Written by Alistair Reynolds.
Narrated by John Lee.
Quillon is an odd bird in more ways than one. As a medical examiner for District 3 of Neon Heights he gets to check out all weird brain teaser corpses collected by sanitation. Somebody who cares about him is relying on that to deliver him a message.
Meroka starts out being Quillon’s bodyguard and guide until she evolves into a partner in his realized save the species mission. Their travels bring them in into contact with ghouls, Angels, Carnivorgs, Skullboys, the outcast Military organization of Dirigibles called Swarm and beings with nanomachine infused brains called Tectomancers.
It’s a full book. There is a character, Tulwar, in here that reminds me of the metal guardian from Logan’s Run only this one is Steampunk and greedy. Since we’re tossing genres around get your brain around this work of: Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Dieselpunk, Transhumanist, interdimensional travel.
Excellent crafting and narration throughout get this work four out of five entertainment award units of your choice. Stock up on Zone shift sickness meds and get moving. Enjoy!
Ultima: Proxima Book 2
Written by Stephen Baxter.
Narrated by Kyle McCarley.
Uri Eden, the main protagonist from Book 1, has just barely made it through the hatch with Steph Kalinsky and the Col-U. As their brains wrap around the idea that in this version the Roman Empire didn’t fall and became space faring, Uri begins to succumb to what he calls Freezer Burn. Apparently when you’ve been subjected to Cryo sleep for a large portion of your life cancers run amok when you are thawed.
Back in the Sol system Penny Kalinski, Lex Macgregor, and Beth Eden Jones Narrowly escape distaster in a Hulk-kernel ship test platform as the Chinese Hedgemony crash a bundle of kernel ships moving at near relativistic speed into Mercury. The result propels them to the Roman-Bricante-Sheen Universe without the use of a hatch. One other person is with them…Earthshine. One of the three deep core artificial intelligences. He has an agenda.
There is yet two more Universes visited in this book but I will leave those for you to discover. The story is gripping and in this form excellently told through the vocal ranges of the narrator. It did not disappoint and I’m giving it four out of five entertainment points.
Nikola Tesla: My Inventions and Other Writings
Collection assembled and Introduced by Samantha Hunt.
Let me just say that though I embedded a link to Amazon here to give you that option I purchased my copy through a vendor at MileHiCon15. Go local when you can.
This volume printed by Penguin Classics has Essays that Tesla wrote over the course of his life. These detail events in his life that contributed to his sparks of invention and innovation. The Tesla Coil, Radio, Optimizing energy transmission to the works he did for governments involved in World War I. All of the language is that of a nineteenth century scholar who was mainly self taught so the reader must bear that in mind when attempting to discern the stories conveyed here.
I must admit that the main invention I was interested in were the transmission towers that Tesla built and demonstrated capable of transmitting electricity wireless. Despite his language defending Morgan in his writings I am a firm believer that Edison and Morgan did their best to run a campaign of sabotage in Tesla’s efforts. Back to the book.
I definitely had the interest and I accomplished reading this work though at times the writing was so tediously to wade through that I would have to take mid chapter breaks. I think this is also evidence that Tesla felt besieged or at least the publisher sensed it at the time and therefore ruled out editing and writing advice.
Not my normal reading consumption these days but I still enjoyed it. It gets a three out of five from me. Enjoy.
Ley Lines Volume One
Art and Story by Robin Dempsey.
This is an awesome creation. The world building seems to be an alternate steam-punk dimension on Earth’s Far East. It starts out with the Priest Ruler of the Kingdom, Koruval, interrogating a possessed monk in training named Zhiro to find out more surrounding his Queen’s so called suicide. It continues to get more intriguing all the way to the end of volume one. The royal family in this book consists of the Father and his son and daughter. The son, Tama, has always been some kind of Gadfly time character doing as he wishes. The daughter, Mizha, has been dutiful to her house and attempting to please her parents. They both grew up with Zhiro, and orphaned ward to the Royal House.
Their Father has ruled that Tama will go to the Monastery for some discipline training while Mizha is being sent to Pwama for her safety. There is action, intrigue, mysticism and otherworldly intervention.
A common complaint that I hear regarding comics and graphic novels is that the content doesn’t measure up to the per unit cost. Not so here where the art work is top grade, the printing is made to last with the latest in durable neutral pH materials and the volume is packed with story. There is plenty of background material in the back to reinforce your Ley Lines vision. This book has gotten a five out of five from me and I hope to collect the others in the series.
Lantern City Issue One
Written by Paul Jenkins.
Illustrated by Carlos Magno, colored by Chris Blythe and lettered by Deron Bennett.
Sander toils daily under the oppressive guards ruled by the Greys in order to keep his wife and young boy fed. There seems no end to tribulation and no way to improve one’s lot in life. His nature is to bend and endure, thinking that will keep his family safe.
After a rebellious assembly at a church that is explosively broken by the guards Sander comes to the realization that his only means of keeping his family safe and improving things is to infiltrate the system above worker status. I do not want to spoil this for any I might hook into reading it. It is a magnificent start to what should become an epic story line.
This could very well turn into a futuristic, steam punk, Les Miserables at this point. I hope as the story fills out that it grows in depth. This is definitely issue one and really needs no flashbacks in future issues. The concepts, art and story are excellent. Read this. Enjoy this. Five comic communication enjoyment stars are thereby awarded! Good Job.
Sorry, I wanted to put a link to get it and the only one I could come up with readily was Amazon.
I will keep trying to find other Colorado based retailers.
New Sky: Eyes of the Watcher
by Jason Kent
New Sky starts out as a Space Opera and turns into a steampunk adventure that kind of fits in with Firefly, The Expanse Series and maybe some of the old quest fantasies like Shannara or Lord of the Rings.
A non-quitter type of cadre gels around a woman named Kate Thompson who has gazed into the face of the enemy and now her eyes glow. She also foretells the future, figures out how to deal with most things non-electrical and communicates with a grand being.
The bigger picture is that Sol is engaged in a war with a splinter civilization of humans called the Tailinn, who have forsaken most advanced tech and made Steam technology embrace the stars…with some help from this grand being. It turns out there was another uppity bunch of humans before them who tried to come back and take over things. Back then Sol and the Tailinn joined forces. Some things just aren’t forever.
I enjoyed the storyline and the character building. This work needs another editing pass but nothing I found detracts enough to spoil the story. The character of Sparrow actually seems like something William Gibson might have dreamed up. I enjoyed it and I’m giving it three out of five stars.