John Scalzi, “Old Man’s War”

Ola’s out of town and we’re behind the schedule… so a filler from me 😉

There is a s/f series well worth reading, one heavily indebted to its predecessors. Heinlein and Haldeman were not reviewed here, but favourably mentioned. Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” is a great book, slightly problematic in its glorification of the citizen-soldier ethos, Haldeman’s “Forever War” reflects its author’s Vietnam experience and is one of the great anti-war novels. John Scalzi wrote “Old Man’s War”, and following novels (there are 6 so far), a great space opera where attitude towards war is much more balanced. Inspired by masters of the genre, he managed to retain his own voice, somewhere between their idealisms.

20889463 Continue reading

Advertisements

Vacation

Today no review – I’m on vacation :). Instead, I prepared a short list of recommended summer readings 😉

For when you have lots of time and still some inquisitiveness in you, after frying in the sun and drinking alcoholic beverages all day, or else taking care of overactive children (all in all, highly improbable, but whatever :P):

Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) – a classic sf tale, hard sf, with some landmark ideas of Heinlein and judged among his best works. An inexhaustible source of inspiration for literal hordes of writers and a must-read for every sf fan. Warning: demanding!

Heinlein_The Moon

Continue reading

James A. Corey, Leviathan Wakes (2011), Caliban’s War (2012)

Corey_1 Corey_2James S. A. Corey is actually two people, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. The former is a productive writer, author of over a dozen novels and multiple short stories. The latter is (or rather was, before becoming a half of James A. Corey) mostly known for his collaboration with George R. R. Martin.

The writers banded together to to create a sf pentalogy which would illustrate the painful and cumbersome process of humanity’s reaching out to stars. Forget that at the start it was supposed to be a trilogy – one does not collaborate with George R. R. Martin and escapes unscathed ;).

The whole series is already out. The final installment, Nemesis Games, hit the shelves not a full month ago, and SyFy is already making a TV adaptation called The Expanse and scheduled for airing in December. I guess there’s no better time for a short analysis J. I’m currently in the middle of book three, so eventually there will be part 2 of the review, covering remaining three novels. But for now – just the first two: Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War.

Leviathan Wakes was nominated for both Hugo and Locus awards. It’s a soft sf/space opera. Soft, which means that we don’t get lengthy descriptions of technological innovations or social changes inevitable in further stages of human evolution. Well, actually we don’t get any descriptions of that sort; the first installment is essentially a mystery drama in a sf wrapping. The second – a political drama in a sf wrapping. And it’s not a complaint – I’m simply stating facts, so that nobody mistakes The Expanse series for a new Asimov or Heinlein, or Clarke. Because Leviathan Wakes, and, to a lesser extent, Caliban’s War, have their own merit, and their own joys, as soft space operas.

Continue reading