Communication Failure cover

Review of Communication Failure

Review of Communication Failure by Joe Zieja

 

I have been looking forward to this book since I finished Mechanical Failure. (If you have not read it yet, my review is here.)

It does not disappoint.

If you enjoy sarcasm, quick-witted writing, or getting odd looks from random strangers because you suddenly laugh out loud for no reason apparent to them, you will enjoy this book.

The first laugh out loud point for me was the subheading “Please restart your warship harder.”

The second laugh out loud point was the chapter titled Flag-Waving.

I’ll stop there. I could continue, of course. It’s that funny.

When I got to the last page I was already wishing for book three. But I must wait until it is written. (Which I will. Patiently and without any pressure towards the author.) Then I will definitely be buying it in paperback so it can live on my bookshelf for my future reading pleasure as I am even more certain this series will become one I revisit on a regular basis.

Do yourself a favor. Buy this book. Read it soon.

 

I give it 5 stars.

https://smile.amazon.com/Communication-Failure-Epic-Trilogy/dp/148148690X

Communication Failure
Joe Zieja

Review of UFO 6

Review of Unidentified Funny Objects 6

Review of Unidentified Funny Objects 6 edited by Alex Shvartsman

Unidentified Funny Objects 6 was yet again a tremendous success. Each volume keeps getting better.

What is my definition of success, you may ask?

(You can skip this part if you have read any of my previous short story compilation reviews.)

To me, a short story compilation is akin to one of those giant bags of mixed candy you buy for Halloween. Some of what you get are your favorite kind, some are exceptionally good (just not your favorite), some are OK (but still candy, so pretty darn good), and some are awful because you can’t stand the flavor but you know other people love them anyway. And occasionally it includes one or two kinds of candy even the kids won’t touch.

With that in mind, I consider any short story collection to be a success if at least 3 or 4 stories fall into the first two categories of favorite or exceptionally good, and one (or better, none) fall into the even the kids won’t touch it category.

 

Unidentified Funny Objects 6 was a tremendous success. Eighteen (18!!) of the 20 stories were either favorites or exceptionally good. You really can’t ask for more than that.

The stories’ humor ranged from laughing so hard I couldn’t read because the book was shaking, to snickering uncontrollably, to smiling softly.

None of the stories was of the “even the kids won’t touch it” variety or the “I can’t stand the flavor” pile.

My favorite story was “Approved Expense” by David Vierling. I would give it 5 stars plus. If you have ever had to submit or approve an expense report it will seem even funnier.

My other 5-star stories included “A Game of Goblins” by Jim C. Hines, “Twenty-Nine Responses to Inquiries About My Craigslist Post: Alien Spaceship for Sale. $200, You Haul” by Tina Connolly, “An Evil Opportunity Employer” by Lawrence Watt-Evans, and “Lost and Found” by Laura Resnick.

Highly recommended. If you need a laugh, go buy this book.

Short thoughts on each story without spoilers:

Read moreReview of Unidentified Funny Objects 6

Unidentified Funny Objects 6
Edited by Alex Shvartsman

Review of Scion of Conquered Earth

Review of Scion of Conquered Earth

Review of Scion of Conquered Earth by Michael J. Allen

In the interests of full disclosure, I was sent a copy of this book by the author for the possibility of a review. All my reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, are based on my own opinion and from my personal viewpoint. They are also spoiler free.

I really enjoyed 90% of this book. Although I understand intellectually the reasoning behind the first 10% of the book and how it is meant to set up the protagonist’s motivations and future actions, it was just a bit over the top in brutality for my taste. Although I did appreciate the cannibalistic aerobics instructors. And the lawyers. I’m glad I pushed through it to the rest of the book, which I truly enjoyed.

Alaric is a complicated character and you are never quite sure what decision he will make or what direction he will turn, which makes the many plot twists and turns delightfully unexpected. I also enjoyed Cassii, an AI with a definite mind of her own.

Just when you think it will be a white knight story it becomes something else. And then something else. And then again.

And you never even felt the hook set. But set it did. And slowly, ever so slowly, it reeled you in.

I look forward to book two in the series. I can’t wait to see what they end up doing next.

I give it 4 stars.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Scion-Conquered-Earth-Book-ebook/dp/B01EA1BUW6

Scion of Conquered Earth
Michael J. Allen

Review of Terms of Enlistment

Review of Terms of Enlistment

Review of Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos

I picked up a copy Terms of Enlistment of at a publisher’s table at Worldcon where they were giving out free books. At the time I wondered if they got anything in return besides goodwill. Although they did get a lot of goodwill. Free books to a crowd there for the Hugo Awards goes a long way.) Then I read the book and realized it was Book One of a series, and the light bulb went off.

I highly recommend Markos Kloos’ debut novel to any military SF fan. It draws you in, makes you care about the main character, and then proceeds to shake up his world. The book provides excellent story-telling combined with good writing and an interesting, twisty plot line.

In Kloos’ author bio it states “In the past, he has been a soldier, bookseller, freight dock worker, and corporate IT administrator…” and you can see those experiences in the authenticity of his writing.

It is currently Book 1 of 5, with Book 6 on pre-order, and there are also a short story and a novella to be had. (Yes, I already bought them!) I look forward to many more hours of reading pleasure from this series.

I give it 5 stars.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Terms-Enlistment-Frontlines-Marko-Kloos/dp/1477809783

Terms of Enlistment
Marko Kloos

Little Green Men - Attack!

Review of Little Green Men—Attack!

Review of Little Green Men—Attack! edited by Robin Wayne Bailey and Bryan Thomas Schmidt

 

Little Green Men—Attack! was a definite, as well as funny and sarcastic, success.

What is my definition of success, you may ask?

(You can skip this part if you have read any of my previous short story compilation reviews.)

To me, a short story compilation is akin to one of those giant bags of mixed candy you buy for Halloween. Some of what you get are your favorite kind, some are really good (just not your favorites), some are OK (but still candy, so pretty darn good), and some are awful because you can’t stand the flavor but you know other people love them anyway. And occasionally it includes one or two kinds of candy even the kids won’t touch.

With that in mind, I consider any short story collection to be a success if at least 3 or 4 stories fall into the first two categories of favorite or really good, and one (or better, none) fall into the even the kids won’t touch it category.

Little Green Men—Attack! was a definite success. 18 of the 19 stories were either favorites or really good. Eight were favorites. This is a new record for me.

None of the stories were in the “Even the kids won’t touch it” or the “I can’t stand the flavor” pile.

My favorite stories were “Rule the World” by Jody Lynn Nye, “Good Neighbor Policy” by Dantzel Cherry, “A Cuppa Cuppa Burnin’ Love” by Esther Friesner, “Stuck in Buenos Aires With Bob Dylan On My Mind” by Ken Scholes, “The Game-a-holic’s Guide to Life, Love, and Ruling the World” by Peter J. Wacks and Josh Vogt, “The March of the Little Green Men” by James Gunn, “First Million Contacts” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman, and “The Fine Art of Politics” by Robin Wayne Bailey.

Highly recommended. If you need a reality break, a good laugh, or some fine sarcasm, go buy this book.

For many of these stories, too much of a review would ruin the story. So here are some spoiler-free short thoughts on each story:

Read moreReview of Little Green Men—Attack!

Review of Little Green Men—Attack!
Edited by Robin Wayne Bailey and Bryan Thomas Schmidt