Three (3) is a magic number and so I feel compelled to send a third of these before taking a break again for a while. (And so you don’t feel bombarded with them!)
I’ve also, btw, been living by the “rule of three” since new years: if I can accomplish just 3 things per day, no matter how small or quick the task, I require myself to be satisfied with the day’s progress. Do I often get more than 3 done? Sure, and those are productive days! But I tend to be hard myself (as all writers and artists do, especially when you have so much you want to have done by yesterday). So it’s important to remind myself that I got something done today. And that I got enough done today.
“Ya done good. Ya done enuff. Now goes ta bed do more tomarra.”
And writing this newsletter/blog post counts as one checked box on my list for the day. :)
Books I Kept Reading
Here’s a trilogy I mostly enjoyed...
I had heard about these books for years: Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn Trilogy. They take pace in the Warhammer 40K universe, a table-top gaming universe that has grown very rich and detailed over the last 30+ years. It’s way more than a war game now. It truly is a universe. I feel like many of the books are probably not up my alley...
“Me am Space Marine. Me biggest and toughest there is. Me shoot everyone. Me never lose.”
Okay, that’s an unfair, perhaps impolite assessment, but that’s how I generally feel.
These books were supposedly different though. The characters were human. It wasn’t warriors on the continuous battlefield of space and ravaged planet, but more of a detective noir story. And one where the hero makes dramatic change over time. It sounded pretty good but they were hard to find. Then the publisher put out a new edition and kept them available for people to buy and read. (Novel idea, right?) So I finally got to read these books!
The first one fit the bill as advertised. It felt very much like a sci-fi, deep-space detective noir story on distant worlds, complete with dark cult psychic-magic. (The 40K universe is a cool mix of grim-dark magic and demons meet gothic space cathedrals meet military SF.) I liked the first one quite a bit. There were times that it felt a little watered-down, like the writer was forced to add stuff in order to meet the publisher’s demands for a certain page count, but overall I moved through it quickly and stayed interested.
The second and third books... not as much.
They had way more of the watered-down to fill pages feel. I quit both books multiple times and had to come back to them later. There was also a 100 year gap between book 1 and book 2, which for me proved too big a gap. Characters I liked were gone, lost over time. (As you might imagine.) Other characters came and went and were little more than cardboard cut-outs. That’s probably my biggest complaint about the books: there were so many characters thrown in that the vast majority were people we just didn’t know and couldn’t care about. That was disappointing.
So yes, I kept reading, but it was a struggle. A nice aspect was that, even over the more than hundred years covered by the three books, they were all linked. They all involved basically the same bad guy and central characters. But we really only felt like we knew a few of them, and the author didn’t seem to care enough about the to make us care about them.
Another one I liked
I have only read a select few of these and since I’ve now started on a different novel that I do expect to finish, I’ll probably not read any more from this one, but what’s here is good! Some really cool Sword & Sorcery in the Conan tradition, but also more contemporary fantasy that surprised me with its empathy and depth. Short stories that get the job done in short order. Highly recommended for fun fantasy reading.