The title caught my eye, and so far the book has held my interest -- highly recommended to anyone who finds the history of science and discovery to be...moreThe title caught my eye, and so far the book has held my interest -- highly recommended to anyone who finds the history of science and discovery to be interesting. Mike Brown is an astronomer for CalTech, and has discovered numerous new objects throughout our solar system. It was his discover of Eris, an object larger than Pluto, which brought the "what is a planet?" question to a head, and forced the IAU (International Astronomical Union) to make a decision on what constitutes a planet. It's especially interesting to read about the differences between how Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930 vs. how Mike Brown found Eris in 2003. Think computers.(less)
Trading in Danger is the first of a five-book military science fiction series by Elizabeth Moon. I'd bought the entire series during Border's going-ou...moreTrading in Danger is the first of a five-book military science fiction series by Elizabeth Moon. I'd bought the entire series during Border's going-out-of-business sale, with some reservations -- I'd tried to get into Elizabeth Moon's "Deed of Paksenarrion" series, and just couldn't get into it. I'm just starting the third book in the series -- Engaging the Enemy -- and can't put it down.
Kylara Vatta is the daughter of the head of the Vatta space transport empire. As the series opens, she's a fourth-year cadet in her planet's space academy, but is booted out for performing what she thought was a good deed. Her family gives her a position as captain of an old, slow trading ship, being sent on one last routine trading mission, at the end of which it's to be scrapped. Their hope is that this will get her out of the public attention until the scandal of her dismissal has died down.
En route she and her ship is repeatedly attacked. The network of interplanetary communications is severely crippled, and an enormous plot to cripple the communications infrastructure and bring down her family's empire begins to unfold. Ky discovers that she and her small crew are the only hope to save her family and put down an interplanetary rebellion.
Ky is a fascinating, well-developed character, as are the members of her crew. The books move along at a fast pace, and Moon's understanding of technology, shipping, and the military seem spot on as far as I can tell.
I was so looking forward to this book, but never made it past the first couple of paragraphs. I know it's a personal thing, but for me fiction written...moreI was so looking forward to this book, but never made it past the first couple of paragraphs. I know it's a personal thing, but for me fiction written in first person present tense (e.g. "I gasp audibly as I'm suddenly encased in a bright yellowish light ...") is the literary equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. Life is too short, and there are too many good books, to put up with it.(less)
I always love science fiction which is backed by good science, and Ben Bova's books usually are.
I found the characters frustrating. Especially at firs...moreI always love science fiction which is backed by good science, and Ben Bova's books usually are.
I found the characters frustrating. Especially at first it was hard to identify the heroes and villains. Everyone in the book is flawed to one extent or another -- although Trudy just barely. I kept expecting some of the characters to do what heroes do -- when presented with a challenge, find an inner strength that they never knew existed -- but most of them never did. I was a bit frustrated that consequences weren't meted out as they should have been -- things turned out just peachy for characters who had been annoying and unlikeable, and one peripheral character who did a Particularly Bad Thing never suffered any consequences as far as we could see.
I liked the overall story idea, however. The book moved right along and kept me interested.(less)