Monday, 18 December 2017

Reading List

Well with Christmas fast approaching I thought instead of banging on about my writing I'd just share some books/stories that I've found entertaining, including several excellent ones you can read for gratis if you feel like joining

Okay lets start with the series currently known as 'Empire of Man' but I will always think of as 'March To The stars'. This series of books is by David Weber and John Ringo and it may well be the first thing I read by either of them. Back in the days wen Kindle was something you did with firewood I had to visit the Forbidden Planet bookstore in London to get my hands on US imprints that had no UK publishing arm. I must have picked up 'The March Upcountry' on two or three visits and been rather dubious about the cover art. Finally I bit the bullet and bought and I cannot tell you how many times I have re-read that series over the years, it hooked me on David Weber's works in particular and was what really got me into the military sci-fi genre.

A very different group of soldiers are the Time Commandos from Simon Hawke's 'Timewars'. In an era when past wars are being used as a surrogate battlefield by the great powers of the 26th Century a special team is charged with preventing any permanent damage being done to the timestream. As the series goes on they find themselves dealing with terrorists attempting to hold the past to ransom to force the powers to abandon time travel. The big twist in the series, and a large part of why I found it so entertaining, is that a myriad of fictional figures such as Robin Hood, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Three Musketeers are all real in this history and the commandos find themselves embroiled in those characters stories. The series is finally available on Kindle so now is the 'time' to read it.

Jack Campbell's 'Lost Fleet' is a great space opera series, with a firm emphasis on people and tactics rather than super technology. Captain John' Black Jack' Geary went into a escape pod after making sure his crew escaped when their ship was attacked in the opening exchanges of an interstellar war. A friendly fleet finds him but that's where Geary's luck runs out. Not only has it been a hundred years since he went in the pod but the same war is still raging and both sides are on the brink of collapse. If that weren't bad enough Black Jack Geary is a legendary military leader in the folklore of his side in the war and since the fleet that rescued him has been caught in an ambush guess who they expect to rescue them?

Now about those threads over at

'Arose From The Azure Main' is massive series of posts telling the story of the Britain of 1980 being displaced in time back to the year 1980. Politics, pop culture, trains, its all there in fascinatingly well worked out timeline. Might help if you have some familiarity with the major UK political figures of the 1980s, but still excellent if you don't and the creator has turned part of the story into a series of books as well.

'The Fireflies of Port Stanley' is alternate history but it isn't sci-fi. it is nonetheless a cracking story, wherein a bureaucratic error sees a trio of obsolete tanks sent to the Falkland Islands where they are lovingly preserved all the way up to 1982 and the Argentine invasion. It's well written and great illustration of the butterfly effect.

'The Anglo-American Nazi War' is dark to say the least. It's premise is that a Soviet failure at Stalingrad leaves Nazi Germany in control of Europe throughout the 40s and 50s until the war turns apocalyptically 'hot' at the start of the 60s. Bleak and unflinching but also engrossing and well written.

Anyway those are my suggestions for some Christmas or New Year reading, hopefully it was useful and I will be back to pontificating shortly.

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