Posted on | October 8, 2015 | 17 Comments
— by Wombat-socho
So, a couple of weeks ago in the comments Goodstuff brought up the topic of Buck Rogers, and I was going to write about that last week in the book post, but I Forgot. Going to remedy that failure right here and now. The original Buck Rogers tale, Armageddon 2419 A.D. is widely available on Kindle and in dead-tree editions, usually packaged with its sequel “The Airlords of Han”. For those of you that missed out, these are the history of the Second American Revolution, in which Anthony “Buck” Rogers, veteran of the First World War, wakes from a state of suspended animation due to radioactive gases and winds up leading the scattered bands of Americans to victory against the Han invaders, who conquered America early in the 22nd century. It’s a fun little pair of stories, and only an SJW would whimper about its roots in the “yellow peril” literature that was popular in the 1920s. It was rebooted by Martin Caidin (author of Cyborg, which became The Six Million Dollar Man) in 1995 as Buck Rogers : A Life in the Future.
Perhaps more interesting are the four sequels written by various authors to an outline by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: Mordred, by John E. Holmes, in which an aged Anthony Rogers must deal with his half-Han son, who is attempting to reverse his father’s victory; Warriors Blood, by Richard McEnroe, in which it’s revealed that the Han are actually human/alien hybrids, and Rogers himself has been mysteriously rejuvenated by alien technology…but there’s a nasty catch to it. I don’t recall reading the sequel, Warriors World, in which Rogers and the Americans must cope with an even worse threat triggered by their desperate assault on the aliens’ Lunar Base, but if it’s as good as Warrior’s Blood, then at worst, it’s decent brain candy. I haven’t found my copy of John Silbersack’s Rogers Rangers yet, but I definitely recall it being the capstone to the four books, with Rogers leading a motley crew of rebel aliens and human refugees back from a a secret base to liberate Earth from the aliens. As I said, not great books on the order of Ender’s Game or The Mote In God’s Eye, but decent brain candy, and used paperbacks can be had quite cheaply.
Also arriving in the mail this week, the David Drake tribute anthology Onward, Drake!, edited by Mark Van Name. It contains stories by Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Gene Wolfe, Barry Malzberg, John Lambshead and others, as well as tributes from Tom Doherty, Toni Weisskopf, and S.M. Stirling; in addition, the afterwords from the authors and Drake himself are outstanding. Did I mention there’s new Hammer’s Slammers stories, one of them by Drake? Not at all sorry I splashed out and got the limited edition, not at all, but I am sure the Kindle edition reads just as well.