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Louis K. Thomas RSS Feed (St. Louis, MO USA)

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Mindtouch (The Dreamhealers Book 1)
Mindtouch (The Dreamhealers Book 1)
Price: $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, December 9, 2014
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A slow, graceful trip through the budding best-friendship between two alien espers. A meditation on connection and loss that follows two friends through the trials of their early university coursework in psychology and their volunteer work at a children's critical care unit.

This story is great if you are looking for alien psychology and interpersonal relationships. If you are looking for action-adventure, you are completely in the wrong place. :)


Argo
Argo
Price: $1.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Good But Needs Another Draft, September 27, 2012
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This review is from: Argo (Kindle Edition)
This is a good short-story telling of a well known mind-bender sci-fi plot. Unfortunately, it could use some editing (beyond mere typo correction). Some facts seem to slide mysteriously into existence (how did the car get miles from the city?) and the penultimate discussion could be tighter. If you are going to mentally spar with your reader, your arguments need to be very well stated. The twist is not new, so I was left wanting a little more time with the interesting world and enjoyable characters. Overall, though it could be made better, I enjoyed and would recommend this story.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 27, 2012 2:18 PM PDT


Light on Shattered Water (Life of Riley Book 1)
Light on Shattered Water (Life of Riley Book 1)
Price: $4.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich in World Building, September 25, 2012
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Light on Shattered Water is an excellent novel and I highly recommend it.

The novel is about Michael 'Micah' Riley, a commercial graphic artist out camping for a weekend vaction in the Vermont woods, who suddenly finds himself in an alternate Earth populated instead by felinoids (Rris) with a culture just about to enter their Industrial Revolution. It is a huge surprise to both sides when Micah stumbles upon a rural community of Rris, and Micah finds himself accused of a brutal murder before he can even understand their language. He earns a place for himself at the capitol with the human knowledge stored on his laptop, but what kind of life can there be for a marooned alien besides being poked, prodded, and interrogated? Can can he keep himself and those he cares about safe amidst the chaos of political intrigue and fear of change his presence is bringing about?

My favorite thing about Mr. Howell's writing is the sheer richness.

His descriptions of the physical settings in the book are very vivid and filled with wonderful detail. He makes the world that the protagonist has fallen into come alive, with evocative descriptions of frozen winter forest and farmlands, the architecture of a palace, and the chaos of a teeming city.

The culture of the Rris is also richly detailed. Mr. Howell has made a very believable world of alien creatures. They have their own history and own institutions. One of the themes of the book is that while the are many surface similarities, the Rris are diffent enough from the Micah in mindset to get him in deep trouble even when he does his best to guard against it. They do things for subtly differnt reasons and opportunities for misunderstanding abound. Mr. Howell does not take shortcuts in the telling of this story of a stranger in a strange land. We struggle along with Micah as he slowly learns the language, the institutions, and the people. We meet both kings and dock workers. The characters are not cardboard cutouts, and the line between hero and villain is not easily drawn.

The story is rich in emotion. It explores the emotions that make us humans and how they shape us. It takes us from the depths of loneliness to the heights of love and companionship. It looks at the fear of being in a fight for one's life and the exhilaration of pulling off a successful caper. It looks at the desperation of confusion and the rewards of comprehension. Betrayal and forgiveness, rage and courage and integity; they're all here.

There's a lot here, but it's a long book. There's room for both picturesque details and plenty of action. So much the better! And if you can't get enough, the next novel in the series is "Storms over Open Fields" and the third novel, "Lies in Red Leaves," is about half done.

This is Mr. Howell's second attempt at this premise. "The Human Memoirs," his first, is good, but Light on Shattered Water is excellent. The pacing, the plausibility of the action, and the thorough non-humanness of the alien culture are much improved.

I highly recommend this book.


TRENDnet 48-Port Cat5/5e Unshielded Wallmount or Rackmount Patch Panel, TC-P48C5E
TRENDnet 48-Port Cat5/5e Unshielded Wallmount or Rackmount Patch Panel, TC-P48C5E
Price: $43.99
61 used & new from $35.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Fine, November 23, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Just what it's supposed to be. It consists of blocks of six ports, and the panel is four blocks wide by two blocks high. The metal frame is sturdy. The back is labeled and color coded for T568A and T568B. You'll need a punch down tool of course. I didn't notice a problem with the blocks coming out of the frame, but then I held the front while pushing on the back as a matter of course to get enough leverage.


C2G / Cables to Go 03859 24-Port Blank Keystone/Multimedia Patch Panel
C2G / Cables to Go 03859 24-Port Blank Keystone/Multimedia Patch Panel
Price: $14.95
52 used & new from $12.88

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Fine, November 23, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There's not a whole lot to say - it's exactly what it's supposed to be. The metal plate is sturdy and the keystone jacks I bought separately snap in to place nicely. It's exactly what I wanted and worked perfectly for my installation.

