Uff da! Oy Vey! It’s been one of those weeks. Not for me, but for a friend. I’ve just been busy and haven’t gotten stuff done. But one of my friends was in an ATV accident this weekend. On his birthday no less. He’s gonna live, but he’s pretty busted up. Bruised ribs, 70 stitches to the face and a broken shoulder (collar bone, shoulder blade and socket). It’s times like these that I’m reminded of one of the very first Conan comics (Savage Sword of Conan # 133: Winter of the Wolf) I bought back in high school.
It’s not how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep going. He’s gonna keep going.
Darkship Renegades by Sarah Hoyt
Entry number two in Sarah A. Hoyt’s rollicking and popular Darkship series, sequel to Darkship Thieves,and winner of the Prometheus Award. After rescuing her star pilot husband and discovering the dark secret of her own past on Earth, Athena Hera Sinistra returns to space habitat Eden to start life anew. Not happening. Thena and Kit are placed under arrest for the crime of coming back alive. The only escape from a death sentence: return to Earth and bring back the lost method for creating the Powertrees, the energy source of both Eden and Earth whose technological origins have been lost to war. But that mission is secondary to a greater imperative. Above all else, Thena must not get caught. If she does, then suicide is to be the only option.
With the odds heavily stacked against not only success, but survival, Thena comes to understand what her cynical accusers do not: it is not merely one woman’s life on the line anymore. For it’s on Earth where the adventure truly begins. Thena realizes that what is truly at stake is the fate of Eden and Earth alike, the continuance of the darkship fleet–and freedom for all in the Solar system–and beyond. Continue reading “Darkship Renegades”
Adventure According To Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
The students in Room 26 are learning about boats and building their own for a race on Potter’s Pond. Humphrey the hamster loves dreaming about being a pirate and watching his friends build ships. But when he mistakenly ends up at sea on the day of the boat race, he finds himself in the middle of more adventure than he bargained for! Humphrey is back in this charming story of a hamster on the high seas of hilarity.
Where There’s a Will (Gideon Oliver Series #12) by Aaron Elkins
Acclaimed for a mischievous wit and his intriguing mixture of forensic anthropology and real skull-duggery, Aaron Elkins is one of the best in the business and getting better all the time. Now, the author of Good Blood returns, and so does Gideon Oliver, professor of forensics, who uncovers a deadly family plot of greed and murder in the northern uplands of Hawaii.
River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon by Buddy Levy
From the acclaimed author of Conquistador comes this thrilling account of one of history’s greatest adventures of discovery. With cinematic immediacy and meticulous attention to historical detail, here is the true story of a legendary sixteenth-century explorer and his death-defying navigation of the Amazon—river of darkness, pathway to gold.
In 1541, the brutal conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro and his well-born lieutenant Francisco Orellana set off from Quito in search of La Canela, South America’s rumored Land of Cinnamon, and the fabled El Dorado, “the golden man.” Driving an enormous retinue of mercenaries, enslaved natives, horses, hunting dogs, and other animals across the Andes, they watched their proud expedition begin to disintegrate even before they descended into the nightmarish jungle, following the course of a powerful river. Soon hopelessly lost in the swampy labyrinth, their numbers diminishing daily through disease, starvation, and Indian attacks, Pizarro and Orellana made a fateful decision to separate. While Pizarro eventually returned home barefoot and in rags, Orellana and fifty-seven men, in a few fragile craft, continued downriver into the unknown reaches of the mighty Amazon, serenaded by native war drums and the eerie cries of exotic predators. Theirs would be the greater glory.
Interweaving eyewitness accounts of the quest with newly uncovered details, Buddy Levy reconstructs the seminal journey that has electrified adventurers ever since, as Orellana became the first European to navigate and explore the entire length of the world’s largest river. Levy gives a long-overdue account of the native populations—some peaceful and welcoming, offering sustenance and life-saving guidance, others ferociously hostile, subjecting the invaders to gauntlets of unremitting attack and intimations of terrifying rituals. And here is the Amazon itself, a powerful presence whose every twist and turn held the promise of new wonders both natural and man-made, as well as the ever-present risk of death—a river that would hold Orellana in its irresistible embrace to the end of his life.
Overflowing with violence and beauty, nobility and tragedy, River of Darkness is both riveting history and a breathtaking adventure that will sweep readers along on an epic voyage unlike any other. Continue reading “River of Darkness”
Mysteries According To Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
EEK-EEK-EEK! Mrs. Brisbane is missing!
Humphrey has always investigated things, like why Speak-Up-Sayeh was so quiet and Tall-Paul and Small-Paul didn’t get along, but this is a true mystery–Mrs. Brisbane is missing! She just didn’t show up in Room 26 one morning and no one told Humphrey why. The class has a substitute teacher, called Mr. E., but he’s no Mrs. Brisbane. Humphrey has just learned about Sherlock Holmes, so he vows to be just as SMART-SMART-SMART about collecting clues and following leads to solve the mystery of Mrs. Brisbane (and a few others along the way).
Nominated for twenty-four state awards and the winner of seven, the Humphrey series is a hit across the country.
Buried Deep by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
A cold case starts it all—human bones discovered beneath the Martian soil in the alien Disty’s main city. The Disty evacuate, believing the area contaminated. Forensic anthropologist Aisha Costard investigates and discovers that the bones belong to a woman last seen thirty years before.
But the woman didn’t vanish, nor did anyone believe her dead. She Disappeared, along with her children, after being charged with crimes against an alien civilization. Costard believes the children hold the key to this mystery, but she can’t find them on her own. So she returns to the Moon to hire Miles Flint.
As Flint investigates, events move swiftly around him, and suddenly what began as a simple murder case turns into an incident that might destroy the entire solar system…
Friday by Robert Heinlein
Friday is a secret courier and ardent lover. Employed by a man she only knows of as “Boss”, she is given the most awkward and dangerous cases, which take her from New Zealand to Canada, and through the new States of America’s disunion, all the way out into the stars and the new colony of Botany Bay.
Thrust into one calamity after another, she uses her enhanced wits and very many skills to evade, seduce or even kill her way out of any sticky situation she finds herself in. For she is both superior and inferior to the average human.
As an AP—artificial person—the best humanity has to offer has been written into Friday’s DNA. Yet she is often treated like a second class citizen—if she were ever able to claim citizenship. Her mother was the test tube and her father the knife, as the saying goes, so she has less rights than the biologically-born human, and no soul, according to the church.
But in Friday Heinlein has created one of the most enlightened, warm, engaging and humane characters in the science fiction field, gifting us a novel of female empowerment that was well ahead of its time.