Henry L. Ratliff

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Henry L. Ratliff

Henry L. Ratliff’s book reviews

(1960) Sci-fi (Gadgets) / Espionage (Kidnapping) / Short story (Magazine story)


R: * * *


Plot bullets

There is a secret American government organization having, hopefully, the anomalous name of 'The Society For Mystical and Metaphysical Research, Inc.'.
Agent Spencer Candron has a mission. Communist China has kidnapped the famous American physicists James Ch'ien, after faking his death by political radicals. Ch'ien's knowledge of the Interstellar Drive is critical to America.
Agent Candron has a quick mind and some rather advanced methods at his disposal. He must get to China, do his job and get himself and the physicists back alive.
It is a tangled web of deception. Success relies on the right hand never knowing 'What the Left Hand Was Doing'.

From 'Astounding Science Fiction' February 1960.
06/26/2014
(1840) Non Fiction (Diary/Memoirs) / Nautical (Sailing ship) / Historical (1830's) / Travel (California/Pacific Islands/Ocean)


R: * * * *


Plot bullets

The voyages of the old sailing ships was measured in years, not days.
A sailor who was not an officer or passenger, but only an 'ordinary seaman' was quartered in the forecastle, which were the living quarters situated before the mast. This part of the ship got the worst movement in bad weather as it was the part of the ship that rose and plunged most in heavy seas..
Dana (the author) signed-on with a merchant ship as an ordinary seaman for a two year voyage to the California coast and islands of the Pacific. He was an educated man, but thought the voyage might help his eyesight.
He kept a written record of his voyage with no intention to make it sensational or exaggerated.
The book, while interesting from a travel and historical sense, should not be thought of in the same sense of a novel like 'The Sea-Wolf'.
The work and the sea were masters cruel enough for any man who would spend 'Two Years Before the Mast'.

05/26/2014
Ica - A Book For Your Soul
FEATURED AUTHOR - Ica, the author's pseudonym, is a nickname given by his brother when he was a child. His actual name is Mihail Militaru, and he was born in Romania during the communist era. That period has affected him profoundly and formed him at the same time. The communist regime believed that religion and especially God had to be removed from people's lives. That was the teaching given at every stage of development, from kindergarten to university. Ică had to learn God's lessons negating existence, and as… Read more