Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for February 2021
Science Fiction and Fantasy can take you to
anywhere and anywhen. Great for imagining yourself away from the
turmoil of present events and cold.
by Henry L Lazarus
Sylvain Neuvel proves that the
space race was the result of alien interference in A History of
What Comes Next (hard from Tor) which looks at how Sarah and
her daughter Mi’a (the 100th in the line of Kibsi that stretch back
to the iron age) first help rescue German rocket scientists for the
Americans at the end of WWII. Then they go to Moscow to help Russia
develop rockets. They are chased by men they call trackers, asocial
killers who are hunting for a stolen machine. Their alien biology
makes them stronger, smarter, and faster than humans and each child
is an exact copy of their parent. Mi’a and Sarah’s story ends with
Sputnic and a nasty encounter with the trackers that left me wanting
During the second Galactic empire,
bureaucrat Jonathon Bland volunteered to be an Agent of the
Imperium (trade from Baen). Using the same technology that
allows transfer of skills, Jonathon’s wafer can take over the
wearer’s body up to thirty days. He is the decider agent called up
in an emergency. In the four centuries that Marc Miller’s fun tale
covers, he wipes out an infected world, and helps plan an Imperial
assassination. One of his ex-carriers suffered mental collapse,
leaving Jonathon in control for twenty years. Apparently there is a
game based on the tale, but that didn’t matter. This is a
fascinating read and very enjoyable.
Fans of Outlander and
Netflix’s Barbarians will really love H. B. Ashman’s Echoes
of Germania (paper from Timeless Papers) which sends a young
woman from today back to a decade before the Battle of Teutoburg
Forest. Arminius, the future general of that war and Marius, a
famous Roman General who are in the middle of a campaign against a
German revolt when engineering student Amalia Weber is sent back in
time by a witch. Amelia has been trained by her bronze medal winning
father in Judo and somehow took Latin in high school well enough to
keep her alive (and not raped) until she can prove herself with Judo
and bridge-building ability. Ms. Ashman captures the grit and
bloodiness of that period and ends this portion of Amelia’s tale
with an exciting Chariot race. I look forward to more of the tale.
L. E. Modesitt, Jr. has spread his
fantasy series about the world of Recluse over centuries of its
history. Fairhaven eventually will be destroyed in The Order War
(paper). At the time of Fairhaven Rising (hard from Tor)
however it’s filled with the hopes of Chaos and Order mages working
together, and it’s just a small, but growing town. Taelya, a chaos
mage, is an undercaptain in the Royal Guards when Fairhaven is asked
to provide troops in a war between two nation states. They’ve been
fighting over a river, and politics has led one leader to demand
help from his weaker neighbor. The problem to these leaders is the
dangerous potential of Fairhaven. It may not have many troops, but
it has too many mages for their comfort. Taelya and her friends soon
find themself buried in political trickery that will take all their
talents and magical abilities. This is a bit slow, but very
enjoyable. I love this series.
Greg Bear finds Reynard, almost a
man, drifting on a hulk of a fishing boat destroyed by the Spanish
Armada. Rescued by one of the Armada ships, also lost, the ships
finds its way to The Unfinished Land (hard from Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt). There god-like crafters are dying, and monsters
abound. The Spanish, though weakened by the time-eating vampires,
are aiding witches in conquering the island. Reynard, with the help
of his new friends must make his way to the center of the Island to
find his destiny. I was a bit disappointed with Reynard’s destiny,
but the wonders of the trip were worth the read.
Beth C. Greenberg drops Cupid out
of Mount Olympus into modern times in an adult body where he is
shepherded by his best friend Pan. Pan had avoided returning because
he hated his goat legs there. Unfortunately Cupid is there because
he misused his First Quiver (ebook from Isotopia Publishing)
and after losing his virginity and having all the women moon over
him, he is shot with one of his arrows and has to deal with love.
Silly and funny.
Angie Fox continues her fun tale
of a MASH surgeon in the war between the Old and New gods.
Things are quieter during the truce, and Petra Robichaud has been
treating a pregnant Medusa Then Marc sneaks into her camp. Marc, a
were-dragon, surgeon, and Petra’s old flame had been drafted by the
other side and reported dead before Petra was drafted. Now he wants
Petra to sneak into the other side’s MASH to talk to the ghost of
his research head. It turns out that the other side has developed a
disease with a total death rate for non-immortals. In The
Transylvania Twist (ebook from Moose Island Books) Petra
starts working with Marc trying to find an anesthesia drug for gods
and demi-gods. But that, and the seer’s predictions only make things
worse. One more book to go in this fun romance, and I can’t
Rafael (paper from
Berkley), king of the wererats, is one of Anita Blake’s lovers. He
has to fight a duel to the death against Hector who may be his son.
Unfortunately an enemy vampire of Anita’s is providing Hector with
extra energy complicating the duel, and making the duel a challenge
against the vampire leader, Jean-Claude. As usual Laurell K.
Hamilton tells a fun tale.
A decade ago David Weber wrote a
fun tale of alien invasion and Earth coming Out of the Dark
(paper) with the help of vampires. Now with the help of Chris
Kennedy he continues the tale Into the Light (hard from
Tor). Some of the vampires take the Shongairi ships, which travel
six times the speed of light, to the Shongairi home world. That’s a
journey of forty years. Meanwhile humanity, with the help of
the Galactic Hegemony database, first recovers from the
distruction and nuclear winter. Then engineers discover that the
Hegemony is very risk averse and hasn’t improved their technology
for millennia. Fortunately there are a lot of improvements. Then a
ship is sent to a world with 1920's technology to get allies. Lots
of fun, and I suspect that sequels are planned.
Subterranean Press has The Best of Elizabeth
Hand and The Best of Walter Jon Williams, two
excellent authors, in hard cover. Baen has The Best of Jerry
Pournelle edited by John F. Carr in paper. They also have
reprinted Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden universe tale, Accepting
the Lance, and Wil McCarthy’s tale of past memory Antediluvian
both in paper.
Metaphorosis best of 2020 is available as
an ebook from Metaphorosis Publishing.
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.