The Captain’s Log – hotshot (Peter Watts)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So last week I reviewed a novella by Peter Watts called the freeze frame revolution which I highly enjoyed.  While writing that review, I learned that the novella was part of a series – the Sunflower series.  There are three other stories and all are available for free on the author’s website.  So I decided to read this one – the second published but the first by chronology.

This story also deals with Sunday Ahzmundin, the protagonist from the freeze frame revolution.  At 23 pages it is a short foray into the circumstances of the Spores.  I won’t even touch on the plot because I can’t explain it well and since it’s so short I don’t want to give spoilers.  Just know that I did love this brief excursion.  The physics of it all went above me head as usual but I did get the gist.

Personally I be glad to have read them in the order I did.  I got a longer story in the freeze frame revolution and truly grew to love Sunday  So then going back in time while knowing some of her future was fun.

I will certainly be readin’ the island next.  Keep a weathered eye out!  Arrr!

Side note: Claudia @ goodreads’ review (which is excellent) is what told me about the publication of the Sunflower series.  As she says:

. . . it’s part of a series of stories, entitled the Sunflowercycle, which includes three more short ones (so far).*

Publication order is: The Island (2009) – Winner of Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2010, Hotshot (2014), Giants (2014) and The Freeze-Frame Revolution (June 2018).

Now, after reading all, my advice is they are to be read in this order: Hotshot, The Freeze-Frame Revolution, The Island, Giants . . .

* all three available on the author’[s] site:

Normally I put a blurb here but since this story be so short I be skippin’ it!

To visit the author’s website go to:

Peter Watts – Author

To read this story go to:

hotshot – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

the freeze frame revolution (On the Horizon – Sci-Fi eArc)


The Captain’s Log – dread nation (Justina Ireland)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So this book be an alternative history set in the Reconstruction era with young black adult zombie killers.  Cool, right?  And a lot of it takes place in Baltimore which be a port I called home once upon a time.  So I just had to read this one.  And I can say that it is certainly a very fun story.

I genuinely loved the main character, Jane McKeene.  She be me kinda gal.  She is intelligent, gusty, smart-mouthed, a fierce fighter, and just plain fun.  I would totally want her as part of me crew.  Actually I rather liked all the characters in this book and even loved to dislike the bad guys and gals as well.

I am in the minority though when it comes to the plot.  I absolutely adored the set-up of the novel, the introduction of the major characters, the reimaging of the civil war’s ending due to zombie apocalypse, the combat schools, the politics, and the world-building in general.

However, the author chose to make a rather abrupt decision half-way through the book and changed locations.  The focus and pacing shifted.  The action decreased.  I didn’t really care for the new direction the author took it.  But I adored the characters and did need to know how the book ended.  Which also wasn’t to me taste.  The ending was very, very convenient.

That being said because I love the world and the characters that overall I very much enjoyed meself.  I will likely read more of the further adventures of Jane McKeene.  Me quibbles were small and the crew heartily seems to be giving this one 5 stars all around.  So check it out.  Ye might be one of them.  Arrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Justina Ireland – Author

To buy the book go to:

dread nation – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – marque and reprisal & engaging the enemy (Elizabeth Moon)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This here be a combined review of the second and third books of the Vatta’s War series. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read the first book and ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

Well book one could have been a standalone but I am extremely glad it wasn’t!  The second book quickly brings about a major, surprising change for the main character, Ky Vatta, and her family.  It was mind-boggling but brilliant.  It certainly upped the ante.  I loved the crazy mercenary company and how Ky made deals with them.  I loved all the space battles.  It even makes trading goods interesting.

Ky continues to be a delight.  I love watching her get into impossible situations and use her brain and her gusto to solve problems.  These books be action-packed, have no real romance, and be filled with admirable women.   I particularly love Grandma Grace.  She is one tough cookie.

The only minor quibble was the distrust between Ky and her cousin in book three.  It made sense in terms of story telling but it did wear on me a bit.  I think that overall this book, while enjoyable, felt more like a placeholder set-up book.  However, the ending was very satisfying and I am extremely interested in what adventures Ky will get into next.

