I quite enjoyed this book. It is hard to categorize -- it is SF for sure, but it is also a techno-thriller/mystery. Erosion uncovered a structure in thI quite enjoyed this book. It is hard to categorize -- it is SF for sure, but it is also a techno-thriller/mystery. Erosion uncovered a structure in the Southwestern desert area of the US. It turns out to be an alien artifact, a gateway, first to the Moon and then to the Stars. The bulk of the book tells the adventures of the people who headed the investigation of the artifact. However, there is a geopolitical undercurrent to the story which comes out strongly in the climax. Roberts says he wrote the base story some 30 years ago but was never able to get it published. The recent changes in the book business gave him the choice of bypassing the traditional publishing gatekeepers and self-publishing. He updated the story and did so. That took some courage, and I am glad he did. While the right professional editing might have improved the story (in terms of dialog and pacing), it reads quite well as it is. Mr. Roberts, may we have a sequel?...more
In Liberator’s Ruin Johns has written a damned good debut novel. The novel starts off with multiple story lines that seem unrelated. The first story lIn Liberator’s Ruin Johns has written a damned good debut novel. The novel starts off with multiple story lines that seem unrelated. The first story line is about the adventures of airship captain Nathaniel An’Rieyr and his crew. Then we have Anna, a deposed princess who is obsessed with driving out the invaders of her country and regaining her throne. She is the leader of the Illum resistance. And finally there is Thomas Ras’Kar High Inquisitor of the Rhivellian Empire, who has the job of ending the resistance in Illum. As these story lines develop, with quite a bit of violence and more than a little skulduggery, we learn more about the world they live in. In the end the story lines all come together nicely in an exciting and action filled finish. At first -- because of the use of some standard tropes, especially airships -- I thought Liberator’s Ruin was an alternate history steampunk novel. However, as the story developed, it became apparent that it is something else entirely (cannot say more without giving spoilers). And, that brings me to the subject of P. J. Johns writing style. Johns doesn’t do infodumps. Instead the back story of the planet and the people is slowly revealed by the dialog and action. This is a style which I quite like. (It reminds me somewhat of Vonda Mcintyre.) All in all, I can strongly recommend this book to SF&F fans.
Unfortunately I do have a few negative comments. (Please note that none of these hurt the readability of the novel. But they were slightly irritating and kept me from giving the book five stars.) - Liberator’s Ruin needs just a little more work. I think the right professional editing could have tightened up and improved an already good story. - The whole book most certainly needs a pass by a good proofreader. I noticed a cut-and-paste error, some misuse of homonyms, and a few grammar/punctuation errors. Also, at one point a revolver transformed into a single-shot pistol within the space of a single paragraph! - Finally, the cover is rather ugly, and I can't see that it has any relationship to the story. I cannot help but think that a few hundred dollars invested in professional editing and a cool cover would really help this book....more
Walter Jon Williams, one of my favorite writers, has a wide ranging imagination. All of his stand-alone novels are quite unique. Implied Spaces does nWalter Jon Williams, one of my favorite writers, has a wide ranging imagination. All of his stand-alone novels are quite unique. Implied Spaces does not disappoint in that regard. In it, he takes on big subjects -- the origin of the universe, the purpose of life, the meaning of identity, and basis of morality just to mention a few -- and he wraps them in a damn good adventure story. The main character, Aristide, is a scholar/scientist turned swordsman. While studying implied spaces, the unplanned consequences resulting from the architecture of universes, he discovers a truly evil plot. The entire human race and their AI creations are threatened. He journeys through man-made pocket universes with a seemingly magical sword Tecmesssa and his very special cat Bitsy while seeking to uncover what it is that is literally taking control of people’s minds. The answer he finds is quite unexpected. Good book; read it....more
This is Crigger’s fourth book about Boothenay Irons, time tripping gunsmith. The book takes its name not from a gun but from an Appaloosa horse namedThis is Crigger’s fourth book about Boothenay Irons, time tripping gunsmith. The book takes its name not from a gun but from an Appaloosa horse named Six Shot. This time a LeMat pistol with a bloody past sends her back to the 1870’s. She and her fiance, Caleb, will be trapped there if they cannot find a way to stop an ancient curse. Boothenay and Caleb soon find themselves in deep trouble. She has to deal with a dangerous and sexually predatory sheriff. Caleb is captured by Nez Perce war leader Axe and faces death by torture. Boothenay with only her wits, Six Shot, and the trusty LeMat must attempt a rescue. Much violence ensues. Though this story is fairly short as novels go nowadays, it is quite enjoyable. (I do hope this isn’t Crigger’s final gunsmith book.)...more
I do love Boothenay Irons, C. K. Crigger's time traveling gunsmith. In this the third book in her gunsmith series, Boothenay gets kidnapped and takenI do love Boothenay Irons, C. K. Crigger's time traveling gunsmith. In this the third book in her gunsmith series, Boothenay gets kidnapped and taken for the first time into the future. Seems a customer needs help. Or rather the descendant of a customer. This book brings almost all the things I have come to expect from a Crigger story -- lots of action, a tight plot, and a bit of romance. The only thing missing is the historical detail she usually provides; understandable as most of the action takes place in the future. Good story. (Read in eBook format.)...more
Fast paced. Lots of action. Lots of violence. There are some really evil people out there and three teenagers are caught up in a struggle to survive.Fast paced. Lots of action. Lots of violence. There are some really evil people out there and three teenagers are caught up in a struggle to survive. Alien agendas are at work and they and their lives and will never be normal again. This book seems better written and more fleshed out than the first book. (Perhaps because the story has developed more.) I quite liked it....more