Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
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
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.