Some things I’ve read recently!
The Last Good Man by Linda Nagata
If you didn’t read Nagata’s The Red Trilogy, well, you might want to consider doing so. But whether you have or you haven’t–The Last Good Man is near-future military sf. It’s tense and compelling, and features a middle-aged woman protagonist, an ex-Army pilot who now works for a private military company. During a rescue mission she discovers something that casts a new and disturbing light on an event that she’d thought, well, not safely in the past, but over and done with and accurately understood. But she wants the truth, no matter the cost. If near future and/or military is your jam, don’t miss this.
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
This is volume 1 of the Murderbot Diaries, and I suspect a certain percentage of my readers don’t need to hear anything more. Go, purchase, download! You will enjoy this.
Murderbot is a SecUnit–a security android, part organic part mechanical, that isn’t supposed to have any sort of free will. It does, though, and having achieved that free will it secretly names itself Murderbot and then works hard to hide its freedom of thought from the corporation that owns it. It doesn’t actually want to murder anyone, though. It just wants to be left alone to watch its stories. Unfortunately, someone is trying to kill the humans Murderbot has been tasked to protect.
I’m not kidding, I can almost guarantee that my readers will enjoy this. I have already pre-ordered volume 2, which is out in January.
Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns
So, Lesbian Space Pirates. Out at the end of October. That may be all I need to say.
Or not. Our heroines hijack a colony ship in a bid to join a famous band of space pirates–only to discover the pirates are not, as widely believed, hiding out on Barbary Station rolling in money and loot, but are in fact trapped there by the station’s renegade AI. Why is the AI doing what it’s doing? Is it conscious? Does it matter when it’s trying to kill you?
This book is good fun. Set in the Solar System, lots of action, I really enjoyed this, and I bet you will, too.
Mirrored from Ann Leckie.
I didn't do that this year. :)
I had my yearly pre-cancer checkup CT scan, and decided to walk back from Mass. General, which, given my pace and the time it took, was probably a little over seven miles. (I walk around 3.5 miles/hour these day, a result of both aging and having switched to toe first walking. I could get back up to my old pace of 4 mph by falling-step walking, but that's not conducive to taking in the scenery.) While not the life-affirming event that my day-long hike was, it was still quite enjoyable. I should get out more - the only time I really walk these days is playing golf and Pennsic - and no Edward, I don't care if I'm the Earl Marshal, I'm not riding in any damned golf cart!
Dod Ave. has changed a bit since last time I strolled down it. Two new tattoo parlors, a couple more Chinese bakeries, an Addison-Wesley office building, fewer kids hanging out on the corners, more 20-somethings Going Places and Doing Things. All in all, I'd say things were looking up around here.
The talmud discusses deathbed gifts (for several pages). The mishna says: if a dying man gave away his property in writing, but left some portion for himself, his gift is valid -- if he recovers and does not die, the gifts stand. If, however, he gave away everything and then he recovers, the gifts are not valid. The g'mara reasons that if he gave away everything, then clearly he did not expect to survive, so the gifts are implicitly on condition of his death. But if he held something back, then he must have thought that he might recover and be able to use it, so we assume that the gifts were intentional and not conditional on his death. The g'mara discusses many cases and examples, bringing in the idea of kinyan, or symbolic acquisition, and appears to conclude that even if symbolic acquisition occurred (which is normally enough to "make it official"), if he thought he was dying and then recovered, he can reclaim his property. (Mishna 146b, g'mara through 151 -- and continuing from here, but I haven't read ahead.)
Fig and Ibid will likely have to be re-homed.
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June 21st, 2017: Awesome Con was a great time! Thank you to everyone who came by to say hello: I'd never done a show in Washington DC before and it was really terrific to meet everyone! YOUR CITY HAS AMAZING STUFF IN IT TOO, NOW YOU KNOW.
I am Kickstarting a new book! It's called WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE PUNCHES A FRIGGIN' SHARK and/or other stories and it's gonna be great, in my not-at-all-biased opinion!!