Aug 132011
 

The Next Honor Harrington

A Rising Thunder (Honor Harrington/Torch/Saganami) by David Weber (Baen) - Amazon US | UK

Honor Harrington is a legend in military science fiction and we are many that looks forward to the next installment in the series. A Rising Thunderis scheduled for March 2012.

Peril and strife strike on a double front for Honor Harrington and company. After a brutal attack on the Manticoran home system, Honor Harrington and the Star Kingdom she serves battle back against a new, technologically powerful, and utterly nefarious enemy. And as if that weren’t task enough, Honor must also face down a centuries-old old nemesis in the crumbling, but still mighty, Solarian League. The war between the People’s Republic of Haven and the Star Kingdom is finally won and peace established, but grave danger looms – for there is a plan well on its way to completion designed to enslave the entire human species. Behind that plan lies the shadowy organization known as the Mesan Alignment. Task number one for Honor is to defend against another devastating Mesan strike – a strike that may well spell the doom of the Star Kingdom in one fell blow. It is time to shut down and secure the wormhole network that is the source of the Star Kingdom’s wealth and power – but also its greatest vulnerability. Yet this is an act that the ancient and corrupt Earth-based Solarian League inevitably will take as a declaration of war. The thunder of battle rolls as the Solarian League directs its massive power against the Star Kingdom. And once again, Honor Harrington is thrust into a desperate battle that she must win if she is to survive to take the fight to the real enemy of galactic freedom – the insidious puppetmasters of war who lurk behind the Mesan Alignment!

Feb 242011
 

Three Honorverse stories is too few

I had high hopes on In Fire Forged to tide me over until the next Honorverse A Beautiful Friendship novel later this year. This fifth Worlds of Honor anthology is a bit short on stories although the three stories in there are pretty good I can’t avoid feeling a bit cheated. I expected a few more stories.

That said, they are longer than the usual short stories 60,70 and 140 pages long respective which I do like.

Ruthless by Jane Lindskold continues the story Promised Land about the refugees from Masada from the last anthologie. This one is about Judith Newland the amazing woman who learned to pilot in secret to escape.  Now they are ‘safe’ on Manticore when her 2-year old daughter Ruth is kidnapped to force her dear friend crown prince Michael to disgrace himself and discredit the fragile agreement with Greyson.

I really liked that story and the previous one too. Integrity and loyalty makes good reading and a bit of love is never wrong.

An Act of War by Timothy Zahn brings us behind the scene in the old Republic of Haven as they try to start a war between the Andermani Empire and Manticore. It all starts with an interstellar swindler and scoundrel getting caught. The whole thing is quite entertaining and teaches us a bit of what went on behind the scene during the war.  This also continues a story from the previous anthology With One Stone

“Let’s Dance” by David Weber is by far the longest story and it tells another of Honor Harrington’s Silesian adventures. It is pretty good if you have not read any of the other ones. I found it a bit familiar even if we had Manpower and genetic slavery with the pirates this time. Dancing with the Ballroom is entertaining and I enjoyed Honor’s award.

Lastly there is a technical paper on starship armor by Andy Presby that might be of interest to fans but felt more like padding to me.

I miss a forth story but otherwise it is okay so even if I feel slightly disappointed I warmly recommend it.

Information

Title: In Fire Forged
Series: Worlds of Honor 5
Editor: David Weber
Authors: Jane Lindskold, Timothy Zahn, David Weber
Hardcover: 314 pages
Publisher: Baen (2011)
Copy: Bought it myself from Amazon
Order from: Amazon US | UK

Honor Harrington is arguably the most popular character in modern science fiction, but there are many other stories in the Honorverse besides those in which she has the central role. This fifth volume in the popular Worlds of Honor series explores some of those stories with the help of such top writers as best-selling author Jane LIndskjold, New York Times best-selling author Timothy Zahn, and more—including an all-new Honor Harrington adventure, set in her younger years, when a mob of space pirates made the mistake of tangling with Commander Harrington. That was a fatal mistake—for the pirates . . .

