Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Space Opera

First a quick music note: the Wednesday Night Blues Jam has moved back to Lynagh's at Woodland and Euclid. We were there for around 9 months in 2007 I think. Slightly larger stage than Cheapside, and no homeless people -- which is the major downside of downtown Lexington.

I finished reading "Leviathan Wakes", by James S. A. Corey, which is apparently 2 guys, one of whom has worked for George R. R. Martin. This is book 1 of "The Expanse" trilogy. I picked this one up because the 2nd book of the trilogy, "Caliban's War" got nominated for the Hugo award. The 3rd book, "Abaddon's Gate" is already out. The books are all about 600 pages each and were released in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively -- so these guys are really cranking them out.

This was a very enjoyable read. 200 or so years in the future, humanity is on Earth, Mars, the Asteroid Belt and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn when an unlikely alien first contact appears -- complete with vomit zombies! There are two narrative threads. One follows a burned-out police detective following the standard cheap detective, film noir story arc: the crime whose roots keep reaching further and further out and higher up the food chain. The other thread follows a dishonorably discharged Earth Navy officer who we first see as the XO on a water hauling tug. Kind of a different character, too honest for his own good by a long shot. Very good plot and pacing, and an unexpected but satisfying conclusion that creates a decent sense of closure while it also sets up the rest of the series. Not too much emphasis on the hardware or the military aspects of the story.

Here's a fragment I liked, nice sense of history here.

On Ceres, Eros, Tycho, the bore of the standard corridor had been determined by mining tools built to accommodate the trucks and lifts of Earth, which had in turn been designed to go down tracks wide enough for a mule cart's axle.
Hmmm, time to clear the magazine stack, then I think I'll read the other two of these before starting Keynes's "General Theory". It's the holiday season after all!

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