jeriendhal: (Default)
So I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to all the RPG's and comics I collected during my teens and 20's. Hell, I've still got a couple of long boxes with carefully bagged copies of the entire run of Marvel's disastrous New Universe comics. And most of my old RPG's, including relatively rare stuff like Victory Game's James Bond RPG, TSR's MSH, FASA's 1st and 2nd editions of Star Trek and tons of supplements.

Some of it I ditched, like obscure things such as Star Ace, and some more famous stuff, like 1st ed. Paranoia, 2nd ed. Gamma World, and.... unfortunately... TSR's Star Frontiers. All I have from that series is a few modules that escaped the sweep. And finding copies of a 35 year old, relatively unpopular RPG is gonna be expensive if I want to restore that piece of my teen years. Sigh

(and yeah, I know the original RPG is available as a DRM free pdf, but it isn't the same as holding the original books in my hands.) :(
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
 Since I can't get my brain in gear to write anything original right now, please enjoy a fake news story about a non-existent person on an imaginary show.

* * *

Actor Mikhayiyl Sabbagh announced today that is he was leaving the  popular Military caste comedy Ship’s Mess, after portraying the beloved Wesley “Wes” Wasem for  eight seasons, serving longer than any of the cast aside from lead actor Mit Brightclaw. In his statement Sabbagh strongly dismissed rumors of a pay dispute, stating “I love working on Ship’s Mess, and have the utmost respect for all my friends on the cast and the producers. But eight years doing anything is enough, and I didn’t want to wear out Wes’ welcome.”

Sabbagh, one of the few wazagans regularly working the foxen entertainment industry, began his career is a character actor, where his stony features and larger than average build usually typecast him as heavies in productions on Wazaga and Human Prime. After about fifteen years of this he met his wife-to-be, foxen actress Fivah Fieldsmith, on the set of the wazagan serial drama Death by the Numbers. They married about a year later, and he moved with her back to Foxen Prime.

When Fieldsmith was cast as the perpetually furious Lt. Hardpaw on Ship’s Mess, she persuaded Sabbagh, who was having trouble breaking into the business on Foxen Prime, to take up the bit part of Wes, the stowaway wazagan living in the FNS Ice Lick’s galley cupboard.

“It was only supposed to be a one-off gag, and my grasp of the Mother Tongue back then was terrible, which is why all my dialog was garbled,” Sabbagh explains, with typical modesty. “But I got a lot of laughs, so they decided to keep me on.”

By the end of the season, Wes had emerged as one of the most popular characters of the long running series. Living in the galley cupboard (which was later revealed to be connected to the Admiral’s Quarters) and emerging occasionally to spout a nigh incomprehensible (and inevitably mistranslated) mixture of Arabic, English, and Southern Wazini at the rest of the cast, the character was an instant hit with both cubs and adults.

Though Wes did attract some controversy from critics for being a broad stereotype, Sabbagh defends his portrayal. “Everybody in the show was a stereotype,” he points out. “I had a blast playing Wes, and the rest of the cast always treated me with respect, on and off the set. That’s all I care about.”

With Fieldsmith’s departure from the show two seasons ago, Wes’ appearances have been infrequent, as Sabbagh returned to drama. Most recently he portrayed the Father of Night in the video adaptation of The Walls Between the Worlds, and on Light Street, appearing as Saber, in the acclaimed revival of Dockyard Stories.  

As for what’s next for him, Sabbagh states, “I’m working on a period piece with Fivah, adapting The Visitors for the screen. We’re hoping to start a successful funding campaign next year, and start filming a few months after that.”

And would he consider playing Wes again, if the chance came up?

“Hey, so long as there’s room in the cupboard for me, I’ll be there.”
jeriendhal: (Default)
Robert darling, so good to you again,’ E greeted waving the heavyset super into her living room. The massive Art Deco statue Prometheus Ascendant towered over them both as the tiny metahuman fashion designer sat him in a chair.

“What brings you here today?” she demanded, continuing before he could get a word in. “Another patch job? I have upgrades for you and family’s suits that I absolutely must get to, but I’ve been busy, busy, busy with all of the new orders I’ve been receiving, now that the Metahuman Control Act has been rescinded. It’s so wonderful to be able to practice my Art again, instead of catering to skinny, vapid ‘fashionistas’ tramping up and down the runways in Milan like herds of starving elk.”

