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Search for the Star Stones

Search for the Star Stones

By Andre Norton 

28 Aug, 2014

Special Requests

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Search for the Star Stones is an omnibus of two linked Norton novels, 1968’s The Zero Stone and 1969’s Uncharted Stars. Many of Norton’s books shared an ancient universe where the history of technological civilizations began long before humans appeared and would presumably long continue once we fell into dust with the rest. While the Zacathans managed to survive through two million years, such longevity is not the usual case and most of the civilizations that rose and fell, lumped together as a misleadingly unitary term Forerunner”, are known only through enigmatic relics.

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Sword Art Online: Aincrad

Sword Art Online: Aincrad  (Sword Art Online, volume 1)

By Reki Kawahara 

27 Aug, 2014

Translation

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2022 AD: thousands of players around the world flock to log onto Sword Art Online, a cutting edge Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game. They soon discover the VRMMORPG has features that even beta-testers like Kirito had no inkling of, the most obvious of which is the total absence of any way to log out of the game. 

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Memory: Book Three of the Scavenger Trilogy

Memory  (Scavenger Trilogy, volume 3)

By K J Parker 

26 Aug, 2014

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His reunion with his family having not gone entirely well, the man using the name Poldarn flees back to the Empire he fled in the first book. People familiar with the series thus far might ask if that is an entirely sensible idea on Poldarn’s part; sadly, Poldarn’s talents do not lie in the field of ratiocination or even learning from experience”.

Desiring to leave behind his life as an agent of chaos and doom – I misspoke, as an incarnation of the god of chaos and doom – Poldarn settles down in what he hopes will be a quiet life working for a bell works. Bells seem harmless enough, right? But there is no knife that does not turn in Poldarn’s hand; he is such that a job in a fluffy teddy bear factory would lead to the death of half the country.

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Space Cadet

Space Cadet

By Robert A. Heinlein 

22 Aug, 2014

The Great Heinlein Juveniles (Plus The Other Two) Reread

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The second of the juveniles, Space Cadet is from 1948 but more improved over Rocket Ship Galileo than the passage of one year would warrant. 

By 2075, the Earth unified, although not as peacefully as in Rocket Ship Galileo; Denver is a crater, as are other cities. The current peace is enforced by the Patrol and naïve Matt Dodson wants to be one of its many officers. Happily for Matt, he is one of the few good enough for the Patrol to consider but when we meet him, on his way to the academy, he has no idea if he will be one of the majority of washouts or if perhaps he can be polished into the sort of young who might kill a million of his fellow citizens in nuclear fire. 

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Pattern: Book Two of the Scavenger Trilogy

Pattern  (Scavenger Trilogy, volume 2)

By K J Parker 

19 Aug, 2014

Rediscovery

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Although still an amnesiac, the man known as Poldarn has reunite with his people after a generation of separation and although he cannot remember why it was he had to flee all those years ago, no doubt such matters are of the distant past and could not possibly come back to haunt him now.

Amnesia isn’t the only thing dividing Poldarn from his devoted family; everyone else on the two islands of the raiders are telepathic, and in a society where households run smoothly thanks to what is almost a group mind, Poldarn is the odd man out, a stranger in a practical-minded community beyond such petty superstitions as religion or volcanoes. 

So, bad news about volcanoes; turns out they are real.…

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On a Red Station, Drifting

On a Red Station, Drifting

By Aliette de Bodard 

18 Aug, 2014

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Just a short review today; I thought this was a full length novel and when I discovered it wasn’t, it was too late to bring a back-up book.

The Dai Viet Empire spans star systems but it spans fewer systems than it did a few years previously. As an ineffectual emperor and his court abandon peripheral systems to warlords, Linh, a functionary haunted by guilt over having abandoned her responsibilities flees towards Prosper Station and what she hopes will be refuge in the arms of family.

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Lucifer’s Hammer

Lucifer’s Hammer

By Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle 

17 Aug, 2014

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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The 1970s were a golden age of disaster movies and books; skyscrapers burned down, nuclear reactors melted down, and earthquakes leveled cities. First published in 1977, Lucifer’s Hammer was a late entry into that genre0 but what it lacked in timing it made up for in scale; where previous entries had wrecked cities, Hammer smashed the planet and where others killed hundreds, Hammer killed billions. It’s a shame, therefore, that one could easily envision D.W. Griffith filming it and not for the spectacle.

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Rocket Ship Galileo

Rocket Ship Galileo

By Robert A. Heinlein 

15 Aug, 2014

The Great Heinlein Juveniles (Plus The Other Two) Reread

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First published in 1947.

Post-war but not too post-war America! While the UN police guarantee global peace and systems as different as the American and Russian ways of life live together amicably, three young men, products of America’s impressive new school system, are focused (as so many young men of this time were) on their homemade rocket. While the rocket itself goes all kerblooie, the young men — Ross Jenkins, Art Mueller and Maurice Abrams – count the experiment as a success, at least until they find the unconscious man on the doorstep of their test facility, apparently brained by a fragment from the exploding rocket.

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