I'm actually shocked that's it's been so long since I did a post on this blog of mine - there has actually been a lot going on of late - or, to look at it in a different way, maybe it's because there has been so much going on that I haven't blogged. But for whatever reason I haven't added a post recently here's one now...
Obviously Borderlands 2 is occupying a lot of my spare time and I have a big review in mind, but there are a few other things as well. Part of this is a rekindled interest in airsoft - although it never fully disappeared, but it's hard to write a blog about airsoft when you aren't actually doing it!
On the military news front there has also been a lot happening, obviously Afghanistan rumbles on, as does the controversies over Defence cuts. My favourite project - the two aircraft carriers - still seems to see-saw between limbo and green light as does the flavour of F35s which we will en up buying for them (if they get into service and aren't just immediately moth balled, converted or sold). Depressing.
And finally, there's movies and books - and this is where I have really been neglecting this blog. I notice the last book I reviewed was Andrew Roberts excellent 'Storm of War', but since then I have enjoyed a load of different movies and books but just haven't had time to write about them. And so...
David Webbers 'Safehold' series
At the moment I am reading the fifth in the series of David Webbers science-fiction novels, part of a grand saga that trundles on with no sign of an ending on the horizon (which is good news if, like me, you are enjoying them). To summarize the story...
The Safehold series starts out pretty conventionally as Earth is threatened - and subsequently defeated - by a mysterious alien race. But the twist comes when the chief protagonist - a female Terrain officer - wakes up in a cave on a strange planet a thousand years after her death during the defence of the Earth.
It turns out that this is all a plan to safeguard the future of mankind, hence the name of the planet - Safehold.
The story goes on to tell the story of this officer - now in the form of an artificially created cybernetic being - and how she (though now a he!) intends to help the planet of Safehold develop into a civilization that might fight back against those nasty aliens. But first she (or he) must guide the planet from a technological state akin to Earth's Renaissance period into a state of high-tech advancement.
The twist is that Safehold is ruled by a ultra-conservative religious group dead set against any overtly advanced technology and so our heroine (or hero) must first secretly advance a group of rebel states into a position where they can over-throw this despotic rule before she (or he) can start the job of confronting the alien problem...Phew!
Complex - well, I probably make it sound more convoluted than it actually is. Basically what it really is is a lovely 'what if?' scenario where an person with advanced technical knowledge must apply historical advances carefully in order to dominate a planet. It's a fantastic idea if you are interested in history and military invention, as you see inventions that took earth hundreds of years to develop come into play over a reactively short period of time on Safehold...
Additionally the historical detail is nicely done - as is the political intrigue - and if you are a fan of naval history the you are in for a big treat as we see rowed gallies replaced by galleons and then ironclads as history is compressed by clever manipulation by our hero (or heroine)!
Anyway - these books are *long*! And the ideal companions for commuting, and David Webber manages to create a believable world with a book that is sort of like a cross between 'Game of Thrones', 'Master and Commander' and 'Battlestar Galactica' all rolled into one.
List of the Safehold books so far...
1) Off Armageddon Reef
2) By Schism Rent Asunder
3) By Heresies Distressed
4) A Mighty Fortress
5) How Firm a Foundation