Reviews :: Book Genre :: Science Fiction

Review

Battlefield Earth

Posted: December 1, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Like...and Hate Meta: L. Ron Hubbard, Science Fiction
Battlefield Earth

I’ve been hearing about this book for a long time from a few friends of mine, and so it has been on my TBR list for a while now, but I have to admit it wasn’t ranked very high. And then, lo and behold, I get notification that they’ve made an audio book out of the thing and I’m getting a free copy in the mail for my listening pleasure as long as I’ll post an honest review of it afterward and then pass the copy on to my local library. As my father always says, “Such a deal!” Once I got the thing though, I found I was in for a bit more than I’d expected, for the copy of the audiobook I received was 44 CDs long. Guess I hadn’t realized just how long the book was (despite the fact that I have a paperback copy sitting on my shelves at home). And the recording wasn’t just an “audio book”. It’s “dramatized”, which I haven’t seen a lot of in the past. The recording included the talent of 65 voice actors performing almost 200 individual characters and included more than 150,000 different sound effects. Pretty impressive, eh?
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Review

Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard

Posted: November 3, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Lawrence M. Schoen, Science Fiction
Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard

I’ve had this book for a long time. Like, a long time. Completely my fault. Well, more appropriately my bias’s fault, because the quick-uptake I did of the book when I first got it revealed that it was science fiction. So, it got shelved until just recently, in favor of other books that I thought I’d likely enjoy more. Now, after finally picking it up off the shelf and reading the thing, I’m feeling REALLY bad that it took so long because this is a great book.
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Review

What Dreams Shadows Cast

Posted: October 21, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Barbara J. Webb, Science Fantasy
What Dreams Shadows Cast

Hey, how’s it going, Barbara? Sorry it’s been a while since you sent us this novel, and I’m only now getting to a response for you. Life, as they say, has a away; what with SPFBO-round-twos, vacations to Hawai’i, and other such takers of precious time. Anyhow, thought I’d drop you a line because I was really quite excited to read the next story in your Dying World series. Hope this format is okay as well. I know you might get the feeling that a few others are reading over your shoulder, and you’re totally right. They are. 🙂 But you should be used to that by now, what with having so many of your stories out in the wild. So, here you go.
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Review

Alliance

Posted: October 20, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: S.K. Dunstall, Space Opera
Alliance

Ean Lambert changed the way people understood the lines that ran spaceships in LINESMAN. Now he and his friends must live with the resultant fallout: the alliances between planets have been shaken up; the Confluence has revealed its true contents; and instead of only ten lines that run spaceships, there are actually twelve.

Who knew some nobody from the slums of Lancia would end up being the instigator of amazing changes in space travel?
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Review

A Borrowed Man

Posted: September 20, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Gene Wolfe, Science Fiction
A Borrowed Man

I was first introduced to the works of Gene Wolfe through the Books of the New Sun and the torturer Severian. Found the first of those on one of the random, wandering trips I took through the college library during my graduate school years. There were lots of those, and now it seems like they were longer ago than they actually are. I got through the first book in that series and then half of the second from what I remember. They were interesting enough, but didn’t really keep my interest, so I moved on to something I liked a little better. Funny enough, this book obviously included a library and I hadn’t read any Gene Wolfe in a while, so I was fairly excited to dive into it.
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Review

The Rule of Luck

Posted: September 2, 2016 by mtbikemom in Books We Hate Meta: Catherine Cerveny, Romance, Science Fiction
The Rule of Luck

I was intrigued by Catherine Cerveny’s attempt to combine sci-fi with romance as I began THE RULE OF LUCK. The protag is smart and sassy and the opening pages are good.  Bujold did scifi/romance well in MILES IN LOVE, after all. How awful could this be?  I was blissfully unaware that, these days, “romance” almost always means “porn.” At least semi-porn, except for the most-excellent offerings from Carol Berg and Mary Robinette Kowal and a few others.  The sci-fi element in this case was just a pretense for creating the most ridiculous perfect-man trope I can remember. This guy’s only flaw is not realizing just how awesome he is. Yeah, I know. 
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Review

Time Siege

Posted: August 23, 2016 by Shawn in Books We Love Meta: Wesley Chu, Science Fiction
Time Siege

You know what?  I hate writing reviews for sequels.  I enjoy reading sequels very much.  I love talking about book series with my friends and speculating on what might happen in the next volume.  I actually really enjoy the time between books in a series to let it sit and soak in.  I like to reread previous volumes before a new one comes out. But I hate writing reviews about sequels!!!! Have you read the first book?  I don’t know.  If you did, did you enjoy it?  Again, I got nothing.  Should I spoil the first book for you here to tell you about the second volume? I don’t think I should. But then how do I tell you about this book if I can’t even talk about the events of the last book? You see the bind I’m in.

