Book Reviews


Book review: Wars and soldiers in the early reign of Louis XIV : Bruno Mugnai

This first volume of a series is another example of the gusto with which Helion's Century of the Soldier series managing editor is attacking his subject. A decade ago finding books like this was like looking for hen's teeth, these days Charles Singleton is issuing them like the belt feed of an MG42.It's a weighty tome with more than 250 pages and a broad spread of content from period background through organiztional history, uniforms, campaigns, standards, orders of battle and many illustrations.The period plates are chosen well and there are several modern and excellent black and white line drawings. Bruno Mugnai's text is crisp and to the point and the centrepiece of the book is sixteen pages of colour plates of the Dutch army and its flags from 1660 - 1687 by the author.This period is directly before the Nine Years War and includes the Dutch Wars. I was particularly interested in the plates as the representation of Dutch Marines of 1667 (the year of their formation) is excellent if open to interpretation.A

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Huzzah for Lithuania!

All the way from Vilnius, bang on time (I always like to under promise and over deliver) and in very good nick.....With Talon and Claw has arrived in Scotland!This means..Pre orders will go out tomorrow and Saturday which is six days ahead of schedule and..If you are going to Partizan you can pay in advance and pick up your copy on the day without a postage charge if you haven't pre-ordered already. Obviously anyone who preordered for pick up at the show will get their books on the day.Quality wise, I cannot fault the production which looks amazing in every way. The printers have done a bang up job and Asun's layout and design have tranferred to hard copy superbly.Companion volumsOn to the next project!

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Thanker's Tuesday: BOLOS!

The story of the books takes place in various times from the near-future (2018, 2068), the mid-range future (27th up to 37th century) and even farther in one case (118th century). The overall plot features mostly military themes and includes space exploration, alien races and some advances in human society. Many Bolo stories are told from the point of the view of the Bolo itself, with its internal thoughts printed in italics throughout the text. One theme in Bolo works is the portrayal of valiant, tragic, self-sacrificing heroes, such as Bolo "Nike" in the story "Miles to Go" (Weber 1995, in Bolos Book III). Another concept explored by stories such as "Miles to Go" is the use (and abuse) of safeguards to prevent artificial intelligence from hurting its creators.[Their overall programming involves large amounts of human military history, and often they draw conclusions from that information which puts them at odds with their commanders. Sometimes Bolos develop senses of honor and nobility that would bring thei

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Ballad of Black Tom and A Time of Changes reviewed

I haven’t posted any book reviews in a while. What the heck, time to change that trend. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle My rating: 4 of 5 stars Victor Lavalle is a writer that hasn’t been on my radar screen until recently. I was introduced to him through an ebook sale and picked up THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM at a decent price. The fact that this is a retelling of Lovecraft’s HORROR OF RED HOOK, although through the eyes of a black resident of Harlem, was a big draw for me. Lavalle’s version– which gives the reader the point of view of how the events of the Red Hook story would look from the eyes of Charles Thomas Tester, the charismatic would be musician that gets recruited into the service of the main antagonist from the Red Hook story (Robert Suydam). The underlying themes of racism, exclusion and xenophobia, which was prevalent in Lovecraft’s writing, become a foundation for LaValle’s wonderful retelling of the same events from a different perspective. A per

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