Dec 312010
 

It is really hard to make a best books of the year list, there are so many good books and any rating system is subjective so I don’t even try to be objective, this is best books of 2010  from my own readings and I already know there are a number of real good books that I have not yet read this year and I will tell which I suspect they are towards the end of this post.

My main interest lies in science fiction and especially towards space opera and military scifi so take this list for what it is, the books I enjoyed most this year.

Best First Releases

These are the best of the 61 first releases I read this year (for details see the 2010 book index)

10. The Quantum Thief (The Quantum Thief book 1) [Debut]
by Hannu Rajaniemi
Published by Gollancz

The Quantum Thief is like a Finnish Tango, it got a strange rhythm to it and it takes you places you never imagined before. It is a great debut novel by Hannu Rajaniemi and probably a future classic.

9. Servants of the Underworld (Obsidian & Blood book 1) [Debut]
by Aliette de Bodard
Published by Angry Robot

Aliette have found her culture and settings in central American pre-colonization Aztec country. This is about a murder mystery investigated by Acatl, High Priest for the Dead. In many respect it reminds of traditional mystery novels but the setting is the sacred city with its priests, worshipers, warriors, pyramids, temples, cults and living gods. This is a great book if you want to try a different kind of fantasy, set as it is outside the traditional western or Japanese settings. It is a standalone novel in a series. The next book Harbinger of the Storm is already on its way in the mail.

8. Darkship Thieves (Darkship Thieves book 1)
by Sarah A. Hoyt
Published by Baen

There are many authors that try to channel Heinlein but it is Sarah A. Hoyt that comes closest this year. This is a really mesmerizing book, I started reading and after a few pages I was in the world Sarah A. Hoyt created experiencing it from the slightly disturbed mind of a captivating young woman. Athena Hera Sinistra is as much a handful as her name, but it is a handful easy to love as a reader. Book two Darkship Rebels will be out late 2011.

7. The Noise Within (The Noise Within book 1) [2nd Novel]
by Ian Whates
Published by Solaris

The Noise Within is a well cooked space opera with black ops, intelligent ships, ai-interfaces, alien mysteries and intelligent guns. Great military action just the way I like it, there is a few mysteries that awaits answers in the next book The Noise Revealed that is due in March 2011.

6. Dreadnought (Clockwork Century book 3)
by Cherrie Priest
Published by Tor

I have really discovered steampunk this year and it all started with Boneshaker. Dreadnought has it all a feisty female protagonist, airships, war machines, secret conspiracies and zombies. I had great fun reading this one.

5. Veteran (Veteran book 1) [Debut of the Year]
by Gavin Smith
Published by Gollancz

This is the debut of the year for me. Gavin G. Smith is new but he writes like a pro. Veteran is an excellent read. It got mysterious aliens, conspiracies, realistic battle scenes, fast pace, lots of wow moments and wonderful characters. I would say this is a mixture of heavy metal, cyberpunk and classic sf. It is definitely military science fiction at its best and I would recommend it to a wider audience. I can’t wait for his next book War in Heaven (coming in June 2011).

4. Oath of Fealthy (Paladin’s Legacy book 1)
by Elizabeth Moon
Published by Orbit

Elizabeth Moon is a fantastic story teller with vivid hearty characters you can’t help falling in love with, which she proves again with this one. Oath of Fealty is a mature, competent and fulfilling read. It is also a great start of a series that also works as a standalone book. Elizabeth is another author that writes characters the way I like them.

3. Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington book 12)
by David Weber
Published by Baen

This is a monumental book in the Honorverse, this ends the original storyline with Haven and starts a new darker one with the Alignment as the antagonist. I like David Weber he writes entertaining military science fiction about formidable easy to love characters.

2. Blood and Iron (Penrose book 2)
by Tony Ballantyne
Published by Tor UK

It is such a fantastic different world of robots and the story deals with a pivotal moment in its history, when the first humans return. Book one, Twisted Metal left many mysteries unanswered that are revealed in this novel.

