Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for June 2022
by Henry L Lazarus
Hard to believe it's summer again and Science
Fiction and Fantasy provide hints to survival in a changing world.
Brian McClellan starts an exciting
tale about Demir Grappo, once a politician on the rise and a
general. He broke when his troops sacked a city against his orders.
Nine years later his mother is assassinated and her murder used as
an excuse to attack a neighboring city state. There are many puzzles
for Demir and his friends to make sense of, and then all the
officers are murdered by an enemy glassdancer (with the ability to
move glass). At the heart of this world is magical glass that can
heal wounds or provide extra strengh. People who can maximize their
strength and agility are breachers and they can tear through enemy
lines. Demir has to win the war against a famous mercenary general
In the Shadow of Lightning (hard from Macmillan-Tor/Forge)
but his friends have to face the horrors that caused his mother’s
murder. I look forward to more in this series.
Katherine Addison kept me up late
reading her The Grief of Stones (hard from
Macmillan-Tor/Forge) a second fantasy mystery about Celehar, who as
a witness for the dead, finds himself solving mysteries like the
murder of an older lady thought to have died of a heart attack and a
suicide of a founding girl that also turns out to be murder. In this
current tale, Celehar gains an apprentice, a widow who found her
ability to talk to the dead when she touched her dead husband.
Excellent series. I hope there will be more.
Ed McDonald tells of Raine, Daughter
of Redwinter (hard from Tor) who had run from her single
mother, only to be trapped as a member of a cult whose leaders claim
to speak to the dead. Raine hides the fact that she can really see
ghosts, for she would be stoned to death if discovered. Then,
looking for a rear exit she finds a girl almost dead, and brings her
into the catacombs where her group has been hiding. Unfortunately
the girl releases a demon. A powerful Draoihn of Redwinter,
Ulovar, helps save her and takes her to that fortress to
hopefully become an apprentice because she has found the ability to
the first step (or trance) of magic. The girl she had rescued had
been his apprentice, but had stolen an magical object from the vaul
that corrupted her mind. Unfortunately the Grandmaster refuses
to have Raine trained, but that allows her the freedom to discover a
horrible plot that could destroy the fortress. This is a nicely
drawn world and an exciting beginning to a fun series.
Alex Livingston introduces us to a
group of card sharks in a Renascence like city in a world where
magicians ply their trade in a neutral fashion and gaming is all the
rage of the elite. When The Knave of Secrets (hard
from Solaris), Valen Quinol, is asked to ruin a noble at
a tournament where secrets can be used in the betting, he finds that
the secret he has won is potential disaster for his city. To save
his city, and with the help of his friends, he has to win another
gaming tournament and use the publicity to reveal the secret. That’s
if he can survive the assassins sent against him.
Jeff Wheeler’s new series goes
back to the establishment of Muirwood Abbey. Eilean was a working
foundling when she is picked as one of the workers at the new abbey.
Her job is to be the servant to The Druid (paper from 47
North). . Mordaunt has hidden an ancient text that dates back to the
beginning of the current religion. The new Aldermaston of the Abbey
hopes that Eilean’s innocense will get Mordaunt to reveal his
secret. Unfortunately for him, Eilean has strong magical gifts
and Mordaunt starts training her before she and a friend start a
quest to retrieve the book. Nice start of the series.
Anthony Ryan continues his
medieval tale of Alwyn Scribe on a world where they worship The
Martyr (paper from Orbit). After he got a witch to save Lady
Evadine Courlain’s life, she has become the Risen Martyr and Alwyn,
raised as an outlaw, has become a captain in her guard, his fortunes
rising with hers. She believes a new scourge is coming, and Alwyn
has discovered evidence of an ancient scourge that wiped out
civilization. War is truly hell in this exciting continuation
of The Pariah (paper). There’s at least one more in this
Robert Jackson Bennett concludes
his excellent Founders Trilogy in a world in which scriving can
rework the laws of physics. In Foundryside (hard)
Sancia Grado stole a new technology and discovered ancient, immortal
scrivers. Shorefall (hard) an AI using the same magic that
was committed to turning humans into it’s slaves. Now, to save their
world, Sancia and her friends have to quest across the Locklands
(hard from Del Rey) to find a door into the space that controls the
world. The AI will stiop at nothing to get both the key and the door
so it can force the return of the world’s creator. Impossible
superscience daring follows as our heroes stay one step ahead of
disaster. Excellent ending to an amazing series. I hope this finds
its way to award nomination.
I’m always excited by a new Rachel
Morgan adventure by Kim Harrison. This time there’s Trouble with
the Cursed (Hard from ACE) as a new undead vampire comes to
town to prove Rachel killed the last vampire head of Cincinnati. She
hadn’t, only turned the vamp into a rat. Unfortunately one of the
people she trusts, turns on her creating problems with other demons.
Not only that but some of the demons have found a looplole and are
taking human slaves again. Still a fun series.
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