Dead Men Kill by L. Ron Hubbard

Why I Read It: I really enjoyed Hubbard’s To The Stars and wanted to explore some of his other tales.

Where I Got It: From Audiobook SYNC Summer 2012 session.

Who I Recommend This To: If you enjoy Dick Tracy type pulp fiction, with zombies, then check this out.

Narrators: Jennifer Aspen, R.F. Daley, Lori Jablons, John Mariano, Jim Meskimen and Matt Scott.

Publisher: Galaxy Press (2010)

Length: 2 hours 6 minutes

Ridiculous, yet entertaining. That pretty much sums up this audiobook experience. Detective Terry Lane has a tough job and dead men walking around making more dead men is simply a pain in the ass. But Lane rises to the challenge with some typical pulp fiction right hooks and gun play. Some nefarious evil person is somehow controlling dead men and sending them to attack prominent folk. Pesky kind of thing to be happening to a community, zombies. Most folks just aren’t ready for such a thing.

Lucky for me as the reader, this novella followed pretty basic hard and fast rules about pulp fiction detective zombie novels. While I got some side entertainment from this tale while folding laundry and making dinner, overall I enjoyed L. Ron Hubbard‘s science fiction works much more. Action and damsels in distress drove this story forward.

The audio cast on this book was entertaining. For action-driven plots, I enjoy multiple narrators with sound effects. This production was quite good, reminding me of the old-time radio broadcasts.

What I Liked: The audio production; the unapologetic use of action and action alone to move the tale forward.

What I Disliked: The ladies had limited roles; limited character development.

As part of Stainless Steel Droppings’ R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event, I am going to count this book as Zombie horror. This event is still going strong until the end of October, so feel free to hop over there and join the fun.

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Sleepy Waffles

Why I Read It: I liked the cover.

Where I Got It: I won it in a giveaway (thank you I Am A Reader Not A Writer)

Who I Recommend This To: Hmm… Not sure I can recommend this one.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (2012)

Length: 351 pages

While the cover sucked me in, the premise made me question my judgement a little: NASA decides to boost their popularity by holding a lottery to send 3 teens into space and onto the moon for the next mission, which will also allow the real astronauts to do some super secret work on the super secret moon base.

Yeah. But, hey, I am good at suspending my disbelief for a good story. I just need some character depth, a decent plot, and perhaps a sprinkling of funny, suspenseful, or heart-warming moments. While this book had a few heart-warming moments, it lacked all the rest. I truly felt like I was reading an early draft instead of a finished project. Johan Harstad won the 2008 Norwegian Brage Award for this book, so I had to consider if perhaps the inconsistencies in plot were due to a faulty translation here and there, but after due consideration, I do not belief this to be the case.

The 3 teens selected for this ride of a lifetime come from different countries and are all put into astronaut training for 3 months in Houston, Texas. Turn the page, and all training is complete and the teens are off to Florida for a day or two before the launch. This book is set a few years into the future (2019) and this was an excellent opportunity for the author to give the reader some Fancy Tech moments, or even some funny crew bounding moments in the Vomit Comet. But no, we get the teens complaining about all the studying they will have to do for a page and a half.

So, we finally launch and we got like 5 days en route to the moon. Surely there will be Fancy Tech moments and embarrassing, yet hilarious moments with food in zero G. But no, the crew makes it to the moon and there are references from the teens about how they still aren’t sure which astronaut is talking or such. these guys spent 3 months working together as a crew in training and then 5 days in extremely close quarters, and the teens still don’t know who all the astronauts are? Hmmm…..

The author did try to build up the suspense by having each teen receive more than one oblique warning to not go the moon because SOMETHING BAD will happen. And something bad did happen on the moon. But the source of the warnings was never explained, which left me feeling like the ending was not polished to a point of finality.

I read this book, in part, because I am trying to expand my horizons and one genre I haven’t read much of is Young Adult. While this book captured that the teens felt that no adult understood them and all that teen angst that most of us goes through, the portrayal of all the adults as incompetent or uncaring or self-centered was a bit too biased for even my suspended disbelief. Perhaps once a human ages to 18 or perhaps 21, everyone turns into an incompetent ass.

