Saturday, July 11, 2015

S & W .45, by Gina Marie Wylie plus a Leslie Fish plug

I borrowed S&W .45 from the Kindle Unlimited Lending Library. Under the provisions of the new reimbursement plan for authors, Gina Marie ought to make a potful of money off this borrow, since the book is 493 pages long. Umm...that last is sort of a joke. No, I don't expect she will make a lot off the borrow, particularly since the book is priced at an economical $2.99. Actually, I haven't heard yet how authors are  making out on the new deal.
I hope Gina makes a ton.
It bugs me that authors aren't rich. It bugs me that Leslie Fish isn't filthy stinking rich. All of her stuff isn't even on Amazon, but you ought to track it down and buy it anyway. I'm serious about this. She is a foundation of filk, and she ain't getting no younger. You know what she's doing? She's out in the desert, trying to bring back rare and endangered species of plants, which ain't no picnic when the temperature hits a million. Send her some money here. She's also breeding cats for intelligence.
Here's her album that has 'Banned From Argo' on it, which she hates and refuses to play. BUT:

( and that's a big but) if everybody who ever HEARD 'Banned From Argo' sent her a DOLLAR at the above link, it would be way cool. Here's the Firefly version.
You know what Sarah Hoyt, the Beautiful but Evil Space Princess is doing? Scraping nasty bits of paint and wax and trying to get her house ready to be sold, and carrying big honken boxes to Goodwill. And do you know WHY? Because she ain't got the dough to hire someone else to do it. So, the mind that gave us Draw One in the Dark, A Few Good Men, Darkship Thieves, and Nuns in Space is doing grunt labor, and not writing.
And it bugs me. I had a the first two volumes of Isaac Asimov's autobiography, which took him up to 1978, and he devotes a significant effort to documenting his writing income compared to his income as a college professor. Why? Because even as probably the most prolific sci-fi and every other genre writer, and certainly one of the most popular and influential,at one point he LIED about his income because he was embarrassed about it when questioned.
I hope hope hope hope hope this changes. It may very well do so, with the advent of CYBERBOOKS (which is a big shout out to Ben Bova), indie, Amazon, KULL, and all of the other stuff that's coming down the pike. Richard Schultz-Mann, in 'Relic of the Empire,' a short story by Larry Niven, addresses the problem of authors, which is attracting a public.
That's why I'm writing Amazon reviews and blogs. I LIKE having lots of things to read. And I would very much like authors to keep writing them. So, I review.
Now, here's the review, which will appear in Amazon in a bit:
Sherrie Richardson is a not-nice person. She was born into a privileged family, and was beautiful and pampered and engaged in every self-indulgent behavior she could think of.  She knows it, and it really doesn't bother her. Her daddy-o was a rising politician, until he blew his brains out, and she was dumped out of the princess train and had to get a Real Job.
And, amazingly, she is good at it. She is competent and pro-active, and it's a bit of a surprise, to her, if not to others. (And BTW, if it's not a surprise to others, it's because no one else cares. She's alienated people her entire life, mostly.)
Then she has to go mess it all up by becoming filthy rich by winning the lottery.
Minor (I think) spoiler alert.
And THEN we get into the first of what I think is a rather bizarre scenes: upon learning Sherrie is rich, her female room-mate attempts to seduce her. Later, there is a Japanese ninja, also female, who want to seduce her. And finally, out of the blue, there is an intern (also female) she meets in the middle of a pitched battle who attempts to seduce her, and the book ends with her agreeing to make a date with the intern.
All of this is behavior with which I am not familiar. I am inclined to believe that Sherrie is tossing off some availability signals that she does not recognize, and which are not detected in the narrative. I've had numerous same-sex  room mates, and while none of them were rich, I really find it impossible to believe that I would ever respond to wealth on their part by wanting to boink them or being boinked by them. Fer shure, it changed the dynamics when one roomie got a higher paying job, but mostly in terms of how much booze we could buy.I have absolutely zero insight into Japanese sexual customs, so, I won't comment on the ninja with the hots for her. However, I have had extensive contact with people in the medical profession, and while some of them are utter idiots in terms of their life choices, I find it very, very unlikely that a doc would jeopardize her career on the basis of a extremely brief encounter in a combat zone. YMMV.
The core of the book is that an acquired cousin of Sherrie's is systematically killing people, particularly people she has ever known, and appears to be seeking the world record in body count. This includes an aunt and uncle, which puts Sherrie in the position of caring for a 15 year-old cousin, male,  named Weaver Gold. As it happens, Weaver is not only a superbly talented computer geek, he is also a superstar in the field of anime.
This is also an area about which I know nothing.
Sherrie san Weaver are forced to go into hiding after another failed attack on their lives, and Sherrie, for reasons, is placed into the Army as a first lieutenant, and given a section of electronic nerds to supervise.
Look, it's FICTION, ok? You can DO things like that in fiction. It's an important plot point, and you are just going to have to give the author some leeway here. If you want to say, no, that's never ever ever going to happen, go ahead and get it out of your system. It may BE fantastic, but it doesn't even begin to approach the malarkey you see on the big screen.
Just as she proved surprisingly competent as a truck dispatcher, she proves to be as an Army officer. She even is able to qualify with an M16.
Okay. I will absolutely, positively grant you all of the above departures as needful to the plot of the story, from the Secret Master of Evil cousin to the lesbian attraction to the unexpected proficiencies with administering truck dispatching and electronic-repair sections. But: one star is lost because of the title. In the first place, the title is the ONLY place where S&W (for Smith and Wesson) is mentioned. At 58% through the book (don't know how that matches up in page count), Sherrie is issued 'a 1911A1 .45 pistol' and while Sherrie does take some shots with the pistol, it's just NOT a character in the book.
I'm a gun guy. I'm a 1911 guy. And I expect more from a book titled S&W .45  than what I got. Quibble? Yeah. Absolutely. Well, maybe not. See, the reason I picked THIS book is because of the title. Deceptive advertising. Can't let it go. Sorry.
Still: this was a good read.


  1. Pat, interesting take on it, and I don't know of ANY authors outside maybe a handful that actually make a living wage as a writer. I've enrolled my stuff in KU to see what happens also. And that title, S&W .45 IS a bit of a tease... :-)

  2. Pat, interesting take on it, and I don't know of ANY authors outside maybe a handful that actually make a living wage as a writer. I've enrolled my stuff in KU to see what happens also. And that title, S&W .45 IS a bit of a tease... :-)