Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen – Lois McMaster Bujold

Three years after the death of Aral Vorkosigan at the end of Cryoburn, Cordelia is still serving as vicereine of Barrayar’s Sergyar colony. Feeling a desire to have more children, she starts the gestation of embryo’s combining previously frozen ova and sperm from her and Aral. She also makes an unexpected offer to Aral’s former […]

The Vital Abyss (The Expanse III½) – James S.A. Corey

This short story set in the The Expanse universe features one of the protomolecule research team scientists as the protagonist. It details how the protomolecule was initially investigated, then unleashed on Eros, and the aftermath. The protagonist shows a bleakly callous worldview. He is certainly not a sympathetic person. However, while reading his view is […]

The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle IV) – Ursula K. LeGuin

The Left Hand of Darkness is part of the Hainish Cycle, but very much as a standalone novel. Humanity is scattered among dozens of worlds. The planet Gethen, also known as Winter, was colonized by humanity many thousands of years previously. Contact was then lost and has only recently been re-established, with the Ekumen, a […]

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance – Lois McMaster Bujold

In the latest book set in the Vorkosiverse, Miles is conspicuously absent barring an amusing cameo. The protagonist is instead Miles’s cousin and close friend Ivan Vorpatril, a favorite secondary character in many of the earlier books. Ivan is mostly known for his somewhat overbearing mother, social secretary to the Emperor, his high birth but […]

East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Council Wars IV) – John Ringo

Book four is about a showdown of sorts, as both sides jockey for control of a ship full of fuel coming in from the outer solar system. The fuel is destined for the reactors powering the council’s interests. As usual, Herzer is in the thick of it. And oh yeah, there are orcs in space, […]

Against the Tide (Council Wars III) – John Ringo

Book three in the series is a dramatic improvement from the disappointing Emerald Sea. Ringo takes us back to the main action of the war, where a battle for control of the Atlantic (ahem, “Atlantis”) is brewing. The UFS Navy is in terrible shape, so the Queen sends Edmund (with Herzer in tow) to take […]

There Will Be Dragons (Council Wars I) – John Ringo

This is the first volume in Ringo’s vision of a fallen utopia. Mankind is free of want and ill-timed death. People can do what they wish with their long lives. But there is trouble in paradise. The council that rules the “Net”, the information system that provides for mankind, has fallen out in factional disputes […]

Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days – Alastair Reynolds

This small format hardcover (almost as small as a paperback) contains two novellas: Diamond Dogs and Turquoise Days. Both are set in the Revelation Space universe. Diamond Dogs is much less epic than his novels, being more of an idea piece. Although Reynolds’ prose is tight and elegant as ever, some of the passages seem […]

The Ugly Little Boy – Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

An expansion of an earlier story by Asimov in which scientists retrieve a Neanderthal child from the past. A nurse feels empathy for the boy and helps him escape. Competently written, but mostly interesting due to the questions it raises about scientific ethics. Published as “Child of Time” in the UK.

Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, Chasm City – Alastair Reynolds

Scary in it’s placing of humanity firmly at the bottom of the Universe’s pecking order, this series of books contains some pretty big concepts. Worth reading just for the descriptions of cultures and aliens. Watch out though, Reynolds is not afraid of making the Universe a scary place. I refused to read Redemption Ark close […]

Falling Free – Lois McMaster Bujold

Not, technically, a Vorkosigan novel since no Vorkosigan family member is so much as lurking in the background, it is nevertheless set in the Vorkosiverse, though, about two hundred years before Miles’ birth. The story is about the origin of the quaddies, humans genetically engineered for work in free fall, whose most striking adaptation is […]

The Night’s Dawn Trilogy; A Second Chance at Eden – Peter F. Hamilton

The trilogy itself consists of: The Reality Dysfunction The Neutronium Alchemist The Naked God There are also two ancillary volumes: A Second Chance at Eden – short story collection The Confederation Handbook – reference volume In the USA, each volume of the trilogy was published in two parts, as evidenced by the thumbnails. The Night’s […]

Cryoburn – Lois McMaster Bujold

Cryoburn is chronologically placed about six years after Diplomatic Immunity. Miles is sent by Emperor Gregor to investigate a corporation on the planet of Kibou-Daini, where millions of people are cryogenically frozen, hoping to be revived when they can be cured or rejuvenated. As inevitably seems to happen, large corporations (in this case specialized in […]