Henry L Lazarus
4715 Osage Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for May 2018
Mystery and Science Fiction and Fantasy fit well
together. A murder mystery set in the strange backgrounds adds real
K. R. Richardson introduces us to
the corporate owned and very corrupt planet of Gattis. The planet
was terraformed by three genetically adapted peoples; red, yellow
and blue. The Blue run the world and the Ohba and Drihleen have
become second class, denied an education and hope and they are ready
for revolt. Eric Matheson is anew cop, an off-worlder with only two
weeks on the job. He and his Training Officer discover a gambling
den with all sixteen people there murdered. He is assigned to help
J. P. Dillal who is recovering from experimental cybernetic
enhancement surgery. He is the new Chief Investigating Forensic
Officer and is half Ohba and Drihleen. Driven to solve the case,
Dillal’s might kill him if he pushes himself too hard. The
Corporation just wants to find someone, anyone to blame and is
willing to use troops to put down any riot. Blood Orbit
(trade from Pyr) sends the two deep into the darkest parts of the
Capitol city, Angra Dastrelas and to a labor camp on the other side
of Gattis searching for the truth. I hope this wins some awards.
John Scalzi has a fun sports
murder mystery. People, called Hadens, who have suffered a polio
like plague connect to the world with robot bodies called threeps .
In the sport Hilketa, one of the defending players is
designated a goat and the opposing team has tear the threep’s head
off and then run Head On (hard from Tor) to score a goal
with it. When one of the players dies a real death, FBI agents Chris
Shane and Leslie Vann have to deal with the case which soon includes
a suicide of a major league representatives. The league which is
trying to go international has a problem with Russian business men
and money problems from a change in law. Chris has one threep
burned in an arson fire and another run over as they get closer to
the person responsible. Fun.
There’s the classic tale of a mob
boss who hires a hard-drinking noir detective to find his missing
daughter. In R. S. Belcher’s The Night Dahlia (trade from
Tor), the mob boss is an Elf Lord, and the detective Laytham
Ballard, is a notorious wizard. With all sorts of demons and
monsters to stop him, including the half-human knight he’s supposed
to work with, Laytham returns to the dark side of LA, especially the
porn industry, filled with old friends and enemies. Not only that
but his case is tied to a still unsolved serial murder case which he
had worked on as a magical cop. Unbelievably there’s actually a
happy ending. Fun.
Josette Dupre, captain of the
airship Mistral, has attained hero status because of her exploits in
Robyn Bennis’s first two tales. A meeting with the King allows her
to suggest that troops be sent to recover hometown of Durum now
occupied by an enemy winning the long war. So the Mistral has to
fight By Fire Above (hard from Tor) under a new first
Lieutenant while Josette along with Lord Bernat go into the town to
raise a rebellion. Lots of fun and a great series. I can’t wait for
The Evgardian Empire has developed
a small star carrier with experimental technology that allow
pilots to be linked to their fighters. The fighters and the
ship are difficult to detect, as long as they work as designed Oen
Bjorn provides technical support to one of the pilots, a pilot so
intense on improving her skills, that she ups the dangerous drugs
that allow her contact with her fighter. The Lydia Bennett is
tasked, for The Glory of the Empress (trade from Ace), to
keep pirates occupied, including one on a ship so huge it is
difficult to destroy. There’s a traitor who trained on the
Lydia’s systems, and he is providing information to help locate the
Lydia and destroy her and her four fighters. Sean Danker tells an
exciting tale that is a prequel to his Admiral series.
It’s Typhoon Time (paper
from WordFire Press) as Ron S. Friedman sends a Russian nuclear
submarine through a wormhole to 1938. Eric Sobol, a
billionaire like George Soros, has hired the boomer in an effort to
stop the Holocaust. One of his aids is secretly there to help the
Nazi’s and manages to steal a nuke. It helps that the sub can launch
communication satellites and that one of the men stealing the nuke
gets the clap. Our heroes race from Washington to Munich while the
sub faces Uboats and German destroyers. Lots of fun, even though
Einstein suggests that they may of just created an alternate time
line instead of changing their past.
