Holy Days, Holy Days, Holy Days. We’re surrounded. And more than slightly confused. But much of what your species does confuses us. Which is why we study your writing. Typically, a species’ writing is a clue to its behavior and culture. With humans, not so much. Unless it is that you believe you are doomed to not survive tomorrow. What kind of future is that to move towards? We’re not sure as we are on new ground here. But we have a couple of years left so we’ll just plod along and pretend we understand what you are up to. Besides the planetary death wish thing, which is kind of evident to anyone who wanders anywhere close to your system.
Hollywood Dead, Richard Kadrey, Harper Voyager, ISBN 978-0-06-247417-9, $26.99, 351 pgs.
I believe we have read all of these so far and we have enjoyed each and every tale of Sandman Slim. This time, Slim is dead. He’s been dead before but managed to survive. And, we have to admit, he is surviving this time too, although his long-term prognosis is grim. Slim has been brought back by a necromancer working for Wormwood, a group hoping to get world power but splintered into at least two sections fighting amongst themselves. One piece wants Slim to off the other piece and, of course, the other piece is not that keen on being offed. This leads to multiple dilemmas and situations that put Slim and his friends at risk. Worst of all, Slim is under a pretty tight deadline. (Oh yes we did.) Will he win out? Does he survive? It’s a series, yeah? We liked this one very much and we hope to get more. You will like it too, but get your own copy, ours got a little too close to the strassnesk sauce and needs to be decontaminated.
Abaddon’s Gate, James A. Corey, Orbit, ISBN 978-0-316-12907-7, $17.00, 539 pgs.
Hooya, this is another one that we just love. This is so real to what it is like to be in space that one thinks it must have been written by those who have been there and not one of your own, dirt bound individuals. We love this stuff. This time it is all about a gate sitting out at the end of your solar system. The gate is a creation of the proto molecule (which we know nothing about so we think it might be a metaphor) and everyone has gone out to take a look—the Earth people, the Martian people, the belt people and the UN who are kind of the Earth people only different and we’ll leave that up to you to figure out. Needless to say, you can’t put more than two humans together without getting a fist fight, fists being metaphors for any weapon of any sort, type or destructive ability. You guys do like to blow each other up. We enjoyed this one, even Klaarg since there are, apparently no robots in this universe. Highly recommended. Seriously. Why are you not reading this right now?
The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-7838-5, $24.99, 432 pgs.
This is maybe one of those imagined histories since it bears no relation to actual events. This is about lady astronauts and your planet being hit by a big rock. The big rock destroys a chunk of your United States but, more importantly, tosses enough stuff into your atmosphere (not that you’d really notice) that it is going to change the climate to the point where you will have a hard time surviving. Well, not you but the ones in the book. Actually, you too but for different reasons. So, your space efforts are accelerated because it is decided that you can move to Mars. Now, we’re pretty sure this was not greatly thought out since the resources needed to survive on Mars probably far outweighs the resources that you would need to stay and survive on your own planet. But this is not about that. This is about lady astronauts. And, this is a lady astronaut novel which implies that there are more coming so maybe you are going to populate Venus as well. It was interesting barring the few holes in the logic. But that should not stop you. Or at least it has not so far. You’ll probably like it. We did enough so that we’ll pick up the next one.
Starless, Jacqueline Carey, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-8682-3, $26.99, 587 pgs.
We have to admit that we grabbed this one for the title, thinking it has something to do with celestial navigation and Klaarg can always use some pointers with his driving. But we were wrong. Instead it is about gods, who were stars and who were cast down onto the planet (we don’t want to quibble, but someone needs to do some research on how many stars there actually are). This is also the story of prophecy and about two individuals who are thrust together to fulfil it, along with a cast of characters that makes the journey even more interesting. This is broken into three parts. Part one is the training of the bodyguard. Part two is the meeting between guard and guarded, and part three is the quest. We have to admit that we enjoyed the entire thing. It fairly buzzed right along. Each section fit with the others and, we are pleased to say, there was an actual ending. And a satisfying one at that. If you are a previous fan, then you will be a current one as well. If you are new, then you should stop fooling around and get a copy for your own. We liked it a lot. We highly recommend it. And if you happen to have an extra copy of Celestial Navigating for Dummies, please let us know.
Here you are once again, wasting your valuable time. While you were doing that we were in your Washington where your current commander in chief said after a quick read, “Great. I’m really, really great”. Enjoy your holy days before the comet comes and takes them all away. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll be back. Look to the skies.