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.
Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye
Starscape: Andromedan Dark: Book One
(William H. Keith writing as) Ian Douglas
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
the Guns (America Rising)
William C. Dietz
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
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.
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.
Beth W. Patterson
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.
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.
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.
of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg (non-fiction)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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
Copyright © 2017 by Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Editor's Word
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-
by Andrea G. Stewart
by Kevin J. Anderson
GOLF TO THE DEATH
by Alex Shvartsman
MY MONSTER CAN BEAT
UP YOUR MONSTER
by Brennan Harvey
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
by Joy Ward
Double Star (Part 2)
Heinlein's First Hugo Winner
by Robert A. Heinlein
From the Heart's Basement
by Barry N. Malzberg
by Gregory Benford
by Bill Fawcett & Jody Lynn Nye