The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Bonus Black Hole Book Post (It Has Rivets)

Posted on | August 31, 2018 | Comments Off on Bonus Black Hole Book Post (It Has Rivets)

— by Wombat-socho

Oh, the embarrassment. An author sends me a review copy of his most excellent hard-SF technothriller, and I completely forget to do the review in yesterday’s book post. Well, I promised him a review before the end of the month, which is now here, so you get a bonus book post!

Michael Rothman’s Primordial Threat is a great combination of hard SF (the kind, as we used to say in the glory days of Astounding/Analog, that had rivets) and modern technothriller – much of the plot revolves around a missing scientist who may have the solution to the deadly threat of a black hole approaching Earth. Rothman has a solid grip on both the science and the bureaucratic machinations within the government that are almost as big a threat as the oncoming hole. Definitely recommended.

Also, I erred yesterday when I wrote that Karl Gallagher’s Torchship Trilogy was also a Prometheus Award winner; it was nominated, but did not win. Buy it anyway.

Other books I’ve been re-reading recently: S.M. Stirling’s The Peshawar Lancers, a tale of derring-do set in an alternate Earth where a comet strike in the Northern Hemisphere has effectively destroyed Western Civilization, except for the French in North Africa and the British, who evacuated their best and brightest to India, which has become the seat of the Angrezi Raj. Someone is trying to kill cavalry officer Athelstane King and his academically-inclined sister – but why? It’s up to King, his Sikh sergeant, and an Afghan bandit chief to find out, but can they defeat a Russian agent who can see the future? A lot of people consider this one of Stirling’s best novels, and it’s very much worth your time and money.

Also, Keith Laumer’s The Long Twilight (repackaged by Baen with Night Of Delusions and some other short pieces) which is the tale of a pair of starship captains, Grallgrathor and Lokrien, marooned on Earth in the 10th century and engaged ever since in a vendetta stemming from Lokrien’s murder of Grallgrathor’s Norse family…a vendetta that changes human history. Now, an experimental broadcast power station draws both men to it as it goes out of control and causes a mid-ocean typhoon, and the truth of the murders comes out at last – but has the truth come too late to save the Earth? There are some interesting subtexts in the book regarding AIs, humans born in synthetic wombs and taught by those AIs, and (a recurring Laumer theme) the true nature of reality. I’ve substituted the cover from the Ace edition because, frankly, the Baen cover is terrible.


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