Black Powder War (Temeraire #3) – by Naomi Novik

After their adventures in China in Throne of Jade, Temeraire, Laurence and the rest of the crew receive orders to travel to Istambul in the Ottoman Empire. Here, they must retrieve three Turkish dragon eggs for further transport to England. Pressed for time, Laurence opts for the overland route through Asia, a long and arduous […]

His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) – Naomi Novik

The year is 1804. Captain Will Laurence of the Royal Navy and his crew capture a French warship. On board they find a dragon egg; a prize worth a princely sum to the British war effort. The egg hatches and the dragon, whom Laurence names Temeraire, imprints on him as his handler. Laurence must leave the […]

The Burning City – Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

This book has no discernible story. There are some good ideas but they are squandered. I wish these two geniuses would have hired some young fireplug to do the actual writing off their outline. That way their cool concepts would have made for a legible novel. Niven & Pournelle are just not the team they […]

The Gripping Hand – Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

While The Mote in God’s Eye is easily one of the best Science Fiction novels of all time, this sequel is barely worth slogging through. All the epic elements are lost, the few good ideas aren’t developed properly and it is just plain boring. Shame. Note: In the United Kingdom it was released with the […]

Fallen Angels – Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle & Steven Barnes

Slightly bizarre novel about a world where the greens have won and technology is, if not exactly outlawed, at least frowned upon. The lack of industry has brought on a new ice age. As a couple of astronauts (they stayed up there after the revolution) are stranded on Earth, undercover SciFi Fans come to the […]

Achilles’ Choice – Larry Niven & Steven Barnes

In this novel, Olympic athletes are allowed to “enhance” their bodies, to the point that they will not survive more than a few years after the competition. Unless they win, that is, in which case they join the ruling council and are  “linked” to a neural interface that fixes the issue. Mildly entertaining.

The Dream Park Series – Larry Niven & Steven Barnes

Consisting of: Dream Park The Barsoom Project California Vodoo Game (sometimes published as “The California Vodoo Game”) The novels are set in a theme park named “Dream Park”. Dream Park uses holograms and other methods to create completely lifelike environments for adventures. For example, one can become a group of medieval knights on a quest, […]

N-Space and Playgrounds of the Mind – Larry Niven

If you’ve never read Larry Niven, these two collections are a great place to start. They are both a mix of essays, short fiction, and excerpts from novels. If you’ve already read practically all of Niven’s work, there is not a lot of new material, but the convention essays still make the books worth the […]

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 […]

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 […]