Review: The Emperor's Blades


Posted on : 5/25/2017 03:48:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

The Emperor's Blades The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free set of all three volumes of this series from The Grim Tidings Podcast. I'm a huge fan of the podcast.

A brief review....

The world building is fantastic. Three siblings enter a new phase of life when their father, the Emperor, is murdered. One brother has been sent to live with a group of months. He was to learn their ways of meditation and perception about the world. Why? It isn't exactly clear until later on.

His sister has never been eligible to inherit the throne. Yet she was the one who studied everything her father did. Of the three, she is the one that knows the most about how the empire functions.

Their brother was sent off to serve in an elite military unit. Each combat detail flys around strapped to the legs of a giant raptor. (Brian Stavely rescued me from another author that had totally lost me on the concept of people riding below the body of a bird. Congrats, Brian!)

The murder of the Emperor opens up each of them to various elements of a coup intended to seize control of the empire. They are geographically separated, so each begins to do what they can to find the murderer(s) and to rescue the empire from chaos.

This is a fine first book in a series.

Books 2&3 were a little bit of a letdown. They both will get 4 star ratings from me. While both were well written, they just failed to take full advantage of the setup that was done in this book.

View all my reviews

Fun With Numbers - Hugo Version


Posted on : 5/23/2017 04:28:00 PM | By : Dann | In : ,

A discussion over at File 770 has recently included a bit of statistical analysis.  My statistics background is pretty mediocre.  And it has been a while since I've had to actively use any of the four years of calculus that I took in college.

So I cheated and used MSExcel.  The question I raised was how has Hugo attendance changed in relation to the recent Sad Puppies campaigns.

My point is illustrated thusly:

The Orange line includes all paid membership from Worldcon 36 up through and including Worldcon 71.  The Blue line has the same starting point and runs up through Worldcon 75.  A linear regression trend line has been added for both.  I extended the trendlines for illustration purposes.

I think it is clear that the trend through Worldcon 71 was running slightly negative.  It is now running slightly positive.

The raw data comes from JJ's compiliation.

I disagree with nominating works that one has not read/viewed/heard.  So the point is not an endorsement of any of the SP tactics.  The ends do not justify the means.

For anyone interested in the trend line data, this is what was spit out of Excel.


If we compare a straight linear regression of the data from WC38-71 and from WC38-75, we see a shift from a negative trend denoted by a slope (m) of -11.2 to a positive trend (+44.4)

y = -11.201x + 5875.9   R² = 0.0045
y = 42.426x + 5221.6   R² = 0.0541

Making the same comparison over a longer time frame (WC28-71 and WC28-75) we see a similar upward/positive trend.

y = 70.864x + 3398.5   R² = 0.1989
y = 93.776x + 3044.8   R² = 0.3105