Finally got to finish this. I really enjoyed most of it, and quickly discovered I shouldn't eat while listening to it. The soundtrack and the music ch...moreFinally got to finish this. I really enjoyed most of it, and quickly discovered I shouldn't eat while listening to it. The soundtrack and the music choices on the podcast version are great, as is the author's read with unique voices for each character. It's definitely a scary ride. I picked it up because Tee Morris recommended it as part Firefly, part Babylon 5, part Blade Runner--only darker--and I was not disappointed.
I'm rating it a five because everything else was just too awesome not to give it the full measure of my appreciation, but the very end (the last chapter & epilogue) didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Perhaps I just need to let it sit in my head a bit longer and I'll figure it out, but it seemed like a very abrupt ending.(less)
I've enjoyed all three versions of this book (read by the author, full-cast audiobook, and the print edition). A solid sci-fi romance with good action...moreI've enjoyed all three versions of this book (read by the author, full-cast audiobook, and the print edition). A solid sci-fi romance with good action, good sex, and an intriguing political/economic system. Trace and Grecca are my favorite characters.(less)
There's that thing that sometimes happens where the middle book of a trilogy is boring, but this one is even better than the first one. I love the new...moreThere's that thing that sometimes happens where the middle book of a trilogy is boring, but this one is even better than the first one. I love the new characters and the familiar ones, there's more hot sex and tense action, and Pirate society is fascinating. I highly recommend Scouts and Pirates together, and can't wait for book three, Hunters!(less)
I bought this book purely for Jeremiah Tolbert's story, which did not disappoint, and was surprised to see other authors I liked among the contributor...moreI bought this book purely for Jeremiah Tolbert's story, which did not disappoint, and was surprised to see other authors I liked among the contributors. There were a number of stories that blew me away, and several that really didn't, and the rest were good. Drill-down below...
The Excellent: "Swanwatch" by Yoon Ha Lee • Love the structure of this universe. "Spirey and the Queen" by Alastair Reynolds • Perfect mixture of "You don't live in this world so I will use enough words so that the things you are seeing will make sense to you" and "I live in this word so my every thought is not a bucket of exposition." "My She" by Mary Rosenblum • Superb on all acounts. "The Culture Archivist by Jeremiah Tolbert • Funny and explorative with interesting tech. Excited to see a genderless character, but there was one thing that bugged me about it. "Golubash, or Wine-Blood-War-Elegy" by Catherynne M. Valente • Her first SF story is epic and brilliant.
The Good: "Carthago Delenda Est" by Genevieve Valentine • I think I didn't quite "get" this story, but it worked. "Life-suspension" by L. E. Modesitt • Interesting concept executed well. "Aftermaths" by Lois McMaster Bujold • More of a feel-good story than a technical masterpiece. "Twilight of the Gods" by John C. Wright • Another one I didn't quite "get," not being familiar with Wagner, but it was pretty and internally consistent. "Warship" by George R. R. Martin and George Guthridge • Good concept done well, but a little overstated. "Like They Always Been Free" by Georgina Li • It's hard to find a good really short story and this one definitely makes the grade, but the intensely personal voice was a little hard for me to follow. "Eskhara" by Trent Hergenrader • Good structure and timely concerns. "The One With the Interstellar Group Consciousnesses" by James Alan Gardner • Fairly clever, amusing and sweet in a heteronormative romcom sort of way.
The Decent: "Terra-Exulta" by S. L. Gilbow • An interesting idea, but the format bugged me and it wasn't subtle enough for its length. "Prisons" by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason • I couldn't tell what this one was trying to say, and it felt split somehow. "Different Day" by K. Tempest Bradford • Love the concept, but it doesn't really go anywhere. "Pardon Our Conquest" by Alan Dean Foster • I didn't get this one, but I may have been missing info from the other works in the milieu I hadn't read. "The Ship Who Returned" by Anne McCaffrey • Again, missing context since I haven't read the books. "The Shoulders of Giants" by Robert J. Sawyer • Great concept, not enough character development. "The Other Side of Jordan" by Allen Steele • Great concept skimmed over in favor of a fairly cardboard love story.
