Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Review: Dodger and others

Dodger is Terry Pratchett as we've come to love him!  Not on the Discworld, but writing not so very far away: a romanticized version of Charles Dickens's London.  You may find some of the characters a bit...familiar, as well.  Extremely solid fantasy writing, as lushly-imagined and warmly human as the (other) best of his work, if you enjoy Pratchett even a little bit, you'll like this book.

     Sky Coyote and The Life Of The World To Come, Kage Baker -- continuing the late author's saga of "Dr. Zeus, Inc." and its far-flung network of, for lack of a better word, time bandits, the first book takes us back to California barely before the Spanish, where a colossal (and largely beneficent) scam involves immortals, "moderns" (from the 24th century) and the local Chumash settlement.  Botanist Mendoza puts in frequent appearances but the book follows Joseph, the Facilitator who recruited her, and his struggles with his current job and his greater role.  At times quite bleak, it rings very true to her characters.
       In The Life Of The World To Come, the 24th Century plays a major part -- mostly, the wimps who mope about in it (and how would we look to Tiglath-Pileser or Atilla the Hun?), as the book neatly follows the crossing and recrossing arcs of those moderns, Mendoza, and a young man of mystery who...  But that would be telling.
      Both of them are, in my opinion, worth your time.  Baker did her homework and her historical detail is accurate and complete -- if you liked In A Garden Of Iden, you will likely enjoy these books, too.  The background for all three is certainly one of the more original concepts in recent SF.

     As ever, you can hunt these books down via Amazon and I'll ask you to please use Tam's link to get there -- costs you nothing and helps pay her rent.

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