Book Cover: Open Skies

Ilsa’s talent for hacking and Kai’s people skills make them experts at following a cold scent, and they’ve built a successful business on finding things. But when Eleazar Dantes offers them double the usual fee if he can accompany them across the galaxy in their search for his daughter, they find themselves in unknown territory – professionally and personally.

Book cover: Windswept - Adam RakunasPadma Mehta needs to recruit 33 more people to the Union and claim the signing bonus if she’s to buy the Old Windswept distillery. When an opportunity comes by that would put her over the line, she can’t pass it up, even if it is put her way by smelly loser Vytai Bloombeck. Padma’s forgotten that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The next few days will test what she’s really willing to do to make her numbers – and save her planet.

Book cover: A Long Way to a Small Angry PlanetIt feels like I’ve been writing about The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet all month, but it’s time to round up with an actual review of Becky Chambers excellent debut.

Rosemary Harper has faked a new identity and signed on with the Wayfarer as a clerk. Captain Ashby hopes she’ll open doors to juicier contracts. Everyone else just hopes she’s less of a pain in the ass than their fuel engineer.

SciFi Month 2015

It’s the last week of the SciFi Month Read-Along of A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, which means spoilers a-go-go and all the feelings as we reach the climax. My heartfelt thanks to Over the Effin’ Rainbow for organising the Read-Along and hosting this last week – I’d been wanting to read this novel, and I’ve enjoyed every minute.

SciFi Month 2015

Marking my first post on WordPress rather than LJ (turns out moving platform is like moving house; terrifying and exhilarating and oddly requiring far more tea and boxes than you expected), it’s the third week of the #RRSciFiMonth read-along of A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (previous weeks here and here) organised by Over the Effin’ Rainbow.

I’ve fallen behind due to Life and Other Animals, so it’s a belated round 3 today in brief advance of the final week of the read-along plus a review tomorrow.

Our host for week 3 is Claire Rousseau who has set some excellent questions (it goes without saying that this far through the book there will be spoilers, yes/yes?)

SciFi Month 2015

For those just dropping by out of the blue: this is the second (weekly) installment in a group delight in A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, being organised by Over the Effin Rainbow as part of RRSciFiMonth (Ronseal: an opportunity to delight in all things SFF for a month – check out Twitter for a run down of all the stuff going on). It’s not too late to join in – we’ll be reading a quarter of the book a week (and of course you can read it in 3 months time and come back to join in the comments if it takes your fancy). So, getting on to this week’s entertainment…

I’m calling it now: this is far too much fun, and everyone should read it. Okay? Okay.

I seem to be getting involved in a bunch of social review and discussion, which makes me exceedingly happy – not least in this case, as I’ve had my eye on A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet (by Becky Chambers) and this is a perfect excuse to get on and read it! If you’re interested in joining in, the schedule for the readalong is here, and I’m sure you’d be very welcome to jump on board.

I’ll be posting weekly updates along with the rest of the group, followed my usual review when I complete the book.

bintiYoung Binti is a genius, a daughter of a Namibian tribe that is isolated by choice. When she is invited – first of her people – to take a place at Oomza Uni, the foremost place of learning in the galaxy, she sneaks away to accept it. But she’s about to learn there’s more to be feared in the galaxy than her people’s disapproval…

Red Planet RunA reluctant Star  and her sulky twin teenagers are sent to Mars by her Machiavellian boss to investigate the traces of a possible past civilisation. A botched landing leaves them on the wrong side of the planet, and they soon realise a vicious enemy from the Belt is hard on their heels. Can Star fix her relationship with her kids, survive a loony and solve the mystery of the Cydonian ruins? Of course she can. She’s Alaskan.

Book cover: Orthe - Chronicles of Carrick V by Mary Gentle (Golden Witchbreed / Ancient Light)Ancient Light continues the epic world-building of Golden Witchbreed, giving us a good look at the Southern Continent to explain the fragile balance of power before the action returns to the Hundred Thousand for the devastating final act.

This is great stuff, but ultimately a tough sell and not one for readers seeking happy escapism. I think Ancient Light is a book that needs to be read in the context of the time it was written (the 1980s) to be fully appreciated – while it works on its own terms, the themes gain resonance when you keep corporate greed and the Cold War in mind.

Book cover: Orthe - Chronicles of Carrick V by Mary Gentle (Golden Witchbreed / Ancient Light)I didn’t mean to read this, but I’m ever so glad I did – it’s an excellent book and a great introduction to Mary Gentle.

Earth has mastered FTL travel, and sent diplomats and xeno-teams all over the galaxy to establish relations with our alien neighbours. Relatively inexperienced Lynne Christie is sent to the enigmatic world of Orthe / Carrick V when the previous envoy dies – in part, she soon realises, because she is expendable.