Milk Run (Smuggler’s Tales From The Golden Age Of The Solar Clipper I) – Nathan Lowell

On her graduation day at the merchant marine academy in Port Newmar, Natalya Regyri is framed for murder. Along with her friend Zoya, she escapes to “Toehold Space”, a clandestine network of stations not regulated by the central authorities. This book starts a new series in the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper universe. As in […]

In Ashes Born (Seeker’s Tales From The Golden Age of The Solar Clipper I) – Nathan Lowell

While billed as the start of a new series, this book is a direct sequel to the Trader’s Tales From the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series. The break has its logic in the new direction for the life of our protagonis. At the end of the previous book, Ishmael Wang had achieved his goal of becoming a […]

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 […]

Owner’s Share (Trader’s Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper VI) – Nathan Lowell

In the sixth and final book of the series, Ishmael Wang finds himself, through a series of somewhat contrived circumstances, owner of his own small passenger and cargo ship. He must now turn a profit for himself. An added wrinkle is that one of the crewmen is the heir to the shipping line where he […]

A Light in the Dark (Tales from the Deep Dark I) – Nathan Lowell

This novella is set several decades before Ishmael’s adventures in Trader’s Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper. Captain Gunderson and his crew run into a small rock way out in the Deep Dark, leaving the jump engine disabled. They are off the shipping lanes and slowly running out of consumables. This was […]

Captain’s Share (Trader’s Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper V) – Nathan Lowell

After a decade on the William Tinker, where he has progressed from third mate to first mate, Ishmael finally sits for Captain and shortly thereafter receives command of the Agamemnon, a small cargo ship with only eight crew. The Aganemnon  has a bad reputation. It is crewed by troublemakers and misfits, and profits have been abysmal. Unlike […]

Double Share (Trader’s Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper IV) – Nathan Lowell

After graduating from the merchant marine officer’s academy, Ishmael Wang starts work as a “boot” Third Mate on the cargo ship William Tinker. He soon discovers that the ship has serious problems, with crew morale dangerously low. The Captain is a recluse who almost never comes out of his cabin, the First Mate is a […]

Full Share (Trader’s Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper III) – Nathan Lowell

After an accident involving a coronal mass ejection cripples the ship and threatens the lives of the entire crew, Ishmael is set to work investigating why the safety systems failed. He is now fully rated, meaning a higher share of profits, but the officers pressure him into thinking about the officer’s academy. After the somewhat disappointing Half […]

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 […]

Quarter Share (Trader’s Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper I) – Nathan Lowell

Teenager Ishmael Wang’s mother dies suddenly and as a result he has ninety days before he is booted off the company-owned planet where he lives. One of the few options he has is to join the merchant navy. This book purposefully eschews space opera staples like aliens, ship-to-ship battles and other disasters for a less […]

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch I) – Ann Leckie

The story is in two parts, divided temporally. In an earlier time, a living ship and her “ancillaries”, human bodies taken over by the ship’s intellect, serve the Radch, a ruthless empire ruled by an even more ruthless leader. In a later time, what is left of the ship’s intellect, inhabiting a human body, is […]

Juggler of Worlds – Larry Niven & Edward M. Lerner

In this standalone sequel to Fleet of Worlds, ARM agent and professional paranoiac Sigmund Ausfaller is obsessed with the enigmatic Puppeteer race. The book follows his career from recruitment to ultimate savior. It is a long and complex tale that touches on many points and characters covered in Niven‘s Known Space stories from decades past. […]

Fleet of Worlds – Larry Niven & Edward M. Lerner

A new novel in the Known Space universe, “Fleet of Worlds” fills in some gaps in the story of the Puppeteers and the migration of their worlds (the “Fleet of Worlds”). It tells the previously unknown story of a society of humans living with the Puppeteers without knowledge of their heritage. The Puppeteers have some […]

Bolos – Created by Keith Laumer

Bolos are huge self-aware robotic battle tanks/mobile fortresses. Throughout a very long history of wars and conflicts, they have served humanity selflessly. After Laumer’s death, Baen thought to resurrect the Bolos with a series of anthologies featureing a variety of authors. There is some excellent, some good, and some less good, but the overall quality […]

The Rama Series – Arthur C. Clarke & Gentry Lee

A mysterious giant cylinder is found in space, falling inwards on a trajectory which will take it through the solar system. It is dubbed “Rama”. An expedition is sent to probe it’s contents. Along with 2001, Rendezvous with Rama is the defining work of Arthur C. Clarke. The book is full of his trademark sense […]

Luftslottet som sprängdes (The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) – Stieg Larsson

The final novel in the Millennium trilogy concludes the story begun in Flickan som lekte med Elden (The Girl who Played with Fire) and ties up the Salander arc started in Män som hatar kvinnor (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). The novel picks up right after the dramatic events surrounding the encounter between Zalachenko […]

Flickan som lekte med elden (The Girl Who Played with Fire) – Stieg Larsson

I read this novel in the original Swedish. The sequel to Män som hatar kvinnor (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) has a slow start. At the newspaper Millenium, new collaborator Dag Svensson is preparing a big exposé on trafficking. A number of policemen, judges and other prominent individuals will be named as having had […]

Män som hatar kvinnor (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) – Stieg Larsson

Since I am Swedish, it seems somewhat odd that I seem to be the last person to have read Stieg Larsson’s wildly successful Millennium trilogy. I have finally gotten around to it, starting of course with the first novel. For the record, I read it in the original Swedish. The novel has two protagonists, middle-aged […]

V for Vendetta – Alan Moore & David Lloyd

A dystopian graphic novel about a post nuclear war fascist England by the same writer as the incredible Watchmen. The art is very different from that work, however. To go with the setting, it is unusual for a comic strip. No thought bubbles, no sound effects, just a washed out gray style that is purposefully […]