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Star Trek Titan Over a Torrent Sea : Welcome Tasha Riker-Troi April 4, 2009

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51b4vf1ybjl_sl110_ Star Trek Titan Over a Torrent Sea continues the story of Captain Riker’s ship in the post Borg/Destiny era.

Long story short is they find a water world and make a first contact. It’s a well written story but it sure does drag on in the middle section for a long period of time.

There are some interesting sections for sure — notably the birth of Riker and Troi’s child – named Tasha – after Tasha Yaar –

and yes the sexual tension between Riker and the nympho from Pacifica was also kinda neat and something that had been building in the previous Titan books too.

This book was head and shoulders better than the last Titan book which was barely readable but still not as good as any of the first three Titan books (Taking Wing, The Red King and Orion’s Hounds )

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Star Wars: Coruscant Nights III Patterns of Force REVIEW Where’s the Zeltron? March 2, 2009

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patternsoftheforceStar Wars Coruscant Nights III Patterns of the Force is a book that we were really looking forward too. We really enjoyed the first book in this series – Jedi Twilight and the second book – Street of Shadows – was solid too.

Patterns of the Force is the weak link in the triology and the worst book of the three. Were it not for the fact that we had already invested our time (and money) into this series, we likely would have given up on this book halfway through.

The sentence, paragraph and scene contruction were painful. Most of the plot was weak and pointless and most of the characters were cardboard cutouts.

What happened to the brilliant prose/plot/characters of the first two books?

WHO THE FRAK ARE THE INQUISITORS??! That all of sudden they should appear in the final book makes no sense at all and shows how poorly this series was constructed.

We knew that there had to be a final showdown with Jax and Darth Vader we didn’t know how he would get there…

[spoiler alert stop reading here if you don’t want to know..]

So how does Jax meetup with Vader? He calls him!

HA!

The slow pace and lack of much action in this book really made this painful until the final 4 chapters.

The fact that Dejah Duare the Zeltron betrayed Jax because Jax wouldn’t FRAK HER was kinda neat and something we didn’t see coming. The fact that she then went to embrace Vader (and died) however makes no sense at all.

The fact that Vader did not kill Jax was also disappointing. Jax should have been cut down – yet he wasn’t. So now the publishers can just stretch out the Jax character and use him again…

Oh and I-Five is not only sentient but he has a Force auro too…go figure.

Sure we like Jax he’s cool…but he was overmatched in that room and it would have been a fitting end for him to meet his fate at the end of Vader’s crimson lightsaber.

So in the final analysis Coruscant Nights started off really well with excellent promise – the final book was disappointing – but hey we were ultimately entertained.

I suppose that even though we suffered through the first 20 chapters the final payoff makes it worthwhile.

Star Wars: Coruscant Nights III Patterns of Force out Today! January 27, 2009

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patternsoftheforceThe final book in the Coruscant Nights trilogy is out today (no don’t have a copy yet but should get mine at lunch). We really enjoyed the first book in this series – Jedi Twilight and the second book – Street of Shadows – was solid too.

Now with book three it should all come full circle and we’ll find out the fate of Jax and his crew. Jax is really the true hero and chief protagonist of this series and he’s a likeable character – let’s hope he doesn’t get killed off.

Wild Space : Star Wars Clone Wars- REVIEW January 26, 2009

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wildspace Star Wars Clone Wars Wild Space by Karen Miller is a great book.

It fits into the new Star Wars Clone Wars canon with the animated series (complete with Ashoka). It fits in between Clone Wars Episode 6 and 7 where R2 is lost.

This book isn’t about R2, it’s not about Anakin and though the cover has Clones on it – is not about clones either.

This book is about the Dark Side.

It’s about Obi-Wan Kenobi in one of the personal tales I’ve ever read of his on a trip to a dark Sith world with Senator Bail Organa tagging along.

