Strange Music - Review

I’m usually quite a cheerleader about sci-fi, but I find that it is with books that I cut less slack. I have written quite a few less than shining reviews for sci-fi books on this site, and this is going to be another one. Don’t get me wrong, as you read Strange Music by Alan Dean Foster, it is obvious that he is an outstanding writer. It is just that the story itself isn’t sci-fi enough for me.

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I was in my local bookshop today, in the micro section devoted to English language books, looking for something to read. This is the sort of section you are probably familiar with from airports, where only blockbusters such as Ken Follet, Jack Reacher, Harry Potter and every other kind of lowest common denominator, unreadable crap can be found. Among this collection of the usual suspects was a Patricia Cornwell book, a crime thriller from her Kay Scarpetta series.

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I just gave up on reading Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer. It took me a while to work out what the author’s intentions are, with this book, and the attractive but vanilla sci-fi cover is no help. This looks, from the cover, like a slice of space opera, but it is very much not. Right from the get go, it is obsessed with religion, and not in a good way.

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In preparation for Nightflyers the upcoming TV show I am doing my homework and reading the novella it is based on. The novella starts with an inverted timeline of a future that measures itself from the starting point of “Jesus of Nazareth” which was a little jarringly religious for a sci-fi story. But a recounting of the historic events that follow, such as something known as the “Fire Wars” does a good job of giving the feeling that this is all happening in the far, far future.

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Poseidon's Wake

I was recently given part three of the sci-fi series, Poseidon’s Children, by Alastair Reynolds, and I have just finished it, so now it’s time to post about it. I read the first book, On the Steel Breeze, last year, and it has taken me a while to get round to reading the final installment. I wrote a post about On the Steel Breeze, where I said that the book was about ideas.

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I’m reading The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 12 at the moment, which is edited by Jonathan Strahan. I actually gravitated toward this book based mostly on the cover by a book-cover illustrator named Dominic Harman. It is an atmospheric image of a spaceship coming in to land on some high-tech installation, with a giant planet or moon in the background. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I guess it’s okay to be swayed by nice art, now and again.

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Star Nomad - Review

I’ve just finished reading Star Nomad by Lindsay Buroker, which has a really cool painted cover. A cover with a beautifully painted spaceship is always enough to attract my attention, and this book has one, front and center. The author announced the publication of Star Nomad on her website back in 2016, so this is not a latest release, but that has never put me off a book before. So, emboldened by the great cover, and not put off by the book’s age, I downloaded Star Nomad from my usual supplier, KOBO, paying the princely sum of no money at all.

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Brett Fitzpatrick

I am an author writing sci-fi novels, blog posts, and a bunch of other stuff.

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Italy