“No, no, it’s not a patch job. The suits you made for all of us are still holding up fine,” Bob said, running his hand through his thinning blond hair.

“Modifications then? If you’re going up into space it will take me a day to add standard life support gear, but anything else I do in a couple of hours,” E reassured him.

“No, we’re not going into outer space,” Bob said quickly. “I’ve got some questions for you, about the whole mess with Syndrome.”

Uncomforable Questions )
jeriendhal: (Default)
 “What about the alt-left that came charging... at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? (...) There are two sides to a story."

-Donald Trump, remarks on Charlottesville VA Neo-Nazi Rally, Tuesday August 15th, 2017


Dear Mr. President,


No, there is not. On the one side you had people carrying torches, throwing Nazi salutes, and chanting 'Blood and soil” and on the other side you had people opposing them. There is no “equivalency” here. Even your own Republican allies in Congress can't swallow this one, and are coming out against you. White Supremacy is terrorism. Period. Your meal-mouthed “condemnations” on Saturday and Tuesday, where you tried to paint both sides in the wrong, are a load of bull, and confirms everything I said in my commentary on your inauguration day. Your words are emboldening white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups, because your words confirm YOU ARE THEIR ALLY.


But this isn't coming from just you. To qualify as a Republican these days, you have to lack empathy. To assume that everyone on the side that opposes your beliefs do not just have a different point of view, but are outright evil.


Minimum Wage? Can't raise that. It would cut into a business's profits.


Welfare? Look at those jobless folk sitting on their asses watching TV all day on the government dime. Make 'em work! Who cares if there are no jobs, or they've been injured, or are in their 70's? Welfare Queens, all of 'em. Oh, and tax retirees' checks from Social Security, never mind that they'd paid it into the system already.


Obamacare? Why should we give twenty or thirty million people affordable health care? That would raise taxes on rich people!


Environment? Global warming is a myth. We can prove it because we can find five or six scientists who say so, never mind the 99% who say it's real. They're just lying to keep their funding.


Black Lives Matter? Obviously a hate group. They've got no right to protest when cops are caught on camera murdering black men when they're already cuffed and on the ground, or running away.


Anitfa? Another hate group. They should just shut up and let the god fearing white folks say whatever the want, without commentary or protest.


Muslim goes on a shooting spree? Terrorism. White guy goes on a shooting spree? Lone Nut.


Protesting Trump's words? Or for that matter just taking his public statements at face value? Disrespecting the President.


I am very, very tired of false equivalencies. You either give a damn about people, or you don't.


You don't.

jeriendhal: (Default)

My original works published for profit, as opposed to fanfic. More here than I honestly thought there was.

Print on Demand

Prisoners of War. Self-published. November 2016

The Complete Red Vixen Adventures. Self-published. May 2017

The Dragon’s Companion. Self-published. 2006

Unexpected Diversions. Self-published. 2009


Captive of the Red Vixen, Self-published. March 2011

Demon Eyes, Self-published. April 2011

For Your Safety. Self-published. July 2012

Good Landing, Self-published. April 2011

I Fought the Claw, and the Claw Won. Self-published. September 2013

Mimsey’s Tale. Self-published. July 2013

Prisoners of War. Self-published. April 2011

Shadow of Doubt. Self-published. May 2016

Shadow of Her Sins. Self-Published. February 2014

Shadow of the Red Vixen. Self-published. November 2012

Teal’s Bargain. Self-published. January 2011

Teal’s Choice. Self-published. January 2011

Teal’s War. Self-published. January 2011

The Complete Red Vixen Adventures. Self-published. May 2017

The Dragon’s Companion. Self-published. January 2011

The Fall of Man: A For Your Safety Collection. Self-published. June 2016

The Red Vixen at Sea. Self-published. May 2017

Triumvirate. Self-published. October 2011

Unexpected Diversions.  Self-published. February 2011

Magazine Articles

“Characters and Campaigns on Colony Worlds for GURPS Space”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, April 13th, 2001.

