Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was definitely a different take on science fiction. If I said it was a mix of Dune, the Chronicles of Riddick, Blade Runner, and The Left Hand of Darkness... it would still be scratching the surface.

It throws you feet first into a futuristic sci-fi world with moral ambiguity and expects you to sort it out yourself. Despite that, it takes a bit to realize what is really going on and and even still you are left with many thoughts about both the future of our species and the role of technology and organization. Much grittier than star trek and akin to the Expanse in its vision. A very enjoyable read.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Review: Fulgrim

Fulgrim Fulgrim by Graham McNeill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first I was slightly bored by this book and was wondering why they needed to replay additional history from the perspective of Fulgrim and his legion. It included some melodramatic ramblings about perfection in the Emporers children which seems a little too two dimensional to me, and just at the point where I started to get irritated at the story, it began to get interesting.

You have a runin with the Eldar (which most people already know the rough outlines of), but it is interesting. The end of the story is intense and brutal like the 3rd book.... so I definitely think its worth reading, if a bit painfully meh at times.

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Review: VALIS

VALIS VALIS by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a mix between a fever dream, alex jones, and a quest to figure out what is actually reality. It is written as somewhat of an autobiographical account by Philip K Dick himself and according to his bio on the back, based off of a weird experience he had in the 70s. I am not quite sure how I feel about this book as it reminds me of convos I have had with conspiracy theorists and that really turned me off to much of it.

However, towards the end of the book, it starts to be much more of a complicated detective story into what is really occurring. I wouldn't rate this in the category with other Philip K Dick stories, but if you are into books blending the line of madness, science fiction, and truth.... I suppose this story is for you!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Review: Left of the Left: My Memories of Sam Dolgoff

Left of the Left: My Memories of Sam Dolgoff Left of the Left: My Memories of Sam Dolgoff by Anatole Dolgoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was really powerful and enjoyable. It is filled with wonderful anecdotes of a period of social struggle long past. It includes stories of wobblies unheard of, of carlo tresca, ben fletcher, emma goldman, maximoff, and the yiddish anarchist movement in the lower east side.

If you are interested in reading about the Anarchist movement during the great depression, of the way they organized to fight fascists here, of wobbly dockworkers, and prison stories, ....of Spanish, Cuban, and Russian anarchists.... of refugees from Mujeres Libres, and a meeting between old Italian anarchists and the up against the wall motherfuckers..... then this is the book for you.

Sam Dolgoff lived a revolutionary life as a working class intellectual and was on the pulse of the struggle for decades. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was very real and heartfelt.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

To My Beloved

"There's steam and smoke and madness here
Theres no place for a guest to stand.
I cant so much as touch you, dear,
for I have hired out my hand
Come to me later! come at night
for then, my darling I am free.
My spirit wakes, my heart grows light,
the flame of love revived in me.
I'll sing as I have never sung,
the moment that your face appears;
and every word upon your tongue
shall turn to music in my ears.
I'll greet you then in such a way
as I would if I could dare.
Then all my troubles of the day,
my inmost wounds, will be laid bare.
And you will have my kisses all,
and tears enough--you'll have those too.
Whatever good is in my soul
I'll offer as a gift to you.
But now, beloved, you must go.
Love has no business in a shop.
I can't so much as touch you--no!
My life starts when the treadles stop."
--Morris Rosenfield, Yiddish slum poet.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review: Rebellion in Patagonia

Rebellion in Patagonia Rebellion in Patagonia by Osvaldo Bayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is amazing. I have seen the movie Patagonia Rebelde, but it doesn't come close to the craziness of what actually happened in reality.

First the level of class consciousness in Argentina at the time gives hope that such organization and solidarity could occur again. Yes it is a warning to the lengths that the state and capitalists will go to defend their power.... they will murder thousands in cold blood... Liberals will try to break sections of the left from each other and institutionally crush what the iron fist does not. They will attack reputations, use the press, distort history, buy off others... and plot until people are too weak to keep going. Yes a general strike is not enough. Yes guns will decide the victor.... but a people inspired is a powerful thing.

Also the chapter on the peoples' "avengers" happening after the sad fall of the FORA V's strike is an uplifting and inspiring tribute to human solidarity and sacrifice.

Lastly, while I knew that there were a number of foreign born anarchists, I never realized how many had come to Argentina and how many of them werent even Italian or Spanish, but came from Germany, Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine. On top of this, the vast majority of the workers who fought and perished in Patagonia were Chilean migrant workers.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Review: The Flight of the Eisenstein

The Flight of the Eisenstein The Flight of the Eisenstein by James Swallow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book. it's pretty much the Warhammer equivalent of Roque 1. you will understand that comment after you read it.

it wasn't as good as the last one and didn't have a lot of the slow dread which had built up through the previous novels. Instead, it took the events of isvaan from the death guards perspective. Though I think it could have gone a little more in detail into the death guards primarch who is barely described in any dimension. I did like the alternative perspective of other legions falling to chaos in different ways. can't wait to start the next book!

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