Friday, April 1, 2011

A Hidden Gem

John Steakley passed away on November 27th, 2010. During his entire career as an author he wrote two books. One was an orgy of testosterone about a bunch of bounty hunters who killed vampires for fun and profit. It was eventually adapted into a John Carpenter-directed train wreck that hit theaters for about five minutes before fading into obscurity. His other book however, is something very special and deserves more than just the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble. It is a thoughtful meditation on the destructive nature of war and the toll it takes on all those who fight. It is the story of a man driven to the precipice of madness and then nudged gently over the edge by the unseen hand of authority. It's called Armor and it should occupy a proud place on the bookshelves of science fiction fans everywhere. You should probably read it too. Don't worry, it's got plenty of action and slick dialogue to go along with the philosophy stuff. It opens with a quote from "The Masao" which is probably one of my favorite opening quote/poem thingies ever:

You are
What you do
When it counts.

How can you not love a book that starts out like that? However, if this is true than I guess you might as well call me "Runs away and screams like a little girl". Still, great book.

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