We just had our 15th article, based on our research here, published: “Aluminium salts and the transmigration of the human diaspora during the acid rain years.” So far it’s a big hit in interstellar research circles. Probably because of all the funny pictures of your species we included. A lot of them were clowns. You, so far, are the only species that has produced such a thing. And not only produced it but made it such a cornerstone of your cultures. There is the motley fool, the birthday visitor, the evil clown, the circus invader, the sad one that has to sweep up after the elephants, and a host of others. You have even gone so far as to elect one to high office. That might be the subject of our next paper: “Making Andromeda Great Again; orange hair and the clowning down of a species.” Stay tuned.
Children of the Fleet, Orson Scott Card, Tor, 978-0-7653-7704-3, $25.99, 304 pgs.
This takes place in the universe of Ender’s Game. We’re not that familiar with that universe, but then, we’ve been stuck here with you on the backwards end of a spiral arm so may not be up on all of our universes. The war is long over and Ender long gone but Fleet School still remains and Dabeet Ochoa finds himself there. Not so much because it is where he wants to be but because he has been maneuvered and manipulated. Just like old times. Dabeet is not well accepted and struggles to understand all that is happening. But when Fleet School is invaded he manages to be the one the others depend on to plan resistance. We liked it. You will like it too assuming you enjoy little kids who are way smarter than you rather than seeing them as pestilence that should be eradicated. If you liked the series you will enjoy this. If you liked the beginning of the first series but then thought it wandered, well this one kind of wanders back. Go get a copy for yourself.
Valiant Dust, Richard Baker, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-9072-1, $25.99, 349 pgs.
This is Breaker of Empires book 1. So. This is a kind of personal diary, a travelogue of one Sikander Singh North who is from a colonial planet but serving as a gunnery officer on the Hector, a CSS ship (the civilized folk). This means that Sikander has both a lot to learn and a lot to prove. And we get to follow along as both of those things happen. Lucky for us the Hector ends up right in the middle of things so we get to actually watch stuff happen and not just laundry or night watches on the empty bridge. We don’t know why folks don’t just automate more of the functions on their ships as AIs and expert systems are much more efficient than non-electronic beings. Maybe it’s just control issues although you would be surprised at what is happening behind the scenes in your toaster. Anyway this was interesting and since it is book 1 we imagine there will be more. If you enjoy space navy stuff then you will most likely enjoy this.
A Plague of Giants, Kevin Hearne, Del Rey ISBN 978-0-345-54860-3, $28.99, 620 pgs.
We were not sure about this one at first. It is the story of an invasion. By Giants. But you may have figured that out already. This is told mostly through a third party, a bard who has the ability to actually become the person telling the story. Of course the bard can only tell the story of that person in terms of what the bard knows so that while it may appear to be the person telling the tale it is told through the bard which creates a kind of odd structure to what you know, what you think you know, what you are told you know and what you are told. We’re fine with this as it was done very well and we can often hold multiple viewpoints at the same time, something you Earthers seem incapable of. We liked being able to see things from differing perspectives and if they did not all line up well things are always recorded with bias anyway. Overall we liked it. However, as also seems to be your wont, this is book one which means there should be a book two and we’ve shared, already, our philosophy about books two. Go out and get a copy of this. You will enjoy it. Maybe not so much if you really like giants but you probably already figured that out.
Tomorrow’s Kin, Nancy Kress, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-9030-1, $20.99, 367 pgs.
We like Nancy and the things she reports. Given this we scurried out to get us a copy of this new segment. This is the first of a trilogy by the way. We see a theme in the making. It’s about aliens who come to visit you humans in New York. Strangely they appear human like. Okay, we thought, here is the funny hook. We are about to learn that humans are not really special but just a mistake made by a visiting species millennia ago. But no, we were the ones surprised as your human centric view of everything once more complicated the issues. Turns out that the aliens are actually spawn of humans. Go figure. Humans have populated the universe after all. Gosh, we don’t think so. You are just an insignificant dot on a sub par planet at the end of a spiral arm of a galaxy that is nothing special. But we know you think differently. Sheesh. Get this to find out for yourself how special you really are. We still liked it but we gritted our cups frequently. It’s enough to make you want to slip back into the pool and give yourself to the forthcoming generation.
Well, you have done it again. Wasted your time here instead of resolving the final unified field equations, or, as one of your human leaders most recently said “Didn’t see that coming.” The planet turns and things cycle. We are off again. But we will return. There is a huge probing event coming up that we are supposed to moderate. Keep the lights on. Makes you easier to find.