I have already made plans to get books four and five in me mitts.  Arrr!!!

Side note: Much thanks to me matey, Sarah @ brainfluff, for pointing me in the right direction in terms of the recommended readin’ sequence for these books!

Normally I would put blurbs here but they are too spoilery for me taste.  Arrr!

To visit the author’s website go to:

Elizabeth Moon – Author

To buy the novels please visit:

marque and reprisal – Book 2

engaging the enemy – Book 3

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

trading in danger – book 1 (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

The Captain’s Log – acadie (Dave Hutchinson)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I picked this sci-fi novella up from a local library as soon as I saw it was published by Tor.  I adore their novella line.  Five out of the six novellas nominated for the Hugo this year were published by them.  I have read four of them so far and highly enjoyed them all.

This particular story was published in 2017.  I have heard of Dave Hutchinson and have his work on me ports for plunder list but have not read any of it yet. I have to admit that the author’s name didn’t even register when I saw this.  I saw the sci-fi sticker and the Tor logo and snatched it up.

The premise is that a group of colonists, led by scientist Isabel Potter, fled Earth due to its restrictions on genetic engineering. The problem was that they stole a ship with colonists on it when they left.  Potter and the colonists’ descendants have been trying to eke a life outside of Earth’s influence for generations.  Duke Faraday, a lawyer, has been drawn into the conflict.  Why is Earth still hunting Potter and her gang?  Will they ever give up?  And what is Duke going to do about it?

It was a quick, fun read and I devoured it.  I absolutely loved the whole story, the set-up, the conflict, the ending, the writing style, the plot, and Duke himself.  A fabulous novella that ye should read if ye can.  I will certainly be picking up more work by Dave Hutchinson.  Arrr!

Side note:  For lists of the 2015/2016 novellas released by Tor click below.  I kinda want to read them all!  If any of me crew knows of a definitive list of novellas released after that please let me know!  Me search was fruitless. Publishing 2015/2016 Novella Lineup

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

The first humans still hunt their children across the stars. Dave Hutchinson brings far future science fiction on a grand scale in Acadie.

The Colony left Earth to find their utopia–a home on a new planet where their leader could fully explore the colonists’ genetic potential, unfettered by their homeworld’s restrictions. They settled a new paradise, and have been evolving and adapting for centuries.

Earth has other plans.

The original humans have been tracking their descendants across the stars, bent on their annihilation. They won’t stop until the new humans have been destroyed, their experimentation wiped out of the human gene pool.

Can’t anyone let go of a grudge anymore?

To visit the author’s wiki page go to:

Dave Hutchinson – Author

To buy the book go to:

acadie – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Captain’s Log – stranger in a strange land (Robert A. Heinlein)

Ahoy there mateys!  Get ready for a bit of a rant with spoilers.  Read at yer own peril . . .  This was me first reading of this classic sci-fi work.  I did read some Heinlein back in me youth.  But I seemed to have read only “juveniles” like “the rolling stones” and “have spacesuit – will travel.”  And details of those reads remain extraordinarily fuzzy even if thinking of them brings back feelings of happiness in general.

Sci-Fi aficionados would always express surprise that I had not read this masterwork by this Grandmaster of the genre.  And it has been on the list to read forever.  But I have always been hesitant to read it.  Some common problems with it seem to be its portrayal of women, religion, and smugness.  But then the library had an audiobook version of it, and I decided to give it a go.

I absolutely ADORED the setup and first bits of this book.  I loved our introduction to the Martian.  I loved his simple ways and foreign viewpoints.  I loved his earnestness and vulnerability and own type of innocence.  I found his friend, Jill the nurse, to be a tremendously strong-willed woman.  I loved the escape to Jubal’s house.  I loved hearing “grok” in context.  I was absolutely engrossed and fascinated.  I loved watched Mike listen, absorb, and grow.  So what happened?  Mike the Martian has learned what he needs to at Jubal’s house and decides to leave the Nest and go out into the world.

