Tuesday, October 17, 2017

THE DEEP by Nick Cutter

THE DEEP by Nick Cutter, Gallery books, $26.00, reviewed by Jim Brock.

Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for Canadian writer Craig Davidson. He also uses the pseudonym Patrick Lestewka. I tell you this because I suspect after reading THE DEEP you will be like me in seeking out other books by “them” – especially THE TROOP, the first Nick Cutter book.

The phrase that kept bouncing around my mind as I read THE DEEP was “sickeningly horrific’. This thing touched on some of my “deepest” fears in every sense of the word. First, the world is beset by a plague called the ‘Gets. This is a scary thing to me because it seems so much more possible than zombies, vampires, and etc. People just start forgetting things and these things go from small to large – eventually forgetting to live.

There is some possible hope to be found from a newly discovered substance called Ambrosia which seems to be a universal healer. Ambrosia has been found in the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the Pacific Ocean. Multiple governments and corporations have built a trillion dollar lab at the bottom of the ocean to gather and test Ambrosia. This installation is populated by three scientists, the most brilliant of which is Dr. Clayton Nelson. But now, communication has been lost between the lab and the surface.

Veterinarian Dr. Luke Nelson has been summoned, at his brother’s request, before communication was lost. He must get into a small submersible with a deep sea pilot and go eight miles down (that’s 8 miles down) to the lab at the bottom of the Mariana Trench to see what’s going on. This hits my claustrophobia a gigantic blow that stays and pressures me the entire book.

This only brings us to the miserable and horrible backgrounds of Luke and Clayton and the others and to the secret of Ambrosia’s source and what was really waiting for them at the bottom of the ocean. It becomes clear that the ‘Gets might be the mildest horror in THE DEEP. And don’t ask me about what happens to the dig, L.B. I am still traumatized by that. If you like your horror extra strong, THE DEEP is for you.

Monday, October 16, 2017

This just in from the VA

Dear VSO Colleagues:

This letter is in response to multiple inquiries to the Department
of Veterans Affairs (VA) concerning the proposed changes to the total
disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) program in the
Administration's FY 2018 budget for VA. As a valued partner, I am
writing you to address VA's current position on the TDIU program.

The Department does not support a termination of TDIU
We are committed to finding ways that empower disabled
Veterans through vocational rehabilitation and employment
opportunities, when appropriate. VA looks forward to our continued
collaboration and finding solutions to best administer the TDIU program
in the future.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Three from Chandler Steele

CAT'S PAW, KILLING GAME, and BROKEN DREAMS, Chandler Steele, SteeleRomance, $12.99 each (Amazon), reviewed by Jim Brock.

CAT'S PAW and KILLING GAME are Veritas novels and BROKEN DREAMS is a Veritas novella. Veritas is an organization run by a reformed super wealthy arms dealer. Veritas investigates cases of various types and uses its operatives to great effect to set things right or to prevent bad things from happening. These cases include drug dealing, domestic terrorism, etc. There are several commonalities between these books. The women are all hot and they are equally or more lethal than the males. The action is straight forward and intense. The sex is also hot and intense.

I do not know why authors use pseudonyms. I guess there are various reasons. In this case, I once said I would read this author's grocery list because she is so good. These Chandler Steele books are yet another direction for her but I will always follow - no matter which way she takes me. Whether we are chasing magicians or wizards or demons or thieves or murderers, I'm on board.

How about a book for Miri and The Iceman? I'm on board for that one, too.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tom Petty has gone Into That Great Wide Open

Tom Petty left us last night after delivering some of the best Southern Rock and feel good music for over 40 years. He had wrapped up The Heartbreakers 40th Anniversary Tour last week and was planning an enhanced re-edited "Wildflowers" package.

Tom and his wife, Dana York.

Tom and Stevie Nicks, his favorite duet partner. They Had three charted hits with THE INSIDER, STOP DRAGGIN' MY HEART AROUND and NEEDLES AND PINS.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, The Heartbreakers, and millions of fans.

There can be only one...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Heartfelt Collection from Michael Bishop

Other Arms Reach Out to Me: Georgia Stories, Michael Bishop, Kindle Edition-$5.99, 17.99 paperback, Amazon and other fine bookstores.

I have been a fan and a friend of Michael's since his first novel, A FUNERAL FOR THE EYES OF FIRE and have never been disappointed with any of them. My only complaint is that they are too few and too far between

In this collection, we see a collection of stories that showcase the "human" side of emotions and their effect on our psyches and will make the tears flow on many an occasion. His subtle tribute to Flannery O'Connor; his understanding of autism; and, just his point of view will cause you to look inward and see the humanity that may be hidden there and allow it to surface. We all need to let our humanity out and the world might become a nicer place.

Thanks Mike, only you can tear out my heart and make me enjoy it.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Len Wein is gone

Len Wein (June 12, 1948 - September 10, 2017) was an American comic book writer and editor best known for co-creating DC Comics' Swamp Thing and Marvel Comics' Wolverine, and for helping revive the Marvel superhero team the X-Men (including the co-creation of Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus). Additionally, he was the editor for writer Alan Moore and illustrator Dave Gibbons' influential DC miniseries Watchmen.

There are not enough superlatives to describe his affect on comics and fans the world over.

There can be only one!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Jerry Pournelle, You will be missed

Jerry Pournelle left us today. Korean war veteran, science fiction writer extraordinaire, frequent DragonCon attendee, and friend to Baryon and myself has gone to the big WorldCon. You are already beng missed.