Finished Emerald Sea tonight, which means I'll have a new Book of the Moment up soon enough. The best part of the book, in my opinion, was the postlude. The postlude paralleled the timespan of the novel, but wasn't intertwined into the main narrative for a couple reasons. The first was that is obviously was too distant from the main storyline. In Emerald Sea, John Ringo has done a much better job in these last two books (The Council Wars) of constraining all the story elements in each novel into a tight focus on only a few main characters. (This has always been a huge problem with me in my own writing, so I really respect it seeing it here.) The second reason, which was placed in bold print in a warning to the postlude, was that the story contained some direct references to sex and sexual acts. None of which was gratuitous, by the way, as the tale was one of "prisoner's dilemma" tale set in a harem. The main character, Megan, a relative of one of the main narrative's secondary characters (the spy Joel) is another of Ringo's many strong-willed, intelligent female characters. The drama of Megan dealing with this situation, and the particular character who shows up in the latter half of the tale, was quite engrossing.
The sad part is the fact that John Ringo felt he needed a warning on it. I smelled something of a whiff of sarcasm in the warning, so I feel that perhaps he knew it. One of the biggest shames is how backwards and bizarre we can be in this culture. John Ringo is largely a Military Sci-Fi writer. Military Sci-Fi is brutal, violent, and ugly (as is war). It's all very graphic. But its rare to hear someone complain about it. On the other hand, try a mature direct mention of sex and people shout about it as soon as it comes up.
A movie can show someone getting their hand chopped off and retain a PG-13 rating. Show the mammary glands of a voluptuous female and expect an R, at least. I wish I could explain it. How do we really benefit from requiring all genitalia to be clothed in public? I'm not advocating for all nudity, all the time, as soon as possible. I'm just wondering if there might not be a more mature approach to all of this. All things in moderation, and right now there isn't moderation, just restriction.