Henry L Lazarus
4603 Springfield Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for March 2013
Some Fantasy and Science fiction tales deal with
the sense of wonder. The fun of discovery, mixed with the lure of new horizons.
In both fantasy and science fiction explorers seek out new worlds and discover
new ways of doing this. In the real world only those working on the edge
of what is known can experience this. But readers can vicariously enjoy
the same feeling by relating to characters of the fantastic.
by Henry Leon Lazarus
Walton sets his vision of a flat Earth during the period between Henry
VIII and Elizabeth. Stephen Parris is physician to the sickly boy, Edward
VI. Christopher Sinclain is an alchemist hunting for the Quintessence
(hard from Tor) of being that would allow the dead to be given life. When
a ship returns from an expedition to the edge of the Earth, its crew slowly
turned to sand and carrying magical creatures that can walk through walls.
Edwardís death, Stephens outing as a dissectioner, enables a new expedition
to the Island of Horizon on the edge of the world where strange creatures,
including intelligent, telepathic non-human being who can turn invisible,
and immune to guns, and who killed the previous expedition members. Along
with Stephen, his daughter Catherine, and Christopher, who become Captain,
the ship is filled with Protestants escaping the Catholic rule of Queen
Mary. The historical attitudes are exactly, even though the strange science
belongs more to alchemy than to the physics and chemestry that shape our
world. Neat book that some may nominate for an award.
Schwarz has an odd version of the early twentieth century in which a semi-magical
spark allows steam engines of all sorts that only require the addition
of water. It is an age of dirigibles and dying magic. Vampires are guarded
by Alchemists and long living warlocks guard the single oracle who provides
the magic of light and dark. Elle Chance is an aviatrix piloting her own
dirigible when she takes a commission to take a box from Paris to London,
not knowing that it is a major part of A Conspiracy of Alchemists
(hard from Del Rey). She also doesnít know that her engineer father has
been kidnaped to build a horrific machine, that she is a potential oracle
and the missing element of the fiendish plan. So with the help of
an English Lord who is also a member of the council of Warlocks, and an
unfinished heavier-than-air flying machine, she faces air pirates, and
numerous attempts on her life to rescue her father not knowing that she
is heading deep into enemy territory. The plot may have been pure pulp,
but I really enjoyed the background and am looking forward to the sequel
later this year.
Doucette has a neat tale about a man born with the ability to see a seconds
into the future. Corrigan Bain actually can see generalities about the
future well enough to act as a Fixer (paper from The writers coffee
Shop Publishing House) and save people from deadly mistakes. FBI agent
Maggie Trent had worked with him once before on a bank robbery that would
have gone horribly wrong. When a group of physicists working on the theory
behind his abilities start getting murdered, she finds him again and discovers
an impossible murderer. I donít want to give this away, but this edge-of-your-seat
thriller manages to put the concept in understandable terms, though it
will warp the readerís head. Wow!
to Dana Cameron, Zoe Miller archeologist and werewolf gets into Seven
Kinds of Hell (trade from Amazon Publishing) when she brings home an
undocumented figurine on the last day of her job at a museum. It seems
that it is part of a set linked to ancient Greek magic. An evil man convinced
that the figurines can make him a werewolf (you have to be born one) kidnaps
Zoeís cousin so she will hunt for other figurines. There are fangborn (
werewolves, weresnakes whose fangs can deliver poison or medicine, and
oracles) helping her. Thereís a three-hundre-year-old fangborn U. S. Senator
hoping that the trail will lead to Pandoraís Box. Zoe goes from London
to Paris, and from Vienna to ancient Greek temples in the Aegean Sea. Along
the way she learns to use her beastly powers and survive attack after attack.
I really enjoyed this tale and canít wait for the sequel.
a world scarred from previous magical wars, Christopher Nuttall tells the
tale of Elaine, orphan and a weak magician, who works in the Great
library. Then a curse dumps all knowledge of the library into her
head, making her a Bookworm (ebook from Elsewhen Press which I bought).
