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January 30th, 2012, 11:13 PM #1
March 2012 SF Discussion Nominations
Time for some nominations for a March BOTM. Have at it.
1. Everyone can nominate one book and second a reasonably small number of other books.
2. Books must be available new in US and UK (I just check the two Amazons for this). They should also be in a format other than hardcover, so as to keep costs down.
3. Books must be standalone or book 1 in a series (usually not a problem in SF).
4. They can't have been book club books before.
January 31st, 2012, 02:27 PM #2
Noting a couple from my current stack of books:
Into the Looking Glass by John Ringo (also available for free from the Baen Fifth Imperium site):
The novel begins in Florida. A serious explosion occurs at the University of Central Florida's science department, destroying the University and everything within a mile of it. Despite the indications of a nuclear weapon, from the devastation to the mushroom cloud, military personnel and emergency responders find no traces of radiation or EMP. Hovering right over the center of the resulting crater is a strange, black metallic sphere. As the survivors around it stand in awe, a huge 'bug' steps out of it and dies.
Meanwhile the President and his advisors rush to respond to the disaster. They had an apparent nuclear detonation at an important university in a populated area, with a high probability of casualties. They need answers, so they grab the first person with a physics degree and Top Secret clearance in arm's reach, Dr. William Weaver. Weaver quickly explains that Ray Chen, a physicist at the university, was working on changing the laws of physics within a small space to allow him to create a Higgs Boson, essentially a particle containing its own universe. Whether or not he succeeded is unknown, however they have other problems as more of these, "Looking Glasses" begin to open around the country, then around the world. Weaver is sent down to Florida to investigate into the explosion. While on the site, a little girl named Mimi comes walking out of rubble a few blocks from the explosion, carrying a giant spider on her shoulder. They realize that something must have happened to her that allowed her to survive the explosion. They also discover that the spider on her shoulder is an incredibly intelligent being that seems to have formed a telepathic link with Mimi, as he is able to communicate thoughts to her without speaking.
Less than a day later, they discover that gate isn't their only problem as a deadly new species begins to thunder through the various gates, killing people and spreading a fungus that seems to do anything but die. Weaver and SEAL Command Master Chief Miller are among the response to a panicked call about 'demons'. A gate is discovered nearby. A team is sent through and triggers a fierce alien counterattack that the human defenses barely manage to contain. Later, a second wave comes though this and other gates.
Matt Lowell is in hell-and there's no place he'd rather be. At a training camp on the backwater planet of Earth, he and his fellow cadets are learning to ride Mechas: biomechanicals sporting both incredible grace and devastating firepower. Their ultimate aim is to combat the pirates of the Corsair Confederacy, but before they survive a battle, they have to survive their training.
Because every time Lowell and his comrades "plug in" to their Mechas, their minds are slowly being twisted and broken by an unseen power that is neither man...nor machine.
February 1st, 2012, 12:25 AM #3
I could go for the Ringo. It's free, and I'm up for broadening my SF horizons. I've never read Ringo.
February 1st, 2012, 09:10 AM #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Ada, MI, USA
Looking Glass is the debut to John Ringo's zaniest series (The Voyage of the Space Bubble), though later novels are written with Travis Taylor. It still has its share of destruction and of course the political stuff will drive the pc crowd mad, but it is not as grim as Posleen or un-pc as Ghost.
Personally while I enjoyed all the series novels to date and there were tons of moments in various books that cracked me up laughing, the balance between modern sf and over-the-top BEM (bug eyed monsters) stuff kept me from ranking it on par with Prince Roger, the Council Series and Paladin of Shadows which are the author's best work (and excellent stuff at its best)
If you want a sort of "golden age" sf with modern right wing sensibilities and lots of advanced physics (showing Travis Taylor's expertise), I think this is a very good choice, but to read the "real" Ringo, you gotta try Ghost, March Upcountry, There will be dragons and the Hymn Before Battle as Looking Glass is much lighter stuff overall
February 4th, 2012, 08:41 AM #5
I've never read Ringo and this sounds like a reasonable starting volume. I note that it is available in a format which works with Kindle and can be easily converted to epub using Calibre. Thus it is a good choice for use with an ereader device.
February 12th, 2012, 01:33 PM #6
I would like to nominate Germline by TC McCarthy .
The second book in the trilogy comes out the end of February, so I think it would be a good time to discuss the first novel.
I also would find any discussion of Looking Glass by John Ringo interesting. I read that novel a few years ago, and listened to the rest of the series on audio, and there are a lot of interesting applications of Physics in the novels.