So, let’s set some ground rules right from the start. I’m going to assume you’ve read the first book (TIME SALVAGER, very fun, quick paced, action packed). I’m going to assume you enjoyed it like I did and want to talk about the next book. If that doesn’t apply to you then I’m going to give you a short quick review of the series right now: It’s good. You should read it.

Are we good? Have we gotten rid of anyone who doesn’t want spoilers? Ok then. Onward we go.
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Review

Morning Star

Posted: August 11, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Pierce Brown, Dystopian SF
Morning Star

I like movies. They’re fun and entertaining and worthy of our time as consumers. Well, at least some of them are. Books are much the same, and we here at EBR are more than willing to tell you which of them you should be willing to give your precious time to. In this aspect, books and movies are quite similar. They are also quite different though. For instance, story-telling techniques that work well in a movie, don’t always work good in a book, and vice versa. Sometimes catastrophically so. I was reminded of this fact quite pointedly while reading this book. Mainly because I know they’re working on the movie for Red Rising, the first book of this series. A movie that, in my opinion, cannot come soon enough, but better not come before it is absolutely perfect, dangit. Because this series deserves a perfect movie.
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Review

Time Salvager

Posted: July 12, 2016 by Shawn in Books We Like Meta: Wesley Chu, Science Fiction
Time Salvager

I’m sure you couldn’t tell from the title of the book, but TIME SALVAGER by Wesley Chu, is a time travel book. Crazy right? I’ve read some time travel books in my time. Connie Willis has gotten about a million Hugos for her takes on time travel — TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG, DOOMSDAY BOOK, BLACKOUT (EBR review), ALLCLEAR (EBR review]).  Michael Critchton took us back into the dark ages in TIMELINE. There are books that go back to dinosaurs (BONES OF THE EARTH by Michael Swanwick) and just about anywhere you can think of. In most of those books the story revolves around going back to some time period and either a) getting stuck back in time and needing to get back, or b) accomplishing some goal in the past to fix the present.

Chu does none of those things.
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Review

Angels of Caliban

Posted: July 8, 2016 by Nickolas in Books We Love Meta: Gav Thorpe, Science Fiction
Angels of Caliban

A long, long time ago in a galaxy… here… I read ANGELS OF DARKNESS by Gav Thorpe (Amazon). I’d been reading Warhammer 40,000 tie-in fiction for a short while but this was my first exposure to the Dark Angels. It was more thoughtful and considerate than I was accustomed to for a 40k novel. Don’t get me wrong, ANGELS OF DARKNESS stills packs the heavy hitting action the war-game is known for, but it also delves deeply into the history of one of 40k’s most mysterious factions. It’s been a long time since I read that book but it remains one of my all time favorites set in the grim darkness of the future. ANGELS OF CALIBAN takes place 10,000 years before ANGELS OF DARKNESS, during the Horus Heresy, and fills in more of the details of the I legion’s shameful past. It is also the third novel in the Imperium Secundus subplot of the larger Horus Heresy series, following Dan Abnett’s THE UNREMEMBERED EMPIRE (Amazon) and Guy Haley’s PHAROS (EBR Review).

If you’ve read my PHAROS review you’re aware that I’m a big fan of the Imperium Secundus subplot and ANGELS OF CALIBAN (Amazon) is (probably) the end of that specific era of the Horus Heresy. Unfortunately I feel as though the concept wasn’t explored nearly as fully as it deserved but it’s still a satisfying diversion from the main conflict of the galactic-spanning civil war and ANGELS OF CALIBAN is a powerful (likely) finale to the arc.
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Review

Golden Son

Posted: July 1, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Pierce Brown, Dystopian SF
Golden Son

I think I’ve mentioned before just how utterly cool it is to have this job as a reviewer. The other week I was having this conversation with a couple guys from work that went something like this:

Guy1 to Guy2: You like reading fantasy, Guy2. You should read Dan’s review blog.
Guy2 to Me: You have a blog? Which one?
Me to Guy2: Elitist Book Reviews. It’s a website now, but yeah I write for them.
Guy2 to Me: Wait. You write for Elitist Book Reviews?

