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Honest to God Science Fiction Books

I just finished reading Michael Cassutt and David Goyer’s novel HEAVEN’S SHADOW, and just love it.  It’s one of the five minutes into the future books written by one of the foremost authorities on the American and Soviet space programs, and the authenticity just drips off the page.  You want to know what goes on behind the doors of the Johnson Space Center?  This is the book for you.  There is a flight to a NEO (near-Earth Object), and then things get very interesting.  The authors made a number of choices that surprised me, and that’s not easy to do.  Because I write I see the tricks and set ups that signal a left turn, but they kept me guessing.  They took some hard choices with emotional consequences and I really liked that.

The other big science fiction book this summer is LEVIATHAN WAKES by James S.A. Corey.  This is a book set several hundred years in our future, but still contained in that humanity hasn’t moved beyond the confines of the solar system.  I really loved this book too.  Great characters that I cared about, and a police procedural with a burned out cop at the center of that story.  Great stuff.  I also have a particular fondness for Holdon, the captain of a water hauler because he’s such a basically decent guy.  I like decent guy heroes.  I tend to write them myself.

I’m hoping these two books aren’t just a flash, but a new trend in publishing.  I’ve come to enjoy fantasy but my preferred reading is science fiction.  I cut my teeth on Heinlein and Asimov, and Anderson’s Flandry series.  I adore Bujold’s Miles books.  I want spaceships and aliens and distant worlds.

I admit I prefer the space opera books that are set in times not so distant from my own.  Some of the far, far future books read like fantasy to me.  The best of these, and he didn’t set it too far in the future was Walter Jon Williams PRAXIS BOOKS.  If you haven’t read them — do.  They are wonderful.

So all of you who love spaceships and ray guns as I do let’s show the science fiction writers some love, and buy these books.  Give us a wider variety of flavors at the smorgasbord.

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