Jingo

 

 

In Jingo by Terry Pratchett, tensions are running high between the rival cities of Ankh- Morpork and Klatch, and it’s all over an island that has appeared in the ocean, right in the middle of the two cities. As the dispute rages, war is imminent. That’s a problem, because even though Ankh-Morpork is a rich city, the money is owned by the people. And the people got the money by selling weapons to Klatch.

So it’s up to Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork Watch to stop this crime called “war”, by any means possible. He must use new technology, like Leonard of Quirm’s “boat that goes underwater” (if he doesn’t, he will suddenly find that he is no longer living) to discover what’s really behind everything.

In “the boat that goes underwater”,  they discover that Jingo is a strange island. For one thing, it floats. And it’s appeared before. What’s more, it has a city on it- but the city looks wrong, as if it was built by people who had no idea how, but tried anyway. Can Commander Vimes of the City Watch and the Patrician, tyrant of Ankh-Morpork, stop the war in time? Find out by reading Jingo!

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The Last Hero

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In The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett, Cohen the Barbarian and his agèd Silver Horde go on a quest to return fire to the gods, in the form of fifty pounds of very explosive clay. Of course, this would destroy the Disc, the five great elephants that carry the Disc, and Great A’Tuin, the giant turtle on which the five elephants stand. They don’t know this, but the wizards of Ankh-Morpork do. They realize the only way to stop the Silver Horde is to launch a ship to reach the Hub before they do- propelled by dragons, of course.

Rincewind (a wizzard) knows how his life works. So when he hears about this, he knows it’s easier to just volunteer and go, even if he doesn’t want to. If he tried to run, he would eventually wind up on it, no matter what he did- that’s just how his life is.

So Rincewind, Captain Carrot of the Ankh-Morpork Watch and Leonard, a painter who has the uncanny ability to invent things so obvious no one noticed them, are on a quest around the Disc to reach the Hub before the Silver Horde does. And the Librarian, an orangutan who somehow got stowed away in the back of their ship. It’s a story full of humor and adventure and a great book to read.

Infinity’s Shore

Cover of book Infinity's Shore by David Brin

Review by notverygeneric

Infinity’s Shore by David Brin is one of four books depicting the tale of the starship Streaker and her crew. In the two Uplift trilogies, races of the Five Galaxies gain status by finding pre-sapient races and uplifting them to sapience. Unfortunately humans uplifted themselves into sapience, causing widespread problems in Galactic culture. As a “wolfling” race they would have been “adopted” into another clan, and forced into the customary 100,000 years of service for the reward of sapience, had they not already uplifted chimpanzees and dolphins. Streaker was the first dolphin-crewed ship to be commissioned for research purposes. On its first mission it went to a cluster of old red suns…and, unfortunately, found exactly what it was looking for: Starships, billions of years old and the size of moons.

Suddenly, Streaker was on the run, escaping brilliantly a twelve-fold ambush as soon as it left for home. Dozens of races tried to get its bounty, offering huge sums for its capture, but Streaker continued to outsmart them all, escaping a siege on the watery world of Kithrup. When the dolphins tried to make contact with the supposedly neutral Navigation Institute at Oakka, they were ambushed again and had to run as NavInst proved not as neutral as they hoped. Now they are trapped on the planet Jijo, where six different races, many condemned to extinction, live in hiding. But somehow, a Jophur ship—full of fearsome stacks of waxy rings—has followed them and is threatening the races with genocide. This is a great series to read because of the unique situation the story is told in, and a great series to buy.

Another Day, Another Dungeon (Book Review)

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Another Day, Another Dungeon is a hilarious book by Greg Costikyan that describes a treasure hunt in the legendary Caves of Cytorax. Timaeus De’Asperge, a fire mage, and his companions fight Rog, a huge beast, and get its “nice comfy pile of gold”. They proceed to find a life-sized statue of a man in the altar of an evil temple. It is made of solid athenor, the most valuable metal in the world due to its ability to store mana. They bribe the guard to get in, but nothing of that value can be kept secret and soon their home is a battlefield, their friend kidnapped, and the statue gone — but only they know that. They find out that the statue depicts the last human king, Stantius III, and that the scepter of Stantius is glowing — the sign that a new king has arrived.

