Tag: Space Opera

Being the Bad Guy for a Good Cause

 

Larry Correia is best known for hard-edged urban fantasy. His Monster Hunter and Hard Magic series involve lots of firearms and fantastic creatures.

“Gun Runner,” by Larry Correia and John Brown is hard science fiction, set in a distant future that has interstellar travel. Yet Correia stays true to form. It is hard-edged and involves lots of firearms and fantastic creatures.

Captain Nicholas Holloway owns Multipurpose Supply VehicleTar Heel, an interstellar cargo ship. He is a gun runner. He and his crew are not in it just for the money. They provide banned weapons to societies who need them to fight animals on their home planets or to battle crazies with better political connections to Earth Bloc bureaucrats.

Resisting Terrorists While Suspected of Being Part of Them

 

Sean Danker wrote the novel “Admiral” in 2016, a tale of four castaways who have to cross a hostile planet to survive. Three are fresh out of their service academies traveling to their first service assignment. The fourth is the Admiral – an individual unlike any admiral the three newbies have ever met. That was five novels ago. The series was dropped by Penguin, the original publisher. Danker is continuing it independently.

“Snowblind,” by Sean Danker is the sixth novel in the Evagardian universe, the setting in which the events of “Admiral” took place. It reunites the three graduates from the first novel: Deilani, the medical officer, Nils, the communications and computer wizard, and Salmagard, the negotiator. This time they face even greater than the last time they were thrown together.

They are all stationed aboard the Julian, the Evagardian flagship. On off-hours, they get together for dinner at a restaurant on Sterling Station. All three are under a cloud due to their association with the Admiral. Deilani and Samlagard are suspected of disloyalty to the Empress.

Janissaries Reaches a Satisfactory Conclusion

 

In 1979 Jerry Pournelle published Janissaries, a novel about a doomed troop of CIA mercenaries in Angola. About to be annihilated by a Cubans they are offered an escape: a one-way trip to the planet Tran. They and their leader, Rick Galloway, are expected to take over the planet and oversee production of a recreational drug that can be grown there every 600 years. Sequels followed in 1982 and 1987. Then, despite the third book ending with many unanswered questions, nothing.

Mamelukes, by Jerry Pournelle, Philip Pournelle, and David Weber, continues the series.

Jerry Pournelle made several announcements on his blog that he was continuing the series. As late as 2014, he announced 151,000 words had been written, and that only the final battle remained. Then he had a stroke. He never completed the book. Jerry Pournelle died in 2017.

Quote of the Day: Barbarians

 

“Every society rests on a barbarian base. The people who don’t understand civilization, and wouldn’t like it if they did. The hitchhikers. The people who create nothing, and who don’t appreciate what others have created for them, and who think civilization is something that just exists and that all they need to do is enjoy what they can understand of it—luxuries, a high living standard, and easy work for high pay. Responsibilities? Phooey! What do they have a government for?

“And now, the hitchhikers think they know more about the car than the people who designed it, so they’re going to grab the controls.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday. Book Review ‘To Clear Away the Shadows’ a fusion of societies By MARK […]

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This Week’s Book Review: Shadow Warriors

 

They are five teens with family problems. Cal’s dad is a drunk. Letty’s parents are too busy fighting to care about her. Tony is homeless after his drug-addict mother died. Sasha’s foster parents see him as a payday. Opi’s stepmother wants Opi’s inheritance – even if that means killing Opi.

Shadow Warriors, a science fiction novel by Nathan B. Dodge opens showing these five’s family situations. The teens soon have bigger problems. They have been secretly drafted to fight in an interstellar war.

If their side loses the other side, The Horde, will colonize Earth – after destroying all life on Earth, and remodeling the planet for them. What is more, they cannot defeat The Horde. No one has in several millennia. Instead, their force is intended to turn The Horde away from Earth before The Horde learns of it.

Book Review: ‘Uncompromising Honor’ Regains Focus of Early Books

 

David Weber started the Honor Harrington series in 1992 with On Basilisk Station. The series now contains 14 mainline novels, six anthologies, and 15 spinoff novels. Enormously popular, series books have occasionally threatened to become an unconscious parody of the series, through Weber ending each novel with a battle bigger and more destructive than the climactic battle of the previous book.

