Radio Active #76: The Stars, Like Books

Radio Active PodcastMy Christmas-turned-Winter Reading List is front and center on this episode of Radio Active as I run down the books I’ve been reading recently, including Revelation Space by Alistair Reynolds, The Last Colony by John Scalzi and Star Wars: Omnibus: Tales of the Jedi, Volume 1.

I also talk about my new writing gig at and try out Cute PDF, a free PDF writer for Windows.

Getting the Show

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Show Notes

  • Nuketown News
    • Game Cryer
      • There’s a new game review web site out here, and I’m writing for it. It’s called, and it’s aimed at getting quality game reviews on the web.
      • My first review for the site, Star Wars: Scum and Villainy, is up now. Look for me to write about one review a month.
      • Excited about it because we really needed another good, consistent venue for reviewing RPGs.
    • Cute PDF
      • Found a quick-and-easy free PDF writer I’ve been using on my Mac’s Windows partition.
  • Promo: Lovecraftiana
  • Christmas/Winter Reading List

    • Revelation Space by Alistair Reynolds
      • I was in the mood for a good, hybrid space opera/hard SF book, and Reynolds delivered. Revelation Space is a novel that wraps itself around a cosmological mystery: what caused the extinction of the alien Amarantin civilization? And will solving that mystery save the human race … or destroy it?
      • The book gets a little thick in the middle — it could have lost 50 or so pages of political scheming — but throttles things up in the last third to reach a satisfying conclusion.
      • While this is the first book in a series, it doesn’t read like one; there are no unnatural cliffhangers, and it’s nicely self-contained.
    • The Last Colony by John Scalzi
      • The last in the trilogy spawned by Scalzi’s first book, Old Man’s War. John Perry and his cloned wife have settled into post military life, only to find themselves recruited to serve as chief administrators on Earth’s newest colony. Scalzi introduces (and then abrutly discards) first contact with an aboriginal alien spieces, then goes on to short curcuit his own political intrigue about halfway through the book. It’s not a bad book, and it’s an adequate conclusion to the series, but it felt rushed, and like it could have used about another 50 pages of exposition.
    • Star Wars: Omnipedia: Tales of the Jedi, Volume 1
      • Volume #1 consists of three stories: The Golden Age of the Sith, Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, and The Saga of Nomi Sunrider set 3000-4000 years before the Battle of Yavin.
      • All in all, the book’s worth picking up, particularly for those (like me) who are running Knights of the Old Republic RPG campaigns. “The Golden Age” may be weak, but the other two stories make up for it.
    • Next up:
      • The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman (Book #3 of His Dark Materials; The Golden Compass was book #1)
      • Either The New Space Opera or The Space Opera Renaissance
    • My Christmas 2008 reading list on
    • My Winter 2008 reading list on
  • Promo: RPG Podcasts
  • Outro