And my enjoyment of the book began to die.  First, all the interesting political posturing over Mike’s fortune is just swept to the side in a tidy bit of lawyering.  Then the first place Mike decides to visit in his newer grown-up phase is the carnival?  Because sure that makes sense.

So Mike learns the art of the con and Jill becomes a boring archetype whose happiness about her body involves its use to seduce the viewer and to have sex with Mike and others.  I have nothing against the enjoyment of sex and I don’t even have a problem with sex as used in stripping or other things.  My problem is that Jill goes from an intelligent woman who loves her body to a seemingly bubble-headed woman whose only ambition is to follow Mike around in order to be surrounded by his good grace . . . and his perfect manly sex.

So in addition to touring with the carnival, Mike also decides to start a church based on the Fosterite Church portrayed in the book.  Now the Fosterite “church” in the book is actually delightful in its hypocrisy.  Gambling, drinking, sinning . . . it’s all okay as long as ye be gambling on the machines in the Fosterite Church while drinking the church-sponsored brand of beer and donating some of yer ill-gotten wins back to the church, etc.  So Mike wants to change the world with his ideas and philosophies and decides to use a horrible selfish corporation church as basis of the mechanism to do so?  WTF?  What a lame cop-out.  The Martian creates a cult.

And the strong women of the story continue to degrade.  So the woman discover the joys of sex with a willing and thoughtful partner.  Okay that’s fine. But then there is a rape and the response from I-used-to-be-intelligent-but-became-a-moron-the-first-time-I-had-good-sex Jill is “Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it’s partly her fault.”  I almost stopped the book right there.  Perhaps I should have.  Because the Jill from the beginning of the book would not have said such a stupid thing.  But it IS a masterpiece so I continued listening.

And apparently when woman become sexually free they want three things 1) to sleep with ALL the men, 2) to have babies, lots of babies, and 3) all want hetero-sexual non-monogamous relationships.  Gag.  I happen to think there is more to being a woman then being forced to having babies, having no standards when it comes to picking a sexual partner (any man will do?), and I don’t believe that every woman on the planet is straight.  Also the woman in Jubal’s household actually sulk and are passive-aggressive about who gets to have sex with Mike until they figure out a schedule they like.  Alpha male with beta jealousy-ridden females fighting over his time.  Of course that is the dream of any and all American woman. And of course Mike doesn’t notice the in-fighting because he is above that.  Ugh.  Mike impregnates most of them.  Bleh.

And then of course there is the smugness.  Mike’s way is the ONLY way to be and he will be a martyr to the world that will eventually all see the way.  All the people will realize that they want to live in these large sexually-free societies where there are mass orgies, cannibalism, and baby making.  All will learn the true Martian language.  All will believe in Mike’s church.  Any who doesn’t is a prude and a waste that will be weeded out.  All the men are smug and know what’s best.  The women hold “positions of power” but do nothing that Mike hasn’t approved of.  In fact some of the women, like Jill, actually like to have so little individuality that they begin to look like each other and switch places with each other because it doesn’t matter who has the experience.  They can be filled in on the details later.  Oh and they can magic themselves younger and more aesthetically pleasing.  And that is supposed to be freedom for women?

The only idea I could kinda get behind is the lack of emphasis of consumerism culture.  But that’s easy when Mike is so rich that money doesn’t matter and he can perform magic and get what ye want.

I would never ever want to live in the society espoused by Mike the Martian.  I almost wish I had never read this mess of a book.  Sure it might be a forward thinking book for a certain-type of heterosexual male-dominated society.  But it’s a surprisingly backward book for me despite the hippy-free love orgies.  I would say that the criticism of this book is well-founded.  I was going to listen to the moon is a harsh mistress next.  But I am not sure I can stomach it.  And I cannot recommend this book to others.

While researching for this post, I came across this article on the Tor website by Jo Walton who sums up some of the problems that I have with this book in a much more well-written and concise fashion.

