When you’re Baen, you know you have a bit of a reputation for ridiculous covers. Not just over sexed ones either, but classics like:
The covers below are not from Baen, a fact I find difficult to rationalize given the styles employed. Do you think Baen’s art director might be freelancing?
First up, young adult novel whose title I cannot decrypt. Is it Warriors? Thunder Rising? Dawn of Clans? I just don’t know! Let’s go with Bonus Scene Inside! Apparently this novel features cats that have powers to fracture the earth and appear in circles that hover above said fractures. Do you think these cats are weaving gateways? Watch out Egwene Al’vere!
Then we have Mike Resnick, and Pyr. I’m rather surprised with Pyr who are usually perfectly directed by the estimable Lou Anders. But, this dinosaur, raygun, mustache combo screams Will Smith’s Wild Wild West, which isn’t a comparison any sane consumer of fiction would want.… Read the rest
I’ve read Erin Hoffman first two books, Sword of Fire and Sea and Lance of Earth and Sky. Truth be told, I didn’t find either particularly good, although the world she created is incredibly rich. In fact, they feel at times like exactly what they are. . . novels written by a video game designer. In my experience style trumps substance in the video game world, and that feels like a reasonable criticism of Hoffman’s books.
However, I don’t want to undersell the sheer creativity of the series which is really tremendous and for some readers will provide a really enjoyable reading experience. All of that aside, the covers to her novel by Dehong He have been consistently tremendous (art direction by Lou Anders). Here’s the cover for the final volume in the series, Shield of Sea and Space:
… Read the rest
The Ramal Extraction by Steve Perry
In the 24th Century, the Galactic Union’s Army is stretched thin and mercenary units fill in the gaps. Headed up by retired Colonel R.A. Cutter, the Cutter Force Initiative is a multi-species contractor for training, protection, extraction, or assassination. If the price is right, and it won’t run them afoul of the real Army, they’re game. This time around it’s a kidnapping. Rags’ and his crew are called in to find and rescue the daughter of the New Mumbai rajah. Rest assured, things are a little more complicated, both militarily and politically, than a simple rescue operation.
Unfortunately, Ramal Extraction is about as entertaining as a tooth extraction. That isn’t to say there isn’t a lot of action, or things going on, it’s all just very conventional–a small squad military thriller that just happens to be set in science fictional milieu. There’s the expected banter between different members of the squad, some secrets about its leader, and a green recruit or two to contrast how hardened the veterans truly are.… Read the rest
I’m traveling again. This means two things, lots of reading time and very little time to write. During my trip I’ve been reading a lot of YA. I’m not sure why, other than I’ve been putting them off for another day. It’s been fortuitous though as I find YA to be perfectly suited to the traveling reader — short, easily consumable, and often obvious in its subtext.
Below are three novels I read this week and my thoughts:
London Eye by Tim Lebbon
The most glaring observation almost anyone will make about London Eye is how short it is. Just over two hundred pages hardbound, it looks like a book cut in half. It reads that way too.
Cut off from the rest of the world, London is two years into the fallout of a devastating incident that’s left the city toxic. Jack and his friends all lost family on what has become known as Doomsday.… Read the rest
Now that we’re at the halfway mark for the year, I thought it would appropriate to point out all the novels coming out from August-December that strike my fancy. I’ll be breaking my posts down by publisher. Below are the novels coming this Fall and Winter from Night Shade, Angry Robot, Baen, and Pyr that will be must reads for me. I’ll mention that there are likely some books from November and December here that aren’t currently listed on the publisher’s websites that I’ll end up wanting (Anne Lyle’s Merchant of Dreams is an example). Either way, I can’t read them all. So I’ll be looking forward to seeing what interests you.
Here’s what caught my eye:
The Constantine Affliction by T. Aaron Payton (NSB – August)
1864. London is a city in transition. The Constantine Affliction–a strange malady that kills some of its victims and physically transforms others into the opposite sex–has spread scandal and upheaval throughout society.
… Read the rest