She is afraid that the inquisition will have her killed because of
her illegal knowledge. Her attempts to discover what was done to her lead
her by train to the Kingdom of Ida where she runs into Inquisitor Dread
investigating the same course though he doesnít know its full extent,
a court magician who explodes when asked the wrong questions, and a prince
of Ida who throws her into his dungeon. Back in the capital the Grand Sorcerer
has died and powerful magicians are vying for the position. Elaine, when
she escapes back to the capitol city, lets her best friend/room mate, talk
her into going to a Ball. There she meets a young man and actually goes
on a date for the first time. The conclusion is exciting as her father
is revealed and attempts to take over the city. She has to save her
city by using the knowledge the curse gave her.. I really liked this so
much I bought his previous tale. This takes place in Sherlock Holmes London
with magic. Most magicians only have one of the eleven talents. Five people
have had master level abilities. Two are dead, and one, Jack, is determined
to use his powers and allies to create a revolt of the poor. Master Thomas,
leader of the magicians and already in his eighties needs an heir and the
only candidate is a woman, Lady Gwendolyn Crichton whose mother deplores
her magical abilities as ruining her for marriage. As Jack starts a killing
spree and starts importing rifles for his revolution, Gwendolyn has to
learn how to use her magical talents as potentially The Royal Sorceress
In the end with the poor in control of London, Master Thomasís solution
to regaining control is so horrible that switching sides might be an option.
Again I was impressed with the solid page-turning ending.
clans meet because of Necesssityís Child (hard from Baen), actually
two children In the latest Lladen tale by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller,
Syl Vor of clan Korval and Kezzi of the kindred (gypsies) meet at the school
set up by the Bosses of Shurebeak where Clan Korval, and its tree have
found refuge. Over-coming suspicions that would normally keep them apart,
they discover the common elements of their clan based life and bring the
adults in their lives together. Thereís also a plot by the Department of
the Interior that had cause Korvalís banishment that Syl vor and Kezzi
are in the right place to stop. With a stronger ending, this would have
been a major tale.
Chadwick knows How Dark the World Becomes (trade from Baen) when
on the edge of a major war. Sasha Naradnyo is a loan shark on Crack City
whose parents had been lured across the galaxy with the promise of good
jobs. They died when he was seven and survival meant becoming a gangster.
Unfortunately his boss, Koyla, who grew up on the streets with him, has
decided that Sasha is extra baggage. Thatís when his girl friend sells
him out and he has to kill the man sent to murder him. Then a woman
comes to him to arrange transportation for her and two aliens (there are
seven special in the galactic Cottohaz) The Varoki turn out to be
children, the only heirs of an extremely rich family. They had survived
the assassination of their parents and other Varoki are after them. Good
time to leave Crack City and acting as security for the kids seem a good
ideaq. What Sasha doesnít know is that ancient hatreds are causing the
Cottohaz to crack apart. Not only are killers after him, but they are willing
to blow up passenger liners to stop him and that part of his trip sends
him across a war zone. Very exciting. I suspect sequels are coming.
Adams wonders what would happened if a super villain actually ran the world.