I also enjoyed this review by a member of Goodreads named Christy.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

NAME: Valentine Michael Smith

Valentine Michael Smith is a human being raised on Mars, newly returned to Earth. Among his people for the first time, he struggles to understand the social mores and prejudices of human nature that are so alien to him, while teaching them his own fundamental beliefs in grokking, watersharing, and love.

To visit the author’s society website go to:

Robert A. Heinlein – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

stranger in a strange land – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – call it courage (Armstrong Sperry)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This be the second read in me April BookBum Club Challenge!  This read is long overdue.  Ye see it all stems from a post I read from me matey Jackie @ deathbysundoku back in October 2017.  She be on the Great Newbery quest wherein she be reading all Newbery medal winners by January 2022 when the 100th Newbery Award happens!  Worthy goal indeed.  I meself had embarked on this journey many years ago before adverse winds and scads of other adventures sent me off course.  I had managed 24 of them at last count. 

So this be number 25.  Arrrr!  As always I love me sea yarns.  This one is short but sweet.  It is the story of Maftu who grows up on an island.  A childhood mishap caused him (rightly) to be afraid of the sea.  Due to the fact that the sea supports the livelihood of the tribe, Maftu is known as a coward.  The day comes where he resolves to face his fears.  So he steals a canoe and takes off with his trusty dog companion to sail on the sea only to be thrust into an even bigger adventure.  Can he face his fears, learn to accept himself, and survive long enough to make it back home?

As me matey Jackie says, “Yes, this 1940 Newbery Award winner certainly has some representation issues. Yes, Call It Courage does play on all the noble-savage action-adventure boy serial tropes, such as those in the Tarzan serials. Yes, it portrays sexism, bullying, and submitting to peer pressure in a positive light. Yes, it does fall into a bit of a predictable storytelling mode where our protagonist magically conquers everything.”

That said, I also very much enjoyed this tale when cultural context is taken into account.  Ye cheer on Maftu in his journey and come to respect his resourcefulness, hard work, and fortitude.  From the modern perspective, it is interesting to note that Maftu would not have survived his ordeal if he hadn’t mastered the “women’s work” that is scorned by the men of the tribe.

The author was well known for his travels to the South Seas and the stories he brought back.  The tale of Maftu was one such tale that was still told around the fires of the Polynesian islands.  One of the highlights of the book were the author’s own illustrations.  He became known for this artwork and illustrated over 40 books and magazines. His pictures of Maftu adventures and island life were wonderful.  Like this one:


I do think all readers could find something to enjoy in this tale.  I highly encourage all the crew to read Jackie’s review because it is basically perfect in its representation of the book and its impact.

Much thanks to the BookBum Club for giving me the incentive to finally read this delightful “short and sweet” book (128 pgs).  Day two – challenge complete!  Next up: phoresis.  Check out that review tomorrow!

Side note: For this list of all the Newbery award winners thus far (taken from Jackie’s site) and the ones I have read that be highlighted, scroll to the bottom of the page!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

A boy tries to overcome his fear of the sea in this treasured classic and winner of the Newbery Medal.

Maftu was afraid of the sea. It had taken his mother when he was a baby, and it seemed to him that the sea gods sought vengeance at having been cheated of Mafatu. So, though he was the son of the Great Chief of Hikueru, a race of Polynesians who worshipped courage, and he was named Stout Heart, he feared and avoided tha sea, till everyone branded him a coward. When he could no longer bear their taunts and jibes, he determined to conquer that fear or be conquered– so he went off in his canoe, alone except for his little dog and pet albatross. A storm gave him his first challenge. Then days on a desert island found him resourceful beyond his own expectation. This is the story of how his courage grew and how he finally returned home. This is a legend. It happened many years ago, but even today the people of Hikueru sing this story and tell it over their evening fires.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Armstrong Sperry – Author

To buy the novel go to:

call it courage – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous BookBum Club Monthly Reviews

March 2018 – “And the award goes to – pick a book that has won an award!”

