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I’m currently rebuilding the website as the old one got totally messed up when i was playing around with things (no idea what happened).

So i thought that while it was a total clusterfuck mess of SQL, i would take the opportunity to give it a whole new life and everything.

So if you go clicking on things you might find that very strange things happen. Don’t moan, i know a lot of things are broken, i’m working on it, it takes time.

I’ve got tons of old posts and pages from three websites that i’m working through and will be gradually posting all the stuff i want to keep on here while fixing all the broken things as i go through, one post, one page, at a time.

Other than doing all that, i will, of course, be continuing to add more new content and my latest posts will always appear directly below.


Sword of Honour — David Kirk

Sword of Honour -- David KirkI loved this book.   Far better than Child of Vengeance.

Looking back over the 2 books, it felt to me like David gained in confidence writing tales about Musashi and also that, the more he wrote, the more he came to know him better: like he’s beginning to get inside his head more.

But then i suppose the first book was more about Musashi the youth, just beginning to find himself, and this book is more of Musashi as a young man puzzling over what he’s found and finding more, and this reflects well in the writing of both books.

Once again, David’s writing is superbly descriptive without overdoing it.   Just like the first book, the story just keeps on moving and i just didn’t want to put it down: there are no pregnant pauses awaiting within, it’s just full gas all the way: find a comfy chair and buckle in.

I do hope book 3 in this series won’t be too long, i’m hooked!

But, in the meanwhile, i’ve found The Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy, written by the real Miyamoto Musashi, and i’ll be diving head first into that now.

David’s Page

#japan #davidkirk #miyamotomusashi

Child of Vengeance — David Kirk

Child of Vengeance -- David KirkDavid has taken the tales of Miyamoto Musashi and created his own story from these, so some of this is loosely based in what is told of the real man and some of this is based entirely from David’s imagination.

All told, it works really well, but there just seems a step too far here and there, which, for me at least, was distracting a little.   While it has been compared to Shogun by some, for me, it just doesn’t have that same level of believability to it.

But then, if i want the real tales of Musashi then i could, of course, go and read them.

It certainly keeps you reading.   It’s pretty much non stop without the annoying pregnant pauses of most stories, and David really does portray the period very well.

All in all, i got this book and the next in the series for 99p each on Kindle — which is an absolute bargain for this kind of story telling — and i’ll be diving back into Musashi’s world in the second book of this series, Sword of Honour, later today: i’m looking forward to it very much.

David’s Page

#japan #miyamotomusashi #davidkirk

Bushido: The Soul of Japan — Inazo Nitobe

Bushido: The Soul of Japan -- Inazo NitobeI’ve always found Japanese history, particularly that of the Samurai, fascinating, but living on the other side of the world in a completely different time, and in a completely different culture, one can never truly know what these people and the time and place they lived in was really like.

What we can do is simply enjoy these snap shots from the past about a culture long gone that we may still have something to learn from.

Originally published in 1900, the setting for this book is between the end of feudalism and the beginning of modern Japan and is, to my mind at least, a wonderful view of the past and what that can possibly mean for the future.

A very interesting book for anyone who enjoys reading and learning about Japan, especially the historical influences of Bushido on modern Japan.

I only gave it 4 stars on goodreads as it does use some very long and not often used words; i found myself using “Look Up” on my Kindle a great deal which did detract from the flow of the book.   Having said that, it’s definitely worth the effort and you do learn a few things along the way, so please don’t let that put you off an otherwise really good book.

And thus begins my little, Japanese reading festival, next book up is Child of Vengeance by David Kirk.

Inazo’s Page

#japan #inazonitobe

Temporal Contingency — Joseph R. Lallo

Temporal Contingency -- Joseph R. LalloAnother great addition to this incredible series.

The 2 previous reviews for this series are here and here.

I’m not usually a fan of temporal sci-fi stuff as most of what’s out there tends to run completely up its own arse while leaving the reader with their heads well and truly shoved up their own — but this book doesn’t feel like that.   Joseph plays some great temporal “get out of jail free cards” in this book that certainly made it all work for me and, best of all, prevented the aforementioned anal acrobatics.

And he’s really pushing the boat out with Ma on this one — that’s the beautiful woman on the cover.   She’s definitely become my most favourite fictional AI and one of my most favourite fictional characters altogether.

Anyways, great stuff, and i really can’t wait for Indra Station.   Sweeet!

Joseph’s Page

#scifi #josephrlallo

The Big Sigma Collection: Volume 1 — Joseph R. Lallo

The Big Sigma Collection: Volume 1 -- Joseph R. LalloWhat a great collection.

Having really enjoyed Bypass Gemini i jumped straight into the rest of the books.

This collection also features 3 short stories that give more background to some characters in the main novels, which were really enjoyable to read.