Turns out he’d been following our site for quite some time and we were only then figuring it out. Way cool stuff. Love it when that happens. Of course, there are down-sides to the job too. The one that probably irks me the most is that there are times when I just don’t feel like I have the free time to read a book off-the-schedule that I’d like to because I really need to read from my ever-growing review pile in order to keep up with what I’ve committed to writing. Occasionally though, I do get to go off track for a bit, and thus it was, with a good degree of tardiness, that I finally got around to read Red Rising (EBR Review) recently. Immediately after finishing, I ran out and got Golden Son, because RED was seriously amazing. And now I’m here writing this, and I’m able to tell you that the next book in the series is just as amazing, if not completely more so.
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Review

Pharos

Posted: June 28, 2016 by Nickolas in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Guy Haley, Science Fiction, RPGs
Pharos

Continuing my Horus Heresy binge I have another review for you! This time we have PHAROS by Guy Haley (Amazon), Book 34 in Black Library’s massively successful tie-in series. It’s a bit of a leap from my last review given that ANGEL EXTERMINATUS (EBR Review) is Book 23, is set in an entirely different theatre of the galaxy spanning civil war, features a completely different cast of characters, and even delves into different themes. There exists some Horus Heresy novels that can be read out of their numerical publishing order but if you haven’t been following along with the series I would not recommend starting with PHAROS. It’s essentially a sequel within a sequel within a series. It’s sequel-ception! That said, I’ll try not to reveal too much about the book in case you’re intrigued by the Horus Heresy but uncertain about jumping into a series that is currently 38 books long.
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Review

Angel Exterminatus

Posted: June 15, 2016 by Nickolas in Books We Love Meta: Graham McNeill, Science Fiction
Angel Exterminatus

I’ve been on somewhat of a Warhammer 40,000 reading binge of late. Or, more accurately, a Warhammer 30,000 reading binge as each of the five titles I’ve devoured in the past month has been set in the Horus Heresy event series. I’m a Warhammer 40k fanboy (I have the Imperial Aquila tattooed on my chest), but I’d taken a few year hiatus from the universe. Now I’m back with a vengeance and there is a surplus of new material to gorge on. The most recent Horus Heresy novel I’ve read, ANGEL EXTERMINATUS by Graham McNeill (Amazon), is the 23rd book in a series that is currently on its 37th installment. The books are penned by multiple authors, and all of the books are connected by larger events and characters but not all are necessarily sequential. It’s a truly impressive collaboration. It’s been ten years since Black Library began publishing the Horus Heresy and a lot has happened since the opening trilogy. ANGEL EXTERMINATUS is perhaps most closely tied to the fifth book in the series, FULGRIM (Amazon), also written by Graham McNeill. ANGEL EXTERMINATUS is also a prequel of sorts to several of Graham McNeill’s books set 10,000 years after the Horus Heresy two of my favorite 40k books: STORM OF IRON (Amazon), DEAD SKY BLACK SUN (Amazon); one of my least favorite: CHAPTER’S DUE (Amazon). In any case, ANGEL EXTERMINATUS is not the place for newbies to start.
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Review

Bluescreen

Posted: June 10, 2016 by Alan in Books We Love Meta: Dan Wells, Cyberpunk, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Bluescreen

I don’t review enough of the books I read, and I don’t read enough books in certain genres or categories to really review them. On the Best of 2015 EBR list, I marked BLUESCREEN by Dan Wells as one I was looking forward to. I don’t really read YA as a category (I am neither young, nor an adult, so my wife says), and so I admit some bias, but I like cyberpunk and dystopia, and here we are.
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Review

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

Posted: June 3, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Lois McMaster Bujold, Science Fiction
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

Cordelia is a widow, but has a good forty-year life expectancy remaining. If you had that long to live after a beloved companion dies, how would you live it?

