It has been a while since I did one of my link round-ups of my reviews and assorted writings, so here goes...
Last week I posted my review of what will likely be one of my favorite SF novels of the year (I might even decide to register for Hugo voting so I can nominate it), Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey, the fourth book in their superb Expanse series:
Returning as one of the primary viewpoint characters is James Holden, captain of the Rocinate. Holden is one of the most famous men in the solar system, thanks to the events detailed in the previous three novels of THE EXPANSE (Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, and Abaddon’s Gate). As in those novels, Corey tells the story through multiple Points of View: Elvi Okoye, one of the scientists on New Terra charged with cataloguing the various life forms and the environment; Havelock, a security officer aboard one of ships orbiting New Terra; and Basia Merton, one of the first colonists who arrived (squatters, one might say) on New Terra and part of a group unhappy with the RCE.
The conflict between the colonists and RCE is not the only problem on this new world, even if it is the primary “human-level” problem, so to speak. Globally, New Terra is not a completely lifeless world. An ancient civilization, the one thought to be responsible for the protomolecule has left ancient remnants of itself scattered around the planet. These things are hybrids between machines and organic life and some of them are waking up.
Holden is still haunted by the ghost or borrowed personality of Miller, the investigator from Leviathan Wakes who has been prodding and guiding Holden in all things related to the protomolecule. Though Holden is perturbed by this continued haunting, Miller’s voice is absolutely essential to the novel.
Earlier this week (Wednesday) the second Mind Meld I curated for SF Signal was posted, wherein I ask:
Q: Elusive Authors: Who are some authors you’ve yet to read, or only read minimally (one book at most) who you keep intending to read or read again. In other words, what author(s) fits the question “I know, I keep meaning to try BOOK X or AUTHOR Y!”
Participants for this one included:
Lastly, I reviewed and gave a Hugo handicapping assessment to Charles Stross's Neptune's Brood at Tor.com, which didn't completely work for me:
Neptune’s Brood, in this case, imagines a post-human, far future where we as humanity have become a thing of the past often referred to as Fragiles. The novel is many things, but a primary thrust revolves around economics in the future and a supposed defrauding scam as it features Krina Alizond-118 on her journeys through the galaxy.
The novel focuses through first-person narration on Krina Alizond-118 as she searches for her missing “sister” Ana Graulle-90 (which in this sense indicates they are cloned from the same being). Krina, with her deep knowledge of the history of accounting and banking, manages to get passage on a space vessel after being convinced to offer her services as a banker. It isn’t long before Krina becomes involved with interstellar pirate bankers, and eventually receives body modification to become a mermaid on the water world of Shin-Tethys in order to search for Ana. On top of all of that, Krina tells us, she has a stalker and discovers what amounts to a 2,000-year old money laundering scam which hinges on an object which might be in the possession of her sister. So yeah, lots of stuff going on here.