I really enjoy the fact that Andy Weir emphasizes Science in his science fiction writing and when he paired that focus with a memorable main character in The Martian it resulted in a compelling story and follow on movie. In his second book, Artemis, he kept the science strong but he lacked that solid main character and the result was just ok. Now he is back with his latest offering, Project Hail Mary, and once again science takes the center stage from the very first page of the book. The main character starts an un-named individual that has been woken by a computer who is asking him simple questions, yet he is unable to answer them. He is just too weak, and his throat is too dry, for him to utter anything intelligible but the real question is why? and where is he? He's in a small room, that he has no memory of entering, and there appear to be two corpses in the room with him. It's time for some science!
World War III began with Chinese warbots walking out of the ocean near Washington D.C. They were initially held off by the Outlaw Motorcycle Club, who happened to be holding their annual rally outside the city, but the situation just kept escalating both on Earth and in space. For ten years humanity did its worst to destroy both the Earth and themselves until the alien bugs came along and forced peace with their superior technology. The survivors now live in a drastically altered climate with discarded bio-weapons and deadly technology hidden beneath the surface. Thanks to their early heroics, the Outlaws now have a strong relationship with the US government. One of their most well known heroes was a twelve year old girl named Shining Smith who single-handedly brought down one of the Mother Warbots and earned her status as the first female made-man of the Outlaws. Sadly Shining, known as Little Girl to the club, died not long after. Or did she? The club received a distress signal from her old kutte (battle vest) which leads the Enforcer Jagger to a junkyard in the desert formerly known as West Virginia. There he finds a strange woman and her even stranger cats under attack.
Reese Roberts is an old drunk that is bound to a wheelchair with little to live for. In fact, as far as he is concerned, he has nothing to live for and the world would be a better place without him. But it wasn't always that way. Reese used to prowl the streets of Iron City and do what needed to be done to protect the city and clean up the streets. As the vigilante known as The Roach, Reese was fearless and he preyed upon the gangs and criminals that dared to try to make Iron City their home. He was really making a difference until that fateful night when a bullet found a seam in his protective armor and left him paralyzed from the waist down. That was five years ago and The Roach was never heard from again, fading into legend as the streets of Iron City fell back into the hands of the corrupt. It's all too much for Reese to bear and the day has come to put an end to his suffering.
When last we saw Sergeant Corrie Welling of the Maradaine Constabulary she was abducted while investigating a child slavery ring and thrown into a ship along with the latest victims. Corrie is the nineteen year old foul mouthed younger sister of Minox Welling and is now no longer is a minor character in the Maradaine Constabulary series. An Unintended Voyage is the first of Maresca's books to take place beyond the city of Maradaine. Its great to see more of the world and interact with people from many different cultures as Corrie attempts to make her way home from the other side of the globe.
High Earth is all that remains of human civilization on Earth. It is a city built above the risen oceans, that now completely cover the remnants of our past, and it is where the story begins with the hatching of Asher Reinhart. As is usual, Asher is hatched at an advanced age because humans no longer do anything that takes real effort, like giving birth and raising children. Asher meets his VORA (Virtual Occupant Residency Aid) and starts to learn about how things work in High Earth. It is a fully managed environment where his every need is cared for by all manner of robots and he is free to spend his time with the myriad of virtual experiences and entertainment shows available. Asher instantly becomes captivated by the show Ignis, which follows the events aboard a generational ship of the same name on its way to a distant star. It is reality TV taken to another level and Asher feels an instant attachment to one of the people on the show the first time he sees her, Mission.
A deadly pandemic strikes the world and within days ninety-nine percent of the human population is gone. The survivors all gained a super-human talent in the process but half of them are violent lunatics. The Savage North Chronicles, beginning with The Darkest Winter, follows a small band of survivors from Anchorage, Alaska as they struggle through the outbreak in December and the chaos that follows. In addition to the craziness of a civilization ending apocalypse, there are wilder elements as well, including super human abilities and military scientists who wipe memories and resurrect the dead. The survivors include Elle, who is a cruise ship photographer who wakes up after falling sick and immediately discovers that she can defend herself by summoning fire, and Jackson, who is a state trooper who's pregnant wife is killed by an intruder. Together with four children Elle picked up the group follows Jackson's intuition and sets off for Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. Its a mix of The Walking Dead series, a survival game called The Long Dark, and a lot of conspiracy theories.
The much anticipated conclusion to The Age of Madness trilogy has finally arrived and it is time to figure out how the mess created in the first two books sorts itself out. Since this is a Joe Abercrombie book, it doesn't really matter who the winners and losers are because there is little difference between the two. The Great Change is upon the Union and those who have brought it forth believe that to change the world they must first burn it down. The North isn't faring much better as Rikke struggles to keep the throne she so deftly acquired through her use of the Long Eye. So will your favorite characters make it to the end of the trilogy alive? If they do, will they wish they were dead?
Published in 1978, the Hugo and Nebula award winning Dreamsnake was lauded as a feminist reworking of the heroic quest. From the perspective of a reader in the 1990's its a solid blend of fantasy and genetic science set on Earth long after the nuclear holocaust. Snake is a young healer who travels and offers aid by using the venom of her genetically modified serpents. The rarest of them is the dreamsnake Grass who's venom offers a peaceful and painless death to those beyond help. Snake is willing to risk her life to find more dreamsnakes when she learns of an outlaw stronghold that may have some. What she finds is beyond her expectation and the answer to an old biological puzzle.
Much like King Xavier, aka The Immortal, this series just keeps plugging along despite the fact that the plot has reached multiple points where it could have been wrapped up nicely. I can't help but feel that this series is going to keep going until it ends in ruin, but luckily for us that point still hasn't arrived. Book 8, King of the Wastes, centers around the fact that the King has come to the conclusion that the Vanguard Islands are not sustainable. He knows that their recent victories have resulted in a population size that they can no longer provide for, not to mention that the structures that compose the Vanguard Islands are desperately in need of replacement parts that can't be manufactured. They need to expand their reach and a supply chain will need to be set up to allow for scavenging of resources from a much wider area. King Xavier has his eye on establishing an outpost near the Panama Canal in order to provide a means to scavenge both coasts of the Americas, but that idea is not new. It was also tried by his predecessor and it resulted in failure. The difference this time around is that King Xavier has the ability to once again call upon the Hell Divers to risk their lives so humanity can survive
If J.K. Rowling and H.P. Lovecraft had a love child it would be Naomi Novik's Scholomance series. At the end of A Deadly Education El and Orion had survived their attempt to help that year's graduating seniors but wouldn't know if they were successful until their own upcoming Graduation. El is determined to concentrate on preparing for the Graduation Hall gauntlet with her allies, Aadhya and Liu, despite her attraction to Orion and her mother's cryptic warning to "stay away from Orion Lake". Senior year is supposed to be rough but it feels like the school itself is trying to kill her and it apparently wants something from her. If only she can figure out what that is before she dies. It turns out that death is indeed a strong possibility as she starts working on an insane plan to save every student and to destroy The Scholomance itself. She intends to be the very last graduate to exit through the portal or die trying.