Henry L Lazarus
4603 Springfield Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Science Fiction for July 2013
When I first discovered Science Fiction and Fantasy,
there were many distributers sending books to drug stores and super markets.
In the eighties books were sold in super stores like Borders and Barns
and Noble. The buyers of those stores determined which tale would have
shelf space. Internet publishing is beginning to dominate the market today.
There are many small publishers. Endividual writers have books available,
some of them excellent.I like to report on well-written tales that I enjoyed
and hope the readers of this column will too.
by Henry Leon Lazarus
found Sara King by a lucky fluke. She writes the type of books I would
nominate for awards and I can only hope that others find her exciting adventures.
Her Legend of Zero series has thousands of alien species in the
galaxy ruled for over a million turns (years) by a Congress determined
to keep the peace but a bit corrupt. Theyíve discovered Earth and as usual
took a draft of children between the age of five and twelve. Their food
matures them physically early but not mentally, ending up with children
in adult bodies.. Forging Zero (book from Parasite Publications
which I bought electronically) introduces us to Joe Dobbs, age 16 who was
captured after freeing a number of draftees including his brother. Theyíre
all numbered except for him because he was expected to be culled. Their
training planet has a heavier planet than Earth and lots of spores in the
air that make it difficult to breath. Their commanders likes to eat recruits
who donít measure up and take others as slaves, and most of their training
takes place in tunnels which bring out Joeís claustrophobia. Add in an
ancient prophecy that foresees the fall of Congress and aliens who can
predict the future and who say that Joe Dobb is the individual to watch
for. Zero Recall (which I also bought) takes place firty turns later.
Zero has been a stellar warrior., but let go because he isnít needed because
itís peace time. So he goes to Earth to locate his drug lord Brother only
to get his brother captured and excuted. A new war against the Dhasha has
prompted his recall even though he wants to dive into a bottle. Instead
he is given a multi-species patrol with Jreet, a huge snake that can go
invisible, a Huouyt who can take on other species forms, and a flying creature
they call Flea. It turns out the war was created by the only free, extremely
smart Geugi who is plotting to help the rest of his species locked up for
over a million years. This one is full of surprises and plot twists. Both
books are impossible to put down and highly recommended. Iíve been buying
her ealier books which are just as much fun.
Wexler is a war gamer who also loves to get details from reenactors antd
it shows in his detailed war scenes. Religious fanatics threw out the Prince
of Kandahar and expelled the and the colonial Garrison of the Empire of
Vordanai (think British colonial troops during the age of empire.). Then
, from across the sea, they receive a regiment of untrained troops under
the command of a strange colonel who decides he can take an army five times
his size. Marcus, the senior Captain of the dejected colonial troops who
had barely escaped with their lives, doesnít know what to do with this
Colonel. He gives quick promotions to some of the troops to provide sergeants
for the raw recruits, including Winter, whom he doesnít realize is actually
a woman in disguise. Then Colonel Janus, with the help of the few competent
colonial troops and the barely trained new soldiers starts winning. What
Marcus and Winter donít know is that Colonel Janusís real intensions involve
collecting a magical object called The Thousand Names (hard
from Roc)and at the end his toops will not only have to face muskets and
canons, mutiny, and desertion, but also deadly magic. I gulped this long
tale in two days and am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Spencer tells us of Nikki Delany who obsessive-compulsively has to write.
A friend in college helped her condense her jottings into a successful
horror/ thriller tale with an advance on a second just as her mother tries
to get her locked up. That gets her to Japan. Then an exact description
of a blender murder, posted to her blog, gets her accused of the
crime. But more and more of her new novel starts coming true including
one of the Eight Million Gods (hard from Baen) showing up when she
rescues a katana stolen from a burnt shrine. Things get weirder from then
one, getting her friends into danger. Thereís an evil plot and only she
and the scardy cat guy can stop it. Think of a fantasy version of Romancing
The Stone set in Japan with lots of murderous Gods. Lots of fun.
Carlson has deadly neanderthals attacking a ruined America. . Imagine
a solar pulse that can Interrupt (paper from 47North) human thought.
