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Reviews by Contributor: Barnes, Steven (5)

Welcome to the Jungle

The Legacy of Heorot  (Avalon, volume 1)

By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle & Steven Barnes  

24 Jun, 2021

Big Hair, Big Guns!


1987’s The Legacy of Heorot is the first volume in Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes’ Avalon series.

A century after being meticulously selected to establish Man’s first colony on an extrasolar planet, the settlers aboard the National Geographic Society’s starship Geographic establish a foothold on the Tau Ceti IV planet of Avalon. Prudently selecting an island for their settlement, they begin the task of transforming the island into an ecosystem in which humans can thrive.

Despite the unpleasant surprise that a century of hibernation has a cognitive cost apparently undetectable over shorter timespans, the settlers have thus far been successful in their bid to make Man’s Manifest Destiny IN SPAAACE a reality. Indeed, they’ve been so successful that ex-soldier turned security expert Cadmann Weyland seems superfluous to needs. 

The settlers are overconfident. Cadmann is crucial to the colony’s survival — or he will be if he survives the calamity bearing down on the naïve colony.

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Lean On Me

Domino Falls  (Devil’s Wake, volume 2)

By Tananarive Due & Steven Barnes  

19 Feb, 2018

Miscellaneous Reviews


2013’sDominoFallsis a sequel to Stephen Barnes and Tananarive Due’s 2012 novel,Devil’sWake.

FreakDay, when the infected turned on their former friends, neighbours,and family members, ended the comfortable old world. Mere weeks afterFreak Day, most humans are either dead or infected. The few untaintedsurvivors struggle to survive and to avoid the infection even onebite can transmit.

Kendralost her family to Freak Day and its aftermath. No person can survivealone for long; luckily for Kendra, she has five reliable allies inTerry, Piranha, Sonia, Dean, and Darius. Even better, the six teensmay have found the refuge they need in Domino Falls, one of the fewtowns to survive Freak Day.

Orthey may not.

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The Things I Do in Rage

Devil’s Wake  (Devil’s Wake, volume 1)

By Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due  

23 Feb, 2017

Miscellaneous Reviews


2012’sDevil’sWakeis the first volume in Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due’s Devil’sWakeseries.

Itdidn’t take long for the plague of angry ghouls to sweep across America,because to be bitten by one of the infected is to become one of theinfected. There is no cure and there is no vaccine. The only reliableprophylaxis is preparedness or simple dumb luck.

Givenenough time, even the prepared run into something unexpected. Giventime, the best luck in the world runs out.

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Back to Bilalistan

Zulu Heart  (Bilalistan, volume 2)

By Steven Barnes  

3 Mar, 2016

Miscellaneous Reviews


Steven Barnes’ Zulu Heart is a follow-up to 2002’s Lion’s Blood. It is also the final volume (to date) in Barnes’ Bilalistan alternate history.

Four years after the events of Lion’s Blood, Walid Kai’s long-delayed marriage to his Zulu fiancée, Nandi, is finally at hand. This could become complicated … and not just due to Kai’s conflicted relationship with Nandi’s Zulu nation. Kai is already married to Lamiya. Will Nandi and Lamiya will cooperate … or quarrel?1. As if that weren’t enough drama, Kai’s position as Walid, or leader, is going to pose even greater challenges.

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Sail Away, Sail Away

Lion’s Blood  (Bilalistan, volume 1)

By Steven Barnes  

30 Nov, 2015

Miscellaneous Reviews


In Steven Barnes’ 2002 novel Lion’s Blood, little Aiden O’Dere is rescued from a dismal life in a hidden Irish village when bold Viking entrepreneurs provide Aiden and those members of his village who survive the negotiation process (including his mother and his sister, but not his father) with free transportation to Bilalistan1, far across the ocean. There, the kindly Muslims provide the Irish with room and board, in exchange for such duties as their new masters deem appropriate.

Aiden proves inexplicably ungrateful, even though his new owner, the Wakil Abu Ali, is notoriously easy-going towards his property. Perhaps it’s the hard work, the beatings, the short lives many slaves face, the way slave women are used as sexual playthings, or simple white intransigence, but something about his new life does not sit entirely well with Aiden. There does not seem to be much that he can do about his situation.

Well, except

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