I really can’t say enough about Joseph’s writing, i’m a total fan and totally hooked.   Even though the known universe is about to end if nothing’s done, Joseph still manages to get lots of fun and shenanigans in the stories and makes it work so well.

Really good sci-fi as well.   Pushing the boundaries but never overstepping.

And now all that’s left to do is read the last book in the series: Temporal Contingency.

Joseph’s Page

#scifi #josephrlallo

Bypass Gemini — Joseph R. Lallo

Bypass Gemini -- Joseph R. LalloNow this is a writer who is obviously having fun.

Admittedly there’s a thin line between a writer having a lot of fun with a story and the story becoming a little ridiculous and this book does seem to skim a little close to that line on occasion, and then it’s just up to the reader whether they might feel that line has been crossed.   For me, at least, i just enjoyed this as a totally fun read.   And right about now in my life i really needed a good fun read.

While my normal taste in sci-fi is rather highbrow — Le Guin, etc.. — this book came like a refreshing breath of fresh air in it’s nothing but a full on romp around the galaxy with broad array of characters and shenangians.   Yes, there’s a serious side to it, millions are going to die unless our protagonist can sort his shit out, but that doesn’t hold Joseph back from having fun with it along the way.

As in all of Joseph’s books, the characters are wonderful, widely varied and really brought to life, leaving you wanting further appearances in future books.

You can find this book for free on Amazon and then if you like it you can buy the rest of the series: a genuine try before you buy.   And i think that’s another great thing about Joseph, in that he gives away the first books in his 3 series as tasters and then let’s the reader make their own minds up freely as to whether they want more or not.   I got hooked in this way on Book of Deacon, then Free Wrench and now this.   And that for me is the mark of a good book, do you buy the rest of the series or walk away and never come back?   The answer to all 3 of Joseph’s series is yes, yes and yes again for me.   I bought the rest of the books to this series straight away and can’t wait to read more.

So onwards to Big Sigma Collection: Volume 1.

Joseph’s Page

#scifi #josephrlallo

Cipher Hill — Joseph R. Lallo

Cipher Hill -- Joseph R. LalloMore wonderful, shenaniganic fun aboard ‘Wind Breaker’.   See reviews for the previous books here and here.

Sadly, for now, this is the last book in Joseph’s Free Wrench series, but i certainly hope he’ll be adding some more at some point.   Captain Mack and the crew are just too much fun to leave them here forever.

I really can’t say enough about Joseph’s writing, it’s perfect in every way.   His Book of Deacon series is just the same quality of writing and so far he has never left me disappointed at buying any of his books.

If you enjoyed watching Firefly then i would totally recommend a look at this series of books — i really can’t see you being disappointed.

So, with this being the last in the series for now, i’ll have to resort to diving straight in Joseph’s Big Sigma series next — oooh yeah!   And at some point in the not to distant future i’ll be backtracking and re-reading the whole of Book of Deacon adding in all the new stories that Joseph has added since i last read it all — looking forward to that series again.

Writers like Joseph is why i love books.

Joseph’s Page

#steampunk #josephrlallo

The Calderan Problem — Joseph R. Lallo

The Calderan Problem -- Joseph R. LalloIt struck me while reading this book that the Free Wrench series is pretty much a Steampunk version of Firefly.   If you liked Firefly then you’ll love this series.


All our favourite characters are back from the first three books, Free Wrench Collection: Volume 1, and a few more new ones besides.   And the shenanigans get ever more complex as each book builds upon the last one — the series just keeps getting better.

Joseph’s writing is it’s usual, wonderfully imaginative stuff, expressed in a nice, easy flowing prose that just allows the story to flow.

So once again, a really good, fun read from Joseph, with a loveable set of characters.

And now straight into the next book in the series, Cipher Hill — awesome!

Joseph’s Page

#steampunk #josephrlallo

Free-Wrench Collection: Volume 1 — Joseph R. Lallo

Free-Wrench Collection: Volume 1 -- Joseph R. LalloTotally enjoyable!

Having become a fan of Joseph’s writing with The Book of Deacon series, i was pleasantly surprised when this turned up in my Bookbub alerts at 99p, and curious as to how he would get on in the Steampunk genre — i simply couldn’t resist.

And i’m glad i didn’t resist.   Joseph’s writing is as good in this series as it is in The Book of Deacon series, the characters are excellent, nothing is ever too far fetched, etc..

And i simply had no choice but to immediately buy the 4th book in the series, The Calderan Problem, and jump straight into that when i finished this.

Anyways, for anyone into Steampunk, or even anyone who is Steampunk curious, or even you’ve never heard of Steampunk, you can’t really go wrong with this trilogy in one cover.   Start reading today!

Joseph’s Page

#steampunk #josephrlallo



Nemesis Games -- James S. A. Corey

The Expanse Drags on . . .


The Belly of the Bow -- K. J. Parker

0ooh yean, K. J. Parker.


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