Ringworld’s Children – Larry Niven

In the fourth Ringworld novel, Louis Wu is, as usual, conscripted to do a powerful being’s bidding. In this case it is the Protector Tunesmith. Ringworld and The Ringworld Engineers are some of the best hard SF books ever written. On the other hand, The Ringworld Throne was an enormous disappointment, and given that I […]

The Flying Sorcerers – David Gerrold & Larry Niven

Shoogar is the greatest wizard his primitive village has ever known. Then a strange new wizard literally drops from the sky. Of course, they new wizard comes from a very advanced culture. Mayhem ensues. There is a lot of humor in this book as magic meets technology. There are also many more or less good […]

Man-Kzin Wars volumes I-XI – Created by Larry Niven

A long running anthology series with stories set during the Man-Kzin Wars in Larry Niven’s Known Space universe. Niven started this thing up because while the Wars were very significant in the history of Known Space, he himself was not adept at writing about conflict. Niven has written some of the stories but most are […]

The Bohr Maker; Deception Well; Vast – Linda Nagata

These three very loosely connected novels span thousand of years. Nagata writes competently about a future in which humanity is first technologically lifting itself off earth, and finally scattered about a hostile universe. I enjoyed them even though Nagata does two things which annoy me. The first is that the novels are in parts rather […]

They Also Serve (Society of Humanity III) – Mike Moscoe

The third and final book in the Society of Humanity series sees Ray Longknife leading a exploratory expedition, and getting lost. The expedition finds the descendants of a ship’s crew thought lost three hundred years ago. But all is not as it seems. The planet is literally alive with remnants of an ancient civilization. And […]

Storm Front (The Dresden Files I) – Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is a private investigator of sorts. He is actually a wizard living in modern Chicago. In this novel, a mysterious woman hires him to find her husband. At the same time, in his capacity as police consultant on “unusual” cases, he is called in to assist in investigating a mysterious murder and soon […]

The Price of Peace (Society of Humanity II) – Mike Moscoe

After the war, Izzy Umboto (a minor character from the first book) is given independent command and a mandate to keep the peace on the rim. She and her crew uncover a slavery plot. Compared to the first book, this one is far more focused. There is a clear feeling of moving forward instead of […]

The First Casualty (Society of Humanity I) – Mike Moscoe

The Society of Humanity, more or less representing the “core” worlds, is at was with the “rim” worlds, where political power is wielded by a ruthless dictator. We follow protagonists from both sides of the conflict. While it has some interesting battle scenes and good characterization, the plot is scattered and weak. As in the […]