OK, back to finish this up!
The three books of Speculative Fiction I read were very different from each other, and I liked all of them very much.
- Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber was the Tor.com free ebook last month. I posted before about how much I was enjoying the book. It was excellent. It is science fiction set in a medieval society, and it really does tell us a lot about ourselves. There is a great review of the book from 2009 on Tor.com. I agree with a lot of what it says, but I take exception with other parts. She hated the names, and I loved them. I loved reading them out loud to myself to figure out what the name was. It was fun! What I didn’t care for was the extreme amount of detail about ship design. The big question, as far as I was concerned at least, was regarding the role of tech in our lives. We see tech far beyond ours today slowly introduced into the medieval society where tech has been been outlawed. Will the tech save mankind or kill most of it off – again? I want to read the entire series. Unfortunately, I will probably have to buy paperback copies since they are cheaper than the ebooks! But regardless of the cost, this is a series I really want to read in its entirety.
- Ad Astra by Kevin O. McLaughlin was another book I really enjoyed. I have read other books by McLaughlin, and they have all been good. An alien spaceship has been discovered deep inside the moon. The team that is trying to learn all about it doesn’t all agree on what should be done with it. That leads to a confrontation in space while it is on a shake-down voyage that ends up being a real test of the ship and its human crew. A lot of reviewers on Amazon didn’t like it, saying it was too short. I didn’t feel that way at all. Yes, it is the beginning of the series but it is a pretty complete story in and of itself. I will eventually read more in this series.
- Removed by S.J. Pajonas was a great read! it is speculative fiction in that it takes place in the future. Most of humanity has died and what is left lives under a dome in northern Canada somewhere. As usual with Pajonas, Japanese culture dominates the story. As a matter of fact, the story is completely Japanese culture. It was a fascinating story, and I came away from it feeling like I had learned something. I will definitely be reading more in this series!
I also read a couple of books of Historical Fiction.
- Arthur: War’s End by Paul Bannister was the last book in his Forgotten Emperor series. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I have some of the others, but it was a good book. Arthur has made peace with Rome, but that only seems to lead to more trouble. It is worth reading if you have read the series.
- The Uninvited Guest by Sarah Woodbury was great! I am totally hooked on this series. It is a mystery set in the Middle Ages and does a good job with the mystery and the history. No, I am sure it is not historically accurate in all details, but it is close enough for me. It was a fun read. I am working now on more in this series. I highly recommend it!
I read The Assassin’s Curse by Lindsay Buroker. This book was set in the Emperor’s Edge world. That’s where I started reading Buroker. I love the characters! This is billed as a short story, but by SFWA Nebula award standards, it is a novelette. Regardless of how we categorize it, this is a fun read. It’s too short to be an entry point into the series, but once you know Amaranthe and Sicarius, it’s great.
So that finishes up January’s reading. Let’s see how February goes.