Forged in Blood (Freehold) – Michael Z. Williamson (ed.)

This short story collection set in the Freehold Universe has an interesting twist. It follows the wanderings of a sword from prehistoric times to the far future, as she passes from owner to owner, sometimes by chance, sometimes by design. We also get to visit with Kendra Pacelli of Freehold and Ken Chinran of The […]

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 […]

Black Tide Rising (Black Tide Rising) – edited by John Ringo & Gary Poole

A short story collection set in the the Black Tide Rising universe of zombie apocalypse. Some stories are really good and some are average. On the whole a fun collection if you’ve read the books by John Ringo. The dialogue only vignette by John Scalzi deserves special mention as it is both clever and hilarious.

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 […]

Skyspark (Boundary III½) – Ryk E. Spoor

Blushspark is a young Bemmie who lives in a vast ocean. One day she sees a light overhead, and finds a mysterious object. This short story of first contact in the Boundary Universe is a pleasant addition. First contact is seen from the alien perspective, making it all the more interesting. The story is free […]

The Lady Astronaut of Mars – Mary Robinette Kowal

Sixty-three year old Elma lives in retirement on Mars with her ailing husband. She is famous for being an Astronaut on the first Mars expedition back in the 1950s. She years to go back into space, but when she is offered her dream mission she must choose between in and staying with her husband through […]

Dinosaurs & a Dirigible – David Drake

While this is a short story collection, but the first four stories can be thought of as four parts of an episodic novel. The fifth story is a singleton. All five have been published separately before, but I had never read them.  The four connected stories follow Henry Vickers, master hunter and game guide, who becomes hired by […]

Armored – Edited by John Joseph Adams

This anthology of short stories deals with armored fighting suits (mecha, what have you) from many different perspectives. Some stories are pure action, while others delve deep into sentient machines and man-machine interfaces. There’s even romance. The stories range from excellent to passable. And there is quite a bit of thought-provoking stuff.

The John Varley Reader – John Varley

This collects all of Varley’s short fiction to date. What really makes the book shine, though, are the introductions to the stories. Eminently readable little anectodes from the author’s interesting life. Even with only the introductions and no stories, this would have been a great (albeit rather short) book. The stories are wide ranging from […]

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 […]

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 […]