Monday, February 28, 2011

Mysta of the Moon - 24

Mysta of the Moon 24

Mysta goes back to spinning disks and friends.

3.5 out of 5

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mysta of the Moon - 23

Planet Comics 58

Mysta of the Moon 23
Mysta's anti-arms stance comes back to haunt her as she does some technicianing.

3.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Donald A. Wollheim - Blue Tyson

Donald A. Wollheim was an editor, author and publisher, DAW. As an author he did write some children's books of subgenre interest. He also edited a Year's Best Science Fiction series for a number of years both with Terry Carr and his own solo effort. An occasional magazine editor, he was also briefly involved with the US version of Perry Rhodan. He also edited a couple of dozen anthologies, some of which are of interest. In particular, the sword and planet work, Swordsmen In the Sky:

  1. Swordsmen In the Sky : Swordsman of Lost Terra - Poul Anderson

  2. Swordsmen In the Sky : The People of the Crater - Andre Norton

  3. Swordsmen In the Sky : The Moon that Vanished - Leigh Brackett

  4. Swordsmen In the Sky : A Vision of Venus - Otis Adelbert Kline

  5. Swordsmen In the Sky : Kaldar, World of Antares - Edmond Hamilton

Friday, February 25, 2011

Suffer 3 - Mercedes Lackey and Dennis Lee

Red finds out what the hell is up with Vicki and him, thanks to a talking cat.

4 out of 5

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blood Gothic - Nancy Holder

Blood Gothic - Nancy Holder
Undeath requires child offering.

3.5 out of 5

Constitutional Crisis - Cory Doctorow

Audio version of the story.

3.0 out of 5

Into The Superunknown The Death Of Hard Sf, And Why This Is Possibly A Good Thing - Alastair Reynolds

In Journey Planet 7 fanzine

" Rather, I think, Gardner Dozois said it already when he spoke of Core SF -- and perhaps nowadays we don't even need the qualifying ``core''. This is just SF doing what it does best: taking inspiration from science, playing fair with it to a degree, but not being afraid to break the rules or assume that science will evolve, often into something unrecognisably different, if that's what the story requires. As Soundgarden put it, it's about going into the 'superunknown.' "

4.5 out of 5

A Passion For Art - David D. Levine

Dead packing.

2.5 out of 5

Suffer 2 - Mercedes Lackey and Dennis Lee

Vicki is scared pooless. Djinni's heroic tendencies are hanging around.

3.5 out of 5

Suffer 1 - Mercedes Lackey and Dennis Lee

Djinni worries he is developing disturbingly heroic tendencies. He tells Victrix that spewing notwithstanding they need her arse on the line.

3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fletcher Pratt Part 5: Shadow Over the Ipsy - Frederik Pohl

"When Laurence Manning — Fletcher’s long ago collaborator from the days when science-fiction magazines had the square footage of telephone books (no, not in the number of pages, of course!) — and his family came out for a weekend, they loved the location as well as the company. And when Laurence mentioned that he was looking for a house to buy and move to, Fletcher was quick to say that when he and Inga had bought the Ipsy, they’d bought more acres of land than they had any use for, and the Pratts would be happy to hive off a few acres to sell to the Mannings if they’d care to build a house next door. Which they did, and so the Pratts and the Mannings were next-door neighbors."

3.5 out of 5

Endosymbiont - Blake Charlton

Escape Pod reading of the story.

3.5 out of 5

The Sounds of Now: An Australia Day podcast - Jonathan Strahan

"And now, a non-series podcast. It’s Australia Day, and in recogition of this auspicious day Alex and Tansy from Galactic Suburbia and I chatted about Australian SF, its past present and future."

5 out of 5

Episode 39: Live with Gary K. Wolfe! - Jonathan Strahan

"This morning Garth Nix, bestselling author of the ‘Keys to the Kingdom’ and ‘Old Kingdom’ series, among many wonderful novels, joined Gary and I in the pod to discuss what ‘young adult’ means, the current troubles with bookselling and book publishing, ebooks, his forthcoming novels Troubletwisters (with Sean Williams) and A Confusion of Princes and lots more stuff in a special ‘Pink Drinks’ edition of The Coode Street Podcast."

4 out of 5

Episode 38: Live with Gary K. Wolfe! - Jonathan Strahan

"That’s better! Technical difficulties behind us, Gary and a slightly hungover I jumped into the pod to discuss Carol Emshwiller, the right time to publish a book, optimistic SF, the death of SF and all sorts of other stuff. We hope you enjoy it, as always!"

4 out of 5

Breakaway Backdown - James Patrick Kelly

Breakaway Backdown - James Patrick Kelly
Colony life change.

4 out of 5

Episode 37: Live with Gary K. Wolfe! – Jonathan Strahan

"We got to discussing all sorts of things like recommended reading lists and such, then something at Gary’s end went pffft! "

4 out of 5

The Animal Within - Elizabeth Finkel

Genome music.

3 out of 5

Episode 36: Live with Gary K. Wolfe! – Jonathan Strahan

"It all seems so long ago, but yesterday morning Gary and I climbed in the pod to discuss the Crawford Awards, Shaun Tan’s Oscar nomination, genre terminology, and Margo Lanagan’s Yellowcake. "

3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Episode 35: Live with Gary K. Wolfe! – Jonathan Strahan

"Against a background of all of this happy news, Gary and I jumped into the pod to discuss slippage, why I hate the term ‘specfic’ and lots and lots of other stuff (including the happy news of our BSFA Award nomination and why Adam Roberts deserves chocolate, or at least a good stiff drink). We failed to keep it under an hour, but we tried. "

4 out of 5

Catastrophe Baker And A Canticle For Leibowitz - Mike Resnick

Voluptua playing around.

3 out of 5

Episode 34: Live with Gary K. Wolfe! – Jonathan Strahan

"Another busy Saturday morning, Friday evening, and time for another missive sent out to the interwebs. Gary and I jumped (well strolled) into the pod without any set plans on what to discuss and ended up talking about L. Ron Hubbard, movies, Fringe, the evils (or inconveniences) of PDFs, and lots of other stuff.

On a serious note, we also discussed Tehani Wessely’s After the Flood Queensland Flood ebook. Please do support it, and the Queensland flood victims, by donating $A10.00 and getting a copy of the ebook. Also, if you like the book give some thought to going back to Fablecroft’s site in April and buying the physical book too."

4 out of 5

Episode 33: Live with Gary K. Wolfe! – Jonathan Strahan

"There was an air of unfinished business in the pod this morning as I got Gary K. Wolfe on the line from sunny Chicago and we discussed the Coode St Best of 2011 and many other things. It is very much our usual natter, and as always, we hope you find it of interest. And, oops, we ran long. Sorry!"

3.5 out of 5

Dance Dance Revolution - Charlie Human

Killbot Nureyev strike.

3.5 out of 5

Sins of the Blood 1 - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Laura never did take care of him properly.

Blood matted the hair on the back of Laura's head and stained the tablecloth. He sank his hands in it, feeling the warmth, the richness. It was time. She had betrayed him. He saw no trace of the woman he had once loved in the white, bruised face. He wished her eyes were open, so that she would know what he was going to do.

But he couldn't wait. The coppery scent teased him like a lover.

He bent over her and sank his teeth into her neck. They went in easily—how he loved cows—and he sucked, sucked, sucked until there was nothing left.

When he finished, he leaned back on his heels and rubbed the back of his hand over his mouth. The baby was still crying, but the sound didn't bother him as much as it had earlier.

He stood and walked over to the bassinet. His son had a round face and wide blue eyes. When the baby saw him, the crying stopped. The boy reached up. He put his hand on his son's cheek and stuck a blood-covered thumb in the baby's mouth, smiling as the boy sucked.

"You are mine, now," he said. "All mine."

3.5 out of 5

Victims - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Vampire escort rape case.

3.5 out of 5

Episode 32: Live with Gary K. Wolfe! – Jonathan Strahan

"After a little too much New Year and birthday cheer we had technical difficulties, but Gary and I still found time to discuss birthday presents, Heinlein, 1967 as a transition year for science fiction, where non-academic cricitism has a role to play in modern SF, and previewed the Coode Street Best of 2010 (we name our top books of the year, but explanations wait for next week)."

