The Caledonian Gambit by Dan Moren

The Caledonian Gambit by Dan Moren

When I was pulling together my to-read list for Sci-Fi Summer, I ran across The Aleph Extraction, which sounded fun, but I decided to start with the first in the series instead, The Caledonian Gambit. Starting with the first in a series, or the zero-ith in the case- the numbering's odd, is rarely the wrong choice. The Caledonian Gambit is a fun spy novel that happens to take place in space. I enjoyed it, but the sci-fi trappings weren't really necessary to the story. It could have happened on earth now, with just minor transportation and weapon changes. And that's fine by me. Basically, we have two political entities at war, a special ops team, and a lost pilot that could save the galaxy. We also have the requisite superweapon that could change the tide of the war. And at the end we have two political entities at war, a special ops team and a pilot who will probably have to...
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Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Finder is fun ride. Fergus Ferguson, a large, redheaded man from Scotland by way of Mars, has made a “career out of chasing things and running away.” Right now he’s focused on chasing an expensive spaceship, Venetia’s Sword, that was stolen from its makers by Gilger, a criminal mob boss. This mission has led Fergus to Cernee, a space colony where Gilger has his home base. Fergus has a plan and a secret method of taking control of Venetia’s Sword, shared with him by the shipbuilders. But things go wrong for Fergus right from the start, when he almost gets killed in a cable car explosion in the space colony. Fergus allies with Gilger’s enemies, who have their own issues with the power-hungry boss, and puts his plan into play, but there are complications … including some mysterious aliens with their own agenda. Finder is more or less a heist story, just with some added complications and a sci-fi background. It's a...
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Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

Altered Carbon is compulsively readable. It's fast-paced, full of sex and violence, and just grabbed my attention. Kovacs is our rather hard-boiled detective. He's is a loner with a tendency to violence and a willingness to do whatever he needs to, legal or otherwise. He is also more than willing to take "justice" into his own hands and wracks up a body count to prove it. He also has a softer side that only shows up rarely. He was killed on another world and re-sleeved in Bay City in the body of a disgraced cop. People's personalities, souls, consciousness, whatever you want to call it, are digitized and can be downloaded into new bodies with the right reasons or enough cash. Kovac's has one mission: find out who killed Laurens Bancroft, a Meth (short for Methusaleh) billionaire. Bancroft is offering Kovacs some money and more importantly his freedom as a reward. Only a lot of people don't seem to want...
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Sci-Fi Summer Readathon

Sci-Fi Summer Readathon

The Sci-Fi Summer Readathon starts today. Thanks, Michelle, for hosting again this year. From Season of Reading: Read-a-Thon dates: June 1 at 12:00am CDT until June 30 at 11:59pm CDT. Since science fiction is a very specific genre, this will be strictly reading science fiction during the event. However, since fantasy is so closely related to the genre (often grouped together), if you feel more comfortable reading fantasy, that is also fine. To check in on social media, we’ll use our new hashtag #SciFiJune. I’m going to try to keep my updates below, but I’m also on Twitter and Instagram. Books Finished: Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan; finished June 8, reviewBishop to Queen by Lexy Wolfe; finished June 10, review coming in JulyFinder by Suzanne Palmer; finished June 15, reviewThe Caledonian Gambit by Dan Moren; finished June 22, review"Pilot Error" by Dan Moren; finished June 22A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine; finished June 22 ...
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Sci-Fi Summer Wrap-up

Sci-Fi Summer Wrap-up

Yes, the Sci-Fi Summer Readathon hosted at Seasons of Reading ended over a week ago, but I kept forgetting to post my wrap-up. Since this year's readathon was a month long, the goal was to read some science fiction/fantasy, but we could include other genres as well. Here's my list. The titles should link to my posts. Red are science fiction. Originally, the event was scheduled to last two weeks and I didn't have enough sci-fi titles ready when it was extended to a month. And I got a bit bogged down by The Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. I still haven't finished it. Has anyone read it? Should I keep going or give up? The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas The Three-Body Problem by Cixiu Lin A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley Death of a Ladies' Man by Helena Marchmont My favorite of the sci-fi reads was...
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The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

Four women invented time travel in 1967. Three went on to become rich and famous. One went on to have a breakdown and be cut off from her friends. The Psychology of Time Travel is clearly science fiction, but it's also a murder mystery and even more about women and their relationships. I'm in general not a big time travel fan. It can so easily turn wonky. Here time travel is treated almost cavalierly. It was invented and people exploit it. Time travelers themselves regularly get together with their "green selves" and "silver selves," sometimes having over a dozen of themselves in the same place at the same time. It does allow for some interesting interactions and to see how time travel affects the individuals. Because that's what the book is about, how time travel affects people, mentally and emotionally, not about how it works or how it affects cultures or politics. The murder mystery bit was interesting. It's a locked...
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