Monthly Archives: December 2016

Vintage SciFi Month Reading Plans!

If 2016 doesn’t kill me then I’m going to get to celebrate a new year an another #VintageSciFiMonth in January! I’m so excited. Vintage SciFi Month has become an important part of my reading schedule. What is it? Basically: In January we read SciFi or Fantasy books published prior to our birth year! Check out the founder LittleRedReviewer’s post on VintageSciFiMonth for more details! 

Now as to my reading plans for January:

DORSAI! By Gordon R Dickson is the first book of his incredible Childe Cycle and I’ve been working through this series each January! This will be a reread for me BECAUSE I’m reading it with some friends who are starting their own Vintage SciFi Month journeys! If you aren’t sure what to read for this month please consider reading this book with us!  You can purchase it here. If you want to see my review on DORSAI! you can find it here. I really enjoy this book which is why the next book on my list is….

Tactics Of Mistake also by GRD and also in the Childe Cycle! It is the fourth book in the series yet second chronologically. I’m excited to read this for the first time and discover more about this great universe. 

What would a Vintage SciFi Month be here at RedStarReviews if there wasn’t a little Frank Herbert? The Worlds Of Frank Herbert is a collection of his Short Stories that I’ve been slowly working on and will continue with during this month!

Michael Moorcock’s book The Silver Warriors is Fantasy, but Fantasy is totally ok by the rules of Vintage SciFi Month! I loved reading the Elric Saga and I can’t wait to see what this book has in store for me!

Titan by John Varley was published in 1979 which is AFTER my birth year but it’s ok some rules can be bent AND the founder of the Month oks and books 1979 and prior so if your birth year is making it tough to find a SciFi book that interests you then open it up to 1979 and before! This whole month is supposed to be fun so feel free to have some fun!

Speaking of fun: I’ll be announcing a little Vintage SciFi Month giveaway here on my site on New Year’s Day! Stay tuned for details! Hope y’all have some excellent books picked out for the sixth annual Vintage SciFi Month! 


If I Believe Beyond Redemption Is The Best Book Then It Is!

When I first saw Michael R Fletcher’s Beyond Redemption I was interested. Both the title and the cover art caught my eye. The premise captured me. I knew I’d be reading it soon and started shuffling my book plans to include it in! I’m very glad I did!

Beyond Redemption has become one of my favorite books from 2016 and will stay one of my favorites for a long time! This Dark Fantasy is rich in character, plot, and concept development! A very well executed story that draws you in. 

The premise of the story (Belief shapes Reality) is one I’ve often thought about, and I’m happy to see it dealt with in a Fantasy setting. The comparisons made between great power and great delusion are so interesting to see as they play out in the story. 

This is not a book for those who want clean cut heroes with stories that end happy. As the name implies these characters are bloody, gruesome, rough, dark, and difficult to be friends with; but you end up loving them anyways. Some stories TRY VERY HARD to be dark and in so doing become ridiculous or grotesque. This story doesn’t try to be dark, it is beautifully dark. It grips you and compels you to read on, from the quotes that start off the chapters, through the twists and turns of the story, and on to the final page. I couldn’t be happier with it and I have already purchased the sequel to go on further in the story! 

You can find the author on twitter here and you can find the book for sale here. Give it a read and see if you can figure out who the title refers to! Just be prepared for a beautifully dark and thought provoking story! 

How To Remove Pesky Stickers From Book Covers

Years ago while working with a book store I learned an easy method of removing those pesky stickers off of the cover of a book without damaging the book! This little handy trick has helped me through the years as many of mine own books are purchased through used bookstores. Today I’m sharing this with my fellow book lovers so that you can eliminate some hassle in your life by getting rid of those pesky stickers without leaving glue residue all over your books! Here’s what you’ll need:

A book with a sticker

A hair dryer

A butter knife (or an icing spreader)

A wet cleaning wipe (not pictured here but you can use a Lysol wipe for this)

Step One: Heat it up!

You’ve got to heat up the sticker to melt the glue beneath and cause it to loosen its death grip upon your beloved book! The time differs for each sticker of doom you encounter, but you at least want to be able to work your finger under a corner of it. 

