Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Cold War by Adam Christopher - A Short Story Review.


I was captivated by this story.  It is set in a larger world that Christopher has written about in a book called The Burning Dark.

A small group of marines are set on a frozen world for a search and rescue mission, only there is a secret secondary objective that puts the group in peril.

Wonderfully done.  I was heart-thumpingly scared for the group when a monstrous threat appears.

I was reminded of the scenes in the movie Aliens when the group is trapped in a room and the radar shows the aliens coming closer and closer and .... wait!

They're in the room!

But we don't see them ....

Yea, like that.

What fun.

Adam Christopher

Saturday, 13 February 2016

New Space Frontiers by Piers Bizony - Book Report #150


Pretty cool, eh?  150 books.  That's something.

I borrowed this book from the Edmonton Public Library but I simply must get a copy of my own.

If you are even a little bit interested in today's space flight this is the book that will explain it all and be the starting point for deeper research.

It may surprise you to learn just how many projects are out there that are just about ready to break out.  If half of the programs that are explored here make it to flight, the next five to ten years will be so much fun to watch.

The book itself is just beautiful with the interior photos and artwork sending my imagination soaring.

The sad reality of the exploration of space is that it has held orders of magnitude more promise than results.  So it is with a cautious optimism that I follow these newcomers to the black.  The chief difference today is that it is private enterprises, who have a profit motive, that are creating the new hardware that will make the next leap possible.

Don't let anybody tell you that spending money in space is a waste.  The money is never spent in space, it's spent here on Earth and launched into it.  The human race must push forward or stagnate in place.

I found this book to be filled with hope for the future.

Piers Bizony

Monday, 8 February 2016

Analog Magazine, January/February 2016 - Part Three

Theories of the Mind by Conor Powers-Smith

006/150/2016 - A common subject in SF is exploring communication.  Its plausible even likely, that first contact will not come with a handshake and a "How do you do?"

In this story the direct method is not the only aspect explored.  There is the question of logic and individuality to be answered too.

I enjoyed this one, it had the feel of a 1950's classic science fiction, especially in the description of the aliens.  That 50's sensibilities won out when it came to good-old human ingenuity to win the day.

Nature's Eldest Law by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

007/150/2016 - This was another first contact story.  A team of scientists are exploring a planet when they suddenly discover a grove of plant life that wasn't there before.  These plants have an ability to enhance mental acuity.

It was a good story with believable characters and an ominous ending.

The Heat of Passion by Grey Rollins

008/150/2016 - One of my favourite genres the SF Mystery.  Murder and cops in the future are a potent mix.  This one also involved the implications of genetic modification which made for a fresh approach to solving a crime.

Well written with excellent dialog. Rollins is an author to watch.

Woundings by George Zebrowski

009/150/2016 - I think it's a post-apocalyptic story but, I really didn't get it.  No.  I couldn't even understand it.  I'm pretty sure it was in English.  I mean all the words were English ...

The Shores of Being by Dave Creek

010/150/2016 - Part X-files part first contact, but not really.  There are alien artifacts in the woods, that's the X-files part. 

Two alien races are at war and Earth is caught in the crossfire.

An Industrial Growth by David L Clements

011/150/2016 - Post-apocalyptic with nanotechnology run amok.  A small team must confront a large concentration  nano-machines hidden away in an abandoned industrial plant.

This was a well-realized story that I enjoyed it very much.

# # #

As a whole this issue was a solid read and a good start to 2016.