My first foray into the new Star Wars canon is the YA novel Star Wars – Lost Stars by Claudia Gray. I thought it was a terrific book.
The novel is abouMy first foray into the new Star Wars canon is the YA novel Star Wars – Lost Stars by Claudia Gray. I thought it was a terrific book.
The novel is about a couple that grows up together on a planet called Jelucan. Ciena Ree is in the lower class of society and Thane Kyrell is one of the upper crust. They are very young (maybe 8 – 10) in the prologue, in which they first meet each other. A chance meeting of them both and Grand Moff Tarkin, who we know from the films, fuels a pledge from both of them to some day be worthy officers in the Empire’s fleet. They spend much time on Jelucan together, training for academy entry and building an unbreakable friendship. Most of the novel takes place in the academy and during their time of service after graduation.
A most satisfying aspect of Star Wars – Lost Stars is the change that is brought about as Ciena and Thane mature and are overwhelmed by events. Their relationship with each other is the main focus of the story, but their relationships with the Empire and with their families and friends is also highlighted. I found these to be particularly authentic and a testament to the author’s skill. There is much here for fans of the films, as this is a story that is not just set in the Star Wars universe, but is entwined and knotted in it in a way that gives the reader a fresh perspective on the original three movies. A fan will recognize many events in the novel from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, but not from perspectives we have seen.
A third aspect of the book I enjoyed were the thoughts created by experiencing sympathetic characters on the Empire side of things. How does it happen that good people find themselves in the service of evil? How difficult is it to make decisions that are at odds against a lifetime of belief and training? Star Wars – Lost Stars has much to say about these things and my thoughts spilled out of the fiction into the true history of the human race, which attests to the power of stories and why so many of us read them.
Claudia Gray has created a special novel. I haven’t read extensively in the Star Wars universe, but I have read a several of the novels over the years.Star Wars – Lost Stars is now my favorite one. With the success of the new film and now this, I’m thrilled to find the Star Wars universe in such good hands.
In the 1970’s and 80’s, long before he wrote the Song of Ice and Fire books, George R.R. Martin was writing science fiction. He wrote particularly excIn the 1970’s and 80’s, long before he wrote the Song of Ice and Fire books, George R.R. Martin was writing science fiction. He wrote particularly excellent short fiction, which garnered him a handful of awards, including Hugos for “Sandkings”, “The Way of Cross and Dragon”, and “A Song for Lya”. Tuf Voyaging is a fix-up novel containing stories he wrote during this period starring a man named Haviland Tuf.
In the first story, Tuf is the captain of a trading spaceship he calls the Cornucopia of Excellent Goods at Low Prices. He’s not a great trader, but he’s earnest. He takes on four people that hire him for transport to a “plague star”, which contains a planet that has been ravaged by disease. The cause of the disease is found when Cornucopia of Excellent Goods at Low Prices is damaged after triggering a seedship’s defenses: a seedship of the Ecological Engineering Corp from the Federal Empire, an ancient polity that has since faded into myth.
Through a crazy series of events that involve a Tyrannosaurus rex, Tuf ends up in sole possession of the massive seedship he calls the Ark. He parks the Cornucopia of Excellent Goods at Low Prices in one of the bays and starts using the ship’s stunning biological capabilities to make a living as an Ecological Engineer. With his cats, Tuf flies from world to world solving ecological problems. Things, of course, are not that simple.
The major appeal of Tuf Voyaging is the character of Haviland Tuf. He’s a man of many words, delivered in a dry yet eloquent way that never gets old. At times the reader thinks Tuf may not be perceiving what is happening around him. It’s always a delight to find out that he understands perfectly.
The book is also thoughtful. Many of the ecological problems that Tuf is called on to solve have a human element to them. On a planet called S’uthlam, for example, Tuf argues that overpopulation is going to prevent any solutions, which spurs a debate about religious beliefs vs. ecology. On another world, treatment of animals is a topic. Martin brings these things up in this book without being preachy.
This book contains the following stories: “The Plague Star” (1985) “Loaves and Fishes” (1985) “Guardians” (1981) “Second Helpings” (1985) “A Beast for Norn” (1976) “Call Him Moses” (1978) “Manna From Heaven” (1985)
Well-written autobiography, often funny. The book ends just as Monty Python was starting, so I'm looking forward to a follow-up, which Cleese said isWell-written autobiography, often funny. The book ends just as Monty Python was starting, so I'm looking forward to a follow-up, which Cleese said is coming. I particularly enjoyed his comments throughout about performance and creativity. ...more
Are you in the mood for something atypical? I read this book not knowing what to expect and was pulled in from the first chapter, which begins "The ChAre you in the mood for something atypical? I read this book not knowing what to expect and was pulled in from the first chapter, which begins "The Chief Justice liked his presidents crazy, but not too crazy." The year was 1946, and an assassin is intent on killing the President, whose identity is the book's first surprise. In this dark, crazy United States people get around by raven taxi and Edgar Allen Poe was president for nearly a year (1848). It's a fun read that will have you cackling maniacally!...more
I enjoyed this, my first Star Trek novel for a long while.
The book takes place after the early TOS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The crew ofI enjoyed this, my first Star Trek novel for a long while.
The book takes place after the early TOS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The crew of the Enterprise plays a role in the story, but not the central role. There are many characters being set up (I assume) for the rest of the story - this is Book 1 of 7.
The most interesting character was T'Prynn, a vulcan female troubled by a katra that refuses to leave her mind.
The book is not big idea stuff, but is an entertaining story in a comfortable universe.