JoninFla

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JoninFla

JoninFla’s book reviews

I don't understand the 2 star review; I thought the story was excellent, and the ending very clear. Read it for yourself; it's short and easy, but describes an interesting symbiotic relationship between humans and cats to protect spaceships from interstellar predators which can only be discovered by telepaths.
12/05/2014
This is the first [or perhaps second] story in a series of detective stories by Gordon Randall Garrett and the only one, as far as I know that is in the public domain. It takes place in a parallel world where Richard the Lion-Hearted did not go Crusading but established continued the Plantagenet line down to the present day [of the stories]. They occur in the equivalent year that they were written. In this world the Laws of Magic were organized in the 15th Century and Science never developed. This story, while good, is not the best, and if you can find the full set, do so. If not, read this one; he uses Magic as Sherlock Holmes used Science, but with more logic. As most of Garrett's stories, the characters are well-drawn, and he slips in a little humor without it interfering with the story.
12/05/2014
Addendum: One of the things which I hate, which won't bother most, is the ignorance of nearly all writers when it comes to guns. Connell has Rainsford see the General with "a small automatic pistol", then when the General avoids the deadfall he doesn't lose his revolver. This makes as much sense as if Ivan were sometimes a huge Cossack and then became a Bolshoi ballerina.
07/03/2013
I like so many here read this in HS and have since read several stories and at least one book with the same plot. The writer has to really be bad who can fail to write a good story based on this plot. I didn't realize how old it is, but other than the Russian it doesn't make a difference. If somehow you haven't read it, do so now. It's one of the classics in literature [with a small "l"].
07/02/2013
I first made acquaintance with Northwest Smith [he walks silently in his spaceman's boots] in a collection of three stories far back in my past. The stories are dated, true, but still interesting. It's short, so you haven't lost much if you don't like it, but if you're like me, you'll wish for more, so READ IT.
07/02/2013
This title seems to have been withdrawn; it\'s no longer listed at Project Gutenberg. The audiobook is still listed and downloadable.I had this but lost it somehow and now can\'t find it anywherel
06/19/2013
Not bad for 1900. His characters are black or white, no grey, and some of their exploits are a bit over the top, but if you can read Wells, Serviss will be no problem. I'll admit to being prejudiced by reviews of his nonfiction books, which I haven't read, but it's not a waste of time.
06/16/2013
"Tom Corbett" was a joke, and I never watched or read any of the stories. I got these mainly because Willy Ley was the technical adviser for the series, but I hope Rockwell overrode him on things; I know Ley wouldn't have let some of the things pass if he had any control. Rockwell apparently had no idea how rockets worked [Newton's Laws of Motion were totally beyond his knowledge], as were properties of materials: they were going to get rich from copper for electronics uses, even though they said silver was cheap, and silver would be preferable to copper. I'm ignoring the fact that they now use gold [even better] for many electronics purposes. The purpose of the trip to Tara was to test an audio communicator, even though radio waves travel at the speed of light, while their ships are traveling through hyperspace, which allows them it ignore the limitation of light speed [unless I missed something and the communicator used something similar to ignore the limitation].

It's easy to see why Rockwell is ignored when people discuss SF writers. Compare him to H Beam Piper, who wrote at the same time, and see the difference. You can't even compare him to Robert Heinlein, who also wrote "juveniles" in his early years. His ignorance of science makes reading his stories difficult.
06/06/2011
H. Beam Piper's death ended the life of one of the finest writers of the mid-20th Century. While he was known primarily as a "scifi" author, he wasn't limited to that field except by the market for his writing. "Murder in the Gunroom" is an example; the main character is a Private Investigator who uses his knowledge of firearms [an area that Piper was an expert in] to discover the motive for the crime that was listed as "accidental" or "suicide". While the peripheral characters, even the murder, were pretty much 2-dimensional, the story was still very readable, and it's unfortunate that Piper didn't write more stories using this character. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries.
08/29/2010
Seemed like the author got tired and closed without really finishing anything. Several good ideas, but characters were one-[not even two]dimensional. A waste of time.
07/05/2008
Tom Lowe - Mystery-Thriller Inspired by Butterflies
FEATURED AUTHOR - Tom Lowe is a mystery-thriller author who currently writes three series. The Sean O'Brien series features Florida as a backdrop. After his wife dies of ovarian cancer, O'Brien tries to put the pieces of his life back together. His powers of observation, both in human nature and crime scenes, attracts wounded people in his direction. But his past often intersects with the present leaving a future that that's beyond his choosing. As our Author of the Day, Lowe tells us all about the latest Sean O… Read more