Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for February 2022
I’m hoping by the time this column comes out
Omicron is over and Fantasy and Science Fiction has returned
by Henry L Lazarus
Daniel Abraham, one of the writers
of The Expanse, tells of the magical darkness under the city-state
of Kithamar during the Age of Ash (hard from Orbit). At the
heart of the tale are two girls from the poorest section of the
city, and a magical knife that a ruling religious group will stop at
nothing to hold. Set during the single year reign of the prince of
the city, it is the tale of Alys whose brother was murdered and had
obtained that knife. Trying to discovery why her brother was
murdered leads het to the heart of conspiracy. Helping her is
Sammish whose ability to quietly avoid detection leads her to a
woman searching for her kidnaped son. This is a fun introduction to
in fascinating world and I look forward to more.
Glynn Stewart is one of the best
military Sf writers today. In his latest there are two warring star
empires. The Federation has crippled the Commonwealth with a suprise
attack destroying the communication stations that allow
instantaneous communication throughout the Commonwealth. Rear
Admiral James Tecumseh is second in command of the fleet stationed
in Dakota System. Unfortunately his superior officer goes suicidal
after watching his family killed just before communications are cut.
That leaves Admiral James Tecumseh in command of a fleet. Earth is a
month’s travel away. Then, after helping the local’s set up
temporary government structures, he is called to assist the Marshal
of another system attack the Federation. Unfortunately something
seems off with the new Marshal, and he has only his Admiral's
Oath (ebook from Faolan's Pen Publishing) and his wits
to protect his ships and his crew from treachery. Lots of fun.
A decade ago five college students
found a way to travel through the alts, discovering a pervasive rot
creating horrors that are pervading out Earth. At the Last
Exit (hard from Tor) they confront this rot, losing one of
their own. Zelda was the only one who kept fighting against the rot,
mourning the lost of her lover. Then she sees Sal in the clouds and
sends for Ish, Ramon, and Sarah to return for a final fight.
Aided by Sal’s cousin June, they are chased by a cowboy in a white
hat who can warp local people into aiding him. Max Gladstone sends
his travelers deep into the heart of alternate horrors to face their
worst fears. This is very intense.
Chris Coppel has a very cute Santa
tale. Holly Hillman was found under a family’s Christmas tree as a
young child. Forty years later she is the CEO of a huge Logistics
(paper from Troubador Publishing Ltd ) trying to buy a large
Chinese firm despite rumors of horrible working conditions. Then the
sellers demand DNA tests and that sends Holly to a completely
independent lab in northen Norway. A second trip because her
DNA proved unique got her introduced to her father. I like the way
that Mr. Coppel uses science fiction to explain Santa Claus and
completely avoids any religious element. Guaranteed to leave a
smile. This would make for a great Christmas movie.
Essa Hansen has the second in her
trilogy about a future with multiple universes, each with different
physics. Caiden had trapped Threi, one of two dynast rulers of the
Unity, the original universe before the god-like Graven started
creating bubble universes, in a dead-end universe. A decade later,
he is attacked by a mechanical avatar of his lost childhood friend
Leta. The other dynast Abriss has adapted seven of twenty-nine
partial Graven hybrids, to these avatars. Like the movie Avatar,
they can alternate between these mechanical beings and their own.
Somehow Leta is able to lure Caiden to the capital of Unity to
rescue her real body. Of course it’s a trap, and in escaping, Caiden
has his ancient Graven ship, Azura Ghost (paper from Orbit)
destroyed. Then Abriss, seeking to rebuild the Graven, releases her
brother Threi and starts a war between them. Caiden and Leto are
caught between their feud. Caiden brings in old friends to help.
This is a tale of living with treachery in worlds of crazy physics.
Arthur Mayor has an exciting
superhero series about Ryan, a teenage boy living with his mother
who has a common super ability to learn physical skills quickly.
Trained as one of Raptor’s Sidekicks (paper) as Raven, he is
fired on the same day that Raptor and the rest of his team are
murdered. He and his friends put together a new team of ex-sidekicks
and start figuring out who murdered their mentors. Somehow along the
line he moved in with his rich father’s new family and spends his
nights fighting super-villains. He’s smart enough to punch
(literally) far above his natural abilities. Each book continues his
adventures. The seventh tale starts with his father framed and
arrested, his mother gets kidnaped by a rich villain who wants Raven
to rescue his own family. Then the super-powerful Purge
(ebook) wants revenge because Raven let his his son die. Very
exciting with fight after fight. I really enjoy this series.
Beth C. Greenberg concludes her
fun, but silly tale about Cupid sent to earth from Mount Olympus as
punishment. Helped by Pan he has fallen in love three times only to
find that the people weren’t his soul mate and he had to help them
find their soul mates. After using Dr. Mariposa Rey, an on-line
psychiatrist, he finds himself on a The Quest for Psyche
(ebook from Isotopia Publishing) that takes him all the way to Lake
Tahoe to find his true love. Nice romantic ending.
Lina Rather contuues her tale of Sisters
of the Vast Black (paper) three months after the nuns went to
help a dying colony and discovered that the deadly disease was
created by Earth Central. The Sisters of the Forsaken Stars
(paper from Tordotcom) have a new live ship and are hiding their
experiences. Unfortunately survivors from the colony they helped
save have not compunctions and and tales are starting to provoke
rebellion against Earth Central. There’s more to come in the tale.
Mythic Delirium Books has five novelettes from
World Fantasy Award winner C. S. E. Cooney about Dark
Breakers in hard cover.
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.