December 14, 2017

March 2013: This Month in Science Fiction

Ahh, the month of March has arrived. A time of growth, renewal and taxes. Spring is in the air, although it may not feel it for those of you stranded in snowier climes. And yes, we do indeed realize that for folks down under in the southern hemisphere, the reverse is true, as this month marks the onset of Fall. But whether you commemorate the meteorological onset of the new season as March 1st or prefer to observe its start at ye’ olde solar equinoctial crossing point on Thursday, March 21st at 12:57 PM EDT/16:57 Universal Time – to be ever so precise and pedantic –  any season is a great season for some new hot off the press science fiction. Here’s what’s on our radar and has drifted through our cyber transom for the month of March:

The Heretic- The latest in The General Series out from Baen Books, The Heretic by authors David Drake and Tony Daniel is set on the far off world Duisberg. When the galactic republic collapses it leaves a scattering of worlds such as Duisberg to revert back into primitive barbarism. Left behind is an ancient supercomputer that is worshiped as a god by the remnants of humanity known as Zentrum. Zentrum controls the status quo by using a force known as the Blood Winds, and it’s up to Abel Dashian (the heretic in the book’s title) to break this vicious cycle of brutality and violence. Expect far-flung action and adventure!

Children of the Gates- No, not Bill and Melinda Gates… Children of the Gates unites two classic tales by fantasy master Andre Norton under one cover for the first time. In Here Abide Monsters, an alien race is trolling an alternate dimension and capturing humans and enslaving them as they fall through from Earth. Oh, and there’s Celtic fairy folk thrown in for good measure as well. Into this mix, a man named the Herald emerges and promises deliverance from bondage, though at a high cost. And in the second tale of the book Yurth Burden, we see the clash of the Yurth and Raski races of Zacar, all while a young Raski warrior comes of age and departs on a vision quest of her own. It’s a gateway to adventure!

Waldo and Magic, Inc- Don’t miss this collection out this month placing two classics by American science fiction grandmaster Robert A. Heinlein under the same cover for the first time. Waldo tells the tale of a handicapped genius living in exile in Earth orbit who may hold the secret to the salvation of Humanity. Magic Inc. tells the story of a world where magic is real, and pits the small independent magicians against the large corporate conglomerates. And be sure to check out our recent reviews of Heinlein’s The Man Who Sold the Moon, Assignment in Eternity and Sixth Column!

Balance Point- Get set for some first rate military science fiction from author Robert Buettner. The sequel to Overkill, Balance Point follows protagonist Jazen Parker as he and side kick Kit Born transition from the aftermath of the Second Interplanetary Cold War to the Peace that follows. Dreams of living the quiet life are shattered, however, when a routine mission to escort a telepathic alien to Earth brings old enemies back to the fore. Expect interstellar warfare, both hot and cold, in this epic installment!

Cauldron of Ghosts- Part of the New York Times best selling Honorverse series conceived by authors David Weber and Eric Flint, Cauldron of Ghosts follows human spies Victor Cachat and Anton Zilwicki as they work to expose an ancient cabal known as the Mesan Alignment. Their work will upset the balance of galactic power as well as unite the Star Empire of Manticore and the Republic of Haven. It may not be that simple, however, as Zilwicki and Cachat go undercover only to discover that there may be no true limit to the ruthlessness of the Alignment. Expect worlds to fall and new worlds to gain a new found freedom an allegiance in this pivotal and history changing novel that’s a must for any Honorverse fan.

Blood and Iron- Out this month from Pyr Books, Blood and Iron: The Book of the Black Earth Part One is an exciting new fantasy adventure series out from author Jon Sprunk. When Horace Delrosa is ship wrecked, he finds himself enslaved by his mortal enemies in the Akeshian Empire. Hope comes, however in the form of fellow captors and a mysterious royal handmaiden Alyra, who may hold the key to Delrosa’s freedom and revenge. Expect a tale of sorcery, combat, and intrigue!   

The Barrow- As the saying goes, “To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map…” and lots of maps are included to help you in your quest in this enormous volume out from Pyr Books.  The Barrow is the first-ever novelization of the world of the Eisner Award-Nominated saga depicted in Artesia comic books, and is a worthy comparison to Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. Beware of what the map might lead you to and the cursed riches that might be in store. Don’t miss The Barrow for fantastic adventure!

Flashback fiction: Four-Day Planet- There’s some great science fiction out there in the public domain that’s free for anyone who would be willing to cull through the cyber achieves of sites such as Project Gutenberg. One such gem that came to our recent attention is Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper. Out back in 1961, Four-Day Planet actually predicts some of the more bizarre entries in the modern day exoplanet catalog, a full three decades before the first exoplanet discovery was confirmed in the mid-1990s. And beyond just providing a great backdrop for adventure, the world of Fenris also hosts Jarvis’s Sea-monster, Piper’s answer to Herbert’s sandworms of Dune fame. Be sure to check out Four-Day Planet for world-building adventure!

Oh yeah, and speaking of Game of Thrones, Season 4 should be starting once again on April 13th. Also, we caught a recent Escape Pod episode concerning death by brown dwarf for the human race entitled Enjoy the Moment by Jack McDevitt that was one of the best science fiction podcast episodes we’d listened to thus far in 2014.

Enjoy, and peace out!

 

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