“Scrapyard Battles, Gadgeteering Entertainment for GURPS Discwold”,Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, December 13th, 2002.

“Supporting Cast, Deacon Paul, Bioroid Rights Activist for Transhuman Space”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, September 26th, 2003.

“Terra Incognita, Mog the Half-Orc’s Pit Fighting Circle”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, October 3rd, 2003.

“The Dustmaster, Road Trains for Transhuman Space”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, December 9th, 2005.

“Weird Prisons as Campaign Settings”,Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, August 10th 2001.

jeriendhal: (Default)
Sorry it's been so long since i've posted. Since LJ became a non viable platform I've been mostly producing fanfic and posting that on FFN and AO3. Here's what I'e been working on lately.

 Dragon Mom:
 I'm trying to work this into a coherent story instead of just a series vignettes. Slow going so far but right now it's my only viable idea now that the Red Vixen Adventures has concluded

She didn’t actually have a name. Indeed, she would have been insulted if she’d been told she needed one. “The Dragon of the Green Hills” was a lovely title, and it fit her perfectly. Well, if you wanted to get really technical about she was A Dragon of the Green Hills, but her son would earn his own title in time, assuming he didn’t accidentally spear himself on the end of some poor knight’s lance before he grew old enough for his own cave.

Earth or Bust : My ongoing The Martian fanfiction, covering the trip from Mars back to Earth. Though it's go my usual indulgence in character angst, I'm trying to keep it to a minimum, since Watney is usually cheerful. Still, I've got him dealing with a little trauma, giving all the stress he was under on Mars.

“I know you don’t like the idea, but think about it. This,” Beck tapped the Temazepam bottle in his hand, “isn’t a crutch, and it isn’t a cheat. It doesn’t mean you’re weak if you take it. It just means you have a problem, and you need help. Same as if you had an infection and needed antibiotics, or a band aid for a cut. That’s all."

The Long Recovery of Judy Hopps:
  Judy and Nick spend time on the farm as she recovers from her injuries in the previous stories. Mostly slice of life fluff and a bit of romance.

“Nick, are you okay?” she asked gently.

“Yeah, fine,” he gasped. “Y’know, I was totally prepared kiss my partner and best friend like an idiot without even asking her and torpedoing any potential romantic relationship before it even started never mind terminally screwing up the one we already have,” he said in one breath.

jeriendhal: (Default)
Amazon KDP (finally) updated their data reports to include historic data, allowing me to see my total royalty profits over time.

Since I've started e-publishing there in September of 2011, I've made US$1952.70 in royalties, averaging $325.45 per year.

So, not "Quit my job" great, but not completely insignificant either. Not bad for a guy who's specialty is Furry themed light romances
jeriendhal: (Default)


You’d think after a year and a half of talking to myself I’d be ready to shut the fuck up, but nope. Turns out that the shrinks at NASA want me to keep a running log of my “reintegration experiences” now that I’m back on the Ares with honest to God other human beings to talk to. Apparently there were “some concerns” after they had a chance to read through the log entries I’d copied and brought back with me during that looney rollercoaster ride on the MAV up to Ares.

Homeward Bound )


May. 17th, 2017 08:11 pm
jeriendhal: (Chicken)
 At this point there's a calculation going on in every House Republican's mind, as to whether coming to Trump's defense is preferable to "President Pence".

Today in a speech to Coast Guard Academy graduates, Trump took time from celebrating their achievements to whine that he was "No other president in history has been treated so unfairly" Y'know, aside from the last one being accused of not being an American citizen, Bill Clinton being accused of orchestrating murders while governor of Arkansas, Lincoln, Kennedy, Garfield and McKinley being assassinated. Aside from THAT.

Make no mistake, Trump dug this hole he's in himself. He has constantly contradicted his own staff as they tried to work damage control, he started his presidency by insisting that his inauguration was the largest crowd in history when it demonstrably was proven otherwise, he has belittled legitimate news organizations whenever they dared not fawn over the rightness of his decisions, and he's used up any political good will he might have had in Congress by the abrupt firing of Director Comey, by carelessly giving out information to the Russian ambassador, and by apparently attempting to obstruct justice by earlier demanding Comey drop his investigation of Mike Flynn.

