Jim Ward 7 of the Best

Jim Ward’s 7 of the Best

helmsman_thumb2The Helmsman, by Bill Baldwin
It’s a great science fiction series in the grand tradition of Space Opera. The novel begins as Brim—a 21-year-old SubLieutenant in the Imperial Fleet—arrives at the Eorean Starwharves, a maintenance complex within the planet-spanning Fleet base on watery Gimmas-Haefdon. On first assignment since receiving his commission, Brim is fresh from The Helmsman’s Academy, where he weathered years of torment from wealthy classmates because of his impoverished background. Heretofore, the Academy had been a “private club” for the scions of Imperial wealth; however, enormous numbers of casualties during the present war with the League of Dark Stars has called for desperate measures to expedite replacement of these losses.

It’s an eight book series and with each book I couldn’t put it down until I was finished reading the book. The stories are amazing and filled with fun action. I greatly enjoyed the characters. I’ve reread the series several times.

stormStorm Front, by Jim Butcher
Harry Dresden is a modern day wizard, just exactly what I would like to be. For Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name…

There’s 15 books in this series and each one is better than the last one. Jim Butcher says he has a 20 book arc. I’ve re-read all of these books several times and can’t get enough of the great stories.

thered_250x448The Red, by Linda Nagata
Set just a little bit into the future, I find Linda’s writing on what might be to be right on the money. Lieutenant James Shelley, who has an uncanny knack for premeditating danger, leads a squad of advanced US Army military tasked with enforcing the peace around a conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. The squad members are linked wirelessly 24/7 to themselves and a central intelligence that guides them via drone relay—and unbeknownst to Shelley and his team, they are being recorded for a reality TV show.

I own the trilogy of these books and have just finished the first in the series and enjoyed it a great deal.

free-traderFree Trader of Warren Deep, by Craig Martelle
Craig the author and I both share a rabid interest in apocalyptic stories. There are six books in this series so far and each is a great story. A Cat and his human minions fight to bring peace to humanity in Free Trader of Warren Deep. The Free Trader series takes you to a colonized world across the galaxy where engineered animals help the people survive and become masters of the planet. After a devastating civil war, humanity and its creations rise again. The Free Trader finds himself at a crossroads – can he and his Cat prevent a repeat of past mistakes as they rebuild civilization?

forbiddenplanetposterFORBIDDEN PLANET, 1956 Release
Starring Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly and Robby the Robot.
This is the first movie I can remember watching and I have seen it many times since then. It’s an epic story about monsters of the Id. A star ship lands on a world expecting to find a colony of scientists and finds only death and the lovely Anne Francis. I really wish I still had the Robby the Robot toy I was given in 1957.


time-machineTHE TIME MACHINE, 1960 Release
Starring Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, and Alan Young.
This is a wonderful H. G. Wells story about a man who goes into the future to see how great mankind developed. As a nine year old the Morlocks in this movie scared me with nightmares for years. The imagery is wonderful and the message of hope comes through strong at the end of the tale. Yvette Mimieux was very enjoyable to watch on screen.


groundhog-day-poster-1GROUNDHOG DAY, 1993 Release
Starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliott
Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during an assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again. After indulging in hedonism and committing suicide numerous times, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities.

I bet I’ve enjoyed this movie fifty times. Every time I see something new. Phil Connors learns French, learns enough to become a doctor, learns enough to play a piano, and who knows what else as he lives the same day thousands and thousands of times over and over again. Every Groundhog Day I must be at the TV watching this fine movie.




Jim was born in 1951. Living a pleasantly long time, he has been happily married 46 years thanks to the patience of his wife, Janean. He has three equally charming sons, Breck, James, and Theon. They in turn have given him six startlingly charming  grandchildren: Keely, Miriam, Sophia, James Preston, Teagan, and Noah. Working here and there, he’s managed to write the first science fiction RPG, METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA, the first apocalyptic role-playing game in GAMMA WORLD, several best-selling CCGs including SPELLFIRE and DRAGON BALL Z, and a few novels including HALCYON BLITHE MIDSHIPWIZARD and HALCYON BLITHE DRAGONFRIGATE WIZARD. He likes to fence, the ‘sword’ type, not the ‘put up’ type. He spends a great deal of time looking for work. He reads science fiction and fantasy novels and occasionally something else when the cover looks interesting. Recently, he designed and tricked a company into producing his DRAGON LAIRDS board game and he’s very happy with the results. If possible, he’d like to end up as the Captain of the starship Enterprise, but that job keeps getting taken before he can get his resume into the proper time stream.

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