Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for August 2021
Reading Science Fiction, Fantasy, and, of course,
History is a way of discovering tropes echoing from basic human
nature, which hasn’t changed since civilization began.
by Henry L Lazarus
James L. Cambias tells the tale of
Daslakh, and AI born at the end of the human/AI war two thousand
years from now. Six thousand years later, shaped as a spider, it is
working in an Ice mine with a young man, Zee. Zee is a bit depressed
and the local mind puts an imaginary love story in Zee’s mind.
Unfortunately Zee gets it in his head to go to Uranus to find Kusti
Sendoa, the fantasy girl. They end up rescuing another girl from
thugs. Unfortunately that results in Zee and Daslakh blown out into
space where they are rescued by Kusti. The first girl, Adya is
hunting for the Godel trigger, a program to shut down AI’s. Kusti,
Adya, Zee, Daslakh and the two goons who might have been working for
Kusti, end up on oneof jupiter’s moons trying to steal a box that
contains the location of the trigger. The Godel Operation
(trade from Baen) is a fun melodrama with double and triple crosses.
The mcguffin is, of course, not as expected. Lots of fun.
Detective Zaniel Havelock left the
College of Angels where angel speakers are taken from their parents
at five and trained to serve. Angel feather at a crime scene
is a clue that the rape and murder victim was killed by something
more than human, something demonic. Laurell K. Hamilton’s fun
new fantasy/murder series gets off to an exciting start with A
Terrible Fall of Angels (hard from Berkley). Havoc is
dealing not only with the murderer who has made a special deal with
a demon, but also with the wife he has separated from, and an old
friend from the College who he hasn’t seen since he left a decade
before. Great beginning to an exciting series.
Anthony Ryan starts the tale
of Alwyn, born to a whore and raised by outlaws. Surviving the
attack that kills most of the outlaws, he is sent to the mining pit,
where he is taught to read and write by a falsely accused cleric who
also helps him escape. Circumstances end with him joining an army
led by a religious woman fighting under the church’s banner. The
church in this world of The Pariah (paper from orbit)
follows their holy martyrs and the testimony of their lives. This is
a fun beginning to a sold tail with just a hint of magic, that
promises to be greater in future episodes. I can’t wait.
Elayne Audrey Becker tells of a
world wracked by the return of magic eight centuries before. Half of
a small continent has been left to nature at the Giants request and
is full of strange and magical dangers. The king of one of the three
kingdoms is destroying those effected by magic in his kingdom and
wants the other kingdoms to follow suit. Rora is a Forestborn
(hard from Tor) shifter with three animal forms and is able to
mimic other people. She and her brother, Helos, survived their early
years in the magical forest until crossing the river to
civilization. A magical disease is attacking people and the only
hope is a magical dust held by the Giants. So the two shifters,
along with Prince Weslyn, brave the morphing forest to hopefully
find a cure before war comes. This absorbing tale is not compete and
I’m waiting for the sequal.
Linden A. Lewis returns to her
future tale of The First Sister (hard), the head of the
voiceless women ministering to the needs of the spacemen of her Gaen
space ship. In the tale of The Second Rebel (hard from
Skybound Books) she has named herself Astrid, recovered her voice
and is now the First Sister of Ceres. She travels to Mars to gain
support to become Mother to the order. Caught between the
conflict between Icarii (Mercury and Venus) and Gean (Earth and
Mars) are the generically modified Asters that are abused by both
sides. Outside the conflict are the Synthetics composed of AI minds
that are more powerful than humans in the solar system. Somehow the
touch point to a potential war ends up on the Aster colony on Vesta.
Very intense. I can’t wait for the concluding novel.
Peter V. Brett returns to the
world where demons rise from the Earth’s core to attack people at
night. Two young adults, affected by magic in the womb, are caught
up in politics destruction when the demons return. Two eggs, male
and female, were merged when Olive’x mother was fighting demons deep
in the Earth. As a result Olive is actually both male and female,
and the magic has made her super strong. Raised female, she is
kidnaped to wed The Desert Prince (hard from Del Re)y
because of a prophecy. But they think him male, and so he trained to
fight demons with the same prince. Darin Bales was also
effected in the womb and has many demon abilities. He and some
cousins cross the desert to rescue Olive, not realizing that that is
the aim of the demon causing all the new problems. Sequels are
Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L.