Me Newbery Reads (in italics)

2017: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin)

2016: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin)

2015: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

2014: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)

2013: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

2012: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (Farrar Straus Giroux)

2011: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)

2010: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)

2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick)

2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illus. by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson)

2006: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)

2005: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)

2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)

2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children)

2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park(Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin)

2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (Dial)

2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)

1999: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster)

1998: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (Scholastic)

1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (Jean Karl/Atheneum)

1996: The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman (Clarion)

1995: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins)

1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry (Houghton)

1993: Missing May by Cynthia Rylant (Jackson/Orchard)

1992: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Atheneum)

1991: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Little, Brown)

1990: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Houghton)

1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (Harper)

1988: Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (Clarion)

1987: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow)

1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (Harper)

1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (Greenwillow)

1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (Morrow)

1983: Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum)

1982: A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard (Harcourt)

1981: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)

1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos (Scribner)

1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)

1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)

1977: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (Dial)

1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper (McElderry/Atheneum)

1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton (Macmillan)

1974: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (Bradbury)

1973: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (Harper)

1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (Atheneum)

1971: Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars (Viking)

1970: Sounder by William H. Armstrong (Harper)

1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander (Holt)

1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)

1967: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (Follett)

1966: I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino (Farrar)

1965: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska (Atheneum)

1964: It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville (Harper)

1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Farrar)

1962: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)

1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (Houghton)

1960: Onion John by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)

1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)

1958: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (Crowell)

1957: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (Harcourt)

1956: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (Houghton)

1955: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong (Harper)

1954: …And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)

1953: Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (Viking)

1952: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (Harcourt)

1951: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Dutton)

1950: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (Doubleday)

1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Rand McNally)

1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (Viking)

1947: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (Viking)

1946: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (Lippincott)

1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (Viking)

1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Houghton)

1943: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray (Viking)

1942: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds (Dodd)

1941: Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (Macmillan)

1940: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty (Viking)

1939: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright (Rinehart)

1938: The White Stag by Kate Seredy (Viking)

1937: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer (Viking)

1936: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (Macmillan)

1935: Dobry by Monica Shannon (Viking)

1934: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs (Little, Brown)

1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis (Winston)

1932: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer (Longmans)

1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Macmillan)

1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (Macmillan)

1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (Macmillan)

1928: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (Dutton)

1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James (Scribner)

1926: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman (Dutton)

1925: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger (Doubleday)

1924: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes (Little, Brown)

1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (Lippincott)

1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (Liveright)

The Captain’s Log – all systems red (Martha Wells)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This be the first read in me April BookBum Club Challenge!

This sci-fi novella caught me eye because one of me favourite authors, Ann Leckie, talked about it in one of her blog posts.  She states, “This is volume 1 of the Murderbot Diaries, and I suspect a certain percentage of my readers don’t need to hear anything more. Go, purchase, download! You will enjoy this.”  Ummm yes I did enjoy this.  In fact, I loved it!  It is nominated for the 2018 Best Novella Hugo Award (with some amazing others) as well as these other awards:

Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novella (2018), Philip K. Dick Award Nominee (2017), ALA Alex Award (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Fiction (2017)

Need anymore convincing? Ye may see that I have not discussed plot, character, or anything else about this novel.  I went into it blind and recommend this.  For those that must know more, the blurb be below.  It does not do this justice.  This be basically a perfect read.  I have read four out of the six novellas nominated for the Hugo and so far this might be me favourite.

I had heard of Martha Wells before but never read any of her work.  Shame on me.  I be glad to have remedied this.  The next 3 novellas in the series are all scheduled to come out this year.  Arrrrr!!  I will be reading them all.  I only wish that I would have read this sooner.

Much thanks to the BookBum Club for giving me the incentive to read this delightful “short and sweet” novella (144 pgs.).  Day one – challenge complete!  Next up: call it courage.  Check out that review tomorrow!

Side note: Tor has published 5 of the 6 novellas up for Best Novella this year!  Good job Tor.  Keep up the good work!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Martha Wells – Author

To buy the book go to:

all systems red – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous BookBum Club Monthly Reviews

March 2018 – “And the award goes to – pick a book that has won an award!”