Personal Notes

So, in light of the coronavirus, especially since my father already has a lung condition that makes matters extra-risky, I’ve been preemptively holing up since starting to feel icky. What confuses matters is that I have pretty bad seasonal allergies anyway, and while I don’t feel the exact symptoms (as of now for instance I haven’t really been coughing), it’s better to be safe.

-What does this mean for Fuldapocalypse, barring some terrible development with me? Either this blog will be a lot less busy (if there’s other stuff I need to attend or am just too sleepy to do much) or a lot more (if I have nothing else to do except read hordes of cheap thrillers and have the motivation to review them).

Clive Cussler, RIP

Clive Cussler died on Monday, February 24, his publisher confirmed. And it’s hit me because of how much of a spark his books were in getting me into cheap thrillers. The very first real “cheap thriller” I read was a Clive Cussler NUMA Files book, Fire Ice. More and more Cusslers soon found their way into my hands, both the earlier ones and the later “Tom Clancy’s” ones with different authors doing more and more of the heavy lifting.

Before Blaine McCracken, before Hawker Hunter, before John Rourke, before even Patrick McLanahan,  there was Kurt Austin and Dirk Pitt taking me through thrilling and sometimes strange adventures on the page. RIP.

Blog Updates

So I’ve made a few updates to this blog in light of it becoming my sole focus after halting new posts on the Creative Corner.

First and biggest is: Fuldapocalypse now has a proper domain.

Second and considerably smaller is that I’ve enlarged the tag cloud yet again. Hey, I’m reviewing a lot of authors and branching out into ever-more genres, so I felt it appropriate at this time. I might be making a few more changes, so don’t be surprised if the blog looks different.

The Fuldapocalypse Year in Review

This has been a great year for Fuldapocalypse. Not only have I completed many reviews, and many diverse reviews, but the blog finally broke free of the shackles I’d initially imposed on it. After tinkering with the narrow scale a bit, I just tossed it aside entirely in March without any regret. Of course, my reviews became a lot more off the cuff and looser without that structure, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

It’s definitely not a bad thing that Fuldapocalypse has become a general fiction review blog with an “analytics of World War III” side-section. As I’ve said before, I would have literally run out of books had I kept trying to do that.

While I did not read a 27-book series in one binge, I did read all eleven Blaine McCracken books and all seven Black Eagle Force books.

What were my favorite literary discoveries of 2019? It’s a little hard to figure out given how much I read, but here they are.

-Northern Fury: H-Hour.

I knew very much of the Command scenarios this book started from, but was impressed by the novel itself. It managed to not fall into the pit of being just a thinly-veiled lets play, and flowed well. This is how to use wargames well for writing.

-Blaine McCracken.

If the Survivalist was last year’s “binge read a long series”, McCracken was this years, with me devouring all eleven books in short order. Jon Land tosses aside such frivolities as “plausibility” and “logic” in favor of ridiculous set-pieces. And I loved them.

-The Draka series.

This has been an infamous series in internet alternate history for a long time. Reading the actual books was something weirdly relieving, cutting through the decades-long telephone game to find. I had the suspicion that they were less than their reputation beforehand, but reading them confirmed it.

I’m left with the conclusion that, weirdly like the Spacebattles-favorite Worm, the Draka series became internet-famous for having a legitimately distinct setup and a variety of timing/circumstance-related things that had little to do with the prose itself. It’s mostly just “the bad guys win” and “bizarro-America, a continent-sized superpower founded on tyranny” used as the (interesting) setup for middling sleazy pulp in a variety of genres.

-The Casca series.

Ah yes, it’s one of those series where the background of “Guy who sang The Ballad Of The Green Beret makes a cheap thriller series about an immortal Roman soldier” is more interesting than the bulk of the books themselves. The first two books will never be more than trashy cheap thrillers, but they’re still good trashy cheap thrillers.

Everything beyond that is incredibly formulaic and risk-averse, even by cheap thriller standards. The immortality gimmick is just a way to get the same dull character into whatever pop-history period the book demands.

-Marine Force One.

David Alexander’s Marine Force One is perhaps the single most middling piece of fiction I’ve read. It’s so mediocre, so “51%”, that it actually stands out somehow. Thus it makes a good benchmark for other “51% books”, especially action thrillers, that I’ve weirdly come back to time and again.

It’s been a great year for this blog and for me in terms of reading. See you in 2020!

A Tag Change

For my 150th post on Fuldapocalypse, I’ve decided to make a few announcements. First, I made the tag cloud bigger again (It kind of needed to be). Second, I decided to break away from one of the most-used tags.

The “Infantry” category is perhaps the most awkward one on Fuldapocalypse. I first used it for a technothriller that did include infantry. Then it expanded to not only include special forces and sci-fi infantry, but also vigilantes and secret agents. The result was that, even though infantry “grunt fiction” isn’t exactly one of my favorite subgenres, “infantry” became one of the biggest and most used tags in Fuldapocalypse.

So while I’m not trying to edit existing posts, I’ve decided to specialize rather than generalize for “infantry”. So on the occasions that I do review ordinary infantry, I can keep the normal tag. Otherwise, stuff like “Secret agent” or “Special Forces” or “Vigilante” can work.

There’s obviously going to be tricky choices, but I think I can handle those on a case by case basis.

 

A Happy Fuldapocalyptic Birthday

It has now been a full year since I made the introductory post on this blog. Looking back at it, well, I think this line hasn’t aged well at all-and thankfully so.

“The lines will be a little blurry, but stuff like special forces or otherwise [sic] irregular thrillers probably won’t make the cut.”

I’ve said this many times before, but broadening the scope of this blog has been great for it and great for me. It’s even had a salutary effect on the nominal subject-because I’ve been reading so many other non-WW3/”big picture war” stories, when I do read them, I can look at them in a proper context I didn’t feel I had when the blog started. Not feeling any burnout at all also helps. So, happy birthday, Fuldapocalypse. You’ve earned it.

 

 

 

Writing And Blogging

Over at my other blog, I have a piece explaining it in more detail, but I’ll say it here as well. I’m slowing down Fuldapocalypse and putting it on semi-hiatus, not total by any means, but not at the pace I have now.

  • I’m concentrating on long-form writing, and want to slow down my blogging, as I want to get into the habit of long-form “marathons”, not short “sprinter” posts. Especially as my Fuldapocalypse posts have been getting shorter.
  • I’ve been sinking into a weird habit where I’ll pass over later installments in series where I loved the first book, but grab, read, and even review the same installments in ones where I thought the first one was merely decent at best.

That being said, I have no regrets about doing what I’ve been doing at Fuldapocalypse. It’s given me a lot of enjoyable books to read and share, and I’ve had a lot of fun making the reviews.

I have a few mostly finished reviews I can post to help it along a little longer, but just thought I’d give the heads-up.