Thursday, July 6, 2017

Pushing the Limits With Amazon and Polly's Summer Vacation

Here's the link to my condensed review on Amazon.

I never set out to be a rebel.

Well, that's not EXACTLY true. As a matter of fact, once I found out that rebellion was possible, my path has bounced between rebellion and conformity in the same way that a ping-pong ball bounces for Forrest Gump.

Today, I take pride in my identity as a redneck biker, Life Member of the NRA, Southern Man of Scottish Heritage (Campbell Clan, if anybody is interested), born on a dirt road in Macon, GA.
Sounds pretty white and the slightest bit intimidating, don't it?

But I'm married to my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA. And we have CHOSEN to raise our beautiful mulatto grandchildren with the understanding that to a significant segment of the population, the amount of black blood in their veins is going to trump the white amount, and to be proud of who they are. And our social lives center on what is the most racially diverse church we can find. And I babysit my grandchildren every chance I get.
Does that hint that maybe I have rebelled against stereotypes, a little bit?

As soon as I graduated from high school, I moved out of my parents' house, enrolled in a LIBERAL liberal arts college, and spent the next year growing my hair, drinking, joining a fraternity, and scaring people with the amount of drugs I was taking.

After a year of THAT, I joined the Army to become a medic. I did well; got me a medal, a promotion to E-5, and was selected as Soldier of the Year for the United States Army, Europe in 1975.

Got out of the Army, stopped getting hair cuts, went back to college, got divorced, and started riding motorcycles.

The story goes on from there, but the cycles are established, right? Whether I set out to do it or not, there is a lot of rebel in me. I do my best to keep it from harming others; these days, I think it mostly manifests as my absolute refusal to get invested in politics, and my determination to answer a radical call to Christian discipleship.
While carrying a Browning Hi-Power.

All of that is to explain the context of this blog post, which will shortly contain a review of James Snover's latest book, "Polly's Summer Vacation At Excentrifugal Engineering," which you can get by clicking the link at the top of the page.

As I explained yesterday, I'm having some problems in deciding where & how to publish my book reviews. In the past, I write a book review, and then I post a reference link to the review on at least two Facebook pages: my own, and Sarah's Diner, which is a nest of indie writers, along with a few who have contracts with more-or-less (mostly less) traditional publishers. I also write this blog, in which I, Papa Pat, Ramble on about things that are important to me; sometimes, that includes books.

I need both venues. They are NOT identical, and they don't have the same intended audience,>...<
Did he say 'audience?' HA! He has an audience like the construction worker with the singing frog in the Bugs Bunny cartoon.
>...< and there are times when I have a blog post which is intensely personal, and has nothing to do with books.

So, here's what I'm going to TRY, and I actually started this yesterday. I'm going to TRY to get my Amazon book reviews to include a reference to my blog, on those occasions when the blog includes review material. It will be easy to include the link to the review in my blog to the Amazon review; I already did that at the top of the page. However, Amazon does NOT permit a link within a review to anything except to another product which may be purchased on Amazon. So, I'm just going to point out that an expanded review is available at Papa Pat Rambles, and not include the url.

In fact, I did a trial run of that last night, and it allowed the review to post. That may change; in fact, change is a guarantee with Amazon reviews, but unless they change the rules, I believe I can get away with this little rebellion.

And now for the actual review of  "Polly's Summer Vacation At Excentrifugal Engineering, " by James Snover, 2nd Edition. The Ill-Advised Publishing Company (Kindle Edition).

Polly Madison is a delightfully normal 13 year old genius.  She lives on an Earth that has lost its' collective mind, with every sort of political splinter faction running around to do things for the Good Of The People, because they alone know what that Good is.

The WILDEST card in this deck is Rex Mason, the head of Excentrifugal Engineering. He is a certified Mad Scientist, Life Member, with a Challenge Coin, who finds purpose in (umm, what's a good word: periodically? no; too conventional; intermittently? no, that implies a miss every now and then;) SPASMODICALLY saves the world, often by obliterating some part of it.

And Rex has chosen Polly as his very first Summer Intern!

So, she is overjoyed; her parents freak out.  She's too YOUNG! She's had too much DISAPPOINTMENT! She's a PARAPLEGIC!

And here, we cross over from the World of Reality into Fantasy Land. In this Fantasy Land, Rex is able to convince her parents that the very things that they are tossing up as obstacles are the reasons he has selected her for the program. Too young? Well, she won't have to unlearn a lot of things, because she is still gulping in great amounts of math and science and engineering. Too much disappointment? She will have no restrictions placed on what she can learn at E E. Paraplegic? That's PERFECT! She has had to adapt and overcome for her entire life, and THAT skill & attitude set is precisely what will make her a super-nova of success!
So why is this Fantasy Land and not World of Reality? I cheated. It's not a fantasy. Polly has real parents, and I've seen this kind, who are not blind to her impairment, and don't permit her to be blind to it as well, but who also love her so much that they never allow the impairment to destroy her spirit.
Yes, these are real people.

If you move in certain Mad Scientist circles, you will see that Polly's teachers and the staff of EE are all tuckerizations of that special crowd. It makes for a nice touch. These are real people, too.

And as to how Polly's summer works out, I cannot tell you without spoilers. I will tell you, however, that it involves a large musical instrument made out of depleted uranium, and the screwdriver blade of a multi-tool. It is not specified whether or not the multitool is a Leatherman, Victorinox, Gerber, or if it's a specialty that includes an AR wrench and EOD tools.

Peace be on your household.

1 comment:

  1. Pat, many thanks for this terrific review! The cover artist was none other than our own Sarah Hoyt! When she saw my first choice, she sent me this and said I could use it if I wanted to. "If?"