James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Contributor

Reviews by Contributor: Moon, Elizabeth (4)

Paranoia is in Bloom

Command Decision  (Vatta’s War, book 4)

By Elizabeth Moon  

24 Nov, 2020

Military Speculative Fiction That Doesn't Suck

2 comments

2007’s Command Decision is the fourth volume in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War series. 

Having narrowly survived the previous adventure, Ky Vatta sets out to completely reshape interstellar politics. After all, if she does not do it, the Deepspace Benevolent Association — Team Evil! —most definitely will.

The various players split up so they can do more damage to the enemy. Because that alwaysworks.


Read more ➤

Our Darkest Deeds

Engaging the Enemy  (Vatta’s War, book 3)

By Elizabeth Moon  

17 Nov, 2020

Military Speculative Fiction That Doesn't Suck

1 comment


2006’s Engaging the Enemy is the third (and middle) volume in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War quintology. 

The book begins where the previous one left off. Ky Vatta is rebuilding her family business, which was laid waste in the previous book. She has managed to acquire her father’s implant, which gives her intimate knowledge of the company (as well as of her father’s final moments before his death). She has defeated her evil relative Osman and has seized his heavily armed ship as spoils of war.

Her troubles are not over, not least because many governments do not accept as legitimate the murder hobo creed I killed him and then took his stuff.”


Read more ➤

Fateful Lightning

Marque and Reprisal  (Vatta’s War, book 2)

By Elizabeth Moon  

3 Nov, 2020

Military Speculative Fiction That Doesn't Suck

4 comments

2004’s Marque and Reprisal is the second book in the Elizabeth Moon series Vatta’s War.

Having successfully rebuilt her shattered career and defied mutineers, Ky Vatta’s troubles should be over. She should be able to look forward to the carefree life of a successful interstellar trader.

Aside from the whole interstellar war thing, that is. 


Read more ➤

Trapped in a warzone

Trading in Danger  (Vatta’s War, book 1)

By Elizabeth Moon  

1 Jul, 2015

Military Speculative Fiction That Doesn't Suck

0 comments

If I am going to review MilSF that doesn’t suck, at some point I need to address the Elizabeth Moon issue. On the one hand her books (or at least some of them) are clearly candidates. On the other hand, many of them have been published by Baen, whose publisher is a willing participant in this year’s attempt to nobble the Hugos. Baen is a company whose works I don’t review. A company that’s dead to me. 

However … thanks to various events that are Googleable, Moon moved over to Del Rey. That company is not colluding in an attempt to nobble the Hugos and is not dead to me. The system works! 

2003’s Trading in Danger kicks off Moon’s Vatta’s War series. Well-meaning Ky Vatta is booted out of the naval academy when a well-meaning attempt to help a friend results in a PR-disaster for the service. The navy doesn’t consider meant well” a defense. Former cadet Ky finds herself on the curb outside the Academy, waiting for a ride home. 

This is a bold opening gambit if the series as a whole is supposed to be military science fiction. 


Read more ➤