I predict, rather than put up with inevitable public disgrace that will come with Mueller laying out all of Trump's actions and lies for the world to see, that Trump will resign as soon as he has assurance from Pence that his actions will be pardoned. I doubt he'll be president by the end of summer. It's quite possible he won't be president by the end of this month.

jeriendhal: (Default)
 Judy looked down at the slice of warm apple pie on her plate, a scoop of ice cream nestled beside it, and worried her incisors against her lower lip. “Maybe I shouldn’t have this,” she said.


Nick looked up from his own slice of apple pie, mouth already full with a bite, and mumbled around it, “Y’ gonna inshult t’ chef like ‘at?” He nodded towards Gideon Grey, who was whistling happily as he filled a cherry pie with filling behind the counter of his bakery. Judy was sitting with Nick at one of the small tables set near the front window of the shop, for customers coming in for a quick snack. He swallowed and continued, “Besides, you earned this reward.”


She had actually. Judy had jogged the six miles or so from the farm to the edge of town, huffing and sucking on a water bottle as Nick kept pace with her. It had been her furthest sustained run since she’d come back home four months ago. Better still, she’d finished it feeling exhilarated rather than exhausted like when she’d first begun her rehabilitation.


“I know I did,” Judy admitted. “I’m just not sure I want to run back home on a full stomach.”


“Walk back, we’re walking back,” Nick corrected with a grin. “Try not to run your old partner into the ground.”


“Thirty-two isn’t old,” she teased.


“Try telling me that again when you’re thirty-two.” He curled his lips over his fangs, like they were missing, and waved an imaginary cane, muttering feebly, “You gosh durned kids with your fancy computer phones and weird music. Back in my day we had to use CD players to annoy our parents!”


“All right, all right!” she said, laughing. “I’ll finish my pie.” She dug in and started chewing, Nick joining in, and conversation was put on hold for a while. You just did not waste time talking when eating one of Gideon’s creations.


Her right ear flicked back towards the front door as the bell above the sill chimed. Behind the counter, Gideon wiped his paws on the front of his apron and said, “Hey there, what can I do for… Oh, hello Travis.” She turned her head, to see Gideon looking dismayed as his former weasel friend approached the counter.

 “Hey, Gid,” Travis said, his grin too sharp to be friendly. “Gimme one of those cherry pies I know you’re baking today.”

Escaping your past )
jeriendhal: (Default)
I know I said I was going to try to rewrite this in order, but I go distracted when this scene popped into my head. Continuing from Questions of Jurisdiction  

* * *

The argument between the barbarian and the knight seemed to finally reach a conclusion, with the barbarian walking off grumpily, his paperwork balled up in his first. The knight in the white enameled armor nodded in satisfaction, walking up towards the mouth of the cave, halting about halfway up the slope leading to the entrance. He doffed his helm and Miriam saw that he appeared to be an older man, perhaps in his early sixties, with neatly trimmed grey beard framing a round, grandfatherly face.

“Oh, Great Dragon of the Green Hills,” he bellowed in an impressive baritone, one hand resting on the butt of his sword. “I, Sir Simon of the Broken Lands, call you forth to engage me in single combat, for the life of the innocent maiden you hold in your clutches.”

“Is he serious?” Miriam asked the dragon, finishing the last of her popcorn.

“Yes, but don’t worry. He means well,” the dragon reassured her. She stood up from her relaxed sitting position, stepping out of the cave, unfurling her wings and letting loose a roar that rattled Miriam’s teeth and set the baby wailing, before shouting, “You dare come before me, insignificant mortal, to challenge my strength?

Sir Simon winced, covering his ears with his palms as she bellowed her challenge, before answering calmly. “Have a care, dear. You’re going to make me deaf in my old age.”

The dragon smiled, coming down the slope to meet him. “I’m sorry, Simon. It’s been a rough few days, and I haven’t had a chance to be properly shouty in ages.”

“Believe me, I understand,” he started to say, before looking past the dragon to Miriam, “Has she got a baby?”

“Yes, it’s all very complicated,” the dragon said. She turned her head back towards the cave, “Come on down, Miriam. It’s all right.”

Mariam made her way carefully down the slope, the wailing baby clutched tight in one arm as she tried to balance with the other. “Hello, Sir Simon,” she said rather breathlessly as she stopped her half-slide down the rocks.

