Spa Fon. We embrace truth and cosmic significance and want to point out that if you see any information circulating about us in any of your media places it is only fake news and can be ignored. In other words do not make us hunt you down for a probing. We see that most of you survived the eyes of March and managed to march right through April to today. See how adapt we are becoming of your language? We have been in geo orbit over your Canada country for most of the month looking at ice melting–the effects of you on your planet. It is not a pretty sight. Unless, of course, self-destruction is your goal, in that case, a hearty well done. In the mean time we have been stocking up on material for the long flight home just in case.
The Everything Box, Richard Kadrey, Harper Voyager, ISBN 978-0-06-238954-1, $24.99, 352 pgs.
Yes, yes, yes, this is the same Kadrey of Sandman Slim fame. But this one is entir
ely different. This time there are angels, a forbidden instrument of doom, some humor, a thief, a group involved with supernatural stuff….now that we think of it this is very much like the Sandman Slim stuff just without the Slim guy himself. It is fun, it is engaging, we’re not sure whether it advances the know
ledge of mankind or leads one to any fancy conclusions or interpersonal discoveries but you should read it none-the-less. We like it. We would probably like more. Hard to know about the future though.
The Corporation Wars: Dissidence, Ken Macleod, Orbit, ISBN 978-0-316-36365-5, $9.99, 391 pgs.
Okay, this took us a while to figure out. Apparently you, like Klaarg, are afraid of robots, although in your case it is sentient robots whereas Klaarg is scared of Roombas. So, this is about a group of soldiers, or terrorists, or a combination of the two, depending on where you were standing at the time shooting was going on, who have all died but been saved and uploaded into a computer for future use and now find themselves within an artificial environment out in space as part of a colonization project. It’s the future (which means this is a parable) and things are odd out in space, including a couple of robots who seem to have become semi-aware. Soon this has spread to other robots and before you can say self-driving car the robots are thinking and doing things for themselves. Well, humanity does not like this one bit and begins a campaign to crush the robots. There’s no real justification for this so maybe it’s a thing like Klaarg has. Anyway, these soldiers/terrorists/criminals have been downloaded into bodies running on computer time and tasked with taking out the sentient robots. But, things in the future are not like the past and corporations run things and not very well evidently, so nothing quite goes as planned. There are spies, and back stabbers, and constructs, and more robots, and lawsuits, and a bunch of other things that just make it all more complicated. And, to top it off, none of the downloads know for sure whether it’s real or just a simulation. We liked it but it was complex and required thinking so maybe not for you. We mean that in a nice way.
The Corporation Wars: Insurgence, Ken Macleod, Orbit, ISBN 978-0-316-36369-3, $9.99, 371 pgs.
Okay, we should have made note above that this is a bunch of books and not just one. This one, in fact, follows that one. It’s the same group trying to destroy the same robots, in much the same way, in the same setting, with the same situation at hand which certainly could make one wonder, what? Sure, more things happen, and more events occur, and space stations come apart, and things do change a bit, but still. And, we have learned (from looking at the back of this book) that there is a third one still to come. Seriously, how many books does it take to knock off a small group of sentient robots? Apparently the same number as the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop. We still liked it but we did wonder.
Faller, Will Mcintosh, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-8355-6, $25.99, 352 pgs.
This one is about the end of the world, and cloning, and friendship, and that one, fatal discovery that starts it all. And almost everyone dies. We liked it. Not for that but because it is causal in such a way as to reflect what is happening now. This is set in the future, so, again, parable, although a loosely shielded one at that. It is also non-linear so depending on how you think of time this may or may not be your cup of tea. Anyway, it is, ultimately, about a guy who has to keep falling off the edge of the world in order to make things right and in order to do that he needs to figure it all out and to do that he needs help and to do that he has to figure more stuff out. And then there are the clones. We have to admit we have actively been keeping you from cloning technology. Sure, sheep and the occasional cow is fine but why you want to make more of you artificially when you have not yet resolved that you are making too much of you organically is beyond us. This is very similar to Kzint’s third parallel of nothing, related to Bwie’s 7th element of fatalism reflecting Kussn’s 5 designs of zeroistic survivability. In terms of standing, you are far along that scale. You can look it up for yourself. As for the above, we still like it. You probably will too, if you can find time between your cloning experiments.
Eagle and Empire, Alan Smale, Del Rey, ISBN 978-0-80417-726-9, $30.00, 553 pgs.
We loved this. It has Romans in it. We love anything with Romans in it. In fact, if your world had more Romans in it you would be much better off. We are not quite sure why you let the Romans leave but you did. Now you are on a path of destruction. But, enough of that. This tells of the time the Romans visited one of your continents and how they interacted with the people who were already living there. Unlike the Penguins or Pilgrims or Piemen whatever you called them, who invaded much later on and pretty much began a process of wiping everyone out, the Romans take a longer view and end up working with the indigenous peoples to rid the land of a common enemy. Sure, it’s not that simple, nothing with your species every is, and this is the third in a trilogy so much has already come before that you probably should understand before diving in here, although that has never stopped you from doing anything else so who are we to give advice? We like this one. We liked the previous two as well so you should definitely go out and get all three. And while you are out, look for Romans. They have to be out there somewhere. You could use them now.
Well another cycle has ended and as your Boyscouts are fond of saying as they read our words “nothing prepared us for this!” we move on. We are going to head out to Saturn and watch one of your probes dive through the space between the rings and the planet before ultimately committing crafticide. We told Klaarg we were just going out for ice so don’t let on, he considers all of those things very robot like and we need him to get home.