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Jody Lynn Nye is the author of forty novels and more than one hundred stories, and has at various times collaborated with Anne McCaffrey and Robert Asprin. Her husband, Bill Fawcett, is a prolific author, editor, and packager, and is also active in the gaming field.

 RECOMMENDED BOOKS
by
Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye

Altered Starscape: Andromedan Dark: Book One
by (William H. Keith writing as) Ian Douglas

Altered Starscape is a classic-style space opera. It has a scope literally bigger than the galaxy, wide in both space and time. This is one of the few science fiction novels that regularly uses the words “billion” and “trillion” and they fit. It will keep you up late reading.

The title is a reference to an event that triggers the story. Mankind had managed its own version of faster-than-light drive and begun to settle the nearby planets. Then, at Sirius, they meet ships from a galaxy-wide confederation. Thousands of alien races have joined together to maintain peace and exchange technology and ideas. Most of what they have is too alien or too advanced for humans to understand. Still, the usable new technology revolutionizes Earth and its starships. There seems to be a dark side out there as well: a war with the Deniers that the advanced aliens prefer to not discuss. Technically backward as humans are, they have been asked to join this war, although what use such a low-tech group as humans would serve is very unclear. To answer this question and advance mankind, a newly united Earth agrees to join and send a large contingent of human representatives to the administrative capital of the galaxy.

This central habitat, a gigantic tube, is located near the black hole at the Milky Way’s center. This placement allows it to tap almost unlimited power from the event horizon. It’s larger than most planets and has been designed to handle all types of beings. Asked to send a large contingent, two former orbital stations capable of sustaining a million volunteers for months of travel are attached to a new model spaceship, the Tellus Ad Astra. But when the humans arrive near the event horizon, they emerge from faster than light into chaos. Debris bombards the ship, and the habitat is gone. The Tellus Ad Astra attempts to achieve an orbit just beyond the event horizon, but suddenly all space changes dramatically. The black hole appears seven times larger and hot new stars have replaced the dying giants at the Milky Way’s core.

Impossibly, it appears as though the Andromeda Galaxy is now in the process of colliding with the Milky Way. The travelers have to accept they have been flung forward, or perhaps held in stasis by the event horizon, for about four billion years. Not only is the earth gone, but our sun would be expanding out to the orbit of Mars. Humanity, except for the travelers of the Tellus Ad Astra, is likely long extinct.

 Rushing to the source of signals from a neutrino beacon, the Tellus Ad Astra discovers gigantic constructs such as ring worlds that have been abandoned for hundreds of millions of years and other fantastic advances in technology. Finally, they encounter another friendly race who explain that the Andromeda Galaxy brought with it a menace so powerful it manipulates dark matter and lives in an extra dimension. This has destroyed much of that day’s races and frightened others into fleeing. To complicate the humans’ situation, some power-hungry politicians on the Tellus Ad Astra also decide to attempt a takeover at just the wrong time. Then things get complicated.

There is plenty of action and a scope to the story that has not been so well done since E.E. “Doc” Smith wrote his classic Skylark novels. Keith/Douglas incorporates massive fleets, extra-dimensional alien enemies, super AIs, a possible sentient robot revolt, all of which fits together beautifully. The range, the concepts, the span of time and even how the various artificial worlds work is presented clearly add seamlessly to this sweeping adventure. Altered Starscape is obviously book one of a series, and it’s worth looking forward to the sequels. Highly recommended for anyone who likes space opera, military SF, or adventuring on a grand scale.

Harper Collins
2016

978-0062379191


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Into the Guns (America Rising)
by William C. Dietz

Author William Dietz is a must-read for all military SF fans. He has been delivering strong stories packed with action and combat for three decades. Into the Guns is another fast-paced read. The story begins today when sixteen large, unexpected meteorites smash into the earth. The planet is not destroyed, but shorelines are decimated by tsunamis. Tens of millions die. A Chinese general decides the USA has attacked, and destroys capital cities all over the world in revenge. From the catastrophic collisions and worldwide war, civilization collapses, and the planet finds itself at the start of a nuclear/dust winter in July.

The story is told mostly through the eyes of a young lieutenant who finds herself in command of an armored scout company in Oregon. Sent off to accompany refugees, she sees the USA break down and local warlords come to dominate. What is left of the country tries to put itself together, led by the only surviving US cabinet member. The situation complicates when the Texas oil companies CEOs and their allies begin to finance a “New Confederacy,” which just happens to be a corporate state with them in charge, leading the fragmented nation to fall into a new civil war.

The action is non-stop. Most of it is compelling, company-level combat as seen through the eyes of well-drawn characters that you learn to care about. The feel and technical details are realistic and accurate. If you enjoy an action story, strong military SF, or a good near-future Armageddon novel, be sure to read Into the Guns. This also appears to be the first of a series, which is a relief, because you will be longing for the next volume as you finish the last page.

Ace
2016

978-0425278703


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The Wild Harmonic
by Beth W. Patterson

Beth Waggoner Patterson is a professional musician who has performed around the world as a member of numerous small bands, and as a popular solo performer, especially on the New Orleans scene. She delves into her wide experience in her first novel, The Wild Harmonic. Birch “Buzz” MacKinlay is a jobbing musician with a secret that has overwhelmed her nearly all her life: she’s a werewolf. The lycan tendencies nearly burst out of her at the most inconvenient times, such as on stage during a performance, or when she comes face to face with the man on whom she has a life-threatening crush. When she discovers the pack that has been observing her from a distance, she finds acceptance and love, and the training to make use of her at-times inconvenient talents. The Wild Harmonic is a sub- or perhaps super-sonic cry that is only audible to her and her pack, but its affects can be felt by others near her. As she develops her skills in company with her newfound band, she discovers that there are many more like her, not only wolf-shifters, but shapeshifters of countless other species, many of them involved in the music business.

