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text 2017-08-07 19:20
Light Space Opera Marred by Sexual Violence
Star Nomad: Fallen Empire, Book 1 - Lindsay Buroker

Lots of shitty sff tropes hitched to the specific kind of ugly sexual politics one finds in romance novels overwhelm what should (and occassionally is) a quipping romp through the universe. Rape threats and straight up sexual assault continue regularly from the first scenes to,the end of the novel. Before I get the "but that's realistic" chorus, I would like us to all take a minute and consider that this is clearly supposed to be a comic space fantasy with romantic elements, and the introduction of "rape as realism" is unnecessary, thematically jarring, and fucking stupid. And that's not even getting into a 45 minute diatribe about the very equation of rape with realism. 

 

Which is disappointing because there are some nice comic moments and a gift for the absurd in Star Nomad, hidden in under bad world building and rape threats. Sure, a lot of it was derivative -- Firefly has its fingerprints everywhere, from setup to character types -- but I'm not looking to some romp through a pirate-infested asteroid belt to blow my mind or anything. (Unless it's Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit, and that shit was amazing.) The Paradox series by Rachel Bach, starting with Fortune's Pawn, contains many of the same elements found here, but is much more expertly done. Start there for your lighter space opera. 

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review 2017-04-18 22:54
Review: Stolen by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey #2) by Nina Croft
Stolen by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins’ Sexy Space Odyssey) - Nina Croft

Ruby finds herself back where it all started. Her mission may be back on track but now she may be in more danger than ever before.

Here we get to see more of the other creatures Ruby and her friends have to deal with and the villains they have to defeat. There were a few twists along the way that kept the story interesting and a pretty awesome, action-packed, nail-biting ending, which was another cliffhanger.

We also got to see Killian in a more redeeming light, which was good of course. Unfortunately Ruby continued to act like a child in a chocolate factory regardless of everything of what was happening to her. I mean, I get that there are certain things that get some people off, and hey! More power to them for enjoying what they like when it comes to sex. However, I wished she started acting more like a hero and less like a lioness in heat. All in all a good continuation to the story and I’ll definitely read the final book.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-04-13 19:02
Arc Review: Rescued by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey, #1) by Nina Croft
Rescued by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins’ Sexy Space Odyssey) - Nina Croft

I’ll start by saying this: H-O-T! Because it was. It was sexy, funny, and actually pretty interesting for such a short story. Ruby was an every-day woman that dreamed of traveling to other planets and when her dream became true it was definitely not the way she had wished it was going to be. Now this is an erotica more than a romance so if you’re going to read it don’t think there are going to be many tender moments and be prepared to read about a woman ready to live every moment as if it was her last (because it very well could be), threesomes, sex-crazed aliens, and insanely hot humans.

My 3-star rate is because I think stories that deal with rape and violence towards sex slaves have to be set up in a very specific way otherwise those issues may look as trivialized and it may look as if they are not being taken seriously and to me that was a problem in this story.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-02-13 15:00
2312 Review
2312 - Kim Stanley Robinson

There were many things I loved about 2312. It was filled with imagination and a foretelling of life from the most basic level to the grandest. It had the potential to sweep the reader up and carry them off into a world that was richly detailed in all the right places, and yet left the perfect amount to the imagination. Below are some of my favorite things.

 

Post-Binary Gender. I loved the idea of a society at ease with post-binary gender. How do things change when toxic displays of masculinity and ridiculous femininity are no longer present? When we’re no longer held back by even the simplest expectation that only ‘girls’ can have the babies? Imagine being able to experience being a parent from both sides of the equation. But even better? Imagine being able to be with large groups of people that don’t judge someone because of their gender or lack thereof. For some of us that would be like heaven. I hope that people that fall into that group one day get a chance to experience it.

 

Turning asteroids into terrariums.  The idea fascinates me. There is estimated to be between 1.1 and 1.9 million asteroids in the asteroid belt alone that are over a half mile in diameter. It might be a long time before we have the capability to terraform asteroids, but imagine what we can do once we can. Kim Stanley Robinson focuses on the ability to save animals from extinction by breeding them in asteroids. Notice I said “in”. He makes a very good point in 2312 that it would be much easier to hollow out an asteroid and create a protected space than it would be to try to protect people or animals on the outside of one.

 

While I absolutely love the idea of saving endangered species (and yes, being able to experiment with evolution on different ones), my first thought wasn’t about animals. It was about me. I would love to have my own asteroid that I could go to when I needed to get away from people. Wouldn’t you? Even if it was only a half mile in diameter, I would be fine with that. A half mile with no people besides myself is perfectly fine.

 

Terraforming the planets. This one just made me do a happy dance because I love Robinson’s visions. A massive city on Mercury that moves on tracks around the center of the planet so that it’s never directly in the sunlight? While it’s one of those things that really only seems like it would be done just to say you can do it, it sounds so cool!! Or putting the much-needed nitrogen into Mars’ atmosphere by freezing chunks of it on Titan, and booting it to Mars? And his speculation about ways to make Venus livable? I absolutely love this man’s mind.

 

There’s even a huge thread running throughout the book that talks about the evolution of artificial intelligence. That is pretty much a staple of science fiction classics, but the way Robinson puts the pieces in place in 2312 keeps it interesting.  After all, there are good and bad humans, so why not the same for artificial intelligence? Even just the possible development of pseudo-emotions is something to set your mind to chewing on.

 

At the end of 2312 Robinson brings everything together with a timely reminder. That though we may not see the change our actions are making now, decades from now, we will. There will be stumbles, trips, and falls. There will be times when things look hopeless, but as long as we keep pushing forward, things will change. We will enter a new age.

 

In my opinion, if Kim Stanley Robinson would just learn to throttle back on his output per book, there would be no disputing him as the best science fiction writer alive today. Unfortunately, his tendency to try to do a little too much in each book leads to an unfortunate case of bloat which can put the casual reader off.  2312 was a book full of fascinating ideas and breathtaking visualization. But it was easy to lose sight of that. Especially about halfway through the book where things slow to an ungainly crawl. His imagination is wonderful, but I don’t think the man is capable of writing a book with consistent, good pacing.

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/2312-review
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review 2017-01-31 16:27
Eric 754 (Cyborgs: Mankind Redefined #4) by Donna McDonald Review
Eric 754 - Donna McDonald

Marine Lance Corporal Eric Anderson tended to forget he was cyborg. Hell--most of the time he didn't give being mostly a military machine any thought. He'd always lived by his human gut, not his logic chip, so thinking out of the cybernetic box was just how he worked.

Then he met her--Evelyn 489--a female cyborg so erratically dangerous she has to be kept locked away. Angry, violent, and full of deadly intentions, Evelyn 489 epitomizes every fear about cyber scientists that ever kept him awake at night. Some warped cyber scientist stripped away her real identity to create the perfect companion. Until he gave into his urge to be her superhero, the woman didn't even know she used to be Army Captain Lucille Evelyn Pennington.

Though Peyton is full of doubts, Eric is compelled to help Kyra and Nero restore the woman who once liked to be called Lucy. It doesn't help his cause that several people seem determined to kill her.

 

Review

 

This one is a full cast and action packed. The romance is a bit achy as both leads have a lot to recover from but the plot moves fast and its a good read. 

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