Reach for the Stars

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

On the Asteroid Belt colony of Ceres Detective Joe Miller is assigned a case that his superiors (and those higher up the pecking order) would prefer be handled quietly, and with as much delicacy as possible. Detective Miller is to find the missing daughter of a corporate magnate and send her home, whether she wants to go or not.

Meanwhile, the ice hauler Canterbury responds to a distress call from a stranded freighter and is destroyed by ships of unknown design and origin.

Behind Detective Miller’s increasingly complex case and the survivors of the Canterbury‘s desperate search for answers (both of which seem to lead to more questions than answers) lurks the growing political tensions between the United Nations of Earth, the Martian Congressional Republic, and the far-flung outposts of humanity represented by the Outer Planets Alliance. Tensions will flare into conflicts, conflicts will escalate into war, and the Solar System as we know it will be changed forever.

 

Just a Thought

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

From the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, emperor of the Roman Empire from 161 to 180 AD:

For a man can lose neither the past nor the future; for how can one take from him that which is not his? So remember these two points: first, that each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle, and that it signifies not whether a man shall look upon the same things for a hundred years or two hundred, or for an infinity of time; second, that the longest lived and the shortest lived man, when they come to die, lose one and the same thing.

 

God is Dead, But We Can Fix That

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

Kos the Everburning is dead. The patron god of the city of Alt Columb, who’s divine power provides heat and power not only for the citizens of his chosen city but for countless other cities and nations beside has died and something must be done about it. To that end the Church of Kos has brought in two necromancers (partner in the firm Elayne Kevarian and very junior associate Tara Abernathy) from the international Craft firm of Kelethras, Albrecht, and Ao to find a solution to bring back Kos or scavenge what remains of his divine power while staving off his spiritual creditors.

But the circumstances of Kos’ death are not clear and the tangle of obligations that surrounded the god and his Church even less so. Tara and Elayne are under a tight schedule, however for Kos provided much to many in Alt Columb and beyond and it will not take long before everything he supported will start to fall apart.

A Game of Thrones (But Not the One You’re Probably Thinking Of)

The Emperor of the Eight Islands by Liane Hearn

It begins, as many of these things often do, with a series of seemingly unrelated events. An ambitious nobleman attempts to murder his nephew in order to seize the boy’s birthright. Another noble orders his son to abandon his wife in order that she may marry his older brother. Deep in the mountains a sorcerer of uncertain power and ability crafts an enchanted mask which he will give away to an orphaned youth. Two powerful noble families struggle for influence in a political cold war that will soon grow very warm indeed. And behind it all, the abbot of an influential temple will begin to exercise his spiritual and political power to influence the succession to the highest position in all the land, the Lotus Throne itself. It is these disparate threads that will come together to weave a story, the first story of the Tale of Shikanoko.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité!

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Christo by Tom Reiss

1789 to 1799, a turbulent decade in the history of France and a period that would bring great social changes and political upheaval that would be felt far beyond that country’s borders. It was a time when it seemed like anything could be possible and anyone could achieve anything, just ask one of the junior officers of the La Fère Artillery Regiment.

Indeed it was possible for even Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, the mixed race son of a French aristocrat and a slave woman of African descent to rise as high as general-in-chief (a feat that would not be repeated until the late 20th Century).

That Old Time Religion

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Ex-con Shadow Moon has nowhere to go and nothing to look forward to. The wife, the job, and the quiet life that were supposed to be waiting for him have all been ripped away in a single tragic car accident.

On his way to his wife’s funeral he encounters Mr. Wednesday, a mysterious grifter with a job offer and more knowledge about Shadow than it should be possible for a stranger to know.

There’s a storm coming, a physical and metaphysical tempest that will change everything Shadow knows about America and the wider world. Mr. Wednesday might just be the one to help Shadow ride out the storm or he could be the one who will let him drown.

Double Double There’s Going to be Trouble

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell

An “evil” corporation wants to build a superstore in the remote English village of Lychford. As you would expect the village is split between those in favor and those against the store and the conflict has created deep divides between the normally amiable villagers. On the whole, pretty average narrative and plot…but not really. Lychford was founded on a very special location, it stands on the nexus where a variety of worlds intersect with this one and any change in the local scenery could prove disastrous.

Only one person, local character Judith Mawson knows the danger the construction of the superstore would cause but with no one to help (and no one who would believe her even if they were inclined to) this may be a battle she has no way of winning.