GENTLEMAN JOLE AND THE RED QUEEN takes place three years following the events of CRYOBURN (EBR review) and the stunning endnote that would leave longtime fans of the series shocked and saddened. But Lois McMaster Bujold still has plans for our beloved Cordelia; these plans may surprise you, but if you really know Cordelia then perhaps they won’t.
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Review

Central Station

Posted: May 10, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Lavie Tidhar, Science Fiction
Central Station

Tel Aviv, Israel, is the hub for the space elevator called Central Station. It’s an unusual place, a conglomeration of travelers, refugees, discarded robots, and modified humans. Miriam runs a small shebeen near the space port with the boy Kranki, whom she took custody of when his mother died of a drug overdose. She has no idea where his father is. Kranki is an unusual boy, capable of manipulating the world around him and listening in on the Conversation, the stream of data all around them, between people, between machines/robots, and the artificial intelligences that exist in the data stream. He’s always been a little odd.
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Review

Linesman

Posted: April 11, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: S.K. Dunstall, Space Opera
Linesman

Humans have been traveling the stars for hundreds of years, and use alien technology in order to do it. The alien ship they originally found all those years ago was empty of aliens, but the ship was able to travel faster than light, so humans reverse-engineered the technology. They call the energy the ships use to travel through space “lines,” but there’s a catch: very few humans can actually repair ship lines.

LINESMAN, by the Australian sister-duo S.K. Dunstall, is the first of a new series about main character Ean Lambert, who is trained as a linesman, but whose strange methods make him a second-class citizen among the linesmen. Traditionally trained linesmen use their minds and will to do the repair work, but Ean can hear the lines and sings to them–much to the derision of his peers.
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Review

Jonesbridge

Posted: March 25, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: M.E. Parker, Science Fiction
Jonesbridge

Bad writing. We all know it’s out there, and unfortunately the odds are that eventually it will end up landing in our lap. When it happens in a book I’m reviewing I have one of two options: can the read, or mention the fact in my review. I really don’t feel like I can do anything else. Sometimes it baffles me how certain levels of writing can make it through the publication gamut. I mean, I expected to find some as I strolled through the SPFBO, and I did, but some of it was also quite good. But when a book has gone through a publication house, it seems to me that there should be some base-minimum level of goodness that applies because if the book doesn’t sell any copies, the publishers don’t make any money. Although, a good friend of mine had her books picked up by a small publication house and she got just about zero editing help. So. What can one really expect?
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Review

INCI

Posted: March 15, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Mike Resnick, Science Fiction
INCI

After seeing my most recent review of a Mike Resnick book, you might be surprised that I’d pick up another so quick. The fact of the matter is that I actually read this one before that one, but there’s a condition that most reviewers have where if they really love or really hate a book, it’s oh so easy to drop everything else, forget the queue, and just bang that one out first. The fact that this happened with my previous Resnick review should probably tell you that there wasn’t much to this book, and you’d be mostly right, but let’s be complete and get all the details, because it wasn’t all that bad…
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Review

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Posted: March 8, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Ken Liu, Science Fiction, Anthology
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Before Ken Liu wrote novels like THE GRACE OF KINGS (EBR Review), he wrote short stories, several of which won notable awards. THE PAPER MENAGERIE AND OTHER STORIES is a compilation of not only his award-winning shorts, but also some of his own favorites, including one not previously published.

They are stories filled with emotion, creativity, and beautiful prose. And all will require a degree of contemplation–these are not simple stories, as they are filled with multiple layers of character, situation, and setting. Each is worth thinking about what Liu is trying to say. It’s these very qualities that makes this anthology worth reading.
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Review

The Fortress in Orion

Posted: February 19, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Hate Meta: Mike Resnick, Science Fiction
The Fortress in Orion

I’d missed this book in the lineup of new Science Fiction, and honestly hadn’t thought to look, but was reminded about it when the second book in this series showed up in a new batch of books to read. The relatively short page count and the fact that it was only number two in the series prompted me to pick up this book first so that I wouldn’t be ignorant going into number two. As it turns out though, I needn’t have worried overly much. By way of resurrecting an old review method of mine, here is this book in ten words:

Military man and operatives waltz through mission to supplant dictator.

Immediately after reading it, I read the first few chapters of book two, and I’m having a very difficult time believing that the first eight words of that book’s ten-word summary wouldn’t be identical. Setting that opinion aside for now though, here’s the skinny on this one.
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Review

Poseidon’s Wake

Posted: January 26, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Alastair Reynolds, Science Fiction
Poseidon’s Wake

Some of the main drives, I believe, of the Science Fiction genre are to instill in the reader a sense of awe and wonder and introduce the idea of the ubiquitous question: What if? Sadly, I have to admit that I’ve never really had that experience in my reading of Science Fiction. There are times, however, when I take the opportunity to stop and just stare up into the starry night sky. It is during those times that I have absolutely felt that sense of awe and wonder and have begun to speculate just what might be up there amidst the stars and planets and vast, sprawling majesty of the universe around us. I’ve always wanted that same experience when reading a good Science Fiction book. I just haven’t ever gotten it. Until Alastair Reynolds wrote this book and gave me one.
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Review

