June 14, 2018

A grim but hopeful view of New York underwater in 2140

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson (2017) 624 pages @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Finalist for the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novel What will life on Earth be like a century from now once the oceans have risen fifty feet or more? This is the central question the acclaimed science fiction writer Kim Stanley […]

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May 2, 2018

In a brilliant sci-fi trilogy, a new post-human species emerges

Apex (Nexus Trilogy #3) by Ramez Naam (2015) 608 pages @@@@ (4 out of 5) In this brilliant sci-fi trilogy, a new post-human species emerges—and what happens isn’t pretty. Demonstrating intimate knowledge of science in a brilliant sci-fi trilogy The Nexus Trilogy is especially intriguing because Naam is both an accomplished computer scientist and a science […]

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April 24, 2018

Lovable characters in this off-beat space opera

A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2) by Becky Chambers (2016) 384 pages @@@@ (4 out of 5) Finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel Becky Chambers has written three books in her Wayfarers series to date. The first, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, appeared in 2015 and met immediate and […]

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April 16, 2018

An interstellar adventure story in the award-winning Vorkosigan Saga

Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga #8) by Lois McMaster Bujold (2011) 338 pages @@@@ (4 out of 5) Lois McMaster Bujold has won numerous awards for her long-running Vorkosigan Saga. Given the light touch of her writing, the series might well be renamed Miles Vorkosigan’s Excellent Adventures in the Galaxy. In the eighth book in […]

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April 9, 2018

The CIA, LSD, and a drug-addled alien from the planet Utorb

Project HALFSHEEP: Or How the CIA’s Alien Got High by Susan Hasler (2015) 399 pages @@@@ (4 out of 5) In 1953, the fledgling CIA under Director Allen Dulles launched a mind-control program called MKUltra. The project was an experiment on human subjects with drugs that included LSD years before Timothy Leary turned on and dropped […]

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March 26, 2018

Crisis on a planet inhabited only by men

Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga #7) by Lois McMaster Bujold (2011) 224 pages @@@@ (4 out of 5) The title character and protagonist in Ethan of Athos is Dr. Ethan Urquhart, a physician who works at one of the many Rep (Reproductive) Centers on Athos, a planet inhabited only by men. Athos had been founded […]

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March 22, 2018

A locked-room sci-fi mystery on an interstellar spaceship

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty (2017) 400 pages @@ (2 out of 5) Finalist for the 2018 Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel If you’re an Agatha Christie fan and can at least tolerate science fiction, you might enjoy Mur Lafferty’s Nebula-Award nominee Six Wakes. I didn’t. This sci-fi mystery illustrates the worst of […]

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March 19, 2018

Not a single dull page in this science-based sci-fi thriller

Crux (Nexus Trilogy #2) by Namez Raam (2015) 624 pages @@@@@ (5 out of 5) There are a lot of moving parts to this novel. We enter the thoughts of ten principal characters, by my count. The action unfolds in tiny chapters, switching from one character to another; few of these chapters are more than […]

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