Blog Archives

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

CBRIII Maneuver #16 – The Dreaming Void

Target: Peter F. Hamilton’s The Dreaming Void

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Sci-Fi, Space Opera

Summary: From the back of the book, “The year is 3589.  At the very heart of the galaxy is the Void, a self-contained microuniverse that cannot be stopped as it expands in all directions, consuming everything in its path.  Even the oldest and most technologically advanced of the galaxy’s sentient races, the Raiel, do not know its origin or its purpose.  Then Inigo, an astrophysicist, begins having vivid dreams.  Inside the Void, Inigo sees paradise.  Thanks to the gaiafield, a neural entanglement wired into most humans, those dreams are shared by hundreds of millions – and a religion, the Living Dream, is born, with Inigo as its prophet.  But then he vanishes.  A new wave of dreams broadcast by an unknown Second Dreamer serves as the impetus for a massive Pilgrimage into the void which could trigger an accelerated devourment phase that will swallow up thousands of worlds.  Thus begins a desperate race to find Inigo and avert catastrophe.”

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CBRIII Maneuver #15 – The Name of the Wind

Target: Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind

Profile: Epic Fantasy

Summary: From the back of the book, “My name is Kvothe.  I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings.  I burned down the town ofTrebon.  I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life.  I was expelled from the Univeristy at a younger age than most people are allowed in.  I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day.  I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.” Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #14 – The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man

Target: Mark Hodder’s The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man

Profile: Steampunk, Speculative Fiction, Alternate History

Summary: Sir Roger Tichborne: Lost at sea.  But now he’s back to claim his family’s fortune.  Or is he?  To the upper classes, he’s obviously a cunning swindler; to London’s laborers, he’s the people’s hero… while to Sir Richard Francis Burton, he’s the focus of a daring plot to gain possession of the legendary black diamonds known as the Eyes of Naga.  Burton’s investigation takes him to the cursed Tichborne estate… and to an encounter with the ghost of a witch! Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #13 – The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack

Target: Mark Hodder’s The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack

Profile: Steampunk, Speculative Fiction, Alternate History

Summary: From the back of the book, “Sir Richard Francis Burton.  An explorer, a linguist, a scholar, and a swordsman.  His reputation tarnished; his career in tatters; his former partner missing and probably dead.  Algernon Charles Swinburne.  A promising young poet, a thrill-seeker, and a follower of the Marquis de Sade.  For him pain is pleasure and brandy is ruin.  They stand at a crossroads in their lives and are caught in the epicenter of an empire torn by conflicting forces: Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier, and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animas to provide unpaid labor; Libertines opposed repressive laws and demand a society based on beauty and creativity; while the Rakes push the boundaries of human behavior to the limits with magic, drugs and anarchy.  The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack, and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London’s East End.  Their investigations lead them to one of the defining events of the age – and the terrifying possibility that the world they inhabit shouldn’t exist at all!

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CBRIII Maneuver #12 – Logicomix

Target: Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou’s Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

Profile: Graphic Novel, Philosophy, Nonfiction

Summary: From the inner cover, “This innovative graphic novel is based on the early life of the brilliant philosopher Bertrand Russell and his impassioned pursuit of truth.  Haunted by family secrets and unable to quell his youthful curiosity, Russell became obsessed with a Promethean goal: to establish the logical foundations of all mathematics.  In his agonized search for absolute truth, Russell crosses paths with legendary thinkers like Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert, and Kurt Gödel, and finds a passionate student in the great Ludwig Wittgenstein.  But the object of his defining quest continues to loom before him.  Through love and hate, peace and war, Russell persists in the dogged mission that threatened to claim both his career and his personal happiness, finally driving him to the brink of insanity.

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