Henry L Lazarus
4603 Springfield Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for May 2017
Fantasy and Science Fiction have classics;
like The Lord of the Rings, Dune, Alice in Wonderland. These are
books that keep amazing generation after generation.
Frances Hardinge tells a tale set
in the underground city of Caverna whose craftsmen produce magical
wines that can make you forget, Cheeses that can explode, and
deserts that can let you hear music, and perfumes that create
trust. Caravans cross the desert for small amounts, and the
inhabitants never leave. Assassination attempts are so rampant that
the five-century-old, Grand Steward only lets half his brain
sleep at a time, creating separate personalities for each half.
Cheesemaster Grandible cut himself off from politics, but one day
found a five year old girl who had broken into his cavern. Neverfell
became his apprentice. Seven years later she chases an escaped
white rabbit through a crack into the main part of the city. That
somehow brings her into the schemes floating around the city, mainly
from the Childersins wine-making family. Most of the city have
frozen faces and have to learn expressions from face masters, but
Neverfell has A Face Like Glass (hard from Amulet Books)
that reflects her emotions. As she bounces from the Childersin
family to become a food taster for the Grand Steward, she keeps
trying to find how she came to Caverna from the outside world. This
is an amazing book.
In 2002 Robin Hobb introduced us
to an Assassin's Apprentice (paper), FitzChivalry, the
bastard son of a prince. It also introduced us to the Fool, one of
the long-lived whitish colored people who can dream the future. Now
we finally learn the Assassin's Fate (Hard from Del Rey) and
also the fate of the Bingtown traders live ships and also of the
dragons who made the trip up the Rain wild river. FitzChivalry’s
daughter Bee has been captured by agents of the city of Clerres, the
city of the white people that uses dreams to shape the future.
FitzChivalry follows with the fool and other friends, eventually
taking the mad ship Paragon across the sea. Ms. Hobb takes her time
getting her protagonists to their fates, and old characters from
previous books drop in. This is an excellent ending for a well loved
series and sure to be an award nominee.
Ian McDonald concludes his tale of
a Luna turned paradise controlled by five dragon families. Those
born on the moon can never go to earth because the gravity would
kill them. Luna: New Moon (paper) the upstart Corta
Family has it’s home destroyed and the survivors scattered through
the various cities. Lucas Corta does the impossible. He finds a way
to survive a few months on Earth to make allies. The tale starts
with the literal fall of thirteen-year-old Robson while running the
roof of the city. But before long cities are failing, under attack.
Survival on the harsh mistress of the Lunar surface is difficult
enough without killing machines. It’s a tale of Luna: Wolf Moon
(hard from Tor) and contains many a tale of bare survival between
the tense political confrontations. Very exciting and sure to
be an award nominee
Robyn Bennis crafts an excellent
tale of airships driven by steam and cannons and muskets in a world
at war. Women are only allowed to be associate officers and not in
the chain of command on the Garnian airships. However Josette Dupre
took command when her captain was killed and crash-landed her ship
in a way that took out the enemies guns, making her a hero. Over
General Fieren’s objections she is made captain and given a brand
new airship, The Mistral. So he assigns his foppish cousin Lord
Hinkal Bernat to serve under her and report on her inabilities. Not
only do the airship trials present difficulties for Hinkal, but the
Mistral soon fights a spy ship. Unfortunately the enemy has a
surprise attack on an empty border of Garnia, Mistral is the only
airship able to confront them with The Guns Above (hard from
Tor) This is a fun tale of war heroism and survival. Its impossible
to put down.
Kristen Britain has been writing
about her Green Rider (paper) Karigan G'ladheon for six
tales. The latest has her mourning her lost love from her trip two
centuries to the future when Zachary Davriel Hillander, High King of
Sacoridia also known as Firebrand (hard from DAW) sends
her on a mission First the castle has to fend up Aureas Slee, a
frost elemental sent by Grandmother, the witch head of the group
trying to restore the second Empire. After Karigan leaves, Zachary
is kidnaped and replaced by the elemental. After the elemental is
expelled, Zachery finds himself captured by the second empire group
who at first don’t recognized him. Luckily Karigan’s quest puts her
near enough to their camp to attempt a rescue, even though she is
captured and tortured. This is an exciting addition to a fun series,
though a bit over-priced for ebooks.
In the sixteenth book about Gin
“the Spider” Blanco. This time a friend’s daughter is Snared
(paper from Pocket) by a serial killer who may be part of Ashlands
elite ruling Circle.. She has only days to find the killer before he
finally murders is victim and her only hope is a servant of the
Circle. As usual impossible to put down.
Nicole Lee heard voices and
drowned them out with drink. Then she got abducted to a huge,
ancient starship, the Fyrantha. It turns out that with the
right inhaled drug, she can receive instructions so the repair crew.
As she explores the giant vessel, she finds a place where alien
civilians are captured, males females and children and forced to
fight other aliens to avoid starvation. Her heart goes out to the
children, and she refuses to be a Pawn (hard from Tor by
Timothy Zahn) and starts helping them. That gets her companions shot
with arrows and herself threatened. This is the first of an
interesting series that promises to get more interesting in later
Julie E. Czerneda has edited the Nebula Awards
Showcase 2017 (trade from Pyr) with nominated tales from the
2015 ballot of the Science Fiction Writers of America. Nebula Award.
Hand Davis has edited the first volume of The Best of Gordon R.
Dickson in trade. He was one of my favorite writers.
The 2017 Hugo Award novel nominations: All the
Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan
Books); A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers (Hodder
& Stoughton / Harper Voyager US); Death’s End by Cixin
Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus); Ninefox
Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books); The Obelisk Gate,
by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books); and Too Like the Lightning,
by Ada Palmer (Tor Books).
The Science Fiction Society will have its next
meeting on May 12th 2017.
The meeting starts at 8 p.m. at International House
on the University of Pennsylvania Campus. Katherine
Kurtz whose been writing the Deryni novels since 1970 will speak. As
usual guests are welcome.
Dr. Henry Lazarus is a local 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 a simpler way to
achieve fusion generation.