Mar 142011

Originally posted: May 6, 2006, 6:04 pm. This is the second in a series of three posts excerpting Gary Boegel’s Boys of the Clouds: An Oral History of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion 1942-45. The 1st Canadian para were among the first allied troops to set foot in France on D-Day. Although many of the troops were dropped far from their targeted drop zones, the Battalion still managed to achieve all of their objectives and played a vital role in the overall success of the mission. Here is just a taste of what these soldiers experienced, in their own words. [... read the rest ...]

Mar 072011

Originally posted: April 19, 2006, 4:31 pm. Gary Boegel has given me permission to reprint a few excepts from his oral history of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, Boys of the Clouds. I am now over halfway through the 450 page tome, and have been dog-earring stories I particularly enjoy as I make my way though. This first set of excerpts represents some of the veterans’ lighter stories from the weeks and months following the D-Day landings in Normandy. Private Esko Makela B Company, No. 5 Platoon One day when we were dug in on the perimeter of our position, [... read the rest ...]

Dec 212010

Death Was Our Companion: The Final Days of the Third Reich, by Tony Le Tissier, is a compilation of memoirs, interviews, and journals from German soldiers who fought on the Eastern Front as the Russians rolled them into Berlin in the spring of 1945.  The individual accounts are supplied without embellishment, and present a much more personal history of the final days of Nazi Germany than anything that you will find in a history textbook. While it is easy to claim that all Germans were monsters during the second world war, that blanket assertion misses the individual truths:  many ordinary [... read the rest ...]

Originally posted: July 18, 2004, 8:17pm The first post I wrote that ever garnished interest from Googlers was entitled Jesus: An Egyptian Myth?. It was a short blurb about an article I saw in the Ottawa Citizen that discussed Tom Harpur’s latest book, The Pagan Christ. I finished reading the book on June 6th, but being caught up with the election hype I have put off writing anything until now. Unfortunately The Pagan Christ is not fresh in my mind anymore, however I can give a brief synopsis and my overall opinion. Since this is about religion, I feel I [... read the rest ...]

Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Although the hype for Watchmen has long faded, I figured that it was far past time that I found out what the graphic novel was about. It has been decades since I read a comic book.  My first job way back in middle school was working for a hobby shop, and with no better way to spend my newfound cash, I started collecting comics – mostly old school Marvel and new and trendy Image titles, but also a smattering of others when something caught my eye. Thankfully it was extremely easy to slide back into reading a comic, I love [... read the rest ...]

Extremes, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Extremes, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, is the second novel in her Retrieval Artist series and the sequel to The Disappeared.  Rusch is a multi-genre author, penning books that range from high fantasy, to mysteries, to science fiction.  This particular novel, which was actually a pain in the butt to acquire when I picked it up due to supply issues, is best described as a “space mystery” given its unique blend of sci fi and pulpy crime drama. Departing from the theme that dominates Retrieval Artist series – human-alien relations and the possibility that mankind would sell itself out to win [... read the rest ...]

Rollback, by Robert Sawyer

Robert Sawyer is, in my opinion, one of the masters of modern science fiction.  His works are usually set in the near future and take one or two scientific ideas, stretch them subtly so that they are fiction instead of pure truth, and then extrapolate on the ramifications. While this focus on science can make his work a difficult read for people who have no interest in real science (and only read science fiction novels for space cowboys, blaster guns, and elves in space), Sawyer’s fluency in his subject matter makes his novels a joy to read for folks who [... read the rest ...]

Fallen Host, by Lyda Morehouse

Originally posted: March 28, 2004. 10:47pm Genre: Sci Fi Published: 2002 Length: 339 pages Books I Previously Read By Lyda Morehouse: None Purchased: Used Book Store Started Reading: Mid February Complete: Today Overview Fallen Host is an apocalyptic tale set in the not-so-distant future. The story is told by alternating chapters between the points of view of the three main characters: Page (an AI), Morningstar (the antichrist), and Emmaline (a cybernetic inquisitor). At a glance these characters seem out of place together, but the world that Morehouse has dreamed up weaves them together nicely. Setting The world of Fallen Host [... read the rest ...]

The Disappeared, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Disappeared, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, is the first book in her Retrieval Artist series; that said, it is actually the second book in the series that I have read, the first (Buried Deep) having been picked up on a whim at a used book store. The Disappeared is a far future science fiction novel that is focused on character and ethics ahead of hard science or ideas. In fact, if you ignore the setting, at its heart this novel is one part mystery, one part crime drama, and one part moral quandary. Like many sci fi works, however, the [... read the rest ...]

Jan 062010

Professor Beej recently appealed to his readers for some new authors, and instead of burying a comment in the depths of his thread where only he would see it, I figured that I could post my recommendations here for all to see. First, my personal bias: I used to be a huge fantasy reader, but got sick of how repetitive most of the plots got after a while, and outgrew the genre. Instead, I dove headlong into sci-fi, with an emphasis on books that focused either on cool ideas or deep character development; I generally shun most pure action rags [... read the rest ...]

© 2004-2010 - Systemic Babble is created and maintained by Andrew Anderson. Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha