The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

4 stars

You’ve got to give H.G. Wells for inventing science fiction. There was more tolerance
for infodumps in his age because of greater attention spans and the fact that Wells had
to educate his audience on the scientific concepts that underlied his fiction.
The Time Traveller becomes the Eloi’s champion against the Morlocks both of which
are products of human devolution. Lovecraft would’ve had the Time Traveller horrified
by this glimpse future and scarred by it. I like the fact the Time Traveller is an
intrepid soul. He comes back to tell is story as a warning and then goes back to
travelling when his story isn’t believed and supposedly tries to proactively create a more hopeful possibility for mankind.

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Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley by Lord Dunsany

3 stars.

Imagine if Don Quixote actually got to live a grand romance, with his trusty, comical manservant and won his fair lady for this story. This is probably what Don Quixote imagined for himself when he set out on his adventures. There’s some humor with the sidekick but it’s done straight. It’s a bit too dense for something that should have a whimsical treatment, but some might enjoy its richness.

 

Review: The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft

3 out of 5 stars

I can see why H.P. Lovecraft is a master of cosmic horror. I’d admire his creativity if he didn’t have to pay for it with night terrors according to his biography. Though a modern writer would have to describe the horrors his characters face in this modern day and age and the trope of them becoming too incoherent to describe what it is happening wouldn’t work if the story was published nowadays.

Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

5 stars

Roar works as not only good YA but a good fantasy in general. A Princess is born into an elite line of magic practitioners but has to work to earn her magic instead of being a chosen one who has things happen too easily for her. At first she assumes this is a personal task but, later realizes the future of her land hinges on the success of her personal quest. I look forward to the further books in the series which is the highest compliment you can give to the first book in an epic fantasy.

Review Medea and Other Plays by Euripides

This is interesting to historians but reads as stilted to the modern reader. It’s a good look inside the mind of Ancient Greek peoples. Their myths were used to give commentary on what were modern issues at the time without pandering to the current fads of pop culture as happens this day. The scripts are short but contain deep philosophy. He turned Medea, who most would’ve seen as an archetypical villain, into a sympathetic character by comments on women’s lack of rights when their husbands wanted a divorce in Greek society. Perhaps Euripides would’ve won more contests if he’d made his plays simpler but he wouldn’t have been remembered.

Review: Encyclopedia Of The Haudenosaunee

Encyclopedia Of The Haudenosaunee
Encyclopedia Of The Haudenosaunee by Bruce Elliott Johansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should say I am a Mohawk, which is one of the Haudensaunee member nations. This is a good primer on Haudenosaunee history, and made me aware of things that I didn’t know of before. It’s a good starting point, but shouldn’t be the end of research on the topics it raises. The author wanted to give a general overview so it served its purpose.

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Review: The Complet Kama Sutra

The Complet Kama Sutra
The Complet Kama Sutra by Alain Daniélou
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alain Danielou’s translation of the Kama Sutra serves as a great historical text about the sexual mores and sexual politics of Ancient India. My own inhibitions maybe be showing, but I wouldn’t blindly follow its advice as sex manual in modern days since some of its techniques shouldn’t be used without your partner’s consent, ie. hitting, biting and scratching. It’s also non-PC at points since the list of partners available to various classes of men in historical times sounds like people they were free to sexually harass instead of recommendations on who it’d be best for them to approach. However, it will certainly help flesh out details for a writer who wants to write historical fiction in that era.

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