Howdy, readers! Some big changes are underway for this site. Please excuse any oddities or maintenance downtimes as we upgrade The SFF Blog and relaunch by end of April.
Major upgrades are underway for The SFF Blog! Please excuse any bumps as we grow. We should finish by end of April.

The Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol cover

Naval Officer Jack Samson thought a posting to the frontier of human inhabited space was the death blow to his career. He couldn’t have been more wrong. A routine inspection of a small merchant vessel leads to devastating loss and the discovery of strange, fascinating objects. As astonishing discoveries unfold, a mysterious and hostile ship proves that Samson has a competitor in unlocking the secrets of an ancient alien civilisation, and that humanity might not be alone in the galaxy after all.

This is one of those rare times that Amazon Kindle recommends something to me that ends up being good.  Written by Duncan M. Hamilton, this appears to be his first science fiction book. The antagonist, Jack Samson, and his crewmates make for an interesting hodgepodge of characters as they are thrust in a series of crisis. The book bears some similarities to the TV show Firefly. Primarily that you are on the edge of space colonization and things are a lot more cowboy than lawful. Although Jack being part of the Terran Union places him on the other side of where we would often see the characters from that show. The major plot components are completely different. 

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Rapid Fire Book Reviews

Hi, I’m new on this site. I’m a writer on Hogwarts Legacy during the week, but today I thought I would share some quick thoughts I had on some sci-fi/fantasy books I read recently:

Axiom’s End, by Lindsay Ellis (novel, 2020) – I used to enjoy Lindsay Ellis’ Youtube videos, so I was excited when her book finally came out last June. Unfortunately, it is overwritten, self-indulgent, and tedious. I guess pointing out the sexism and faux-progressiveness of Disney reboots and writing stories are nonexclusive skills. One passage stands out in my mind as particularly irritating and overwrought: where the alien boyfriend makes the protagonist swallow a can of creamed corn. It went on for either five minutes or five hours, in the same way it’s hard to keep track of time when you’re being tortured. 

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Giants Series

The original three books of the five book Giants series are a pretty good read. Unfortunately, the time lag between book three and four (ten years), and then the even greater lag between book four and five (fourteen years), make those last two books seem detached from the original trilogy. 

I purchased the books as ebooks, and they come as “The Two Moons ( Inherit the Stars and The Gentle Giants of Ganymede), The Two Worlds (Giant’s Star and Entoverse), and then the third/fifth is Mission to Minerva
Confusing when I went to buy. “Get all 3 books in this 5 book series!”

The first two books ( Inherit the Stars and The Gentle Giants of Ganymede) are the most enjoyable, as they are kind of told as scientific mysteries. Inherit the Stars, published in 1977, has this description: 

The man on the moon was dead. They called him Charlie. He had big eyes, abundant body hair, and fairly long nostrils. His skeletal body was found clad in a bright red spacesuit, hidden in a rocky grave. They didn’t know who he was, how he got there, or what had killed him. All they knew was that his corpse was fifty thousand years old — and that meant this man had somehow lived long before he ever could have existed.

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Ready Player Two

Ernist Cline’s sequel to Ready Player One picks up 10 days after the end of the first book. The first quarter of the book seems determined to make sure we hate Wade (the original protagonist), and that we feel the crushing hopelessness of the near future that he lives in. Despite their billions upon billions of dollars, the four co-owners of Gregarious Simulation Systems (GSS) are unable to solve any of the real world issues facing Earth.

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