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Newsletter #119 September November, 2017

        Short Recommendations
by Don Blyly

        Provenance by Ann Leckie ($26.00, due late September, signing at Uncle Hugo’s Monday, October 2, 4-6 pm) is set in the same universe as Ancillary Justice ($16.00, winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel in 2014), Ancillary Sword ($16.00), and Ancillary Mercy ($15.99), but it is not set in the Radch Empire. Instead, we see human cultures from three very different human planets that have not yet been “annexed” by the Radch, plus one alien race. It is very good, and could be read without having read the three Ancillary books.

        I’ve read and greatly enjoyed two more books in Jodi Taylor’s British madcap time travel series, The Chronicles of St. Mary’s: Lies, Damned Lies, and History (#7, $12.99) and And the Rest is History (#8, $12.99). There continue to be lots of laugh-out-load bits in Lies, Damned Lies, and History, as there were in the first six books. And the Rest is History has only a few funny bits, and ends with a cliffhanger. The next book in the series, The Long and Short of It ($12.99, due mid-November) is a collection of 8 short stories at St. Mary’s, so I guess I have a long wait to find out what happens next.

        Two issues ago I mentioned that Dark Victory by Brendan DuBois ($7.99) was a good story with bad proof-reading. I’m happy to report that the sequel, Red Vengeance ($16.00) is also good, but this time proof-reading was practiced. Sixteen-year-old Sergeant Randy Knox and his K-9 Thor are still fighting the war against the aliens who invaded Earth several years before. The good guys have found a way to defeat the aliens, in spite of the attempts by the government to keep the war going. In this volume, the good guys find out how determined certain people in the U.S. government are to keep the war going.

        Straight Outta Tombstone edited by David Boop ($16.00) is a collection of Weird Western short stories. I normally don’t read many short stories or Weird Western books. But the book starts with a Larry Correia story about the roots of the Monster Hunters International and ends with a Jim Butcher story set in the Dresden Files universe, so I gave it a shot. Of course, the Correia and Butcher stories were quite good, but I also found most of the other stories quite good. Not good enough to race off to find the novels that the other short stories were related to, but good enough to enjoy the stories on their own.

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