“Just Simon, dear. The Sir is for when I have to be official.” Simon looked at the still wailing baby in her arms. “And who are you? Was the dragon’s roar too loud?” he cooed, wiggling one gauntleted finger in front of the baby’s face, to be grabbed by two tiny hands. In the same tone he continued. “Don’t be scared, she’s a nice dragon. She truly is. We’ll just finish this up and get you something nummy to eat, would you like that?”

He had to be a grandfather, Miriam quickly realized, as the wailing baby hiccuped, looked surprised for a moment, then giggled happily. “Are you and the dragon going to fight?” she asked.

“Well, I was hired to rescue you,” Simon replied, retrieving his finger from the baby’s grip.

“I”m sorry, ‘hired’?”

“Exactly.” He held out his hand to her. “Sir Simon of the Broken Lands, professional monster duelist. I’ve battled wyverns, outsmarted sphinxes, dealt with occasional bridge troll, and fought dragons. Mostly dragons as a matter of fact. I’m the one they send in when some poor maiden is kidnapped and unransmoed, and no younger, unmarried knight wants the job.”

“I see.” Miriam shook his hand automatically, then blinked, thinking about what he’d just said. “So no one else wants to rescue me? Should I be insulted by that or not?”

“I shouldn’t think so,” he said amiably. “Honestly, it’s become quite unfashionable for women to find a husband this way. Though I’ll admit it’s a bit cheaper nowadays as well. Repairing the dings in one’s armor can be quite expensive, never mind the stabling costs for a warhorse.”

“I know,” the dragon said, her tone growing melancholy. “It used to be I’d have a waiting list of princesses wanting to be kidnapped each season. Took me seven years to find this one.”

“I’m not really a princess,” Miriam corrected.

“It says you are here,” Simon said, showing her his paperwork. “I saw the king sign it himself.” He glanced at the glowing runes encircling her neck, eyes narrowing. “Though I’m beginning to believe there’s more to it than that.”

“She’s a wild mage, completely untrained,” the dragon explained. “By the time I found her she was convinced that she was possessed by a demon, and her own family had staked her out hoping I’d just eat her.”

“Ugh, peasants,” Simon declared. Then he frowned deeply. “Wait, if she’s the daughter of peasants, why would the king get himself involved?”

“Because he’s concerned about his people?” Miriam ventured. At the dragon and Simon’s mutually dumbfounded expressions, she added, “No?”

“No,” Simon confirmed. “Well, unlikely at least.”

“It’s a mystery,” the dragon agreed.

Simon looked cheered. “Oh, you know what that means, don’t you?”

“What?” Miriam asked.

“You get to go on a quest,” the dragon and knight both exclaimed.

jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
 The Complete Red Vixen Adventures is now available for pre-order in both Kindle ($5.99) and trade paperback ($19.99) for a June 1st. 2017 release.

Since 2011 readers have enjoyed the adventures of the Darktail family and their entanglements with the vivacious space pirate, the Red Vixen. Now this brand new collection gathers all the major stories in the series Captive of the Red Vixen, Shadow of the Red Vixen, Shadow of Her Sins, Shadow of Doubt, The Red Vixen at Sea and I Fought the Claw and the Claw Won, plus two never before published short stories "Solstice Gifts" and "The Parable of the Glassblower" along with an appendix featuring fun world building notes.
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
Love on the beach... and the rocks.

Lady Melanie Lovejoy's former life as the vivacious space pirate the Red Vixen is over. Escaping the consequences of her criminal career proves more difficult, as her husband, Rolas, is seeming to reconsider the wisdom of marrying a vixen with such a checkered past. But he proves to have his own secrets, as a lover from his troubled youth returns to the scene.

Trying to reconcile their past lives, Melanie and Rolas leave on a sailing trip to work things out. However, after an unexpected storm strands their boat and leaves Rolas critically injured, Melanie must fight for both their lives. For there is a monster here, and it needs the two shipwrecked foxen for its own plans, in the final exciting entry of the
Red Vixen Adventures!

The Red Vixen at Sea is available for $2.99 exclusively through, and will release on May 26th, 2017.

