April 20, 2014

Review: Operation Shield by Joel Shepherd

Out on April 8th!

If there’s one thing we love, it’s a non-stop space opera action adventure. Military science fiction has really come of its own over the past decades, as first popularized by Robert Heinlein and his classic Starship Troopers.

But what of the soldiers themselves? And what of a world where soldiers are custom tailored to fight and die? This week, we’re excited to bring you our review of the latest Cassandra Kresnov novel out from author Joel Shepherd and Pyr Books entitled Operation Shield. [Read more...]

Review: The Enemy Within by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Out this coming April.

Ready for political intrigue?

This week, we break tradition a bit from our usual review of science and science fiction books to journey back into the tie-dyed era of the early 1960s and a murder mystery that takes the reader into the darkened recesses of Washington politics. [Read more...]

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. [Read more...]

Review: The Man Who Sold the Moon & Orphans of the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

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This week, we return to “Lessons from Science Fiction 101,” with a look at a master of scifi.

We’re talking, of course, about American science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein. One of the “Big 3” next to Clarke and Asimov when it comes to golden age science fiction, no one was better a weaving in sociological issues into their future mythology. [Read more...]

February 2014: This Month in Science Fiction

Boy, how about that recent polar vortex, huh? It’s a good thing that February is the shortest month of the year, at least from the climatic perspective of residents in the northern hemisphere. Of course, we’re writing this from our sunny refuge in Florida, where a “cold snap” means that one must dig through the backs of closets through the strata of clothing to don a light jacket before heading out. Oh, the inconvenience of it all, I know. Hey, we’ve paid our dues living many a decade in Alaska and Maine, and have since arrived at the same conclusion as many semi-retirees that movement to Florida isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law. [Read more...]

Review: The Forever Engine by Frank Chadwick

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Saddle up and batten down those airship hatches… steampunk and alternate science fiction timelines lay ahead in this week’s review.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll briefly paraphrase ourselves once again. Steampunk is a genre that’s crying out for a flagship franchise. And it’s ironic that, with the legions of Con fans dressing techno-retro, there’s still not a Star Trek or Star Wars caliber series to quench the fans seeming thirst for all things steampunk. [Read more...]

Review: Mars, Inc. by Ben Bova

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It’s a destination that always seems to be “20 years away.”

But just how will we get to Mars? And why should we go? Science fiction author Ben Bova’s most recent book Mars, Inc.: The Billionaire’s Club out from Baen Books shows us just how those first steps might be made. [Read more...]

Review: Empress of the Sun by Ian McDonald

Out on February 4th!

Ever wonder just how many alternate realities are out there? Are there universes were JFK was never assassinated, or strange dystopian worlds where Justin Bieber is President of the United States? Though strange (and terrifying) to contemplate, it sure does explain the bizarre goings on in this here plane of reality, such as why the Biebe’s a celebrity in this one… [Read more...]

Review: The Man-Kzin Wars XIII Created by Larry Niven

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Galactic interspecies war has never been hotter. And one of the most enduring conflagrations in modern scifi-dom has been between humanity and the cat-like Kzinti. The Kzin were first introduced by science fiction author Larry Niven in his 1966 short story “The Warriors,” and went on to become frequent players in his Known Space stories, including his classic novel Ringworld. [Read more...]

January 2014: This Month in Science Fiction

Welcome to 2014! Yeah, I know, we will spare you the spiel about how we’re all supposed to have flying skateboards by now. Still, it is strange to think about just how many science fiction red-letter dates are coming right up. It’s just plain hard to be a prophet of the future, though perhaps all of those science fiction dystopian futures never in fact came to pass because scifi authors warned us about ‘em in the first place… or did they? [Read more...]

Review: Fire Season by David Weber & Jane Lindskold

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Feline-esque alien species are an under-appreciated realm of extraterrestrials in modern science fiction. And if the prevalence of kitten pics on ye ole internet is any indication, we just can’t get enough of cats. But alien races, such as Larry Niven’s Kzinti of his Known Space/Man Kzin Wars saga, show us just how disagreeable sentient alien cat species just might be. [Read more...]

Review: In Space No One Can Hear You Scream Edited by Hank Davis

A scifi classic!

Think space is a friendly place? This week’s review will cause you to think again.

From killer supernovae to the cold and uncaring vacuum to space alien beasties with their own agendas, the universe is indeed trying to kill us.

This week, we take a look at a thrilling (and chilling) look at a new compilation out from Baen Books. In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream edited by Hank Davis takes a page from the classic Alien movie tagline to bring you some terrifyingly great classic tales from the annuals of science fiction.

It’s a Lovecraftian cosmos out there, with stranger things than can be known. This collection culls some great tales of science fiction from such masters as Arthur C. Clarke, Theodore Sturgeon, Sarah A. Hoyt and many more. We often forget that sci-fi is more than just rockets and rayguns. As this compilation reminds us, science fiction, fantasy and horror often go hand-in-hand… just be sure first that said hand is not a claw or slimy tentacle that you’re actually holding on to.

