We come to you now during a time of great change. Actually, it’s not but you act like it is, scurrying about as if one cycle is all that momentously different from the last or the next. You can’t even coordinate as a species so you are all doing it at the same time. And the cycles you pick have nothing special about them. Sure, one or two of you pick a time when the axial tilt produces equidistant shadow, but that’s not that big of a deal. The rest of you drape significance on basically nothing. Which is, we must note, probably going to be your species epitaph. A beacon will be placed amongst the rubble of your planet letting all who venture out this far, and we do not believe it will be many since you are pretty far off any path imaginable, know that you placed great meaning on nothing.
A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine, Tor, ISBN 978-1-250-18543-0, $25.99, 462 pgs.
This was an interesting one. It involves species we are not familiar with but then you cannot know everyone. The Teixcalaanli are a star spanning race expanding all the time. Mahit Dzmare is a new ambassador to them, just arrived and hoping to keep her people, directly in line to be expanded upon, out of the Teixcalaanli view. And to help her, she has tech installed in her that allows her to carry the memories of the previous ambassador with her. More than memories actually, almost the entire experience of that person. The problem is that the previous ambassador has been murdered, her tech seems to be not working, and the Teixcalaanli seem to be on the brink of civil war. As little as she wants to become enmeshed in politics, she finds she has no choice as an attempt is made on her life and the pieces she has begun to piece together show that the previous ambassador was less than hands off. Complicated and enthralling would be the two words that best describe this. We loved it and would like to see more. Well done. Get you some now.
Tiamat’s Wrath, James S. A. Corey, Orbit, ISBN 978-0-316-33287-3, $30.00, 534 pgs.
This is the ending. We think. It’s hard with your species. You are good at beginning things but terrible at ending them. Even many of your endings are simply beginnings in a different direction. That could be the case here. We are not sure. But, let’s take it at face value, which we have to do with much of what you do. We have read all of these, including this one. We enjoyed them all. This one included although there was more death in this one than one would have imagined. Still, it is a species thing so we get it. Once again the crew of the Rocinante find themselves in the middle of a mess. But they are not together so acting more as sole agents. Holden has been taken prisoner by the rogue Martians who are using protomolecule technology to build ships and modify themselves. Naomi is bunkered down in a shipping container, running the resistance. Alex is flying a resistance ship along with Bobbie, and Amos is on a mission to free Holden but has gone silent. The galaxy appears to be going to hell and the proto molecule and the ones who fought it, appear to be still at war, with the humans caught in the middle. As with all the others of these we enjoyed every minute we spent with it and there were not enough minutes. Is this the end? We do hope not although we can see where the end makes sense. We loved the people, we loved the settings, we loved the very realistic representation of space travel. Get your own copies and enjoy.
Abandoned, W. Michael Gear, Daw, ISBN 978-0-7564-1341-5, $7.99, 436pgs.
This is the second time we have journeyed to the planet Donovan to see what is going on. Not us directly of course, but through the reports submitted by this Gear fellow. Things have not gotten better. The planet is still deadly to humans and the humans on it are still fighting with each other as much as they are fighting the planet. But that’s what greed and a planet full of resources will do to your species. Never mind they have no way off the planet and that by continuing to not work together they decrease the chances that any of them will survive. There’s money to be made and that drives almost everything. Except for the quest for power which drives the rest. There are some surprises, as you would expect on a planet that has not been fully explored and which pays for mistakes made in death. We should also note that the end does not come with this entry so no doubt there will be more. We liked it even if we find your species frustrating in its single-minded self-destruction. It moves from start to finish with alacrity and suspense.
A Chain Across the Dawn, Drew Williams, Tor, ISBN 978-1-250-18616-4, $18.99, 317 pgs.
This is another follow up effort. It continues the story of Esa and Jane as they travel the stars looking for children with special abilities and trying to get to them before they are killed as freaks or taken for other, nefarious purposes, by other searchers. And that is the case here as the duo run into a being that is also hunting and one that they barely escape from with their lives. Thus, the chase is on with roles flipping as the chasers become the chased at times. The ultimate price will be paid when all is said and done. The chase moves from planet to asteroid to space station all the while Jane and Esa are trying to get a handle on how to defeat their pursuer and figure out exactly what it wants and why. The answer could provide a resolution to The Pulse, that thing which has sapped all energy in the universe. As with the above efforts, this is not a finale but an interlude. We liked the first, we liked this one, we will probably like the next one but should not say so until we actually see it. Run out now and find your own. You can thank us later.
Once more you are here instead of there—there being a more productive place. We leave you this time with words from the Urdanardabanga—Fflgth thgfl fflffl. Good advice for all of us. Heads up, the Haufmuff will be coming for a probing session in a few cycles and they are not known for their specificity. Who knows what they will aim for. Normally we would not pass such information along but we have taken the words of the Urdanardabanga to heart. Fflffl indeed. Time to go. Us not you. You could not go if you wanted to, having given up your space faring technology for better phone service. If you are here next cycle we probably will be too. Until that time arrives, eyes to the skies.