Archive for 2012

A good friend of mine lent me his copy of THE LAST PAGE by Anthony Huso saying that it was a book he thought I would really enjoy. He compared the book to China Miéville (of whom I am a rabid fan). I’d heard some other good things about it as well so I picked it up and read it. Here’s the blurb, (mostly because I’m not sure I could describe the book succinctly by myself).

The city of Isca is set like a dark jewel in the crown of the Duchy of Stonehold. In this sprawling landscape, the monsters one sees are nothing compared to what’s living in the city’s sewers. (more…)

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I’ve been looking forward to reading THE DAEMON PRISM since reading THE SOUL MIRROR in May. I had no clue what to expect, or where Carol Berg was going with the story. After the stunning climax in MIRROR, what else could happen? As it turns out, there’s an even bigger plot we haven’t discovered yet. (more…)

Aliens have invaded Earth. At first glance, the Overlords’ motives appear altruistic—they eradicate war, poverty, and sickness—but some men question their motives, and the aliens aren’t exactly forthcoming.

Written in 1953, CHILDHOOD’S END by Arthur C. Clarke shows us the results of an alien-imposed utopia on mankind. With this book Clarke asks a lot of questions—he answers some of them with possible solutions of his own, but leaves others open that are worth exploring. First contact with aliens is a common theme in Science Fiction, from Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS, to Star Trek, and other, more current fiction. Clarke’s version imagines mankind as a small, but still meaningful, part of the universe. (more…)

Shadow’s Lure

Posted: February 7, 2012 by Alan in Books We Love
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There is just something about assassin novels that I love. A while back when I read Jon Sprunk‘s SHADOW’S SON, I was immediately struck by how smooth the novel was, and how fun the main character was. Sprunk’s first novel wasn’t perfect, but it was loaded with promise.

As you all know by now, when it comes to judging new authors I use a slightly different measuring stick. With the first book I want to be pleasantly surprised. The second book is all about improvement. I’m happy to report (and very relieved, because Sprunk is a ridiculously nice guy with an even nicer wife) that Sprunk’s second novel SHADOW’S LURE is better in nearly every way when compared to his first novel. (more…)

KNOW NO FEAR marks the 19th book of the Horus Heresy series. For those of you who are unaware, Warhammer 40,000 is a table top game set in the 41st millennia: in the grim darkness of the future there is only war. Anyway Warhammer 40,000 is epic in the truest sense of the word, a science fiction universe with a slathering of dark fantasy thrown in for good measure. For a table top game it has a surprisingly rich and detailed history due to contributions from some great fiction authors. The greatest of those authors is without a doubt, Dan Abnett and the greatest event in the history of the game’s whole shared-world fiction is the Horus Heresy. (more…)

I grew up in a small farming community in Oregon, so when I left for university–with a student body three times that of my hometown–it’s reasonable to say that it was an intimating experience. THE HIGHEST FRONTIER by Joan Slonczewski reminded me about those first overwhelming months. Except with way cooler stuff. (more…)

Red Claw

Posted: February 15, 2012 by Alan in Books We Love
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Wow! Is it just me or has Orbit quietly become one of the better SF&F publishers out there? It seems that just a few years ago I was joking about them, yet here we are now, and they have Daniel Abraham publishing some excellent books (THE DRAGON’S PATH and LEVIATHAN WAKES). Jeff Somers has been writing some addictive and fun SF with his Avery Cates novels. Mira Grant and N.K. Jemisin both were nominated for Hugo’s last year for best novel. And now I’ve discovered Philip Palmer. (more…)