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Science Fiction for August 2019
    Fantasy worlds are just as much fun as those of a more realistic Science Fiction Background. Authors keep coming up with new ways of looking at the universe.
Julie E. Czerneda, a writer known for unusual aliens in a galactic future, tries her hand at fantasy with a solid mythology. In the land of Tananen, mages create magical beings using the words of the Deathless Goddess. They pay with the loss of life, aging quickly. Daughters with the magical ability can speak her words. Kait Alder is a daughter assigned to Tiller’s hold, Tananen’s only port, only to find evil that has made its way from the sea. The Lady is in danger.  Malonarial left the Mage school determined to kill the goddess so that mages wouldn’t have to age so fast, but somehow one of his unintended magics created a Gossamer that killed a small village. After helping to stop this evil one of the Lady’s designates gives him her life force to become young again. Eventually everything coalesces into an attack on the Mage School by Fells determined to eat all the Magic in  Tananen. The Gossamer Mage (Hard from DAW) is a wonderful tale, that takes its time revealing its secrets.
The city of Fairhaven plays a major role in L. E. Modesitt, Jr’s Recluse history. The Mage-Fire War (hard from Tor) tells of its founding. Beltur and his companions were assigned as Councilors to the run-down city of Haven in the previous book of this trilogy and in their arrival find a half-deserted city with no law, and a white mage claiming rule by force. The problem is that Haven sits on the road between two duchies. One Duke has decided to conquer the other duchy and Haven stands in his way. Beltur who faced war in The Mongrel Mage (paper) has to up his skills and train his friends to be able to survive.  This is a must for fans of the series.
Joel Dane thinks that humanity is so violent, that we will create rogue bio-weapons, and that cities will revolt merely from fanatic ideas. Maseo Kaytu is a refugee filled with guilt about what he did as a kid. An AI created device, a CAV, requires volunteers as pilots, in an almost suicide position. Maseo volunteers to be a Cry Pilot (paper from ACE) and survives so he can join one of the corporate armies. Basic training is unusually hard, but he makes good friends only to help face a new monster, a lamprey, that none of their weapons can touch.  Very exciting and impossible to put down.
Kayla had been a cop in Portland Oregon when magic blossomed and the Witchwar reshaped the world. The she learned she could shapeshift into a monster with little control if she got wet. So she quit the force and became a scavenger. The she comes across The Witchkin Murders (paper from Bell Bridge Books) a group of shifters and other fae creatures murdered for ritual purposes. She calls her ex-partner Ray, who had been hiding the fact he had become a witch), even though the police usually only investigate human murders. The two rich women are kidnaped, and the two cases are related. Kayla had been disinherited from the family of the kidnaped women (her grandmother and her aunt) which brings her into contact with her cousin and the father who hated her. Diana Pharaoh Francis adds more ritual murders and finally a plot to restructure Portland again, if Ray and Kayla can’t stop the bad guys. Lots of fun and more adventures for Kayla and Ray are coming.  
In the near future, Earth has become deadly with nanotech slowly cleaning things up.  Kathmandu is run by Karma a computer that assigns every citizen points based on usefulness, but  even the poorest have plenty of food and a place to live. Then djinn king Melek Ahmar, the Lord of Tuesday wakes up from where he had been imprisoned 3000 years ago. Coming down from the mountain, he meets an. old Gurkha soldier Bhan Gurung. Saad Z. Hossain has a fun tale of what happens when The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday (paper from Tor.com) go to Katmandu.  It’s just as much fun as it sounds.
It may just be Wishful Thinking (paper from Harperfire) but Saffron Sawyer, a dope faery, has always wanted to go to the top profession in the Faery world, a Faery Godmother. When her application is finally accepted, she learns that not only are the office politics horrible, the quotas for delivering wishes heavy, but someone has been kidnaping Faery Godmothers on the job, and she’s been hired as bait. Helen Harper has a fun tale of office politics, magic, and possible murder that Saffron and the Devil’s Advocate have to solve together. Giggley fun, with more adventures coming.
In our world, the Nineteenth century was filled with amateur archeologists, and collectors who ruined their finds. In Marie Brennan world with dragons, that her excellent Lady Trent tales took place, the same thing happened. Lady Trent’s grand daughter, Audrey Camherst, has been hired to translate a Draconean epic, Turning Darkness Into Light (hard from Tor) on clay tablets  discovered by  Lord Gleinheigh. She enlists Draconean  Kudshayn. Unfortunately politics, and hatred of Draconeans create a problem for Audrey and her friend with people willing to use bombs to stop her. This is a nice postscript to the Lady Trent tales.
Charles Gannon starts his fifth adventure of Caine Riordan in Marque of Caine (trade from Baen). A century from now Earth has made contact with a confederation of five species and their worlds, and developed its own starships. Two years since the last adventure, Caine has been livine on a small island raising his teen age son Connor. Caine’s wife, left near death, had been under the care of the frog-like Dornaani, the oldest of the five alien species and the only one that remembers the ancient civilization. Then word comes requesting Caine to travel to the Dornaani home world. It seems they lost his wife. The Dornaani worlds are falling apart because of low birth rate, and the majority of them living in virtual worlds. Caine’s quest to find his wife send him to numerous eccentric Dornaani, through a virtual world, and then to worlds outside civilization and then to the unknown. The next book with complete this fun tale.
    Baen has reprinted two fun tales in paper; Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints by Larry Correia and John Ringo, and the fun A Fistful of Elven Gold by Alex Stewart.
    The Science Fiction Society will have its next meeting  on August 9th. There will be a guest. The meeting starts  at  8 p.m. at International House  on  the University of Pennsylvania Campus. 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 for matter.