We have recently been spending time closer in to your star. We thought we had detected a perturbence in the force and wanted to confirm our sighting. Turns out it was nothing more than the Xarbed taking their GGlGGlG for a drink. The Xarbed have developed a biomechanical transwarp engine that lives and needs to replenish itself by sipping at solar coronas every so often. Sure it takes some time off the life of the star but most species do not outlast their star to begin with so it’s not that big an issue. And, at the rate you guys are going, we could open a filling station for GGlGGlGs and still have plenty of star stuff left. We used to be concerned about telling you things like this but we have noted that you ignore everything not related to your immediate needs so we’re putting our concerns to the side for now. Perhaps you’ll change but more likely this system will be just one more place where a potentially intelligent species could have developed.
The Family Plot, Cherie Priest, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-7824-8, $25.99, 365 pgs.
Certainly one of the things that we study are your units of habitation, how you develop your offspring, and the inter-relationship of beings that share genetic components. Hey, wait, you are going to say, those are three things. Yes, we know but we used the connective to tie them all together into a single mass which makes them one thing. Anyway, we got involved in this telling of a family business that sells used house things. They get their used things when people no longer want them and decide to sell them off. In this case it is a house full of stuff. Not the contents but the house full itself—the wood, the lights, the wainscoting (we had to look that one up), the doors and windows, the stairways, and all of the rest of it. Unfortunately, in this case, the house also contains a few spirits. In charge of this demolition is Dahlia Dutton and a small crew of family, close family and others. No sooner than they arrive than they start having strange encounters. These encounters get stranger and more personal as time goes on until everything comes to a head during a big storm. We liked it although we have yet to see any proof of these spirits that you all seem to believe in. We’re not sure if they are metaphors or allegories or something else because no known species believes in life after ending. Get it yourself and enjoy it as well.
Starcraft Evolution, Timothy Zahn, Del Rey, ISBN 978-0-425-28473-5, $28.00, 355 pgs.
Okay, so this is a history based on a game that apparently has no purpose other than to tie up large amounts of band-width on your computer systems. But, hey, what else would you do with it? It’s not like you are seriously trying to figure out fusion or develop hydrogen power converters. Anyhow, this is about the savage Zerg, the Protoss (who are like elves) and humans. We have never heard of the Zerg or the Protoss (it’s almost like you are making this stuff up) but it is a big universe. We’re just not sure how you know of species we do not. So, the Humans and Protoss join up to meet the Zerg who have discovered how to do something wonderful. However Zerg do not trust humans who do not trust Protoss who do not trust Zerg and so what should take five minutes instead involves fighting and munitions and treachery and explosions. You can tell this is related to your species, right? We found it interesting albeit in a linear, ducks in a row kind of way. If you have spent bandwith in the past you will probably enjoy.
The Night Ocean, Paul La Farge, ISBN 978-1-101-98108-5, $27.00, 389 pgs.
This one leaves us wondering. It is, essentially, a fiction of the truth. We know that, lately, this may seem commonplace, but it was not when this was produced. The key person in this story is H. P. Lovecraft although he does not tell the story. No, the story is told by one Marina Willet, the wife of one Charlie Willett, who has become fascinated with H. P. Lovecraft and has disappeared. Her attempts to find him and to unravel what might have happened to him are what make this up. And, we are assured, the facts of the matter are indeed the facts of the matter. We wanted to go through this because of the relationship of Lovecraft to the Dark Ones. And, since they refused to talk about him, we decided to see if he would talk about them. Him being dead did stymie us for a bit but then we found this, which we enjoyed. If you find yourself stymied then perhaps you should also find this. Or maybe you just want to know more about Robert Barlow.
The Skill of Our Hands, Steven Brust and Skyler White, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-8288-7, $25.99, 348 pgs.
We liked this, let us say right up front so there will be no misconceptions. This is about your present day, could be yesterday, could be tomorrow although tomorrow would technically be the future and we did not see much future in this but definitely a lot of today. In any case, there is this group of humans who are immortal, although they are immortal in an odd kind of way that involves taking over the existing body and spirit of other humans who kind of volunteer for this. But that does not matter so much as that they have a kind of long range plan to do good—at least as they define good, which is always the problem, right? How that actually plays out of course is interesting and this is what makes up the body of this work. We find the premise wonderful and interesting and fascinating and while we think we would enjoy more in this vein this one may just have been enough. You should definitely get your own copy. This Brust fellow is worth following and while White is new to us he may be worth following too. Best of all no robots so Klaarg enjoyed it as well. Oh, and this is a second book. We did not read the first and seemed to have no trouble getting to the end but you should know this.
Once again you’ve ruined another cycle reading this. About this, your President would tweet—Sad! We will say no more. And now we are off to the outer limits just because we can. We control the vertical. We control the horizontal. Well, the navigator does, more precisely, but let’s not quibble.