4 out of 5

Episode 31: Live with Gary K. Wolfe! – Jonathan Strahan

"The original episode 31 didn’t work out, so we knuckled down and did it again just so we would have it all done and dusted, as promised. We discussed some of the same things, but also got to the Coode St Book Club, more apocalypses, and our favorite books of the year."

3.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Al Sarrantonio - Blue Tyson

Al Sarrantonio is a science fiction and horror writer, and also an editor. Of interest are a couple of series set in the Solar System. The Masters of Mars trilogy is basically Cat Princess of Mars, sans John Carter and in the future with no humans around. The Five Worlds trilogy has people on terraformed planets of the Solar System trying to kill each other.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Manly Wade Wellman - Blue Tyson

Manly Wade Wellman was best known as a fantasy author, in particular the Silver John stories. However, earlier in his career he wrote a number of pulp space opera stories. You will find The Devil's Asteroid online, for example. He also wrote one of the Captain Future novels, The Solar Invasion. It was at the short length that he was very prolific, and his stories have been organised into multiple collections.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Alan E. Nourse - Blue Tyson

Alan E. Nourse was a writer of science fiction, some of which was for kids. Around 10 novels and several dozen short stories. Many of which are subgenre, such as the novel Star Surgeon, or The Brain Sinner actually from Planet Stories, which you will also find online.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Dave Duncan - Blue Tyson

Dave Duncan is known as a fantasy author, but had an early stand alone space opera novel, Hero! Young man decides best way to get off boring mudball is to join the Space Patrol. As you do. Which pretty much ensures someone in a spaceship will try and vaporise him soon afterwards.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Reginald Bretnor - Blue Tyson

Reginald Bretnor is an author of science fiction and non-fiction about science fiction, best known for a long-running humourous bunch of short stories. Gilpin's space is a novel about the invention of a hyperdrive - which they promptly put in a submarine! There is also an associated novella.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: John Dalmas - Blue Tyson

John Dalmas is an author of science fiction, particularly military SF spanning worlds. For example, the Regiment series with its elite space soldiers He has written more than a dozen short stories, so has a collection to go with the several series worth of novels.

You will find some of his work at the Baen Free Library, and of course more at webscriptions.

Death's Head - David Gunn

"The man steps back, instinct kicking in.

He’s too late.

I have his larynx between my thumb and curled first finger, and it’s the work of a moment to crush his windpipe. For good measure, I slam my forehead into his face, breaking his nose. The corporal’s already dead, he’s just too stupid to realize that fact.

“Shoot the man . . .”

That’s our new lieutenant. As expected, everyone ignores him. Does he really think Sergeant Fitz will allow me that easy an exit from life?

“Take him down,” says Sergeant Fitz.

Reversing his rifle, to use as a club, the other corporal advances toward me. I’m naked, I’ve been in the cage for fifteen days, and Fitz severed half the wires on my prosthetic arm before locking me away. I’m so thirsty, I’d probably drink this man’s blood if I could get him close enough . . .

He thinks he can take me.

I grin."

4 out of 5

Death's Head Day of the Damned - David Gunn

"“Sven,” Anton says.

“I know what I’m doing.”

“Hey,” says my gun. “Always a first time.”

We’re circling, the fury and I.

It lunges and I block its wrist. Like being hit with a steel bar. Next time I’m going to use my combat arm. I step sideways and it steps sideways. Not sure this thing is alive in a sense I understand. But it mimics my steps perfectly.

And it’s going to be a bastard to kill.

It lunges, I block.

When it makes its fifth or sixth lunge, I step into it. And feel the creature’s fist crack open my chest. Bones break and ribs are forced apart as it reaches inside.

Hurts like hell.

That is where the fury comes unstuck. Its skeleton might be metal. But so is my combat arm, which is piston-driven and twisted with braided hose. Plus I kill on instinct. Now, I might have learned to keep that under control . . ."

4 out of 5

Death's Head Maximum Offense - David Gunn

"Neen’s seen me kill swiftly. All my troopers have. But catching Neen’s puzzled face in the crowd, I realize he has never seen me bide my time. Kill early, kill often . . . It’s our unofficial motto.

This is different.

I’ve never gutted someone in front of Aptitude. She’s a well-brought-up girl, and I’m trying to keep it that way. That’s one of the reasons this man’s made me cross. He’s still watching my blade and I’m still watching his eyes.

The man’s still watching my blade, and I’m still watching his eyes.

Soon everyone is waiting on what happens next. And their expectation makes my attacker clumsy. He jabs so obviously, it has to be a feint. As his gaze flicks right, I know what’s going to happen.

He waits for me to begin a block before switching hands, smiling at his own brilliance. Then his brain is playing catch-up, because Lisa’s knife is deep in his stomach and I’m dragging it upward. A single rip opens him from groin to breastbone, and a tumble of guts slides to the floor."

4 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: David Gunn - Blue Tyson

David Gunn is an author of over the top military SF. When your second book is Death's Head: Maximum Offense, you'd hope so, too. A not quite human super soldier and his crew commit mayhem, with help from his intelligent gun, in a three-way interstellar political struggle.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Boulevard of Broken Dreams 3 - Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

An angel says revolution, yes please kiddo.

3.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: James C. Glass - Blue Tyson

James C. Glass is the author of around 30 short stories and several novels. The Shanji series is a barbarian heroine in amidst a Mongol flavoured horselord interstellar empire. So a descendant of the Rebel of Valkyr or the Rhada books but updated and ethnically shifted for this swords and spaceships trio. Toth will also be of interest to subgenre fans, with starship getting in trouble on a colony world.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams 1 - Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

Vicki does the run away, grabs Bella and sensibly heads for very low profile born survivor John Murdock.

4.5 out of 5

Boulevard of Broken Dreams 2 - Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

So, say you want a revolution - little blue me has to run it?

3.5 out of 5

Empress of Light 1 - James C. Glass

"She wondered if Mandughai was watching her, then dismissed the thought. First Mother would be busy now with the return of her troops to Tengri-Nayon. Perhaps they'd already arrived there. Nearing sleep, mostly through the habit of years, Kati felt the urge to go to the gong-shi-jie, the place of creation, to wander among the auras of planets and stars, to feel the swirling energies of the purple light there which moved at her command. She suppressed the urge, for if she went now to the gong-shi-jie, Yesui might follow her, and the last time had seemed traumatic for the child. Kati was still haunted by the events of their return: the black, snake-like energy field writhing behind the green flame that was surely Yesui, the terrible explosion above Three Peaks turning rock into colorful glass, then Yesui kicking furiously in terror within her mother's body."

3 out of 5

The Creators 1 - James C. Glass

"Swirling clouds of purple laced with blue enveloped her and in every direction were the vortex manifestations of stars in real space, colored deep blue to red in a pattern immediately familiar to her, a pattern compressed, for in this place there was no continuum of space or time. Still, the pattern remained constant, connected to real space by the quantum electrodynamical interface in which her day's work was to be done. Close by the small, purple vortex marking the return path to herself was a large swirl in red-orange that was Tengri-Khan, and even from here she could see a similar stellar manifestation showing the presence of Tengri-Nayon. Yesui drifted towards it, a ghostly presence in a place of chaos beneath order. When alone there was no need to show the green flattering manifestation of herself to someone, and maintaining it was a distraction when her work was delicate.

Her father's ship was now nearly two light years out from the Tengri-Nayon system and well beyond the great cloud of icy debris surrounding Tengri-Khan. Her control over the space-time wave was still imperfect; it encompassed not only the point of origin as defined by contact with Mengjai aboard the ship, but everything along a line thousands of kilometers parallel and antiparallel to the ship's trajectory. Safety demanded that space around the ship be as empty as possible during a jump."

3.5 out of 5

Shanji Prolog - James C. Glass

"Toregene awoke to the turbine scream of a flyer, and discovered that her right leg was numb. She'd been crammed in the spider-trap like a cork in a bottle since dusk, and had somehow worked her right leg beneath her in sleep. No feeling there, clear up to her hip, and her neck and shoulders ached from the hours of hunching forward in the tiny space. For a moment she dared not move, and listened."

