Book Review: Spear of Light by Brenda Cooper

25 Aug Spear-of-Light_cover-1-681x1024


Transhumanity, ecological engineering, cultural clashes and strong characterization mark Spear of Light, the second novel in The Glittering Edge sequence from from Brenda Cooper, sequel to Edge of Night (previously reviewed here at S&F). Shaun and I also talked to Brenda on episode 262 of the podcast.

If the first novel in the Glittering Edge sequence was fish-out-of-water stories, as humans learn to deal with transhumanity, and environments alien to them, the second novel is a story of full-on cultural collision. In the wake of the events of the first novel, the transhuman colony of Nexity on the planet Lym, an uncomfortable but necessary compromise created at the end of the first novel, is a source of constant tension. Under that tension between humanity and transhumanity, on Lym, is the dramatic engine that drives Spear of Light. Transhumans, humans and an ecologically fragile planet make for a potent environment for that dramatic engine to flourish and run in. And that doesn’t even mention the offworld events. While the first novel was relatively balanced between offworld and onworld events, and this novel is much more Lym focused, the events in space are crucial to the unfolding of the plot. Continue reading

Book Review: Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott

18 Aug d4212ee00969351f66dfe8a78c1499ca


Second in the Court of Fives series, following Court of Fives, Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott continues the epic YA fantasy story of Jessamy, as she struggles to preserve herself and her family. Her expertise and skill at the Fives has put her into the intrigue and machinations of Garon Palace, as factions within the court struggle to influence, if not outright control, the throne. But what can the daughter of a General, struggling to keep herself and her family above water, do against that? She has a game to master, and in the mastery of that game, and protecting her family, young Jessamy is going to be catapulted out of the capital,  and into the countryside. There, away from all she has known, treachery, betrayal, loyalty and the struggle for the future of her country irrevocably change her own quest. Continue reading

#48. Rogue One (The Olympics Trailer) — A Shoot the WISB Subcast

13 Aug Rogue One

AT-ATs, Donnie Yen, and Star Wars awesomeness, oh my!  In this very special, very sudden episode, Mike, Rachael, and Shaun discuss the second trailer for Star Wars:  Rogue One.  We squee, we babble about predictions, and we generally have a joyful time discussing this very exciting upcoming movie!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below): Continue reading

301. David D. Levine (a.k.a. The Martian Adventurer) — Arabella of Mars (An Interview)

12 Aug

Space pirates, Martians, and youthful adventures, oh my!  In our 301st episode, David D. Levine joins us to discuss his new novel, Arabella of Mars.  We talk about the physics of his alternate history, his choice to write a young female protagonist, the culture of the early 1800s, Martians, and much more!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 301 — Download (MP3)Arabella of Mars by David D Levine

Show Notes: Continue reading

Book Review: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

11 Aug too-like-Cover


It’s the 25th century, but William Buck Rogers is not emerging from several hundred years of sleep. Earth, however, is very different than the 21st century we know. Political changes, several rounds, have radically altered the geopolitics. People are affiliated with global political entities, physical borders being a thing of the past. So, too, technological abundance has not made a utopia, but definitely a society whose problems and issues and weaknesses are extremely different than our own. And people’s values, taboos and concerns have changed, to make a fascinating landscape alien to our own.

And a young boy may bring it all down because he can do the literally impossible. Bridger, a young boy secreted away in the House of one of the crucial clans of this 25th-century world, is kept hidden for very good reason. His wishes, you see, come true. He can animate things, and perhaps do more, things nigh inexplicable even by the science of the day. Continue reading


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