1. The Technician (A Polity Universe book)
by Neal Asher
Published by Tor UK

I love Neal Asher’s agent Cormac novels set in the same universe as this sequel that deals with one of the great mysteries in the original series. What happened to the races that dominated the galaxy before humanity? Good fast paced fun in this thrilling adventure. Maybe I should also tell you Asher is very vivid in all the gory details of this alien ecology.

Best New-to-me Book

  1. Raft (Xeelee Sequence book 1) by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz 1991)
  2. Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor 2009)
  3. Shadow of the Scorpion (Agent Cormac prequel) by Neal Asher (Tor UK 2008)
  4. The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner (Methuen 1975)
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic 2008)
  • Keeping it Real (Quantum Gravity book 1) by Justina Robson (Gpllancz 2006)
  • Harmony (Harmony book 1) by C. F. Bentley (Daw 2008)
  • Sun of Suns (Virga book 1) by Karl Schroeder (Tor 2006)

Honorary Mentions

There were many good books this year. In no particular order…

  • WE by John Dickinson (David Fickling Books)
  • Absorption (Ragnarok Trilogy book 1) by John Meaney (Gollancz)
  • The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Kitty Jay book 2) by Chris Wooding (Gollancz)
  • Guardians of Paradise (The Hidden Empire book 3) by Jaine Fenn (Gollancz)
  • CryoBurn (The Vorkosigan Saga book 12) by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
  • The Orphaned Worlds (Humanity’s Fire book 2) by Michael Cobley (Orbit)
  • The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive book 1) by Brandon Sanderson (Tor)
  • The Machinery of Light (Autumn Rain book 3) by David J Williams  (Spectra)
  • A Mighty Fortress (Safehold 4) by David Weber (Tor)
  • Pleasure Model (Netherworld Trilogy 1) by Christopher Rowley (Tor)
  • Watch (Www book 2) by Robert J. Sawyer (Ace)
  • Up Jim River (The January Dancer book 2) by Michael Flynn (Tor/Tantor Media)
  • The Crucible of Empire (Jao Empire book 2) by Eric Flint & K. D. Wentworth (Baen)
  • Victorious (Lost Fleet book 6) by Jack Campbell  (Ace)

The Ones That Got Away

There are some books I didn’t come around to this year for different reasons but I suspect are really great. Maybe next year. I know I am probably forgetting a few.

  • Surface Detail by Ian M. Banks
  • The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton

I will not talk about the ones that disappointed me this year, they got all the publicity they deserve in my reviews.

This was a great year. Can I have another? please.

Related posts

Jul 082010
 

I am a vivid fan of David Weber and the Honor Harrington universe so it was with great expectations and anticipation that I received my new Honor Harrington novel. In honor of the moment I poured me some single malt whiskey, took a piece of knäckebröd and sat down in my favorite reading chair and started to read. This is my review.

Title: Mission of Honor
Series: Honor Harrington book 12
Author: David Weber
Genre: Military Science Fiction | Space Opera
Cover art: David Mattingly
Hardback: 608 pages
Publisher: Baen, July 2010
Copy: bought by me
Excerpts: Snippet 1-60

Order from: Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

The Star Kingdom of Manticore and the Republic of Haven have been enemies for Honor Harrington’s entire life, and she has paid a price for the victories she’s achieved in that conflict. And now the unstoppable juggernaut of the mighty Solarian League is on a collision course with Manticore. The millions who have already died may have been only a foretaste of the billions of casualties just over the horizon, and Honor sees it coming.

She’s prepared to do anything, risk anything, to stop it, and she has a plan that may finally bring an end to the Havenite Wars and give even the Solarian League pause. But there are things not even Honor knows about. There are forces in play, hidden enemies in motion, all converging on the Star Kingdom of Manticore to crush the very life out of it, and Honor’s worst nightmares fall short of the oncoming reality.

But Manticore’s enemies may not have thought of everything after all. Because if everything Honor Harrington loves is going down to destruction, it won’t be going alone.