3.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Roland J. Green - Blue Tyson

Roland J. Green is an author and editor of science fiction and fantasy, with well over 30 books to his credit. This includes a number of tie-ins, including a Star*Drive book. An early nineties military SF series called Starcruiser Shenandoah is of definite subgenre interest, six books worth. His short fiction total is in the 20s.

Precipice 3 - Dennis Lee

Harmony gives Echo a traitorous neck-snapping surprise.

5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: William Greenleaf - Blue Tyson

William Greenleaf is the author of several novels of interest in the 1980s, including some that deal with a United Nations Space Administration in charge of all things instellar, including star travel, alien artifacts and all that good stuff.

Precipice 2 - Dennis Lee

Tesla despairs as Echo bought up, and then Blacksnake Jack wants to make a deal for trust.

4 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Peter Telep - Blue Tyson

Peter Telep is a writer in multiple media and a science fiction author. It appears he does favour military novels, such as the recent trio written as Ben Weaver. These are your young bloke joins up with the space force, gets beaten up and shot at being the puny rookie, then finally gets to go out to get shot at and exploded at a lot more.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Rhondi A. Vilott Salsitz - Blue Tyson

Rhondi A. Vilott Salsitz is a science fiction and fantasy author who may have more pseudonyms than short stories published. As Charles Ingrid she wrote the six book military Sand Wars series, where a man in super powered armour kicks arse in interstellar fashion.

Precipice 1 - Dennis Lee

Robot zombie team traning, and Djinni's dodgy old mates.

3.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Sherwood Smith - Blue Tyson

Sherwood Smith is the author of 20 science fiction and fantasy short stories and even more novels, some of which are for kids. She produced the Exordium series when teaming up with Dave Trowbridge, and is about the struggle for rule of the Thousand Suns. Yes, your classic Galactic Empire feud.

Total Eclipse of the Heart 5 - Mercedes Lackey and Veronica Giguere

Teamup nazi takedown, and very over brekkie.

3 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: M. K. Wren - Blue Tyson

M. K. Wren wrote the The Phoenix Legacy trilogy, about unrest in a feudal interstellar empire in the 33rd century.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Robert Frezza - Blue Tyson

Robert Frezza wrote a three book military SF series called A Small Colonial War, that has a Japanese-South African flavour.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Mike Moscoe - Blue Tyson

Mike Moscoe is a science fiction author, both short and long form that turned to writing garden variety military sf novels as Mike Shepherd for sales reasons. The Longknife series now has 11 books related to it in total. With a few other novels his long form output still outnumbers his short form work by a small margin.

Kris Longknife Mutineer - Mike Moscoe

"Kris banished those distractions by replaying the drop plan in her mind as she waited. These kidnaping sons-a-bitches had a simple plan. They’d snapped up the Sequim General Manager’s sole child during a school outing, then dragged the poor kid off to the northern wilderness before anyone knew what had happened. Ignore the child’s name . . . much too familiar. Only pain there. Quickly Kris returned to tonight’s problem. The approaches to the

kidnappers’ hideout were long, difficult, dangerous—and booby-trapped! So far, the bad guys had outsmarted—and killed—too many good people.

Kris ground her teeth; how had cruds like these gotten their hands on some of the most sophisticated traps and countermeasures in human space? She could understand the traps; humans now frequented planets with very nasty critters. And while she had never hunted big game herself, she was looking forward to this hunt for the most dangerous game. What frosted her was the legal bunk used by specialty stores to excuse their sale of measures and countermeasures that were only going to make her job damn dangerous tonight. Normal people didn’t need electrocardiogram jammers. Why would any good citizen need a decoy device to simulate a human heat signature? Blast it, her suit was warm; sweat was already running down her back."

2.5 out of 5,,9780441011421,00.html?sym=EXC

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Juanita Coulson - Blue Tyson

Juanita Coulson is a science fiction and fantasy author of around 15 novels and 10 short stories. Some of her work appears to be science fiction romance, and the four book Children of the Stars series will be of interest to those interested in that part of the subgenre.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: H. Beam Piper - Blue Tyson

H. Beam Piper was a science fiction author who worked in more than one subgenre. Of interest is his Terro-Human Future History, which include both long form and short form work. For example, Space Viking has a man wanting revenge after his wife is killed, raiding admidst the detritus of an Interstellar War. Junkyard Planet has people who are trying to get by cleaning up the same.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Robert N. Charrette - Blue Tyson

Robert N. Charrette produced a couple of military SF type novels about the Interstellar Defense League. Also some Battletech books for those that like their mecha.

Total Eclipse of the Heart 4 - Mercedes Lackey and Veronica Giguere

Stuck in a ridge situation a problem.

3.5 out of 5

Total Eclipse of the Heart 3 - Mercedes Lackey and Veronica Giguere

Pride gets filled in on the Overwatch Overwatch teamup.

4 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: John J. Myers and Gary K. Wolf - Blue Tyson

John J. Myers and Gary K. Wolf are a pair of science fiction writers when they team up. They liked the Space Hawk stories when they were kids. These are bad, so they decided to try and write something like it with Space Vulture. They succeeded, as this is very poor.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: David Feintuch - Blue Tyson

David Feintuch was the author of the 7 book Nicholas Seafort Horatio Hornblower in space type series.

Total Eclipse of the Heart 2 - Mercedes Lackey and Veronica Giguere

Tesla losing his hold on Echo it seems over breakfast, if he and Ramona don't get blown up.

4 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Emily Devenport - Blue Tyson

Emily Devenport is the author of nine science fiction novels under various names. The Heads novels have the good old need fancy genetic traits to operation ancient alien gear. The Belarus books are about a colony with that name - and more alien goodies and alien horrors, so they are also of interest.

Total Eclipse of the Heart 1 - Mercedes Lackey and Veronica Giguere

There's an anti-Tesla Overwatch Overwatch - and Ramona is invited.

4 out of 5

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: P. M. Griffin - Blue Tyson

P. M. Griffin is an author who teamed up with Andre Norton at times, including on her Solar Queen series. She also has written a series called Star Commando that is now a dozen books long, and would appear to be just as advertised although very light on the military nerdery.

Bad Moon Rising 3 - Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

Murdoch and what is left of the National Guard get some canine and Black help worthy of receiving autographs from

4 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Julie E. Czerneda - Blue Tyson

Julie E. Czerneda is an editor and author of science fiction and fantasy as well as some non-fictional work. She has a triple-trio of books of interest in her Clan Chronicles Future History where humans have expanded into space of necessity and found out it is not necessarily very friendly.

Bad Moon Rising 2 - Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

The super nazis are blowing John and the National Guard squad to hell, slowly.

4 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: John Clute - Blue Tyson

John Clute is an encyclopedist, editor and critic and the writer of the inferior of the two science fiction properties named Appleseed. As an author, he is a good all of the others above. His novel also displays the fact that few people in the world like the Complete Oxford Dictionary more than him. He also has produced a few short stories.

Bad Moon Rising 1 - Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

John Murdock gets crappy transport, space nazis and only a handful of the National Guard to help.

4.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Jody Lynn Nye - Blue Tyson

Jody Lynn Nye is a science fiction and fantasy who has produce over 30 books, along and in team-up. This includes working on some of Anne McCaffrey's Ship works, as far as space opera goes. Of interest is her three book Taylor's Ark series, which is a direct descendant of Murray Leinster's Med Ship stories. A medical professional and aliens go from world to world solving problems.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Deborah Chester - Blue Tyson

Deborah Chester the author of 30 or so romance, fantasy and science fiction novels. Under the pseudonym Sean Dalton she wrote a six novel series called Operation StarHawks, about your classic super secret agents of space tearing around the galaxy on missions only they can manage.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Steve Perry - Blue Tyson

Steve Perry is the author of a significant number of novels and a goodly number of short stories. Of interest is Stellar Ranger, which is an actual honest to goodness space western man comes to clean up hive of scum, villainry and evil overlord story. Also of likely interest to subgenre fans are his Matador type books, about martial artist rebels working against an oppressive government. Not really the splendor of distant nebulae stories at all, though. Perry has also produced several Star Wars novels, including one about the famous not-a-moon-but-a-space station.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Rick Shelley - Blue Tyson

Rick Shelley was a science fiction and fantasy author who produced around 20 novels and 20 short stories. Most of his long form output was military sf with series like The Second Commonwealth War.

