We see you continue to shoot all kinds of things into your low orbit. You do know that low orbits aren’t really good for much as anything you put there just comes back to you, right? Anyway, it’s getting quite crowded around your planet. We project that in the next 50 years, assuming a modest pro-curve, that you will have surrounded your planet with so much stuff that you will no longer be able to get into orbit without hitting something. But don’t worry, your climate will ensure that you aren’t able to do that. Unless you are planning a mass adaption of your species. Are you? We would advise against it. The species on Cicola 6 tried that and they may never escape the gore pits they all fell into. But it’s your call. Just give us a couple of days’ notice so we can stock up on YooHoo and burgers.
Nemesis Games, James A. Corey, Orbit, ISBN 978-0-316-21758-3, $27.00, 532 pgs.
It grows again. We like this story as it comes the closest to what an emerging species push into their own system is actually like. Well, without all the intra-species killing. You are pretty much the only one that hung onto that behavior once civilization was discovered. This one continues to follow the crew of the Rocinante as they take some well-deserved personal time. This is the crew of the Rocinante so you know their personal time is going to involve getting involved in some interesting problems and issues. And these are spread across your system from the belt to Mars to Earth. Things are falling apart of have already fallen apart and are trying to be rebuilt or totally dismantled, depending on which side you are on. We liked it a lot. We enjoy this adventure and can only hope that more get produced before you all off yourselves. Highly recommended. Go, buy, enjoy, repeat.
Legion, Brandon Sanderson, Tor, ISBN 978-1-250-29779-2, $27.99, 352 pgs.
This is very interesting. Stephen Leeds has something wrong with his mind. To most he would appear to be schizophrenic, interacting with illusory stimulus that only he can see. From his perspective however, these stimuli manifest as distinct individuals who are created when he focuses on a particular knowledge base. So, from the outside he appears nuts but from his side he appears to be surrounded by distinct experts in multiple fields. This makes him sought after as a detective who can solve the most complicated cases. It also makes him want to spend his time by himself and out of the public eye. And the entire time he is looking for a woman who is just like him, more or less, and who left rather abruptly. We thoroughly enjoyed the way this was developed and presented and the cases that Leeds looks into are al pretty fascinating as well. Very highly recommended.
The Stars now Unclaimed, Drew Williams, Tor, ISBN 978-1-250-18611-9, $24.99, 447 pgs.
Something called The Pulse has gone out and basically destroyed varying levels of technology on each planet it touches. Some it leaves alone, others it knocks back to the stone age and the rest are somewhere in the middle. This thing is never explained but just accepted as having happened, otherwise the whole story kind of falls apart. While we know of nothing that operates this way—things tending to be purpose built to achieve a specific end, and a frying pan that sometimes burned your eggs to a crisp while other times leaving them totally uncooked is not much of a device—we must also say that we have not see everything there is to see. We keep an open mind but only because we think this might be representative of something. Anycase, Jane is an agent for the Justified, a group that is searching the galaxy for enhanced beings—who just happened to be enhanced by the same Pulse. We are sure it slices and dices as well. Jane visits a planet and finds a young girl and rescues her from the clutches of the Pax, a race that believes that the Pulse has ordained them to be galactic masters. Then it’s a chase back to the Justified home space with Jane breaking all the rules along the way and leading the Pax straight to her base, which is something they are never supposed to do. It gets worse from there although the ending is not as bleak as one might imagine. We found this one to be okay. Will you like it? Hard for us to say. Some of you will. Some of you won’t. We did like the interplay between the characters.
The Razor, J. Barton Mitchell, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-8792-9, $26.99, 399 pgs.
This is about prison and the bad people who inhabit it. The prison is set on a prison planet because at some point you have enough planets and don’t know what to do with them so you make a prison one. Why they actually build the prison on the planet instead of just tossing prisoners out the door is kind of beyond us. But here you are with a prison, actually a bunch of them, built on a prison planet. Not only that but they planet they picked has an odd orbit which keeps pretty much one side to the sun (not really but just stick with us) and one side not to the sun. This means that half the planet is boiling hot and the other half more than freezing cold. There is a thin terminator where things are just right. Why even be on this planet in the first place? Well, there are minerals there. But, what, you say, surely it is no economically viable to build prisons just to use prison labor to mine this stuff when there is a clear level of automation that could do it much cheaper. Yeah, sure, but punishing people by sending them to a prison planet and making then work feels much better. We are just surmising here on your behalf. So, there’s a former guard who has been sent back as a prisoner, a doctor who is beholden to a nasty gang, and mysterious stuff occurring that puts everyone in danger. Did we mention the unethical and highly dangerous biological experiments they were also doing on this planet? No? Our bad.
Okay, we found this interesting although the implausibility’s kept snagging in our eye stalks. Maybe you can tolerate them more. Hard to say. We liked a couple of the characters. But they were the evil ones so that may say more about us than anything else.
You return once again, like a moth to a flaming death. Who are we to stop your repetitive destruction? It’s like Brexit all over again. To which a renowned British expert was heard to call out when posed this dilemma, “you want chips with that?” Why, yes, yes we do, yes indeed. And we’re taking them to the far side of the sun where your sister planet revolves in an entirely similar orbit although the planetary outcome is entirely different. We’ll return. They’re not anywhere near as exciting as you are. Eyes to the skies.