Powell tell a far future short tale about humanity not improving
over millennia . Amahle travels from world to world in a thousand
year cycle. The time is much shorter for her because her Light
Chaser (ebook from tTOR) travels close to the speed of light.
Her body, already thousands of years old, doesn’t age. On each world
she drops off memory bands that store memories created to relieve
boredom on high end worlds. One day she finds a strange memory on
one of the bands that eventually leads to her destroying her ship to
save humanity. I found the theory behind her actions a bit hard to
believe, but the short tale is fun.
David Weber and Richard Fox have
fun tale of far future war. Rear Admiral Terrance Murphy has been
appointed Federation Governor (hard from Baen) of the fringe
world New Dublin. On his way there, he rescues survivors from a
League attack on another world and recognizes that New Berlin may be
the next target. Despite resources going to the sixty year war
between the Federation and the League, the League has built a huge
attack fleet. Of course the main part of the tale is that attack,
but there is also politics on both sides. There are also aliens
trying to help humans kill eachother. Sequels are coming.
J. S. Dewes continues her tale of
The Exiled Fleet (hard from Tor). The Sentinels that survived
the destruction of most of their ships, now have to rebuild the jump
drive of the last ship and somehow get back into the galaxy. A
missing material can only be found in the settled part of the
galaxy. Commander Adequin Rake and exiled prince Cavalon Mercer and
a few others find a way to sneak past the barriers and into the
heart of the Empire to steal what they need. Edge-of-your-seat
excitement as our heroes face impossible odds to not only survive,
but face their own demons. Great space opera. I can’t wait for the
Fergus, the Finder
(paper), finds a piece of a key that when put back together opens a
gate to The Scavenger Door (hard from DAW). If left alone the
thirty-two pieces will come together, open the gate, and let
the Scavengers in. Not only that but three agencies including
and apocalyptic cult already have pieces and are desperate for more.
Luckily Fergus has friends, human and alien, and a new found sister
to help him do the impossible as he travels all over 25th century
Earth and Mars. Lots of fun.
Marko Kloos continues his
Palladium Wars series that takes place in a solar system with five
settled worlds. The latest episode (#3) Citadel (Hard
from 47north) finds Commander Dunstan Park in charge of an
experimental ship of the Rhodian navy, Idina Chaudhary is
caught in the middle of rebel attacks on Gretia. Aden Jansen’s crew
mates are attacked because they turned over the nuke to the Rhodian
Navy instead of delivering it to the rebels. This is an exciting
series that has several more episodes to go, lots of fun.
Howard Andrew Jones concludes his
fun tale of a fractured world of shifting realms. The world
fractured when the Goddess that created it was fractured into
magical hearthstones. The Queen of the Altenerai fled with a huge
collection of these stones Elenai want to stop her. Unfortunately When
the Goddess Wakes (hard from St. Martin's Press), she intends
to destroy the world so she can build a better one. One of the
Altenerai, Cerai, plans to capture the magic when the goddess. Our
heroes, in this exciting conclusion, not only have find the
ancient weapons to destroy the Goddess to save their world, but also
stop Cerai from becoming a new goddess. This is a fun conclusion to
an exciting fantasy tale.
Baen has reprinted in paper; three of lois
McMasterBujold’s tales of Pendric’s Travels, Catherine
Asaro’s latest Bhaajan tale about The Vanished Seas, and
Jerry Pournelle’s final novel Mamelukes. They also have
zombie tales edited by John Rigo and Gary Poole, We Shall Rise (hard)
; and a collection of Freehold Defiance (trade) tales
set on the world created by Michael Z. Williamson.
Tor has the second two tales of Gene Wolfe’s
classic The Book of the New Sun collected in Sword &
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.