Drakas! Edited by S.M. Stirling, part 2
The Great Danger
The Draka occupy the Channel Islands during WWII. This has comically blank disinterest in the canon of the Draka novels. Draka are all unhinged menace. This is a failed attempt to imitate the grimdark menace of the books.
“We fear everybody else on the planet.”
“Bitterenders, poor white trash confederates.”
Home Is Where The Heart Is
This is an utterly incoherent tale with huge gaps in the narrative. This was sheer mediocrity.
The Last Word
By Harry Turtledove. What happened after the Draka won the Final War but before they established the Final Society? This was dull and full of shouty angry types.
A Walk In The Park
This was bad Draka fanfic.
Hunting The Snark
This was worse Draka fanfic.
Upon Their Backs To Bite ‘em
More magical historical drama that isn’t that good.
“Find each other, and not in a friendly way....”
The Peaceable Kingdom
A portal tale that is completely irreconcilable with the books.
The Rule Of Four by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason
This 2005 novel tells of academia, an impenetrable Renaissance text, chilly and implacable demeanours hiding madness, students talking like they’re 47, lurid insinuations and a cheerful willingness to break the law.
A group of students decipher a famously exhausting text and the ambiguous message it contains. They are discomfited by plotting and learning that the Ivy League is no guard against character. This is a tale of dude-bros, unaccountably extravagant verbal stylings and boredom. This was tedious, slow going and a chore to read. This was in fact a ghastly experience about a moral panic and great anguish.
“Use only primes and perfect squares, and letters every tenth word shares, exclude the words of Lord Kinkaid, and any questions from the maid.”
“That’s the kind of world it is, where people suspect the pope of murder.”
“Civilization has been in a nosedive since the death of Michelangelo.”
The Keeper by Sarah Langan
Susan Marley is the town pariah in Bedford. Ill-treated and abused, she finally dies and the town begins to change. This was bad with no menacing swagger. This was just depressingly mean-spirited.
Virus aka Missing by Sarah Langan
The sequel to ‘The Keeper’. In the town of Corpus Christi, something crawls out of the woods and a mysterious pestilence spreads in this 2007 novel. This was not good at all and has no uncomfortable dramatic grittiness.
“Drunks hooted happily at her.”
“Her dress code was strictly road-house fare.”
“Handed them a jar of Fluff and told them it counted as dairy.”
Starsea Invaders: Third Encounter by G. Harry Stine
The wretched trilogy about a carrier submarine v aliens finally ends. This has a memory cube, stuff declared cosmic top secret and a trip to Palmyra. There is rampant sexism, rampant technobabble, fever and Corry kills dolphins. There is blathering about metalaw, second canon and no detectable real human beings or micro-dilemmas. There is not even mild alarm and observational media does not seem to exist in this future. This was boring and archly painfully terrible. This was a thick wad of poor logic that was dim and devoid of intellectual value.
“Bilged with dishonourable.”
“But the Medical Officer reports that you are definitely not Homo Sapiens. That makes no difference to me. You’re an intelligent person.”
The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold
This 1993 novel is a bog standard fantasy and an alternative narrative of Renaissance Italy. Evil posh people who are so unrepentant in their lack of humanity do bad things. A heroine and her sincere human being hero do entirely gratuitous, plain ludicrous things. The local brute escalates hostilities and is conspicuously revolting. A perfectly good concept becomes a depressingly perfunctory book. I am confident of its uselessness.
“I had it from a girl who burned for it.”