Your planet rotates. No need to make a big deal of it. They all do. Some slower, some faster but it is sort of a constant. And yet you act as if it never has and might never again. You wildly react to each occasion of perihelion and aphelion as if you had something to do with it. You don’t. Granted if you stood on each other’s shoulders you would not only reach the moon but get about a fifth of the way to Mars (Go ahead and try it, we’ll wait) (That’s what we thought) and if you held hands with each other you would form a circle about as far from the moon as the moon is from the earth, but that does not make you significant. It is not physics which determines a species worth but what that species does with physics. So far you have made bouncy castles and set fire to large things in the desert. Sure, you are on your way to filling your oceans with plastic, but this is not something you are trying to do so it does not count.
Persepolis Rising, James A. Corey, Orbit, ISBN 978-0-316-33283-5, $28.00, 549 pgs.
Unfortunately, still no Baby Lon but we enjoyed it wildly anyway. And this is the biggest one as well. It is thirty years after the last one. Everyone is older. By thirty years or so factoring in relativity. The crew of the Rocinante are still wandering around the cosmos although it appears to be time for the captain and his first officer to call it quits and settle in. And time to pass the torch on to others who will take up the call of righteous interference. They choose to do this at Medina station, way port to the gates that will take you everywhere. As Holden and Naomi prepare to depart a giant ship comes through one of the gates. Built with protomolecule technology it attacks Medina and is soon in control. Well, so much for taking time off. This leads to multiple complications pretty much for everyone. And then it’s downhill from there. Or as downhill as you can get in space. We continue to enjoy this most accurate representation of what it is like to be outside the gravity well. We are looking forward to the next one as well and we think you should too. But not until you have read this one. Go get it now, you can thank us later.
Recluce Tales, L. E, Modesitt, Jr., Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-8620-5, $15.99, 476 pgs.
Have you read all of the Recluce tales? If you have not then this is for you. More Tales. There are twenty of them. And they have been organized in chronological order so you can figure out where they slot into the whole shebang. And these are genuine tales, not things cobbled together by strangers who just think they understand what is going on. No indeed, these have been gathered or collected or constructed by the same person who did the originals. So you know you are getting the prime, A#1 thing. Really, what more can we say about this. We have enjoyed the larger works but have run out of them, so this took care of our waiting time. It should take care of yours as well. Assuming you are a Recluce person. If you are not, then it holds no meaning until you go out and get yourself properly oriented. We should note that a couple have, indeed, appeared elsewhere but, for the most part, these are all original.
Semiois, Sue Burke, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-9136-0, $18.99, 333 pgs.
This is about a bunch of fun guys or maybe mushrooms or possibly intelligent geraniums. Any case it’s about this place called Pax, which is supposed to be the new Eden, if you consider Eden to consist of things that are working to remove life from your immediate future. Colonists from Earth bail out on their home planet because it’s been ruined or is being ruined or is just not a good place to be anymore and jump a ship to the promised land. There, they set up a kind of socialist/communist collective but only if it were put together by peace loving hippies who did not really pay much attention to politics. The colonists soon run into trouble with the plant life, which, it seems, has a mind of its own and can decide to either be your friend and feed you or provide you with poison fruits instead. On top of all this there is evidence that a previous intelligent species occupied the planet and communicated with the plant life. Finally, we have to admit that for a group of hippies living on a planet called Pax, they are pretty murderous and deceitful. But that’s kind of a species quality and, we realize, probably hard to get rid of. We enjoyed the premise of trying to communicate with a true alien life form although we don’t think this was explored as deeply as it could have been, based on our own experiences with the Plurd, a space faring race that you might consider petunias. Still, we found it interesting and worth getting to the end of. We figure you will as well. Unless the thought that your zucchini might be plotting your demise disturbs you.
The Moons of Barsk, Lawrence M. Schoen, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-9463-7, $26.99, 429 pgs.
This is the second offering. Once again it takes place on the planet of Barsk, a place where the sapient elephants have been quarantined. So, this is really two stories, one from the outside revolving around how the elephants got quarantined in the first place instead of just killed off and what’s being done about it, and a story from the inside which covers things from more of a personal, cultural, and historical perspective, including the voice of a true outsider. It’s convoluted and a bit troubling but also redemptive and a fine follow up to the first offering. The characters involved are worth getting to know. We enjoyed the entire thing, especially the way the story involved multiple viewpoints and perspectives. We have to admit that we will look for more in the future as we got through this one so quickly. Greatly recommended and no robots.
Well, another month and another period of time that you spent here instead of solving the cold fusion problem. It’s all just a matter of temperature you know. And who are we to complain as we are relegated to just watching your self-destruction. Still, we suppose there are worse things you could have been doing—like solving the warm fusion problem. And, as the head of your EPA said after reading the last one, “future? What do I care about the future? I won’t be there.” Sadly, most of you won’t either. In the meantime, we are off to take a look at the moon’s backside. We’ll return. We suppose. We have so far. Just don’t eat all the popcorn, we’re going to need something to munch on when the whole thing goes boom. And, until then, eyes to the skies.