Information

Mission of Honor starts some time after At All Costs and Storm from the Shadows. Torch of Freedom starts more than a year before but runs parallel with MoH up until a month before it ends. The main focus is on Honor Alexander-Harrington – The Salamander, the war hero that saved Manticore’s home system in a devastating battle at the end of At All Costs, but there are other principal characters like Michelle Henke, Hamish Alexander-Harrington and Eloise Pritchart.

  • The book is dedicated to  Sharon and David’s children Megan, Morgan, and Michael Paul.
  • Please note that the real cover has Honor using her right hand to salute as she should and she also looks more concerned and distraught (but none of the online stores have the right cover).
  • There is an appendix with Character descriptions at the end of the book (16 pages) but I never used it.
  • The books comes with a CD containing most of David Weber’s works in different formats.

World Building

The small but rich and growing Star Empire of Manticore is a tool to be used in a century old conspiracy by the genetic supremacist Mesa Alignment. First they provoked a war with Haven and now they are about to do the same with the Solarian League. David is a great world builder and Mission of Honor is riddled with great pieces of information concerning the Solarian League and the Mesa Alignment.

You should read the other books in the Honor Harrington universe to really enjoy and understand what is going on in this book. Even though there is a lot of world building going on here most of it is built on what you already know if you read the previous books.

The Plot

The Star Empire of Manticore has a technological advantage that allows them to ‘win’ against Haven when MoH starts. The Solarian League Navy (SLN) is way behind both Manticore and Haven on missile technology as proven on New Tuscany.

Admiral Michelle Henke, Honors friend and the fifth in line for the throne is in command of the defenses at the Talbot Cluster. Mesa’s machinations behind the scene have set SLN Task Force 496 under the command of Battle Fleet Admiral Crandall bearing down on Henke with 71 ships-of-the-wall. She has only battle cruisers and superior technology to defend against them, but she is outnumbered more than ten to one.

On the other side Honor sets out to make peace with Haven something that might not be so easy after years of fighting, mistrust after what they have done to each other and with short sighted politicians with their own agendas.

Unknown to the others Mesa has launched a sneak attack against Manticore and Grayson called Oyster Bay that is about to go down in a few weeks.

The book also covers the media war especially the fall out from those nukes on Mesa.

In short the action is one battle and one sneak attack. Both battles where on the short side even if the preludes took their time. Michelle’s psych tactics was quite entertaining to read while Oyster Bay was quite chilling.

The ending is emotionally satisfying and leaves a strategic cliffhanger for the next book.

Characterization

I love to read about Honor and Nimitz but I am also happy there are others that take up the hat for the smaller actions we have come to love. Michelle Henke is a fully well developed protagonist in herself.

Weber uses a lot of small scenes with different characters to present background or explanations. There are evacuation training on the space station, different characters from the Hexpuma reporting for duty at their new jobs, the junior officers’ dining club and many more to make this a vivid and living story. The sheer number of character might be daunting for new readers but the feeling of all those settings coming to life and matter worked for me.

My View

I expected this novel and Mesa’s sneak attack to be the Pearl Harbor of Manticor and I can’s say it disappointed in that respect. But Elizabeth’s talk to the people reminded me of Churchill’s. With Oyster Bay the Treecats realizes the threat they are under. I wonder if Mesa realizes the effects of a race of Treecats going to war?

This is a monumental book in the Honorverse, this ends the original storyline with Haven and starts a new darker one with the Alignment as antagonist.

Now we will probably see one or two more books in the Honorverse before the next main book, which ought to be earliest at the end of 2011 and that’s a long time to wait.

I give it and the series a strong recommendation if you like military space opera.

More information

Jul 012010
 

Lets have a look at July for books. I usually check my pre-orders mid June and then revisit the list around the start of July. These are the books I am interested in. I try to put new never before published books here, for me there is no difference if the book is first published in the US, UK or in Australia. The delivery time to the far north is about the same. So we are going for world’s first here.