The ending, while a bit of a surprise, was not very satisfying. There were so many questions with answers left unsaid or far too nebulous as to be satisfactory. When the SOMETHING BAD was first defined, I was a bit excited to see where the author was taking us. But no details on how the SOMETHING BAD came to be on the moon or what it’s motivations were were forthcoming. Sigh.

What I Liked: The cover; I could see Hollywood making a summer scream flick out of this book.

What I Disliked: All adults are idiots, egocentric, or disinterested in the teens; there was almost no nifty science; the character depth was minimal all around; the ending left several strings undone; overall, the book felt like a draft instead of a finished product.

As part of Stainless Steel Droppings’ R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event, I am going to count this book as scifi horror. This event is still going strong until the end of October, so feel free to hop over there and join the fun.

The Graveyard Book Read Along Part II

Chupacabra guarding my book.

For the second installment of The Graveyard Book read along, chapters 4-6 (which includes a short interlude) were read. If you are just joining us, Part I can be found HERE.

Let me start off by thanking Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings for hosting this read along. He has several fun reading events going on this month, so make sure to check out his site.

These few chapters see our main character, Nobody (Bod) Owens, grow from a child to a youngling on the cusp of adulthood. One of the things I truly enjoy about Neil Gaiman‘s writings is his ability to weave mythology and lore into everyday experiences. He does that beautifully in the chapter concerning the Danse Macabre, where the living and the dead enjoy a few hours of unfettered dancing in the streets.

In Chapter 4, The Witch’s Headstone, we meet Liza Hempstock (I love Gaiman’s character names!), who was droned and burned to charcoal and buried and a witch in unconsecrated ground. Turns out she is a little bit of a witch, and it is good that she and Bod get to be friends. Bod finds it a bit sad that she lacks a headstone and so he sets out to get her one, taking many chances and breaking even more rules. He steals from the Sleether (see Part I) and tries to sell the item to a shady type who locks him in a back room while he decides what to do. Bod is eventually saved and returns to the graveyard, where he makes a touching gesture to Liza. Humanity counts whether you are dead or alive. What did you all think about Abanazer Bolger’s connection to Jack?

The Danse Macabre I alluded to above is Chapter 5. I found this chapter to be full of mystery and beauty. I loved the idea of tradition pushing the living into participating, and the simplicity of the not-very-often blooming white flowers. Even though this is my second read through, I still didn’t understand why the ghosts and even Silas at the end of the chapter, after the dance is all said and done, won’t talk about it. We already had plenty of mystery surrounding the dance, like why the flowers, where was the music coming from, and why did the ghosts spiffy up their ghostly habitations if the dance took place in town? Why add the mystery of not talking about it?

Jack, Jack, Jack…..Sigh… what a vicious mystery you are. In the interlude Convocation, we get a few hints about Jack. Perhaps he is well funded. Perhaps he is just one of a group of trained or specialized killers. Reading this little section makes me worry for Bod Owens.

In Chapter 6, Nobody Owens’ School Days, Bod gets to go to class. He wants to learn, not just book learning, but about being alive. Silas, his guardian, warns him to keep a low profile. Unfortunately, Bod has a hard time doing that for very long because there are bullies. Pretty soon he has not only the ill-intention of the bullies focused on him, but also the once-bullied younger kids pointing him out. Things start to get out of hand when the police get involved. However, Bod learns some important skills, like putting on The Fear and Dreamwalking. At this point in the book, Bod is 11 and he is asking questions about why he has to keep a low profile and why his family was killed and who this killer Jack is and why Jack still wants him dead. And Bod receives no answers. I feel Bod’s frustration! I want answers too. But I also feel that Bod deserves the truth of the matter at this point. He’s old enough to ask the question and understand the bulk of the answer. And I believe that Bod is starting to make choices that could endanger him greatly because he is kept ignorant.

So that’s the sum up. What stuck out for you?

Did you get the Danse Macabre chapter?

Do you think Bod’s Haunting of the school bullies was just a teensy vicious?

What is up with Jack and his business card?

Legion by Brandon Sanderson

Why I Read It: Because I have been a Sanderson fan since I read The Way of Kings.

Where I Got It:

Who Would I Recommend This To: If you haven’t tried Sanderson before, this is a great novella to get you started.

