BOOK REVIEW: Master & Apprentice, by Claudia Gray

Publisher: Century Genre: Space Opera Pages: 330 Publication Date: 18/04/2019 Verdict: 5/5   A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away: Qui-gon Jinn is unorthodox by the standards of the Jedi, but when he and his padawan Obi-wan Kenobi are sent to work with an eccentric Jedi on a remote world, Qui-gon discoversContinue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Master & Apprentice, by Claudia Gray”

BOOK REVIEW: The Honor Of The Queen, by David Weber

-This review contains some general spoilers for On Basilisk Station. Proceed with caution.- Publisher: Baen Series: Honor Harrington (#2) Genre: Space Opera/Military SF Pages: 422 Publication Date: 1993 Verdict: 4/5   The planet Grayson is independent, but its position makes it strategically valuable to both the Star Kingdom of Manticore and the people’s Republic ofContinue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Honor Of The Queen, by David Weber”

BOOK REVIEW: Children of Ruin, by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Publisher: Tor Series: Children of Time (#2) Genre: Hard SF/Space Opera Pages: 565 Publication Date: 16/05/2019 Verdict: 5/5   A group of scientists arrive on a remote world, intending to terraform it for human habitation. But the planet is not as empty as they first thought . . . Centuries later, Portia’s descendants and theirContinue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Children of Ruin, by Adrian Tchaikovsky”

BOOK REVIEW: Ball Lightning, by Cixin Liu (translated by Joel Martinsen)

Publisher: Head of Zeus Series: Standalone (ish) Genre: Hard SF (ish) Pages: 479 Publication Date: 09/08/2018 (Chinese Edition 2004) Verdict: 4/5 When Chen witnesses a natural phenomenon kill his parents on his fourteenth birthday, he knows it will change his life. Little does he realise how much his obsession with ball lightning will change theContinue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Ball Lightning, by Cixin Liu (translated by Joel Martinsen)”

BOOK REVIEW: The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, by Michael P. Kube-McDowell

Publisher: Bantam Genre: Space Opera Books: 3 Published: 1997 Verdict: 4/5 It has been over a decade since the defeat of the Empire. But while Leia Organa-Solo holds together a fractured New Republic and Luke Skywalker trains the next generation of Jedi Knights, a new threat is rising. A threat called the Yavetha… Between 1991Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, by Michael P. Kube-McDowell”

QUICK REVIEWS: Three Golden Age Anthologies

                One of the best things about used bookstores, in my not so humble opinion, is finding battered old paperback SF anthologies. That’s really how I got into SF in the first place, and it’s something I keep coming back to. The three anthologies here are all onesContinue reading “QUICK REVIEWS: Three Golden Age Anthologies”

BOOK REVIEW: Empire of the Atom, by A.E. Van Vogt

Publisher: New English Library Series: Empire of the Atom (#1) Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Pages: 155 Publication Date: 1966 Verdict: 5/5 Clane is a mutant, the abomination son of Earth’s Lord Protector. But though his body is twisted, his mind may be the greatest humanity has ever known . . . This is a difficult book toContinue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Empire of the Atom, by A.E. Van Vogt”

BOOK REVIEW: Atlas Alone, by Emma Newman

Publisher: Gollancz Series: Planetfall (#4) Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Pages: 306 Publication Date: 18/04/19 Verdict: 5/5 Earth is gone, destroyed in a nuclear apocalypse. But on the ship carrying the last survivors of humanity, not all grudges died with the past . . . Emma Newman’s Planetfall quartet (though I strongly suspect there are more books toContinue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Atlas Alone, by Emma Newman”

BOOK REVIEW: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Heinlein

Publisher: Hodder Genre: Dystopian Pages: 408 Publication Date: 1966 Verdict: 3/5 The Moon works hard, and Earth takes the fruit of that labour. Not all are happy with this arrangement, and some even seek to change it … This is a multi-award winning book. That, however, doesn’t mean I’m going to enjoy it. What earnsContinue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Heinlein”

THE EDGELORD PROBLEM: What is it, and how do we fix it?

I’ve written previously on the problems with including evil characters in a group dynamic. Today’s article is something a follow-up to that, spurred by a recent discussion with my regular RPG group. And the issue I’ll be focusing on is the problem of the Edgelord character type.  Two things first. One, my RPg experience tends toContinue reading “THE EDGELORD PROBLEM: What is it, and how do we fix it?”