Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox I) – Rachel Bach

Deviana “Devi” Morris is a native of the planet Paradox, a high-tech feudal society known for its martial obsession. She is a decorated veteran and currently a mercenary, fighting in combat armour. Her career goal is to join the elite “Devastator” military unit; the best of the best. In order to further this goal, she […]

The Hunt for Vulcan: . . . And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe – Thomas Levenson

In the centuries following Sir Isaac Newton’s publication of the Law of Gravity, scientists equipped with increasingly advanced telescopes tried worked to explain anomalies in the orbital paths of planets. “Wobbles” in the orbit of Uranus led to the discovery of Neptune. Mercury also wobbles, and it was long thought that it was under the […]

Castaway Planet (Boundary IV) – Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor

The Kimei family is on a colony transport when an accident during a lifeboat drill leaves them stranded on an uninhabited planet. Through happenstance, the Bemmie “Whips” Harrater, best friend of second daughter Sakura, is with them. Deprived by an accident of most of their supplies, they have to survive on a hostile world. While […]

Insurgent (Divergent II) – Veronica Roth

Immediately following the events in Divergent, Tris and Four escape the city to the Amity compound. However they must soon return in order to deal with the Erudite threat. The faction system is broken beyond repair, but what will come after? After the promising start with Divergent, this book was a serious disappointment. The conceptual simplicity […]

Earthbound (Marsbound III) – Joe Haldeman

After the massive cliffhanger at the end of Starbound, our heroes are stuck on Earth. The Others have stopped all electrics and electronics from functioning. Civilization is collapsing and things are generally looking grim. Compared to the previous two volumes, the concluding book is nowhere near as good. The premise is clever and intriguing, but it devolves quickly […]

Half Share (Trader’s Tales of the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper II) – Nathan Lowell

The second book in the series picks up exactly where Quarter Share left off. Ishmael transfers from the galley to environmental. He also starts to come to terms with women and relationships with such. As in the first book, there is no imminent danger and there are no action scenes. Mr. Lowell has a knack […]

Pyramid Power (Pyramid II) – Eric Flint & David Freer

The sequel to Pyramid Scheme takes place shortly after the first book. Our heroes are adapting to life on Earth, or back on Earth as the case may be, when agents from the newly constituted Pyramid Security Agency (PSA) decide to start operations in the mythworlds. Needless to say, things quickly go awry. The PSA […]

Tiger by the Tail (Paladin of Shadows VI) – John Ringo & Ryan Sear

Mike Harmon and his band of Georgian (the country not the state) mountain soldiers are back. This time they are on a training mission in Southeast Asia. One thing leads to another, with the action moving from Indonesia, to Hong Kong, to Phuket and finally to Myanmar. In this sixth book, Ringo is cooperating with […]

Confirmed Kill (Target: Terror III) – Michael Z. Williamson

The second sequel to The Scope of Justice finds our two snipers, Monroe and Wade, dropped into the jungles of Indonesia, where they become involved in a power struggle between diverse anti-government factions, consisting both of terrorists and Indonesian Army. In a clever twist to the story, their new commanding officer, a born and bred […]

Targets of Opportunity (Target: Terror II) – Michael Z. Williamson

In the sequel to The Scope of Justice, the two snipers Monroe and Wade, have a new mission: Take out terrorists smuggling explosives through Romania for use in Western Europe. Once in place, they find themselves doing a lot of straight spy work, typically with little or no backup. To further complicate things, they are […]

The Guns of the South – Harry Turtledove

Time-traveling South African white supremacists go back to the American Civil War and equip the confederates with AK-47’s. Well, it’s a cool idea. Unfortunately, Turtledove gets lost in the details, so to speak. Too many protagonists, and not enough focus. This is a fun little book, but it could have been so much more.

One Day on Mars (Tau Ceti Agenda I) – Travis S. Taylor

The entire plot is set, not entirely unexpectedly, during one day on Mars. The United States is now a Solar System wide government that even extends to a few extrasolar colonies. However, a nation of separatists exists in a “reservation” on Mars. On this day, the separatists attack the United States. The book follows the […]

In the Beginning… Was the Command Line – Neal Stephenson

Non-fiction from Stephenson. This is the story of the PC as written by a cyberpunk author. Stephenson, not unexpectedly, turns out to be a Linux fanatic. He comes at the events from unexpected angles, making the book quite a bit of fun for the enthusiast. However if you are not a “computer person” this probably […]

Coyote Rising (Coyote II) – Allen Steele

The sequel to Coyote, picks up where the previous one left off, thus mitigating some of my annoyance with the ending of the previous book. Coyote has been invaded by the Western Hemisphere Union, a major power on Earth, and the original colonists have to fight a guerilla war against an increasingly despotic post-socialist regime. […]

Coyote (Coyote I) – Allen Steele

This novel goes beyond Steele’s typical near-future, near-Earth fare and describes the creation of the first interstellar colony. The novel has previously been published in the form of a series of short stories, and suffers from it, feeling cobbled together. The characters are interesting and I was drawn in by the narrative. Steele readily manages […]

Train to Pakistan – Khushwant Singh

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 […]