A Window into Time – Peter F. Hamilton

Young teen Julian has perfect recall. He finds school difficult because “the stupids” like to bully him. He starts having visions about the life of a man, and becomes obsessed with finding him while he mulls the philosophical implications of time travel and mortality. Told in the first person, this novella is cleverly crafted and […]

Family Matters (Greg Mandel) – Peter F. Hamilton

This short story (actually more of a novella in length) is set after the Greg Mandel books. Mandel is not the protagonist, but nevertheless has a starring role. A C-list celebrity is found dead in mysterious circumstances. Psi-cop Greg Mandel is brought in to consult. At the same time, a real estate developer is caught […]

A Night Without Stars (Chronicle of the Fallers II) – Peter F. Hamilton

Two hundred and fifty years after the events in The Abyss Beyond Dreams, Bienvenido society has been profoundly changed. The planet has been exiled from the Void to a star system outside any galaxy, perhaps because the inhabitants “misbehaved”. It orbits the lonely star together with a scattering of other planets with a similar fate, some […]

The Abyss Beyond Dreams (Chronicle of the Fallers I) – Peter F. Hamilton

Laura Brandt is in stasis as her dynasty is journeying outside the Commonwealth to set up a new society. The Commonwealth is thriving, but the enigmatic and sinister Void casts its shadow as it continues to expand, devouring the galaxy sun by sun. Through happenstance, the Brandt fleet is caught in the Void, trapped in proximity […]

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield is a man’s man. Test pilot, astronaut, commander of the International Space Station, guitarist, and most importantly endowed with the perfect Canadian Pilot mustache. This book is part memoir, part advice text, part space exploration tome. I have long admired Colonel Hadfield. His videos from the International Space Station were inspirational and he is […]

Podkayne of Mars – Robert A. Heinlein

Podkayne is a girl from Mars in her late teens. Mars is a bit of a frontier planet, and she has dreams of venturing further afield. Together with her younger brother Clark, she goes along with her uncle, a powerful Senator, on a journey towards Venus and Luna aboard the luxurious liner Tricorn. Intrigue awaits. Published […]

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 […]

The Accidental Time Machine – Joe Haldeman

In the not-too-distant future, MIT graduate student Matt Fuller has just completed a graviton generator for his professor. He tests it and it disappears, only to reappear a second later. Further experimentation shows that the generator has, quite by accident and unexplainably, acquired the ability to jump forward in time. Matt figures out a way to […]

The Hemingway Hoax – Joe Haldeman

A college professor and Hemingway enthusiast becomes embroiled in a scheme to forge Hemingway’s lost early manuscripts. So far, a fairly ordinary story. But then things turn unexpectedly into a journey across parallel universes. Solid work from Mr. Haldeman, but nothing of particular note. The first two thirds are rather enjoyable, but the ending left […]

Marsbound (Marsbound I) – Joe Haldeman

Carmen Dula is nineteen years old when she moves to the Mars base with her family on a five-year assignment. She is an intelligent, level-headed (remote) college student who falls in love with the pilot. The journey and stay present challenges large and small, both regarding survival itself and getting along with the other residents. […]

Manhattan in Reverse – Peter F. Hamilton

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 […]

Valor’s Trial (Confederation IV) – Tanya Huff

The fourth Confederation novel has Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr being taken prisoner, and waking up in a very odd prison. Against insurmountable odds, she leads a band of Marines (and eventually others) towards escape. This is the best one so far. Huff’s skill at describing the interpersonal relationships between the many varied characters shines throughout […]

The Heart of Valor (Confederation III) – Tanya Huff

Torin Kerr is now a Gunnery Sergeant. She is assigned to babysit a Major who has recently recovered from very serious injuries, and who has arm bones made of experimental plastics. They travel to Crucible, the Marine Corps training planet, and embed with a training platoon going through their rotation. Things soon start to go […]

The Better Part of Valor (Confederation II) – Tanya Huff

The second book in the Confederation Series has recently promoted Gunnery Sergeant Kerr getting her “reward” for seeing through General Morris in the previous book. Along with a scratch team, she is sent to assist in the exploration of a vast alien ship of unknown origin. As they are stranded on board, the ship continually […]

Valor’s Choice (Confederation I) – Tanya Huff

Torin Kerr is a First Sergeant in the Confereration Marines. A century and a half previously, Earth was contacted by the alien Confereration. It seemed the Confederation was in a bit of a pickle. An enemy known as The Others was attacking Confederation worlds. But the alien civilizations in the Confederation were all basically pacifists. […]

Penny Arcade Volumes 1 and 2 – Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik

The web published comic strip Penny Arcade should be familiar to anyone who likes video games. These books collect the strips in paper format. Holkins and Krahulik have made a name for themselves as the guys with their fingers on the jugular of the industry. Sometimes bizarre, often profane, always funny. Highly recommended if you […]