Suddenly, they are on a quest to not only find the statue, but to bring it to Arst-Kara-Morn, where the people will do anything to destroy them. They must somehow reverse a spell at Arst-Kara-Morn that has entrapped the soul of Stantius III inside the statue, preventing any more human kings from coming. This series is a great one to read and one I would highly recommend.

The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt

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The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt is an account of the life of parley P. Pratt, a Mormon apostle in the late 1800’s. It contains many uplifting stories from his life, and also records his many travels as a missionary. In the 1800’s many were opposed to the Mormon religion, so he was falsely jailed many times. He escaped many times as well. One day on the 4th of July, he got them to open the door to his cell. He forced his way out of the Missouri jail and ran. He got away in the end because no one was willing to organize a posse with a bad hangover on a holiday.

Parley P. Pratt was mainly a missionary, and spread his teachings wherever he went. His teachings were met kindly in the most stubborn of places. In fact, he went well fed and always with a place to sleep for many months, and only spent $10 the entire time! That night, a person made a bet that the local inn would not give him free lodging and food. Of course, Parley won the bet- and the owner of the inn invited him to stay awhile. Parley P. Pratt was murdered My 13, 1957 in Arkansas.

This book is a very uplifting story to read, and it is a great book to buy.

Shakespeare’s Star Wars

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Shakespeare’s Star Wars is a three book Shakespeare-style play of the original Star wars trilogy.

Of course, this means that everyone uses archaic speech, the main thing that makes this book entertaining… especially with sci-fi Star Wars tech:

“The full report hath said that they are arm’d.”

“But with such sticks and rocks as would not harm

A womp rat, and much less an AT-AT. Thou

Wilt not fear armies of twigs. ‘Tis true?”

The three books are named Verily, A New Hope, The Empire Striketh Back, and The Jedi Doth Return.

Also included are action texts, ([Exit Grand Moff Tarkin.) and the starts of scenes and acts are marked. One of these books could be used for a play script, if the props could be attained.

A challenge presented to the author of these books was on how Yoda should speak. In the end, he settled that Yoda would speak in haiku form:

“Anger, fear, hatred-

from the dark side they all come;

Its minions they are.”

Naturally, the trilogy stays true to the original series, and does not deviate in any way to the plot line. It’s basically the entire story with the normal speech turned Shakespeare-style. But even- especially- if you have seen the movies, it is a very entertaining set of books to read.

Only You Can Save Mankind

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Review by: notverygeneric

Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett is a book where Johnny Maxwell, a gamer, gets involved with the aliens who he was trying to kill in a game.  Suddenly, they tell him that they don’t want to be killed.  Then, he starts going into the game in his dreams, and eventually his friends join him in his quest to save the aliens.  He also has to deal with a mutiny on the ship and they ship cereal (super-civilization-sized boxes), milk, and chicken nuggets to the alien fleet.  They make it onto the ship and the fleet eventually leaves the game-playing map.  The gang had figured out that the same thing was happening in other discs, and it’s hard to find the fleet and fight them.  On the way, they had discovered that the ship was imagined, so before they left the map (humans can’t), Johnny imagined there were escape pods.  They found them- with the paint still wet.

Enjoy watching Johnny and his friends try and save the aliens from destruction!  His posse includes:

  • Wobbler, a person who is VERY good at hacking and bad at game design.
  • Yo-less, called so because he never says “Yo”
  • Kirsty, a girl who’s really good at the game

So read Only You Can Save Mankind and watch this not-so-daring trio try to save the ScreeWee Empire!