“Game Over Man! Game Over!”


Hello Freedom Troopers! As you know I read 3-4 non-fiction books a month…generally – depending on size and intensity. (For instance, Hegel cannot be read as easily as Douglas Murray.) A couple times a year I take a break from the heavy reading and read a few novels. This is what I have done for the last two weeks. It also coincided with my company losing its contract where I worked and my unemployment and, unfortunately, with my having to pay for the renewal of the website for the next year ( a bill that is still pending because I don’t have enough money in my account. So if the site disappears or there are no posts you will know why.) I realize for most of you that would not be a big deal but for me and my family, it is a significant expense. If you appreciate this website and can do so please help. I am going to check in to restructuring my Patreon (it will not affect levels that people already support.) However, when I started I had no clue how to structure the levels so I copied the financial levels that were used by Karlyn Borysenko for her Patreon levels – even though they seemed much higher than I could ever afford apparently there are people out there who do actually make money!! Bully for you! Keep it up! I have always lived in service through the Army, the Church, and DHS, and, as such, my retirement kind of sucks – which is why I still need to work…or write. I have become aware that I cannot continue to do this without your help. You can read about how you can help us here: https://sabersedge.online/be-part-of-the-struggle-for-freedom.

True fans know that the words above in the title were from Vasquez to Lt. Gorman in the movie Aliens the original title was Vasquez question to Lt. Gorman below. To which his response was “Two, including this one” causing Vasquez to roll her eyes. The actual dialogue is below. Vasquez, Hicks, and Apone where the hard core veteran marines of Aliens and they were great characters. I will come back to Vasquez later. I then decided to use Bill Paxton’s ad lib that has become a favorite quote from Aliens. In the last couple weeks I indulged my science fiction desire and read for fun. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

In the last couple weeks I read:

Aliens, Bug Hunt Edited by Johathan Mayberry

Alien, Colony War by David Barnett

Alien, River of Pain by Christopher Golden

Alien, Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon

Alien, Sea of Sorrows by James A Moore

Aliens, Vasquez by V. Castro

Alien, The Roleplaying Game

Alien, The Roleplaying Game – Colonial Marines Operation Manual by Free League Press

This is their review. I have always been fond of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Space Above and Beyond, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Cyberpunk and Steampunk, Aliens and Predator, Resident Evil, and Zombie movies such as those by George Romero that have a heavy underlying thread of social commentary. I grew up in grade school reading Starship Troopers (the book is very different than the movie,) and other books by Heinlein a well as authors such as Andre Norton, Gordon Dickson, Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, and the list goes on. If you have been reading long you probably know this from the frequent movie references and book references I use and I have found that returning to my youth by relaxing and reading for pure fun to be renewing – especially since most of my studies are kind of “heavy.”

A bit of advice regarding books and movies. Where possible I suggest watching the movie before the books. I did this with Harry Potter, Divergent, Hunger Games and others but obviously I couldn’t do it with Dune, Lord of the Rings, and those that I read years before the movie came out. Kudos to Peter Jackson and his crew!

I suggest this because then, if you like the movie, you will love the book. The book will fill in many gaps for you that you didn’t get in the movie because movies can never communicate the richness that a book includes. However, if you read the book first you will always be thinking “I wish they would have included this in the movie.” or “Why didn’t they explain that?” or “They didn’t develop this character and I really liked that character in the book.” This is the nature of movies. You can cram hundreds of pages into an hour and a half (or even a 3 hour experience,) and be thorough. So for all young people I suggest – watch the movie then read the book – that way you are delighted at the new insights instead of annoyed at what was left out.

Anyway, back to the reviews.

Bug Hunt, is a collection of short stories around the Alien franchise and is a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed nearly every story and mostly enjoyed the others. My youngest son is interested in insects and I referred him to the story Dangerous Prey by Scott Siglar. In it he wrote about the Alien attack on Hadley’s Hope (in the movie Aliens) from the viewpoint of the Aliens themselves. He studied insect communication and scents to describe the alien viewpoint and experience and the particularly noted the prey that could throw their stings the humans themselves are the “dangerous prey” they are both a threat to the colony and a chance for the colony to grow. The singlemindedness of the Aliens, their cooperation, their lack of empathy, was almost more terrifying than any other story I’ve read. Clearly, humanity doesn’t want to have intelligent insects as an enemy. There were a few stories about Corporal Hicks (from Aliens) and his team and several new descriptions of Aliens who grew by merging their DNA with different species then humans. I heartily recommend Bug Hunt!