Colonel Chaos was a super villain until he reformed when he met Miss Lightspeed,
who captured him and then his heart. Together they saved the world many
times and then had a son. Chris Fairborn. Then Miss Lightspeed is killed
and Colonel Chaos becomes obsessed with resurrecting her. Chris returns
home after a bomb destroys his home town and is immediately blamed and
locked up in an insane asylum for super heroes. I, Crimsonstreak
(paper from Candlemark & Gleam) is his tale when he escapes three
years later and discovers his father is ruling the world, his mother is
somehow alive, and a version of him is not only alive but heir. Working
with the butler of a batman type hero and the heroís son, he has to fight
the heroís conscripted by the government and problems that even his super
speed canít solve. Lots of fun, especially for those who enjoy their comics
is now spring in the second tale of the Demi-monde saga. In an alternate
2018 world, an artificial computer world was set up in the ABBA quantum
computer. Inside the dupes seem quite real. Some of them have been modeled
on the worst villains from history. In the first tale the Presidentís daughter,
Norma Williams was persuaded to enter that world and a young black woman,
Ella Thompson was sent in after her. Aaliz Heydrich has been sent to the
real world using Normaís body, tapping Norma in Demi-monde. But now is
the time for The Shadow Wars (trade from William Morrow) With the
FourthRight armies on the edge of Venice and the Coven, a miracle is needed
and Rod Rees creates that miracle by changing Ella into the original Lilith,
creator of civilization who had an army of vampires. The tale is designed
to be outrageous. But it is impossible to put down. I canít wait for part
T. Almasi continues his tale of a bionic heroine in the eighties. In this
alternate history Hitler died in 1942, stopping the invasion of Russia
and allowing the Nazis to conquer Europe and England and enslave the Jews.
of Angles (paper from Del Rey). Politics has allowed Alix Nico,
a young woman with lots of bionic parts, to work with the German underground
to start the rebellion. Lots of violence and, oh yes, she gets to rescue
her father who had been captured before the first tale. Great series, and
everything you would want in a tale of the bionic woman versus the Gestapo.
of my favorite books is Jumper by Steven Gould about the problems
of a young man, Davy who learned to teleport and eventually ran into trouble
with government agencies. In the sequel, Reflex, he gets captured
and saved by his wife, Millie. Itís sixteen years later and Davy, Millie
and their daughter, nicknamed Cent are living off the grid in Canada and
helping out refugee problems around the world. When Cent learns how to
teleport, she has an Impulse (hard from Tor which I bought electronically)
that is time for her to go to a real school. So she and her parents buy
a home in a small town and create documentation that will allow her to
learn to fit in in a high school environment while hiding her talent. Thereís
the usual highschool problems and a girl, Caffeine, who is blackmailing
freshmen into carrying drugs into the school. That eventually turns ugly
enough to get Cent captured. By really bad guys. I was in seventh
heaven to buy this and it met all my expectations. Iíve already read it
Aderton looks at the war that caused Heavenís Night (hard
from Aderton Prime LLC) that was started by Lucifer. Two other archangels
have joined him, but the other seven archangels including Sariel ignore
the corruption of the lower nine spheres into circles of Hell. Then Sarielís
soul mate Raquel is killed after somehow doing the impossible and creating
a son. The quest to find Raquelís son and locate her immortal soul sends
him into the depths of the corrupted Astral Plane and forces him to face
the his worst aspects before he becomes the epicenter of the fight against
that corruption. This is an exciting blending of the background hinted
in Dante and, considering the odd background, seems realistic, especially
second two parts of Trey Garisonís exciting version of the 20's with Nazis
has our heroes facing Hitlerís Death Head Legion (ebook from Harper
Voyager) while they search for the spear that can turn people into vampires.
The trail leads to Draculaís fortress where our heroes are captured.
may Fall (ebook) if they donít escape and somehow destroy the zombies
created by the spear. Lots of fun and impossible not to whistle Raiders
of the Lost Arc while reading..
Roc has put together the first Three tales of Garrett
for Hire (trade) by Glen Cook. These tales of murder in a fantasy world
are impossible to put down Iíd rather have a new tale, but these are a
nice introduction for people unfamiliar with the series. Baen has two Andre
Norton tales in The Iron Breed (trade).
Baen has the unlucky Man-Kzin Wars XIII (paper
created by Larry Niven)
Baen has reprinted my favorite Robert Heinlein tale,
Column in paper as well as Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey
Ship who Searched; and David Webberís Honor Harrington tale,
Thunder in trade.
The Science Fiction Society will have its next meeting
on March 8th at 8 p.m.at the Rotunda on the University of Pennsylvania.
Campus. Jay Smith the creator and executive producer for the Parsec
Award-winning audio drama series "HG World" bout a zombie uprising 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