This month holds some very anticipated books, two of them where on my list of New SF to Read 2010 in January. Honor Harrington is one of the most popular science fiction characters out there and David Weber [profile] is one of my favorite authors. Mission of Honor is the next main story novel and I can’t wait to get my hands on it (it is in transit atm, curse the slow mail service). The other book is Pathfinder by Laura E. Reeve [profile]. Her writing is influenced by Greek culture and feels refreshing and new. This time Ariane Kedros has a mission from the mysterious Minoans, I have been waiting since book one for her to go exploring again.

I realized I was missing out on Karl Schroeder who I haven’t read since Permanence (great book by the way). That book needs company on it’s shelf  and the Virgo setting in its steampunk pocket universe sounded too good to resist. Gibson and Wooding have been on my radar for a while now so I felt it was time for a sample. Howard Birnberg is more of a shot in the dark from my side, I liked the blurb, hope it is good.

Since last time I also decided I need the new Ian McDonald – Dervish House.

The Puppets Masters is a book that has been with me from adolescence. It is a fun read and you should get a copy if you don’t own one.

And I always use the Publishers dates when release dates don’t match between the online stores and publisher, unless I know otherwise (like the book is in the mail from the store).

These are my recommendations for July

On Order

Title: Mission of Honor
Series: Honor Harrington 12
Author: David Weber
Genre: Military Science Fiction | Space Opera
Publisher: Baen
Hardcover: 864 pages
Buy:  Amazon
US | UK | B&N | sfbok

A new main story Honor Harrington is a must read for me, cant wait. It is on my list of New SF books to read in 2010.

The Star Kingdom of Manticore and the Republic of Haven have been enemies for Honor Harrington’s entire life, and she has paid a price for the victories she’s achieved in that conflict. And now the unstoppable juggernaut of the mighty Solarian League is on a collision course with Manticore. The millions who have already died may have been only a foretaste of the billions of casualties just over the horizon, and Honor sees it coming.

She’s prepared to do anything, risk anything, to stop it, and she has a plan that may finally bring an end to the Havenite Wars and give even the Solarian League pause. But there are things not even Honor knows about. There are forces in play, hidden enemies in motion, all converging on the Star Kingdom of Manticore to crush the very life out of it, and Honor’s worst nightmares fall short of the oncoming reality.

But Manticore’s enemies may not have thought of everything after all. Because if everything Honor Harrington loves is going down to destruction, it won’t be going alone.

Title: Pathfinder
Series: Major Ariane Kedros 3
Author: Laura E. Reeve
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Paperback 336 pages
Publisher:  ROC 6 July 2010
Order from: ROC | Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

Pathfinder is on my most anticipated books list for 2010.

Reserve Major Ariane Kedros needs a shot at redemption-and the mysterious aliens known as the Minoans need an extraordinary human pilot with a rejuv-stimulated metabolism like Ariane for a dangerous expedition to a distant solar system. But there’s a catch. The Minoans have to implant their technology in Ariane’s body, and it might not be removable. Ariane is willing, but as she begins the perilous journey, there is an old enemy hiding within the exploration team who is determined to see them fail…

Title: Empire of Light
Series: Stealing Light 3 | Shoal Sequence 3
Author: Gary Gibson
Genre: Space Opera
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Tor UK 2 Jul 2010
Order from: Tor | Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

The nova war has begun to spread as the Emissaries wage a fierce and reckless campaign, encroaching on the area of space occupied by humanity and forcing the Shoal into a desperate retreat. While Dakota goes in search of the entity responsible for creating the Maker caches, Corso, left in charge of a fleet of human-piloted Magi ships, finds his authority crumbling in the face of assassination attempts and politically-motivated sabotage.

