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Reviews in Project: Big Hair, Big Guns! (31)

Bless the Rains


By G. Harry Stine  

13 Apr, 2021

Big Hair, Big Guns!


G. Harry Stine’s 1983 Manna is a standalone near-future1 science fiction novel.

Alexander Sandhurst Baldwin, formerly a Captain in the United States Aerospace Force, arrives in Topaway, the capital of the United Mitanni Commonwealth, knowing very little about the East African nation. What he does know is the Landlimo Corporation offered him a job, which the disgraced Aerospace Force officer very much needs. 

It’s just as well that his research efforts turned up little info re Mitanni, because most of the available info is pure lies, put out by the dastardly Tripartite Coalition, enemies of free nations everywhere! Although in 2050, the list of free nations everywhere has but one major entry: the Mitanni Commonwealth.

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Something Wrong with Me

Space Doctor

By G. Harry Stine  

22 Mar, 2021

Big Hair, Big Guns!


G. Harry Stines 1981 Space Doctoris a near-future hard SF novel. It was published under his Lee Correy pen-name.

Note recurrence of the term visionary in the following synopsis. 

Democratic Senator Owen Hocksmith is a political powerhouse; he is high in the councils of New Mexico’s Democratic Party. He’s also a wealthy oligarch, with investments in ranching, banking, and high-tech industries. 

One investment is looking shaky. The senator’s Eden Corporation is not subject to short-sighted antitrust laws hobbling truly visionary capitalism and secured the contract to build America’s solar power satellites. Senator Hocksmith is determined to see the project to completion and not just for the vast wealth the project can deliver. He believes nuclear war can only be staved off as long as energy is cheap. SPS (Solar Power Satellites, the company) can deliver cheap energy.

Still, the project presents unprecedented challenges. Several such challenges face Dr. Tom Noels, the project’s medical director.

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In Peace May You Slumber

Children of the Dust

By Louise Lawrence  

18 Jan, 2021

Big Hair, Big Guns!


Louise Lawrence’s 1985 Children of the Dust is a standalone young-adult nuclear war novel.

It’s nuclear war time and a full-scale nuclear attack on the UK is imminent. Young Sarah’s school can do little for her and her classmates but to send them home. With Sarah’s father Bill still at work and unlikely to return in time, Sarah helps her stepmother Veronica prepare as best they can for the apocalypse. Then Sarah, Veronica, and Sarah’s siblings William and Catherine wait for the inevitable.

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Feel the Way the Breezes Blow

Lilith: A Snake in the Grass  (The Four Lords of the Diamond, book 1)

By Jack Chalker  

11 Aug, 2020

Big Hair, Big Guns!


1981’s1 Lilith: A Snake in the Grass is the first volume of Jack L. Chalker’s The Four Lords of the Diamond quartet.

The human Confederacy utterly dominates its region of the Milky Way. All known alien intelligences have been either subjugated to serve human needs, or where that was not possible, exterminated. Unbeknownst to the Confederacy, there are rivals. The first inkling the Confederacy gets that a new player has entered the game comes in the form of a failed infiltration of a defense facility by a sophisticated android double of a Confederacy functionary. 

The android eludes capture. The Confederacy lets it flee in a stolen starship (at the cost of some expendable red-shirt lives), hoping that the android will lead humans to the alien home world. The mysterious rivals have technology equal to or perhaps superior to that wielded by humanity. The fact they have not fallen on humanity zap-guns blazing suggests that the aliens are not certain they would win, even with surprise on their side. If the Confederacy can find the aliens, they might be able to crush them.

The android does not flee to the alien empire, wherever it may be. Instead it leads the navy to the Warden Diamond, human worlds apparently in league with the aliens. Human worlds from which escape is impossible! 

Dispatching an agent to the Warden Diamond will require a special agent and some extraordinary measures.

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Very Hungry Caterpillar

A Matter for Men  (War Against the Chtorr, book 1)

By David Gerrold  

11 Jul, 2020

Big Hair, Big Guns!


David Gerrold’s 1983 A Matter for Men is the first volume in his as yet unfinished War Against the Chtorr series.

Supine beneath the treaty terms inflicted on America by the Soviets, Chinese, and the rest of an overpopulated world — or just possibly, victorious in a game of fourth dimensional geopolitical chess — America was still recovering from the economic side-effects of surrender when disease made the situation unimaginably worse.

Plague after plague swept the planet, killing four and a half of Earth’s six billion. Young Jim McCarthy’s family tried to wait out the disaster in their mountain cabin, but misjudged the end of the crisis. With half his siblings dead and his family broken by trauma, Jim is drafted into the nation’s Teamwork Army. He soon discovers that the challenge facing America and other, lesser nations, isn’t just disease. It’s an alien invasion.

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Some Other Spring

Helliconia Spring  (Helliconia, book 1)

By Brian W. Aldiss  

7 Jul, 2020

Big Hair, Big Guns!


Brian W. Aldiss’ 1982 Helliconia Spring is the first volume in his hard SF1 Helliconia trilogy, which, curiously contrary to publishing tradition, appears to consist of three, and only three, books. 

In many respects — age, mass, density, insolation, the presence of complex organic life, even the presence of a humanoid native species — the distant world Helliconia is much like Earth. In one very significant respect Helliconia is very different from Earth. That difference has driven the course of civilization on Helliconia for longer than its sentient inhabitants can remember.

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Ice is Slowly Melting

Look Into the Sun  (Messengers, book 2)

By James Patrick Kelly  

20 Feb, 2020

Big Hair, Big Guns!

1 comment

1989’s Look Into the Sun was the second volume in James Patrick Kelly’s Messenger Chronicles.

Mid-twentieth century Earth was thrilled when the alien Messengers made contact. The Messengers appear to have been less thrilled to have contacted Earth. The Messengers shared none of their hinted-at technological miracles. They didn’t even invite a divided Earth to join their commonwealth. As far as humanity goes, first contact seems to be a bit of a bust.

Phillip Wing is another matter. The Messengers are very interested in Wing.

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