Henry L Lazarus                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       HOME
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Science Fiction for March 2017
by Henry Leon Lazarus
    For all genres in fiction, including Fantasy and Science Fiction, we are in a new age of Pulp. Authors have discovered that if they publish a book a month on Kindle, they will get noticed. And can earn a good income. This only works is there is something in the series that draws readers in.
Michael Anderle decided to mix super-science with vampires and werewolves. In fact alien starships sent to create super-humans created both. Michael, the first vampire found a crashed  Kurtherian star ship (with its pilot in its computer) and was modified by its medical pod, but not completely. A thousand years later and vampires created from the nanocytes in his blood have to avoid the burning sun. Michael is tired to trying to keep evil vampires under control, so he brings Bethany Anne, an aggressive but honorable woman dying of the same genetic disease that killed her mother, to the ship for conversion. Unfortunately in the weeks the conversion takes, he is captured.  So Bethany Anne awakes unsure of her abilities. Luckily Michaelleft her access to his vast funds and the Kurtherian pilot implants the quantum computer containing his mind into her. Death Becomes Her (paper from LMBPN Publishing) as she finds a team of mercenaries to help her.
Michael Anderle has been writing like mad, because the fifteenth book shows that Bethany Anne will Never Submit (ebook) to an alien invasion of Earth. In the previous books she has destroyed the evil vampires, fought Earth Governments that want her technology, built bases in space and then finished a space armada to attack the Yollin’s who already sent a scout ship into our solar system. Before TQB forces leave, they have to deal with the final elements of attempts to kidnap one of them, and steal the formula for Coke so Bethany Anne has enough on her galaxy conquering tour. This is an addicting series that grows with each book.
Glynn Stewart continues his tale of Earth trapped between two interstellar empires. Annette Bond has become the Duchess of Terra (paper from Faolan's Pen Publishing Inc) in the A!Tol empire as a compromise for more freedom for Earth. Harriet Tanaka had been a captain in Earth’s space navy and transferred as captain into the A!Tol helping to keep Earth out of Kanzi hands. The Kanzis are determined to enslave humans and only by quickly building ships, making alien friends, and putting everything on the line will save Earth. This tale reminds me of the best of David Webber’s work and is, like the first tale, impossible to put down.
K. M. O'Brien starts a fun series about a starship engineer, Anailu Xindar who buys The Sculpted Ship (ebook). Only a hundred Dove starships were made and finding one in a used starship lot, was as impossible as finding a Rolls Royce in a used car lot. Parts that would let it fly in space were missing and the owners thought even the engines were blocked. Anailu persevered and chartered it out for local flights while she earned enough money to bring it into shape, including a safari company and a university professor. She’s very lucky in the friends she makes and works hard to get her special ship into shape. Lots of fun, but very little violence
I keep putting off adding Terry Mancour’s Spellmonger series. Shadowmage (ebook) the ninth in the series can be read separately.  Tyndal and Rondal, originally Minalan’s apprentices have become mage knight journeymen, have a fight with the brotherhood of the rat, a group of thieves who dominate the rebellious province in southern Alshar. At first they go to rescue a boy with special powers, but then their duke asks them to help put the brotherhood down. They do have friends to help, including a clan of shadowmage thieves. One of them  has set her eyes on marrying Rondal. The task might seem impossible as the rats have roots throughout the province, but the two have crazy, impossible plans and are powerful mages. Lots of fun.
Patricia Briggs 10th tale of Mercy Thompson, a shifter coyote who can also see ghosts. In Silence Fallen (hard from Ace) the head vampire of Europe has her kidnaped to Italy. Her escape, and travel hidden in a bus luggage compartment lands her in Prague where she has to deal with a witch/vampire and the ghost of the golem that defended the Jews of Prague in the sixteenth Century.  Adam, her hubby, and alpha werewolf has to deal with vampire politics before he as to find her. It’s the usual fun mixture of magic and mayhem of this fun series.
When an arsonist destroys a street in Maradaine, he leaves survivors and some are ex-agents and quite deadly. It doesn’t take long for the The Holver Alley Crew (paper from DAW) to work a theft to get funding and then, like in Ocean’s Eleven, break into a casino owned by the villain who had burned their homes down.  Marshall Ryan Maresca tells a fun, pulse-pounding tale of robbery and revenge. Maradaine is a world class, 19th century city with magic and with each tale, the world gets more complex.
Wen Spencer has her own view of the world of Vampires, werewolves, descendants of angels,  and witches.  Werewolves protect the world from breaks in reality. Their king has been around for centuries and is breeding pack wolves. Joshua thought he was a normal boy preparing for college, when monsters and werewolves attacked the Halloween party he had helped prepare, bit him and turned him into a werewolf. A voice told him to run toThe Black Wolves of Boston (hard from Baen).  There, somehow, the only good vampire  in the world, Decker,  rescues him from a magical hunter. . The main villains are evil witches called Wickers who can mind-control most people and sacrifice their blood to create monsters. Decker’s friend, Eloise, a Virtue, goes back to Joshua’s home to face the Wickers and is helped by Joshua’s real brother Seth, the Werewolf Prince of Boston. But the Wickers are still after Joshua who is important to their plans against the Werewolf King. It doesn’t help that Decker wants to adopt a werewolf cub of his own to get out of a funk of centuries. It takes a bit to get through this complicated background, but the characters are enough fun that I would love to visit them again.
Seanan McGuire’s latest tale of the Price family who protect incryptids in America from the English based  Covenant of St. George  is a tale of Magic For Nothing (paper from DAW) Antimony goes undercover to determine how much the covenant knows and is trained and sent undercover to a carnival to find the incryptid killing atendees The problem is the that carnival also houses safe incryptids like the were-rat acrobat, that Antimony falls for. The talking mice who worship the Price family are along for the ride. Lots of fun, as usual.    
T S Paul’s third tale of Agatha Blackmore, a powerful witch in the FBI, is now Special Agent in Charge (ebook) of The Magical Crimes Division working with the were  friends she made at Quantico along with an ancient vampire who worked with J. Edgar Hoover and a senior human agent. Kidnaped werewolf children had being brainwashed into warriors. The death of a child leads also to a small town with coming pack war between two packs and a missing diamond mine. Lots of fun.
Jean Johnson has a third part of her series of Fae and Efrijt on a world with animistic magic. In order to claim the world, the standard path is a child born of both species, deciding which will stay. It doesn’t help that the Fae have been cut off from their home world. But worse than that is the problem that Udrin half-fae half Efrijt is a socio-path who can use the local magic to make himself a god. The only way to stop him involves using the  Gods of the Flame Sea (ebook from Intermix) and some very difficult choices for the Fae that prefer to live in peace.
    Baen has reprinted David Weber’s fun  The Sword of the South in paper.
    The Science Fiction Society will have its next meeting  on March 3rd 2017 The meeting starts  at  8 p.m.  at the Rotunda on  the University of Pennsylvania Campus.  Sarah Pinsker, a nebula award winning author, 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 that suggests a simpler way to achieve fusion generation.