If any hope exists at all, it lies in an abandoned asteroid a thousand light-years beyond the Consortium’s borders, and with Ty Whitecloud, the only man alive with the skill to decipher the messages left behind by an ancient race of star travellers. Unfortunately Whitecloud is locked in a prison cell aboard a dying coreship adrift in space, awaiting execution for war crimes against Corso’s own people. But if humanity has any hope of survival, Corso is going to have to find some way to keep him alive – and that’s only if Dakota doesn’t kill him first …

Title: The Dervish House
Author: Ian Mcdonald
Hardcover: 410 | 480 pages
Publisher: Pyr 27 July 2010 | Gollancz 29 July 2010
Order from: Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

In the CHAGA novels Ian McDonald brought an Africa in the grip of a bizarre alien invasion to life, in RIVER OF GODS he painted a rich portrait of India in 2047, in BRASYL he looked at different Brazils, past present and future. Ian McDonald has found renown at the cutting edge of a movement to take SF away from its British and American white roots and out into the rich cultures of the world. THE DERVISH HOUSE continues that journey and centres on Istanbul in 2025. Turkey is part of Europe but sited on the edge, it is an Islamic country that looks to the West. THE DERVISH HOUSE is the story of the families that live in and around its titular house, it is at once a rich mosaic of Islamic life in the new century and a telling novel of future possibilities.

Title: The Black Lung Captain
Series: Tales of the Ketty Jay 2
Author: Chris Wooding
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Gollancz 29 July 2010
Order from: Gollancz | Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

Darian Frey is down on his luck. He can barely keep his squabbling crew fed and his rickety aircraft in the sky. Even the simplest robberies seem to go wrong. It’s getting so a man can’t make a dishonest living any more. Enter Captain Grist. He’s heard about a crashed aircraft laden with the treasures of a lost civilisation, and he needs Frey’s help to get it. There’s only one problem. The craft is lying in the trackless heart of a remote island, populated by giant beasts and subhuman monsters. Dangerous, yes. Suicidal, perhaps. Still, Frey’s never let common sense get in the way of a fortune before. But there’s something other than treasure on board that aircraft. Something that a lot of important people would kill for. And it’s going to take all of Frey’s considerable skill at lying, cheating and stealing if he wants to get his hands on it . . . Strap yourself in for another tale of adventure and debauchery, pilots and pirates, golems and daemons, double-crosses and double-double-crosses. The crew of the Ketty Jay are back!

Title: The Genius Gene
Series: Catherine Fox Trilogy 1
Author: Howard Birnberg
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Book Guild Ltd 29 July 2010
Order from: Book Guild | Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

Einstein, Newton, Da Vinci. The names are synonymous with genius; however, is genius nurtured or does nature provide it? In the fictional scientific thriller, The Genius Gene, young geneticist Catherine Fox has the surprising answer. She has discovered a source of genius in our genes. Unfortunately, her former mentor and spurned lover, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist, Stephen Yates would do anything to obtain her confidential research. Backed by greedy pharmaceutical companies, Yates has become corrupt and he wants to engineer the genius gene into the unborn children of wealthy parents. The time is the mid-21st century and Stephen has established clinics to design the genome of children according to their parents’ preferences. Catherine calls these offspring ‘Frankenstein children’ and she fears the creation of a master race. Her research may make this possible and she struggles to prevent Yates from learning the workings of the genius gene. Unknown to Catherine, there are other secrets to protect. On the eve of crucial hearings on legalizing Yates’ process, he vanishes and Catherine becomes a suspect in his disappearance.

On Order New ReReleases

Virga: Cities of the Air
Series: Virga
Omnibus: Sun of Suns (2006), Queen of Canedsce (2007)
Author: Karl Schroeder
Paperback: 592 pages
Publisher: Tor 6 July 2010
Order from: Tor | Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

Sun of Suns – It is the distant future. The world known as Virga is a fullerene balloon three thousand kilometers in diameter, filled with air, water, and aimlessly floating chunks of rock. The humans who live in this vast environment must build their own fusion suns and “towns” that are in the shape of enormous wood and rope wheels that are spun for gravity.

Young, fit, bitter, and friendless, Hayden Griffin is a very dangerous man. He’s come to the city of Rush in the nation of Slipstream with one thing in mind: to take murderous revenge for the deaths of his parents six years ago. His target is Admiral Chaison Fanning, head of the fleet of Slipstream, which conquered Hayden’s nation of Aerie years ago. And the fact that Hayden’s spent his adolescence living with pirates doesn’t bode well for Fanning’s chances.