 And lycans need a support group. Someone or something is murdering shapeshifters, not only in New Orleans, but all over the world. Buzz and her pack fall afoul of the threat, leading her into a world she never suspected existed. She has to use all her talents and inner strength to survive.

Narrated in first person present tense, The Wild Harmonic is written with passion and humor, a deep knowledge of the music scene, and a fresh take on lycanthropy. Its headlong rush will remind you of a roller coaster ride, leaving you relieved and gasping at the end. Recommended for fans of the supergroup Rush, those who enjoy a good werewolf story, and anyone who loves the music scene and New Orleans.

Hidden World Books
2016

978-1943052387


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Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg (non-fiction)
By Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

This book is one long dialogue between the author and one of the great science fiction stylists of all time, Robert Silverberg. Mr. Silverberg has been writing for over sixty years and was recognized by Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America as a Grand Master in 2004. His stories and novels span the range from epic fantasy to hard science fiction. The real joy of this book is discovering that Robert Silverberg is as fascinating as his novels.

Zinos-Amaro has researched the author’s fiction as well as nonfiction and commentary, and explored a wide range of topics with him. Among the interviews is one in which this most successful author explains how he works, researches and plans. Silverberg even explains how he managed to tone down his normally ornate and eloquent style to resemble more straightforward style of Isaac Asimov to novelize three of the doctor’s stories. If you write or plan to write, this explanation of rare skills is virtually guidance from a SF guru.

 In other sections of the interview, Robert Silverberg discusses a wide range of ideas from where he gets his inspirations to how travel affected his writing. The section on libraries and how he has used them all his life will be useful and inspiring to writers at any stage of their career. A final section on how age has affected his writing and how his style has evolved over six decades is both insightful and moving. You might want to get the e-book version because you will occasionally want to go back, search for, and reread some of Silverberg’s answers when you face similar writing or even life challenges. This book-length interview is recommended for all serious SF readers, academics, writing students, beginning authors and those of us who have been reading and enjoying Robert Silverberg’s books for most of our lives.

 

Fairwood Press
 2016

978-1933846637


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Nightwings
by Robert Silverberg

Nightwings is a gem of a novel that too many modern readers have yet to discover. It is rare to actually be able to use the word “lyrical” when describing a book, but this early Silverberg masterpiece deserves it. The book is not only an exciting tale, it is a pleasure to read. Like so many of Robert Silverberg’s books it contains powerful and enticing word paintings. While some readers may prefer his numerous Majipoor Chronicles novels with more traditional story lines and massive scope, Nightwings is a more personal tale of a flawed and very different hero in a place that is appealing and painful to move through.

 (An admission [Bill here]: the original novella, which won a Hugo in 1969, was one of the greatest inspirations for my own first attempts at writing fiction. Having read it as a senior in college, I produced three highly derivative pastiches, all trying to capture the exotic feel and moodiness of the original, failing horribly.)

The novel is set on Earth in the far future. The planet is now poor, used up, and the human race has fragmented as their bodies are changed to better function in their specialties. Merchants, warriors, clowns, even musicians are effectively separate races. The title comes from one such future human, born with gossamer wings that enable her to fly using the strength of moonlight. With man’s home planet is so weak that aliens have been waiting to invade for centuries. Earth’s first line of protection, the Watchers, has held the threat at bay for thousands of years. But one Watcher is momentarily distracted and it is enough for the aliens to slip past. The invasion begins. A team of the varied descendants gather and try to find a place that may not even exist, the ancient Hall of Remembers, which may hold a weapon that is their only hope to defend the fading glory of Earth. They journey across a different but hauntingly familiar world.

The scope in both time and place is wide and amazing. The characters, each uniquely specialized, have to overcome millennia of traditions. The storytelling flows, carrying you across an Earth unlike any other. Even the darkness of age and decay are beautiful. This book will appeal to anyone who reads science fiction. This is the type of story that you read, and then dream about for months.

 

Open Road Media
2013

978-1480418097


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Copyright © 2017 by Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

HOME

The Editor's Word

FICTION
BRAGGING RITES
by Samantha Murray

THE TRAGEDY OF THE DEAD
IS THAT THEY CANNOT CRY

by Sunil Patel

THE LOYAL ORDER OF BEASTS
by Kay Kenyon
YOU CAN ALWAYS
CHANGE THE PAST
by George Nikolopoulos
IT TAKES A SPECIAL-
SPECIAL PERSON

by Andrea G. Stewart

LOCKED ROOM
by Kevin J. Anderson

GOLF TO THE DEATH
by Alex Shvartsman

MY MONSTER CAN BEAT
UP YOUR MONSTER
by Brennan Harvey
THE OBSERVER
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
YOUR GRIEF IS
IMPORTANT TO US
by Yaroslav Barsukov
DO NOT CALL ME BENTO
by Tina Gower

IN THE GROUP
by Robert Silverberg

INTERVIEW
Mike Resnick
by Joy Ward

SERIALIZATION
Double Star (Part 2)
Heinlein's First Hugo Winner
by Robert A. Heinlein

COLUMNS
From the Heart's Basement
by Barry N. Malzberg
Science Column
by Gregory Benford
Recommended Books
by Bill Fawcett & Jody Lynn Nye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © Arc Manor LLC 2017. All Rights Reserved. Galaxy's Edge is an online magazine published every two months (January, March, May, July, September, November) by Phoenix Pick, the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint of Arc Manor Publishers.