Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays!
For those who like to give books as gifts, and for those who want one for their list, I highly recommend the following choices. Admittedly, these books contain no space law, but they are each a winning combination of fun, harrowing, and heartwarming, just right for the season.
Dave Freer’s fantasy novel Changeling Island, a Dragon award nominee, is a modern version of all those books we loved as kids. There’s a sense of community and responsibility for one’s actions and a hero we can root for, but now there are cell phones and divorced parents.
From the blurb: Tim Ryan can’t shake the feeling that he is different from other teens, and not in a good way. For one thing, he seems to have his own personal poltergeist that causes fires and sets him up to be arrested for shoplifting.
As a result Tim has been sent to live on a rundown farm on a remote island off the coast of Australia with his crazy grandmother, a woman who seems to talk to the local spirits, and who refuses to cushion Tim from facing his difficulties. But he’s been exiled to an island alive with ancient magic—land magic that Tim can feel in his bones, and sea magic that runs in his blood. If Tim can face down the danger from drug runners, sea storms, and the deadly threat of a seal woman who wishes to steal him away for a lingering death in the land of Faery, he may be able to claim the mysterious changeling heritage that is his birthright.
Sarah A. Hoyt’s Prometheus winning science fiction novel, Darkship Thieves, is a rip-roaring, action packed romp through the solar system, from an Earth ruled by bio-lords to a secret colony on a mysterious asteroid.
From the blurb: Athena Hera Sinistra never wanted to go to space. Never wanted see the eerie glow of the Powerpods. Never wanted to visit Circum Terra. Never had any interest in finding out the truth about the DarkShips. You always get what you don’t ask for. Which must have been why she woke up in the dark of shipnight, within the greater night of space in her father’s space cruiser, knowing that there was a stranger in her room. In a short time, after taking out the stranger—who turned out to be one of her father’s bodyguards up to no good, she was hurtling away from the ship in a lifeboat to get help. But what she got instead would be the adventure of a lifetime—if she managed to survive…
Finally, J.M. Ney-Grimm’s fantasy Winter Glory is a glittering tale of two people, who once loved each other, traveling over the river and through the woods. In an icy wonderland they face both danger and the consequences of their own choices. Ney-Grimm has a fresh and elegant writing style that captures the epic sense one wants in fantasy, but she also tells a story with a strong heart. I gave my sister this book for Christmas last year I loved it so much.
From the blurb: In the cold, forested North-lands, redolent with the aroma of pine, shrouded in snow, and prowled by ice tigers and trolls, Ivvar seeks only to meet his newborn great granddaughter. Traversing the wilderness toward the infant’s home camp, Ivvar must face the woman he once cherished and an ancient scourge of the chilly woodlands in a complicated dance of love and death.
Ivvar’s second chance at happiness – and his life – hang in the balance.
Enjoy the season and enjoy good books!