What makes this book even more interesting is the view into Palpatine as well. There are a few fantastic sections in this book where Palpatine is talking with Yoda but the narrator/author show us his true internal thoughts — and no he doesn’t like Yoda much (Palpatine that is).

There are also great sections with Padme Amidala too and her own internalization during conversations with Obi-Wan and Yoda. In fact this story (at the beginning) does fit in nicely in between the battle of Geonosis and Padmes wedding to Anakin at the end of Episode II.

Overall The writing is smooth and makes for an easy and very enjoyable read. This is easily the best Star Wars book we’ve read so far in 2009 (year is young though) but Miller has done an excellent job here of bringing us even closer to characters we already know in a new and unique way.

Amazon FAIL on Star Wars Millenium Falcon by James Luceno : They charged more to preorder! October 20, 2008

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!!WARNING!! Be careful when pre-ordering from Amazon.com. We pre-ordered the new Star Wars: Millenium Falcon book by James Luceno more than a month ago. At the time we got  a pre-order price from Amazon of $17.16. Today (the day the book is officially released) Amazon has the price listed at $16.56. So yes Amazon cheated me out of $0.60. 

To add further insult to injury – i had hoped that by pre-ordering i’d get the book when it came out. No such luck! The book shipping notification only came yesterday (oct 20th) meaning i’ll get the book many days after it first hits the bookshelf.

THAT SUCKS.

This is the last time we’re likely to pre-order a Star Wars book on Amazon. It’s bad enough they ripped us off by charging more for the pre-order. That’s not right.

Anyone else been frakked by Amazon on SciFi book pre-order?

***UPDATE OCT 24, 2008 *** AMAZON has refunded me the $0.60 and I even got the book – only two days after it hit the stands. Would have been better if it was the same day – esp considering i order this book several months in advance – but still much better than what the email i got from Amazon indicated when this post was first published. My faith in Amazon is (mostly) restored!

Star Wars:Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows September 15, 2008

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Michael Reaves is among the best Star Wars Expanded Universe authors working today and Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows is among his best. This book is a new adventures – that continues the same character and timeline as the first Coruscant Nights.

Big difference this time around is Jax is trying to solve a murder – as is Captain Typho (remember him from Episodes I, II and III?) – Aurra Sing the most deadly bounty hunter of them all takes a swing a Jax –  and we’ve got a sexpot Zeltron in the mix too.

It’s a solid book that moves along well with all plotline converging at the end in typical Star Wars fashion. The only weak link might be the Typho storyline…somehow he figures out that Darth Sidious went to Mustafar and then he assumes that Vader was there too so he needs to go after Vader (which is so ridiculous a stretch..)

The sub-plot with Laranth wanting more from Jax was also kinda weak, though the plot dialoge with Dejah The Zeltron was all really solid.

All in all a fun and at times exciting jaunt through the Coruscant underground with a Jedi that has no lightsaber…

The next (and final book – Patterns of Force (Star Wars: Coruscant Nights III)) in the series should be interesting ..Vader is on the cover and the only question is whether or not Jax survives..

Hugo Award Winners 2008 August 11, 2008

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The Awards are now out for the 2008 Hugo’s.

It is the job of the Hugo awards to identify the brightest stars in the universe.

The Hugo Award was named in honor of Hugo Gernsback, “The Father of Magazine Science Fiction,”. The award is is given annually by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon)

We’ve reviewed the Best Novel of the year The Yiddish Policemen’s Union over a year ago.Though it’s a decent book it’s not Chabon best (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is better).

As far as the best Novella – that’s a tough call since Asmov’s publishes so many very good shorts in any year…

Here’s the list:

  • Best Novel: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins; Fourth Estate)
  • Best Novella: “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s Dec. 2007; Subterranean Press)
  • Best Novelette: “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean Press; F&SF Sept. 2007)
  • Best Short Story: “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s June 2007)
  • Best Related Book: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher (Oxford University Press)
  • Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust Written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Charles Vess Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Paramount Pictures)
  • Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who “Blink” Written by Steven Moffat Directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)
  • Best Editor, Long Form: David G. Hartwell
  • Best Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder
  • Best Professional Artist: Stephan Martiniere
  • Best Semiprozine: Locus
  • Best Fanzine: File 770
  • Best Fan Writer: John Scalzi
  • Best Fan Artist: Brad Foster

Star Wars: Coruscant Nights I : Jedi Twilight (review) August 11, 2008

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Quick Review: Star Wars: Coruscant Night volume I Jedi Twilight is one fun read.