The Not Worth It: "Mazer In Prison" by Orson Scott Card • I enjoy much of Card's fiction and dearly love several of his books, but I really didn't need to read this story. It doesn't stand on its own and doesn't contribute much to its contextual works. "Someone Is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy" by Harry Turtledove • If Steve Eley had read this, I probably would have liked it, but by itself it's kind of thin. Punny, but again, I didn't need to read this. "Symbiont" by Robert Silverberg • Silverberg's written a zillion stories, but all the ones I've read seem to take a concept that could be interesting, give it a few quirks--a few good lines, a nice twist, a funny scene--but just not do much with it. This one was not an exception.(less)
This book did not grab me from the very first page. The voice of the narrator grated on me at the beginning, the noirisms coming a bit too fast and th...moreThis book did not grab me from the very first page. The voice of the narrator grated on me at the beginning, the noirisms coming a bit too fast and thick for my taste. I was ready to declare it Not For Me if my brows had to rise any higher. Thankfully, the tone settles down and the action picks up towards the second and third chapters, and I didn't have much problem with it the rest of the book. My brain skipped over most of the San Francisco geography because I'm not familiar with the area, but it did lend just enough local color without going overboard.
It was a fast read for me, only a few hours. As I hit the halfway point and all the threads started drawing together, I couldn't put it down--since it's an e-book, that means I barely checked Twitter and saved all incoming links to read later, a thing that is rare for my Internet attention span. The pacing of the book was pitch-perfect; Sawyer really shows his talent for the landslide finish. Since I'm better acquainted with the hydra-headed third-person-limited POV of his other book PREDESTINATION AND OTHER GAMES OF CHANCE, it was interesting to experience the tight first-person POV of AND THEN SHE WAS GONE. In some ways this choice of POV is limiting, as only the protagonist is given much chance to exposit and the antagonist/s's motivations and the effects of their actions on secondary characters are mostly unclear or thinly explored: but unreliable narrator's privilege may be a function of the genre.
I wasn't left guessing 'til the end, but that was okay. I figured out one key plot point 30 pages before the protagonist, and another about 10 pages early. Probably because the groundwork reminded me of two other stories, which I can't actually mention here to avoid spoilers. Other twists were definitely a surprise. Despite the tense and sometimes gruesome plot, I actually laughed out loud at several points, and there are a few subtle easter eggs for podcasting and science fiction fans.
All in all, it was a very entertaining read, and I recommend it to fans of mysteries and thrillers. I imagine it would come especially in handy on trains, airplanes, road trips where someone else is driving, or appointments you are stuck waiting for--I certainly forgot my surroundings while reading it.(less)
This was a great book in many respects. As someone who did not or has not yet experienced many of the essays' topics, most of them did well explaining...moreThis was a great book in many respects. As someone who did not or has not yet experienced many of the essays' topics, most of them did well explaining their stories. The essays that were more rooted in analysis of the show were also well done, and I found myself nodding a lot. A few authors I follow are in it, which is partly what attracted me to it. I'm not a female fan, but I could still relate to much of the contributors' analyses. It's an excellent window into how women have shaped and been shaped by the fandom over the years, and some of the politics involved in critiquing the show.
This book was a real treat. At less than 200 pages, I breezed through it in a few hours, my attention completely focused on it the whole time I was re...moreThis book was a real treat. At less than 200 pages, I breezed through it in a few hours, my attention completely focused on it the whole time I was reading. The pace is perfect—as soon as Libby thinks she might have a handle on her life, something crashes and she is forced to reevaluate and find a solution. I had to keep turning pages to find out what would happen next, and I really came to care about the characters by the end. The only thing that was a little confusing was the time jumps between some chapters; it sometimes took me a few pages to realize that there was a gap of several months since the previous events.(less)
This was a fascinating book. It took me forever to read it as I only picked it up a few pages at a time, but that allowed me to savor the enjoyment. I...moreThis was a fascinating book. It took me forever to read it as I only picked it up a few pages at a time, but that allowed me to savor the enjoyment. I hD never read any of Adams' essays or interviews that I can recall, only the fiction, so it was interesting to get another look at the way he thought. Reading things he wrote about computers in the '90s was especially fun, because we're living a lot of his predictions now. In the end the book has an appropriately unfinished feeling; you don't want it to end, yet it does, on a peculiar note and too soon. (less)
Found this at a church book sale years ago. I don't think I realized it wasn't the first book in this series when I bought it, but I got the rest of t...moreFound this at a church book sale years ago. I don't think I realized it wasn't the first book in this series when I bought it, but I got the rest of the series out of the library and read them all. McCaffrey always has interesting characters and worlds; the Rowan's is no exception.(less)
Not my favorite McCaffrey book, but it's decent, and has an interesting premise. For some reason it didn't really grab me as much as some of her other...moreNot my favorite McCaffrey book, but it's decent, and has an interesting premise. For some reason it didn't really grab me as much as some of her other series, but it was good.(less)