(sorry about the crap cover art. I'll fix it when the opportunity presents itself.)
jeriendhal: (Grumpy)
So far I've been sitting on the next Red Vixen story and the collected edition for a bit over three months now trying to obtain cover art, dealing with two cover artists, one who bowed out apologetically and the other who has gone dark for almost a month. At this point it seems unlikely to happen unless I can get a thousand bucks through Kickstarter to pay Meg Syverud's going rate for two covers. I'm wondering if I should say to heck with it and just use Amazon's generic cover creator so I can at least get them out the door until I afford to get something more presentable.

jeriendhal: (Chicken)
 Dear President Trump,

On the advice of a person who recused himself from the investigation of your ties to Russia, you fired the guy who was investigating your ties to Russia. On the basis that he had made a mistake investigating Clinton's emails, something that you lavishly praised him for on the campaign trail.

I thought the week had started badly when you violated the laws against witness intimidation by sending threatening tweets about Sally Yates as she testified on Capitol Hill, but that's so routinely outrageous for you it barely registered on the public radar. But now you do this?

Y'know, Nixon was well into his second term before he fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor that was investigating him. You're... what? Less than a one hundred and ten days into your first term? And you seriously expected this was going to make everything magically Go Away?

It's entirely possible that your nominee for the next FBI director will be a lapdog who drops the FBI's investigation, and he might get the job, because there are enough senators who are willing to hold their noses and approve his nomination, because they still hold out hope that working with you is at least better than a Democrat.

But that isn't going to make the scandal, or Congress's own investigations go away. And at some point you're going to have to make the decision on whether to resign and look like a "loser", a state which you're violently allergic to, and at least get a pardon from President Pence, or stick it out and risk being the first president to be both impeached and imprisoned for his corruption.

I hate the idea of Pence being president. His own ideas are as reprehensible as yours, and he's actually a competent enough politician that some of them might become law. But at least he won't be as embarrassing.
jeriendhal: (Default)

She didn’t actually have a name. Indeed, she would have been insulted if she’d been told she needed one. “The Dragon of the Green Hills” was a lovely title, and it fit her perfectly. Well, if you wanted to get really technical about she was A Dragon of the Green Hills, but her son would earn his own title in time, assuming he didn’t accidentally spear himself on the end of some poor knight’s lance before he grew old enough for his own cave.

Her opinion of her son is ENTIRELY justified. )
jeriendhal: (Default)
 In an attempt to write a more coherent, and more to th point publishable, story, I'm giving the old Dragon Mom snippets a Page One rewrite. Comments are welcome

* * *

It was getting awfully cold, Gilly thought. Here she was, wearing her best party dress and tiara, standing in the middle of the front lawn, at midnight, chained to a post, and the blasted dragon was

She gave the chains desultory tug, then unlatched her right wrist and scratched her nose before resecuring herself. It was midnight under a full moon, and she was a princess. The dragon had to show up, those were the rules.

I’ll give it ten more minutes and then I’m calling it a night, Gilly thought irritably, feeling the chill wind blow against her dress, her silk slippers growing damp and cold in the dew covered grass. She should have brought a shawl just in case, but it had seemed to clash with the whole “Princess Waiting to Be Devoured” thing. It had been hard enough to convince Daddy to mount this ugly pole in the middle of their nice, manicured lawn. She wasn’t exactly looking forward to the Look he’d give her if the dragon didn’t even show up.

A shadow fell across the moon, darkening the sky. Clouds, that tears it. I’m going back inside before it starts raining, she thought. Gilly was just reaching up to undo the latches on the cuffs again when she was nearly blown blown off her feet, a hot wind blasting her back as a dark shape passed over her head.

A dragon's gotta have standards )
jeriendhal: (Default)
 The next morning Nick woke up to the triple realization that 1) his right arm, trapped underneath  Judy’s body, had fallen asleep, 2) one of her ear tips had worked its way into his open mouth while he was sleeping and he’d started unconsciously nomming it, and finally 3) he really had to pee.


