The Interstellar Age: The Complete Trilogy
by Valmore Daniels
Narrated by Dave Wright
The roots of the Mayan civilization lore tell of the rising and falling of worlds. Human kind gaining the secret technology to travel the stars ends one and begins another. Upon the discovery of the element known as Kinemet and the Plutonian artifact that cycles through the spectrum as a vessel made of this material approaches, human kind is forced to admit that other sentients exist.
The story is woven around the orphaned son of asteroid prospectors, Alex Minez; Major Turner of NASA; Michael Sanderson of Canada Corporation and Chou Yen, a notorious criminal. The intrigue bounces around the solar system for decades before faster than light travel is survived and the big bad beyond is realized.
This is a good and well paced story. The hand waving is not too bad and most of the plot developments proceed well except for a certain CEO who keeps doing really gullible things. The narrator had a pretty good range of voice changes. As a product I will state that the scene or chapter change sound effect needed to be volume equalized to the rest of the work, it really is obnoxious. Overall I give this a three out of five satisfaction units.
We will have more author guests soon. Stay alert and…carry on!
I don’t do this often but when I do…I really want it to go viral. Buahahahahahaha
Next You Universe Presents….
A plethora of choices.
Legacy of Daddy (audio may be found on iTunes in the Legacy of Daddy podcast)
Next You Interstellar, LLC (audio may be found on iTunes in the Legacy of Daddy podcast)
Having Nice Things (Audio version is in production to become an audible product)
Destined for Something
Minus A Conscience
And Now…drum roll…
All of this and more is accessible through the hub of the Next You Universe.
by M. Pax
Craze is the name of a Verkinn barkeep on the almost forgotten planet called Pardeep. Pardeep has a distinction in that it is directly adjacent to a Lepper, or stargate in space, which you would think could stimulate business. Well it needs a little help. The planetlord is a whack-a-mole character named Pauder who is always in full PTSD mode with a bazooka. Pauder is not sure that he wants Craze dream of successful business to succeed if it will mean more people coming to his world.
The cast from the first 2 books is back: Meelo the Fo’Wo snitcher, Dactyl the squat ex-lawman, Rainly the sort of android woman and several others. No less than three subplots are occurring in this addtion to the Backworlds series. Something that I love in world building is when humans are genetically altered to survive an environment rather than a planet terra-formed. The author does not disappoint in this area or many others. I’m glad to see that the characters are actually growing.
There is a new Verkinn female introduced in this work, Kesaere, who may be a bit of a villain but I hope to see more of her character in future works. She might be just what Craze needs. I had fun in this one, especially when I figured out what happened to the Jixes. I hate Jixes. Also, with all this flitting about I think it is time to flesh out how ships like the Sequi and the Olvis actually get around and have some encounters in space. Anyway, four out of five satisfaction points for this one.
Blood and Bane: The Dragon Sage Chronicles
Audible Audiobook version.
by CJ McKee
narrated by Wendy Anne Darling
The Realms of Arydd are ruled in cooperation between King Ra’saad and the Dragon High Council of Three. The go-between and stave mentor, Galddor, is hard taxed in this story by dealing with wayward pupils bent on creating chaos and exacting revenge. Elves, goblins, mountain dragons, sea dragons…plenty going on and all the sidelines are used in telling this tale.
Wendy Anne Darling’s voice is delightful to listen to as she narrates the story. This work is a great escape and I’m giving it five stars in this version. Well done.
Aquaman – Volume 1, The Trench
Not a traditional consumer of comicbooks I decided that I would embrace by getting started with the newly re-tuned Aquaman. I enjoyed it. The artwork is excellent and the storyline absorbs all the mockery that haters have lobbed onto this character. In this incarnation he appears to have a lifemate named Mera. She’s having issues with the tonnage of disrespect humans lather on Aquaman. Artwork on the denizens from the trench is fantastic. As Jason Momoa prepares to bring this character to life on the big screen I am delighted that Marvel will have some gritty competition and not suck down all the theater dollars for the next decade. This re-tuned Aquaman seems to be a bad ass. Make it so!
Momoa gives Cinemablend an interview.
by Christopher G Nutall
Commodore Sir Ted Smith has spent his entire naval career, after the rank of Lieutenant, as the commander of a grand museum piece. The Interstellar Super carrier Ark Royal. Immensely expensive to build seventy years ago and really complicated to keep up it was considered a punitive assignment and Ted used this vision to trash his liver while surprising the entire British space service by keeping the ship ready for refit.
