The Ckickitick have been asking a lot of questions about your species generation of power. Essentially they are baffled why you have not yet harnessed the almost unlimited power of your own star and instead chew through natural resources like a narcissist on crack. We really had no explanation for them other than that you seem to be a bit developmentally disabled, operating at an emotional level far below your chronological age. Why if the Tlarians had not intervened in that missile thing you were involved in a while back you most likely would be back sharpening sticks on concrete rubble. Those of you who survived that is. It’s a good thing the Tlarians like rum. Regardless, off we go.
Ninth City Burning, J. Patrick Black, Ace, ISBN 978-1-101-99146-6, $16.00, 536 pgs.
Okay, so this appears to be set in your far future after your world has been ravaged by the attacks of an alien race (we did not recognize them) which left very few of you left. However, you have managed to find certain individuals of your species who are able to harness the power the aliens use and you have been fighting back. We have to say, if we were ever going to attack a planet, and we are not sure why we would since planets are everywhere and most are uninhabited, but maybe this is something to do with your needing to feel like you are the shiny penny in the universe, that we would just finish the job and not leave anyone left. In any way, this is about how you fight back against insurmountable odds even though you don’t understand much and barely have two sticks to rub together. It was okay done but not something that we would bring with us anywhere. You are so warned.
Waking Gods, Sylvain Neuvel, Del Rey, ISBN 978-1-101-88672-4, $28.00, 324 pgs.
This work is a follow up to Sleeping Giants. We liked Sleeping Giants. We liked this one too. It is about giant robots so we had to send Klaarg shopping—to Ix—for snacks. Many Good snacks on Ix. While he was gone we read through this. While there are many species that build and use robots, none of them do so in a giant fashion. It’s just not efficient. Even the giant species do not do this. But this is not about what is real it is about what you believe. It is almost as if you have to believe one unreality thing a day. So, sure, giant robots. This time the giant robot that you have discovered and learned how to work has company. More giant robots. From space, at least that is what you believe since they just kind of appear. And they don’t do anything, at least until you surround one with tanks and your military and then things go south. We are not quite sure we understand the genesis of this going south but sure, giant robots. The robots fight and one of them wins and then more giant robots show up. It’s a feedback loop apparently. Any case we enjoyed this all the way through and thought that the presenting of information was done in a very deft and entertaining fashion. You should see for yourself.
A Lit Fuse, the Provocative Life of Harlen Ellison, Nat Segaloff, NESFA Press, ISBN 978-1-61037-323-4, $35.00, 448 pgs.
We have to say right now that we enjoy everything that NESFA Press makes. We now have to let our bias free and let you know that we know the author in question. No, not Segaloff although the Segaloff species is known for its research and scholarly attention to academic minutia, yet we are pretty sure that Nat, while a Segaloff is not a Segaloff. No, no, the other one is the one we know. Any ways, this is a biography written by someone who was given full access to materials and to the person. We have to note that this Ellison fellow is quite well known and of some repute. You may have heard about him. Half of what you have heard is simply not true and the other half is stuff you have not heard yet. We do have one goat to sacrifice here and that is that Segaloff (the human not the species) makes note of many battles and yet rarely gives any opposing views so we are left believing or thinking that this Ellison fellow may have been on the right side of things most of the time. Hard to know when you only get one piece of it. In the end it matters not since this is a telling of a life fully lived, if by fully lived you mean at the edge of creativity, which has always been associated with madness and foolery. We did enjoy this as we have enjoyed all of the other things that NESFA Press has produced. We would like to say we have a deeper understanding of the man behind the image and perhaps we do. But there is a lot of complexity here that would probably require a literanalyst to get to the bottom of. Get one and find out for yourself. A copy of the book not a literanalyst. Your opinion, after all, is the only one that counts, regardless of what Segaloff (the species not the human) says.
The Dreaming Hunt, Cindy Dees and Bill Flippin, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-3515-9, $28.99, 462 pgs.
Okay, stick with us. The Urth, a planet, albeit not your planet, which is, if we remember correctly, called Earth, was once green and full of beings. Then the Kothites came. None know from whence. And not the men, nor the elves, nor the other creatures who existed knew either. This makes things a bit unpleasant for all of those who are alive. But there is hope, there are rumors that a Sleeping King exists, a powerful Elf elemental who is trapped in a spell, who, if he can be found and awakened, may bring Urth back. A group of very young adventurers sets out to find this King and set things aright even though they are young and a bit clueless. But hey, this happens all the time. Well, perhaps only here as other species tend to rely on trained professionals for the most part, and hired mercenaries for the remainder. But, what the heck, this is Urth and not Earth so why not. This group is chased willy and nilly, up and down, across and whatever the opposite of across is. They find clues, they fight, they nearly die, they find more clues, and it all comes together just enough so that you are able to realize that the end is not in sight. At least not in sight of this particular tome. We finally realized that this is based on a game, one of those role playing games. You know, the kind that goes on and on and on. We fear. Yes indeed we do. And you? We cannot say. We liked the first one. If this were a trilogy we might say this suffered from secondopia, but it’s unclear so we remain unsure.
Well, one more cycle has passed and you’ve wasted part of it with us. As one of your famous politicians said, “Russian? We’re not Russian anywhere. Honest.” We’re off to the nether regions. Keep an eye out. We’ll be back. Unless we are not. Who can really say for sure?