A quick reading update – I seem to be just starting or in the middle of a lot of books now
A Ship To Remember
This is a book about the Maine, the battleship whose sinking in the harbor of Havana triggered the Spanish-American War. I’m just getting into this book, and the scene is just getting set. There’s tension between the US and Spain over Cuba, and so far the author is not really taking sides between the rebels and Spain over the various claims of atrocities, and I suppose it’s not really germane. At this point the Maine is there, tensions are seeming to ease, and ….
Another Navy book! The campaign around Guadalcanal is still touch and go, but the US managed to spank the overconfident Japanese in a night battle off Cape Esperance. This seemed to be a victory, but later unopposed Japanese shelling of the Marines led to heavy damage and calls for more naval help. Admiral Gormley was relieved, and Bull Halsey put in his place. Stung by accusations that the Navy has left the Marines in the lurch, Halsey commits his forces forward just as the Japanese sail to finish the job they started before. A major naval battle, Santa Cruz, is about to start.
A few weeks have passed, and the Germans are trying to clear the flanks in the Smolensk area in preparation for a move – South to Kiev or East to Moscow? The Soviets are attempting another offensive as well, but are hindered by their lack of skill and equipment.
KINdle report – E. E. “Doc” Smith
The science fiction megabook is now going through some Doc Smith novels. These read well, and are interesting enough although I’m not a big believer in the ‘rule by the mental powered elite’ that so far was the major thrust of all the books. The guy who can throw mental bolt X wins busty lady who can only throw x-1 and their buddies all pair up and live happily ever after, as they form a pan-galactic empire of the mentalists. Balancing this, however, is the total lack of elite ‘snobbery’ by the actual characters.
His ‘lensman’ series has a similar theme, but at least the lens thingy that gave the oomph also kept it from working if you were a jerk, so they were the galactic cops.
In the latest book (Galaxy Masters?), the Earth explorer ship stumbles on a planet of androids who claim the earthers are their masters and now will be served by the robots. Oh, and also there’s an evil race out there to fight. So the humans are trying to learn – yes – mental powers to fight back, and teach the robots not to be slaves, and also pairing up and forming little families all at the same time. Lots of pairing up and marrying in these 1930s sci-fi classics. It looks like they hadn’t given up on the ladies yet.