This is a pleasant easy read of only 217 pages. It was written for a teen audience (the heroine, Puck, is 13) but an adult reader of SF could enjoy itThis is a pleasant easy read of only 217 pages. It was written for a teen audience (the heroine, Puck, is 13) but an adult reader of SF could enjoy it.
The relationship between the alien "Hush" and Puck is a high point of this book. Lots of other very interesting characters. I would recommend this to any reader over age 10.
I do want to make a point. I am 67 so I review in a way for ME. I often pick YA novels when available to see what the kids are reading. So why only three stars? Well, as an adult reader I could see where a lot of things were going . Trust me, if I had read this at the age 0f 12---when I started SF---the rating would definitely be 4 stars.
Out of print now, but worth finding and giving to your teen----and read it yourself....more
As a long time fan of Isaac Asimov, I enjoy almost everything he wrote. Certainly some books are a bit more dated than others, and this is his first bAs a long time fan of Isaac Asimov, I enjoy almost everything he wrote. Certainly some books are a bit more dated than others, and this is his first book. Nevertheless, Asimov tells a good story. The idea of Earth being hated by the Outer Worlds, instead of being the center of everything, was an unusual idea at the time this was written. And I found some of the political in-fighting interesting. I also liked the idea of a man from our time going so far in the future that everything he knew was lost forever. The dialogue is dated and the portrait of the main female character will irk some readers.
Nevertheless, a quick interesting read that captures the feeling of 1950's Classic SF really well. For any SF reader ....more
This is a well well written science fiction tale. I enjoyed it very much.
The Secession Wars have finally ended. A young Alliance soldier named Jim inThis is a well well written science fiction tale. I enjoyed it very much.
The Secession Wars have finally ended. A young Alliance soldier named Jim in a moment of panic--or cowardice or both?--jumps ship abandoning vulnerable passengers in frozen sleep and his tech crew. When the ship is rescued--by their former enemies--The Alliance puts Jim on trial. The Captain of Jim's ship and the senior officers---just as guilty as Jim--escape custody. Jim faces trial alone for desertion and cowardice and offers no defense. His death sentence is commuted but he is drummed out of the service.
The book is called Second Chances because it follows Jim's travels from world to world in the outer systems and Jim attempts to make a living. But when Jim knows--or even suspects--that his true identity may be known,he quits his job and moves on. Because not only was the trial a public blockbuster--Jim also cannot forgive HIMSELF. He lost it for the space of the time it took to jump from the main ships' hull to the smaller escape craft--and he can't believe he could do such a thing.
The writer uses two narrative styles, with great effectiveness. One is from Jim's point of view, of course; the other narrator is Captain Marlow, a former commander of Jim's , whose path crosses his several times.
Top notch story-telling; good characterization and world building. Good dialogue---a winner all the way. It is aimed at fans of military SF but imho any SF fan looking for a good story would enjoy this. Highly recommended. Suitable for age 14 on up....more
This book is actually a series of novellas and short stories about Earth's first interstellar Colony.
This leads to some repetition and changes in poinThis book is actually a series of novellas and short stories about Earth's first interstellar Colony.
This leads to some repetition and changes in points of view to several different narrators, but the stories still mesh well together. I had no trouble following the changing points of view.
All eight stories (chapters) are well written and interesting. I found a few events slightly implausible---and a few things I would have liked clarified. But I still give it four stars and will not bother to quibble on a few items. It is definitely worth your time---I am already planning to buy more books in the series.
A good readable adventure---not drowned in too much science--decent characterization and good pacing. Recommended for all science fiction fans....more
This is on of Jack McDevitt's early SF works. The premise is interesting and he portrays a docile, almost decadent society. The assumption is that disThis is on of Jack McDevitt's early SF works. The premise is interesting and he portrays a docile, almost decadent society. The assumption is that discovering we are alone in the universe has affected humanity's development.
Perhaps the author deliberately paced the first third of the book a bit more slowly to emphasis the languid, we-don't care attitude of most persons in the Nine Worlds.
But although this book did not grab me at first, as you keep reading it get much better. The main character--Dr. Kimberly Brandywine--is very well drawn and the supporting characters are also good. I especially liked Dr. Tolliver, so watch for that name--those chapters I found really likeable.
A really good premise; good characterization and dialogue and a bit of a slow start---recommended for any science fiction fan....more
This book is based on a simple idea: What if Great Britain had entered the US Civil War on the Confederate side?
Of course, you could write dozens of nThis book is based on a simple idea: What if Great Britain had entered the US Civil War on the Confederate side?
Of course, you could write dozens of novels on that premise and each could be different. What actually would have happened could be debated by historians for years. I lack enough historical knowledge of the real war to comment on whether thus and such tactical maneuver would have worked. So, I just enjoyed it.
Conroy does makes one good point.Many assume adding Britain's might would result in a slam-dunk win for the South. But it is not a given. Yes, Britain has lots more manpower--but also has to keep troops in the Crimea; the Far East and India. And Ireland---the British always had troops there. a second hindrance---without modern communications, fighting a war on the other side of the oceans creates many problems.
Admittedly, I find Conroy a bit optimistic in his 'timetable' of what would have happened.
Nevertheless it is a fun, sidewise in time alternate history. It is a good solid three star tale, a few inconsistencies and a few minor quibbles for me--but it kept me turning pages. Recommended for both SF alternate history fans and fans of historical fiction....more
Barbara Hambly creates interesting worlds and ideas. In this book she has a society where magic has always existed--but only men have the power.
Now, sBarbara Hambly creates interesting worlds and ideas. In this book she has a society where magic has always existed--but only men have the power.
Now, she presents a tale of what effect it would have on any society when such a basic, familiar ability---magic--suddenly changes. As men lose magical power, women===a few women---are starting to show a somewhat different type of magic.
The conflicts in the story are well done. The rage of the men in losing their powers; the uncertainty of the women; the panic of the ordinary citizen---as drought gets worse and worse for the wizards can no long summon the rains.....
The novel is character driven---not a lot of battles or huge action scenes. But the interplay between characters made it an enjoyable read. The three main characters are Raeshaldis, the only female mage student; the king, Oryn and his lover, the Summer Concubine. I especially liked Oryn.
This is the first book of a series (so far only two) but the story stands alone. A well written fantasy which Barbara Hambly's good characterization and world-building. ...more
Another winner for a reliable SF pro. Timothy Zahn as always tells a very good tale. Lots of humor, excitement and adventure. The synopsis above is veAnother winner for a reliable SF pro. Timothy Zahn as always tells a very good tale. Lots of humor, excitement and adventure. The synopsis above is very good, so I don't need to say much about the plot.
Jordan McKell reminds me q bit of Han Solo---but his alien partner, Ixil, is a very intriguing character---Zahn creates interesting aliens, as usual.
Recommended for any SF fan ;will be especially enjoyed if you like action and adventure SF....more