Seveneves

Posted: December 10, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Like...and Hate Meta: Neal Stephenson, Science Fiction
Seveneves

It’s been a while since I read a Stephenson book, and I was in need of his kind of storytelling. Smart, funny, character-centric, inventive, informative — his books, for me, stand tall and somewhat apart from so much of the other writing out there. This one pushed a lot of my buttons, but strained my patience quite a bit, too. It’s a novel for our times. A story of very-near Science Fiction that is about an apocalypse that we haven’t read before (e.g., planetary self-destruction, religious fruition). This one could happen tomorrow, and I think, for the most part, it could all feasibly happen. Made it personal for me and fun to boot.
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Review

The Vital Abyss

Posted: November 23, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: James S.A. Corey, Science Fiction
The Vital Abyss

Today is the day, and so I thought I’d drop this little review for the newest Expanse novella now. But today is the day that the first episode of SyFy’s series The Expanse airs on internet media. It still won’t officially premiere on the SyFy channel until the two-night release on December 14th/15th, but as of today you can watch the first episode on a pretty fair-sized group of online locations. So, if you’re as ridiculously excited to watch this thing as I am, you can now get a little taste of what is to come. But stick around and check out my review of this first, if you will. Cause if you’re a fan, you’re not going to want to miss this story either.
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Review

Luna: New Moon

Posted: November 20, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Hate Meta: Ian McDonald, Science Fiction
Luna: New Moon

After getting a taste of all of the excitement surrounding the SyFy production of The Expanse, it came as no real surprise to me that other TV networks might want to try and jump on the proverbial band wagon. CBS recently announced that they are going to be producing a new TV series based on this novel, and thus I was more than a little intrigued to read this one and see just what kind of “competition” CBS would be trying to bring to the table.
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Review

City of Burning Shadows

City of Burning Shadows

For those of you who have been following the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Mark Lawrence has been running for the last six months, you’ll know that we’re into the final round where, theoretically, the ten best novels of the approximately 275 that were submitted are now in our hands. For those of you who weren’t aware of this… you now are. The reading process has moved along smashingly well for me. In fact, significantly better than it should be. As of this moment, I’ve placed my completion mark on all of the stories I’ve been given thus far and only completely finished reading two of them: the one that we submitted to the pool from the first round, THE THIEF WHO PULLED ON TROUBLE’S BRAIDS (EBR Review), and this one. Unlike any of the other stories in the finalists’ pool, this one immediately grabbed me, immediately impressed me, and immediately impressed upon me that it was going to be a brilliant read.
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Review

Corsair

Posted: September 11, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: James L. Cambias, Science Fiction
Corsair

Recently, the dynamic duo of James S. A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) did a Q&A over at reddit. One of the questions that came up along the way was one that I thought was pretty astute and went something along the lines of this: In your books, why are there so many manned spacecraft and a surprising dearth of unmanned, likely more cost-effective, drones doing work in space? Their response was simple: bots are boring, humans are interesting. The story told in this book tries to take a somewhat opposite tack to that and tells a “science fiction” story where all of the space stuff is handled by bots, with the humans acting in the background. And how does it all turn out? Let’s just say that our boys from the Expanse series know what they’re talking about.
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Review

The Martian

Posted: September 8, 2015 by Steven in Books We Love Meta: Andy Weir, Science Fiction
The Martian

When a novel is hyped beyond all reasonableness, I immediately dislike it on principle. Most of the time, this near-irrational dislike ends up justified when I finally get around to reading the story. But every now and then the hype is warranted.

Enter, THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir (Amazon).

Perhaps the most hyped novel in the last year or two—apart from READY PLAYER ONE—THE MARTIAN has a very simple premise. Mark Watney is stranded on Mars, and he needs to figure out a way to survive on that wasteland for years—that’s right, years—to even have a chance to be rescued.
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Review

Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction

Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction

I had an argument with Mike Resnick once–okay, maybe it was only a complaint and response that found us on opposite sides of the coin–concerning what made a story a speculative (Fantasy or Science Fiction) story. I had just finished reading one of his short yarns and was frustrated because I didn’t think that any of the speculative elements had anything to do with the story and could have been left out completely without destroying the story at its core. In essence, the made up stuff was just window dressing. So the story didn’t feel like it was speculative to me and I was kinda miffed about it. I was reminded of that disagreement while I was reading this short story collection because it was quite impossible for me to disentangle the plot from the speculative elements in the slightest. They all relied completely and wholly upon the made up stuff. And I was really happy to find that.
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Review

