Iron and Magic – Ilona Andrews – repost review

ironmagic-900TLDR: ….here’s the thing: books rate differently depending on what genre they are—and I can’t decide what genre this book is.

If it’s a romance, it’s a solid 5/5: it has a romance in the A-plot, but it also has an actual A-plot that doesn’t completely fall apart once the main pair start sleeping together.

If it’s a standard pseudo-medieval fantasy, it’s a 3/5: it has warlords who seem genuinely dangerous and leaders who lay plans and think ahead, act like leaders rather than 20th-century office workers.

If it’s a post-apocalyptic fantasy thriller, it’s a 2/5…because, damnit, that’s the setting, and therefore that’s the genre by default, right? But it kept slipping into stupid romance-novel cliches, or dumb fantasy cliches, or dumb Hollywood cliches, and insulting its own intelligence in the process.

Pros/Cons: My likes and problems with this book are the same as with the Kate Daniels series: it’s at its best when it focuses on the worldbuilding and characterization….and yet it resolutely doesn’t play to its strengths and eventually just gives up and coasts on a smooth lane of cliche.

Plot: Hugh d’Ambray, after failing once too many times at doing whatever he was supposed to do to Kate in the previous series (still not sure about that, and, it seems, so is Hugh), was placed on administrative leave by his ex-boss Roland (an evil demigod.) Hugh proceeds to get very drunk. Ex-boss has also decided to thin out those among his men who might be more personally loyal to Hugh than to him. These eventually get back with Hugh and demand he do something about it. So: Hugh has a small army, but no home base, no supplies, allies, or resources. Elara, leader of The Departed (no, they don’t explain it either), has a castle, farmlands, and four thousand people to protect….but somehow doesn’t have anyone to do the protecting. She and Hugh contract a marriage alliance. They also immediately fall in hate with each other (rather strangely, because there doesn’t seem to be any real reason for it….other than The Romance Plot Requires It), and spend the rest of the book bickering until they finally fall into bed.

Why does The Bailey of The Departed need protecting? Because Roland’s new warlord, Landon Nez, is expanding his territory throughout the Midwest, and small magical communities like Elara’s are his direct targets. So Hugh must fortify Bailey (his battle for use of the bulldozers is one of the most relatable…*wince*…parts) and prepare for the coming fight. Meanwhile, there’s also supernatural weirdos in strange armor systematically attacking and slaughtering the nearby settlements…who also happen to be anti-magic bigots who won’t accept the help of Them Thar Dad-gum Magical Folk, You Can’t Trust ‘Em None (Throw Some Rocks, That’ll Learn ‘Em To Stay Away.) I’m being entierly serious.

So, worldbuilding: I really liked these bits. Like, how do you dig a seventy-five by ten foot moat and make it waterfast? Well, bulldozers, and then line it with concrete. But where are you going to get the volcanic ash for the Roman concrete? And who’s paying for the fuel? And your precious moat is lower priority than our sewer system, and the concrete isn’t setting right so did you waste our money? And what, oh, you want generators now? You’re pulling people off the maintenance crew now? Where are we going to get the fuel for the generators and what if we need those men for the gardens? Yep. YYYYYUP. (I recounted this part to one of the maintenance leads at my first job. He wanted to know what the book was and why the author was mocking him.)

But then for the main conflict they use the laziest device ever: the keystone army that dissolves when you kill the queen. The authors needed a Danger to provide exciting action sequences, but needed it not to be too difficult, since the heroes have limited options and resources. Instead of spending some brainpower to come up with a suitable threat–say, roving band of warlocks from Canada; or a nearby settlement that decides Bailey is now a threat and wants to cripple them preemptively; or The Pack, or the IRS, or something–we get mind-controlled Neanderthals, from nowhere, without context, any kind of buildup or backstory, nothing. BORING. BOOOOOORING. Oh, and can you guess that once you take down the queen the rest of the threat stops in its tracks? SUUUUUPER BORING. Ugh.

Characters: I have better things to say about the characters. All two and a half of them.

