Friday, October 5, 2018

A Brief Vacation in Ringo Land: Prince Roger's Story

Greetings, friends and families and neighbors out there in Internet Land!

If you have a ad-blocker running, you won't be able to see them, but there are clickable graphics at the top of this page that take you to "Empire of Man" and "Throne of Stars" on Amazon.  (And I'm going to write reviews at some point, but not yet.) I do not wish ANYONE to miss seeing a lovely graphic, so here are a couple of non-clickable graphics that won't take you anywhere, except possibly to the place where you say
"Aww, that's so CUTE/SWEET!"

These are two of my favorite people in the whole world:  my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, aka GRANESSA(!!!) holding grandson Eliott, and Eliott having lunch.

Behold, I shall not lie to you (this time): the past several weeks have provided me with numerous opportunities for personal growth. Or, at least that would be the case if I hadn't already had all the growth in those areas I cared for, thank you very much, but still, we strive to be truly grateful for what we receive. And, in fact, I have commented to myself and to others that I never had any idea that it was going to be this easy. I may expound on this topic at a later date, but for now, I shall disclose to you ONE of my coping strategies: Read an old friend.

John Ringo's books qualify as old friends. I have spent quite a few moments over the past week trying to isolate the moment of my discovery of his work, and I THINK I have it pinpointed to April 2002, because I've read all of the books in that monthly bundle; all I can prove, though, is that by the summer of 2003, he was one of the authors I'd buy, just based on the name. That was rather early in his career, fortunately for me, as I have often had the sad experience of stumbling on to an author only after they were dead, and could no longer expect new material from them. 

I'm relatively certain that the books that hooked me were the Posleen invasion stories. I live just a tiny bit south of where Mike O'Neal, the main character lived in the Georgia Piedmont, and some of the principal events in the series take place  in areas I'm familiar with. I was still working as a middle school counselor at the time, and I played around with writing a story of a middle-aged middle school counselor reporting for work with a Mossberg 500 12 gauge pump to defend his school. Never got beyond that stage, though, at least partly because the time for invasion stories was over as "When The Devil Dances" came out in April of 2002.

Even so, it wasn't the stories of the Mighty Mite and the ACS that I returned to this time; it was Prince Roger and the Basik's Own I wanted to read. And, although the links I have posted are for the combined series, I re-read them in the order I had originally purchased them: March Upcountry; March to the Sea; March to the Stars; We Few.

Here's what I sought: first, the story of the petulant brat, dressed like a fop, who gets shattered out of his cocoon, and becomes a man, and then a leader, and then a son with a heart. Second, I wanted the story of a company of Marines with the job of guarding a despicable whiner, with the highest-tech, most lethal weapons available; who slowly lose the tech advantage as they gain respect for the person who emerges.

I got that, along with some other stuff I had forgotten. I had forgotten the restraint that Roger showed in his refusal to act out on the attraction he felt for the most gorgeous female in his command. I admire Ringo for writing that; it's NOT a feature I see exemplified in anything in the popular media (when I expose myself to it, which is rare). And on this read, I directed myself to pay closer attention to the battle sequences, so I could really appreciate what was going on. 

As to that, I think I was successful, with the land battles (and the very limited sea battle sequences). However, I fear I am NEVER going to appreciate the space battle tactics.
NOTE: These books are jointly written by John Ringo and David Weber, and I'm not sure how THAT came about. Weber was already a well-established writer, whereas Ringo could ONLY have one book published by the time they started the collaboration. Although they don't signify which sections of the book are the product of which author, I am 100% convinced that the climactic space battles come from Weber. Reason: I'm also lost in Weber's other space battles. I make it through those sections by nodding my head and smiling.
So back in the 50's and early 60's, singing was a regular part of the elementary school curriculum, and I learned this song:
Make new friends, but keep the old;
One is silver and the other, gold.
So, here are a couple of NEW John Ringo friends coming our way. Alas, these are also non-clickable links, because you can't BUY them yet. You CAN, however, purchase the first 3/4 of the November item on the Baen website. I will leave the solution of that process as a problem for the reader.

In November, another Black Tide novel, "The Valley of Shadows":

 And, in March of 2019, a collection of short stories in the Black Tide universe, featuring work by some of The Usual Suspects, "Voices of the Fall":

 It is entirely possible that I shall now return to my regularly scheduled activities. I love having a schedule, as it assures me of certain things that I know I will not do, yet gives me a goal.

Peace be on your household.

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