The Omega Cage 1 - Steve Perry

""You have something the Confed wants," Stark continued. "Information on Black Sun. They are sending a man to ... discuss it with you. That doesn't matter. You are mine until he gets here, and if you survive his questioning, you are mine when he leaves. Make it easy on yourself or make it hard, I don't care—it's up to you. That's all."

Stark turned back to the window, and Maro started to leave. The door slid open, and—"

The most beautiful woman he had ever seen stepped inside.

She was an albino. Her hair, worn down to the middle of her back, was as white as frozen CO2; her skin was smooth and flawless, and her eyes were an impossible blue, as icy as a glacier. She was maybe a hundred and sixty centimeters tall, and might go fifty-five kilos. She wore a prison orthoskin, as he did, but it had been tailored to her form, revealing a flare of hip and shoulder and breast that almost literally took his breath away. Of a moment, Maro found his heart pounding and his mind clutched by a surge of lust unlike anything he had ever before felt.

He had been with dozens of women, some of whom had been professionals at every aspect of sexuality to orgasm and beyond, but none of them had ever had the hard visceral effect this woman had on him now. He wanted to grab her, pull her to him and take her, then and there, and to Deep with the consequences.

Dimly, as from a great distance, he heard Stark say behind him, "Ah, Juete."

Shoo-et-tay. What—?"

3.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Syne Mitchell - Blue Tyson

Syne Mitchell is a weaving geek, science fiction author of several novels and a dozen short stories. There is one book of interest, Murphy's Gambit. A zero-G adapted woman is tasked to pilot a new FTL-capable ship, which is a dangerous assignment. Someone else wants her to steal it for them.

Murphy's Gambit 1 - Syne Mitchell

"Murphy glanced at the contract. The employer was listed as "a member corporation of the collective." So it was one of the big twelve, the mega-corporations that ran the galactic government. Seventy-five years ago, the Plutocrat wars had ended in a settlement: Local governments handled planetary matters, but space habitations and inter-stellar issues came under the purview of the Collective.

But she was still on-planet, in training for the CEA. William’s company was stepping outside of its authority by contacting her. Murphy asked, "Which Company would I be working for?"

Williams brushed imaginary lint off his shoulder. "That's tactical information and will be revealed after you have signed. The employer is not important. Read the terms of the agreement."

The money was amazing--but she'd be working for a Company. Her mind flashed back to the sixteen-hour workdays, leaking reactors, and slave wages she had fought so hard to escape. Even though she would be skilled labor, it didn't sit well. She couldn't see herself working for an entity that treated her people as a disposable resource. "That's quite generous but--"

"You must accept." He laughed nervously. "You'd be crazy to turn down this offer. There would be repercussions." He met her eyes. "For both of us."

Murphy cocked her head, "Are you threatening me?""

3.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Dan Cragg and David Sherman - Blue Tyson

Dan Cragg and David Sherman are a pair of science fiction writers when they team up. Cragg has written military non-fiction and Sherman fiction.

Given that background and some excerpts, the long-running Starfish series (14 books) and a spinoff appear to be dyed-in-the-wool crush your enemies with your force multipliers military SF of the interstellar variety.

Starfist: School of Fire - Dan Cragg and David Sherman

"Niflheim. Outpost of Human Space. Home of the 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team, Confederation Marine Corps. When the Marines of 34th FIST weren't off on a campaign on some other world, they spent most of their time in the field, either on Niflheim or one of the other islands, training for operations they might not ever be called upon to execute. Even if they trained for something they would never have to do, their commanders felt the most important thing was that they trained."

3 out of 5

Starfist: First to Fight 23 - Dan Cragg and David Sherman

"Eagle's Cry shouted, "They don't have navy marking either."

"Now this is absurd," Baccacio called out. "If they aren't Marines and they aren't navy, they don't exist. So they have to be ours. Everybody, eyes front.""

3 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: C. S. Friedman - Blue Tyson

C. S. Friedman is a science fiction and fantasy author heading for double figures in novels. She has also written a few short stories. She has two subgenre novels of the Azean Empire. Yes, interstellar empires at war, with psionic warriors as a bonus it appears. The author manages to write a little about how the first book came to be, but cannot, however, manage an excerpt. Given it appears to be from DAW/Penguin, the chance of such there is laughable.

The Exordium Series - Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge

"Exordium is a series consisting of five books published by Tor Books. The five books are The Phoenix in Flight, The Ruler of Naught, A Prison Unsought, The Rifter's Covenant, and The Thrones of Kronos. It is a story of love and revenge, loyalty and honor, fealty and betrayal. It is epic space opera in the very best sense of the term."

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Kevin D. Randle - Blue Tyson

Kevin D. Randle is a science fiction author and apparently a ufologist. So yes, he does have a book about First Contact. :) Several series would seem to be of interest: Galactic MI (3), Jefferson's War (6), Seeds of War (3), Star Precinct (3) and the Exploration Chronicles (4). I have not read any of these and there appears to be nothing online.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: R. M. Meluch - Blue Tyson

R. M. Meluch is a science fiction writer and the author of the Merrimack series, which has a nice angle. American vs Roman space empires. Then aliens come who don't care what flavour of monkeyboy they are, the gorgons are happy to destory them all. The Merrimack is one ship in particular whose adventures are followed. Looks like fun.

The Myriad 1 - R. M. Meluch

"Nothing ever lived inside a globular cluster. Everyone knew that. Globulars were made up of thousands - sometimes millions - of stars, but all them old, population II types, formed back when the galaxy was nothing but primordial hydrogen. All those millions of stars were too metal poor to spawn a single planet. So the crew and the Marine detachment of the battleship Merrimack were surprised to trip a signal beacon upon breaching the perimeter of globular cluster IC9870986.

Merrimack was passing near a clutter of anomalous space debris, when something lurking among the asteroids shrieked an electromagnetic alarm.

"Hive!" the watch called.

Prox alarms blared on board in answer, with an all-stop order and call to battle stations.

The big ship spat out Marine Swifts in a torrent."

3.5 out of 5

The Sagittarius Command 1 - R. M. Meluch

"Mostly they were called gorgons or, altogether, the Hive, as the gorgons in their countless millions seemed to compose one organized whole. A single vast alien entity characterized by an inexhaustible, indiscriminate capacity to eat organic matter.

And Herius Asinius threatened all ships in orbit with crucifixion for not alerting him to this latest wave's coming.

Someone should have detected the gorgons' distinctive spheres approaching the planet Thaleia before the damn things hit atmosphere.

No one answered from above.

The ships' coms could be out.

Or everyone up there could be dead."

3.5 out of 5

The Wolf Star 1 - R. M. Meluch

""Multiple-body FTL bogie, Captain. Conga line of them. Quick and dark.""

3.5 out of 5

Strength and Honor 1 - R. M. Meluch

" The Imperial Government of Rome establishes the following facts:

Although Rome on her part has strictly adhered to the rules of international
law in her relations with the United States during every period of the recent
Emergency in the common defense against the Hive, the Government of the
United States has used the Emergency to abridge the right of Rome to its
own government, and continues to usurp the lawful authority of Rome over
her own armed forces under pretext of a common defense against a threat
that has been diminished to inconsequence in order to perpetuate oppression
and to enforce a treaty coerced under most extreme circumstances.
The United States violates Roman borders at will, and denies Rome the autonomy
and security to which every nation is entitled, in actions consistent with
an organized crime racket rather than a civilized nation.
Pledges extracted upon threat of being fed to monsters cannot be bound by law.
The Government of the United States has thereby virtually created a state of war.

The Imperial Government of Rome, consequently, discontinues
diplomatic relations with the United States of America and declares
that Rome considers herself as being in a state of war with
the United States of America."

3.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Michael McCollum - Blue Tyson

Michael McCollum is a science fiction writer and the author of two three book series of interest, Antares and Gibraltar Stars. Alien conflicts, foldspace jump points, colonisation and all that classic stuff it appears from excerpt. Again another author/publisher combo displaying brain cramp. Have excerpts for say, book 1 and book 3, but not book 2, or standalones? Bizarre. Not to mention the 1992esque website.

