The Most Strangely Prominent Book

David Alexander’s Marine Force One is not prominent or popular by any standard. The best you can say is that it led to a few more book in its series. It has its quirks, but it’s a very middling novel. That’s the reason why I cite it so much in later Fuldapocalypse reviews.

Like the elusive “replacement-level player” in sports analysis, the “51% book” is a term I use a lot, used to describe something that’s merely adequate in all forms. And this was one of the most 51% books imaginable. It’s so middling it somehow stands out as something that is the perfect example of a decent book.

The Super-Pickup Truck

So one of my automobile what-ifs, occasionally acted out in Automation, is “what if you put a supercar engine in a pickup truck?” (In-game, not really that much, all things considered, though I’m not the best at optimizing)

And it turns out that that indeed happened in 2004, when Chrysler put the V10 engine from the Viper in a Dodge Ram to create the Ram SRT-10.

Having a Personal Ending

What prompted this post was an announcement that Starbreeze/Overkill is beginning work on new content for Payday 2 again, as part of a desperate attempt to milk their lone cash cow even further to try and bide time for Payday 3 development. (It’s probably the least bad thing to do, but that’s another story)

Now that game, in its weird plot progression from story-less homage to classic heist movies to ridiculous tie-ins to what could have been a Jon Land novel just ended well. Having some sort of follow-on just seems like disrupting a good moment. Though I’m waiting until I see the content before I pass judgement on it specifically, I can feel comfortable saying that in my personal canon, the saga ends with confronting an evil dentist next to an alien MacGuffin in a cave underneath the White House.

And well, it’s not the only one where I’ve felt like I’ve had a stronger “personal ending”. There’s another, far more famous setting that I have a personal ending for, and, unlike Payday’s, it wasn’t originally planned as the official conclusion. That would be Jack Ryan. For all its other faults, The Sum Of All Fears is a near-perfect conclusion to the saga of Jack Ryan, Cold Warrior. And finally, I haven’t had much interest in the recent revival of the Survivalist series. I might check them out, but as far as I’m concerned, the story of John Rourke ended in Death Watch (if not the ninth/tenth book, a more ideal stopping point).

An area where I didn’t have a personal ending comes from the Blaine McCracken novels, mostly just because how disappointing the last-for-a-while installment, Dead Simple, was. I also don’t have them in many settings that are inherently open-ended.

But some settings/franchises/series just have a moment that seems so appropriate that I can’t help but go “That’s where it deserved to end.”

The World Series Champion Records

The World Series starts tonight. So I’ve been looking up the list of players with the most World Series championships .The leader is Yogi Berra with ten. You really have to dig a little to find players with a ton of rings who never played for the 1920s-1960s Yankees.

Two interesting standouts are the ever-slow aging Jamie Moyer (who was good enough to start a game for a World Series winner in 2008 at 45) and John Lackey (whose appearance on three different World Series winners years apart brings Robert Horry to mind).

Going Back To The Car Plant

I actually haven’t read any cheap thrillers I can remember that took place in car plants, or even had a scene that was inside a car plant. They’re big, there’s a lot of people there, and there’s a lot of automated heavy equipment that can spice up the more ridiculous set pieces.

What’s not to like? Even better, they can be everything from shiny, new, mechanized car plants to old, rusty, smoky and grimy ones. There’s a lot of possibilities for making the scenes work. I may have to include a significant scene inside a car plant for my next thriller project.