Update on my reading progress

Because it's been nearly three months since I last posted a tally and two months since I did any kind of update, and I know you folks have just been dying to know what I've been reading. :P

So in the last update, I mentioned reading Phule's Company, followed by the first two books in Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War series - Trading in Danger and Marque and Reprisal - with Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor sandwiched in between, Since then, I've put three more Vorkosigan tales under my belt: Barrayar, Warrior's Apprentice, and the novella The Mountains of Mourning. That brings me up to twelve science fiction books (I'm counting MoM since novellas have been published on their own as books before) this year so far, which is more than last year's total.

I hoped to add The Vor Game to that list, but I'm taking a much needed break from the Vorkosigan Saga. I plan on reading at least half the series this year, if I can. Great series, highly recommend it. Right now I'm reading Clive Cussler's The Mediterranean Caper to give my thinkbox a break before coming back around to the genre. His books aren't terrible, but they're definitely more of a palate cleanser than anything else.


Just a good ol' country doctor

Better than a hologram and was never racist against androids.

Pictures from Memory Alpha.


I can't believe I have to wait a year for John Scalzi's next book, Head On

Entertainment Weekly did an exclusive cover reveal and an excerpt for the sequel to Lock In, but they watermarked it for some reason, so here's Tor.com's.

On the plus side, the book comes out a day before my birthday, so there's a present covered.


The William Thomas Riker School of Chair Sitting

This is why he was a commander for almost twenty years - Starfleet doesn't promote weirdos who sit in chairs like that.


So that happened

Yesterday, I decided to do some book shelf reorganization, moving all of my mysteries, thrillers, and crime novels to the bookcase formerly occupied by my fantasy fiction. Today, I tackled the bookcase with all of my science fiction and things happened. Like with the fantasy, I decided to go through and box up any books that I don't plan on reading for the foreseeable future. I'll get around to them sooner or later, but until then there's no point in their taking up valuable shelf space. So then while putting the remaining books back up, I had a thought: I read military science fiction a lot more than I do anything else, so why not put all of them together, then have the rest of the sci-fi follow after? I mean, certainly the mil-sf couldn't take up all that much space, right?

All but four of them are Honor Harrington.

Ha ha ha, yeah...the David Webers took up an entire shelf on their own. I uh...I didn't realize that I had that many. Yikes. The worst part is I'm only on the fifth book, Flag in Exile. 😬 Terrible, I know.

The mil-sf ended up taking two shelves, but it's worth it. Like I said, I read more of that than any other type of SF, so having them all together makes more sense than having them mixed with the regular stuff. I definitely need to buy more cases this year.


I'm a Phule for Phule's Company by Robert Asprin (spoilers)

You know that old saying "never judge a book by its cover"? Well, I think Phule's Company is a good example. I came across this at the local library last week and checked it out on a whim. I never expected to blow through it in less than a week and enjoy it to boot.

So the premise is that the protagonist, Willard Phule is court-martialed by the Space Legion (think the French Foreign Legion in space) for ordering a strafing run during the signing of a treaty at a peace conference. He pleads guilty but the Legion has a bit of a problem when it comes to sentencing: you see, Phule is the son and heir of Phule-Proof Munitions which is not only one of the biggest weapons producers in the galaxy but is also the Space Legion's primary supplier. So needless to say, throwing him in prison is not an option. Neither is drumming him out the service because the Legion's own doesn't allow for that. So instead he's promoted, has his Legion name changed¹ and is given command of what's known as an omega company. This is an illegal unit that acts as a dumping ground for the misfits and losers who don't fit in anywhere else in the Legion. Given that the Legion has a reputation for scrapping the bottom of the barrel for recruits, that's saying something. Omega companies are, like I said, illegal and are normally disbanded when Legion HQ discovers them. In this case, they decide to give one to Phule in the hopes that it will drive him out of the service.

The rest of the book is that plan blowing up in their faces. It's also what caught me completely by surprise and made me a fan of this book and possibly the whole series. At the beginning of Phule's Company, Phule acts like an absolute idiot by trying to defend and justify his actions to his butler, Beeker. Ah yes, Beeker. Great character and obviously based on Jeeves from the Wodehouse stories. Every chapter is prefaced with a journal entry written by Beeker (in the context of keeping records for an eventual biography of his employer) which provides context for the goings on in that chapter.

Well, it had to end some time

I was on a mighty good reading streak going on but like all good things, it had to end sometime.  Still, it was an impressive run of nine sci-fi books in a row, out of twelve books in total so far this year. I bested the number of sci-fi I read last year, which is nice. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself (and I do!).

The last time I did a run down on my reading, I had finished Dragonflight and was on Phule's Company (which I have a post about saved in drafts that I'm planning on finishing today). Obviously, I finished that and added three more since then: Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon, Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, and Marque and Reprisal also by Moon. I highly recommend them all. I plan on writing up a post about the Moon's Vatta's War series because I enjoyed them so much.

So what ended the streak? Shotgun Saturday Night by Bill Crider. The book is short enough that I figured that I would give it a shot. I also needed a short respite before continuing my SF adventures. After reading it and maybe another of Crider's books, I might pick up Barrayar or Engaging the Enemy.


They're still making them Star Wars movies?

I would have figured that they'd have given up after the first one flopped.

Hoping we get to see more of Finn in the next several trailers. Poe too.


By George, I think he's got it!

Artist: Earl Norem.
I wonder if The Doctor saved the city?

(via browsethestacks)

Rainn Wilson is Mudd

Rainn Wilson picture from: Matt Hoyle/Phoenix New Times
Harry Mudd picture from: Memory Alpha
Here's an unexpected bit of news: Rain Wilson (Dwight Schrute from The Office) has been cast as that infamous scoundrel ("Entrepreneur!" He'd say) Harry Mudd in Star Trek: Discovery. Yay? I can't really see him playing Mudd with the same presence as Roger Carmel did. Personally, I'd have gone with someone closer to Carmel's body type and appearance, but I'm going to assume that Wilson will be putting on some serious poundage for the role (a quick check on Memory Alpha shows that Mudd weighed 240lbs). I think this is more about name recognition than anything else because at this point, the show's cast doesn't have much of it beyond Jason Isaacs, Michelle Yeoh, and James Frain. Even Anthony Rapp is probably not that well known outside of musical theater, being famous for starring in Rent.

I freely admit that I'm guilty of bias against Star Trek: Discovery, so that's probably clouding my judgement of this casting choice.

What do you guys and gals think about Rainn Wilson playing Harry Mudd?


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