Tag Archives: aliens

A Human’s Life by George Nikolopoulos

This week promised to be the regular kind of busy instead of the crazy kind of busy, so I’m back to my usual blog posting schedule. As such, today’s post is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: September, 2016 in Galaxy’s Edge: Issue 22. It’s was also featured on an episode of StarShipSofa, if you prefer to listen to your short fiction as I do.

Genre: science fiction

Setting: the planet Pandaesia, far future

Summary: Short version: An alien’s guide to owning a human Continue reading

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Fleet of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner

I’d seen a few reviews of this book ten years ago when it first came out. It’s set in the Known Space universe, but much earlier than the other books. Ringworld is one of those series that gets talked about so much I feel like I need to at least try a few of the books.

Published: 2007

Genre: science fiction

Length: 299 pages

Setting: 200 years before Ringworld, various planets Continue reading

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Twiceborn by C. L. Kagmi

Now that I’ve finally written up all of my 2017 books, I’m back to my usual schedule. I’ll get a post about my 2018 reading goals up soon, but Monday means short fiction. I’m still working my way through Event Horizon 2017, so this is the next short story in the collection highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: September, 2016 in Compelling Science Fiction Issue 2

Genre: science fiction

Setting: the exoplanet Bharata, far future Continue reading

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Mutineer’s Moon by David Weber

For my last book of the year, I decided I was in the mood for some science fiction. I picked a random Baen book off my Kindle based on a title I was pretty sure would be scifi instead of fantasy.

Published: 1991

Genre: science fiction

Length: 320 pages

Setting: the Earth, near future Continue reading

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Choices, in Sequential Order by Karlo Yeager Rodriguez

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: April, 2016 in Nature

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Earth, 2300s

Summary: An alien xenobiologist has come to Earth and been turned into a snack for scorpion babies. The xenobiologist is rambling to the creature as it prepares the narrator for eating by the scorpion babies. At the same time, the xenobiologist’s suit is running a diagnostic to determine what kind of creature attacked.

Final thoughts: An interesting contrast between the dichotomous key trying to identify the Earth creature and the reminiscing the narrator is doing. They know they are going to die, but are still fascinated by the creature, fully acknowledging that the fascination may be a product of some kind of venom. It takes longer for the suit to realize the Earth creature is dangerous than for the narrator to know that, since they are paralyzed and can tell the suit is damaged.

As an aside, I’m always surprised when I see a science fiction story printed in Nature since it is a big name science publication. But, this is a science-heavy story so I guess it fits.

Title comes from: The action is set against a set of questions designed to identify the Earth creature

 

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The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

This book got a lot of buzz when it was translated into English, including winning the Hugo. I was interested because it was Chinese science fiction, and felt like some science fiction next.

Published: 2006 in Chinese, 2014 in English

Genre: science fiction

Length: 399 pages

Setting: China in the late 1960s and present day Continue reading

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Natural Born Alien by Will Swardstrom

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: 2017 in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: Omnibus No. 3

Genre: science fiction alien short story

Setting: the U.S. in the not-too-distant future

Summary: Robunthiquipalthinatchyyl Walters is an alien running for President of the United States. Since he was born in the United States (and has a FOI for the video of his birth to prove it), he is legally allowed to run, even if he isn’t a human. Obviously, Walters isn’t your typically candidate and he makes a couple of statements that seem likely to tank his bid to become President (like agreeing that a woman should have the right to an abortion and the right to kill any mate that doesn’t please her, or that health care is important because the human body is tastier when they are healthy). However, his supporters just explain away these faux pas and continue to maintain Walters is the best candidate for the job.

Final thoughts: At first I was wondering if the parallels to Donald Trump and his bid for President were intentional or not. When I got to the part about building a wall around the whole world and making the Zitorians trying to gain a foothold in this country pay for it, I knew it totally intentional. Swardstrom just took Trump and turned him to 11 to create his alien candidate. Personally, it takes a lot of imagination to make someone even crazier than Trump and still be believable, but Swarstrom manages it. For example, Walters actually eats his opponents who cause too many problems instead of just belittling them on Twitter. The description of how Walters can run for President when he isn’t even human was an interesting one. Overall, a story for the political times. I’m not sure it will age well, but it’s amusing for now.

Title comes from: It describes how Walters gained citizenship within the U.S., with alien referring to being from a different world, not just a different country.

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