Posted on | March 25, 2016 | 12 Comments
— by Wombat-socho
Or, Not Long Before The End
With a little more than a week to go before MidAmericon II closes up nominations for the Hugo, both the Kindly Ones in charge of running Sad Puppies 4 and Our Supreme Dark Lord have prepared lists for your consideration. Predictably, there’s been a rush of authors and editors pleading to be removed from the Sad Puppies List, and these have been rewarded with assterisks for their pains; as for Vox, he has already promised to turn a deaf ear to such pleas. His press release regarding the Rabid Puppies list is here, for your amusement. Also, professional Grauniad wanker and P-List author Damien Walters horked up some nonsense about John Wright’s career being over after Sasquan peed itself and No Awarded all the categories Mr. Wright was nominated in last year. The International Lord of Hate deals with this in his inimitable manner.
You would think that dystopias featuring the Global Caliphate would be a dime a dozen these days, much like tales about the world after the Nazis won World War II, but I can literally count on one hand the number of books set in that future: Tom Kratman’s Caliphate, of course, and Robert Ferrigno’s Prayers For The Assassin, but Kerry Nietz’ A Star Curiously Singing didn’t attract my notice until fairly recently. In some ways, Nietz’ book shows a worse future than the others, because in this one, the Muslims have won, and extirpated all other religions while imposing a high-tech panopticon state supported by kaffir debuggers with brain implants that strongly discourage disobedience. Sandfly is one of the best debuggers, and when he’s called into orbit to troubleshoot the Caliphate’s returned starship, he has no clue that what he discovers may be the greatest threat the Caliphate has ever faced. This is a nice little high-tech mystery, and I liked it well enough that I’m looking at picking up the rest of the trilogy. The first book is free, and highly recommended.
As previously mentioned here, Castalia House is republishing Jerry Pournelle’s There Will Be War Cold War combat SF anthology series, and I recently picked up Volume IX, originally titled After Armageddon. Most of the stories are set in California, or at least what used to be California, except for a grim tale by the late John Brunner and Don Hawthorne’s “The Contract”, where a train full of renegade Soviet Army engineers tries to patch things back together in Russia after the Gas Bug has eaten our civilization. This, and Pournelle’s own “Kenyons To The Keep!” deserve sequels, but I suppose at this point we’re not likely to see them. Also, Macaulay’s “Horatius At The Bridge” and a tale by Leslie Fish that reads like something straight out of a Fallout game. Recommended.
I have been re-reading John Ringo’s “Paladin of Shadows” series, which begins with Ghost, and my opinion on it hasn’t changed. Aside from the occasional BDSM scene and the concentration on what happens at the sharp end, these are pretty decent technothrillers a la Clancy, but with a lot less infodumping and high-level political stuff. I especially like the subplots having to do with the culture of the Keldara, which is gradually being revealed from novel to novel like peeling an onion. Hopefully once John is done fooling around in other authors’ universes, he can come back and dash off another novel in this series, his muse permitting.