dan:
I got the same "premature ending" feeling from Claws that Catch. It stopped a couple of chapters too soon, in my opinion...