Grunt Traitor

Posted: August 25, 2015 by Steven in Books We Love Meta: Weston Ochse, Science Fiction
Grunt Traitor

Weston Ochse’s GRUNT LIFE (EBR Review) was one of my favorite novels released in 2014. It was also one of the finest Military SF novels I’d read, and I’ve been anticipating the sequel ever since. After the follow-up novel, GRUNT TRAITOR (Amazon), arrived I took it with me on a plane trip… and ended up reading the whole novel that day.

To put it mildly, GRUNT TRAITOR was a page-turner.
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Review

The Silver Ships

Posted: August 21, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Don't Like Meta: S.H. Jucha, Science Fiction
The Silver Ships

Seven hundred years ago humans took to the stars after Earth’s resources could no longer support the population. The colonist ships headed to different systems and lost communication with each other. Until one fateful day when tug captain Alex Racine discovers a derelict ship of unknown origin. He quickly learns that the ship is run by an AI, that some of the crew are in stasis… and that it came from a completely different system from his own. The superior technology fascinates him and he assumes it must be alien, until the crew are awakened by the AI computer and he discovers that they are descendants from another Earth colony ship.

And that the reason their ship was damaged and many of their crew dead is because aliens had attacked them.
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Review

Unbreakable

Posted: July 28, 2015 by Vanessa in Books that are Mediocre Meta: W.C. Bauers, Science Fiction
Unbreakable

Promise is a Marine for the Republic, having signed up after witnessing the death of her pacifist father by pirates. Now she can get off the backwater planet where she was born and instead roam the universe, fighting against the same kind of criminals who killed her father.

But in a twist of fate, Promise is promoted for the very purpose of representing the Republic on her home planet, Montana, as a sort of public relations gesture. In the past the Republic hasn’t done its best protecting the rim planets from pirates and the Empire. Now it’s Promise and a single company of Marines assigned to protect a planet of ninety-eight million people, with only the help of a couple of scraggly space platforms, and an aging warship to patrol the orbit. No wonder the Montanans’ view of the Republic is less than stellar.

However, before Promise’s assignment is up she must prove her mettle in the face of impossible odds.
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Review

All Those Vanished Engines

Posted: July 24, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Paul Park, Science Fiction
All Those Vanished Engines

There is a tale written by a chap you might have heard of before (Hans Christian Andersen) about an Emperor that is duped by a couple of swindlers into paying for clothes made out of cloth that is not there. It’s called “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (just in case 😉 ), and it’s a wonderful tale that at its face can be viewed as being about not allowing yourself to be lied to and taken advantage of because you want something so badly, but has deeper meaning about not believing what everyone else does just because everyone else believes it. Once I’d written this review, I realized that a triggered remembrance of this old tale is exactly what I’d need in order to finish up. So let’s get to it.
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Review

Nemesis Games

Posted: July 15, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: James S.A. Corey, Science Fiction
Nemesis Games

Not only did this series get a major upgrade with the last book (hardcover, anybody?), but we also heard that SyFy had picked it up for a 10-episode series (which begins to air this December), and they also started writing for series two of the SyFy series last month. That’s June. Six months before the series even premieres! Just freaking cool. Still, I’m already itching for book six, Babylon’s Ashes. Although, we’ll get a new novella (The Vital Abyss, Oct 1st) in just a few months, and then the tv series in December, so the time between now and then should just fly.
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Review

The Architect of Aeons

Posted: July 10, 2015 by Alan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: John C. Wright, Space Opera
The Architect of Aeons

It’s been a while since I sat down here and wrote a review, so you can expect a small deluge from me in the near future. I’m a huge fan of space opera in all genres and forms. I don’t know a lot about John C. Wright, but receiving THE ARCHITECT OF AEONS excited me, and made me want to read this. I’ve never read any Wright, so I was ready to experience a new to me author.
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Review

Prisoner 489

Prisoner 489

From Dark Regions Press, we have a great novella from one of my favorite authors, Joe Lansdale. PRISONER 489 (Amazon) is short, sweet, and a terrific read. While I simply adore Lansdale’s Westerns, I’m an even bigger fan of his writing.
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Review

Cibola Burn

Posted: June 10, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: James S.A. Corey, Science Fiction
Cibola Burn

