Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Opening Lines: Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson

Some novels have the ability to draw you in from the start. A single line or paragraph can grab your attention in such a way that the novel just demands to be read. Opening Lines is a feature where I'll share some of the best opening lines that hooked me.

Safe in orbit high above the gas giant, Margaret looked through the observation port at continent-sized hurricanes and clouds far below. She wondered how long it would take for the entire planet to catch fire, once the experiment began.

Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson

Having colonized other worlds, humans are certain the galaxy is theirs for the taking. But they soon discover the horrifying price of their arrogance when a scientific experiment awakens the wrath of the previously unknown Hydrogues and begins a war.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

On My Radar: Not One Of Us edited by Neil Clarke

I must confess that this caught my eye based purely on the cover (cover art by Jacques Leyreloup), but the selection of authors and stories included in the anthology also sound pretty darn amazing. This is definitely going on my wishlist!

NOT ONE OF US edited by Neil Clarke
ISBN: 978-1597809573
Release Date: 6 November 2018

They Are Strangers from Far Lands . . .

Science fiction writers have been using aliens as a metaphor for the other for over one hundred years. Superman has otherworldly origins, and his struggles to blend in on our planet are a clear metaphor for immigration. Earth’s adopted son is just one example of this “Alien Among Us” narrative.

There are stories of assimilation, or the failure to do so. Stories of resistance to the forces of naturalization. Stories told from the alien viewpoint. Stories that use aliens as a manifestation of the fears and worries of specific places and eras. Stories that transcend location and time, speaking to universal issues of group identity and its relationship to the Other.

Nearly thirty authors in this reprint anthology grapple both the best and worst aspects of human nature, and they do so in utterly compelling and entertaining ways. Not One of Us is a collection of stories that aren’t afraid to tackle thorny and often controversial issues of race, nationalism, religion, political ideology, and other ways in which humanity divides itself.

Table of Contents
  • Touring with the Alien by Carolyn Ives Gilman
  • Laws of Survival by Nancy Kress
  • At Play in the Fields by Steve Rasnic Tem
  • Ants of Flanders by Robert Reed
  • Taking Care of God by Liu Cixin
  • Water Scorpions by Rich Larson
  • The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill by Kelly Robson
  • Men are Trouble by James Patrick Kelly
  • They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • Bits by Naomi Kritzer
  • And Never Mind the Watching Ones by Keffy R. M. Kehrli
  • Dark Heaven by Gregory Benford
  • Nine-Tenths of the Law by Molly Tanzer
  • Five Stages of Grief After the Alien Invasion by Caroline M. Yoachim
  • Time of the Snake by A.M. Dellamonica
  • The Fear Gun by Judith Berman
  • TendelĂ©o’s Story by Ian McDonald
  • The Choice by Paul McAuley
  • Passage of Earth by Michael Swanwick
  • Reborn by Ken Liu
  • Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang

Monday, August 6, 2018

New arrivals: The Rebate Revolution

What better way to start a new month than with new books! I've been really good at curbing my book buying, but after a truly stressful few weeks I caved and placed an order for a couple of books. The promise of an unexpected tax rebate allowed me to spend a bit more than I was initially intending, but I'm still way below the 64 books I bought last year (currently sitting at just 14 for the year) so I'm still calling it a win.

First up are some books I ordered from Reader's Warehouse. I picked up The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin, The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin and the two volumes of The Unreal and The Real, a collection of short stories by the late Ursula K. le Guin.

And for my science fiction fix I got Babylon's Ashes by James S.A. Corey, the sixth book in the Expanse series and Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell.

For Review

The awesome folks at Jonathan Ball publishers once again blew me away with a selection of books for review that are simply to die for. I'm extremely excited for Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio it promises to have all the space opera goodness I love. I'm going to have to track down the first book in Ed McDonald's Raven's Mark series before I can get to Ravencry, but that cover is just amazing. And lastly, for those times when I need a break from SFF there is Incorruptible by Barbara Nadel and The Hunt by Bear Grylls.

I can't wait to get to all of these. Now if only I could find a pocket universe filled with time...