“Uncompromising Honor,” by David Weber, is the 14th and latest novel in the mainline of the series. Instead, it may be one of the series’ most original books since the first three.

During the series, Honor Harrington has grown from the junior captain of On Basilisk Station to the senior fleet commander of the Star Empire of Manticore. Manticore is on the galaxy’s outer fringe from the core human worlds of the Solarian League of which Earth is the capital. Manticore had been fighting with another frontier power, the Republic of Haven, until both nations discovered their war was triggered by the genetic slavers of the mysterious Mesa Alignment.

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Direction by Ron Howard Screenplay by Jonathan & Lawrence Kasdan “I have a really good feeling about this.” – Solo   Star Wars has a dirty little secret. It’s really quite obvious, once you think on it. The secret is this: In spite of being a galactic battle between the goodies (Rebels) and the baddies (Empire), […]

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“Though Hell Should Bar the Way” a Vastly Entertaining Book

 

David Drake has been writing the Royal Cinnabar Navy (RCN) series of space opera novels for 20 years. “Though Hell Should Bar the Way,” by David Drake, is the series’ 12th novel. In it, Drake resets the series without replacing the main characters, injecting fresh life into an enjoyable space opera series.

In ways the novel is the standard RNC tale. Capt. Daniel Leary, hero of the RCN, and his partner, librarian (and spy) Adele Mundy, are sent to the back of the beyond to serve Cinnabar’s interests in an undercover activity. The pair face intrigues from political rivals within Cinnabar and Cinnabar’s chief interstellar rival, the totalitarian Alliance of Free Stars. Space and land battles result. Cinnabar’s enemies are defeated.

It is great stuff for those who like that brand of science fiction. For careless authors, series like this often fall into predictable repetition.

Book Review: Sins of Her Father

 

Capt. Catherine Blackwood is back. The captain was the central character in Mike Kupari’s space adventure Her Brother’s Keeper. Sins of Her Father brings Blackwood and her privateer spaceship into a new science fiction story.

Ithaca, a colony world, has been beset by inept revolutionaries for nearly a generation. After overthrowing the previous monarchy they have run the planet with staggering incompetence.

In desperation, they are turning to the Orlov Combine for assistance. The Orlov Combine is what you would get if you multiplied Soviet Russia by Nazi Germany. It treats its people like cattle, but it has promised, pinkie swear, it will respect Ithaca’s internal sovereignty if Ithaca joins.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter Book Review ‘Death’s bright day’ continues interstellar exploits Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2016 […]

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Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. (This week’s was printed on Wednesday.) When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter Preview Open

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This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

The Death of the Space Opera?

 

640px-USS_Enterprise_(NCC-1701),_ENTHas anyone else out there noticed that one of the staples of science fiction in the serial visual entertainment medium until recently known as television and the dying form of the motion picture, the Space Opera, is — how to put this delicately — older than grandpa’s snuff? To be less delicate, if the Scripted Visual Media Space Opera were a humanoid (let’s not be speciesist), it would be looking for its second duranium hip replacement and popping kidney regeneration pills like they were candy. Bendii syndrome could not more than 20 years off, at the outside.

If we just look at the some of the genre’s best-known representatives for a minute, we find that there are at present, a “new” iteration of the Star Wars (date of birth, 1976) films and a “new” Star Trek (date of birth, 1964/66, depending on when you start counting) film in the works.  The franchises are, in movie/TV terms, antiquated, and both of these original franchises are themselves derivative from even earlier models of visual-medium SF, the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials of the 1940’s.

This summer movie houses were dominated by Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a film version of a 1970’s comic book written to cash in on the success of the original Star Wars, which means that its source material is not exactly Young Republicans material, either. Battlestar Galactica? Again, its origins are in the attempts of television writers and executives to cash in the success of Star Wars and the 1970’s  pop-culture obsessions with “ancient astronauts” (don’t suppose the name “von Däniken” rings a bell?). Japan’s successful 2010 revival of Space Battleship Yamato was also a revival of a property nearly 40 years old.