Appropriately, the book comes with the subtitle: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics.
It’s a highly plausible analysis of political and other power structures, and what leads them to be more democratic — or more oppressive. It also discusses why it’s difficult to have a dictator who is both benevolent and effective. It’s written by a pair of political science professors, and filled with historical examples.
It was written a couple of years before the most recent US presidential election, but it has some… implications, nevertheless.
Biology is not my thing. I mean, I studied physics because it was basically the not-biology major, so I could avoid all the living, growing, squishy, gooey things.
I recently read Kameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion, and the biopunk aspects were fascinating all by themselves. For… multiple definitions of fascinating. A content warning for various flavors of bio-horror is in order.
I will now discuss the book, and also apply cold, hard physics to the scary, squishy stuff. Wish me luck.
This is the sequel to Blood of Ambrose, and much like the first book, it’s a wild ride. It explores many different applications of the setting’s magic, as well as questions about death and mortality.
I have a few (mostly spoiler-free) thoughts about the tale.
I read a Star Trek novel recently.
These are my equivalent of the fluffy romance novel: they’re not too heavy or too hard-hitting, and I can whip through one pretty quickly.
Many are quite mediocre, and The Shocks of Adversity was no exception to this rule. However, it did provide some good food for thought.
I’ll provide spoilers here, but the book is largely spoiled by the blurb… and the plot is not terribly surprising.
Merlin is not the hero.
Blood of Ambrose is the first in a series written by James Enge. It’s an amusing sword and sorcery tale, which hints at Arthurian legend without being beholden to it. It concerns the defense of Uther’s kingdom from a usurper trying to steal it away from his descendant, in an alternate fantasy-world. Merlin’s children are at the forefront.
It’s a fun romp, and worth reading if you don’t want to think too hard about the real world for a little while.
And now, I will think a little too hard about this book. The biggest spoiler is a bit at the end that doesn’t have a big impact on the main plot.