Shattered Pillars is a very transitional book that mostly continues the plot points introduced in Range of Ghosts, with additional complications as the bad guys and good guys play Spy vs. Spy. Temur continues his quest to rescue his lover Edene, unaware that she has already escaped. Edene in turn is unaware at first that she was actually allowed to escape. (Nor, when she finds out, is she able to do very much about it.) He also continues his plan become Khagan.


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I am not entirely sure whether or not I liked The Long War. At least, it didn’t hold the same level of interest for me that The Long Earth did. The story begins when the death of a troll attempting to protect her child and snowballs into a conflict between Datum Earth and the various colonies, which are beginning to have thoughts of independence. What we have here is a perfect storm of civil rights and state rights as Datum Earth attempts to maintain control and the various colonies attempt to break free of the control.


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Book Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

  • Jan. 30th, 2014 at 2:14 PM
Written in Red manages to make supernatural predators that are actually predators. This is not something I ever thought I’d say about a fantasy novel by Anne Bishop. This is because even when Bishop is trying to write “dark” she is also writing “fluffy.” It should be noted that while I would normally fully support dark fiction that also has silly and humorous moments, Bishop does not have the knack for pulling it off. (But she tries, oh my god how she tries.)

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Range of Ghosts has some fascinating world building wrapped up in an intriguing plot full of adventure and politics. The novel is set along “the Celadon Highway” a kind of analog to the historical Silk Road that linked most of Asia together with much of Europe in trade during the 12th and 13th centuries. An especially interesting aspect of the world building is that each empire or polity in Range of Ghosts has its own sky with radically different astronomical features. (As an example, the sky in Re Temur’s homeland has about a hundred tiny moons that each represents one of the male heirs of the Khagan, or “khan of khans.”) 
 
Our protagonist is a young man named Re Temur who is caught in the middle of a succession crisis between his brother and his cousin.

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Reading: Survivor by Octavia Butler Part One

  • Jan. 16th, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Survivor is technically a part of Butler’s Patternist sequence, except Butler disowned it. She also referred to it as her “Star Trek novel” for reasons which may soon become clear. I acquired Survivor via slightly sneaky means, in this case a pdf. file that I downloaded. The copy has a lot of typos and in general is kind of cruddy but still readable.
Here is an overview of the Patternist series. Once upon a time there was a powerful telepath named Doro and a powerful shape changer named Anyanwu. They got along like a literal house on fire by which I mean there was screaming and dead bodies.

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