Antares Passage - Michael McCollum

"Just beyond the foldpoint's periphery floated two hundred orbital fortresses. Telescopic examination of the closest showed it to be bristling with heavy lasers, antimatter projectors, missile launchers, and various ports that were presumably used to sortie manned interceptors. Interspersed among the offensive weaponry were long and short range sensors, heat radiators, communications gear, and a number of less identifiable mechanisms. Judging by the amount of quiescent energy the orbital fortress spilled to space, it was more than a match for any normal fleet of warships."

3 out of 5

Gibraltar Stars - Michael McCollum

" Lieutenant Barbara Whalen sat strapped into the control station of her scout boat and watched the blue-white orb with two largish moons grow slowly in her forward bubble. Like all terrestrial worlds, it was a beautiful sight, especially after so long in the deep black. There was a large polar mass in the southern hemisphere (a designation assigned after observing the planet’s direction of rotation and applying an ancient standard known as the Right Hand Rule). In the daylight hemisphere, a massive arrowhead-shaped continent of tans and browns and umber ploughed through an azure sea, its edges tinged aquamarine by extensive shoals on its southern flank. Over everything lay a bright white swirl of clouds blown west to east by stratospheric winds. Lower than the continent, nearly out of sight around the curve of the planet, mirror cyclones moved in tandem on each side of the invisible equator."

3 out of 5

Gibraltar Earth - Michael McCollum

"In the two generations since humanity had won free to the stars, the race had found but twelve worlds sufficiently like the Mother of Men to be considered even marginally habitable. This was the thirteenth, and so far, the best. Preliminary results gave it double the highest habitability index previously recorded. A solid month of orbital scanning, laboratory tests, and on-the-ground exploration had revealed a paradise. For that reason, Landon scowled as he watched the scenery float by far below. A life spent in the service of the Stellar Survey had left him with a philosophy that mirrored the organization’s unofficial motto: "If things are going well, you’ve obviously overlooked something!""

3 out of 5

Antares Victory - Michael McCollum

"The fluid in which she floated would theoretically protect her up to hundreds of gravities. Technology had not yet caught up with science. In truth, the twenty gravity capability of the engines was also the physiological limit of the crew, and possibly a little above the limit. Twenty gees would cause damage and would prematurely age her — how much, she couldn’t guess. Elizabeth didn’t fear dying. Her nightmares came when she saw herself as a broken down old lady of 28."

3 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Susan R. Matthews - Blue Tyson

Susan R. Matthews is a science fiction writer and the author of the 5 book Jurisdicition series, along with several short stories.

The Devil and Deep Space - Susan R. Matthews

"There had been a Kospodar thula in the ship-yards where she had landed. The Arakcheyek shipyards had built them on Bench contract. How could there be Kospodar thulas in private hands? In Koscuisko's hands? Such wealth could not have been gained legally. She would have to call for an investigation. Later. Once she had become Queen of the Bench."

3 out of 5

Angel of Destruction - Susan R. Matthews

"But what could Langsariks need mercantile pilots for? The Bench had impounded the Langsarik hulls as a condition of the amnesty. Langsariks had no legitimate transport requirements. So the only job Langsariks could offer Kazmer necessarily involved contraband: and Kazmer and Hilton both knew it."

3 out of 5

Hour of Judgment - Susan R. Matthews

"Desmodontae were newly integrated under Jurisdiction, an intelligent species of night-gliding mammals that subsisted on the protein-rich blood of a species of cattle that they nurtured for that purpose. Very short compared to most hominids, Two stood in chairs rather than sitting in them; as far as Lowden had ever been able to tell she couldn’t sit at all, in the conventional sense.

Standing in her chair now, Two dipped her velvety black head sharply in token of having heard and commenced to respond, clashing the sharp white teeth in her delicate black muzzle in his direction rapidly, her pink-and-black tongue flickering back and forth in a disconcertingly random manner."

3 out of 5

Prisoner of Conscience - Susan R. Matthews

"If they could only be quick and nimble enough about it, agile and canny enough about it, slip through the startled defenses of the maintenance atmosphere--Scylla could not fire upon itself, for fear of damage to the ship-- To fail meant death.

To succeed meant death as well, because if they won through to the main battle guns they could destroy Scylla, and everybody on it. Including them."

3 out of 5

An Exchange of Hostages - Susan R. Matthews

"Gathering up his documents-case Andrej leafed through flimsies quickly one final time. How to salute. How to speak to a Tutor. How to conduct oneself as a Student, soon to become a Chief Medical Officer. CMO was all very well, a position of significant influence and power on a cruiser-killer class warship upholding the Judicial order in the space-lanes. Any young surgeon would jump at the opportunity."

3 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: C. J. Ryan - Blue Tyson

C. J. Ryan is the unknown and probably pseudonymous author of the 5 book Dexta series, set in a 33rd century human Galactic Empire, with the protagonist the Emperor's ex-wife. I read part of one and it wasn't any good.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Galapagos - Caitlin R. Kiernan

Crazed mission discovery.

3.5 out of 5

Friday, February 18, 2011

Three Line Wip - Richard Morgan

"“Because Prophet knows,” Jhiral went on with a long suffering sigh. “His good lady wife’s been writing to every worthy at court he ever shared a bribe with, trying to get his sentence commuted. We’re all up to our ears in tear-stained parchment. I imagine you’re on the list as well, somewhere.”

She was not. Perhaps her own habitual standoffishness had been noted – doesn’t pay to get attached to humans, her father told her bitterly, drunkenly, one night a few months after her mother died. They only fucking die on you – or perhaps it was her black skin and her eyes and her volcanic origins."

3.5 out of 5

Diving Into the Wreck 1-3 - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

"For the dream is based on fact. The nightmare actually happened.

My mother and I suited up and walked, hand in hand, into a room on an abandoned space station. Mother wanted to explore, and I didn’t want her to go alone. I was maybe four, maybe five. I don’t remember exactly, and no one has ever talked of it.

What I do remember is a jumble—colored lights, beautiful voices singing in six-part harmony. Mother’s face turned upward toward the lights.

“Beautiful,” she said, her voice blending into the chorus. “Oh, so beautiful.”

And then she left me and floated toward that light."

4 out of 5

Column: Writing the Mythos: Henry Kuttner Mythos Mistake? - G. W. Thomas

"The brilliant young writer exploded onto the scene in March of 1936 by writing an instant Mythos classic. “The Graveyard Rats” (Weird Tales, March 1936) is set in Salem, the town Kuttner decided to make his Arkham. The plot concerns a grave-robber who thinks he’s dealing with large rats. The reality is pure Lovecraftian horror. Kuttner followed it with “The Secret of Kralitz” (Weird Tales, October 1936), “The Eater of Souls” (Weird Tales, January 1937), “The Salem Horror” (Weird Tales, May 1937), “The Invaders” (Strange Stories, February 1939) and “The Hunt” (Strange Stories, June 1939), creating the Mythos entities of Iod, Vorvadoss and Nyogtha."

3.5 out of 5

The Wise Man's Fear Interesting Fact - Patrick Rothfuss

"I expect this might have continued, but while drawing an angry breath, he sucked one of the floating milkweed seeds into his mouth and began to cough and choke violently.

Eventually he spat out the seed, caught his breath, got to his feet, and limped out of the lecture hall without saying another word."

2.5 out of 5

The Big Idea - Howard Andrew Jones

"I’ve always loved stories that take me to strange new places. When I was five I was glued to the TV by reruns of the original Star Trek. I later traveled into space with Leigh Brackett, prowled the gritty streets of Leiber’s Lankhmar, fell into the mind-bending universe of Zelazny’s Amber, and sailed with the daring Horatio Hornblower. But the the historical fiction of Harold Lamb and Robert E. Howard cast the greatest spell upon me. Their tales were moody, brooding, and vivid, and populated by realistic folk from cultures I’d never known."

3.5 out of 5

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sleeping with the Enemy Written - Mercedes Lackey and Dennis Le

Verdigris decides delegation is temporarily good.

3.5 out of 5

Revelations - Mercedes Lackey

Alternate Verdigris possibilities.

3 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Audio Drama - Blue Tyson

Audio Drama I am goin got call work that is not broadcast radio, and designed with audio in mind like the earlier old time radio shows and unlike the direct readings of audiobooks. Some independent producers occasionally make work like RRAC and their shows such as Anne Manx, starring Claudia Christian of Babylon 5 fame. Or the comedy Ruby the Galactic Gumshoe

More commercial productions come from Graphic Audio, who have made several adapations of Elizabeth Moon's Serrano series and sequels.

