Sigh. I have been reading, honestly. I just haven’t been writing. Again. Here’s a quick look at some books that I have read over the past few months.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. In this post-apocalyptic vision of the future, part of the former United States is now The Republic of Gilead, a far-right totalitarian Christian theocracy. Women are assigned to various classes; they are not allowed to read or to have money of their own; they are not even allowed to keep their own names. Offred is a Handmaid, the role assigned to fertile women not eligible for marriage. Unless she is able to conceive a child by Fred, for him and his wife to adopt as their own, she will be declared an Unwoman and banished to the Colonies to clean up hazardous waste. Offred recalls her happy past and relates her chilling present. An absolutely terrifying vision of the future.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. A government scientist has gone missing; his daughter, Meg, her younger brother, Charles Wallace, and her friend, Calvin O’Keefe, travel through space and time to find him. They are aided by Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. I loved this book as a kid; I was less impressed with it this time around.
Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold. Centuries have passed since the Empire was shattered by war and the advanced technology it enjoyed was lost. Legends tell of Artemis, a planet created to be a pleasure resort back in the Empire’s Golden Age. All tech was concealed and the occupants, animal and human alike, were bioengineered to help the guests enjoy their stay.
Archaeologist Griffin Dane investigates the legend and it leads him to the actual planet. Finding himself stranded there, he is rescued by Adara and her psych-linked puma, Sand Shadow. What will he discover about the forgotten technologies that created Artemis and her inhabitants? Intriguing beginning to a new series.
A Darkling Sea by James Cambias. Humans first alien contact was with the Sholen and years of conflict followed. A hard-won truce and an uneasy peace are challenged when humans explore the oceanic world of Ilmatar and make contact with its residents. The story is narrated by Rob, a member of the human exploration team, Broadtail, an Ilmataran, and Tizhos, a Sholen scientist. Slightly uneven plotting but a fascinatingly detailed space opera.