K. C. Archer borrows from
Harry Potter but with millennials in her School for Psychics
(trade from Simon and Schuster). Whitfield Institute is part
Quantico and part training in ESP for people with powerful
abilities. Teddy Cannon had been using her lie detecting abilities
at Poker until the casinos banned her. She is recruited for the
school when she gets in trouble with massive gambling debts. She
doesn’t know the background of her real parents who died when she
was young. At the school she makes friends, and increases her
abilities. People are hunting her and her friends that has
something to do with her real parents. This is only the first year
and promises to be an exciting series.
I think of some books as palette
cleaners. They’re light, and impossible to read without a
smile. Lizzie Brown was a normal preschool teacher
until, on turning 30, her grandmother showed up on her Harley to
tell Lizzie she was The Accidental Demon Slayer (paper but
free on Kindle ). Not only that but a demon is hunting her. Her new
powers give her the ability to talk to her dog, and she starts
working with biker witches, and Dimitri Kallinikos a were-griffin.
Eight books later, after marrying Dimitri, the question is: What
to Expect When Your Demon Slayer is Expecting (ebook from
Season Publishing and Moose Island Books) It turns out there is an
evil creature trying to steal both herself and her twin daughters.
To fight the creature, after her powers have been taken,
involves going into a special place where imagination is real.
Eventually I’ll read the other books in the series.
The void witch, Mars Xi, is back.
She can destroy starships and block bullets with her mind. In
Killing Gravity(paper) she found a group of friends who
rescued her in their salvage ship when her ship was destroyed.
MEPHISTO came after her and in the process one of her friends,
Mookie, was captured. The only way to rescue her is to go into a Void
Black Shadow (paper from Tor) and let herself be captured by
the empire and sent to a prison world outside of explored space; The
Homan Sphere where millions populate the inside. Doing the
impossible is only possible because the Empire wants to recruit her.
According to Corey J. White that’s a very bad idea. Fun, but I
couldn’t believe the bad guys would be so stupid.
Drago Appleroot, a three-foot tall
gnome, makes a good living in the city of Fairhaven as a bounty
hunter. Then a fight between goblins and elves over A Fistful of
Elven Gold (trade from Baen) ends with the death of most of
his competitors. Helping the city watch as bait, ends with him
caught in the middle. Alas there’s nothing else to do but go up
river and somehow sort things out about a missing elf queen, and an
active gold mine. Alex Stewart has a fun, but routine tale. I
suspect that sequels are coming.
Sylvain Neuvel concludes her
trilogy of giant robots, written in found document format. Themis,
the robot found in pieces scattered all over the Earth, had taken
Rose Franklin, Vincent, and their daughter Eva to the planet Esat
Ekt where the giant robots came from. A decade later they figure out
how to return to a very changed world. The United States
managed to get one robot working and uses to keep their allies under
control. Russia leads the opposition. Anyone with alien DNA has been
put in camps. Now that Themis is back, Russia has a robot of it’s
own and the world is on the verge of nuclear annihilation. The two
robots with Vincent piloting one, and Eva piloting the other are
forced to face each other. Even thought it is Only Human
(hard from Del Rey). With Esat Ekt traumatized by what they had done
to Earth, It’s up to Rose to find the deus-ex-machina solution. Fun,
but with a negative view of humanity and its choices.
Baen has reprinted The Span of Empire by
Eric Flint and David Carrico; Charles E. Gannon’s fifth Caine
Riordan tale Caine’s Mutiny in paper. They also have
reprinted the late Gordon R. Dickson’s Sleepwalker’s World
in trade. He used to be one of my favorite authors.
The Science Fiction Society will have its next
meeting on May 11th. The meeting starts at 8
p.m. at International House on the University of
Pennsylvania Campus. Author Naomi Novik , who’s Temeraire series
about dragons in the Napoleonic war will speak. The series has
been nominated for a Hugo. As usual guests are welcome.
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 a simpler way to
achieve fusion generation.