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New Sci-Fi Book Review: The Far Shore By Glenn Damato

“The Martian” meets “1984”. Modern young adult literature meets realistic science fiction. But what is “The Far Shore” by Glenn Damato really about?

TV Review: The Meaning of the NCIS Franchise’s Recurring “Off The Books” Plots

Return to a “State of Nature?”

“…the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.  For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.” – John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government, Chap.VI, Sec. 57

For years now, whenever our daughter comes home from her adventures (which included West Point, Afghanistan, Iraq, law school, law clerk and now Supreme Court Fellow, thus explaining her interest)  we binge watch the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) franchises: NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles and NCIS New Orleans.  These shows have been highly rated for decades, though you don’t read or hear much about them.  I suspect that is because there is entirely too much patriotism, classical heroism, and American exceptionalism for the cynics in the media to swallow.

Wish I Would Have Said Hi

Liberty Island will be republishing a series of poems by Jamie Glazov first published in 2016, now with new images. This is the second.

Disney Learns: Live by the Woke, Die by the Woke

I have to admit, I’ve been pretty ambivalent about the slew of live-action Disney remakes that the company has been producing over the past few years. It’s not that I hate them, I just don’t find them worth my money. Every once and awhile, one of them would pop up on Netflix, or one of my friends would be playing them in the background, and I’d sit down and give them a watch. They’re… okay. Not terrible, not amazing, just okay. It just seems to me to be a way for Disney to make some easy money. 

One aspect of these live action remakes that some have commented on is their newfound “wokeness.” Whether this is making Le Fou from Beauty and the Beast an open homosexual, giving an animal-rights slant to Dumbo, or even giving a subplot to the new Aladdin where Jasmine wants to be the next Sultan, apparently Disney feels like its old properties are in need of some good old self-criticism. 

An Interview with Author Rick Partlow

I was first introduced to Rick Partlow’s book Glory Boy, a standalone book tied into the “Birthright” trilogy. I had the honor of interviewing Rick Partlow about this and his other works.

Tamara Wilhite: You have a military background, and some of your work is compared to “Starship Troopers” because of the power suits and their use in military warfare. Why do so many of your stories center around soldiers in mecha suits?

Rick Partlow:  I suppose it’s because some of my favorite military SF books involve mecha and powered armor.  Starship Troopers, John Steakley’s Armor, the Battletech Novels, William H Keith’s Warstrider books.  I’ve always found the concept fascinating, high tech knights in shining armor.

TV Review: “Mixed-ish” and Tribalism in American Culture

He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation.  He who chooses his plan for himself employs all his faculties. He must use observation to see, reasoning and judgment to foresee, activity to gather materials for his decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold his deliberate decision. — John Stuart Mill – On Liberty

When I need to forget about life’s responsibilities for a time, I will watch with my wife some of the sitcoms she enjoys. Blackish, a widely acclaimed show focused upon the foibles and mishaps of trying to stay in tune with American black culture, has spawned the prequel Mixed-ish. Here we are taken back to the childhood of mixed-race Rainbow (or just “Bow,” the wife on Blackish) who started life in an idyllic commune, where supposedly race (among many other distinctions) was completely ignored. This wondrous paradise (with no flushing toilets?) was abruptly ended by an FBI raid, for undisclosed violations.

What a Smile Can Do

Liberty Island will be republishing a series of poems by Jamie Glazov first published in 2016, now with new images. This is the first.

Book Review: ‘Spoiler Alert’ by Richard Greene

Spoiler Alert by Richard Greene is, no spoiler here, about spoilers. This philosophy book by Open Court Press is unusual for discussing the ethics, the ethos, the philosophy and many other details about spoilers.

As a science fiction fan and author, I found the concept intriguing. And as a periodic book reviewer, I wanted to know where others thought the line between blurbs and spoilers, trailers and big reveals were.

“Red Queen” Reasoning – The Spreading Mental Disorder of the Post-Modern Era

“No, No!” Said the Queen.  “Sentence first – verdict afterwards!”

“Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly.  “The idea of having the sentence first!”

Look about you and you will see it everywhere – from this latest impeachment frenzy to “living Constitution” jurisprudence – we decide a priori the result we want, and reason backwards from there.  A more modern and more clinical term for this phenomenon is “confirmation bias.”  Both the right and left are subject to it, and becoming more polarized by it.  Each side sits in its own high-tech echo chamber.  We watch and listen to different news outlets and opinion pundits, and realtors will tell you it has gotten to the point where buyers are asking if a neighborhood is conservative or liberal, as if the wrong answer is disqualifying.

An Author Interview with Amie Gibbons

I’m interviewing writer Amie Gibbons, best known for her urban fantasies. I regularly review books like her novel The Gods Defense. She’s written a number of other paranormal mysteries and legal dramas. And I had the opportunity to interview Ms. Gibbons.

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