Cut for mild suggestiveness )
jeriendhal: (Default)


The hours between Midnight and the grey predawn light had always been a magic time for Nick. Three quarters of Zootopia would be asleep, leaving it to the nocturnal animals like bats, raccoons and foxes. The street lights would be dimmed, and the shadows would lengthen. Sometimes Nick could walk for hours up and down the streets without seeing another soul, but knowing they were there, watching. It was something no daylight oriented mammal could really understand, that feeling in the air, the knowledge that there was a second Zootopia, occupying the same physical space as the sunlit one but so profoundly different in many ways.


Tonight for example, he’d taken a long walk to the tarmac two-lane road leading into town, only turning around when he’d reached the outskirts of town, listening to the crickets chirp in the grass and the occasional hoot of an owl. Then he turned back, whistling to himself and walked around the house to the back porch to catch a few winks before the Hopps clan began to wake up and start their long work day.


To his surprise, he found Judy waiting for him, sitting on the porch with her paws between her knees, ears flat and hanging low behind her head.


Bad Dreams, Bad Ideas )
jeriendhal: (Default)
Just some quick, slightly spoilery reviews on three novels by Ryk E. Spoor that I’ve been delaying writing while I Dealt With Things.

Spheres of Influence: The second book in Spoor’s Grand Central Arena series finds our heroine Ariane Austin facing with an enemy she is ill equipped to deal with, government bureaucrats. This book expands on the GCA universe quite a bit, showing the reaction back in Earth’s solar system as humanity finds itself in a first contact situation with the Arena’s many races, which range from hostile to nominally friendly, but all with their own agendas. We also get more details on the Hyperion Project, which produced the series’ literally designated antihero Dr. Marc Duquesne. In this novel we’re also introduced to Sun WuKong, another of Hyperion’s attempts to recreate the heroes of literature and other media, plus one Hyperion’s great failures, Maryanne Suzanna. Yes, “Mary Sue”. Designed to fit that stereotype and… er… less than happy about it.

Actually Suzanna is one of few weaknesses of the book. She’s built up as a major threat by Duquesne and other characters, but when we finally meet her she basically says “Hi” and heads off again. Admittedly this can be put off as Middle Book syndrome, but it was a little disappointing.

Ignoring that, SoI is a pretty fun book, keeping with series’ dedication to high adventure, high stakes, and Sensawunda. I’m looking forward to finally reading the next one.

Phoenix Ascendant: The third and likely final book in Spoor’s Balanced Sword trilogy, sees Kyri Vantage, last true Justiciar of the dying god of Justice and Vengeance, returning to her homeland with her friends to finally clean house of the remaining false Justiciars and defeat the forces evil that threaten to destroy the world.

With one caveat, I’ll say that I enjoyed the book and was satisfied with the ending, since it keeps with the trilogy’s philosophy of forgiveness towards truly repentant enemies. Unfortunately that caveat has to do with the final battle against the true power behind all of Kyri’s enemies, the evil shapeshifting god, Virigar.

Yep, same Virigar from Spoor’s early novel Paradigms Lost, whom Jason Wood nearly took out with a bucket of silver nitrate.

I suppose my problem was that I was listening to this as an audiobook rather than reading it. Throughout the trilogy Spoor made it clear the nominally AD&D based world owed a lot to such anime as DragonBall Z and Saint Seiya, so when the final battle with Virigar begins, it lasts at least five chapters that I recall, with many twists and turns and changes in the tide of battle. Unfortunately as it went on, I was less amazed than shouting “Oh, come ON!” as our heroes lost all of their previous Genre Savvy knowledge and assumed at least three or four times that surely he had to be dead this time. Suffice to say a fight against someone with instantaneous healing abilities and a tendency to gloat gets really, really annoying as it goes on, especially since I couldn’t skim pages.

That said, if you’re into those sort of tremendous battles I suppose you might find it fun, and aside from that the rest of the book was really good.

Boundary: Written with Eric Flint, this novel follows a disparate team of people, coming together to investigate evidence of the remains of an advanced alien base hidden on Mars’ moon Phobos, which is connected to a bizarre fossil find in the American Southwest.

Ugh. This one just left me cold. Nominally it’s a hard science fiction novel, and some bits such as the deciphering of the Bemmy language were well done, but none of the characters grabbed me and the endless Tom Clancy-ish infodumps were tedious to get through.

September 2017

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