Monthly Archives: December 2010

Surface Details, Iain M. Banks (Orbit, 2010)

Surface Details is a very good read and a ripping yarn told in a post modern manner. In brief, it is a multi-perspective piece examining events surrounding a virtual war taking place in a virtual Hell. It has good action, good characters and though it never raises to the quality of his best works, Surface Details remains an enjoyable read throughout. If you like Science Fiction, you should consider picking up this book. If you like Iain M. Banks, you should definitely pick up this book (though to tell you why would be a spoiler).

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Posted in New Space Opera, Post Modern, Ripping Yarn, Science Fiction, Series, Spy Thriller, Thoughtful, Ultratech, Unique or Imaginative World | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1632, Eric Flint (Baen, 2000)

1632 is the very enjoyable first book in the Assiti Shards/1632 series (q.v.), in which a modern town from West Virginia (USA) is transported into the middle of the Thirty Years War. While some of the history is greatly simplified, and there is a tendency to make good-guy bad-guy associations with Protestants (good) vs. Catholics (bad), Flint generally keeps a relatively good historic perspective and creates one of the most innovative and interesting speculative fiction pieces to be published in a long time. Continue reading

Posted in Original Fiction, Place-Out-Of-Time, Ripping Yarn, Science Fiction, Series, Time Travel Story, Unique or Imaginative World | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Backshot: Starfist: Force Recon Book 1, David Sherman and Dan Cragg (Del Rey, 2005)

Set in a contemporary timeframe with the other Starfist books, this story speaks to a good deal more than you’re ordinary milfic book. It has social and political commentary that those who do not know the genre may find quite surprising, and truly expands the Starfist Universe. If you like Military Sci-fi, or are interested in seeing how MilFic can make social and political commentary, I would highly recommend reading this book.
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Crashed: Skinned Book 2, Robin Wasserman (Simon Pulse) {Audio version: Brilliance Audio, Narrator: Kate Reinders}

The “Skinned” continues the story of Lia Kahn, a girl whose mind was downloaded into a realistic android body after a fatal accident. While Crashed is a solid, enjoyable story, it suffers from “middle of the trilogy” syndrome. While it could read as a stand alone, I doubt I would have enjoyed it half as much had I not already cared about the characters. Similarly, while there is a degree of closure at the end (unlike say… The Two Towers or Empire Strikes Back), there is a sense of unfinished business that leaves one hanging. Having said that, like its predecessor in this series, Crashed goes to show that YA books are not just for teens. Continue reading

Posted in Cyberpunk, Science Fiction, Series, Strong Characters, YA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hunting Party, Elizabeth Moon (Baen Books, 1993)

The first book in the Serrano Legacy Series is a mindless but enjoyable read for anyone who likes Military Science Fiction, and may appeal to others whose tastes don’t normally run in the MilFic direction. It follows the story of Heris Serrano, a commander in the Regular Space Service, who is forced to resign under less than ideal circumstances and take a post as Captain on the private yacht for a member of the aristocracy. soon, however, dangerous elements of the Captain’s past come to haunt her and the wealthy nobles she serves as their hunting expedition takes a deadly new turn.

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