Hugh has to play a double role of warlord and romantic hero; but here’s the thing. A warlord isn’t going to be a hard bastard all the time; he has to have charisma, he has to demonstrate intelligence, and he has to be able to sweet-talk or reassure the people he can’t intimidate. I’d actually say that they hit the mark with this: Hugh’s code-switching is done perfectly, and you get a man whom men will trust immediately. Also dogs and kids. (Although the little girl was a bit of an overkill). And, given his powerset–he’s an immensely strong healer, as well as a master swordsman–he’s fun to watch in a fight…theoretically. There aren’t really as many good fight scenes as there ought to be. (Post apocalypse? Fights. Thriller? Fights. Romance novel? No fights.) As far as his character arc, it’s nothing new; we know he’s going to snap out of his drunken funk just as surely as we know he’s going to shape up into the man our heroine can sleep with; and we know he’s going to protect the Bailey and not back down. This isn’t a problem. Tropes are tools, and as long as they are used right–as they are here–it’s satisfying to read.

Elara Harper is also a pretty good heroine: a thoughtful, cunning leader who values life despite the rumor that her people engage in human sacrifice and that she’s the host of some kind of eldritch abomination from the elder days that not even Roland wants to cross…and even with this, she’s hampered by, again, the romance-genre tropes. Instant dislike to her new husband? Check. (I even re-read the scene again. There really is no reason for them both to start breaking out the insults while in the middle of negotiating for their people’s lives). “Fiery” personality that engages in charged bickering with her significant other? Check. Goes to extra lengths to keep him off because she’s really attracted? Check. Actually very soft-hearted and caring underneath? Check. Is any of this a problem? No; tropes are tools. These are just a little more obvious than they should be, and I noticed them a little easier.

Minor characters, such as boisterous, blunt berserker-bro Bale (I wonder if that is exactly what the author’s notes say about him) and the deaf-mute advisor girl who communicates in sign language (because she’s a banshee), remain minor but shouldn’t have. This is where the romance-genre tropes work against the book, by focusing things too much on the main duo rather than letting others get time in the limelight.

Action: is OK. My current gold standard for action writing is Larry Correia’s stuff. Hugh being someone who can heal himself or even his opponent as he fights is something that might come in handy for writing a really brutal fight scene….yeah, no. Well, again; if we call this a romance novel and not a post-apocalyptic thriller, then this isn’t a problem. (WHAT GENRE IS THIS BOOK?! It’s so good when it’s not a romance!)

The other problem is the use of that the really stupid Hollywood cliche “only the hero can do anything heroic on-camera.” It’s a cliche that shouldn’t be here, just by the book’s own logic.–there’s quite a bit of setup of how Hugh’s Iron Dogs work, are disciplined and competent…and should be able to do things like send out patrols and investigate suspicious happenings and report back to their boss, who is having dinner with some bigwigs and should have no reason whatsoever to be wandering around outside, getting in a fight with random monster scouts.

I will favorably mention one scene I thought particularly good: it’s simple, no frills, no magic, nothing fancy…just a child, a monster, a woman, and a shotgun, in a room.

Humor: is used deftly. “You’re handsome, a big, imposing figure of a man, and um…” Lamar scrounged for some words. “And they’re desperate.” Even the slap-slap-kiss romantic bickering is more amusing than annoying. Oh, and the post-apocalyptic wedding having an official DJ, photographer, and videographer? Pretty good. Preparing to host a self-proclaimed Viking with “one of those big barrels filled with beer, trust me, it works every time?” Hilarious. Like I said, the worldbuilding is one of the strengths of this book, and that includes throwing in funny, as well as verisimilitudinous, details whenever you can. If only the authors had done it more.

In conclusion: I liked this book enough to read it in one sitting, write 1500-odd words about it, and, four years later, have not read the next one and never will unless someone pays me.

Rated: What genre is it?! Really!

The Lord of Castle Black – Steven Brust – Repost Review

TLDR: Even if this one is pretty good, I have lost all patience with the Dragaera Cycle.

It’s difficult to read Steven Brust’s books at all now–even ones I previously loved liked found okay, like Issola and the very first Jhereg–because now I know the dirty secret. He’s not interested in his own story, his own universe, or making it all fit together. Dragaera isn’t a tightly-woven narrative tapestry, it’s a collection of very bright and colorful threads in a loose knot. Now and then Brust may tug a couple of threads taut, just to show off how shiny and pretty those strands are. But there’s no overall, well-thought out picture that can be salvaged from the tangle at this point (well, not without extreme and conscientious effort which I highly doubt will be made).

