Tag Archives: book

Freedom Club – Promo Video

Not on sale until October, but thought I would share this anyway. My publisher, Hotspur Publishing, made this cool promo video. Enjoy!

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Dune – Changing POV vs. Head Hopping

People reading Dune may have noticed that its Point Of View (POV) changes from time to time within individual scenes. This of course is the style employed by Frank Herbert, its author.

Now I’m not trying to say a shifting POV is right or wrong, or that it’s never used anymore. However, I do feel that today’s writers seem to shun this technique. There appears to be some fear that changing POV within the same scene gets one labeled  a: “head-hopper”; and is evidence that a writer is inexperienced. Is that a reason to place it in the “not-advised” bucket?

To be fair, I can agree that one must employ greater skill when changing POV. It should be subtle, and invisible to the reader. Certainly, its overuse can lead to confusion. But when one reads Dune, does is truly have such ill effect?

I for one find the prose poetic, and soothing, and I would appreciate hearing the thoughts of other readers.

The Second Trip – New Wave from Bob Silverberg

Does anyone remember this novel?  The Second Trip was written by Robert Silverberg and first serialized in Amazing Science Fiction. It was later released in novel form  in 1972 . It’s quite enjoyable to read a book like this. With a story set in the year 2011, seeing how the author envisioned our “present day” is a blast.

The book’s theme revolved around capital punishment, which was deemed too harsh. Instead, violent criminals are subjected to coercive therapy that effectively erases their personalities, which are replaced with artificially constructed memories to form a person deemed useful to society.

The novel includes graphic scenes of copulation and sexual assault, and long stretches of the narrative between the pro and antagonist which must share the same body. In my opinion, this placed The Second Trip squarely within the New Wave sub genre.

Perhaps its shock appeal has diminished over the years, but it’s still a good read. Check it out if you have time.

Bug Jack Barron – Another Great New Wave SF

Bug Jack BarronHas anyone read Bug Jack Barron lately? It was one of the great “New Wave” SF novels written in the late 60’s by Norman Spinrad. And in my opinion, it  has one of the best opening chapters I’ve ever read. Perhaps it wasn’t trying to be funny, but I  nearly fell off my chair as I turned the pages.

Trying to peer into the near future (20 or 30 years from Spinrad’s point of view), the book does an amazing job guessing how important the media would become by the end of the millenia. Digital democracy is painfully envisioned, and reminds one of almost any talk-show we see today.  I would even venture to say that Jack Barron (the main character) is comparable to a modern-day Jon Stewart. But if you don’t think so, pick some other TV personality. There are lots to choose

Now, this book might not be considered politically correct, as it employs a lot of 60’s language now deemed offensive. But even so, I believe its message is meaningful in today’s world. This is a great book. It deserves our attention, and one’s deep respect.

Stand On Zanzibar – They don’t make them like this anymore

Stand on ZanzibarI’m currently reading Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner, and I’m quite impressed. In my opinion they don’t make Science Fiction like this anymore. Publishers would reject this kind of avant-garde writing straight out. Why? Well, if one were to follow all the pedantic rules editors blindly follow these days, it breaks them all. And I mean all of them!

But that is exactly why I love this book. It’s true science fiction, and tries to portray a world gone haywire with overpopulation. Of course no one is up in arms over such a topic these days, but one has to awed by Brunner’s attempt to challenge and edify the readers of his time.