Scar Night – Alan Campbell

Deepgate Codex #1 The city of Deepgate is suspended by chains above an abyss, but the city’s creaking power structure has begun to fall apart. I’ve read this book twice. Unlike a couple of other reviewers, I found enough to interest me that I bought the rest of the series. Scar Night has a lot of possibility. Campbell has built an intriguing, steampunk-ish, ‘is it F or SF?’ world around the city of Deepgate, suspended…

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Time Travelers Never Die – Jack McDevitt

Shel Shelborne discovers that his missing father had built a time machine, and tries to follow his father’s trail. I’m a big fan of Jack McDevitt, but this book is one of the rare exceptions in his work. It’s fun enough, but if you don’t read it, you’re not missing anything. I’d suggest that there’s nothing new to say in time travel stories, but that’s clearly not true. Every now and then, something new comes…

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The Time Engine – Sean McMullen

Moonworlds Saga #4 Wayfarer Inspector Danolarian gets caught up in what may or may not be time travel. You’ve probably had occasions when a friend says to you “You know the one about the rabbi and the priest?” and you say “Yes.” You’re both kind of let down, and often the best thing is to at least recap the joke so that you both chuckle and move on. That let-down feeling captures this book. A…

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Misspent Youth – Peter F. Hamilton

Commonwealth Saga #1 A look at the use and consequences of genetic therapy for the purposes of regeneration. The back-cover blurbs would have you believe that this is a Dune/Foundation-level epic. It’s not – there’s nothing epic about it. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. Peter Hamilton is a somewhat uneven writer – from an interesting but not engaging Fallen Dragon to the generally strong The Dreaming Void. Here, he turns his attention…

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The Skewed Throne – Joshua Palmatier

Throne of Amenkor #1 A young girl from the streets holds the fate of the city of Amenkor in her hands. The Skewed Throne is perfectly readable as a stand-alone novel, but also smoothly sets the scene for same world sequels. It’s a good, though not astounding debut from a writer who shows promise for growth. Palmatier breaks no new ground in fantasy, but does a nice job of creating credible, engaging characters in an…

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Flood – Stephen Baxter

Flood #1 Rising waters threaten the Earth in this story told in part through the viewpoints of ex-hostages to a terrorist group. In many ways, this book is classic Baxter – thoroughly researched, interesting extrapolation from good science, engaging story, and even the annoying “meanwhile, back at the ranch” news clip technique he seems to love (this time, less annoyingly presented). Unfortunately, this time he largely misses the boat. The characters are, as usual, interesting…

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