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Reviews by Contributor: Scott, Melissa (16)

Side-quest!

Silence in Solitude  (The Roads of Heaven, book 2)

By Melissa Scott  

21 Apr, 2015

Special Requests

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1986’s Silence in Solitude is the second volume in the Roads of Heaven trilogy (and Scott’s fourth novel overall, if the ISFDB is to be trusted [1]).

The story begins six months after Silence arrives on Solitudo Hermae to begin her training as a magus. She is working under the supervision of Magus Isambard, an old ally.

As a female pilot in a fanatically patriarchal society, Silence was already unusual; her new career as a female magus makes her virtually sui generis [2].

This is not such a good thing, as the Hegemon has put a price on Silence’s head. Hard to be an inconspicuous fugitive when you are notably unique. 

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Tesla Versus Fascists!

Silver Bullet  (Order of the Air, book 3)

By Melissa Scott & Jo Graham  

8 Apr, 2015

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2014’s Silver Bullet is the third novel in Scott and Graham’s Order of the Air series. The Great Depression is three years old and President Roosevelt’s victory over Hoover has taken place just three days before the book opens. As a result, some Americans are filled with hope and others with a grim, fanatical rage. 

Thanks to the events of the previous novel, the gang at Gilchrist Aviation (Alma Gilchrist, Mitch Sorley, Lewis Segura, Jerry Ballard, and recent hire Stasi Rostov) are more financially secure than many Americans. The prize money they won, as well as their alliance with millionaire Harry Kershaw, mean that none of them are wondering where their next meal is coming from … though they do have to budget carefully. 

Harry seems to have given up collecting eldritch artifacts of mystical doom. This time, our gang is threatened only by weird super-science machines and roving gangs of armed fascists.

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Henry Kershaw Must Die!

Steel Blues  (Order of the Air, book 2)

By Melissa Scott & Jo Graham  

30 Mar, 2015

Special Requests

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Second in the Order of the Air series, 2013’s Steel Blues revisits the protagonists of 2012’s Lost Things. Henry Kershaw, a flamboyant plot-enabler, also turns up again. 

It is two years into the Great Depression. Nothing President Hoover has done has helped. One of his measures, pulling all the air mail contracts from the small carriers and consolidating the contracts with just four large carriers [1], threatens Gilchrist Aviation, the small company run by Alma Gilchrist and Mitchell Sorley. Hoover has yanked their mail routes and Gilchrist Aviation is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

There is one faint hope on the horizon. 

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The Editor Strikes Back

Five-Twelfths of Heaven  (The Roads of Heaven, book 1)

By Melissa Scott  

25 Nov, 2014

Rediscovery Tuesday

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1985’s Five-Twelfths of Heaven was Scott’s second published novel after 1984’s The Game Beyond. It is the first volume of the Silence Leigh trilogy. The other volumes are 1986’s Silence in Solitude and 1987’s The Empress of Earth. I enjoyed this back in the 1980s (which is why I picked this particular Scott to review) and I enjoyed rereading it. 

(Note: 1985 is almost thirty years ago. Baen Books was a very different brand then, so people who stumble over an old copy of this will not find the book they may expect given Baen Books’ current output.)

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The Kindly Ones

The Kindly Ones

By Melissa Scott  

8 Jul, 2014

Rediscovery Tuesday

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Given how the Baen brand has evolved over the years,“Baen Books” does not make one think Lamba and Tiptree-nominated author” but in the 1980s Jim Baen reportedly made a point of looking for good new female authors and his enhusiasm for gay-bashing SF1 had not yet blinded him to works of quality featuring protagonists outside the usual hetrosexual limits. Post-Del Montefication, it may be hard to believe this ever came from Baen, but it did.

And the cover wasn’t even that bad.

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