(Be aware that this is indeed a 24 port panel as described, not a 32 port as pictured.)


Dragonbreath #3: Curse of the Were-wiener
Dragonbreath #3: Curse of the Were-wiener
by Ursula Vernon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.52
144 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars More Great Dragonbreath!, November 22, 2010
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Another very entertaining story in the Dragonbreath series. After Wendell is bitten by a hot dog, Danny and Wendell must find a way to take down the alpha wurst and save the school (not to mention Wendell!) from becoming its minions.

Ursula's trademark "quirkiness" is in full force here. ("Do you ever worry that your childhood is warping you in some fashion?" "Are you kidding? I'm counting on it.") Kids will love the cute story and interleaved comic book illustrations, and there are plenty of little tidbits thrown in for the grown ups. (Anyone book that can throw in the line "Joseph Campbell is spinning in his grave" and have it be apropos is totally awsome!)

I think the storytelling is a notch higher in this book than in previous books. With his best friend's life on the line, Danny's adventure has a bit more gravity and a bit less whimsy to it.

I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone who would enjoy a bit of intelligent silliness.
("Periodic Table Bandages: Puts The Pain Back In Learning")


Outworld Cats
Outworld Cats
by Jack Lovejoy
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
48 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Blah, June 25, 2010
This book is not at all what I hoped for. With a title like "Outworld Cats," I thought it would be an interesting story about two alien cats figuring out how to deal with Earthlings. Sadly, no. Really, it's about an odd handful of humans who defeat a maniacal businessman. The alien cats just show up from time to time to help the action along.

The characterizations are all very flat. Even though potentially interesting (i.e., an occult investigator, a native American shaman in training, a bodybuilder MBA student, an Italian silent film actress), none of the characters have any depth or backstory (i.e., you now know as much about these characters as you will after finishing the book). The bad guys are brutish thugs who take pride in their lack of intelligence, and (joy) we get to follow them for a quarter of the book. I have no idea how thay managed to come "this close" to taking over the world. The alien cats are hyperintelligent but never communicate with the humans and thus spend the entire time bemusedly watching the main characters and generally having no idea what is going on. They never regale the reader with their interesting observations about human nature or culture from an alien viewpoint, but we do get to watch them smack the neighbor's cat around for being mean.

OK, so at least there's action, right? Well, yeah, stuff happens, but it's not an exiting action story - there are no space battles or car chases or anything. The bad guys are mean to everyone (including each other). The good guys escape by inviting all the body builders in California to a film festival. (Really!) Since it is hard to care about the main characters, it is hard to get interested in what they are doing. The capstone: the good guys barely scratch the surface of the big bad's nefarious plan, yet the cats manage to destroy the plan through actions that were apparently taken on a whim (as they have no idea what's going on overall but can repeat whatever they see someone type on a computer).

The best thing I can say is that the prose is pleasant enough to read. There's just not a lot of reason to do so.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 18, 2013 6:10 AM PDT


50 Golden Panflute Favorites
50 Golden Panflute Favorites
12 used & new from $14.17

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheese in a can!, December 2, 2007
I'm so glad I only borrowed this from the library. Terribly cheesy arrangements! Fur Elise with drums and electric bass? Ugh!


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, November 3, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really enjoyed this excellent short story.

The story is set in a universe similar to The Blind Pig universe. The story showcases Mr. Guesz's deft characterization and skill at drawing the reader in emotionally. Fans of Mr. Guesz's earlier writing (like me) will be very pleased. The author's comment is actually a very good plot synposis, and I don't want to give anything away. Bring tissues.


Furry!: The Best Anthropomorphic Fiction!
Furry!: The Best Anthropomorphic Fiction!
by Fred Patten
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.75
50 used & new from $0.01

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AKA, Best In Show, June 3, 2006
FYI, This book is/was also published as "Best In Show" by Sofawolf Press.

This anthology is very good and I heartily recommend it. It contains stories from authors on my "buy-on-sight" list and I had nearly laid out the cash for it before I started reading the descriptions and realized it sounded awfully familiar. It's darn good, but I don't really need two copies. :)

I think the biggest strength of this anthology is its variety. With twenty six different authors, you are almost guaranteed to find something new. I already knew Brian Antoine and Phil Geusz were excellent furry authors. In this anthology, I discovered "The Color Of Rain" by Gene Breshears, "Crucible" by Kim Liu, "Messenger" by Mel White, and more. If you like anthropomorhic short stories, this is for you.

P.S. The Sofawolf version has cover art by Ursula Vernon, which you might prefer. :)


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