sci fi

Books, even more short stories

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So, alongside a variety of books (I have three or four on the go at the moment) and in between the various series I want to finish Iv been reading more short stories too 

Night too long by James Wallis Fantasy 

 A really enjoyable half mystery half adventure as two detective style individuals investigate a bombing in a tavern whilst the majority of the city of Altdorf prepare for witches night. Whilst they hunt the culprits they become aware that far more gunpowder has been snuck into the city than has been used so far.
I liked this a lot, similar to some previous ones, it’s nice to see almost normal events occurring in the warhammer world, not just huge wars and daemonic incursions (though those are of course frequent too).   

Grunnson’s Marauders by Andy Jones . Fantasy 

 After my last short story summary Gav Thorpe of games workshop fame tweeted me to inform me of the background of Grunnson’s marauders- they were the testing group for warhammer quest, so now I can read the stories with a little more understanding. The group get a quest to recover an ancient relic in exchange for all the gold they can carry. Too good to be true? Maybe.
This was an ok read, if a little formulaic- get quest, go on quest, have trouble, resolve.

the man who stabbed Luther van groot by sandy Mitchell Fantasy

This was a strange one, the man famed for killing the owner of a protection racket hires a halfling detective after recieving threatening letters. The halfling is then nearly assassinated and hunts for various criminals.
It was strange not because of the story, more for the use of a halfling, it just didn’t feel necessary or add anything to the story.
Additionally the story didn’t really go anywhere until the final page when the attempt for a twist was a bit overdone and wasted

Watching trees grow by Peter F Hamilton.  Science fiction

This was a weird one- part of a short story compilation (by the same author) gifted to me at christmas by my mother in law I finally got around to it. The stories odd, it started out well with a murder in 1832. Except that it’s not 1832. It’s 1832 with the Roman Empire not having disappeared. Times moved on as has progress and technology with phones, cars and medical Labs in existence- it’s essentially modern times but with less crime and more social structure. The next few pages are dialogue- summarised transcripts of suspect interviews with some enjoyable introspection before the story jumps forward a few decades. At this point I was a little lost, but as the time jumped a few decades with each segment (and technology advancing) I just settled to enjoying the commentary on a technological society.

The ending of the story was a bit of a disappointment as a decent mystery became an aside from inventive technological advances. I did however like the creation of the world (Iv written about the trouble with this before) and the jumps allowed for a far broader setting of scenes. Additionally the use of a first person thoughtful character allowed for explanations where ordinarily there would be none.

The Talon of Khorne by Frank Cavallo. Warhammer fantasy

A bit of a background story for Scyla Anfingrimm, a Chaos army arrives in a village to recruit some marauders only to find the men away on raids in Bretonnia. The citizens of the village stand up to them and predicable are slaughtered before a single survivor informs them of the location of the legendary Scyla, a legend who has disappeared. Quite enjoyable as I knew nothing of Scyla but because I’d seen the model there was a little bit of predictability in the story.

Footvote by Peter F Hamilton. Science fiction

Another from the Christmas present from the in laws, And it was an interesting one. A genius has opened a wormhole to an earth equivalent planet and is allowing people to join him there based on certain rules and restrictions. Meanwhile a divorced couple are getting on with their lives, one struggling, the other planning to move to the new earth. The problem with one mans rules is that they inevitably are exclusivist and essentially bigoted and racist. Whilst reading the restrictions they initially made sense before becoming ridiculously over controlling, but we’re a good alternate to political processes.

A Mug of Recaff by Sandy Mitchell. 40k

A very short (two pages) story focusing on Jurgen of Ciaphus Cain fame. The chaos that normally follows the duo around has passed over Jurgens head and he’s just looking for a drink for the Commissar when he encounters a dangerous psyker. Luckily his ‘special skills’ kick in and he doesn’t need to worry. The stories not really long enough to judge but it was a good quick reminder of how obliviously useful Jurgen is.

The Faithful Servant by Gav Thorpe. Fantasy

A warrior priest awakens as the only survivor of a battle against the forces of chaos and calls out for help. It arrived in the form of a Chaos warrior who isn’t planning to kill him but to subvert his soul to the gods of chaos. This was a really good insight into a warrior priests faith as well as giving some character and voice to a chaos warrior beyond mindless destruction.

Lords of the Marsh by Josh Reynolds. Fantasy

Erkhart Dubnitz appears again in a fantasy short story escorting some trade merchants to a trade deal before pirate ambush on the Reikland river endangers them. But all is not as it seems as the most seems to be hiding something truly awful. Pretty good story, yet it felt a little too easily finished and there was no real surprise to the plot.

If at First… By Peter F Hamilton. Science fiction

A patterns establishing, Hamilton throws advanced technology into the real world and develops the themes. In this one a police detective investigates a stalking only to be told the stalked is a time traveller constantly going back in time to enhance his own knowledge. This felt like a more serious rewrite of a red dwarf episode but was still enjoyable.

Writings, infallible

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So, this is one I started when I was in the cinema, it was going to bookend a selection of broken stories I started and never finished. Currently Iv only found this, the start of the first book end, the ending and the broken tales haven’t been found yet.

He was injured.
The injuries may as well have scrolled across his augmented helmet lenses such was his awareness of his perfect form.
And his pain.
Broken right leg
Torn groin
Snapped left Achilles
Shattered sternum
Dislocated right shoulder- state of arm unknown
Left arm crushed
Not to mention the minor injuries not normally of concern.
He was broken.
But he was Astartes.
He was a Space Marine.
And space marines are infallible.

I really hope to find the remainder of this soon