Big Finish Productions produce original stories. Of subgenre interest are their Stargate stories, both SG-1 and Atlantis. They also worked on some Warhammer 40,000 adventures for the Black Library.

B7 Productions has produced three reimagining stories for the beginning of a different Blake's 7, and also some other stories about Vila and Gan and Cally and more. These have aired on the BBC apparently.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Modern Radio - Blue Tyson

Modern Radio includes radio shows of interest in the tv era. This ranges from comedies like Canadia 2056 where Canada can manage one spaceship, the short episode Chuck Chunder of the Space Patrol and its moronic space hero of the title. The elephant in the room of comedy of this ilk is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which began as a radio series. Much later in 2005 came the Red Dwarfian silliness of The Spaceship.

On the more serious side, there was also an adaptation of Star Wars. The BBC did a version of Leigh Brackett's The Last Days of Shandakor along with a short Dan Dare series.

Original work includes :-

  • 1978 - Alien Worlds, a series about the International Space Authority and its dealing with extraterrestials from the Arthur C. Clarke Starlab.

  • 1978 - Johnny Chase: Secret Agent of Space, a series about a flamboyant space hero of Canadian creation.

  • 1981 - Earthsearch, where a ship looking for colonies has an accident, and the only people left alive are very young children..

  • 1984 - Space Force, a series by the creator of Journey Into Space and along similar lines in a similar ship.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Old Time Radio - Blue Tyson

Old Time Radio describes generally a period of American radio drama production from the 1920s to the 1950s before the rise and dominance of television. There are a few shows of subgenre interest. A couple of them were for kids like Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and the curiosity Planet Man. Another unknown is Captain Starr. Space Patrol was likewise the adventures of a Commander of the United Planets and his space cadet sidekick. You can find examples of these online. A lesser known UK show is Journey Into Space.

For more interest for trying out today are the well known space heroes Dan Dare and particularly Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon.

Again, Buck Rogers was a pioneer in being the first to air in 1932 and running until 1947. In 1935 Flash Gordon began, but did not last anywhere nearly as long. Dan Dare was broadcast for a few years beginning in 1951. You'll find Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon episodes online.

Occasionally there would be a story of interest in the anthology shows like X Minus One, but these of course are readings of prose work, like Robert A. Heinlein's Universe Generation Ship story, for example.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Dunwich Horror 4 – H. P. Lovecraft

"Our final episode on The Dunwich Horror! Sad to put this behind us, but we must move on.

Thanks again to Andrew Leman, our reader, and Robert M. Price for his help on the story."

4 out of 5

Morning Glories - 01

New school, same birthday, parental lack.

4 out of 5

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: L. Sprague de Camp - Blue Tyson

L. Sprague de Camp is a science fiction and fantasy author and editor of significant output. Of interest is his Viagens Interplanetarias series of works, detailing a future where Brazil is an interstellar power. Some relate to the greater setting, but the majority of stories are set on the planet Krishna. These are not collected, and nothing to particularly rush out and find. The Galton Whistle is decent enough but I have read a couple of others that were not.

The Galton Whistle

Rim Worlds Grid & History - Steve Davidson

"Baen books has followed their electronic collections of the John Grimes (Rim Worlds) tales and is set to release several print versions starting this month.

the John Grimes ‘Horatio Hornblower of Space’ tales are not Chandler’s only works that take place in the Rim Worlds universe. In fact, there are a LOT of other tales – even several recurring series (Derek Calver, Empress Irene).

Keeping track of them all can be difficult. Creating a reading order even more so, as Chandler played around a lot with the concept of alternate universes and this is reflected in his stories.

I’ve prepared a grid that attempts to show both the order of the various Rim Worlds tales and their relationship in terms of the different alternate universe time tracks. (To see the full-sized version, click on the graphic)."

Rim Worlds Grid & History

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Chris Bunch - Blue Tyson

Chris Bunch was the author of around 30 novels and a smaller number of short stories, both science fiction and fantasy. With Allen Cole, he produced the Sten series of military sf novels about a young man taken from a dangerous planet and made into an intestellar commando (along with a motley crew of mates) in an empire powered by antimatter and ruled by an ancient emperor. His Star Risk series is also of interest.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Deluge 67 - Brian Keene

"“I reckon we could build a boat and float on out of here. Just like I did in Renick. There’s got to be other folks who are still alive.”

“And run into one of those shark men you mentioned? No thanks. Besides, where are we going to find the lumber to build a boat?”"

3 out of 5

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Codex Blog Tour - Gareth L. Powell

What was the biggest surprise you got out of working on The Recollection?

I was surprised at just how much fun this book was to write. By the time I was halfway through, I was flying along. The characters and plot had come alive, and I couldn’t wait to dive in each day and spend some more time in their company.

Most of the short fiction I’ve written has been set on Earth in the near-future, so it was great to be producing an epic widescreen space opera. As a kid, I always loved those sorts of books. I dug the hardware. So it was fantastic to have the chance to pour my love of the genre into a book of my own."

3.5 out of 5

Harlan Ellison Remembers - Julius Schwartz

"In 1935 Julie actually met H.P. Lovecraft, the great recluse, and somehow convinced him to let Solar Sales market one of his stories. An astounding $350 sale to Astounding Stories, the only time the supernatural scrivener managed to get into the top-paying market. By the time Weisinger left the agency for editorial jobs, Julie was representing the absolute caviar of that pool of imaginative writers: Henry Kuttner, the magnificent Stanley Weinbaum, Leigh Brackett, Manly Wade Wellman, Eric Frank Russell, Otto Binder, and even Robert Heinlein for one story. 1938: Julie snags Robert Bloch, eventually selling 75 stories, including the memorable, many-times-reprinted "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper." 1940: a kid named Alfred Bester comes to Julie, is mentored by him, and Julie makes his first sf sale, "Life for Sale," to Amazing Stories. 1939: Julie meets a kid named Ray Bradbury, takes him on, sells "The Pendulum" to Super Science Stories, and it appears on the newsstands on Bradbury's 21st birthday."


"He started by redesigning and reintroducing, in contemporary terms, The Flash. Then Green Lantern; the Atom; Hawkman; and then The Justice League of America from the ashes of The Justice Society in the 1940s."

4 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: - Blue Tyson

Chester Whitehorn was an editor for Planet Stories for 3 issues in 1945 and 1946.

Planet Stories 26

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Basil Wells - Blue Tyson

Basil Wells is another curiosity of the Planet Stories era who came up with a double figure story count. Nothing like a decent writer, however, Fog of the Forgotten has some wild planetary romance style stuff in it, and is online, along with some of his other stories.

Fog of the Forgotten

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Miriam Allen DeFord - Blue Tyson

-- some assorted ones as I come across 'em and/or remember them now - if anyone has any suggestions to look at, feel free...

Miriam Allen DeFord was an author and editor of science fiction and crime stories. I have only read a few stories of hers. The Eel is a tale of a super rogue wanted in more than one solar system, and you will find it online.

The Eel

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: David Zindell - Blue Tyson

David Zindell has written nine novels and four short stories. Of interest is Neverness, about a pilot of starships - and the strange society that exists around the order of mathematicians that are needed to work out the complexities of spaceflight.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Sarah Zettel - Blue Tyson

Sarah Zettel is a writer of fantasy and science fiction who has easily made double figures in both novels and short stories. Of interest is her novella Fool's Errand the later novel Fool's War, about AI trying to survive in human society and the various subterfuges they have to employ to do so because of a humanity terrified of rogue AI. The Fool in the title is a particular job - a role on a starship that is part entertainer/counsellor/morale officer. And in this case, she is also an AI.

Fool's Errand

Fool's War

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Roger Zelazny - Blue Tyson

Roger Zelazny is a fantasy and science fiction author with close to 50 novels to his credit alone and in team-up, with d more than that count in short stories. He is most well known as the creator of the Amber series. Of some subgenre interest are the novels Doorways In the Sand, Lord of Light, Isle of the Dead and To Die In Italbar.

A Rose For Ecclesiastes is a planetary romance, intended as a homage to those of the past, with martial arts and mysticism and attempting to avoid the end. You will find this story online.

