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Showing posts from February, 2017

King And Emperor by Harry Harrison (and John Holm)

Perhaps I'm letting all the mystical rubbish get to me. Perhaps I am cynically overlooking the fantastical element of this historical fantasy in favour of a brutal and realism-driven interpretation. Perhaps I'm an arse.

These propositions, and more still, are true no doubt. Unfortunately, now that King Shef has decided to launch an attack on the Holy See via the Caliphate of Cordoba with their advanced sciences and repressive treatment of lady folk, and has come face to face with the devastating reality of Greek fire in the Mediterranean sea, and launched the Loki Appreciation Denomination of The Way of Asgard, much to the chagrin of the other priests of The Way, AND Holy Roman Emperor Bruno I has gone in search of The Holy Grail (which it turns out isn't the cup from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper but is instead a simple ladder which was used by those who removed Jesus' body from the cross and to carry his body to his tomb, cunningly rendered logical by some word…

The Owner Series: The Departure, Zero Point, Jupiter War by Neal Asher

Yes, yes, it’s another trilogy post, and I’m sorry about that to a small degree, but in my defence, it is simpler to do this than to find three different ways to say the same thing in three separate posts. Hence, consolidation. Or perhaps in context, some sort of augmentation of the essential humanness of the post? I’m stretching of course.
So, on with the show. Fair dos, I know very little about Neal Asher*, except for what I can deduce from this trilogy. I would guess he has a dark and troubling pessimism for humanity’s future, a grim view of the toll of our human stain, and oddly enough, an optimistic outlook for the planet post-humanity. I would also hazard a guess that he’s a scientist of some sort, or at least of a scientific bent, given he seems to be able to talk of such real-life but convoluted concepts as zero point energy and the Alcubierre drive, only two of the completely feasible near-future technologies he develops to fruition in this, The Owner series.
It all starts with…

One King's Way by Harry Harrison (and John Holm)

I may have touched previously upon the reason I initially got so swept up in this dark ages romp. Of course, I went out and bought books two and three of the saga. Of course I did. You've met me, right?

So, book two sees blacksmith, thrall, carl, jarl, chief, king, inventor, victor over the Great Viking Army, and router of the feared Frankish cavalry, Shef, facing another test of his liberal ways and, conversely, his antidisestablishmentarianism. For the church is about to send in the Holy Knights of the Lance, whose symbol, the spear that pierced the side of Christ, is an artefact for which their leader, fearsome warrior of God, Bruno, searches to inspire Christendom to victory over the heathens of the Asgarth Way, the new religion of knowledge that has taken hold in the power vacuum of England. And of course, that's not to mention the hovering threat of the revengeful Ragnarssons, whose ire and wrath still patrol northern waters, looking for an opportunity to visit death and …