River of Pain by Christopher Golden was a very good book. I realized that I had read it before a few years ago as soon as I started it. It is the story of Hadley’s Hope and their initial contact and battle with the Aliens prior to the arrival of the marines of the Sulaco in the movie Aliens. It focuses largely on Newt and her family as well as the marine contingent that was unfortunate enough to be stationed there when they first had contact with the Aliens. It tells how Newt’s parents were sent to the downed ship that Ripley had discovered in Alien by Carter Burke and how that didn’t turn out well for anyone. If you loved the movie Aliens you need to read this book as well.

Out of the Shadows and Sea of Sorrows are both related to each other and take place in the order listed here. Out of the Shadows tells of a mining vessel above a mining colony LV-178 that originally contacts aliens and all hell breaks loose. They run across Helen Ripley’s survival craft after the destruction of the Nostromo and it fits reasonably into the story line. Most interesting is there is surprise enemy in this novel that I really liked – or liked to hate – and I recommend this book as well.

Sea of Sorrows tells of what happened when Weyland-Yutani scrubs the records of LV-178 and sends colonists and terraformers to build a new colony there. You get the overwhelming idea that this most wicked of all capitalist companies terraformed this world just to get another crack at the Alien DNZ.(This is what I often call Amoral Capitalism – a quest for profits that uses up and destroys people – it is what you get when you strip the moral compass from Western Civilization as Neo-Marxists, Athiests, and Leftists have done. Intentionally to undermine the society by the Neo-Marxists and in ignorance by the others. Society at large is always about 50 years behind cutting edge science and as more and more physicists and bio-chemists are returning to the God hypothesis and continue to prove things that were in Biblical and Vedic spiritual writings the world will, eventually, catch up.) OK, everything within the parentheses is my commentary and has nothing to do with the book except that Weyland Yutani is evil and concerned solely with power and profit. The Alien universe is what we can expect if we go into space without reconnecting with the Divine Matrix as opposed to the pollyanna views of Gene Rodenberry. At least on the original Enterprise everyone, including Spock, believed in a Divine purpose which Spock called the Universe and Kirk and Uhuru called Christ and God. Sea of Sorrows touches none of these themes but I noted them in Weyland Yutani’s actions. This also is a good book and worth the read.

Colony War takes place after these other stories and involves a British colony that wants to restore the British Empire in space. It is a good book, with some funny scenes and interesting twists that were well done and you only have to put up with a couple pages of the authors warped view of British Colonialism. Apparently, he was taught in American Public school so he believes British colonialism was about genocide, oppression, and destruction and conveniently ignores that the God Hypothesis of Western Civilization is what enabled science, ended slavery, built roads, libraries, schools, and hospitals, nor does he seem to know that the colonies of the British Empire are still, voluntarily, part of the English Commonwealth of Nations and markedly more wealthy than their neighbors. But who cares about facts when you can have public indoctrination? Anyway, his characiture about the British Empire is actually humorous and possibly it is not even intended seriously since the colony’s greeting to one another is “Best of British To You.” At least I hope he was not being serious but considering what he said about colonialism I fear he may have been. Still, it is a good book and his misunderstanding of the Commonwealth did not ruin it for me. After all, today even many Brits don’t have a clue. One point is that this takes place many decades after Aliens and Alien 3 so the tech has advanced and there is a video afoot which purports to show “the Beast” from Alien 3 and to tell the story of the Alien that destroyed Fiorina 161 (in Alien 3). A video which, of course, Weyland-Yutani and its lap dog media insist is fake and a “conspiracy theory.”