Here’s just a few notable tales contained herein:

A Walk in the Dark by Arthur C. Clarke: Hey, we didn’t know that there was a Clarke tale out there that we hadn’t read yet! It all starts with a breakdown and a simple walk home, which soon becomes disconcerting under starless sky on a world far out on the galactic rim. Beware those tales from earlier colonists of things that go bump in the night…

Frog Water by Tony Daniel: What might an alien menagerie contain? Two humans are about to find out in this far out and disconcerting tale. I love how the aliens are depicted as, well, truly alien, complete with inscrutable goals and interests, far from a peaceable Federation whining about intergalactic treaties, etc.

The Last Weapon by Robert Sheckley: Don’t open Pandora’s Box… except you just know that humans can’t resist peeking inside in this classic sci-fi tale. A team of mercenaries finds an ancient Martian weapons cache… and a dire warning. Hey, we’ve all been there, right?

Mongoose by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette: A classic tale of inter-dimensional infestation, Mongoose was also featured on the Drabblecast. Set in the Boojum universe, Mongoose evokes the feel of Lovecraft, as an intergalactic exterminator and his pet must remove a bizarre plague from a space station that let the task go for just a bit too long. A great action-packed tale!

Sandkings by George R.R. Martin: A gem of a tale, Sandkings is worthy of a reread. The story tells the tale of a collector of alien pets and curiosities that discovers the ultimate prize: a sentient insect-like species that worships him like a god. His pernicious proclivities get the best of him, however, as he takes the game too far. The installers weren’t kidding when they said to “watch your faces…”

That’s just a few of the weird and wonderful tales contained in In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream… read ‘em if you dare!

December 2013: The Month in Science Fiction

Deck the Halls! Christmas/Festivus/pick your favorite December Solstice tie-in holiday is here once again, and with it comes our final monthly round up of science fiction for 2013. Boy, the calendar year itself sounds like a date straight out of science fiction, huh? Wasn’t Kevin Costner supposed to be making his apocalyptic runs on behalf of the U.S. postal service by now? And just think, the flying skateboards of 2015 and Back to the Future II are now just over a year away. [Read more...]

Review: The Doctor and the Dinosaurs by Mike Resnick


On sale December 10th!

The West just gets weirder and weirder…

This week, we’re taking a look at a Wild West tale that never was, with The Doctor and the Dinosaurs by Mike Resnick, out this month from Pyr Books. This is tale represents book four in Resnick’s alt-history steampunk universe. Fans of the saga and this space will remember our reviews of The Buntline Special, The Doctor and the Kid, and The Doctor and the Rough Rider[Read more...]

Review: We Wish You a Cosmic Christmas

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What do Christmas and science fiction have in common? Not much, or it may seem at least not as much as say, much more science fiction-oriented holidays, such as Halloween.

Ah, but that’s where this week’s review is out to prove you wrong. This week, we’re taking a look at A Cosmic Christmas, edited by Hank Davis and out from Baen Books. OK, we received this one way back last year before Christmas , and its only making its way to the top of the review pile for THIS Christmas! And yes, we already have a copy of A Cosmic Christmas II awaiting review, which we promise we won’t take another year to get to… [Read more...]

November 2013: The Month in Science Fiction

The pre-holiday movie season has begun. As we approach the cusp of the holiday season, several fine science fiction offerings are already in theatres. We were duly impressed with Thor 2, and glad to finally see Orson Scott Card’s science fiction classic Ender’s Game at last get its big screen due. Heck, we even enjoyed the movie Gravity, despite its minor (and one major) science faux pas… spoiler alert: you can’t journey to the International Space Station from the Hubble Space Telescope! Now, all eyes are turning towards the big screen adaptation of Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games. [Read more...]

Review: Assignment in Eternity by Robert Heinlein

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Why read old scifi? We’ve often heard this question kicked around in the darkened corners of science fiction conventions and on ye’ ole cyber webs. Hey, it’s true that we now live in an age where such red-letter sci-fi dates as 2001 and 1984 have come and gone… and even The Terminator’s Skynet was to have been long since operational by now. [Read more...]

Review- Superman: the Unauthorized Biography

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This year marks the 75th anniversary of the birth of the first superhero, way back in Action Comics #1. And although the Man of Steel started the modern  genre of super-powered crime fighters in tights, much of his legend has evolved, as each generation claims Supes as their own.

And this week’s review has lots to reveal about the Last Son of Krypton. Superman: The Unauthorized Biography by NPR’s Glen Weldon is a fascinating look at all things Superman, from his very first appearance to this summers’ past blockbuster Man of Steel[Read more...]