Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for October 2019
Many tales of Fantasy and Science Fiction start
with an interstellar comet. Recently C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) was spotted
by an amateur astronomer, Gennady Borisov. I keep thinking of the
classic Rendezvous with Rama by the late Arthur C. Clarke, and
wonder about alien visitation later this year.
K. Eason tells of the Kingdom of
Thorne who invited fairies to the naming of the first daughter in
centuries. This time the thirteenth fairy is invited and her gift is
for the girl to see the truth in lies. This time the kingdom is
spread over multiple planets. After the princess’s father and a
neighboring king are assassinated, launching a war. To end the war
the princess has to marry the surviving son, but his Regent has
other plans – hoping to raise himself to royalty. This how How Rory
Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse (hard from DAW) in an effort to
survive the machinations of the Regent. Fortunately the destruction
is only political. There’s a wonderful background here where magical
technology allows for high tech devices that can be hacked by people
with training and talent. I found the tale fascinating and eagerly
await the sequel.
Jonathan French returns to the
harsh Lots Lands patrolled by half-Orcs riding huge hogs. The
Gray Bastards (paper) have lost their base, their leader after
helping to fight back an Orc invasion. Now they are the The True
Bastards (hard from Crown) led by the half-elf Fetching, the
only female leader of a Hoof in the Lot Lands. Times are horrible
with food scarce, another Hoof willing to attack because they are
led by a female , and the local castle which now has cannons and
think the Hoofs are irrelevant. That Fletcher can handle. The
real problem are a pack of Hyenas and an Orc that can’t be killed.
Eventually abandoning their home, Fletcher leads them to the elf
lands, where they are expelled because of the Orc. The secret to
winning lies in Fletcher’s mother, who has been reborn. Lots of Fun.
The Quantum Magician
(paper) , Belisarius did the impossible by getting the ships of the
Union home to fight for their freedom against the Congregate. He
also stole the two wormhole time gates. Then the Garret, home to
most of Homo Quantus was destroyed, forcing Belisarius to go back in
time to rescue his people. But he needs more information to
find a secure base, and the only place that can be found is forty
years in the past where the Union scientists had first found the
wormholes. Together with Colonel of the Union,
Iekanjika, he must travel to the planet where the people
forming the Union are gathered, including Iekanjika’s mother who is
pregnant with her. There’s also The Quantum Garden (paper from
Solaris Books) of intelligent plants that fascinates Belisarius.
Derek Künsken has a fun addition to his fun series. Though the
time travel elements are not as interesting as the rest of his
universe. I look forward to future sequels.
iWil McCarthy has a fascinating,
but improbable way of looking at the Antediluvian (trade
from Baen) or pre-history era. Harv Leonel and his team have
discovered that the Y chromosome is a quantum storage device for
human memory and that it can be accessed using Nuclear Magnetic
Resonance, Harv, experimenting on himself, retrieves memories of
four individuals. Starting with people escaping a flood with
seven boats tied together, followed by people beset by trolls
(Neanderthals), and two other earlier tales. There are a lot
of good ideas here.
Despite saving the Parliament of
Maradaine from a murderous attack, Dayne Heldrin has
still just a candidate in the Tarian Order, serving as liaison to
Parlement. Election season has brought out crazed groups like
suffragettes and people who want independence for the duchies. Some
of them are not just protesting, but intend to attack the wagon
trains bringing the votes to the capital city. The protect the city
will take a Shield of the People (paper from DAW) like Dayne
and his friends, to save the day. This latest edition to Marshall
Ryan Maresca’s complicated tales of Maradaine is just as much fun as
the rest, and is setting up a major event.
Lina Rather has an interesting
short tale of nuns on a living starship. Providing medical help, and
pastoral work like weddings for small colonies, these Sisters of
the Vast Black (paper from Tor) have their own doubts and a
mother superior going senile with a horrible secret relating to the
war of forty years back. This a fascinating universe and I hope for
longer works set here.
In the hidden world of mages, Alex
Verus is a deviner, able to see probable futures and avoid being
shot or just hit. Originally trained by the dark mage Richard Drakh,
Alex and his close friend Anne, have risen in the Light Council
government over the last nine books. Now he has Fallen (paper
from Ace), wounded, and his friends chased away all because of the
machinations of his old master who is vying for power over the
magical world. To survive, he has to reach beyond his abilities.
Benedict Jacka has another exciting edition to his long series. I
can’t wait for the next.
When Sir Durwin, Enchanter General
of England, discovers an ancient spell that shows him the death of
Henry II in France, he hurries to tell his mother Queen Eleanor, and
when the news is verified, names him Merlin Redux (hard
from Night Shade) Dave Duncan tells a fun tale about the times
of Richard the Lion Hearted, sending Durwin and his son to the holy
land and using the spell to show other turning points in Richard’s
life. The villain, John, stays mostly off stage but there is a solid
battle between Durwin and John’s enchanter. I didn’t need to have
read the other two books in this series, and enjoyed this mostly
historical look at turbulent English history.
In an alternate 1992, Eleanor
Valentine, who can tell the future, sends letters to group she
calls Nighthawks (ebook from Brave New Worlds).
Shortly after, activists, supporting the growing number of children
of Nostradamus, mutants with powers, blow up nuclear plants near
Boston creating radiation zones. In 2032 Conthan is a rising artist
whose pictures of his friend Sarah, who has been growing a shell,
are captivating. Then an art show is raided and he discovers an
ability to create holes in space. Jeremy Flagg puts the group
together in a mission to stop the warden of a prison filled with
children of Nostradamus who plans to use his ability to control
minds to use the prisoners under his care. Very exciting and the
first of a fun series.
I don’t often mention television,
but Carnival Row (Amazon Prime) represents one of the best
fantasy I’ve seen in quite a while, and it is completely
original. Detective Rycroft Philostrate is trying to find a
murderer using a magical beast that shreds it’s victims. In a
Victorian age city filled with refugees from a Fae continent. The
Faries, Fauns, etc have to find a place among humans, sometimes as
prostitutes or common laborers and never really accepted. One such
fairy, Vignette Stonemoss had been Rycroft’s lover when he had been
a sergeant in the army trying to save her city. This first season
has all the details that would be found in the first book of a
series and luckily a second season is on the way.
Subterranean Press has a nice collection of
Seanan McGuire’s shorter works of Laughter at the Academy
The Science Fiction Society will have its next
meeting on October 11th. Madeline Miller author of Circe
will speak. The meeting starts at 8 p.m. at The
Rotunda on the University of Pennsylvania Campus.
As usual guests are welcome. Philcon this year will be on
November 8th-10th at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill.
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.