Brust’s interest in Dragaera lies in…I can’t say the characters, because he seems painfully uninterested in them, but he does like gourmet food, philosophical digressions (AKA, why socialism is good and mafia aren’t), and….I guess, Devera. And this is a problem, because klava and gourmand fried chocolate-dipped garlic and roast asafoedita-stuffed dormouse have left enough of a bad taste in my mouth that even after reading half of this book and enjoying it, I was extremely reluctant to pick it up again–and I still can’t bring myself to actually read The Baron of Magister Valley (AKA, The Count of Monte Cristo IN DRAGAERA.) Why should I read a book in a series that the author doesn’t even want to finish and doesn’t like any more? Why should I expect to be pleasantly entertained when that’s not the purpose of the story, anymore? Why read a well-written and enjoyable prequel to a series that the author doesn’t want to finish?

Brust does not want to tell stories about swashbuckling but hard-edged heroes, noble but ruthless warriors, sorcerers who are as powerful as gods, and gods who are as petty as men. He doesn’t want to tell a story of criminals or of empires, rebels or righteous war. He doesn’t really care about excitement any more, and adventures are downright distasteful. Much better to drink egg coffee in a corner cafe. His stories are the stories of an old man who shares little in common with his younger self (who at least tried), or with younger audiences (who came on board for the swashbuckling, capeswishing, rapier-flashing, epic fantasy stories written on a narrative backdrop that is a richly-woven tapestry, etc…AKA, people like me who stuck it out for fifteen books but have at this point noticed which way the wind blows.)

That said, and with it in mind, Brust is at his best when he’s riffing off a better author and doesn’t have to come up with those tedious narrative beats himself. As in Paths of the Dead, which I own but haven’t read in several years, this is one of those instances.

This subseries is a prequel to the main Vlad Taltos books, covering the fall and rise again of the Dragaeran Empire. It’s also a riff off of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers–D’Artagnan, Portos, Aramis, and, uh, whats-his-face, Oliver Reed played him in the movie…whatever–becoming Khaavren (the main hero), Tazendra (the dumb but loveable ruffian), Aramis (the sneaky Yendi), and…I dunno, the other guy. (WHAT IS HIS NAAAAME?!) So, I had it wrong, this is actually book 2 of a sub-trilogy within the Khaavren Romances subseries of the Dragaera Cycle. Eh, whatever.

The plot is: Khaavren, formerly the swashbuckling hero of a previous generation, has decided that he needs to get back in shape and take to the road again. His timing is good, because meanwhile, Zerika has re-emerged with the Orb from the Paths of the Dead–making her indisputably the new Empress. Problem is, there really is a dispute going on, because there are at least two pretenders to the throne, and they have quite a few more men than she does. (She’s got about twenty-five, including Khaavren’s son Piro). Meanwhile, young Dragonlord Morrolan has set up shop in a ruined castle and begun doing what he is assured Dragonlords do, which tax the local civilians and use the money to assemble an army. He’s got about three thousand soldiers. Meanwhile, immortal sorceress Sethra Lavode is…well, she’s in her mountain doing whatever she does that is of deep mystic import and is never actually explained to the audience. And, since this is book 2 of 3-ish, that’s about it. There’s a couple of battles but they don’t resolve the Pretendership conflict, and on the personal level, the book ends with a near-tragedy as Khaavren’s old-school values and personal prejudices end up pushing his son away into a life of banditry (whee!)

So the main attraction the Khaavren Romances have is that the writing style, as well as the plot, homages Dumas–that is, it’s wordy, literate, and full of narrative filligree and little stylistic flourishes which ironically help flesh out the world and the characters far, far better than plainer prose. It’s a bit stilted, but it’s charming, often amusing, (“Oh bother,” said Tazendra, “I’ve lost the reins.”) and sometimes actually quite witty. Actual action is treated in classic style: with many flourishes and little detail and as much posturing as is necessary to show our heroes in a heroic light.

The characters are less of an attraction, mostly because they’ve already been established and the narrative convention is to keep them on a bit flatter of an arc than we’d normally see. Mostly the only development is between Piro and his love interest Ibronka, culminating in a highly amusing scene wherein their friends basically lock them in a closet to resolve the UST. Morrolan, the second lead, amusingly gets slighted by the biased narrator, who regards him as an unsophisticated country (human-raised) bumpkin who wavers between dangerously airheaded and just plain dangerous. Needless to say, Morrolan’s actual actions put a lie to everything but the dangerous bit.

