A mystery for the ages...

Time is running out. The Earth of the 22nd century is on its way to global self-destruction. Fortunately, faster-than-light (ftl) space travel is available to help teams find a new home. One such place is Quaraqua, a planet of mystery. It turns out, an ancient civilization previously inhabited the planet. Now Richard Wald, an interstellar archaeologist, and Priscilla Hutchins, his pilot, must collect as much data on the site before the planet is terraformed. So goes The Engines of God by Jack McDevitt. The story continues in DeepSix, Chindi, and Omega.

They are still recruiting

The Starfist series of books by David Sherman and Dan Cragg follows the Confederation Marine brigade, the 34th FIST (Fleet Initial Strike Team) during their time of service. In the opening book of the series First to Fight we are introduced to Gunnery Sergeant Charlie Bass and new Marine recruits Claypoole and Dean, on their mission to the planet Elneal. Their duty is to provide humanitarian relief. The planet is completely worthless except for mineral deposits which are being mined by Consolidated Enterprises. The indigenous population is primarily composed of nomadic tribes who wage constant war amongst themselves until now...

On the move...

When was the last time you had to move? Did it take a moving truck and several car loads of stuff to get the job done? Imagine moving an entire planet. Thanks to author Greg Bear you can in Moving Mars. The story centers around Casseia Mujumdar and follows her life from student revolutionary to planet president. Casseia's former lover Charles Franklin has found a way to move anything an infinite distance. With war looming between Earth and Mars, will Charles make the ultimate sacrifice to save the planet?

Artemis Fowl: Audiobooks

Some twelve year olds might be prodigies. Artemis Fowl, however, is a criminal mastermind. While plotting to restore his family's wealth after his father's disappearance this young Irishman discovers an entire world below Ireland, full of fairies, elves, and all manner of creatures of legend. But gone are the days when magic is their only weapon. These mythical folk are armed with high-tech gadgetry and they bring it all out in defense of their gold.

All the audiobooks are read by Nathaniel Parker who does excellent Irish accents and voices for all the characters. The stories also start and end with a techno-rock theme that, while some may find cheesy, I quite liked and I thought it definitely fit the tone of the story. I liked the audio versions so much that I listened to the entire series which is currently five books long with a sixth (Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox) scheduled to come out July 15th. It is also worth noting that the audio versions are the original Irish editions and not changed or edited for America. There are very few changes, but if you'd like the original versions, audio's the way to go.

It really happened!

Today is the first day of the Martian Marathon in Dearborn, MI. In fact, a library employee who ran the 10K today and I will be running the 1/2 marathon tomorrow. In honor of the event, I decided to blog about The Martian War by Gabriel Mesta, who is actually Kevin J. Anderson. Step back to Victorian England as eyewitness H. G. Wells collects reports from other survivors of the war. Be sure to check-out the original story, War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.

Author Arthur C. Clarke dies

Arthur ClarkeArthur Clarke

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka. In addition to his script for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, for which he and director Stanley Kubrick shared an Academy Award nomination (it was based on Clarke’s 1951 short story, "The Sentinel”), Clarke was the prolific author of several novels, short stories, and non-fiction works. He's also widely credited with introducing the idea of the communications satellite.

Read more at CNN.

Another fine classic

First published in 1969, Ursula K. Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness won both the 1969 Nebula and 1970 Hugo awards. The story revolves around Genly Ai, a representative of the Ekumen human federation of worlds and Therem Harth rem ir Estraven, the prime minister of Karhide. Genly is sent to Gethen, to negotiate their entry into the Ekumen federation. Gethen is divided into two kingdoms Karhide and Orgoreyn. Genly must negotiate with both to to accomplish his goals. The story is divided into three sections covering Genly's visit to both kingdoms and a journey over glaciers connecting Orgoreyn and Karhide. Enjoy

Future Warfare

Drones are now a part of the modern day battlefield. In the future, robot warriors make take the field in the place of their human counter-parts. In Bolo and Old Soldiers author David Weber continues the works of Keith Laumer describing future warzones. Bolos are gigantic robot battle tanks. The tanks are programmed with artifical intelligence which is designed to serve and proect humans throughout the galaxy. Check these books out to see what might happen in mankinds future.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

It's aliens! In Interlopers author Alan Dean Foster tells us the story archeologist Cody Westcott uncovers their secret. The trans-dimensional creatures feed on human pain and misery, from headaches to nervous breakdowns and even war. Now that Cody knows their secret, he starts a one-man war against them as he races to save his wife from alien control.

Teleportation - the next generation

Who can fathom the minds and imaginations of young boys? Not me, but I do like to guess. Surveying toys and electronics at home – especially Power Rangers and Transformers - I’m guessing teleportation could be on the horizon, particularly considering the Feb. 14 release of the film Jumper. Some promising signs: When the book came out, it received good reviews. And the film may have scenes shot in Ann Arbor, according to the Ann Arbor News. So repeat after me: “Anywhere is possible . . .”

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