I was really excited when I got this book in the mail (which was forever ago, granted. Sorry this was soooo long in coming). Couldn’t wait to get back to Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante. Abraham and Franck really have a good thing going for them with this series. Not only is the series really good, the SyFy channel picked it up for a TV series and they’re spending oodles of money on it (more than they’ve spent on any other series before). Looks like it’s going to be absolutely fabulous too. In addition, the series is under contract through book 9. Oh. My. Goodness. Although I was just the teensiest bit perturbed at the fact that the initial release for new books in this series have been switched to hardbacks. A good sign for the authors and publishers, agreed; just not such a great deal for those of us that like to look at the complete series on our bookshelves and see continuity. But who am I kidding, the story is really the part that matters anyhow and it was freaking awesome.
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Review

Slow Bullets

Posted: May 26, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Alastair Reynolds, Science Fiction
Slow Bullets

Price points are a topic of interest for me when it comes to publishing. Why are some stories priced as they are while others of equal length are so much cheaper or more expensive? This is especially relevant in today’s market where the opportunity to sell stories with lengths in the “middle ranges” (novellas, novelettes) becomes more attainable, when in yesteryear’s market they just weren’t viable options. It’s interesting, and sometimes sardonically humorous to me, where those prices are set. I’m one of those that thinks that shorter fiction is meant to draw readers toward your larger fiction, which is where you make the large majority of your money. So, for me, shorter fiction should be pretty cheap. Thus, even though Alastair Reynolds is one of my absolute favorite Science Fiction authors, I was really surprised and somewhat put off by the price point of this book.
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Review

The Border

Posted: May 5, 2015 by Steven in Books We Love Meta: Robert McCammon, Horror, Science Fiction
The Border

Robert McCammon has never let me down. When I sit down with one of his novels, I can kick back and enjoy it because I know it’s going to be solid. THE BORDER (Amazon) was no different. I loved every page.

If you’ve followed McCammon’s career, or if you’ve just recently discovered him, you’ll notice that he stepped away from traditional Horror for a while. Recently he’s been writing the incredible Matthew Corbett series, which has some Horror elements, but they probably aren’t considered pure Horror novels. THE BORDER is Horror, pure and simple. For this reason it has been on people’s radars since announced. McCammon? Doing traditional Horror? Take all my money!

Actually, that isn’t quite right. THE BORDER isn’t just pure Horror. It’s Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Horror. That description should have McCammon fans salivating.
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Review

Writers of the Future, Vol. 31

Writers of the Future, Vol. 31

Writers of the Future is quite easily one of, if not the, most prestigious contests in the world for speculative short fiction. The contest runs each quarter of the year, with the top three stories in the bunch being awarded with publication in the anthology, a place-dependent cash prize, royalties on the anthology they are published in (I believe), and a free week-long writing retreat with all of the new authors published in the anthology being taught by a large cadre of impressive, published authors. It’s no small thing, this “little” contest. If you’re a new writer, you should absolutely be starting off by sending your short stories there. Start at the top, I always say. Don’t short-change yourself by starting anywhere else. If you’re not a new writer though, and you find yourself picking this anthology up, you can be sure to find lots of interesting Science Fiction to satiate your palette.
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Review

On the Steel Breeze

Posted: April 3, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Alastair Reynolds, Science Fiction
On the Steel Breeze

I recently had a conversation with a member of my extended family about the current tech surrounding virtual reality. He’s a game developer (his team did a lot of work for the F.E.A.R. games, if you’re familiar with them) and is neck deep in pushing the boundaries of what’s currently realizable. During our discussion, I was reminded of this series (Poseidon’s Children) and its “Augmented Reality” layer of vision. It was cool to talk about, in reality, the budding technology and current understanding that could very well lead to a fully realized human enhancement that I’d experienced in this series. Granted, Alastair Reynolds isn’t the first to use such a concept in his stories, but he did it in such an amazing way that it made an impact on my own life, and that’s just really cool stuff.
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Review

The Girl With All The Gifts

Posted: March 6, 2015 by Alan in Books We Like Meta: M.R. Carey, Dystopian SF, Horror
The Girl With All The Gifts

I’m not a big fan of things that involve zombies, dystopia, or the apocalypse. In fact, I go out of my way to actively avoid anything with zombies (baring the occasional film). I had no idea what the contents of this book entailed when I picked it up, except for the sticky note from the EBR editor that said for me to “Read First.”
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Review

Heaven’s Queen

Posted: March 3, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Rachel Bach, Science Fiction
Heaven’s Queen

Devi’s life as a mercenary hasn’t led where she thought it would. In FORTUNE’S PAWN (EBR Review), she had recently struck out on her own for a job that would make or break her career. Working for Caldswell on his ship Glorious Fool could potentially land her a dream job as a Devastator for the king himself.