So, overall: this is a good book, and it’s part of a series that once showed great promise. Unfortunately, given that the rest of the series fails signally to live up to that….I honestly can’t enjoy it anymore.

Rated: One half-exploded sorceress out of…well…one.

SF Baby Names – Boys (repost)

Or, it’s a lot easier to name kids after your favorite SF/F heroes if they’re your kids….

Adam (Reith): Jack Vance’s Planet of Adventure cycle. (Portrayed here by Keir Dullea in 2001: A Space Odyssey, because that’s pretty much what I imagine Adam Reith to look like).

keirdulleaaspaceodyssey“He looks creepy.”
“He’s this ice cold, stone cold badass space scout guy who gets crash landed on an alien planet. And then he has adventures.”
“Brrr! Look at those eyes!”
“Yeah, ain’t they nice? And then he has to basically build his own space ship to go back home again.”
“…”
“…”
“It’s a good name!”

Aragorn (Lord of the Rings)
aragorn_2_-_fotr“He don’t look like that no more.”
“Doesn’t matter, he’s Aragorn!”

Ben, Benedict (of Amber): The Chronicles of Amber. (Here portrayed by Gary Cooper as portraying Howard Roarke in The Fountainhead. I suppose Howard or even Roarke wouldn’t have gone amiss as entries on this list, but never mind.)
annex20-20cooper20gary20fountainhead20the_05“I dunno who this guy is.”
“He’s a Prince of Amber! He’s the greatest swordsman in the worl–no, he’s the greatest swordsman in the universe. Any universe.”

Brandoch (Daha): The Worm Ouroborous.

“Ohhhh, I remember him.”
“Yes, that’s Errol Flynn. But the character is named Brandoch Daha. He’s this guy in The Worm Ouroborous, he’s a real dandy and he’s also the greatest swordsman in the world.”
“I thought you said that the other guy was the greatest swordsman in the world!”
“No, Benedict is the greatest swordsman in the universe. He’s better than Brandoch Daha.”
“Whatever.”

Carthoris: ERB’s Barsoom cycle. (Here portrayed by Eric Schweig from Last of the Mohicans)
eric-schweig-actor-native-american-actors-singers-etc-38228443-500-326“Car…thoris…? That’s a horrible name!”
“It’s a combination of his parent’s names! John Carter and Dejah Thoris! Car-Thoris!”
“Next!”

Corwin/Carl/Corey: The Chronicles of Amber (AKA, Tyrone Power)

“I remember Corwin.”
“You do?”
“You used to tell me alllllll about him.”
“Yeah, isn’t he cool?”
“Next.”

Duncan (AKA: Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, as seen in The Prisoner of Zenda): Dune, Dune Messiah. The greatest swordsman in the universe. (It’s a different universe from the other one.) How great? His enemies were so impressed they brought him back to life after swarming him to death with sheer numbers.
400px-poz1937_dfjr“Y’know, I’m sensing a trend here.”
“Shut up.”

Eric (John Stark): Leigh Brackett’s Mars, Venus, and Skaith.
938641“Oh, Leigh Brackett!”
“Yes! I mean, I barely blog about her books but they were really good. This guy is like Tarzan.”
“Oh.”
“…on Venus.”
“I can see why you like him.”
“WHATEVER.”

Gilgamesh (Wulfenbach): Girl Genius. The one and only schmott guy. Und hiz hat!
gilgamesh_nice_hat“GILGAMESH? Are you serious?”
“…well, you could call him Gil.”
“…”
“It could be a middle name!”
“…”
“Look, he’s got a hat.”
“NEXT.”

Harry (Copperfield Blackstone Dresden): The Dresden Files.

4796e39950a869c6ef1307a8d2e81f37“Next.”
“Awwww, but I like Harry.”

Julian (of Amber)
the-war-lord-1965-universal-film-with-charlton-heston-a8dkfx“Oh! I know him! That’s Charlton Heston!”

Juss (The Worm Ouroborous) (AKA: Robert Taylor in Ivanhoe), Lord of Demonland (don’t worry, they’re really only from Mercury and he’s actually the hero), Prince among princes, and a really good guy overall.
knightsoftheroundtable19532“Juss?”
“Or Justin. Or Justinian…and you could just call him Juss.”
“Juss.”
“Yeah!”
Juss.”
“It’s nice, innit?”
“…No.”

