Fire with Fire by Charles Gannon
Fire with Fire is the first Baen novel I’ve ever read that wasn’t written by Lois McMaster Bujold! Is that crazy or what? Although, I read it concurrently with The Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon, which Baen published in 1988. One has to give proper dues, after all.
Charles Gannon’s first solo-novel is a science fiction thriller that has something in common with H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy if it were dropped into the middle a science fictional spy novel and Jack Holloway was a polymath instead of a prospector turned legal advocate. That’s really not a good description at all, but roll with it.
Gannon presents a galaxy spanning space opera setting, but only arrives there after a lengthy ‘prologue’ (half the book?) where humanity extends its reach among the stars. At a critical point in that expansion, Fire with Fire becomes a story of first contact.… Read the rest
Damien Walters of the Guardian did a list last week of genre novels that would/should appeal to mainstream readers. That’s cool, but such discussions always strike me as a little hat in hand to the mainstream reader asking, ‘please pay attention to us, won’t you?’ I think the reverse discussion might be a little more instructive, and certainly more interesting to my readers who already read the often maligned science fiction and fantasy.
Thusly. . .
#1) Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow
You want an epic? This is an epic. I like to think of Titan as the non-fiction version of a KJ Parker novel. It’s a little dry, there’s not a lot of action, but damned if the subject matter isn’t compelling. Titan is all about how the richest man in America founded one of the most enduring entities in world history (Standard Oil).… Read the rest
My 2012 Juice Box Awards hit a bit of a snag called a new job. I quite underestimated the challenge of moving into a new work environment after ten years. But, I’m going to do my damnedest to get my 2012 awards done this week!
One of my favorite awards is recognizing books from years past that I only recently read for the first time. These novels get forgotten too easily with the shiny new releases that come by every month. Unlike last year, I tried to make a point of reading more out of year novels, and I succeeded with twenty of the one-hundred books I read this year. Not bad, right?
So, which was the best? Below are my five favorites from 2012, with published years ranging from the early 1980s to 2011.… Read the rest