According to astronomer Marcus Wolfsinger, these pulses are common to G
type stars, occurring every twenty five thousand years or so. Emily Flint
is the biologist who realizes that the only people who can survive are
those with neanderthal genes many of them with autistic traits. Drew
Haldane is the army pilot who helps get them to an underground bunker after
they barely survive the chaos. Add in a paranoid China convinced that the
pulse is an attack and are ready to respond. The people turned Neanderthal
by the pulse are very violent and prone to attack protected normal humans.
This is a heart pounding thriller about surviving a disaster a bit more
likely than Zombies.
Vera Nazarianís intense medieval fantasy, death takes a holiday because
he wants his Cobweb Bride (trade from Norilana Books) If only people
walked around undead, it wouldnít be so bad, but animals canít be slaughtered.
So we have a battle in which a Duke dies, unfairly he thinks, killed by
a man he had already killed. The Emperorís only child is assassinated at
the wrong time and decides to spare her assassin, taking him on a quest
to Deathís Keep. Across the empire other women also traverse the northern
wilderness, opposed by the Dukeís son, the black knight, because the Duke
wants to stay undead. Percy comes from a poor family but she has common
sense and is helped by horse and cart that can find paths unknown to others.
Death, however is not looking for a young woman. This is the first of a
trilogy and I eagerly await the next part.
S.A. Coreyís first tale ab out an ancient alien molecule that gets loose
from a research lab and dissolves the colony on Eos, Leviathan Wakes
(paper) was nominated for a Hugo. The remnants of Eos ended up on Venus
and there it has built a giant ring orbiting Venus. The ring, Abaddon's
Gate (trade from Orbit which I bought electronically) in an entrance to
a strange mini-universe with very limited.speeds, as the Belter discovered
when he tried to go through its center. In the normal course of events
slow exploration would have occured, but when exploratory vessels from
Earth, Mars, and the Belt confederation arrive they face sabotage. The
daughter of the previous villain is determined to right her fatherís fall
by blaming our hero, James Holder. His only survival sends him into the
mini-universe, followed by the fleet. At the heart of this mini-universe
is an alien space station that not, only creates the speed limists but
drops them when threatened. Apparently it can also wipe out our solar system
if provoked and there are some who want to attack it with a huge laser.
Very exciting, even if the situation is too much of a set up. .
women in their twenties in New Zealand are enjoying their life learning
sword work fighting, judo, and other active sports. They lack romance.
In their lives so one of them finds a magical spell to find their soul
mates. The magic sends them to Gar'nyse where they meet monsters
and are helped by members of the kingdomís Gryphon Gruards who fly and
talk telepathically to actual Gryphons. Think Charmed meets Narnia. This
first tale is of The Arrival (a free Kindle ebook from Little
Leo Reads) Nicole MacDonald transcends the light romance and and fun adventure
with a tale that is oddly compelling. The second two books in the trilogy
are already available.
Star Trek fans will injoy Alan Dean Fosterís novelization of
Darkness (trade) which I hope has eliminated some of the logic flaws
in the movie, the Star Trek Craft Book (trade and edited by
Angie Pendersen) and Star Trek Cross Stitch (trade and edited by
John Lohnen). All are from Gallery Books.
Baen has in paper a bunch of John Grimes tales in
the Star Winds; David Webberís fun but a bit too long, War Maidsís
Choice;and Wen Spencerís fun Elfhome. Theyís also reprinted
the first Man-Kzin Wars Anthology in trade to celebrate thge 25th
anniversary of the series.
IDW Publishing introduces us to Zombies
vs. Robots Diplomacy (paper) with original tales. 2312 by Kim Stanley
Robinson (hard from Orbit which I havenít read) is the 2012 Nebula Award
The Science Fiction Society will have its next meeting
on June 19th at 8 p.m.at International House on the University
of Pennsylvania. Campus. Horror This is the Annual Hugo Review Pane. As
usual guests are welcome.
Dr. Henry Lazarus is a local Dentist and the author
of A Cycle of Gods (Wolfsinger Publications) and Unnaturally