A Rose For Ecclesiastes

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: George Zebrowski - Blue Tyson

George Zebrowski is the author of around 20 novels, including some Star Trek work, and some of which are of subgenre interest such as the Omega Point Trilogy. This has a conflict between an interstellar Federation and Empire, and the desire to change such, and is available at E-reads. He has produced a significantly greater number of short stories.

Macrolife details humanity's expansion into space thanks to the development of a superstrong but badly flawed material - and the repercussions and explorations that follow of life among the stars and for those left behind.


The Omega Point Trilogy 1 - George Zebrowski

""Visualize an imaginary translucent tubeway through normal space," the voice was saying, "one end attached to Earth's solar system, the other to the Great Globular Cluster in the constellation of Hercules...."

Overhead, the image showed the galaxy on edge. A glowing red snake grew out of the solar system, crossing the disk toward the center in short spirals and arcs until it buried its head in the cluster circling the galactic hub, 34,000 light-years from Sol.

"The fastest ships take five Earth months to pass through this winding volume of Federation Space, which varies from five to twenty light-years in diameter. A hundred thousand worlds circle their suns here, many of them earthlike; others are too young for intelligent life to have developed; some cradle prespace humanoid cultures; still others have in-system space travel; many are dead worlds. A continuous stream of human life colonizes these worlds, coming out from Earth as well as from other colonial planets. Rejecting engineered environments, this river of life hungers after natural worlds born of suns...."

Now it seemed that he was rushing toward the Hercules Cluster at a fantastic speed. The image grew until it took up the whole view, dominating the skymap like a galaxy.

"The greatest object of colonization was the Cluster in Hercules. Its settlement led to a cultural and biological branching of humankind. The biological divergence was accomplished through genetic engineering, specifically through the mixing of human DNA with that of the cluster's original humanoids, whose civilizations contributed much to the style of the emerging Herculean Empire. This hybridization of humankind from Sol led to the greatest recorded conflict in history...."

He looked at the darkened figure of his son. Brought up in an atmosphere of disintegrating mobilization, pushed along by the pressure of a past he could never rejoin, the young man of two hundred and twenty Earth years had grown toward a breaking point; he had to recreate the past or die. Inside, his son was a fortress.

3.5 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Timothy Zahn - Blue Tyson

Timothy Zahn is the author of over 40 novels and even more short fiction, which has been collected into several books. He is fortunate enough to have been the writer of the Star Wars Thrawn trilogy, kicking off the mass of Extended Unverse books. He also has anumber books that may be of interest to subgenre fans in The Blackcollar and Cobra series. The Conquerors Series has a war between aliens and humanity after a failure of diplomacy.

Also there are standalones like the pursuit of bad guys with a twist story The Icarus Hunt. Pawn's Gambit has a man forced into a dangerous alien competition coming up with a clever solution.

The Icarus Hunt

Pawn's Gambit

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: R. Garcia y Robertson - Blue Tyson

R. Garcia y Robertson is a writer of science fiction and fantasy, and completely and utterly internet challenged. He has a great series of stories that we will call SuperCats (although they have SuperChimps, too). Unfortunately, not likely to ever get a complete SuperCat collection of such given his luddite nature. A shame, given their high quality and fun quotient. He has several novels and many times that number of short stories to his name.

Kansas She Says, Is the Name of the Star has avoidance of SuperCat bushwhacking.

Ring Rats has a conflict with space slavers.

In Bird Herding, escape from a bunch of rampaging SuperChimps is the order of the day.

Oxygen Rising finds a diplomat in the middle of a war between humans and Greenies, and of course there are the feline Supercats.

Teen Angel has a beautiful young woman escaping from space pirates.

Werewolves of Luna has an almost out of air Earthman rescued and shanghaied into joining a virtual reality tournament with a motley crew. Just have to survive sword combat and a raid on a vampire's castle.

Gone to Glory has the problem of completing a mission when an opposing warlord has, say, ten million neanderthal warriors.

Long Voyage Home has a woman captured by SuperCats and forced to work for them. Even worse, babysitting some of their catty big brats, before she can attempt to cut a deal and get home through space.

A Princess of Helium has the adventures of a flyer of multiple varieties.

Wife Stealing Time has SuperCat slavers and sex crimes.

An air hostess lost on Barsoom is not what she seems, causing SinBad the Sand Sailor some interesting issues.

Kansas She Says, Is the Name of the Star

Ring Rats

Bird Herding

Oxygen Rising

Teen Angel

Werewolves of Luna

Gone To Glory

Long Voyage Home

A Princess of Helium

Wife Stealing Time

Sinbad the Sand Sailor

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Susan Wright - Blue Tyson

Susan Wright is a science fiction and fantasy writer with over a dozen novels published, including several Star Trek books. Her Slave Trade trilogy is about the party girl daughter of a politician who can no longer be protected from being part of the alien slave trade because of being a wastrel once too often. Once there though, she rebels and becomes part of a ship and group fighting against this. You can find the first book online at Book View Cafe.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: John C. Wright - Blue Tyson

John C. Wright is a science fiction and fantasy writer with 9 novels written and over double that number of short stories. Of subgenre interest is his Golden Age trilogy and some short stories. Twilight of the Gods is a generation warship story. Guest Law is a story of the dangers of being on a generation warship. The Golden Age trilogy is set in the far future, when a dilettante playboy son of the ruler of society finds out his memory was altered, and he sets out to rebel in a society that has stagnated. Power armour and superweapons abound in his return from being outcast.

Guest Law

The Golden Age

The Phoenix Exultant

The Golden Transcendence

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: F. Paul Wilson - Blue Tyson

F. Paul Wilson is a science fiction and horror writer. Along with the horror-thriller Repairman Jack series and The Keep he produced a future history called The LaNague Federation. Healer is the story of a man whose encounter with an alien symbiote gives him greater than human abilities - which he uses to try and stop an interplanetary plague of horrors.



The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Bill Willingham - Blue Tyson

Bill Willingham is a writer in multiple media, generally and , now likely best known for his work on the modern fairytale legends comic Fables.

Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings is about a conflict on board a pirate ship. What do you do if you have to leave? Go and become superheroes on Earth.

Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Jack Williamson - Blue Tyson

Jack Williamson was a science fiction and fantasy author who amazingly produced work in nine consecutive decades. Hence his output is considerable, dozens of novels and a considerably larger total of short stories. Quite a few of which will be of interest. I have read only a tiny percentage of his work, ranging from the decades old Prince of Space story to the relatively recent The Ultimate Earth.

His Legion of Space series is his well known work in this subgenre, and it is space Three Musketeers plus Falstaff in this story of traitors aligning with alien invaders to usurp the Empire.

The Legion of Space

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Walter Jon Williams - Blue Tyson

Walter Jon Williams is a productive writer of good quality science fiction and fantasy whether novel or short story. He is very versatile and capable of attacking any subgenre, much like Robert Silverberg or Robert Reed. He wrote a military SF series Dread Empire's Fall that I found tedious and so only finished some of the short stories such as The Praxis and Conventions of War. Considerably better is novel Aristoi, a posthuman space opera of sorts where the Aristoi have vast powers and control of nanotech, both for communication and materially - such as in the reshaping of planets. If people like this go bad someone really needs to do something about it. His excellent novel Implied Spaces will likely also be of interest to subgenre fans with its virtual reality and giant AI conflicts as may books like Knight Moves and The Crown Jewels.


The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Chris Moriarty - Blue Tyson

Chris Moriarty is a science fiction author, and unfortunately one who is really slow. She has produced a total of two novels, Spin State, and Spin Control. The first has a military captain investigating the death of a woman who invented FTL travel. Espionage, murder and more in this struggle over important technology. The following volume Spin Control is still decent, but not as good as the first.

Spin State

Spin Control

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Sean Williams - Blue Tyson

Sean Williams is an author of science fiction and fantasy who has published over 30 novels and has exceeded that number in short fiction. Some of his novels are Star Wars tie-ins, and of the other science fiction, the majority is of space opera interest. Quite a number of these were written with Shane Dix. The Orphans series is a Greg Egan like story of posthumans in space, digitally so they can inhabit other bodies and the aliens and artifacts they encounter. The Unknown Soldier was rewritten later to become The Prodigal Sun.

