Surfing Samurai Robots


That's right, Surfing Samurai Robots because I think we could all use a little levity about now.  Written by Mel Gilden, Surfing Samurai Robots is the story of a small, white alien with a large nose and an obsession with Philip Marlowe.

His name is Zoot and he lands in a future version of LA where, you guessed it, Surfing Samurai Robots are all the rage.  That's robotic samurai that surf. It's not a metaphor or a band name or anything like that.  When all the SSRs disappear it's up Zoot to find out what happened.

It's a deeply silly book as I think this, almost excessively, 90s style cover depicts quite well.  On the other hand this book is what got me to read Raymond Chandler.  So there's that.



What if Humanity reached the stars only to find out that we are far from the first to get there.?  Only one other species in the history of all the galaxies has made it space on their own - The Progenitors.  Since then every other species has been Uplifted by another.  The answer to the Fermi Paradox is that our entire star system was being left fallow so that new life could evolve to be Uplifted.

In addition to reaching space on our own, Humans have alsostarted Uplifting other species on our planet, Neo-dolphins and Neo-Chimps. That makes Humans quite curiosity in a society that doesn't like surprises.

This cover is very simple but helps to establish the feeling of the book.  A silver globesuspended in the fires of the sun.  Only surviving with the help of the crumbs of technology Humanity has been given.  Could life possibly exist in such a hostile environment?



Red Wall

 It has been over twenty years since I read Red Wall by Brian Jacques.  You can see those years on the cover of this copy.  I only ever read it the once but it's been bumped around a lot and been through many moves.

It is a fun book and remarkably accurate in it's depiction of life in a medieval abbey, despite the fact that all the characters are anthropomorphized animals.  The abbey of Redwall is a good place to live.  Various 'nice' rodents species live together in harmony. "Nice" being things like mice, rabbits, otters and so on.  One day a band of bandits consisting of 'bad' rodents shows ups - rats, weasels, etc.  Being an abbey the residents of Redwall are not very well prepared to hold off the bandits.  So it falls to Matthias, a hapless apprentice, to fulfill a prophecy by recovering the weapons of a great hero of the past.  Finally he must confront Cluny the Scourge, the one eyed bilge rat who leads the horde.

The cover of redwall has changed over time but I think I like this one best.  Not just because it was my first but because it evokes the flavor of the setting so well.

One of the things about this project is that I keep finding artifacts in these old books I haven't looked at in ages.  For instance I found this old bus transfer.  Turns out it's been nearly twenty four years since I read this.



The Weird of the White Wolf

Ah, Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion.  To be honest I never actually read anything other than the Elric novels, and not even all of them. These books are good, old fashioned, swords and sorcery hack and slash adventure.  They are a bit unusual in that the hero of the stories isn't really so much a hero, or even an anti-hero.  He's an anemic albino kept alive by the sorcery, heir to a corrupt and decadent kingdom that he helped destroy.  In short, Elric of Melnibone is a mess.  Then there's his big black sword, Stormbringer. 

Having helped destroy his homeland Elric can no longer get the potions needed to keep him standing, now he has Stormbringer for that.  Stormbringer is a rune sword powered by Chaos that consumes the souls of it's victims to sustain Elric's strength.  Not a few of which are Elric's friends.  It may come as no surprise that Elric is a brooder.

This is one of the few vintage Elric covers I have.  Elric seems so at peace while Stormbringer sucks out the soul of his victim and feeds a portion of it to him so he might exist another day.