Narrator: Oliver Wyman

Publisher: Audible Frontiers (2012)

Length: 2 hours 8 minutes

I had the pleasure of hearing Brandon Sanderson read a part of this novella life at Bubonicon earlier this year. This story is currently free on and I believe that will hold true until the end of 2012.

Stephen Leeds, something of a detective, has a legion of personae and they all live together in one mansion. No one else can see or hear his manifestations, but they are quite real to him. JC is a Navy Seal personality, fully equipped with weapons expertise and hand-to-hand combat skills. Leeds also has a psychologist and a historian, among many others. Leeds and his legion take on mysteries that intrigue him. In this novella, he receives a series of intriguing photos that simply could not be – impromptu shots of historical figures before the invention of photography.

I’m not going to say too much here about the plot, because you need to read or listen to this yourself. The 2+ hours spent on this book was worth my time, and I will probably do it again within the year. I am used to Sanderson’s marathon-length novels, enjoying each one I have delved into. So I was curious to see how he would craft a much shorter piece of fiction.  This tale put to bed any concerns I may have had; the balance of humor, action, plot and character development was well done. I really hope Sanderson makes this into a series or a full-length novel.

Oliver Wyman was a good pick for narrator for this tale. This was my first time to enjoy his voice, and I wouldn’t turn down another book narrated by him. I especially enjoyed his portrayal of JC.

What I Liked: The interaction between Leeds various personalities were often quite humorous; the quandary at the heart of this tale was a great man to contemplate.

What I Disliked: The ending was a little predictable.

H. P. Lovecraft’s Book of the Supernatural edited by Stephen Jones

Why I Read It: I have been trying to expand my reading horizons; with this book it was classic horror that I explored.

Where I Got It: From the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: If you enjoy classic suspenseful short stories, check this out.

Narrators: Bronson Pinchot, Steven Crossley, Davina Porter

Publisher: AudioGO (2012)

Length: 16 hours 44 minutes

Stephen Jones, the editor, has presented us with an interesting collection of horror genre short stories, spanning decades, hand picked by H. P. Lovecraft. In this book, Lovecraft provided a a short introduction to each story, sharing his thoughts on the tale and the writer. This collection contains some of the biggest names in the genre, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allen Poe, and Washington Irving, along with others who dabbled in the genre, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Louis Stevenson, among other authors. Through this collection, I could see the evolution of the gothic and macabre storytelling over the decades.

In the last few years I have read a bit of Lovecraft (Early Horror Works which was odd, entertaining, not necessarily scary), Bram Stoker (Dracula was was heightened tension and dread and I quite enjoyed it), Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle were more subtle than I expected but still enjoyable), Rudyard Kipling (Kim was a fascinating tale of India which I didn’t quite get but entertained me anyway), and Arthur Conan Doyle (I’ve always found his Sherlock Holmes to be a bit predictable and the endings to be abrupt). So going into this book, I had some preconceived notions of what I was in for. Oooops.

Let me be honest. I wanted to fall in love with this genre that has been around since campfire ghost stories were invented through this book. But I didn’t. At first, I thought perhaps it was just a few of the earlier tales, where all the women are considered somewhat hysterical or silly and need to be protected and rescued. I moved through each story, waiting for that jewel that would be the door into the rest of the book and hence the whole field of the horror genre. Yet the stories overall remained predictable, with the main characters going about normal day to day activities until they glimpse something unusual which is chocked up to fatigue, silliness, perhaps insanity, and usually ending in a way that left so many questions unanswered that the story was not very satisfying.

With that said, if you are already in love with this genre, then you should check this collection out. I found Lovecraft’s introduction to each story to be the most fascinating part of the book – his reasons for choosing each tale, his own fascination or appreciation of the author. It was definitely worth my time to find out that this genre probably won’t be one of my big book loves in life.

The narrators provided an excellent variety in voices for the short stories. I sometimes stay clear of audio short story collections if there is only a single narrator, as I find it difficult to move from tale to tale with the same voice. Several times in this collection, the tale called for a believable scream or hysterical outburst and the narrators did not disappoint.

What I Liked: Lovecraft’s introductions to each story; the variety collected in one book; the audio production itself was well done.

