Friday, July 07, 2006

alien romances

alien romances

Romance and Alien Butt Kicking

Friday. My turn to blog. So I’m dragging myself out of my sickbed to say, “Happy Birthday, Ringo!” Isn’t amazing the weird trivia the mind retains? Such as the birthdate of a Beatle.

Anyway, I have a cold. Colds are a normal part of life, but this one is a real b*tch that comes with its own ear infection. And it doesn’t help that I’m diabetic, which makes any attack on the immune system harder to handle. I must be feeling better because I’m upright and complaining, and I’ve actually thought of something to blog about.

Romance. And how one doesn’t have to read romance books to find some really fine romances. You see when I’m really sick one of the things I do is obsessively read. I buy books constantly, but since I’ve taken up knitting the books I buy tend to end up on the huge TBR pile that takes up an entire bookcase and a double stack of books growing beside it. Since I’m a very eclectic reader the TBR pile contains books from every genre and a whole heck of a lot of non-fiction. For some reason this illness brought on a need to read some military science fiction. I needed space battles and alien ass-kicking to help me through the illness.

The first book I pulled out of the pile was a recent purchase, THE LOST FLEET: DAUNTLESS by Jack Campbell. It’s obviously the set-up book for a series and a good read. Good characters, good SF concepts, great culture-building. Currently I’m reading John Ringo’s THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, but not far enough into it to make a book report. The book I want to praise to high heaven is the second book I read, John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR.

I’ve had this book for a while, and my agent, who is also the author of OLD MAN’S WAR’s agent, has been praising it and urging me to read it because he knows I like this sort of thing. So, I finally dragged it out of its precarious place in the book stack and opened it up. Guys, this book deserves every bit of praise that has been heaped upon it by reviewers and readers (and its agent). It’s been compared to the writings of Robert A. Heinlein, but I think that does it a disservice, because as much as I adore about 2/3’s of Heinlien’s work (STARSHIP TROOPERS will always be one of my favorite books, and I curse the makers of the wretched movie whenever I think about it -- and the people who bastardized THE PUPPET MASTERS, too, come to think of it), John Scalzi’s characters are far better drawn than Heinlein’s.

I don’t want to offer too many spoilers, but I’ll say that the soldiers in the book are all 75 year old humans who have joined the Colonial Defense Forces for the chance at being young again. They are given enhanced new bodies and are sent out into space to kick alien butt. The hero of the book is a widower who very much loved his wife and still misses her. Their love story is a strain that runs through the book, and really caught the attention of this romance reader/writer.

I found it wonderful to find this romantic theme despite the fact that I’d picked the book up for the battle scenes. Romance is where you find it, and if you happen to find it in a military SF book as well as a futuristic romance book that just proves how necessary love is.
Susan Sizemore

1 comment:

  1. Susan,

    I am so sorry to hear that you have a cold. I'm not sure what to do about ears, but a few drops of tabasco in water (held in the mouth as long as you can bear it) works for me to clear all the passages in my head.

    Two-bag-strength Ginger Root tea helps me with the inevitable cough that succeeds a head cold, but I don't know how much I'd like it if I couldn't sweeten it with honey.

    I like herbal/folk/Native remedies as thought starters for alien health care. I pay attention to allergies (food and environment) because IMHO it's probable that a romantic alien coming to Earth might develop problems.

    My dh suffered terrible hayfever when we lived in the German pine forests around the Taunus foothills, but never had a problem in the UK or in the USA.

    Thank you for the recommendations for summer reading. They sound intriguing!

    best wishes,
    Rowena Cherry