John (Clayton, Carter, Dillulo…): Tarzan, Barsoom, and Edmund Hamilton’s Merc Captain in the Starwolf series. It’s a good name, OK? This one happens to be Gordon Scott of the John Clayton fame.
5347565_orig“John. John’s a good name.”
“It’s a classic.”
“So–”
“Keep going.”

Kirth (Gersen): The man who defeated The Demon Princes.
f11be3d9fb349da339bb9fa063ff0cc2“Kirth. OK, I like Kirth.”
“His family was killed and sold into slavery by these five master criminals, and then his grandfather trained him as an assassin detective and he spent the rest of his life tracking them down one by one and killing them. They were such–they were these criminal overlords, like–they were so powerful and feared that people called them the Demon Princes.”
“Oh.”
“And, he got them all.”
“And then what did he do?”
“Heh, the last page of the last book is him wondering what he’s going to do next.”

Leto (Duke of Arrakis and Caladan): Dune. Leto’s limited screentime doesn’t really get to show how cool a character this guy really is.

leto_web_14“Leto. Leto. It sounds like a middle school name.”
“….uh?”
“It does!”
“…you could be ahead of the curve?–no, you’d be behind the curve.”
“–behind the curve, yeah.”
“Yeah.”
“He’s a cool character though!”
“Next.”

Luke: (The Legend of Luke)Father of Martin the Warrior, foe of Vilu Daskar, blood brother to Ranguvar Foeseeker, liberator of the slaves!
uk_luke

“Whaaaat! Oh, ahahahahahaaa, that’s hilarious. ”
“Those books were really awesome.”

Martin The Warrior: Redwall. Because REDWAAAAAAALLLLLLL! EULALIA! LOGALOGALOGALOG!
martin_the_warrior_by_redwall_club
“Because Redwaaaaaalll! Yue–Eue–Eulalia! Logalogalogalog! Heh heh heh.”

Miles (Vorkosigan): Lois Bujold’s The Vorkosigan Saga

b76f676b0e9e6042ea80414e16686107“Who is this guy?”
“He’s–”
“I don’t know who this guy is. Why is his face on fire?”
“It’s symbolic.”
“Why did you pick a symbolic picture?”
“…because it was symbolic and it represented the character well!”
“His face is ON FIRE.”
“IT IS NOT.”

Solomon (Kane): Robert E Howard’s Solomon Kane mythos.
solomon_kane“Oh! I like this guy. Who is this guy?”
“He’s a Puritan in old England who goes around smiting evil. With a sword.”
“Hm!”
“Down from the hills came Solomon Kane…there’s a poem somewhere. Dang, I should have linked to it or something.”
“He’s very cool looking.”
“He’s very cool.”
“Put a link to the poem up!”
“Oh, ok. Since you asked for it.”

Roger: The man who gave us many worlds, glimpses of grandeur, nobility and fun that might otherwise have been lost to ours. Thanks, man. I loved your books.
roger-zelaznys-quotes-1I didn’t read any of his books.”
“Shut up.”

war-song

Ineluki, we are calling
as our women one day called.
Prince, our cries are harsh with hatred
and our hearts are turned to stone.
We would face now any horror,
we would stand who fled before.

Ineluki, we are calling
as our children one day called.
Prince, our hearts are cold within us,
and our souls grow sharp as steel.
We would take for ours the fire:
we would burn who burned before.

Ineluki! Lord, we hail you!
Wake, o Prince, from thy dark dreaming,
Rise, retake thy iron sword.
We are weak no more with anguish,
we are stilled no more by sorrow.
Prince, our hearts burn high with fury,
and our hands are hard with hate.

Ineluki! Do you sleep yet?
Here we bring your arms before you,
Here we lay them, at your feet!
From your long sleep wake and lead us,
Rise, o Prince, loose hell and tempest!
Ineluki! Wake, and lead us on again!

So I really disliked Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and periodically remember the fact. Why does no one write the kind of elves–or elves at the civilizational stage–where they’re full of fire and vinegar and giving all kinds of merry hell to Others. If you’re that worried about writing them outside the Tolkien template, all you have to do is make them Fair Folk instead…

Shadow of the Conqueror – Shad Brooks – QuikReview

shadow-of-the-conquerorEnthusiastic, imaginative, and inept. 

