the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Sharon Lee’ Category

SAM_2392Conflict of Honors (Liaden Universe), by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

published in 1988

where I got it: borrowed from a friend

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I happened to mention to a friend that I enjoyed space opera, and she thrust Conflict of Honors into my hands and said “if you like space opera, you’ll love this!”.   Knowing nothing other than that the first few books in the series can be read in any order and that this ongoing series has a massive following, I dove in.

Far in the future, humanity lives side by side with the Liaden, a humanoid race (are they related to humans? I’m not sure).  While the Liadens might look humanoid, their culture and cultural taboos are nothing like ours. Humans often work on Liaden trading ships, although they are often treated as second class citizens.

The Liaden have empathic abilities, and reminded me a little bit of a cross between the Minbari of Babylon5 and Deanna Troi from Star Trek.  They easily read the emotions of humans and their fellow Liadens, and emotional sensitivity isn’t a taboo in their culture. No Liaden would ever say something like “suck it up!” or “quit being so dramatic!”. Instead, should someone be feeling emotional strife, a Liaden healer is assigned to them to help them return to a more joyous state of being.

And Priscilla Delacroix Mendoza has certainly been through a lot. Declared dead by her family, she’s worked on various Liaden transport ships for most of her life.  When the story opens, Priscilla is a miserable cargo master on the Liaden trading ship Daxflan.   The crew of the ship aren’t treated very well, and when Priscilla is left behind on a planet, her relief with having escaped an increasingly horrific situation is equal to her concern about the damage done to her record.

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this is about two weeks worth of book hauling. and goodies in the mail from publishers who I want to give a giant hug to:

Let’s see what we got.  in an attempt to actually read the stuff I acquire, I’ve prioritized these. We’ll see how well I stick to my “rules” after a few months and another book haul. Don’t expect to see reviews instantly, I just this morning got back into town and haven’t started on any of these (just finished Sarah Zettel’s Fool’s War and then picked up Scott Lynch’s Red Seas Under Red Skies for our read along). I’ve also got few library books not mentioned here that I need to eventually get to as well.  Le sigh, the life of a book lover!

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (May 2012) I’ve been a fan of Kim Stanley Robinson since Red Mars. His science fiction is deep, detailed (really, really detailed. Like Neal Stephenson detailed) and realistic feeling. Ok, sure, Antartica was kinda boring, but I appreciated the concept. I am really looking forward to diving into 2312. Priority – high.

The Company Man, by Robert Jackson Bennett – SF Noir? Perhaps some kind of mix of Dark City and Sam Spade? looks good to me! I loved Bennett’s The Troupe, so am excited to read more of his works. By the way, have you seen his recent book trailer? priority – medium

The Mongoliad book one (April 2012) by a multitude of cool people – I’m really not sure what this is. rumors were swirling around the interwebs a few years ago about some kind of subscription where beta-readers could interact with the authors about the story while they were writing it. Woah, totally meta! And Neal Stephenson’s name is on it. I therefore want to read it. Also stars this decade’s favorite historical character, Richard Francis Burton.    priority – high

vN – by Madeline Ashby (July 2012) Looks sort of like the author took Asimov’s three laws of robotics and removed them from our main character android. Also, she’s part human? and the environs are kinda Bladerunner-ish? Sign me up for some of that!!    priority – high

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.