Posts that have been tagged with: "Space Opera"
A timeless classic is a term that should be uttered rarely. Timeless implies you could pick it up today, read it in ten years, and still come away with a new perspective, a new rage at a book that challenges you politically, socially, and spiritually. DUNE, the grandfather of modern science-fantasy, in my opinion, of course, is the black sheep of the pulp Science Fiction family that ran away from a raygun shooting, fish bowl shaped, space helmet wearing universe of tomorrow. Instead, it is a morality play in line with Shakespeare, a political examination of tyranny, prophecy, good intentions, and how a tiny, insignificant planet holds the real-politik resource to create or destroy galactic dynasties with a simple drop of an atomic bomb. Even if its vision of the future is a wrong-way mirror compared to the projections of today, it cannot be overstated how vital, how genre-changing it was to the language, the imagery, and the soul of Science Fiction. DUNE deserves all its accolades both in terms of story, theme, character, and its sprawling, fully realized false future that never came to be.
DUNE, the first in a long series of novels by Frank Herbert, tells the story of humanity millennia in the future. Certain technology is suspect, due to dark atrocities brought about by atomics (atomic bombs and other atomic-powered technology) and robotic uprisings, in the vein of contemporaries like Arthur C. Clarke. The universe is ruled by a galactic emperor who divides planets into the stewardship of noble houses. Within this viper’s nest of nobles clashing against each other, there are monastic orders like the Bene Gesserit, an all female order of psionically gifted matrons manipulating a genetic conspiracy for millennia, who vie for influence and control within the Galactic Padishah Empire.
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Here we are on book three of S.K. Dunstall’s Linesman series, CONFLUENCE. Our friends seem to be barely hanging on because now the Emperor of Lancia, Michelle’s father, has decided to assert his influence in the New Alliance, which includes marrying her off for political gain. Emperor Yu also wants his cousin, Ean’s trusty bodyguard Dominique Radko, to marry to one of Yu’s trusted (and nefarious) advisors–to Ean’s dismay. But Michelle and gang are crafty and begin their own maneuverings in order to maintain as much control of events as they can.
Unfortunately, the humans aren’t taking the sentient alien ships into account. The ships want a crew now, whether the New Alliance factions are ready to supply crews and linesmen or not. And that may mean the ships start choosing crew without input from the humans.
It feels like everything is on the verge of blowing up.
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?
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. Read the rest of this review »
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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STARSHIP: FLAGSHIP is the fifth, and concluding, book in the STARSHIP series, which is an entry in the Birthright Universe. If you are not familiar with Mike Resnick, and his Birthright Universe, we’ll give you a quick lesson. Resnick is as decorated as an author can be with almost 60 published novels, a couple hundred short stories, 30 or so Hugo nominations, and 5 of those which he has won. The guy knows his writing.
The Birthright Universe is a 20,000 year long story that encompasses Man’s rise to Galactic adventures, and his subsequent fall. Ambitious doesn’t even begin to describe the project Mr. Resnick is working on.Read the rest of this review »