Gen thought it was a good idea to brag about his thieving skills in a wine shop and declare he would prove himself by stealing the King's seal. Which he did. Unfortunately, agents of the King had heard his boasting and thus he finds himself in prison for a while. Then the Magus, chief advisor to the King of Sounis, offers him freedom if he steals an unspecified item from an unknown place. Again Gen says he can steal anything and joins the Magus in a small party heading to a mysterious destination.
Alastair Reynolds tells a tale that is much larger in scope than it first appears to be. It all starts innocently enough with the crew of the Rockhopper doing what they do best, mining comets in our solar system, also known as "pushing ice." Then something unexplainable happens. One of Saturn's moons, Janus, breaks out of orbit and assumes a trajectory toward Spica, a star 240 light years away. Not only that, it is accelerating as it heads out of the solar system...
When I first noticed this series I saw that the subject matter was a combination of a zombie apocalypse and super heroes and I knew this was not something that I would get into. Therefore I chose to ignore the series despite seeing many positive reviews for it. These books are also shorter than what I normally prefer so I had multiple reasons to pass this series up as the positive reviews continued to roll in. However, eventually I found myself looking for a change of pace so I decided to give it a try ore »and I am very glad I did. Peter Clines masterfully combines the two genres into an interesting, face-paced storyline with some surprising detail behind it. I listened to this series on audiobook and it felt like I was listening to a comic book filled with fun characters. I enjoyed every minute of it and eagerly await more.
Castillar Lupe dy Cazaril feels broken in both body and spirit. After fighting through several wars and then pulling an oar as a galley slave he's finally walking back to the last place he felt at "home". He's 35 going on 70 and his whole desire is a quiet comfortable place to hide. But the gods have need of a good man....
I picked up Reamde because the story involved an online game world where hackers target the players and it seemed like an interesting topic for a novel. That premise turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg and this tale veers in many different directions. The online game world of T'Rain is a multi-billion dollar MMO with millions of players and that success makes it an attractive target. A ransomware virus is created that holds a players virtual assets hostage and then all hell breaks loose, in game and out. The main characters wind up all over the globe as spies, terrorists, smugglers, and the Russian mafia all get entangled into the plot. Every step of the way Stephenson ups the ante and the plot almost seems to run out of control.
The future, as initially presented by author James S. A. Corey, finds mankind having achieved space travel within our solar system but with no means to reach further out to the stars. Unfortunately, having access to additional planets and resources does little to unite humanity and instead it gives us a new way to discriminate against each other. A tenuous peace barely exists between Earth, Mars and the residents of the outer planets, and it is within this fragile environment that the discovery of an ancient alien proto-molecule lights a spark that threatens to ignite the powder keg. It all feels very plausible and makes for some great story telling.
The Fold is an interesting sci-fi novel based on the theory of folding space in order to travel long distances quickly, hence the title. Unlike many other sci-fi books where folding space is used for space travel, this book takes place solely on earth and centers on a secret DARPA project where scientists have built the Albuquerque Door - a matched set of rings that allows anyone, or anything, to travel instantly between them. Clearly this is going to be mankind's greatest invention and it will change civilization forever; however, something about the door just doesn't add up.
The Girl With All the Gifts offers a refreshing angle on a tired genre and is quickly becoming a classic. M. R. Carey uses strong characters to tell an engaging story full of emotion where humanity struggles to survive in a world overrun by hungries (zombies). Human conflict is a pretty common thread woven into many apocalyptic stories as characters are typically more concerned with petty personal agendas than banding together to survive. This story is not much different in that regard except the agendas aren't petty and the disagreements are viewed from a unique perspective - that of a child hungry named Melanie.
Each book in the Post-Human series isn't very long, or deep, so don't expect a ton of character development here; however, David Simpson does cram a dizzying array of science fiction topics into this small space. The sci-fi concepts include nano-technology, human augmentation, Matrix-like virtual reality, sentient artificial intelligence, Borg-like assimilation, terraforming, and alternate universes just to name a few. The story itself is a wild ride that goes from one mankind threatening scenario to another in rapid succession with hardly a breath in between. It is an over the top action movie in book form with mankind constantly on the brink of extinction as the lead characters battle to save it.
During the 1800s, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, and Bram Stoker all created iconic literary characters. The newspapers were covering sensational murderers such as Jack the Ripper and "Burke and Hare" who killed to sell the bodies to anatomists. Roger Zelazny's last novel, A Night in the Lonesome October, is a whimsical tribute to these roots of the horror and detective genres. For obvious reasons, it's the perfect October read.