Step Two: Peel it back!

Now that the evil glue has loosed its hold on your book you want to take your butter knife (or icing spreader) and start working it along the sticker as you slowly peel it back with your free hand. You may find that after you’re about halfway you need to pause and give the sticker a blast of hot air from the hairdryer. Some of them refuse to go without a fight. The logic behind using a knife for this part is it keeps the hot melted glue off of you and spares your fingernails. 

Step Five: Wipe out!

Take your wet wipe (I use the Lysol wipes, but I’ve seen it done with Windex and paper towels too) and wipe off the remaining glue. This should be the final step! If you’ve taken your time and not rushed through it your book should now look like this:

Yay! Sticker free! Perfect and ready to go for your next Bookstagram Photoshoot! 

It’s really an easy method of solving the book sticker crisis! Allowing you to enjoy your books and not fear what stickers they may place upon them. Thanks for reading! Hope this helps!

And a special thank you to L.E. Modesitt Jr for writing this omnibus and the store that stickered it up so that I could share this knowledge with y’all! 

For Christmas My True Love Gave To Me…

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our home to you and yours! Here’s hoping your days have been filled with joy, peace, love, cheers, and books! Mine have been and I want to brag for a moment on one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given:

My lovely wife knows how much I love books so she created a book specifically to let me know how much she loves me! This wonderful book might not be on GoodReads but it deserves a review of its own!

The author is my favorite author! I loved her work so much I married her! 🙂

The book captures all that my wife loves about me and us and even our little puppy Piper. It’s a wonderful gift that captured my heart. Thank you, Luv. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The Winner Of RedStarReviews’ Favorite Book Of 2016 Is….

Each year I select my “Favorite Book Of The Year” and it is definitely a difficult task! I have tried to keep the book selection to one of the more current books I’ve read in that year which helps me narrow down the selection process, but as this is a subjective award I feel free to award it to any book I read in the calendar year. That said let’s look over the past winners of the award and then announce 2016’s Favorite Book Of The Year!

First up is 2013’s winner of Favorite Book Of The Year:

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It fought off tough contenders in 2013 such as Ship Of Fools to win this award. It is an interesting tale marvelously told. A multi perspective character to start things off with a bang! Seriously the primary character starts off with multiple view points and that’s neat to me! Also this book challenges gender bias and does so in a unique and interesting way. Excellent SciFi. 

This leads us to the 2014 winner of Favorite Book Of The Year:

Red Rising by Pierce Brown takes The Iliad and combines it with Warhammer40K style action and weaves a grand tale of betrayal, intrigue, vengeance, and heartbreak. Imagine your people slaving away in dangerous conditions in mines never to see the light of day, dying young, risking everything, with only the belief that you’re doing this so that mankind itself won’t perish keeping you strong. Now imagine that after sacrificing everything you learn that all that you know is a lie and your people are merely slaves being used to enrich your masters above you…. That’s where this story starts, and from there an amazing adventure takes place. Red Rising beat books such as Half A King, Consider Phlebas, The Southern Reach Trilogy to win the award. 

The book that won the 2015 Favorite Book Of The Year award is:

The Girl In The Road by Monica Byrne which is a beautifully told story that will place you within the hearts of the characters and let you see life through their eyes! Monica Byrne has a way of pulling you not only into the story but also into the characters too. This tale is an outward adventure that reflects the inward journey our characters are on. It is a masterpiece and it’s one that causes you to see this world we’re in through different perspectives. I had thought Golden Son would be my favorite of 2015, or Armor, or Half The World, but in truth The Girl In The Road surpasses them!

Which brings us to…


Of the 2016…








And the winner is:

Jeffrey Alan Love for his book: Notes From The Shadowed City! 

This book is AMAZING! It is an illustrated tale of a man who has forgotten who he is while finding himself inside a magical city filled with dark and dangerous wonder. I love the artwork and was completely captivated by the story. This is a book to fire up the imaginations of the readers! A fantasy that introduces you to some of the lessor known magical swords hidden away within the Shadowed City. This beat Passage At Arms, The Incorruptibles, Children Of Fire and all others to carry away the award this year!

I am looking forward to finding out what book will win the award in 2017!