Friday, July 10, 2009

Yesterday, I finished The Clan Corporate by Charles Stross, the third book in his Merchant Princes series.

First, a quick re-cap: in this series, there are people who can switch themselves between alternate worlds. There are a few known worlds: our world; a world where things have not progressed beyond the medieval era; a world where technology has progressed, but in a different manner, and gov't is more totalitarian than ours. The group of "world walkers" featured are part of one family in the medieval world and they exploit their talents like mafia, in order to smuggle drugs and other high value goods. The story involves one journalist who stumbles into these people, finds out she is one of them, and gets involved in all three worlds.

At the end of the second book, the protagonist had discovered the third world and started a base there, but was still having difficulties with her mafia like family from the second world. This book is mainly a long continuation of those difficulties. It is mainly occupied with tiresome political discussions of how she can survive within her family.

I started off by not liking the first book very much, then liking the second one more. With this third book, I'm back in the "not liking it" camp again. The story is bogged down with not very interesting political discussions, and the protagonist is mostly reduced to a bystander, as things happen around, and to, her.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Yesterday I finished The Last Colony by John Scalzi, the third book in Old Man's War universe.

This book uses two of the main characters of the previous two books in the series - John Perry from Old Man's War and Jane Sagan from The Ghost Brigades. They've settled down and are helping run a colony when they are asked to volunteer to help start another new colony. That colony turns out to be involved in some schemes of the human government against a new alliance of alien races.

There's nothing surprising here - just some well written, old-fashioned military/political science fiction.

I wrote about the previous two books here and here.