I wasn’t sure how the morning would go, but I got some good news from Mike Walsh at Old Earth Books, which should bear fruit at LAConIV or at World Fantasy in Austin. Should be cool. More on this when I can tell you. In the meantime, a quick bit of linkage”
- Farah Mendlesohn reviews Jim Morrow’s The Last Witchfinder and finds it good;
- Paul Witcover reviews Jeff Ford’s extraordinary The Empire of Icecream and runs out of superlatives;
- Mark Watson at BestSF.net wrong foots us all and finds and reviews Ken Macleod’s The Highway Men, a new SF novella published by the Sandstone Press in the UK; and
- You probably still haven’t ordered Howard Who?.
I’ve been messing around with this post, on and off, for a week. I read two science fiction novels in the past week, mostly on planes to and from Brisbane.
On the way to Brisbane I finished Scott Westerfeld’s The Risen Empire, which gets my nod for the most overlooked space opera of the past handful of years. This is the genuine article: panoramic widescreen romantic space adventure with galactic empires, spaceships that can destroy worlds, and fantastic heroes equal to the peril of the hour. It’s also got the whole updated science thing, is wonderfully written, has great characters, and some nifty techy bits. While Westerfeld has headed off to the greener pastures of young adult fiction, lovers of space opera should make a point of picking this one up.
On the way home from Brisbane I read John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. This one’s up for the Hugo and Scalzi has been touted as being the new Heinlein, which hardly seems fair to anyone. It’s an enormously readable book, a light military space adventure in the mould of mid-period Heinlein or even something like Ender’s Game. Scalzi avoids too much emphasis on the tech side of military adventures, focussing instead on his characters and colourful background. I don’t know that I’d necessarily give this one a Hugo, but it’s a very entertaining first novel. If you’re a member of LAConIV you can download and read Old Man’s War from John’s website.