What I Disliked: Overall, the stories were predictable; the ladies were silly or hysterical and needed manly protection or assistance; many of the endings were left so open-ended that they were not satisfying.

As part of Stainless Steel Droppings’ R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event, I am going to count this book as horror. This event is still going strong until the end of October, so feel free to hop over there and join the fun.

Emperor: The Gods of War by Conn Iggulden

Why I Read It: It’s the conclusion to a much enjoyed series.

Where I Got It: From the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: If you are into ancient Roman history, Julius Caesar era, then this is a great series for you.

Narrator: Paul Blake

Publisher: AudioGO (2009)

Length: 15 hours 22 minutes

Series: Emperor Book 4

The Gods of War picks up right where The Field of Swords leaves off: Pompey has set himself against Caesar. Pompey has seniority, the Senate backing him, Caesar’s daughter for a wife, and, he believes, the will of the Gods. Caesar has his Gaul battle-hardened troops and a good grasp of the effective use of propaganda. Conn Iggulden spent the bulk of this book on the conflict between these two powerful men and how it nearly tore Rome apart. Julius must live through the betrayal of one of his generals; Iggulden portrayed the motivations and character of both sides in that conflict. I truly enjoyed listening to the author’s rendition of how this bit of history unfolded. Pompey and the Senate flee Rome for Greece, where Caesar must follow, leaving Mark Antony in charge in Rome.

The conflict brings the two Roman armies to blood. Octavian, a young relative of Caesar, is given his chance to show his ability at commanding men in battle and his skill shines through. It was good to see Octavian become a man in this last installment in the series. The conflict eventually spreads to the shores of Egypt, to which about the last quarter of the book was dedicated. Due to the fascination with Cleopatra, this may be the most well-known episode of Caesar’s life (remember that Elizabeth Taylor film?). Julius actually took a holiday in Egypt, for roughly 6 months, traveling the Nile, sightseeing, and most likely bedding the young ruler of Egypt. They eventually had an offspring, which raised all sorts of conflict back home in Rome, to which Julius had to eventually return.

If you ever watched or read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, or the more recent HBO series Rome, then you know how this story ends. I won’t spoil the ending for those of you who missed out on this classic story, but I will say that I was very satisfied with the book. I felt that the motivations, fears, hopes, and desires of all the main characters were well laid out, giving the reader a very plausible rendition of how and why history fell out the way it did.

Paul Blake provided a decisive and strong voice for Julius Caesar. I also appreciated that he used the Latin pronunciation for the Roman names (such as using the ‘w’ sound for names spelled with a ‘v’). However, I sometimes could not tell when he was using his feminine voice and would have to pay extra attention to the dialogue to track when Cleopatra or another female was speaking.

What I Liked: I have long been fascinated with this period in history and I was well satisfied with this author’s rendition of it; the internal conflict of those who love yet envy Caesar was well portrayed; the battles, while detailed, were not overly gory.

What I Disliked: I would have liked to hear more about Mark Antony and why he was so favored by Caesar; the ladies were few and had limited roles and unfortunately limited depth in this series.

The Graveyard Book Read Along Part I

Those first three chapters went by pretty quick. It’s been probably about two years since I last read this book, and back then I stayed up late two or three nights reading this book in big chunks. One of the things I like about read alongs is that they often force a person to slow down and enjoy the book more thoroughly. Before I launch into my ramble, I want to give thanks to Stainless Steel Droppings for organizing yet another awesome reading event. Make sure you stop by there to see Carl’s thoughts on Part I.

Ye Have Been Warned, Spoilers Abound!

The front of my book lets the reader know right off that this is a Newberry Medal winner – which means that it is a great kids’ book. For those of you who are venturing into this book the first time, I hope you went into it with some preconceived notions just as I did the first time. That first chapter pretty much tears those notions down and shreds them with cramp-on laced boots. Jack is not a good guy and he is up to foul deeds a plenty. My book is illustrated, which lends another level of creepiness to this book.

