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Old Man's Words

Audio and Ebook SF&F reviews from one old man with a great big cup of S.T.F.U.!

Robert Jordan, 10 Years Later

Interesting blog post yesterday from Brandon Sanderson on the 10th anniversary of Robert Jordan’s death. As it happens I’m reading The Wheel of Time right now, and I quickly connected with what he was talking about with this “cup of coffee” bit. I didn’t know he got that from Jordan.

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Jerry Pournelle

Stunned today by the loss of Jerry Pournelle, who apparently died in his sleep last night.

Pournelle was the first great popularizer of “military scifi”, though of course we didn’t call it that until many years later. He had some success in the early 1970s, but it was when he met Larry Niven that he really hit his stride. When The Mote in God’s Eye was first published in 1975, everything changed. Science Fiction had never seen anything quite like it before, and it struck like a bolt of lightning. Its impact was something akin to that of Star Wars on the movie industry just a few years later. It was an incredible combination of creative worldbuilding, first contact, historical and biblical referencing, exciting military action, long story format, politics, reflections on the nature of humanity — you name it, it was all in there.

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Terradox

In November I reviewed the fascinating breakthrough novel not alone, by indie author and relative newcomer Craig A. Falconer. While not his first novel, it was the first to receive wide attention, so I looked forward to his second release with great anticipation.

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Pilot X

Another great indie SF novel. Released just last month, Pilot X tells the story of a Doctor Who-like character who works for a time travel service that monitors and protects the timeline. This short novel offers a strong combination of humor and adventure, and it makes for a terrific read.

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The Collapsing Empire

John Scalzi’s latest is the first in a new series. The setting is the main point of interest here. Humanity has spread to the stars via FTL travel, but is now at the mercy of nature as the means of that travel begins to fail. Scalzi’s “Interdependency” is based on a forced interconnected reliance network — no system can survive on its own.  Continue reading “The Collapsing Empire”

Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy)

I’ve been a bit distracted lately, mainly due to raiding in World of Warcraft and a few really engaging television series. But I did manage to polish off the first trilogy in Robin Hobb’s epic Six Duchies world, known as the Farseer Trilogy. I’d seen these books on many best-of lists for years but had never quite gotten “a round tuit”. A friend’s recommendation finally brought me to them (thanks Chris!) and it turned out to be one of the best recent fantasy series I’ve read. It’s easily the best coming-of-age, heroic-fantasy story I’ve read since Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller books.

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The Traitor Baru Cormorant

A brilliant, creative debut novel, heavy on political intrigue and empire management. Creative worldbuilding and interesting characters make for a compelling start to a new series.

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Bill the Vampire

On a suggestion from a friend I picked up this unusual indie series last week, reading the first two volumes. It’s a good story, straddling the line between comedy and serious urban horror/fantasy, with both drama and laughs. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Tower Lord

Just a brief (negative) review of this sequel to Blood Song, by Anthony Ryan.

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