Michael Reaves is a great Star Wars Expanded Universe writer and he delivers with this book. Jax Pavan is a solid new entry into the Star Wars canon of Jedi and his challenge of trying to stay hidden in the force and then re-discovering his connection with the force.

The multiple plot lines interweave very nicely too with the robot, Jedi and Black Sun plots all coming together and crossing paths as they should.

Yes — as the first book in a new series there are a lot of loose threads left at the end of this book. But that’s how it should be cause that will make the next book (Street of the Shadows) and the one after that (Patterns of Force) interesting as those loose ends get tied up.

Like why is Vader interested in Jax? Will Kaird make it home? What’s the deal with Prince Xizor?

No this isn’t a heavy duty series like Legacy of the Force, which is actually a really good thing. Legacy of the Force left us emotionally drained and it’s great to just get into a series like this.

Arthur C. Clark – His Odyssey is now over March 18, 2008

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It was barely three months ago that we celebrated the 90th birthday of Arthur C. Clarke.

The grandmaster died this morning.

To say that he will be missed is an understatement.

To say that he will never be forgotten is one too.

For as long as his books and the ideas behind them remain alive so too will with spirit of the Grandmaster.

Star Wars Darth Bane The Rule of Two (Review) February 10, 2008

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 Darth Bane the Rule of Two is easily the best Star Wars book we’ve read all year (mind you we’re only 5 weeks into 2008 at this point).

Drew Karpyshyn continues the tale he began in Darth Bane Path of Destruction . Whereas the first book had some basis in well known Star Wars canon and Dark Horse comic books – this book really carves out some very new and unkown territory.

 Karpyshyn is a gifted writer and his prose is smooth – leading to an incredibly satisfying page turning experience.  Bane is still the dark brooding Sith lord as always, but now we get insight into his apprentice Darth Zannah.

As opposed to most other Star Wars tales where the Jedi are the heroes — here the Sith are the ‘heroes’. The Jedi are seen as weak. Their lightsaber skills inferior. Their command of the Force – incomplete.

The final confrontation in the end of this book (without giving away too much) is AWESOME. But also dissapointing in some ways too. At some points in the story we get the story told from the Jedi point of view. But when it comes to the final battle – it’s very one sided — in more ways than one.

The first book Darth Bane Path of Destruction is still a superior book to this one – the plot in that book is richer, the Sith more complete and Darth Bane’s transformation is among the best Star Wars tales ever told…as such this book Rule of Two had a tough act to follow.

That said..Rule of Two is a MUST READ for all Star Wars fans. It expands the expanded universe in a critical era and most importantly…it’s a great read.

Star Trek Titan : The Sword of Damocles (review) December 26, 2007

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If you think it’s been awhile since you’ve since a Star Trek Titan book review on ShowMeSciFi.com you’d be right. The last time a new Star Trek Titan book came out was late 2005. We reviewed the three previous Star Trek Titan books (Taking Wing, The Red King and Orion’s Hounds ) in 2006.

This latest book, the fourth in the series was one we had been waiting for,  for some time…Titan is the series that chronicles the continuing adventures of Captain Wil Riker and his Luna class star ship Titan on deep space exploration missions. The crew is mostly non-human which makes for a real interesting mix.

Unfortunately The Sword of Damocles isn’t a good book at all as it doesn’t take advantage of the Titan or her diverse crew (including Riker) well at all. Much of the book is focussed on one character a Bajoran and an poorly constructed time paradox plot.