Unfortunately, things did not go as planned on Caldswell’s ship, and in HONOR’S KNIGHT (EBR Review) Devi finds herself on the run, as a carrier for the cure–or destruction–of the universe raging as a plague in her body.

But now, in HEAVEN’S QUEEN (Amazon), Devi is tired of running, and with Rupert at her side, she has a chance to see her plan through. However small.
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Review

Into the Wilderness

Posted: February 20, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Mandy Hager, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Into the Wilderness

In 2013’s THE CROSSING (EBR Review), Maryam discovered she’d been lied to her entire life. That the Apostles weren’t who they said they were and that the native women taken to the ship were being treated like slaves. Determined to escape the injustices, Maryam makes a plan, and with the help of her newfound friend Joseph they do–with two unexpected companions in tow.

Now, in INTO THE WILDERNESS (Amazon), Maryam and Joseph cross the sea in search of a new home, but nothing goes according to plan.
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Review

Red Rising

Posted: February 18, 2015 by Nickolas in Books We Love Meta: Pierce Brown, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Red Rising

I originally dismissed RED RISING (Amazon) by Pierce Brown because of the immense level of hype behind the debut. RED RISING was being touted as the next THE HUNGER GAMES, as it seems the majority of Young Adult novels are marketed these days. Being that I consider THE HUNGER GAMES a vastly overrated and underwhelming novel I gave RED RISING a pass. I purchased a copy several months ago on a whim, unwilling to leave the bookstore empty handed. It sat untouched and unloved near the bottom of my To Read Pile until the recent release of GOLDEN SON (Amazon), book two of the trilogy. News of the sequel drew my attention back to the series and I decided to give it a shot.

I should have jumped aboard the first car of the RED RISING bandwagon when I had a chance. I absolutely devoured Pierce Brown’s debut — reading for hours at a time, even skipping dinner in order to finish the book during a frenzied four-hour reading binge. I’ve read a lot of good books lately nothing on the level of RED RISING in a long, long time.
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Review

Arctic Rising

Posted: February 13, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Tobias Buckell, Science Fiction
Arctic Rising

This one was a while in coming. I picked it up after reading Tobias Buckell’s short story compilation, Nascence, on my own because he was an author that I had often heard good things about but had never taken the opportunity to read, and because the compilation was aimed toward authors in training. The collection worked for about the first two-thirds.  The rest was reserved for different iterations of the same story that wasn’t so short and honestly kinda boring. But it was pretty decent up until that point, and I decided to give him another go.
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Review

Trial by Fire

Posted: January 29, 2015 by Nickolas in Books We Love Meta: Charles E. Gannon, Military SF
Trial by Fire

Chuck Gannon’s FIRE WITH FIRE (EBR Review) was easily the best science fiction novel I read in 2013. The first book in the Tales of the Terran Republic series would be right at home on a shelf amongst the hallowed Golden Age classics. FIRE WITH FIRE is a cerebral thriller – Caine makes his fair share of thrilling escapes – but the real draw to the story is the depth and intellectual complexity that Gannon brings to a First Contact scenario. As a follow-up, TRIAL BY FIRE (Amazon) is no disappointment.
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Review

Conquest

Conquest

Syl was the first of the alien Illyri to be born on Earth sixteen years ago after their (mostly) peaceful conquest of the planet. Her father is a diplomat living in Edinburgh, where earthlings persist in fighting off their conquerors, despite bringing peace and advanced medicine to Earth. On her sixteenth birthday Syl sneaks out of the castle to explore the streets, an activity fraught with danger as she soon learns when a café explodes before her eyes.

Paul may only be a teenager, but he’s been a part of the Resistance for years, gathering intel, learning to fight, and helping others on missions. He’s old enough now to start leading his own missions, as well as mentoring his younger brother, Steven. After the cafĂ© explosion, he sees a young woman on the street and takes her to safety, never learning she’s Illyri. He may be part of the Resistance, but the bombing killed civilians, so he knows it wasn’t his people. Unfortunately, his proximity to the bombing causes suspicion.

The chain of events continues from there as a result of that chance meeting. Their lives will never be the same.
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