Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for January 2019
Long ago when I ran out of Fantasy and Science
Fiction, I reread books from my ever increasing library. Today
there are so many inexpensive ebooks available, I rarely run out.
Jeffery H. Haskell has a neat six
book series about Amelia Lockheart, a twenty year-old paraplegic,
whose parents were kidnaped in the same accident that broke her
back. In a world of super heroes, she’s convinced that joining
the local superhuman team, the diamond backs is the best way to find
her parents, and since she’s a genius and rich from selling some
patents, she has to build a ironman type suit, and join the team as
Arsenal (paper from Molten Press). Perky and very capable,
the tale is a joy to read. I’m eagerly awaiting the seventh tale.
When Officer McKenna Largo is
called to a bank robbery where the robbers have their guns of kid
hostages, and she suddenly turns into a cougar, she has No
Choice (paper from Bad Ash Publishing) but to kill the
robbers. It doesn’t help that the change was caught on video, making
her an internet sensation. Aliens, according to Mel Todd) are
responsible for turning 2 percent of humanity into shifters. It
could have been worse. They were supposed to be permanently locked
into animal form until aliens come and collect them to become their
soldiers. Most of this first tale is how humanity deals with the
change, and how McKenna and her partner deal not only with those
issues, but also with a drug deal kidnaping her and a bunch of
shifter children. There is one other novel and three novellas
in the series so far and I can’t wait for the next tale.
Debra Dunbar and J. P. Sloan add
pinching magic to Prohibition and rum running in Baltimore. Hattie
Malloy, who can pinch sight and create illusions, has been hiding
from the Mob all her life, user her talent to help run illegal
liquor along the Delaware river. Even though she is indirectly
working for the Mob, she keeps herself and her family free. Vincent
Calendo, who can pinch time, has been owned by the mob in Baltimore
his whole life. His boss wants another pincher. Wooden Nickels
(paper from Amazon) throws the two together as Vincent’s boss Vito
wants another pincher and Hattie needs to find a magical water
pincher who can make something to save her father’s life. There are
three more books in this fun series which capture the era perfectly.
Dmitry Donskoy won Battle of
Kulikovo freeing the Rus from the Tartars and eventually leading to
Modern Russia. According to Katherine Arden he had help from his
cousin, Vasya in the summer that was The Winter of the Witch
(hard from Del Rey). In the tale started in the excellent The
Bear and the Nightingale (paper) where Vasya locked up the
Bear to save her family with the help of his brother Morozko, the
winter-king whom she grew to love. In stopping evil in The Girl
in the Tower (paper) she left Moscow on fire. Now the Bear is
free and wants to destroy Moscow with fear. Barely escaping
being burned as a witch, she runs through the land of Midnight to
rescue Morosko. In the end she will actually need her worst enemy to
aid Dmitry in the battle against the Tartars. Fun ending to a good
In David Mack’s universe,
sorcerers can achieve super powers by yoking specific demons or
angels, each with its own power. The Midnight Front (paper)
showed the fight between sorcerers in the height of World War II.
It’s now 1954 and the powers-that-be are after The Iron Codex
(hard from Tor). A group of ex-Nazi’s have found a way to harness a
hydrogen bomb to power an awful result on the Bikini Island. Trying
to stop them are Briet Segfrunsdóttir who now works for America
because of a pardon for her Nazi years; Anja Kernova
whose been hunting Nazis in South America; Cade Martin, who is now
part of MI-6; and Father Luis Pérez a white sorcerer working for the
Vatican. This a very exciting tale and impossible to put down.
Matt Doyle has a neat future with
tech-shifting, suits that give a person animal shapes; techno
werewolves. P.I. Cassandra Tam’s third case involves a different
sort of suit. LV48 (ebook from NineStar Press) is a suit that
gives the wearer vamperic abilities in order to collect blood
samples. Cassie is attacked, but the blood sample is broken in the
fight to defend herself. Since the ‘vampire’ left a tracking chip,
Cassie is drafted by the police as bait to lure the attacker in.
Many of the victims have a relationship to New Hopeland City’s
gangster family, adding to the fun puzzle. I had a lot of fun, even
though I never read the first two books in this series.
Katherine Lundy In an Absent
Dream (hard from Tor) finds a magical doorway to the Goblin
Market where people who do not give a fair deal are slowly turned
into birds. Seanan McGuire sends her at age eight into this magical
land where she meets another girl her age, Moon who becomes a good
friend, and the Archivist who helps her adjust. Twice more she
returns for adventures before facing the horrible choice, at age 16
she must choose which world to stay in permanently. Enjoyable.
Tracy Townsend continues her tale
about a world whose creator watches the world through the activities
of The Nine (paper). With humans, Lanyana (mobile trees), and
Aigamuxa (giant apes with eyes in their feet) sharing the world, the
discovery of a book magically noting the activities of the nine,
mean that the Creator might be induced to favor one of the three
species. The Lanyana decide that wiping out the other species is a
good idea. Meanwhile Rowena Downshire, who has been working for the
Alchemist in the eight months since the previous tale, are sent with
Anselm Meteron and the translator of the hidden language of the
book, Reverend Doctor Phillip Chalmers, by Airship to the
Grand Library of Nippon to examine previously filled books and make
some sense. Beset by Lanyana on the way, and caught up the various
schemes the make their work almost impossible, they still discover
something. The Fall (trade from Pyr) is filled with lush
writing, interesting characters, and fun action scenes. I can’t wait
for the final volume.
Kevin J. Anderson’s tales of
Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.; Services Rendered (paper from
WordFire Press) has been reissued with two new silly tales.
Baen has reprinted in paper Sharon Lee and Steve
Miller’s 30th year anniversary Agent of Change, the
first Lladen tale, and David Drake’s fantasy The Spark.
and Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson’s fun Hokas Pokas! In trade.
Both were big names in the 70's.
The Science Fiction Society will have its next
meeting on January 11th The meeting starts at 8
p.m. at International house on the University of
Pennsylvania Campus. If not canceled by snow, this is the annual
election meeting. As usual guests are welcome.
Dr. Henry Lazarus is a retired Dentist and the
author of A Cycle of Gods (Wolfsinger Publications) and
Unnaturally Female (Smashwords).Check out his unified field
theory at henrylazarus.com/utf.html that suggests fusion generation
requires less energy because only one frequency is needed rather
than a full spectrum. It also explains dark matter, the
proliferation of subatomic particles, and the limit of light speed