While time related stories are often difficult to navigate, the publisher has made this one infinately more difficult to navigate by not properly indicating scene changes/time changes as chapter or section headings. It’s a publishing 101 issue and it significantly detracts from this work.

The author – Geoffrey Thorne is likely the worst Star Trek author we have ever read as he makes little sense and does little to connect with the Titan canon that has been developing over the course of the previous four books.

Of the four books thus far, this one was by far and away the worst of the bunch and one of the least readable Star Trek books we’ve seen in years.

Titan is a valuable and excellent concept. We can only hope that the power that be get their act together and publish this title more often and with better authors.

Arthur C. Clarke Turns 90 December 14, 2007

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I doubt there is a SciFi fan that is not familiar with the works of legendary author Arthur C. Clarke.

His most famous work being 2001 A Space Odyssey while Rendezvous with Rama is my own personal fav.

Mr. Clarke turns 90 on Dec 16th and in honor of his birth he’s posted a YouTube video.

It is a must see for all fans of the SciFan genre as one of the great still living masters tells his own tale of 90 orbits around the sun.

Happy Birthday Mr. Clarke !!

Star Wars Legacy of the Force Fury – Review December 13, 2007

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Star Wars Legacy of the Force Fury has a furious pace. From end to end the characters are engaged in battle, some larger than others.

This isn’t the best book in the series but it is in the top two. The conflict/civil war continues to be very confusing all around and this book doesn’t simplify the conflict much.

In terms of plot it ends a few plot lines : Centerpoint and Alema Rar. It also closes the loop on the secrecy of Allanna which is neat.

But the book is still space opera..with dozens of loose ends..which is of course why there are still more books to follow.

The double life of Caedus/Solo continues to be annoying…he’s the only one that knows he’s a ‘real’ Sith..and the real ‘Sith’ for some reason continue to remain in the shadows. I hope we’ll see more of the Korriban Sith sooner rather than later.

Overall 3.5 out of five stars for this latest book in the Star Wars Legacy saga.

Star Wars Death Star – Review November 23, 2007

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deathstar.jpgStar Wars Death Star is one of the best Star Wars books ever written and was the most enjoyable Star Wars tale I’ve read in many years.

There are alot of books in the Expanded Star Wars Universe…for the most part you need to read a bunch of them to get into any one particular series. Death Star plugs into the Star Wars timeline right at the point of A New Hope..so the basic environment is well known.

Since 1977 the Death Star has been the most feared weapon in the Empire and its fate has also been known. But how was it constructed? Who was the man the pulled the trigger to destroy Alderaan? What about the people that were on the Death Star itself when in blew?

Just awesome…and though we know how it ends up..the way the authors weave the tale in with dialogue and plot from A New Hope itself is simply brilliant.

On a station the size of a small moon there are alot of people and they all have a story to tell…finally we get to hear/read those stories…and not just the machinations of Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin.

To say that this is a must read would be an understatement. This book should be REQUIRED reading for anyone that considers themselves to be a true Star Wars fan.

Star Wars Legacy of the Force Fury – Chapter by Chapter Spoiler Summary November 21, 2007

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No Star Wars Legacy of the Force Fury is not yet on the shelves (it’s not out officially until November 27th). Yes Random House has sent out review copies (we didn’t get one though we asked) and one of them has resulted in a full 38 chapter review full of all the spoilers you don’t want to read.

We’ll hold out till we have a bona fide copy…

BUT

If you just can’t wait and your really want to know…GO HERE.

Star Wars Legacy of the Force Revelation – out February 26, 2008 November 9, 2007

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The Eighth book in this awesome series – Star Wars Legacy of the Force : Revelation is set for a Feb 26, 2008 release.

Unfortunately it’s written by Karen Travis, the author that wrote the worst book in the series Sacrifice and killed Mara Jade Skywalker.

Who is on the cover? Looks like Jacen.
What’s the Revelation? That the Sith suck?? that He killed Mara?? we’ll find out…