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Recent Reading - 2017


Click the occasional spoiler buttons only if you wish to see plot-revealing material.



Storm Front
384 pages
Sandford, JohnJohn Sandford

A professor of antiquities steals a stele from an archeological dig in Israel and smuggles it to Minnesota. Virgil has to break off an interesting fraud investigation of a local redneck.
Highly Recommended


592 pages
Willis, ConnieConnie Willis

Briddey and her boyfriend sign up for an emotional enhancement device so they can better connect as they get engaged. The operation is a complete success, until the voices intrude.
Highest Recommendation


Dead on my Feet
231 pages
Konrath, J.A.J.A. Konrath

Phinneas Troutt isn't a nice guy, but he tries to help others. Unfortunately, he's dying of cancer, treating himself with drugs and booze instead of another round of chemotherapy. When he's hired by a doctor to protect her clinic, he's faced with the prospect of real trouble.
Highly Recommended


Cold Welcome
402 pages
Moon, ElizabethElizabeth Moon

Ky Vatta, young admiral of an important spaceforce, needs to visit her home planet, the first visit since her abrupt dismissal from the planet's prestige military academy. Slotter Key is not somewhere she wants to go, but family is important to the Vatta clan. The visit does not go as planned.
Highly Recommended


The Circle
335 pages
Eggers, DaveDave Eggers

Getting a job at the Circle is a dream come true. Imagine Google AND Apple mixed together. Mae quickly finds herself in the middle of a skyrocketing arc, with EVERYONE watching! Think about that.


Too Like the Lightning
461 pages
Palmer, AdaAda Palmer

In the 25th century, nation states are no longer so important as being part of a self-selected group. Its effectively like voting with your feet, and members of the group can be spread out anywhere worldwide. Fortunately, one such clan has the ability to provide anyone with rapid, safe transportation. This story examines the challenges of maneuvering among the world's leaders. And don't discuss religion!


247 pages
Pon, CindyCindy Pon

Skybright, her childhood friend Zhen Ni and the almost-monk Kai Sen cross from youth to adulthood after they close the breach to the underworld. Skybright comes to grips with her demonic, serpentine half while travelling with Stone, the immortal intermediary between humans and the gods.


202 pages
Pon, CindyCindy Pon

Skybright is the handmaid and friend of Zhen Ni. Living in Xian is dangerous because there are demons abroad in the land. Apprentice monk Kai Sen encounters Skybright when she slips out of the family compound to visit her beloved forest. She was found there as a baby and taken in by the Yuan family, raised to be Zhen Ni's handmaid, but was more like a sister.

Skybright inevitably learns that she's not just an orphan rescued from the forest, but is actually half demon herself.


Hidden Figures
349 pages
Shetterley, Margot LeeMargot Lee Shetterley

"Computers" are people, mostly women, many black, who do calculations with the aid of mechanical calculators. They work for engineers whose job is to make flying safer, faster and more efficient. They work tirelessly to win World War II. Then their mission changes when the Russians launch Sputnik. NASA is born and the push is on. This is the story of the struggle to be the best one can be in spite of the Jim Crow laws of the state of Virginia. It is the story of the inexorable advance of aeronautic and space science and of those who do the math to get astronauts into orbit and safely home. It is also the story of the inexorable advance from obscurity that the black, female computers made to become recognized for their math skills, engineering prowess and indomitable human spirit.
Highest Recommendation


Children of Time
471 pages
Tchaikovsky, AdrianAdrian Tchaikovsky

An arc ship from a poisoned Earth approaches a terraformed world hoping to colonize. An Old Empire sentinel satellite is circling the planet and is warning them off.

This excellent story weaves biology, social interaction and "first contact" science fiction themes with excellent effect.
Highest Recommendation


Remnants of Trust
528 pages
Bonesteel, ElizabethElizabeth Bonesteel

Carrying a convicted ship's captain, a Central Corps starship is attacked with a high loss of life. The Galileo, her captain Greg Foster and chief of engineering Elena Shaw go after the Syndicate raiders who masterminded the attack. Elena and Greg struggle with their relationship. This series seems to be a mix of romance genre and space opera.


The Cold Between
416 pages
Bonesteel, ElizabethElizabeth Bonesteel

This book is a first novel, and it also a crisply written space opera. Very well developed characters and a driving story. I am looking forward to more.