It’s a first novel, and it has the clawmarks of one: big ideas; enthusiastic, imaginative but vague worldbuilding; exposition delivered mostly through dialogue; characterization delivered mostly through dialogue; action described mostly through dialogue; and unnecessary dialogue pointing out themes and moral implications that have already been made obvious by basic narration or other dialogue strings

There are also several structural failures: the main hero-buddy duo just doesn’t work (although the secondary one does, mostly). What’s worse for the book as a whole, none of the humor is quite as funny as it wants to be; the book itself could have excused a multitude of faults with a strong infusion of black, self-aware humor.

Continue reading “Shadow of the Conqueror – Shad Brooks – QuikReview”

Mentally Tired Read/Watchlist

Readlist: 
– Eight Days of Luke – Diana Wynne Jones – a nice, relaxing old stand-by. I really like this book.
– Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik – also a relaxing, low-stakes fantasy novel that’s joining the I’m-tired-and-need-to-relax rotation.
– You’re Stepping On My Cloak and Dagger – Roger Hall –  This guy joined the OSS during WW2 and, unwillingly, ended up flying a desk for most of it. Highlight: He gets the assignment to be dropped behind enemy lines and take over leadership of a guerilla group…except by the time he got there the lines had moved and he was back in American territory again. Heh. Also, he ends up accepting German surrenders in Hell. 
– Byzantium – Judith Herrin – is one of the things I lack the fortitude to actually power through right now.

Watchlist:

– Taking Lives – an early-2000s movie starring Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke. It’s mostly interesting because Ethan Hawke is very handsome and Angelina Jolie is…Angelina. Other than that the plot falls apart when you think about it for more than ten seconds and the characters are more a collection of quirks, twitches, and mannerisms than actual characterization.

– Want to watch: The Wolf of Snow Hollow appears to be available…

“Add title”

Some have broken the bounds of the narrow land

Laid open the book of dreams

Drawn doorways in the sand 

walked through Shadow to the many worlds

With fellowship and dread companions

From the last castle to the Gaean Reach

strangers and pilgrims in a strange land, 

progressing, our destination universe.

The farthest star but a mote in God's eye.


When the world turned upside down,

through a splinter in the mind's eye, recall

who goes there, out of the dark?

A star rider on a steel horse, 

a rite of passage through abyss of wonder,

shelters of stone to the starpilot's grave. // clan of cave bear to the lioness rampant

I saw the doors of his mouth open

and the lamps of his eyes shine.

A final rose bloom for Ecclesiastes,

and no night, ever, without stars.


What's it like out there -- Skagganauk, or the space beyond,

the birthplace of creation, or the crossroads of time?

There is time enough for love. 

Soul music in a minor key, sung by no woman born

In a many-colored land: red, blue, and green.

East of Eden, children of the mind await their childhood's end.

The player of games is gonna roll the bones.

Computers don't argue, the right to arm bears is in the bone

Equal rites are observed,

And no man sayeth call him lord.


There are Skylarks three in an alien sky;

from homely house to lonely mountain 

the long patrol guards moss and flower;

a stainless steel rat runs for president (to hell and back).

Sheep are electric. The horse and his boy

dream of dancing mountains.

All cats are gray, walking between the walls

To say nothing of the dog

that bays with five mouths

the fool moon.


Creatures there are of light and darkness:

When true night falls on the borders of infinity

two suns setting cast slithering shadows

across the long tomorrow. 

Ancient, my enemy, the old gods waken. 

Alas, Babylon! The city and the stars!

Wolves across the border

A feral darkness, the darkness that comes before,

Beyond the black river. 


I will fear no evil, 

not the hills of the dead nor the black god's kiss,

the wings in the night, or the red nails' gleam;

Daemon, sidhe-devil, or devil in iron

or the nine billion names of God,

for the stars are also fire

and the stars

burn.


Soldier, ask not 

of unfinished tales or a dry, quiet war.

Take iron counsel of the cold equations.

Till we have faces, lest the long night fall,

Raise the sword of Rhiannon

Set a fire upon the deep.

More than honor, we few,

Wee free men, the high crusade,

Seek Armageddon inheritance

In the service of the sword. 


Sleeper, awaken! from this alien shore

To your scattered bodies go

A citizen of the galaxy

and not this pale blue dot

Bid farewell again to the cool, green hills of earth

I have space suit and I will travel

The stars are my destination 

These stars are already ours.