Quick Review of “Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View”

Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View by Elizabeth Schaefer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I’m sure that on some planet far away there are original, entertaining stories that enthrall and entertain. This is not that planet. This is a collection of trite fan-boy fiction that adds nothing to Star Wars lore. The “From a Certain View” should give a clue that these are retellings of Star Wars vignettes from differing perspectives: Jawas finding the R2 unit, storm troopers aboard Leia’s ship, Sand People, etc., blah, blah, blah. What it really translates to is, “There’s nothing new here.” Don’t waste your time or money.



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Quick Review of Orson Scott Card’s A War of Gifts

War of Gifts takes us back to the Battle School during the time that Ender Wiggin was with Rat Army. Ender isn’t the protagonist–WoG doesn’t really have a consistent protagonist. The point of view switches from Zeck, an outsider Christian fundamentalist, to Dink Meeker, to Ender. Ender is a gratuitous afterthought and he serves no purpose that Dink couldn’t have fulfilled. The story revolves around a minor crisis on the station caused by Dink giving another boy a Christmas present. If the author had let Dink resolve the issue it would have fleshed out his character. Instead, Ender is given the task. Ender ex machina.

Check out this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/552987.A_War_of_Gifts

It’s a Curse or Something

“I don’t pretend to know what causes the werewolf thing. Gallard’s people say it’s a pathogen that enters the victim’s bloodstream and mutates protein structures. The Book of Lycaon says an old Greek king was cursed by Zeus to turn into a wolf. The fundamentalists say it’s demon possession. Maybe it’s all three, or none of them. All I know, Omar, is that when that God-forsaken full moon rises, I become something unholy and murderous.”

Werewolf Genetics

Gallard shook his head. “Becoming a werewolf is not genetic. Your children would not be acquire the pathogen unless they were bitten. But if you bite someone and then they bite someone, the affliction passes, but only to the fifth generation. After the fifth iteration the pathogen is no longer transmissible. A genetic counter shuts itself off and the curse is broken.”

Quick Review of Falcon and the Winter Solider and Loki

You can give these two a pass, but for slightly different reasons. Falcon and Winter Soldier has gone full anti-US/anti-capitalist and spews the standard woke nonsense. The new Captain America is a grimy musclehead who needs a shave and has no concept of what Steve Rogers stood for as the iconic Cap. He beats a compassionate, thoughtful terrorist to death with Cap’s shield and stands there reveling in blood-soaked red, white, and blue. How pithy and edgy. All the characters are sympathetic to the terrorists who just want a better world, no matter who they have to kill to get it.

Loki is a grim, nihilistic, self-indulgent mess. The last episode started with an homage to all the woke warriors through time, including Greta Thunberg. It’s written from a secularist, human point of view, so there is nothing and can be nothing outside ourselves. There is no grace, no God, nothing but chaos. Loki gives his sister/self from another timeline a passionate kiss. Nuff said.

Thoughts on Tactics: How History Affects Fiction and Makes It Believable

Not long ago, this author discovered the above picture, which discusses some fans’ thoughts on how the Fellowship of the Ring might have simply flown to Mordor to dispose of the One Ring rather than “take the long way around.” As the commenter explains, this would have been a bad idea narratively because the entire […]

Thoughts on Tactics: How History Affects Fiction and Makes It Believable

Review of Don’t Go There. It’s Not Safe. You’ll Die. And other more rational advice for Overlanding Mexico & Central America

Driving the Pan-American Highway from the States to Tierra del Fuego has long been a bucket list item for me. This book is a country-by-country guide to driving through Mexico and Central America. The title is tongue-in-cheek and refers to the standard response you get when you tell anyone what you have in mind. It was published in 2012 so I’m sure much of the info is dated, but what an absolute treasure trove. The authors provide detailed info on exchange rates, how and where to cross borders, what documentation is needed, and whether you should pay bribes (generally, no). There are also favorite camping spots, road conditions, favorite food and drinks in each country, and more. The authors’ web site (LifeRemotely.com) is still active and has more great info.

Check out this book on Goodreads: Don’t Go There. It’s Not Safe. You’ll Die. And other more rational advice for Overlanding Mexico & Central America https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19015368-don-t-go-there-it-s-not-safe-you-ll-die-and-other-more-rational-advic

She’s Dead, Detective

“Pastor Omar, you counseled Tatiana Lang, didn’t you?”

“I did, Detective, for several months. Her death was unexpected and it hit us all pretty hard.”

“Was she violent? Did she ever attack you?”

Omar shook his head. “The content of our counseling sessions is private and will stay that way, even after her death. But no, I never felt unsafe in her presence.”

Pope leaned forward. “I didn’t ask if you felt unsafe. Did she attack you?”

The pastor leaned back in his chair and sighed. “Detective Pope, I’m happy to assist the police, but my sessions with Tati Lang are private. I can give you the dates of our sessions, but what we discussed is off-limits.”

Pope smiled. “You said ‘our sessions are private.’ Twice. Not ‘were private.’ Like maybe she’s not really dead?”

“Sorry. It was a slip of the tongue. Like I said, her death hit us pretty hard.”