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The Expanse Read-along: Leviathan Wakes – Week 3

We ended on a cliffhanger last week, with Holden and Miller in a tight spot after a series of traumatic experiences. The action picks straight back up – and remarkably, races right up to what feels like a climax. But the story isn’t done yet. There’s still a week to go. My word there’s a lot packed into this one… So let’s talk about it.

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The Expanse Read-along: Leviathan Wakes – Week 2

So much has happened in this second week of the Leviathan Wakes read-along I’m struggling to remember where it all started, and it’s been compelling enough that I’ve totally failed to take notes. And I’m pretty sure I can’t be the only person who hears Gina Torres every time Naomi calls Holden sir. On to the questions!

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The Expanse Read-along: Leviathan Wakes

It’s been a while since a full-blown read-along, and we’re blasting back into space to find out what all the fuss about The Expanse was about. With that devastating prologue and two tense storylines split by politics, police work and half the Belt, this space opera potboiler gets off to a super-heated start…

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Bite-size Books: Of Sight, Of Mind, Of Heart

Of Sight, Of Mind, Of Heart is one of those short stories that should come with a warning: don’t read in public; guaranteed to make you cry. Guaranteed to make me cry, anyway, and it’s a pretty solid rule that I do love a story that grabs my heart strings and embarrasses me in public.

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Bite-size Books: Welcome to the Medical Clinic…

“You take a shortcut through the hydroponics bay on your way to work, and notice that the tomato plants are covered in tiny crawling insects that look like miniature beetles.”

WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

Caroline M Yoachim’s entertaining response wins a Nebula nomination.

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Space Opera Sunday: Surface Detail

Book cover: Surface Detail - Iain M Banks (a dark skinned woman with patterned skin and even eyes stares over a flaring sun)There are rules governing how high tech civilisations engage with the up and coming. But there’s no stopping well-meaning meddling in a future where death need only be temporary. Now a girl who should never have been reincarnated will try to kill the most important man in her world; and a dead general must decide whether to bring a virtual War on Hell into the Real…

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Bite-size Books: Proof of Concept

Book cover: Proof of Concept - Gwyneth Jones (a silhouette stands in a shaft of blue light)Climate change has herded humanity into Hives, the 99% pacified by a diet of mass media while the super-rich look out for themselves. Orphan Kir is part of a project – the Needle – trying to make mass migration into space feasible. But her on-board AI has uncovered secrets it wants to share with her – if it can find a way around the code that controls it.

Space Opera Sunday: Matter

Book cover: Matter by Iain M BanksInside a world of worlds within worlds, a wonder of the galaxy, evolved civilisations play out their conflicts through the bloody wars of lesser societies. When a warring king is murdered and his heir framed, the prince strikes out into space in search of his long-lost sister, a ward of the Culture. But will they intervene?

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Space Opera Sunday: Look to Windward

800 years after the Idiran War, the dying light of two suns destroyed in it will finally reach Masaq’ Orbital. For Ziller, the occasion is overshadowed by the arrival of a Chelgrian emissary on a mission to bring the composer in exile home. But Quilan has other motives for his visit, and the Idiran War is not the only one whose consequences will be felt on Masaq’.

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Space Opera Sunday: Inversions

In Haspidus, it’s unthinkable that a woman could be a doctor, much less the King’s physician. But foreigner Vosill has King Quience’s ear and more than cures in her bag of tricks. Across the mountains in Tassasen, another foreigner, DeWar, has risen to prominence to be Protector General UrLeyn’s bodyguard. But are either of them what they seem? And as tensions rise, whose loyalty can be trusted?

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Space Opera Sunday: Excession

No matter how advanced a civilisation may be, there’s always a chance it will encounter an Out of Context Problem: something so far beyond it that it may accidentally – or intentionally – destroy everything. When an impenetrable black-body sphere appears in Culture space, factions scramble to take advantage – if they can work out how to do so.

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Space Opera Sunday: Use of Weapons

Diziet Sma needs to recruit former superstar agent Cheradenine Zakalwe for one last job to resolve a situation in a politically-unstable star system. But is Zakalwe still up to the job? And will the price he puts on his renewed service unravel him beyond repair?

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