Short SF Con Report

Earlier this month, I went out to Layton Utah to attend Westercon 72, NASFiC 2019, 1632 Minicon for 2019, Manticon 2019, Spikecon. Yes, that was just one con! It was a little small for a NASFiC, but that made it a bit easier for me to get around. I'm a rather shy introvert, so I don't do large crowds well. I also have back trouble, and often use a cane. Sometimes that's not easy at a con.

An Impressive Space Western

Book Title: 

Company A: The Origin of the Martian Rangers

Book Author: 

H.K. Devonshire, Peter Prellwitz

As the title gives away, this book is about the Martian Rangers. Not aliens. No, humans sorta like the Texas Rangers of old movies, but on Mars. A Mars that is every bit as wild and dangerous as the old west of stories.

This first book is the story of how the Martian Rangers got started. Things don't go well at first, but eventually, the Rangers pull through. It's a fun story, a mix of Science Fiction and Westerns.

Another Gem from Guy Gavriel Kay

Book Title: 

A Brightness Long Ago

Book Author: 

Guy Gavriel Kay

This was a brilliant book, which is what I expect from Guy Gavriel Kay. It is set in a world that he has used before, but in a different time and place. This time, the novel is set in his world's equivalent to Renaissance Italy. It is very close to our own history, but the location names are different, and there are other clues that make it clear that this is not our Italy.

Another Fascinating Entry in Adventures in the Liaden Universe

Book Title: 

Shout of Honor

Book Author: 

Sharon Lee, Steve Miller

Like our own universe, the Liaden Universe is complex. In this short work, we meet several characters who find themselves involved with the ongoing story of the Liaden novels. They do not change the main story, but it seems to have changed them. The principal character, and the first one we meet is Commander Vepal, the Yxtrang Ambassador to the Outworlds, which is apparently, a job that does not pay well.

Not a New Book, but New to Me

Book Title: 

Man-Kzin Wars IV

Book Author: 

Larry Niven

Liking this book was a bit of a surprise for me. For the past year or more, I've had a hard time reading any hard sf, military sf or serious mysteries. I guess you could call this military SF, of a sort. But I guess the Man-Kzin Wars series is just such an old favorite series, that I read it straight through.

This book is two shorter works combined:

The Survivor by Donald Kingsbury

A Little Something Different

Book Title: 

A Morbid Taste for Bones

Book Author: 

Ellis Peters

This is the first in the Brother Cadfael series. I first encountered the good Brother Cadfael on the PBS Mystery series. I really enjoyed the series, which starred Derek Jacobi as Brother Cadfael.

A Short, but Delightful Read

Book Title: 

Degrees if Separation

Book Author: 

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

This novella tells the beginning of the story of Don Eyr. Here is a tale of a man who makes the best of a very bad situation, again and again. He's every bit as much of a hero as any main character in any of the 21 Liaden novels. Unlike most of them, he never had a family to support him and help him reach his full potential. He had to do that on his own. Like a true hero, when he finds others even worse off than he is, he does what is necessary to help them, even though it puts him at risk. It's not a long story, but it is a wonderful character study of a man... a hero.

The Story of the Korval Clan Continues

Book Title: 

Neogenesis

Book Author: 

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

was prepared to love this book. The Liaden novels from Sharon Lee and Steve Miller just seem to be getting better and better in an odd way that makes the older novels better too. The authors have been weaving a complex web since the beginning and Neogenesis seems to bring several of the threads together at last. There is not actually any indication that the threads will stay together, though.

Amazing New Soulwood Novel from Faith Hunter

Book Title: 

Flame in the Dark

Book Author: 

Faith Hunter

I've really liked Nell Ingram from her first appearance in Faith Hunter's fiction. While she is a supernatural being, she is totally unlike Jane Yellowrock. When we first met Jane, she was competent, self-confident and ready to kick vampire butt and not bother to take names. When we first met Nell, she was scared, and small, and had reason to be that way.

Since then, we have watched Nell 'grow up', and start taking responsibility for herself in ways that a proper woman of God's Cloud of Glory Church could never even imagine.

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