Jack kills off the entire family except the baby boy who happens to have two things going for him: He is precocious, and he is adventurous. So he manages to slip out of the the house and to a local graveyard where he finds protectors. These protectors are not the normal sort; or rather, they are normal, decent folks who just happen to be dead. While the ghosts cannot leave the graveyard, Silas can, and he does in order to find food, clothing, and eventually books for the baby dubbed Nobody Owens. There are all sorts of tantalizing hints about Silas, but since I have read this before, I won’t spoil anything.

In Chapter Two, we’ve moved ahead a few years and Nobody meets his first living friend, a girl his age. The graveyard has been deemed a Wildlife Preserve, so all sorts of folks use it to stroll around in admiring bushes and headstones. I live in the American Southwest, where big wide open spaces abound and the idea of making a graveyard a preserve struck me as odd. But if you stopped putting dead folk in it decades ago and the natural flora and fauna have moved back in, why not? Anyway, Bod and his new friend explore the place together, including tunneling into the oldest grave, a burial mound from ancient times.

Let’s talk about this, because all sorts of weird stuff happened in a short time. There was an old dusty body, then a phantasmic scarecrow that both youths could see, and then the Sleether. The body I get (previous graverobber wannabe). The rest, even on second read, I am still a bit fuzzy on. Perhaps the Sleether has some residual magic (the scarecrow) that it uses to scare off the weak of heart and imbecilic of mind. Unfortunately, these kids weren’t those things, and so the Sleether had to answer the door personally, enjoying a little chat with Bod. The kids flee, and while she is reunited with her parents Bod chats with Silas about what he found in the burial mound. Oddly, Silas doesn’t seem concerned about the Sleether or about Bod playing with it.

Chapter Two ends with Bod’s friend moving away and she fussed at her parents until they brought her to the Preserve one more time just so she could say goodbye. I thought that was touching.

Chapter Three introduces one of my favorite characters of the book, Miss Lupescu. I can just see her with a ruler, cracking knuckles of bored and unprepared students. Despite her lessons, Bod still ends up playing with the ghouls. I have always been of the opinion (snotty it may seem) that it is best to be explicit in describing dangers to kids. Pictures can help get the idea across. Yet, in so many stories, as in real life, the true meaning of the word DANGEROUS is not fully explained to the main character and must be experienced. Bod made a horrible mistake by playing with the ghouls. However, he did have a mini vacation, catching a glimpse of Ghulheim and meeting a Night Gaunt. Miss Lupescu had to cut the adventure short to ensure Bod didn’t become a permanent resident…. or dinner.

And then I turned the page and started Chapter Four, got four sentences into it, and forced myself to put it down. I know; I’m naughty, yet self-controlled.

So what stood out for you in Nobody’s life in the graveyard?

Any newbies want to guess on Silas?

Can you imagine learning your letters from headstones?

Should I do a Graveyard Book dinner for my man featuring the Food from Miss Lupescu’s Kitchen?

Why do you think the 33rd US president made an appearance in this book?

The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov

Why I Read It: It leaped off the library shelf at me!

Where I Got It: My library.

Who I Recommend This To: This was a quick, quaint space mystery.

Narrator: Kevin T. Collins

Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America (2009)

Length: 7 CDs

Series: Book 2 Galactic Empire

Rik had his mind wiped clean, which is a pretty rude thing to have happen (unless you are a violent criminal, in which case I have no pity for you). In fact, Rik couldn’t even tend to basic needs without encouragement and assistance at first. Under Lona’s care and guidance, he slowly comes part way back to himself and can hold down a very simple job at the local manufacturing plant on Florina. When Lona takes him to a doctor, they learn that he had been psycho-probed and that he might not get his memory back.

Yet there is something that is trying to worm it’s way out of Rik’s brain; something that connects Florina, the planet’s main export (kryt, which is used for making beautiful cloth), and himself. As Rik remembers more and more, the mystery deepens and they find themselves caught up in a web of intrigue with a growing body count. The regional power of Trantor and the government of the planet Sark vie for possession of Rik and what he will soon remember (hopefully).

I enjoyed this book for the mystery and because I liked watching Rik muddle and struggle through. Even though simple country Lona didn’t understand much of what Rik was trying to remember, she stuck with him throughout. The class differences between the Florina workers and the Sark nobility threw in some added tension between the characters of the story.