The Evergence trilogy follows the exploits of a woman who is very good with computer technology and the AI she is tasked to safeguard, leading to revelations and the possibility of war with superhumans, and a terrible choice. The ending of which still creeps me out many years later.

Geodescia has a classic Big Dumb Object and posthuman rulers of civilisations, politics of privacy, modified spaceship dwellers, superweapons and more, all looping back to humanity and its origins.

The Astropolis trilogy has a genderbending posthuman awakening in the future to yet more conflict and old allies and enemies, weird religions that mollify their followers, the remnants of powerful AI and more. Who should control all this, or should anyone, even if they can? Getting on two years after publishers decided to reduce their sales and georestric books these are still not buyable. So the author is now off writing children's books instead, presumably because of low sales.

The Soap Bubble has the Reality TV show scenario - of a starship in space. A Glimpse Of The Marvellous Structure [And The Threat It Entails] is a Big Dumb Object crossover in a weird spacetime way. Do you plot against yourself?

Echoes of Earth

Heirs of Earth

Orphans of Earth

The Dark Imbalance

The Dying Light

The Prodigal Sun

Geodesica: Ascent

Geodesica: Descent

Saturn Returns

Earth Ascendant

The Grand Conjunction

The Soap Bubble

A Glimpse Of The Marvellous Structure [And The Threat It Entails]

The Perfect Man - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Romance author fan stalker.

3.5 out of 5

Novels I will not write: Jesus wants his kidney back - Charles Stross

"Let us postulate a world in which Christian doctrine is actually True — specifically Catholic doctrine.

Our hero is a 40-something newspaper editor and investigative journalist with a history.

About 20 years ago, while investigating a story in Eastern Europe, he was nearly murdered; a corrupt billionaire oligarch took exception to our hero nosing into his family history and arranged for a minion to stir some Death Cap mushrooms into his stroganoff. However, he was saved by a kidney transplant, using an organ donated by a priest working with the local hospital who happened to be a perfect histocompatibility match.

In the aftermath, our hero managed to lay his hands on some highly incriminating documents and promptly found a Swiss bank vault to lodge them in; he has to prove he's alive and free once every six months or the bank will release the papers to wikileaks, causing some minor embarrassment to our shady billionaire oligarch from the Carpathians."

4 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Liz Williams - Blue Tyson

Liz Williams is a science fiction and fantasy author with over a dozen novels and several times that production in short stories. Her Banner of Souls novel is a new planetary romance with a blighted Earth, and a Mars inhabited only by women. There is conflict over the quest for strange old haunt-tech. This setting has associated short stories too as well as another novel, Winterstrike, which I have not read.

Banner of Souls

The Age of Ice

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Steve White - Blue Tyson

Steve White is a science fiction and fantasy author with other 15 novels completed. Of interest is the Starfire series that he co-wrote with David Weber, based on a board game the latter helped with. He has several books of interest, for example The Disinherited trilogy which has King Arthur in space, which sounds interesting. A complete shortfiction non-entity though it appears.

The Disinherited 1 - Steve White

""We've been over this ground already, Arduin," Varien interrupted, his voice unwontedly gentle. "Many times, in fact. I put it to you: has the situation changed since our final decision was reached? Do you have any new information that invalidates the logic of that decision?"

"No," Arduin admitted.

"Then," Varien went on remorselessly, "our conclusions still stand. The Korvaash fleets are advancing at a rate limited only by their own caution—I imagine they still haven't fully grasped how feeble their opposition is." He raised a forestalling hand. "Forgive me, old friend, but the time for good manners is past. No one doubts the courage of your young men and women. They will go on till the end, trying to shelter Raehan behind a wall of their own corpses. But they are, quite simply, amateurs—products of a society for which war has been nothing more than the fading memory of an old nightmare. And they are fighting an enemy who sees himself as being permanently at war and organizes his society accordingly, and who commands resources that dwarf ours."

"But," Arduin argued stubbornly, "our technology is more sophisticated than theirs! Given your new drive . . ."

" . . . We could do far more damage to them than we otherwise would," Varien finished for him. "Maybe even provoke them into making exceptions to their usual guidelines for dealing with newly conquered planets—exceptions we wouldn't like. But we could not stop them. No technological advantage can win a war without a viable military force to take advantage of it. To give the drive to our government now would merely make it part of the spoils the Korvaasha will take when they occupy Raehan." He paused for breath, and then gazed somberly at the other two.

"I haven't used this argument until now, partly because"—a wintery smile—"it is so out of character that you both would have suspected I was up to something. But I ask you to consider this. We now know we are not the only intelligent race in the cosmos. So we are acting not only for ourselves, but for all that lives and thinks! To give the Korvaasha the secret of faster-than-light interstellar travel without recourse to displacement points—and, I repeat, that is precisely what turning it over to our government would amount to—would be to remove all limits to the militaristic expansion their ideology commands them to pursue. Their capabilities would become as unbounded as their aims. I will see Raehan go down into the dark rather than permit my work to be so perverted!"

He stopped, as astonished at his own vehemence as they doubtless were. Tarlann finally broke the silence.

"The Korvaasha will eventually discover it for themselves. You yourself have said it is a logical outgrowth of gravitics. In fact, you've admitted the concept wasn't original with you—you merely found a way to make it workable."

"Which is precisely why I have no intention of leaving them in peace to discover it," Varien replied, his normal asperity reasserting itself. "The entire purpose of our plans is to secure allies. Raehan cannot be saved—but it can be liberated."

"And what makes you so sure the Landaeniv will be able—or inclined—to do so? You've learned enough about them to know that their technology is laughable compared to ours or even the Korvaasha . . . .""

3.5 out of 5

Monday, February 07, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: James White - Blue Tyson

James White was a science fiction author who produced around 20 novels, many short stories and three collections. I have not read most of his non-related work, and it would appear there are some other books and stories of sub-genre interest, going by titles. However, with the Sector General series he has produced anti-military SF, or negative military SF? Or pacifist SF, of course. Sector General is giant hospital space station that exists after an interstellar war, and is still at risk due to tensions. The trials and tribulations and successes and failures of working with patients of many different species are dealt with here in books such as The Genocidal Healer sometimes the consequences can be enormous.

Sector General Timeline - Gary Louie

"James White's Sector General stories follow an internal sequence which can be discerned by careful reading of the stories. Since dates are rarely given, only the order-and occasionally the timing-of stories can be derived."

4 out of 5

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: S. L. Viehl - Blue Tyson

S. L. Viehl is an author in multiple genres, but her Stardoc books and the related volumes such as Blade Dancer are of some interest, and there are around a dozen of these. As the title suggests, there is a doctor that travels to other planets.

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Scott Westerfeld - Blue Tyson

Scott Westerfeld is now a popular writer of science fiction books for children. Before this, he wrote three novels of interest. Evolution's Darling and the short story prologue The Movements of Her Eyes are about a woman and her relationship with an AI during its evolution, and also cloning, assassination problems as they deal with the restrictions of their interstellar society. The Risen Empire and the Killing of Worlds have a ship captain realise something is rotten and false at the heart of this empire of immortality after death, and he becomes involved with the opposition to this rule of the dead.

The Risen Empire

The Killing of Worlds

The Movements of Her Eyes

Evolution's Darling

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: David Weber - Blue Tyson

David Weber has written dozens of science fiction and fantasy novels, and a few short stories. Some of these are of interest such as the hunt the space pirates Path of the Fury, and The Armageddon Inheritance which would appear to have large scale space battles. He also co-wrote a series with Steve White apparently based on a Starfire video game, which also involves alien space battles.

His most popular series is that starring Honor Harrington, and is in navy in space, damn the torpedos and give them a broadside military sf style. Harrington falls out of favour with the powers that be and is given your usual crappy posting as a reward. She turns the tables by innovative use of this and rises from there, along with her companion the intelligent treecat. The first book On Basilisk Station is decent, but it begins to descend into simplistic unsophistication in background and result. There are anthologies of stories in this universe, too. Weber also wrote a fine novella, Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington, that details a just out of training Harrington on a mission where she has to work out a way to stop them all getting blown up and deal with some crewmates that despise her. You'll find On Basilisk Station in the Baen Free Library, and Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington also online.

On Basilisk Station

Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington