Science fiction comes in many flavors. One of these can be a dystopia Earth with a social message attached. A recent runaway trilogy of this type is the Hunger Games and like the title, Catching Fire, the second book in the series, is “catching fire” with readers all over.
I reviewed the first book of the series in a previous blog. In the second book, the reader becomes reacquainted with Katniss, our heroine, who now lives in the village with luxuries. However, her troubles aren’t over and a tricky political maneuver sends her and Peeta back into the games…this time with all the previous victors. It’s the jungle and the sea as an arena. However, Katniss realizes that her true enemies aren’t the other combatants, but the government and Director Snow.
I truly didn’t want to go back onto the killing grounds, but Suzanne Collins handles this development rather well, providing emotional appeal and non stop action once again. Four stars. I recommend it.
Another thing I want to recommend is the science fiction website http://www.SFSignal.com. Often Patrick Hester narrates various interesting podcasts and one recent one was an interview with Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch who wrote, So You Created a Wormhole?
This is a time traveler’s handbook. And if you’ll notice to the right, a number of my published books deal with time travel. So this caught my attention. Hilariously funny, it discusses the merits of various time traveling vehicles from Deloreans to H.G. Well’s bicycle contraption. What do you say to a Viking if you’ve just arrived? Consult this book. Or how do you deal with a dinosaur if you’ve gone that far back? It’s all in there.
While searching for this podcast, my eye was caught by a podcast that Patrick Hester did with David D. Levine. Now, David is in my Portland Writer’s Group and is an interesting fellow. He has been on the TV. series “Grimm” (filmed in Portland) as an extra three times so far. Check out this series if you haven’t had the chance.
He has written over forty short stories after retiring from a career of technical software writing for the likes of Intel and Tektronix. He has numerous honors and accolades, including Nebula and Hugo awards, and was a recent presenter at the Hugo Awards for the short story winner. One of his characters has been accepted into the Wild Cards Universe of George R. R. Martin…whom he has met personally. Yowza.
He was also on a panel at Orycon (our scifi convention) that discussed enclosed small groups. For two weeks, he was confined with others that simulated living on Mars. I used his comments to help the human interaction on a starship in my upcoming book Past the Event Horizon. Comes out in late June.
Meanwhile check out a new anthology called Armored where he has a short story. Came to him in Australia at Worldcon there. It’s about armor, battles and soldiers for those of you who like military scifi.
Whether it’s teenaged girls battling an oppressive government, soldiers battling in armor, or travelers sliding up and down the timelines, you gotta admit, science fiction can be a fun read.
p.s. Don’t forget Cosmic Entanglement is being offered free only on Mother’s Day May 13 and May 14, 15 also. If you are a Prime member with a kindle, it’s also offered free once per person through the KDP Select Program.