Deathstalker by Simon R Green
Owen Deathstalker is a quiet studious aristocrat who prefers to write histories rather than be involved in the corrupt intrigue filled Empire. But when the insane Empress outlaws him for unknown reasons Owen must run for his life, befriend allies and a plan a rebellion to destroy the Iron Throne. This is a good pulp sci-fi with a hero, AIs, cyborgs, a corrupt Empire that would make Rome blush, murder, psychics, betrayal and body horror.
“A genetically engineered killing machine, designed millennia before by an unknown race to fight an unknown foe. If God was good, they were both extinct.”
“There is a place in the centre of the maze, where we cannot see. A place we dare not look.”
“I feel like a fly crawling across the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and trying to comprehend its function.”
“For a long time I thought you were dead. I paid the assassin enough.”
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K Hamilton
This came out in 2001 and centres on Merry Gentry a faerie princess who shags a lot and monologues about her hair, wardrobe and her many, many men with their ankle length hair. It’s crud but what else do you expect from the author of the ’Anita Blake’ series? The only good works Hamilton has ever produced were ’Nightseer’ and ’Strange Candy’.
“There are tales whispered on long winter nights about what lived in the mounds before we came. What we...evicted from the mounds.”
“Whichever one of you gives me a child first, that one shall inherit my throne.”
Uncharted Territory by Connie Willis
Willis has written excellent books like ‘Doomsday Book’, ‘To Say Nothing of the Dog’, ‘Passage’ and ‘Blackout’. She’s also written crap like ‘Impossible Things’ and ‘All Clear’. Sadly this short novel falls into the latter category.
On the planet Boohte, surveyors are in a bear pit of conflicts and misunderstandings. This was a tediously onanistic screed that was both sour and meaningfully boring. What was the point of it all?