Review: A Little Hatred

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Posted on : 12/19/2019 09:33:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , , ,

A Little Hatred A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a solid 5-star review.

Joe Abercrombie returns to his First Law world with the next generation of characters. As usual, this is a tour de force of fantasy that manages to present several POV characters in various situations; ranging from political intrigue to the hack-and-slash of combat.

Added into the plot this time are class elements unfolding within the context of a developing technologically driving industrial movement. Lives are inexorably altered as changing technology alters the basis of power; lifting some while others find their traditional existence to no longer be viable.

All of the subplots are told through the actions of a broad range of multi-motivated characters. Joe is a master of the grimdark subgenre requirement of creating characters that are neither purely good nor purely evil. They simply have motivations that are, at times, at cross purposes. When you are enthusiastically cheering for a character on one page and lustily cursing them a few pages later, then you know that you are in the grip of a masterful author.

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Review: The Forever War

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Posted on : 12/19/2019 09:33:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , , ,

The Forever War The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a 4-star review.

How might time delays influence the fighting of interstellar war? That is the overlying context of this story as the protagonists continually survive (barely) armed conflict with a poorly understood enemy. They hobble back home and by dint of survival end up promoted and in charge of the next armed contact with the enemy.

The relativity of time due to light speed travels means that there are thousands (tens of thousands!) of years for technology and battle doctrine to develop between battles while the combatants are traveling to and from the points of combat. The conflict ends up being a series of engagements leap-frogging through time.

Until they come home one day to find that peace had been declared. It is implied that the entire conflict may have begun in error; the enemy was poorly understood and they equally misunderstood humanity.

As might be expected of an author with a military service history, the book gets the relationships in the military just right; both the personal and doctrinal aspects. The subtextual message emphasizing the importance of understanding others is also handled deftly.

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Review: The Last Wish

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Posted on : 12/19/2019 09:32:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

The Last Wish The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a weak 4-star review.

This is the first in the series and is really more of a collection of short/medium length stories. The writing was solid. The characters were engaging. However, it is, at best, a fractured narrative.

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Hugo 2020 - Nomination Pool

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Posted on : 12/19/2019 09:32:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

My personal "short list" of works to be nominated in 2020

Novel -
Mark Lawrence - Holy Sister
Damien Black - Pilgrim's Storm Brooding??
Joe Abercrombie - A Little Hatred
Martin L. Shoemaker - The Last Dance

Series -
Mark Lawrence - Book of the Ancestor
Mark Lawrence - Impossible Times
Damien Black - Broken Stone Chronicle
Dave Duncan - King's Blades

Semi-Prozine -
Cirsova

Editor Short -
P. Alexander - Cirsova
Adrian Collins - Grimdark Magazine

Fancast -
SinCast by Cinema Sins
The Disney Story Origins Podcast
The Horror Show with Brian Keene

Fan Writer -
Colleen McMahon - Wandering Through The Public Domain Series - hosted by File770

Long Format
Witcher Season 1
Carnival Row Season 1
The Mandalorian Season 1
[Per the rules, you can nominate works of shorter than 90 minutes in the short format category; i.e. single episodes of longer series.  Alternatively, you can nominate an entire season under the long format category.  Both series told larger story arcs across their respective series.  Both are worthy of consideration against more traditional movies that will be nominated in the long format category.]