Hey! Randy

Archive for January, 2014

Foreigners and Domestics

Posted by heyrandy on January 11, 2014

Expatriates, James Wesley-Rawles, 2013

As he predicted the author has written another novel in his series about survivors of the financial collapse. This time the locales are the Philippines, central Florida, and Australia.The events are much the same. Plucky folk do what they have to do to stay alive. The same plucky one drive out the UN’s occupation force in America and a combined Indonesian and Malaysian army in Australia. Rawles did not explain how rival factions within Indonesia and Malaysia over came language and cultural barriers to make an effective combined fighting force. Minor omission.

I found the novel a little dull. The genre is limited. What can you really say? His characters are all thin. Every thing is too neat. Providence is always providing. The boat did not even run out of coconut oil fuel for its diesel engine until safely docked in Australia. They even had ammunition left over.

The book contains the usual technical details about firearms (.25-06? “Next time buy a .308.”), the admonition to have you supplies ready, and how to set a simple tactical ambush (it helps if your enemy is stupid and the defenders are so disciplined the no one fires prematurely, tipping off the attackers.)

In a recent interview the author has stated that he is in the process of writing another novel. I shall lie in wait, imaginary .308 at the ready.

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Sheriff Nate to the Rescue

Posted by heyrandy on January 3, 2014

Gridlock,

The electrical power grids in America (we have three) are vulnerable to attack. There is not a lot that anyone can do to make them more secure. This is the theme around which Gridlock revolves. The book is an apocalyptic novel about international machination, the Internet, terrorism, criminal networks, and a county sheriff who saves all.

Nate Osborne, the one-legged sheriff of Obscure County, North Dakota is the man who keeps the lights on in America when America’s American-made enemies try their best shut off the current. It seems that Iran and Venezuela have decided to get back at the big Yankee idiot. They have hired a Russian killer and a stupid computer genius to do the work. The Russian is quite capable, the computer kid thinks that getting his Ph.D from MIT at age 14 makes him impossible to defeat.

The book is filled with the impossible. The trouble starts when the Russian shoots a high-voltage power line insulator. He uses a long-range gun, one that he recently acquired and has not test fired. I guess that the scope was perfectly adjusted since he made the very difficult shot of hitting the insulator with his first round. The scope must have kept inline even though the Russian used the barrel to bludgeon to death his first victim.

What is even more far-fetched is amazing coöperation of all the government agencies involved. The CIA borrowed an airplane from the U.S. Navy so the FBI could fly the sheriff to Amsterdam.

Key to the book is the Internet. By way of the internet we have intercepted phone calls and e-mails. (The Russian does it. The NSA had not yet been exposed.) The computer virus would of course come via Internet.

There is the usual technical babble about guns. You cannot have an action novel without guy stuff! There is also a totally gratuitous rape–sans details.

The women in the novel come out as the heroes.  Fighters all. The most silly scene is when the sheriff’s girl friend is standing behind the Russian, shotgun in her hands, but does not blast the Russian. She runs at him; he disarms her.

In the end all is well. The grid does not crash (Two 2.5 megawatt transformers are lost to saboteurs. Why bother?) The Russian returns to his ignorant wife whom he had planned to eventually kill but now decides to retire with her. She reveals that she knows he is not all he says. “I sell arms.” Must have been a side business to help in the lean times between killings. It would also give a good rate on ammunition. The sheriff keeps the trigger-shy girl. The Chinese whack the Doctor Stupid. Having your fingerprints surgically removed makes for a clean getaway.

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