Now we come to Vasquez. I was delighted when I found this book because my favorite charactes in Aliens were (in order) Ripley, Hicks, Vazquez, Apone, Newt, and Bishop – although Hudson’s whining was fun. So I thought great, Vasquez will tell me about her military career. After all, it is clear in Aliens that Vazquez is a battle-hardened regular with much combat experience – just like Hicks and Apone. In Vasquez it highlights her as being caught up in a gang, wrongfully accused and imprisoned, and coming out of prison as a hard ass. All of this is reasonable and I liked V. Castros depiction of her family and their attempt to recapture Mezo-American spirituality. However, her depiction of the police leaves much to be desired, her depiction of the gang seems to me to be naive, and her depiction of military training is ludicrous. Like so many civilians she doesn’t realize that there is no “I” in army and that “there is no race in the army we are all green and we all bleed red.” That is simply the way it has to be when you life depends as much on your buddy as it does on you. In addition, apparently, Vazquez was NOT a battle-hardened veteran but killed on her very first mission to Hadley’s Hope. She becomes a marine by overcoming an android in battle. Apparently, the military in this century has given up on teamwork and “fire and manuever” and it is all about brute strength and violence. Castro is clueless and should stay away from military topics. In addition, much as I wanted to read a good book about Vasquez, one of my heroes, this was NOT it. I gave up about half way through it and told my wife and son it was like reading a junior high writing assignment by a student who doesn’t understand description. My son, who was able to get into the senior Creative Writing Honors English Class – his first year of High School (before I home schooled him,) came back with what he knew from just ataking that one class “You mean she didn’t know to ‘show and not tell’?” To which I answered, “Exactly. Her writing is dead and without depth. Worse, she is the recipient of several writing awards.” Perhaps she got the awards for being a Latinx rather than good writing or maybe her other efforst are superior to this novel. However, if you, like me. Loved the character Vazquez in Aliens I suggest you write your own fan fiction and it will be superior to this book. Oh, and the book isn’t even about Vasquez since she dies on her first mission it is about her twin kids. The story could have still been good but the writing sucked. If you see this book on the shelves I suggest you give it a pass.

The Roleplaying Game for Alien and its book Colonial Marines are good. The first book is better than the second because Colonial Marines is rather bizarre. They both have good background information and a unique mechanic where stress makes you character better (up until they crack,) as the adrenaline makes them sharper and stronger. The background information on the universe, aliens, corporations and countries tie the universe together nicely and bring order to the many stories that exist. I look forward to getting a game going once a week at some point to releive stress. Unfortunately, Colonial Marines needs to be overhauled and it will be in the game I run. For one thing each marine character can pick their rank because the rank has absolutely nothing to do with game play. The marines have no hierarchy and their structure doesn’t make any sense as written. This is a phenomena I have found before when people who don’t understand the military write fiction and rpg rules. It takes me back to a game where we were all supposed to be battling aliens. We played the game and I took charge. A friend, who went to DI school and ROTC with me assumed 2nd in command and we proceeded to organize the effort against the aliens (I specifically selected the NPC Colonel for that purpose.) The person who had pushed for the game said she had played it several times and no one had ever taken charge before. I could not fathom that and neither could my friend. Similarly, there was a computer simulation called Artemis. In it everyone had a position on the ship like Communications, Helm, Engineering, Weapons, etc. When I played with my friends I picked Captain. The next two groups that wanted to play said, “Would you be Captain for us too?” I suppose that is reasonable. I have been specially trained. However, I am constantly amazed at the lack of leadership training, and unwillingness to accept responsibility and make a decision in civilian organizations and groups. There are some that are stellar. There are others that are so rigid and insecure that any question seems to them to be defiance. I guess Colonel’s and Generals don’t have to be afraid of questions because they know that they are in charge. I don’t know. But it seems that while the military has a reputation for being mindless automatons it is prior military who ask the most questions and clarifications and demonstrate the greatest flexibility in civilian occupations. American civilians don’t understand the military and that is the problem I have with a lot of military science fiction. Even above in these stories. The marines would be overcome before they could think their response. THAT is whay military practices over and over so the response is conditioned and you DON’T have to think about what to do when you are attacked. You react and then when the shooting stops have an after action report to figure out what just happened. The demonstrations of concerted marine action and training in the above novels is rare but awesome when it is present. Several of the Hick’s stories in Bug Hunt are very well done and the authors in that collection generally have a better understanding of military training and capabilities. As I already noted V. Castro in Vasquez is clueless.

Well, I usually, put out book reviews on other days and not a regular blog day but this time I had enough books to report I wanted to get it done. Remember, life is about a balance of family, fun, work, responsibility, and faith and a great deal of the secret of life is about knowing what time it is: https://sabersedge.online/the-art-of-living-requires-that-we-know-what-time-it-is

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