Queen of Cadansce – Venera Fanning was last seen falling into nothingness at the end of Sun of Suns. Now, in Queen of Candesce, Venera finds herself plunging through the air between the artificial continents of Virga, far from home and her husband, who may or may not be alive. Landing in the ancient nation of Spyre, Venera encounters new enemies and new friends (or at least convenient allies). She must quickly learn who she can trust, and who she can manipulate in order to survive. Queen of Candesce is her story.

Titel: Diamond Star
Series: Saga of the Skolian Empire
Author: Catherine Asaro
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Baen (1st 2009)
Order from: Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok
Excerpt:
Chapter 1-8

I have started to dive into the Skolian Empire series my first book was Primary Inversion and I liked it. It was a Romantic science fiction with space opera, military scifi and hard science influence about a formidable yet human Julia character and it avoids the usual pitfalls of that genre, it is not action packed but there is enough thrill to go around. This looks like something a bit different in the same universe.

Del was a rock singer. He was also the renegade son of the Ruby Dynasty, which made his career choice less than respectable, and gave him more to worry about than getting gigs and not getting cheated by recording companies, club owners, or his agent. For one thing, the Ruby Dynasty ruled the Skolian Imperialate, an interstellar Empire, which had recently had a war with another empire, the Eubian Concord. For another, Del was singing on Earth, which was part of a third interstellar civilization, and one which had an uneasy relationship with the Imperialate.

Del undeniably had talent, and was rapidly rising from an unknown fringe artist to stardom. But, with his life entangled in the politics of three interstellar civilizations, whether he wanted that or not, talent might not be enough. And that factor might have much more effect than his music on the lives of trillions of people on the thousands of inhabited worlds across the galaxy.

Other books of Interest

I should also mention the anthology Gateways that will be out in July. Anthologies and collections of short stories isn’t my thing but this one looks promising. I might change my mind and include it in the later post.

Title: The Restoration Game
Author: Ken MacLeod
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Orbit 1 July 2010
Order from: Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

There is no such place as Krassnia. Lucy Stone should know – she was born there. In that tiny, troubled region of the former Soviet Union, revolution is brewing. Its organisers need a safe place to meet, and where better than the virtual spaces of an online game? Lucy, who works for a start-up games company in Edinburgh, has a project that almost seems made for the job: a game inspired by The Krassniad, an epic folk tale concocted by Lucy’s mother Amanda, who studied there in the 1980s. Lucy knows Amanda is a spook. She knows her great-grandmother Eugenie also visited the country in the ’30s, and met the man who originally collected Krassnian folklore, and who perished in Stalin’s terror. As Lucy digs up details about her birthplace to slot into the game, she finds the open secrets of her family’s past, the darker secrets of Krassnia’s past – and hints about the crucial role she is destined to play in The Restoration Game …

New ReReleases

Title: The Puppet Masters
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Baen 27 July 2010 (First published 1951)
Order from: Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

This is one of my favorite Heinlein book, the perfect summer read. It has a afterword by Sarah A Hoyt.

First came the news that a flying saucer had landed in Iowa. Then came the announcement that the whole thing was a hoax. End of story. Case closed. Except that two agents of the most secret intelligence agency in the U.S. government were on the scene and disappeared without reporting in. And four more agents who were sent in also disappeared. So the head of the agency and his two top agents went in and managed to get out with their discovery: an invasion is underway by slug-like aliens who can touch a human and completely control his or her mind! Sam Cavanaugh was one of the agents who discovered the truth. Unfortunately, that was just before he was taken over by one of the aliens and began working for the invaders, with no will of his own. And he has just learned that a high official in the Treasury Department is now under control of the aliens. Since the Treasury Department includes the Secret Service, which safeguards the President of the United States, control of the entire nation is near at hand…

You might also want to check out recommendations from some other bloggers:
YetiStomperWalkerofworlds | Fantasy Book Critic