As an inciting incident, Alien invasion is always good and it doesn’t let us down here. Human colony worlds on the rim come under attack and the most modern space naval ships of all of Earth’s nations, because we are still not a united species, get their asses handed to them by the Aliens. Ark Royal is reactivated to take the war to the Aliens because it is the only vessel with armor.
The story is top notch and this is only the first in the series. I really enjoyed the reasoning for bringing the old ship back much like the US Navy brought the USS Missouri out of mothballs when they needed a floating artillery platform. The interplay between officers was very well crafted and the progress as a written off has-been officer takes control and demonstrates his value is a jewel.
Delivery on the narration felt off and I’m not certain if it was the narrators natural rhythm or perhaps an effort to sound at all times like Winston Churchill but it really lagged during the action and stress parts. I enjoyed the work though and look forward to the next installment. Four out of five from me.
Tales of the Screaming Eagle
by Clayton Callahan
(Caution: You won’t really be able to look inside this image for a preview. Have to follow the Amazon link down under for that.)
Jan Pulaski has embarked on a great adventure, taking his Anthropology education off world to Tarkan. He wants to create a work of ground breaking research showing how human culture diverges from its Earthly path after having been on unsupported colony worlds. Sounds good…in his head.
Catching a ride on a local operation into the dangerous bad lands changes his life and has him rethinking his path in it. He lands in a bar, Veterans Bar, to spend his time waiting for an opportunity to get back to Earth. Little did his conscious mind realize his real study would begin in the bar.
Mr. Callahan tells a believable story that just happens to take place in a SciFi environment but could easily have been true in any Vets bar in existence today. Thumbs up on the world building. I enjoyed this work well enough to give it four out of five stars.
(Book 4 of the Revelation Space series)
by Alastair Reynolds
The hero or butcher of a couple of the books, Neville Clavain, has spent twenty years on Ararat contemplating. Felca has been claimed by the sea and the Pattern Jugglers and Neville longs for rest. As the unofficial patriarch of First Settlement he gets pulled back into things by his friend Scorpio, a fiftyish Hyper-pig. Something new has arrived and they need Clavain. That is how things begin.
A moon circling a gas giant in a system far away may contain the secret to allow humans to survive the inhibitors. It may be worse and the trek is certainly draining as sacrifices are made. This is the second work in this series which has dealt with the theoretical construct of an Indoctrinal Virus, infect people with a virus that makes them have religious urgings.
I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of this audio book though there were times, while driving alone, where I cursed Alistair Reynolds for writing such infuriating characters. More so on the religious segments when I fantasized about the overly pious falling under something heavy.
This book and performance get the five star treatment from me. Enjoy.
To The Stars
by Harry Harrison
Jan Kulozik is an upper crud Brit Engineer who leads a posh life stepping on ‘proles'(proletariat’s) on his way to completing projects that bring him fame and fortune. At least until he is rescued during a boating accident by an Israeli submarine which shouldn’t exist. Then his picture of the world changes and he begins trying to do things that will equalize the class abuse by helping foreign agents. Mayhem, intrigue, action, betrayal and punishment ensue.
Jan Kulozik is indentured to the colony on the Agricultural world of Halvmork. (Nanu-Nanu) This planet has a forty one degree axial tilt which scorches half of the planet every four years. Ships are supposed to come to take the corn harvest to the other colony worlds which would starve without it but they are late by six weeks. A hazardous trek across the planet must happen to save the people and the harvest. Jan tangles at every step with hideous matriarch called the Hradil. People die, most of the corn is saved and Jan is in peril due to his flaunting of the Law.
Jan Kulozik is leaving Halvmork to secure benefits for it’s people in the rebellion but is seized by Earth Commonwealth forces before leaving orbit. Escaping he has quite a chase until cornered by his Security douche brother-in-law and shoved into a huge conspiracy resulting in more space war, Entebbe style raids, missile attacks and lots of chaos. Will there be anything left. I suggest you find out.
These three works make up the ‘To the Stars‘ trilogy which I originally read over twenty five years ago. They were so good I reread them now with a more critical eye. There are some things that were time dated and are now nonexistent but the story flows. This was a product of the big six and now I can see where the editors perhaps phoned it in several times. Misused, misspelled and missing words. The three Ms live large in this collection. Three stars for editing, Five stars for the story for an overall rating of four stars.