Henry L Lazarus
4603 Springfield Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for January 2016
When I run out of books, I look from the
suggestions for science fiction and fantasy that Amazon gives me.
Every so often I find an author good enough that I buy all of his
previous books. Glynn Stewart had a fun and engrossing first tale,
so I read the sequel and then all his previous tales. They were all
by Henry Leon Lazarus
In the future the speed-of-light limit is
exceeded with magic. Mages literally teleport starships. There a
numerous settled planets spread over many solar systems all
theoretically ruled by the Mage King of Mars. Damien Montgomery was
one of the rare mages with the ability to see magical energy, and
since the events of Starship's Mage (ebook) where he got in
trouble by upgrading a freighter’s jump amplifier to a general
magical amplifier which allowed his ship to survive multiple pirate
attacks. He’s been trained by the Mage King, himself, and is now
ready to work with experienced Hand of Mars (ebook)to deal
with a corrupt governor on. Unfortunately the governor is working
with a corrupt fleet captain and Alaura Stealey is
murdered, forcing Damien to work with the rebels and somehow get a
message home to send for help. Lot’s of fun and I am eagerly
awaiting Damian’s next adventure.
In a fantasy world two great mages, one
of magic and one of chaos faced each other and both died. A
thousand years later their replacements, the Children of
Prophecy (ebook from Faolan's Pen Publishing Inc) have to
fight. Tal was lucky to be recognized at an early age as a Mage, and
then adopted by the current Hawk Car’reen and trained well.
Brea is a life mage and the King’s heir whose love for Tal may make
the difference and Stet’sar is a thief who uses small magics until
the people he loves are murdered by aristocrats. Eventually these
two great men come face to face with battlemagi facing a huge swarm
of evil with the fate of the world at stake. Fun.
The Space Carrier Avalon (ebook
from Faolan's Pen Publishing Inc) was the first carrier and is
due a final tour before being retired. In the twenty years
since peace came between the Federation and the Commonwealth it’s
been sitting at dock with corrupt officers selling off its fighters.
Luckily Commander Kyle Roberts has brought top-of-the-line fighters
to replace the junk. The corruption reaches very high. Then when the
cruise starts they find that the Commonwealth has been encouraging
piracy to weaken the Federation before invasion. Finally a weakened
ship, hurt by a major disaster that takes out half it’s crew, has to
fight against overwhelming odds to save a star system that the
Federation swore to protect on the deck of the Avalon twenty years
before. Breathtaking excitement that doesn’t stop.
Finally we have a tale of Eric
Tarverro, a swordsmith who will never get his master of the smith
guild because he is half-Aeraid. Raised by his Grandfather when his
parents died in a fire,. An assassin hires him to make blades and
then tries to kill him to cover tracks. The guild of assassins
always kill those who kill their own, which sets Eric running.
Luckily he discovers family in a City in the Sky (ebook from
Faolan's Pen Publishing Inc) where his grandmother turns out to be
the last survivor of one of the major families, making him, despite
him being half-human, one of the nobility. Working as a guard on one
of the flying ships is a way for a noble to get blooded, a tour
which should have been safe if not for the assassin’s brother,
another assassin, attacking him, and the people who fight with
dragons planning an attack on his city. Just as much excitement and
I’ve been following Christopher Nuttall’s
Schooled in Magic series about a young woman from our world who
finds herself learning magic and providing information she
remembers from Earth. The 8th episode It’s time for Princess
Alassa's Wedding Hells (ebook from Twilight Times Books)
Gunpowder and the printing press havecreated political/economic
changes and the nobility, especially King Randor, is trying to use
force to keep calm. Between the craziness of a royal wedding and
visions of the French Revolution running in her head, Emily can only
try to protect her friends. Over the four years that Emily has been
on this world , she has become stronger and more confident. I really
look forward to her 5th year in school.
Ilona Andrews suggests that aliens,
including werewolves and vampires from the rest of the galaxy do
visit Earth in very special inns that also keep the secret. Dina
DeMille is the child of inn keepers and she knows how to the use the
magic of her inn, Gertrude Hunt to not only to alter rooms on a
whim, but also to protect her guests. The Gertrude Hunt had almost
died before Dina brought it back to life, and her inn has only one
guest. That’s why she can’t turn down an arbitration between three
warring parties, a war that has. been going on for years. The three
parties; Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the
Merchants of Baha-char all have reasons for not signing a peace
treaty and are very willing to attack each other and the inn.
There’s even a poisoner after her. Sweep in Peace (paper
from Nyla) is the second of a fun series and I’m eager for more.
Sasha who was introduced as a gang leader
in How Dark The World Becomes (paper) has married the
guardian to a Varoki heiress to the greatest fortune on the planet
and provides security. Bad times have gotten the Varoki upset at the
other of the six intelligent species living on their planet. Come
the Revolution (trade from Baen) nuts rile the populace and
Sasha finds himself as part of a small commune holding off the army
the revolution has put together. It’s an exciting tale. Frank
Chadwick uses language similar to what is coming out of current
university madness and it put me a bit on edge. Fun.
