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Reviews by Contributor: Scott, Melissa (17)

Feels Like a Heavy Rain

Storm Warning

By Melissa Scott  

2 Mar, 2021

Special Requests

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Melissa Scott’s 2020 Storm Warning is a tie-in novel for the American animated web series Gen:Lock.

Following the Great Union of the Fourth Turning Republics AKA the Union AKA Team Evil’s attack on New York, the Polity AKA the Good Guys, the Good Guys have been hard pressed to hold the line at the 88th Meridian. The core of the resistance is the Gen:LOCK program, which allows pilots to briefly imprint their minds into Holons, advanced mechas. Only a small fraction of the population is capable of taking advantage of Gen:LOCK technology, thus the job of keeping the free world free falls on a small number of people, not all of whom are the sort of people governments would ordinarily trust.

Seventeen-year-old Cammie MacCloud, for example, is a former criminal.


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An Open Invitation

The Armor of Light

By Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett  

20 Aug, 2020

Special Requests

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Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett’s 1988 The Armor of Light is a standalone historical fantasy novel. 

Court astrologer John Dee approaches the aged Queen Elizabeth with disquieting news. If nothing is done, then at some time in the next century a British monarch will be put to the axe. The Virgin Queen is horrified by this monstrous reversal of the natural order.

The key to the affair is James VI, King of Scotland, who even now is the focus of a dire magical plot. In a normal state of affairs, the death of a Scotsman is no great matter (to the English). In the case of James VI, he is the man who will inherit Elizabeth’s crown when she dies. His fate is significant. 

Someone will have to travel to Scotland to deal with the matter. That someone is two people: Sir Philip Sidney and Christopher Marlowe.


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Pennies from Heaven

Fair’s Point  (Astreiant, book 4)

By Melissa Scott  

18 Apr, 2020

Special Requests

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Melissa Scott’s 2014 Fair’s Point is the fourth volume in her on-going Astreiant series. 

When aristocrat Dandin de Calior went bankrupt, the debacle extended to his creditors. Protagonist Philip Eslingen lost a goodly sum and ended up with … a dog (his share of de Calior’s assets). 

Rather than sell the basket-terrier, Eslingen decides to enter it in the dog races. He hires a well-regarded dog trainer, Besetje Quentier, and hopes to recoup his losses. 


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Detective De Tu Amor

Point of Knives

By Melissa Scott  

4 Jul, 2019

Special Requests

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Melissa Scott’s Point of Knives is set at a time between that of Point of Hopes and that of Point of Dreams, the first and second instalments of the Astreiant series. Since my site does not do fractions or decimals, numbering Point of Knives is a bit tricky. So I will not even try. 

Adjunct Point Nicolas Rathe is called from his bed to attend to a murder. Rathe soon discovers that there were two murders: both Grandad Steen and his son Old Steen were mortally injured, although by someone inept enough that dying Old Steen tried to run to safety. 

The motive for some murders is obscure. In Grandad Steen’s case, the motive seems clear: treasure. 


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Whisperer in Darkness

Finders  (Firstborn, Lastborn, book 1)

By Melissa Scott  

22 Dec, 2018

Space Opera That Doesn't Suck

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2018’s Finders is the first volume in Melissa Scott’s Firstborn, Lastborn series. 

The Ancestors disappeared millennia ago, leaving behind some garbled myths and the scattered relics of their nigh-godlike technology. Cassilde Sam and her partner Dai Winter make their meagre living tracking down and salvaging Ancestor relics. It’s a hard life, but not one that Cassilde will have to endure much longer. Third-stage Lightman’s will soon end her life. There is no treatment for Lightman’s.

Cassilde is desperate to secure financial security for Dai before she dies. An opportunity presents itself, but it comes at a high price: accepting scholar Summerlad Ashe as a partner once more. 

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Here in My Garden of Shadows

Point of Hopes  (Astreiant, book 1)

By Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett  

17 Jun, 2017

Special Requests

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1995’s Point of Hopes  is the first novel in Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett’s Astreiant series.

The great and powerful of Chenedolle are distracted by matters of state: the childless queen has yet to settle on a designated heir. The people of the great city of Astreiant have a far more down-to-Earth concern.

Someone is stealing their children.

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Shadow War

Oath Bound  (Order of the Air, book 5)

By Melissa Scott & Jo Graham  

10 Aug, 2016

Special Requests

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2016’s OathBound isthe fifth installment in Melissa Scott and Jo Graham’s ongoingseries, Orderof the Air .

Historybooks may later claim World War Two did not properly begin until1939, but the opening shots are already being exchanged in 1935.Germany is busy re-arming. Italy has revealed the essentialmeaninglessness of League of Nation ideas as its invasion of Ethiopiacontinues, unopposed by any save the Ethiopians and a handful ofvolunteers.

Somevolunteers join the struggle of their own choice. Others, like JerryBallard and his friends, are recruited.

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No attorneys/To plead my case 

Trouble and Her Friends

By Melissa Scott  

9 Apr, 2016

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Melissa Scott’s 1994 Lambda-winning cyberpunk novel, Trouble and Her Friends, lives in the intersection of Black-Mask-style mystery and science fiction. It also has echoes of the end of America’s fabled Old West, perhaps in ways that were not intended twenty-two years ago.

Convinced that the age of cracking has been ended by the badly thought-out Evans-Tinsdale Bill, Trouble abandons her old online life and her hacker lover, and vanishes into the world of respectability. There she plans to spend the rest of her life living below the law’s radar. Cerise joins the forces of sanctioned anti-cracker security, a Henry Newton Brown of the future.

For three years, those plans work.

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