I actually didn’t realize this was Book 2 of the Galactic Series until I started writing up the review. This book reads fine as a stand alone space mystery. (Though I am excited to have this simple excuse to dig up the other two Isaac Asimov books in the series.)

Kevin T. Collins did a great job with men’s and women’s voices, with provincial country accents, and imperial demands, even throwing in dialect accents. I enjoyed his crisp and clear pronunciation and the pacing.

What I Liked: Mystery most tangled; ‘Rik’ is the equivalent of ‘idiot’ in the Florina language; nice twist at the end that I didn’t see coming; works fine as a stand alone novel.

What I Disliked: Out of the whole cast of characters, only two females.

As part of Stainless Steel Droppings’ R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event, I am going to count this as a mystery, even though it happens in the very far future in space. This event is still going strong until the end of October, so feel free to hop over there and join the fun.

The Pirates of Sufiro by David Lee Summers

Why I Read It: Loved the author’s latest book Owl Dance.

Where I Got It: My book shelf.

Who I Recommend This To: If you are into very fast-paced space operas, you might enjoy this.

Publisher: Commonwealth Publications (1996)

Length: 328 pages

Series: Book 1 The Old Star Saga

This book opens with some privateers, Captain Firebrandt and crew, having it out in space with a military ship captained by a relative of Firebrandt, which leads to some awkward decisions. After loosing most of his crew, Privateer Firebrandt barely manages to land his ship on an uninhabited world. He has his first officer Roberts and his woman Suki for companions. Without the ability to gain space in the near future, they set to making a life on their planet, including the next generation.

This book spans 4 generations of the Firebrandts and can skip ahead decades at a time. As the planet Sufiro becomes known to the galaxy, pioneers from cramped human worlds make the trip to farm and raise a family in open air. This idyllic setting lasts until a rare and expensive metal integral to space flight is discovered on one of the large continents of the planet. This is where the true drama starts.

Over time, the mining communities become rich and technologically-advanced. However, they also become dependent on cheap labor, often ‘imported’ from the farming communities of the metal-dearth continent. Throw in the pressure of needing a beefed-up space fleet to combat a superior alien species, and you get Great Needs versus What Is Right.

This book read like a series of short stories, with the constant fast pace and the leaps in time. While this meant that the characters often lacked depth, I still found myself growing attached to the Firebrandts and their Sufiro neighbors, such as Espedie Raton. It was very interesting to me to have read David Lee Summers‘ latest book (Owl Dance) and then to have jumped back in time to his first published work. I can see how his skill as a writer has grown in the near-two decades in between these books.

What I Liked: The unexpected happens and you have to be able to roll with it, like many of the characters in this book; the women were sexually independent and free to make their own choices as equally as the men; lots of Spanish lingo.

What I Disliked: Not much character depth; for the most part, the women were wives and didn’t play a large role in the book; I sometimes found the leaps in time a bit much and would have liked the book to slow down at certain points.

BTIBMTGT: Orson Scott Card & Robert E. Howard

Books That I’ve Been Meaning to Get To (BTIBMTGT) is an idea from the depths and crannies of Lady Darkcargo (check out her stuff at

On that note:

Why did I let one linger for ever and why have I avoided the other? Let’s talk. Come, sit. Tea?

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card is considered one of the important books in science fiction literature. Back when I was 17 or 16 I read the first in the series, Ender’s Game, and never made it any further in the series. I enjoyed the book, but didn’t get the ending. I also didn’t happen to have Speaker for the Dead on hand and throw those two facts in with moving off to college… But the excuses have to end. So this month I will be listening to Speaker for the Dead. Having recently read Ender’s Game, and enjoyed it immensely, I am most certainly looking forward to the sequel.

Robert E. Howard is famous for creating Conan, who started off life in a loincloth running around short story pulp fiction magazines in the 1920s and 1930s. For years I heard what great stories the original Conan were (mostly from My Main Man). Earlier this year I read my first Conan collection and certainly had mixed feelings; the writing itself was excellent but there were also gender and ethnic equality issues. So I thought I would give this short novel a try. Personally, I am curious to see if the difference in media (pulp fiction magazine versus publishing house book) equals a difference in writing style.

Review of Ender’s Game

Review of Wolfshead