This short novel is a well thought out tale of a journey through the Solar System on a commercial spaceship. Unfortunately it is too short to really develop and lacking in depth.
This is a collection of short stories and articles. Steele’s has a journalistic style and tends to describe the actual “normal people” protagonists of an event as opposed to the powers that be. He is seldom grandiose, but his stories tend to be very crisp and relatable. The articles are from Steele’s time as a […]
The premise of this alternate history novel is that the USA established a permanent presence on the Moon in the 1960s, even basing nuclear missiles there. History has caught up, though, and an expedition is sent to hand over the moon base to a European corporation, as well as deactivate the missiles. A mini technothriller […]
Novel about a computer system that becomes intelligent. Nothing that really sticks in your mind.
Unfocused effort set on Mars, as humans try to solve the riddle of the Cydonia pyramids and the Face of Mars (no, they don’t exist in reality). While the writing is good, and some parts are pretty decent, the whole novel doesn’t really go anywhere.
Set in the same universe as Orbital Decay and Lunar Descent, this novel is set in an orbital habitat. It lacks any of the things that made the first two books good.
These two near future novels are about workers in Earth orbit and on the Moon respectively. Not spectacular, but solidly enjoyable, especially Lunar Descent. The authenticity of the characters is great. These are not “Roger Ramjet” astronaut heroes, but working class Joes trying to make it work.
The novel is about a disillusioned soldier in a future war. But that’s only the first 100 pages, which flow pretty well and are decent science fiction battle action. After the climax of the first part, which is about the soldier Felix and his troubles, there is a jarring discontinuity and the story picks up […]
A remnant human colony survives on the ocean world of Hydros. Humans live on artificial islands built by creatures called Gillies. On one such island, one of the humans offends the Gillies. Humans are ordered to leave. They begin an odyssey on the planet-spanning ocean to find the mythical “Face of the Waters”, a patch […]
The title “Boundary” refers to the K-T Boundary, an event 65 million years ago in which a large number of species, most famously including the dinosaurs, became extinct, probably due to the impact of a meteor. A group of paleontologists find a very strange fossil grouping, with bizarre anomalies including what look like bullets. The […]
This novella fills in some of the events following Kris Longknife – Defiant. Kris and her cohorts are tasked to set up a training command for foreign navies buying Wardhaven’s fast attack boats. It’s a cute little piece with plenty of banter between the now familiar main characters, in particular Kris and Jack. How the […]
The book is subtitled “A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Ever Seen.” Part journey of self-discovery, part chronicle, part medical exposé, this extraordinary book starts with a quest by the author to figure out why it hurts when he runs. Thus begins a tale so incredible it seems like fiction, […]
These books are both set in ancient Egypt. The descriptions are quite good and adequately set the scene for epic battles to save the nation and the royal family. While the stories themselves are pretty decent, Smith’s style can be summed up in one word: Wordcrapper! Argh! Descriptions of feelings in epic prose are all […]
The Lensman series is considered the mother of all space opera, and it all begins with Triplanetary, which is a series of three vaguely related novelettes, the first one concerning the fall of Atlantis. In the second one, a spaceliner is attached by a pirate. The pirate in turn is attacked by aliens intent on […]
The story set in a small village in Northwestern India in 1947, during the division of India into India and Pakistan. The village is on the border with Pakistan, with both Sikh and Muslim inhabitants. The two ethnic groups have been living together in the village for centuries, but events in the wider world around […]
The seventh book in the Kris Longknife series has Kris still in charge of the exploratory ship Wasp. She blunders into an encounter with an Iteechee vessel. The Iteechee are a race with which humanity had a war 80 years previously. They are so mysterious that the causes of the war are still essentially unknown. […]
In Intrepid, Kris finally has her own ship command. She is on a mission to explore the outer rim and show the flag of Wardhaven/United Sentients. She discovers a plot against her arch enemies, the Peterwalds, and also a plundering expedition launched on an agrarian colony. Lots of ground pounding action anchors this book, with […]
In Audacious, Kris is sent to Eden, an old and conservative colony world where her native and cosmopolitan Wardhaven is thought of as very much a backwater. The plot seems absent at the start, apart from the by now de rigeur repeated attempts on Kris’ life. As usual, the Peterwalds are trying to take over. […]
In Resolute, Kris is put in charge of an out of the way naval district assignment on the frontier. In a sub-plot, she finds ancient alien ruins. But the real action is a “fleet visit” from the Greenfeld navy commanded by her old nemesis Hank Smythe Peterwald. In short, the Greenfeld fleet is trying to […]
In Defiant, Kris must face an imminent threat to her planet. Betrayed by incompetent politicians, she skirts the law to organize the archetypal rag-tag flotilla in defense of Wardhaven as a massive force of hostile warships approaches. Defiant is a further improvement over the first two books. From the viewpoint of Defiant the first two […]
A marked improvement over Mutineer, Deserter has Kris Longknife run to the rescue of her best friend Tom. The story is a bit hazy, with an “evil dude” trying to kill Kris. Mayhem ensues. As a little side note, the title is only vaguely descriptive. I guess they had to come up with something in […]
Ensign Longknife is the scion of a great family. Her father is the Prime Minister of an important world. Her grandparents and great grandparents are equally exalted. She tries to defy family tradition, only to find that she is following it in her own way. Most of the book sets up her character for the […]
Two of the Mercury Seven astronauts tell the story of America’s race to the moon. Interesting if you are into the space program. It is a decent read, but Chaikin’s A Man on the Moon is a much better chronicle of the events.
Historical novel about England around the Third Crusade. Scott is a bit less fixated on tactical and weaponry minutiae than modern historical novelists. The style is heavy at times but this book is thoroughly enjoyable. A great yarn of adventure, love, and heroism.
This short story collection contains mostly previously published material, among others the stellar “Watching Trees Grow“, which it was a pleasure to re-read. There are three more standalones, one of which is a very short vignette. The last three stories are set in the Confederation Universe, with the two longer ones featuring investigator extraordinaire Paula […]