John Scalzi's Collapsing Empire: an epic new space opera with snark, politics and action to burn

Regular Boing Boing readers need no introduction to John Scalzi, whose smartass, snappy, funny, action-packed science fiction novels are a treat to read; but new fans and old hands alike will find much to love in The Collapsing Empire, the first volume in a new, epic space-opera series.

Jon Hunter is still at it in 'Hero at the Gates'

Timothy Ellis' galaxy spanning space opera continues in Hero at the Gates! We're 9 damn books in and the central plot is finally about to get past its prelude!

I've really enjoyed this massive story. 9 novels ago Jon Hunter was a wet behind the ears kid on board his uncle's space trader. Now he's the Admiral of his own massive space flotilla, and ruler of several sections of space. The massive reveal about what the hell is going on, and what part Team Slinky Red Jumpsuits is going to play in it is near unavoidable, when our heroes set off in the exact opposite direction in this sometimes 2D universe.

The prize is tempting, but Jon can not miss the short window of time he's allowed to land on his home planet and consult the spiritual guys there who know all. How will it all work out? Gee... I'll have to start book 10.

Hero at the Gates (The Hunter Legacy Book 9) via Amazon Read the rest

A fast, indie space opera for summer

Don't let the cover art scare you away! The Chronicles of Benjamin Jamison are fun, hero beats the odds, space opera fun. In Thomas Wright's first installment, Call Sign Reaper, we meet familiar characters, then and head off on a familiar plot!

Retired special forces type space guy Ben was drummed out of the service on trumped up charges. Instead of disappearing to the Los Angeles underground, he spends a couple months off. Ben is recruited back into service via a bar fight, and an attractive commanding officer. You do know where this is going, right? Get ready to roll your eyes.

Thomas Wright gets this genre, and clearly enjoys it. The story rollicks along, and the characters are just getting going. You

Standard indie novel warning: lots of folks have complained of the editing, but I enjoyed the stories enough to not notice much. The novel was free via Kindle Unlimited.

The Chronicles of Benjamin Jamison: Call Sign Reaper (Book 1) via Amazon Read the rest

The Hunter Legacy, a great big huge space opera

Author Timothy Ellis really enjoyed his time in the 1980's, and his Hunter series certainly pays homage. This, riddled with 80's references, space opera feels like it shouldn't work, but I've had a hard time putting down my kindle.

Backwater bumpkin, 16-year-old Jonathon Hunter, leaves his isolated world of Outback, in the Australian sector of space, and is instantly thrust into the spotlight! Hunter barely saves himself, and mistakenly saves a bunch of other folks, during a pirate attack on his Uncle's space ship. Thus starts a Keystone Cops like avalanche of unbelievable space adventure. Hunter can't make a mistake, women nearly twice his age fawn all over him, and he gets a cat.

I had a lot of time on my hands this weekend, while my daughter played with her grandparents, and I read 6 of this 9 book series. Ellis wrote manuals for the X video game series, and I think relies on this game, which I've never played, for some of his physics and backstory. He also evidently writes some spiritual guide books as well. Both are minutely present in these novels, but don't get in the way. However, the portrayal of women as mostly the same character, with different names and physical descriptions, does get a bit boring after a while, even the AI is just another mid 20s woman who wants to dance to electronica.

Mostly, these books are fun space pirate, and then space religious zealot, smashing action scenes. Relying on his video game background, Ellis writes some great space combat. Read the rest

Nathan Lowell's "Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper"

I wanted a Space Opera, and found Nathan Lowell's series Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper. I've spent 2 weeks reading through the series, and am worried about what I'll do when I reach the end!

Lowell's space trading epic follows the career of Ishmael Horatio Wang, cast adrift by the untimely death of his Mother and meal-ticket, in the apparently trade focused Confederation. Wang finds a berth on a solar clipper, and joins the spacer culture. As he rises through the ranks we meet a cast of colorful characters, and watch as Ish, and his various crews, solve the problems one may encounter in the Deep Dark.

I'm nearly done with the final book in the series. I've found each book to be a perfect distraction for the things that have plagued my last few weeks, and I have hardly wanted to put my Kindle down. Highly reminiscent of a less bawdy/abuse focused Bio of a Space Tyrant, by Piers Anthony, Lowell's first book Quarter Share rapidly sets up a world that is easy to understand and fun to predict where things are going next.

Lowell's novels follow our hero Wang through each pay-grade in the life of a crewman, officer, and finally owner. I'll be looking for other stories by this author. The entire series was free, with my Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Quarter Share (Trader's Tales From The Golden Age Of The Solar Clipper) (Volume 1) via Amazon Read the rest