Been a busy week for me on the intarwebs. Or rather, things I'd been working on last week and a bit prior saw the light of day over the past week or so. I mentioned the SF Signal stuff yesterday, so today, I'll mention the SFFWorld and Tor.com stuff.
Wednesday, my review of Sworn in Steel, Douglas Hulick's second Tales of the Kin novel was posted to SFFWorld. This is a fun Sword & Sorcery series that I hope to be reading for a while. Think one part Brust, one part Lynch, throw in a little Wendig and a dose of Goodfellas and you'll get an idea. The second novel, Sworn in Steel, was just as good as the first:
The events of Among Thieves had major ramifications on Drothe and the criminal underworld of Ildrecca, where he made his home. One of those ramifications has seen his closest friend – Bronze Degan – disappear, though Drothe manages to learn where Degan went rather quickly and despite knowing Degan likely doesn’t want him to follow, Drothe tries to find his friend. This is problematic, because Drothe’s station has moved up in the world considerably as a result of the fallout of Among Thieves. By leaving Ildrecca to travel across the sea to this faraway nation of Djan he is leaving some very important responsibilities behind. Another Degan*, who only gives the name Wolf, compels Drothe to leave Ildrecca to find Bronze Degan after framing Drothe for the murder of one of Drothe’s rivals. Wolf sees Degan as a very important key in unraveling the truth of the Order of Degans. Drothe also manages to get involved with a troupe of actors who join him on his journey.
Also on Wednesday, a new piece I wrote for Tor.com went live. My fine editors (Bridget McGovern & Irene Gallo) at Tor.com have been doing their part to step-up for Hachette/Orbit authors because of the problems between Hachette & amazon.com. For my part, I put together this overview/review spotlight on Rachel Aaron/Rachel Bach, Aaron and Bach: A Tale of Two Rachels:
Rachel Aaron is an Orbit author, through and through, under both her real name and the pseudonym Rachel Bach. She is a writer who was cultivated by Orbit and whose audience grew through some smart publishing decisions in the early days of Orbit’s US imprint. To wit, Orbit US launched in 2007 and her debut, The Spirit Thief, published in October 2010.
Then there’s Rachel’s Paradox series of novels—comprised of Fortune’s Pawn, Honor’s Knight, and Heaven’s Queen—published under the pen name Rachel Bach. Aaron was very open about the pseudonym being used to differentiate her SF from her Fantasy. This isn’t to say there aren’t parallels between what Rachel is doing in her Bach and Aaron books, just a little bit more of some stuff in Bach (more swearing, more sex) and a different setting (secondary fantasy world v. Space Opera). If the Eli books are PG-13, then the Paradox books are more of an R rating.
Over at SFFWorld, Mark Chitty took a look at the latest Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier novel, Steadfast:
After the events of Guardian, Geary and his fleet are touring Earth before making preparations to leave Sol with the alien Dancers. But when two of his lieutenants go missing the fleet track them down only to be faced with a problem none of them expected: having to make a rescue from the strictly off-limits moon of Europa. Back in Alliance space, Geary is ordered to the edges of Alliance territory to settle refugee issues from a Syndic system. Once there he discovers that information that the Alliance has been presenting isn’t quite what it seems, and that’s only the start of his troubles…
Steadfast was both the novel I was expecting, and the novel I wasn’t. Let me tackle the first point. Quite simply, Steadfast is a Lost Fleet novel.
Lastly, Mark Yon reviewed In Dark Service, the start of a new series from Stephen Hunt (of SF Crowsnest):
It is good to read of a world that is a bit more than the usual setting, and I liked the point that one of the key features of this novel is the planet itself. The sheer size of Pellas reminded me of Dune’s Arrakis or even Jack Vance’s Big Planet in its scale. By building a world too big to traverse in your lifetime, this also creates an enormous blank canvas upon which the cast (and the writer) can play. As in the best planetary romances, Pellas is filled with different places and settings, groups and societies, all a little beyond the usual. There’s glimpses of an intriguing backstory too that suggests that Pellas has a long history. I am hoping that much of this will develop further as the tale expands.