Powersat

I last read most of the The Grand Tour in high school or earlier, jumping about from book to book in no particular order. I don’t even know if I read The Grand Tour, especially given that it might not have been out yet. It’s a bit of a strange book, set first chronologically but written decades after others in the series. I was looking for an audiobook series to listen to next and this seemed worth a try.

Plotwise, it’s near future science fiction, with a world similar enough to the modern world that nothing seems impossible but exploring what could be / could have been. It’s not the sort of science fiction I generally read, but so it goes. The idea of the powersat and the spaceplanes is neat and the idea of NASA transferring responsibilities to private companies seems increasingly prescient every year (the last space shuttle flight was 6 years after this book was published). The ending in particular has just the right push of scifi action and adventure to keep me reading by itself.

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The Fallen

I have a pretty good number of less known / self published stories that I’ve collected through various sales and bundles that I keep meaning to work through. The Fallen is one such book. I’m not even sure where I picked it up anymore, but it seems worth giving a try.

Structurally, The Fallen starts with Chavali (a fortune teller who just so happens to have a gift for mind reading) and her clan of travelling folk. Fascinating world building already and we just keep getting hints of even crazier things going on in the greater world as everyone dies and Chavali is brought back as one of the mysterious "Fallen" . Quite a twist.

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Red Seas Under Red Skies

“That’s a sweet piece,” said Jean, briefly forgetting to be aggravated. “You didn’t snatch that off a street.”

“No,” said Locke, before taking another deep draught of the warm water in the decanter. “I got it from the neck of the governor’s mistress.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“In the governor’s manor.”

“Of all the -”

“In the governor’s bed.”

“Damned lunatic!”

“With the governor sleeping next to her.”

The night quiet was broken by the high, distant trill of a whistle, the traditional swarming noise of city watches everywhere. Several other whistles joined in a few moments later.

“It is possible,” said Locke with a sheepish grin, “that I have been slightly too bold.”

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Lies of the Beholder

“Who cares?” I said. “Yes, it’s all in my head. But pain is ‘all in my head’ too. Love is ‘all in my head.’ All the things that matter in life are the things you can’t measure! The things our brains make up! Being made-up doesn’t make them unimportant.”

It’s been a few years since I last read Legion and Skin Deep, so when I saw a there was a new (and apparently last) part out, I had to give it a try. This time around, I listened to all three on audiobook and that, I can highly recommend. It’s a solid production and each aspect having their own voice helps that little bit more.

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Children of the Nameless

Hey, it’s Sanderson. I’ll give it a chance.

Taking place in the greater Magic the Gathering universe, there’s a feel for a huge world we’re only seeing a corner of. Names That Matter left and right and nowhere near enough time to learn what they all mean… but if you just go with it, you’ll figure out enough for this particular story.

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Burn Bright

It’s bad to have an enemy with the kinds of resources these people apparently have—but it is infinitely worse to have crazy people as enemies.

Taking place right on the heels of Silence Fallen , Burn Bright sees Anna and Charles are back in Aspen Creek, only this time around Bran is still out of the picture just when things start going a little bit sideways. There’s conflict both within the pack and from outside, in particular focussed on the Wildlings–a second pack of old wolves too dangerous to even be in Bran’s pack already of the most dangerous.

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All These Worlds

And so it ends.

Their lives were now less than a footnote in history. As gone, as utterly forgotten as any random individual from the Middle Ages. No longer even a ripple in time, except to the extent that I could keep their memories alive. I sighed to myself. It seemed sometimes that life was nothing more than the accumulation of emotional baggage—memories, regrets, and lost opportunities.

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For We Are Many

Even though I watched the action remotely via a floating observation drone, I could still feel my nether regions puckering up in fear. At times like this, I wondered if I hadn’t gone a little overboard with the level of detail in my virtual-reality environment. There was no reason for me to even have nether regions, let alone for them to pucker.

It remains wonderfully fascinating to see how the Bobs spread out and deal with all manner of problems throughout the universe, from a failing Earth, to fascinating alien worlds, to species both young to help and… otherwise. It’s a crazy universe and For We Are Many just takes the formula We Are Legion (We Are Bob) established and runs with it.

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We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

Well. That’s a thing. A weirdly wonderful thing.

The book summary does a pretty good job of telling you exactly what you get without too many spoilers (past the first few chapters):

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