Eric James Stone tells a fun, Unforgetable
(trade from Baen), spy tale about Nat Morgan who is so totally
forgettable that even computers forget him after a minute. His
mother even had to keep notes to remind herself of his existence. He
works for the CIA and has to constantly remind his handler who
he is. A nasty Iranian is creating a quantum computer with the power
to control the future. Nat and a female spy, Yelena, who somehow
remembers him, work with a defecting, Iranian quantum- physicist
have to stop the computer. Nat’s talents are used very creatively.
This is a fun, exciting tale that is impossible to put down.
Rena Rocford tells of a secret society of
people who can manifest as unicorns, trolls, and other mythological
creatures. Allyson is a typical teenager who doesn’t know Acne,
Asthma, And Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon (paper
from Curiosity Quills Press).. She and her friend Beth are
shopping at the mall when they get attacked by three people Beth
calls trolls and Allyson breaths fire on them. It turns out the Beth
is half-troll, raised by unicorns and someone is kidnaping unicorns,
including a close friend of theirs. Soon Beth and Allyson are
tracking a truck filled with sedated kidnaped victims, including
Alyson’s aunt. They are using her aunt’s sports-car and don’t know
how to get the top down, which is a problem in winter. The trail
takes them from Albuquerque to an abandoned naval ship in San
Francisco Bay. Along the way Allyson learns to shift to full Dragon,
and face her missing father who she has never met. Fun and exciting
with plenty of room for sequels.
In 2003 Barb Hendee and J. C.
Hendee wrote a simple tale of a half-elf; a half-vampire, Dhampir(paper);
and an intelligent dog who scam small villages with threats of
vampire attacks and then they meet the real thing. It sold well.
Fourteen books later they face the evil god, Beloved, The Night
Voice (hard from Penguin Group) in a far off desert,
along with the friends they’ve picked up along the way. They
retrieve the orbs they’ve hidden and make their way to an exciting
and world-shaking fight where Magiere has to fight her nature
and legions of the dead along with other monsters while most of the
others face the angry god trying to waken after a thousand years of
sleep. Worth the wait.
Brendan Dubois has an exciting tale of a
war against the alien creepers who wiped out Earth’s major cities.
The U. S. . Government still works and they draft at twelve.
Seargant Randy Knox has survived several major battles against the
Creepers. Theoretically the war is over since the a suicide mission
against the Creeper orbital station, but many Creepers are still
around. attacking civilians It’s a Dark Victory (trade from
Baen). With computers blasted from space, steam technology still
works. . Randy gets an assignment to escort a civilian bureaucrat to
Concord, the latest capital. But two teenagers his age are added to
his group and then Creepers attack his train killing the messenger.
Except the attack may not be from real Creepers. There’s a lot of
secrets hidden by politics, especially with an election coming up,
and Randy’s burdon is worth killing over. This is a fun exciting
tale, but the ending comes up too suddenly and seems too convenient.
Sophia Hanson was sent to our world so
her mother could get a divorce. So this Daughter of No Nation
(hard from Tor) returns to Stormwrack, an ocean-covered world with
little land, that may be our future to work with her father ( a
judge) and hopefully get her mother out jail. This second tail is
far more of a tour, But Sophia uses her scientific background to
help create a forensic solution to many of her father’s cases and
deal with the enmity between his island of Sylvanna, and a near
island of Haversham. She is horrified to find that Sylvanna allows
slavery. I enjoyed this second tale by A, M. Dellamonica,
especially the robot turtles that Haversham uses to carry seeds of
Michael R. Underwood has started a series
of novelettes about the story worlds that surround Earth and can
only be reached by spaceships crewed by Genrenauts. Leah is a new
hire, and her first case is The Shootout Solution (ebook
form Tor) which sends her to Western world where the wrong
gunslinger is facing the villain. The team has to put the story
straight in spite of gender bending problems. Funny
The Nebula Awards Showcase 2015 (paper
from Pyr) is edited this year by Greg Bear. Always a good buy. Hank
Davis has put together an anthology of the Worst Contact
(trade from Baen) possible with alien species.
Baen has reprinted the final Zombie attack and
rebuilding of society; Strands of Sorrow by John Ringo in
paper and the classic Vorkosigan tale Barrayarm, that won a
Hugo for Lois McMaster Bujold, in trade.
The Science Fiction Society will have its next
meeting on, January 15th 2016 at 8 p.m. at the Rotunda
on the University of Pennsylvania Campus. Bernie Mojzes
and A. C. Wise, of Unlikely Story magazine will speak.. As
usual Guests are Welcome.
Dr. Henry Lazarus is a local 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 where six formulas define our