Monthly Archives: May 2011

CBRIII Maneuver #23 – Excession

Target: Iain M. Banks’ Excession

Profile: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Expanded Continuity.

Summary: From the back of the book, “Diplomat Byr Genar-Hofoen has been selected by the Culture to undertake a delicate and dangerous mission.  The Department of Special Circumstances–the Culture’s espionage and dirty tricks section – has sent him off to investigate a 2,500-year-old mystery: the sudden disappearance of a star fifty times older than the universe itself.  But in seeking the secret of the lost sun, Byr risks losing himself.  There is only one way to break the silence of millennia: steel the soul of the long-dead starship captain who first encountered the star, and convince her to be reborn.  And in accepting this mission, Byr will be swept into a vast conspiracy that could lead the universe into an age of peace… or to the brink of annihilation.” Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #22 – The Science of Superstition

Target: Bruce M. Hood’s The Science of Superstition

Profile: Non-fiction, Popular Psychology

Summary: From the back of the book, “In The Science of Superstition, cognitive psychologist Bruce Hood examines the way in which humans understand the supernatural, revealing what makes us believe in the unbelievable.”

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CBRIII Maneuver #21 – Empire in Black and Gold

Target: Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Empire in Black and Gold

Profile: Fantasy, Steampunk, Something else…

Summary: From the back of the book, “The city-states of theLowlandshave lived in peace fore decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity, and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade, and a belief in the reasonable nature of their neighbors.

But meanwhile, in far-off corners, the Wasp Empire has been devouring city after city wit hits highly trained armies, its machines, its killing Art… And now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable.

Only the aging Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer, and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over.  It falls upon the shoulder to open the eyes of his people, before a black-and-gold tide sweeps down over theLowlandsand burns away everything in its path.” Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #20 – The Temporal Void

Target: Peter F. Hamilton’s The Temporal Void

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Sci-Fi, Space Opera

Summary: From the back of the book, “Long ago, the astrophysicist Inigo began dreaming scenes from the life of the remarkable Edeard, who lived within the Void, a self-contained microuniverse at the heart of the galaxy.  Inigo’s inspirational dreams, shared by hundreds of millions throughout the galaxy gave, birth to a religion: Living Dream.  But when the appearance of a Second Dreamer seems to trigger the expansion of the Void – which is devouring everything it its path – the Intersolar Commonwealth is thrown into turmoil.

With time running out, the fate of humanity hinges on a handful of people: Araminta, now awakening to the unwelcome fact that she is the mysterious Second Dreamer; Inigo, whose private dreams hint at a darker truth; and Justine, whose desperate gamble places her within the Void, where the godlike Skylords hold the power to save the universe… or destroy it.” Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #19 – Changes (The Dresden Files)

Target: Jim Butcher’s Changes

Profile: Modern Fantasy, Mage Detective

Summary: From the back of the book, “Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden’s lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiricRed Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.

Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of theRed Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry’s not fighting to save the world…  He’s fighting to save his child.”

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CBRIII Maneuver #18 – The Summer Tree

Target: Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Summer Tree

Profile: Fantasy, “High Fantasy”

Summary: From the back of the book, The Summer Tree is the first novel of Guy Gavriel Kay’s critically acclaimed fantasy trilogy, The Fionavar Tapestry.  Five university students embark on a journey of self-discovery when they enter a realm of wizard and warriors, gods and mythical creatures – and good and evil.

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CBRIII Maneuver #17 – WebMage

Target: Kelly McCullough’s WebMage

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Greek Mythology, Modern Fantasy

Summary: From the back of the book, “Ravirn is not your average computer geek.  A child of the Fates – literally – he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can zero in on the fatal flaw in any program.  Now that twenty-first century magic has gone digital, that makes him a very talented sorcerer.  But a world of problems is about to be downloaded on Ravirn who’s just trying to pass his college midterms. 

Great Aunt Atropos, one of the three Fates, decides that humans having free will is really overrated and plans to rid herself of the annoyance by coding a spell into the Fate Core, the server that rules destiny.  As a hacker, Ravirn is a big believer in free will, and when he not only refuses to debug her spell but actively opposes her, all hell breaks lose.  Read the rest of this entry