The Hot Gate

Share

This book follows on from Live Free or Die and Citadel. This time we focus solely on Dana as she is transferred to a new unit. The story is interesting, although perhaps it focusses on the dysfunction of the Latin American countries a little more than is really necessary. More interestingly, the book ends the series (as best as I can tell) in an unusual manner for a book like this, with the humans not winning a simple out right victory — moral or otherwise. Overall, a fun light read.

[isbn: 9781451638189]

Share

Live Free or Die

Share

This book is useful. When the Earth is invaded by evil aliens intent on stripping us of our heavy metals, I now know how to fight back using just Maple Syrup and a Death Star I just happen to have hanging around. That’s education right there. This book is delightfully not sexist compared with some of Ringo’s other books, which makes me happy. It does lack strong female characters, but at least they’re not being used for titillation (refer to Cally’s War for an example of how this isn’t always true). I enjoyed this book.

[isbn: 9781439133972]

Share

Starquake

Share

The sequel to the very excellent Dragon’s Egg, this book covers the continued interaction between the humans and the super cute Cheela. Unfortunately for the Cheela they suffer a major natural disaster which destroys society. I love an author who is willing to kill of characters when it progresses the story, and there is lots of that happening in this book. Really enjoyable.

[isbn: 0345312333]

Share

Jupiter

Share

This is the first book of Ben Bova’s that I’ve read. Before that I’ve only read “The Nonmetallic Isaac or It’s a Wonderful Life” in Foundation’s Friends. I bought this book randomly because I had run out of things to read on a business trip, and I don’t regret it. The book is well paced, interesting and fun to read. It also explores alien life in a way which is particularly believable (unlike many other SF books I encounter). This book reminds me of Dragon’s Egg without being so hard-SFy. A very good book.

[isbn: 9780812579413;0812579410]

Share

Speaker For The Dead

Share

This is the second book in the Ender’s Game series, and is better than the novelized Ender’s Game, although it is impossible to beat the short story version. Ender has grown a lot over the time between this book and the last, and the story is compelling and believable. I really enjoyed this book.

[isbn: 1857238575;9781857238570]
[awards: nebula winner 1986; hugo winner 1987; locus_novel winner 1987]

Share

The Coming

Share

This book wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be — some of Joe’s other work has been excellent (The Forever War, Forever Peace and Marsbound being examples). However, some of his other books are very weak, such as Forever Free and There Is No Darkness. This book is an interesting experiment in story telling style, where many different very short chapters are told by different characters. Each chapter follows on directly from the previous one. However, this style makes the story confusing to read until you can remember the names of all the characters. Worse than that though, the idea behind the story isn’t terribly strong, and the resolution is weak as well.

Overall and ok read, but not Joe’s best work and not a book I would recommend.

[isbn: 0441008763]

Share

Dragon’s Egg

Share

This book was strongly recommended by a friend, and has been sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for a while. Its my first real taste of “hard” science fiction, and I enjoyed it. The story is surprisingly fast moving given it has to cover the entire development of an intelligent species, and the process is interesting. There are strong parallels with our own past, which I guess isn’t that surprising a thing for an author to do. I’ve seen complaints that the human characters in this book are a bit one dimensional, but I think that’s unfair. The book isn’t about the humans, and they are there only to progress the plot. I think the human characters are fine. If you want to see poor character development, checkout Robot City and Robots and Aliens series.

[isbn: 034528349x]

Share

The Robot City, Robots and Aliens Series

Share

This series follows on from the Robot City series set in Asimov’s Foundation Universe but written by other authors. Overall that first series was weak, and I think the same is true for this series as well. There are a few here that are better than the others, but I’d only recommend this series for those who are obsessed with Foundation universe completeness.

Share

Isaac Asimov’s Robot City: Robots and Aliens: Humanity

Share

This book is actually the best one of the two robot city series (Robot City and Robots and Aliens). Unfortunately I had to wade through 12 not very good books to find it, and its still not stellar. I’d recommend giving both these series a miss unless you’re obsessed with completeness in Asimov’s Robot universe.

[isbn: 0441373860]

Share