Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for December 2022
Fantasy and Science Fiction promise unusual
worlds and exciting adventures.
by Henry L Lazarus
I have soft spot for superhero
tales. JL Meredith tells of an energy being who decided to
revive the body of a woman who died in childbirth eight centuries
ago. She’s been hiding her abilities and working as a doctor in
refuge camp and also serving as a Guardian (hard)
protecting Earth from the neighboring civilizations who sometimes
invade. Then an large asteroid suddenly appearing forces her to
reveal herself. Not only that, but some of the fragments from the
Asteroid give people super powers. Trying to deal with the problems
of these new superpowered individuals , and their legal implications
force her to deal with an old flame, now Senator, as well as an even
larger threat. There’s also a new man in her life. Lots of fun.
Edward Willett has a romp of a
tale set a century after the MASTTs, human built wormholes
connecting us to other stars, exploded. Moon born conman Cooper
Douglas is hunting a remnant of the MASTT station on his old
spaceship with his illegal AI-uplifted, genetically modified cat
Thibauld when the wormhole reappears. The only ship on Earth that
can transverse the wormhole is part of a museum in Chicago. To
steal it, he needs his old flame, who went from doing cons with him
to joining the police. Unfortunately the local crime boss, Galioto ,
has also seen the opening and wants to steal the starship afteer
Coop has gotten it. Unfortunately the AI running the starship has
its own ideas. Thibauld steals the show. The Tangled Stars
(ebook from DAW) is a great laugh and sets up many sequels.
Dilani Kahawala captures J. K.
Rowling perfectly in a tale of sixteen year-old Tilly Nyx who might
be the object of the Blood Moon Prophecy (paper from Cedar
Street Press) on the water world she was taken from for her safety
after her mother was murdered. She was five and has few memories.
Then the Crom Fahll murders the Time Keeper and attacks her. She is
helped to her home world where her mother’s map is enough to launch
a flotilla of ships. She becomes a cadet, makes good friends, and
learns the heart of magic, casting sprites. People have been
visiting Earth enough for cultural contamination, Soon she starts
seeing a woman called Lux, who may be her aunt, on the ship.
There’s zombified on some islands and hidden rooms on her ancient
ship. Thankfully there’s enough of a conclusion to satisfy, but
sequels would be great.
Charlie N. Holmberg has a
romantic, Victorian melodrama set near Boston twenty years before
the civil war. Merritt Fernsby, a writer disinherited by his family
discovers he has inherited an abandoned mansion. When he goes to
investigate, the house, on its own island, locks him in. Rescuing
him is Hulda Larkin from the Boston Institute for the Keeping
of Enchanted Rooms or ‘Biker’. As a Keeper of Enchanted Rooms
(paper from 47North ), her job is to tame these buildings. Magic has
been going out of the world, and saving these building may help save
magic. Silas, the evil sorcerer, is really nasty stays out of the
warm romance until the end. I always enjoy Charlie N. Holmberg’s
books and this is no exception.
Stephen R. Donaldson finishes his
exciting trilogy about The Great God's War against the Last
Repository, a library filled with long lost books. At the start, two
kingdoms, Belleger and Amika , have been fighting for
centuries. Then sorcery disappears from the lands. Prince
Bifalt has to journey across the desert to the library to find
the Seventh Decimate (paper). The library wants to two
kingdoms united to face the coming enemy. Twenty years later King
Bifalt and Queen Estie of the two kingdoms are working had to shore
up defenses with cannons and rifles. They have to deal with The
War Within (paper which I had to buy) and treachery as th
ships of the enemy approach. Finally The Killing God (hard
from Berkley)’s army arrives and they are far more powerful
than expected. Only with luck and solid strategy can the Army
survive, and the library really isn’t prepared. This is a very
exiting and satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed it a lot.
Marion Zimmer Bradley started
writing about Darkover about the time I started reading Science
Fiction until heer death until 1999. Darkover is a planet settled by
a lost starship whose inhabitants developed powerful psychio c
power. Eventually they get discovered by Terran Federation and use
their ablilities to chase the Federation away. Darkover tales can
take place during the long history. , Deborah J. Ross, who has
continued the series, sets the latest tale, The Laran Gambit
( hard from Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust) takes
place after the Federation was replaced by the interplanetary Star
Alliance. Bryn Haslund, a child therapist, I sers the daughter of a
powerful Senator who is brainwashed by another Senator trying for
absolutely. Bryne resccues him, but the cure for his mind might be
found on Darkover. It was extremely nice to return to a background I
had known for years, and found I had misssed. Some of the Darkover
novels were nominated for the Hugo award and the series was very
popular with fans. This tale is a worthy addition to the series and
can be read separately.
Marshall Ryan Maresca has a new
tale of The Holver Alley Crew (paper) who found
themselves arrested for being different people while they were
celebrating saving the city of Maradaine. The Quarrygate Gambit
(hard from DAW) turns out to much more complicated than false
arrest. It starts with their women with a caper to steal special art
from a fancy museum. It was the price that the only person, they
knew could help. But nothing is simple, and it takes the whole tale
to reveal the new danger facing Maradaine. Second half to come.
Mercedes Lackey continues her tale
of the the founding of Valdemar with Baron Valdemar and his people
heading deep Into the West (hard from DAW). Their barges
can bypass rapids using magical gates, but the land they’re passing
is filled with monsters left over from the wizard wars. Even the
place they were told was safe to winter in, turns out to be a
magnet for killer trees. Fun. I’m waiting for the talking horse
companions to appear, hopefully in the next tale.
Dave Bara concludes his dualogy
about an experimental ftl ship sent from the Five Suns, system
settled by generation ship and whose worlds are dying. This time
Jared Clement is admiral of a fleet carrying 30,000 colonists,
including his parents, to the largely uninhabited Trinity (paper)
system. The three lush worlds have evidence of a powerful alien
civilization. He knows that the present humans living there, Trinity's
Children (paper from Baen) need protection. Unfortunately his
former boss turned traitor, Elara DeVore, has given the ftl drive to
Solar League from Earth and the Five Suns ships are outnumbered. I
liked the conclusion and the battle scenes were fun and exciting.
Lois McMaster Bujold’s Penric tales have been
coming out in novella form every year or so. Eventually Baen
packages them into one book. Penric's Labors (hard) contains
Masquerade in Lodi, The Orphans of Raspay, and The
Physicians of Vilnoc. Penric and his demon Desdemona have to
solve their problems. Lots of fun.
David Boop has collection of new tales Gunfight
on Europa Station (trade from Baen).
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