Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for January 2022
Another year starting and Covid is only over in
most of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
by Henry L Lazarus
A. J. Hackwith has a nice trilogy
about The Library of the Unwritten (paper) located in hell.
Claire has been head of the unwritten wing for decades. She and her
assistant, the former muse Brevity have to hunt Hero who has escaped
from his unfinished book and had gone to Earth to convince his
writer to finish her book. Meanwhile a soul arriving in heaven has a
piece of the Devil’s Dictionary. The fallen angel Ramiel is soon in
a race with the two librarians to recover the missing book.
Then treachery leads to the destruction of many of the books and a
well of ink in the Arcane branch. Ramiel now working with the two
librarians and Hero, have to deal with the The Archive of the
Forgotten (paper) to discover the hidden secret of the
libraries. Unfortunately this secret could lead to the destruction
of all the libraries. Only if they somehow manage to separate from
Hell, and that requires finding a doorway and The God of Lost
Words (paper from Ace). This is a marvelous concept for the
afterlife, Claire, Divinity, Ramiel, and of course Hero are
interesting characters that echo with life. Highly recommended.
Terry Montlick has a fun tale
about Professor Alice Sutton, Nobel prize winner and working on a
theorem that will shake up Physics again. Alice is the Einstein of
her time, and she is building something in a locked room in her lab,
that has intelligent agencies all inflamed. She’s also a hillbilly
ready and willing to use her shotgun as needed. Robert Goldstein is
a first year grad student in Physics, and well over his head when
Alice asks him to join her group. Alice's Universe (ebook)
expands when Robert’s sister suddenly arrives and somehow gets
adopted by the group. This is a tale with a lot of real physics, a
bit of magic from the hills, and even a small dash of time travel.
Colin Alexander has a fun Medieval
tale set on a world that constantly faces its sun. After settling
human has regressed with knights in armor and cannons new on the
scene. Aeryn Stonebreake, Princess of Shadows (paper from
Alton Kremer) is the only heir to the high kingdom after she watches
her mother and brother murdered in front of her. Luckily she is
raised by a regent who lets her work with a sword master. The regent
is concerned with getting her married so that her husband could be
king and restore the divided land. Unfortunately things are taken
out of his hands when Aeryn is almost old enough to rule, and she
has to flee a forced marriage, and eventually find a place to
survive. Lots of fun and highly recommended.
After surviving castration for
sleeping with his best friend’s sister, Aemilius Felix Boioannes the
younger is sent to the capital city of the Echmen to work as a
translator for the small Robur embassy. First he saves a Hus
noblewoman who had almost been executed by mistake, then news comes
in about an army that had destroyed the Robur Empire, leaving him
without a job and a people. The Hus take him in because they had
saved their princess, then the Echmen decided to capture all the Hus
and put them to work building a massive wall. Thus begins K. J.
Parker (Tom Holt)’s fun tale of A Practical Guide to Conquering
the World (paper from Orbit) in which Felix uses the
knowledge he had gotten from the Imperial Library and a bit of stage
magic to first rescue the Hus, and then with the other tribes of
Dejauzida, conquer the Echmen, and then... This is a lovely Swiftian
farce that lightly satirizes religion and iron age empires, and
leaves a tremendous grin. Highly recommened.
Kate Elliott tells of an
authoritarian magical world in which those with powers have to serve
a decade of service Fellian is a Lamplighter serving as Servant
Mage (hard from Tor) by cleaning at a lowly inn. A
small group of rebels free her, because her powers will help trapped
miners. Then destruction caused by the birth of a baby will all five
of the powers. Kings had been chosen from those will all five powers
and the small group is in a race to rescue the baby before the
current rulers kill it. This is an interesting introduction to this
Babylon Steel runs a brothel in
Scalentine which has many portals that connect it to other worlds.
According to Gaie Sebold, Babylon escaped from a world run by
immortal avatars of Bad Gods (paper from Rebellion,
Solaris). Her brothel is in trouble from a number of things
including a con man, a religious group trying to close her down, and
the Avatars hunting from a ring she stole. Luckily she has the chief
of police ( a werewolf) on her side along with her close friends who
work at the brothel. Lots of fun with a sequel already written.
Mercedes Lackey looks at the The
Silver Bullets of Annie Oakley (hard from DAW). The
sharpshooter is touring Europe when she is told about her untrained
elemental master powers of air, and starts training in magic. Fun.
L. R. Braden starts a fun series
in the world of his Magicsmith universe. Demon
possession usually kills the bearer, but somehow Mira Fuentes has
reached a truce with her demon and is mostly in control except when
Demon Riding Shotgun (paper from Bell Bridge Books) is
necessary to survive. Her demon survives by eating demons who
possess people. Unfortunately there’s another, and more powerful
demon who has found a way to survive in the human world. That demon
has a plan to move the demon universe closer to the real one with a
magic spell that involves killing many people. Only with the help of
a burnt out cop, Ty Williams, mourning the loss of a partner, can
Mira avoid the cops chasing her, and somehow save the world. Lots of
fun and potential sequels.
Five years ago Michael Z.
Williamson wrote a fun tale about a mixed group of soldiers sent
back in time accidently 13,000 years, which is A Long Time Until
Now (hard). Eventually they were rescued by time travelers
from a few centuries. Other groups were also sent accidently back
and they want the soldiers rescued to help them. But That was
Now, This is Then (hard from Baen). Some of the first
group can’t go so they get replaced by scientists. This is
definitely a luxury trip compared to the first, with future
technology. The ones they are rescuing, however, have had a long
five years to adapt to the past and not all are willing to return.
Then there’s a second group of sixth century Norsemen who require a
second trip. The people from the future like the way our heroes
worked with the rescued soldiers and want them for more expeditions,
suggesting that sequels will come soon.
Fate's Ransom( paper from
47North) is the fourth and final tale about an honorable
knight undeserved by the kings he served. Jeff Wheeler adds a small
amount of magic to the very real tale of a Knight who served the
Plantagenet family through four kings, dying during the time of King
John (or in this book King Jon) It’s hard not to cry at the
Subterranean Press has Holy Terror: Stories
by Cherie Priest in hardcover. Robert E. Hampson and Sandra
L.Medlock have a collection of stories about setting up a colony and
The Founder Effect (paper from Baen) it creates. Gallery
Books is reprinting Michael Moorcock’s classic Elric of
Melniboné series in hard cover.
Baen has reprinted in paper Sharon Lee and Steve
Miller latest liaden universe tale, Local Custom; and Marc
Miller’s Agent of the Imperium.
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.