I don’t often read books that was published before 2000 – much less books from the 1980’s – not because I necessarily dislike reading older works, though they are often so problematic, but because I am busy reading the new books that come out. I did however pick up “A Matter of Oaths” after a recommendation of it from a trusted source. And boy was I glad that I did!
The web is based on a simple concept: a direct link between mind and machine.
A writer and philosopher of the late twentieth century once said, “Space is big”.
You might have noticed by now that I like Tanya Huff’s work quite a bit. This year I have been going back and read some of her older work. One of the titles that kept popping up was the Confederation series – since I like space opera and I like military science fiction with a female lead I picked up the first book. Two weeks later I found myself starting the fourth book before I thought: “Ok enough of this already. I need to read other stuff this year” and then I did not really read anything else…
“Now if the tyrant was watching – she was surely watching, though Mercy of Kalr, would be so long as we were in the system – let her think I was resenting having a baby foisted on me when I’d rather have someone who knew what they were doing.”
I don’t know about you, but I love a good space opera. I know faster than light travel will in all likelihood never happen but it makes for darn fine fiction. I grew up with Star Wars and a stack of middle grade science fiction books that didn’t give a darn about the science. I adored Firefly and whenever a space opera movie is running in the theaters I am there. Good space opera to me is all about the plot, the drama, the characters and not about the science of their spaceships. However really interesting space opera play with the implications on society of the world building they have set up. They ask the what-if questions of science fiction but doesn’t let the science slow down the story one bit. I have picked out the best I have read in the genre. I am drawn to strong female characters so expect those. I have mixed in books, comics and short stories and novellas. Enjoy!
I am writing this review because it has just been announced this month that FX is making Redshirts into a short tv-series. And I’m pretty excited about that! Scalzi is to be the executive producer on the series, so hopefully that should keep it from being cut into scraps and put together like Frankenstein’s monster.
Ok so what did I think about the book? You guessed it I liked it a lot…
This book is so different from your run of the mill space opera while still staying well within the genre boundaries. The protagonist, Alana Quick, is something as rare in genre fiction as a black, lesbian chronically ill mechanic. That is quite a combo and it is by no means mere varnish.