Jupiter has lost one of its stripes! A result of last year’s cometary impact? A sentient species (or Von Neumann cloud, or time-hopping band of posthumans) mining for fuel (or food, or both)? A small wandering wormhole sucking Jovian atmospheric material into another universe?
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Michael Basnett, Sparklers (ILT Books, 2003)
[pp.757. $24.95. ISBN: 723483445127]
Readers may remember Canadian writer Basnett from his Substars trilogy (Density, the second volume of which, was nominated for the De Granville Prize). Sparklers is a fat stand-alone volume in the same mode, which is to say it is a fast-paced galactic space opera with an ingenious central premise and occasional moments of poetry. Basnett is quickly becoming a writer worth noticing. Continue reading “Book review: Michael Basnett – Sparklers”
I’ve been reading the last in the trilogy of Cassandra Kresnov novels by Australian author Joel Shepherd and I’ve been very impressed. Following on from Crossover and Breakaway, Killswitch is set on the planet of Callay. In the peace after a war with the android-creating League, the more conservative Federation government has recently transferred its powers from Earth. The lead character is one of the androids, Cassandra Kresnov, a super-intelligent, super strong version of the more limited grunts used in the war. In the first book, Crossover she defects and moves to Callay, creating a huge political standoff between many different factions.
Shepherd writes a clever, multi-dimensional tale of artificial humans. It’s reminiscent of the great work done with the Cylon characters in the new Battlestar Galactica but impressively these books were first published in Australia before that TV series saw the light of day. The worldwide publication of the trilogy is richly deserved. As well as some gritty, dynamic action sequences and rich political worldbuilding, the characterization of Cassandra is spot-on. I’d recommend a lot of people pick up these books. You can read my review of Killswitch in this month’s SFCrowsnest.
[image of the books Pyr cover via SFCrowsnest]
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