#REVIEW: MJ-12: INCEPTION, by Michael J. Martinez

I have51V8EMC0iNL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg gone on the record twice as being a big fan of the work of Michael J. Martinez.  I have read all three of his previous books from his Daedalus trilogy, and I loved the latter two enough to rave about them on the blog.  In the third one, he was kind enough to mention me in the afterword.  I’ve never met the guy, but we interact occasionally on Twitter.  He is my favorite current, working adventure writer.  I have no idea if he’s noticed my books or not.

Well, one way or the other, I lucked into an advance copy of the first book of his new series.  The book is called MJ-12: INCEPTIONand the series is just called Majestic-12.  

The Daedalus books were about… well, quite a lot of things, actually.  Dimension-hopping hard-sci-fi steampunk space galleons with aliens on Venus and ancient magic affecting the real world.  They were, uh, a bit hard to categorize, but what was clear about the entire series was that Martinez had a huge amount of fun writing them, particularly in the last installment of the series.

MJ-12: INCEPTION is a very, very, very different series from the Daedalus books.  So much so, in fact, that were it not for his love of genrebending (or, perhaps, hatred of the idea of genre) bleeding through, I’d not have been able to guess that the books were by the same person.  That said, I can find out quickly if you are interested in reading the book by asking a very short question:  How do you feel about Cold War superheroes?

Okay.  You just told yourself whether you should read this book or not.  And if I have any influence, you should.  MJ-12: INCEPTION isn’t as madcap or as breathtakingly original as the previous series, but it’s a convincing period piece set at the very beginning of the Cold War, right after the end of World War II.  Harry Truman is a character, as is large chunks of his Cabinet, and if Martinez played fast and loose with any historical events other than a couple of obvious ones they got past me.  It’s not as fun as his previous series but I’m not sure that’s a criticism, as “Cold War thriller” isn’t necessarily a genre I need to be a lot of fun.  It is, instead, a solid espionage story that links the emergence of superpowered people, known as Variants, to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings (well, Hiroshima, specifically) and then imagines what might happen if the United States and the Russians both had access to an expanding pool of metahumans.  Along the way we get a cool look at mid-1940s tradecraft and a bit of Bond-level gadgetry.

It’s not the Martinez I’m used to, but I’ve pre-ordered the hardcover despite getting the book for free.  The rest of you can have it on September 6.  I highly recommend it.

In which I forget that posts need titles until after I’ve hit Publish

Hot-Weather-Malaysia.jpgIt is not as hot outside as I was expecting it to be today– which is to say, when I look outside nothing is obviously on fire.  That said, I have at least one customer out on the golf course at OtherJob right now who I am not entirely certain is going to survive the experience.  I’m comfortably ensconced in an air conditioned gameroom that hasn’t had many people breathing in it, so I’m doing fine– but I need to figure out how to get to my car at the end of the day without leaving the game room, which might be a bit tricky.

In other news, despite above-average caffeine consumption for the morning, I’ve been yawning for six solid hours and have formally taken next week off from OtherJob, meaning that my string of five straight six-day, 53-hour weeks is about to finally be snapped.  My day off yesterday featured taking my son to day care, grabbing breakfast, doing a competitive shop at a furniture store that I don’t work at (after waiting in the parking lot for 45 minutes because I couldn’t think of anything else to do to kill the time before the place opened) and then coming home and staring at a computer screen for two more hours before taking a three-hour nap.  Despite that, everyone in my house was still in bed before nine last night.  Needless to say, no fiction was written.  Once I leave here I have to go back to the other furniture store for a moment– I was informed that I had managed to miss a critical piece that we need to know the pricing of– and then off to my mom and dad’s for pizza with my brother and new sister-in-law, who I haven’t seen since their wedding.  I’m excited about it, but I also kind of wish I could find a way to have pizza and see family from my bed.

And then it will be Saturday, which is my Monday now, and everything will start over again.

c0a8349fee3c9bfe413e1bb453bcdf48.jpgIn other, entirely unrelated news: did anyone reading this post have a dad like this?  One of those “I’ll kill you if you touch my daughter” types?  I don’t know why, but I caught myself thinking about this type of guy (note: I do not have a daughter) earlier today, and it occurred to me that the way you treat your daughter’s boyfriends has got to be a reflection of the way you, yourself, treat and/or treated women.  I feel like it’s got to say something fucked up about you that you feel the need to go all alpha gorilla and shotgunny when some dipshit teenager comes near your daughter.

(The picture is probably a joke.  Almost certainly.  But we all know these guys exist.  Or maybe they don’t; I dunno, maybe it’s a stereotype that isn’t really real– the father of the only girl I ever really dated in high school was literally on another continent and I met very few dads in between her and the woman I ended up marrying.  Needless to say, by that point we were both grown and her dad very clearly understood that he no longer had any say in the matter one way or another.)

Any thoughts on that, anybody?


In which reality and Twitter are both dumb

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So seeing this tweet from Kirsten Gillibrand got me all het up at first.  There is no way in the universe that Citizens United is going to be overturned in Hillary’s first 30 days in office.  It’s a literal impossibility.  Even with the most compliant Congress of all time, it’s not going to happen, because it can’t.  It would require either another court case to make its way through the system that would challenge United (but would likely not result in an overturn, since the court’s not that much different now) or an actual amendment to the Constitution, which cannot happen in a 30-day timeframe.

I had the blog post composed almost immediately, all full of Dammit, if Trump said something this stupid it would be because he doesn’t know how the government works, but I know you know better, so this is just a lie and a bunch of other similar critical-of-the-person-I’m-voting-for sort of stuff.

Then I clicked on the link, which I had actually missed on my first read of the Tweet, because I was eating and distracted while looking at Twitter, and what Gillibrand means is that Clinton will call for an amendment during her first thirty days, and that the “working to overturn” will start within the first thirty days, not the actual overturn itself.  Which is a perfectly reasonable thing and while perhaps not politically possible is at least a thing that the President is capable of doing.

So there goes that post in a puff of “do your reading, asshole” and Twitter brevity.  Sigh.

I’ve paid no attention whatsoever to the Republican convention and don’t intend to start now.  So I have nothing to say about that.

I actually went and looked at a car this afternoon, and pretty much ruined the salesperson’s day by refusing to buy anything.  The 2017 Escape does ride really nicely, though, and while they offered me what I’m pretty sure actually represents a good deal.  He said I wasn’t allowed to take the offer sheet they gave me home with me, but then left me alone with it for a few minutes so of course I took a picture, because seriously, dude, it’s 2016, don’t leave me alone with the damn thing if you don’t want me to have a copy.

Nonetheless, I will not be buying a car until I’m certain I can hand over the down payment in cash.  Which I can’t do just yet.  But maybe by wintertime?  We’ll see.

We’re supposed to see a 110 degree heat index on Friday, so all this is entirely moot, as the world will have caught on fire and I will have died by then.  So… I dunno, try to get laid in the next couple of days?  Because you may not have another chance.