A Soldier’s Duty by Jean Johnson
The 1st in the ‘Theirs Not To Reason Why’ series. Ia is a precog cursed with visions of the future. She knows that in 300 years, the galaxy will be laid waste. She unlike Cassandra of lore, Ia plans to change that terrible future.
It will mean leaving her backwater colony world, joining the Terran United Planets Marines and rising through the ranks. She must influence friends, family and colleagues building a reputation as the solider known as Bloody Mary to inspire those who will come after her when she is long dead.
This is good as Ia shapes the future dealing with aliens, criminals, religious differences and transhumans. It is an intriguing start and I look forward to reading more about Ia.
“That makes me responsible for anything your or your descendants do. I cannot allow them to exist. I’m sorry.”
“I will backhand you. Yes. With this hand.”
Generation V by M.L. Brennan
The 1st in a new series. Fortitude Scott has a useless college degree, works in a horrible coffee shop, has a horrible roommate and is a vampire, something he likes to ignore.
His mother is creepy, his elder brother is controlling and his elder sister is hateful. Then another vampire pays a visit and starts killing people. Fortitude decides to do something about it and learns he can’t run from his heritage anymore. This is an excellent engrossing, quirky read with an intriguing vampire mythos. I am so there for book two.
“Maybe it hadn’t been entirely clever life decisions that led me to stand in an alleyway at night, accompanied only by a fox and a pair of bodies.”
“If threats don’t work?”
“Then use violence.”
“You heal like an immuno-compromised grandma.”
“Visit an elf outpost and you practically hear the banjos in the background."
“Do I look like some Gaia-hugging twat with a Coexist bumper sticker on the back of my Saab?”
“Just exercising my Second Amendment right to shoot stuff, sir.”
Affliction by Fay Weldon
This 1995 novel comes from the author of ‘The Life and Loves of a She Devil’, ‘The Cloning of Joanna May’, ‘Growing Rich’ and ‘Letters to Alice.”
Annette and Spicer used to be happy. But now the pregnant Annette realises the once loving Spicer has turned into a repellent, abominable jerk full of brooding menace. As she tries to figure out why he has turned against her she suspects the therapist he is devoted to is drawing up plans against her.
This is a good cruel ferocious novella. Annette is changed into a pathetic grovelling woman fixated on ’saving’ her marriage as the monstrous, glazen and malign Spicer wickedly gaslights her into believing she is petty, selfish, solipsistic, jealous and obscenely envious.
Spicer will not leave the false comfort of ‘therapy’ and he communicates with Annette only by threatening. Will she realise life with the puerile corrupted Spicer isn’t worth it? The ending is not upbeat or life affirming but has a lot of unfazed defiance. This is a tale of suffering and resilience against an unhelpful, anti social, unstable, inept, weak, rude spouse.
“You overcook the mange tout in a way that only be deliberate.”
“He’s given herpes to at least a dozen people I know.”
“Someone some where’s trying to turn you against me. That’s all it can be.”
“You always side with my enemies.”
“Enemies? A middle-class housewife with enemies?”
“There is no place for you here. You have always made me profoundly unhappy.”
“Wait for the enemy powers to gather.”
“He loved me until you put it into his head that he didn’t.”