Sunday, July 01, 2007

Quick Takes: Ostrander, Keyes, Stross

Star Wars Legacy: Broken, by John Ostrander: This is the first trade paper of the Legacy comics. I believe it collects the first six issues. Legacy is set a good hundred and twenty years or so AFTER Return of the Jedi, so this is after the New Jedi Order, after Legacy of the Force, after everything we know or think we know about Star Wars. Luke Skywalker is long dead (though he does make an appearance as a Force Ghost, much like Obi Wan and Yoda did). The Empire more or less rules the galaxy with a benevolent fist and one of the descendants of Baron Fel (that mythical pilot from the X-Wing novels) is Emperor, but he is deposed by Darth Krayt and the Sith now run the Empire, but Roan Fel and his loyalists still strike back against the Sith. Not sure what happened to the New Republic, except that it fragmented. Cade Skywalker, THE descendant, is a failed Jedi turned bounty hunter denying his legacy. There is a decent story going on in these first several issues and while I'm not normally interested in the Star Wars comics, there is something compelling about this story. Maybe it is the unknown. There are still Jedi, but once again on the run. Quite possibly the true Jedi are the Imperial Knights serving Roan Fel. Then there are the Sith, not working under the Rule of Two. A broken Skywalker. A benevolent Empire. Good stuff. Wish it was a novel.

Edge of Victory II: Rebirth, by Greg Keyes. The eighth entry in the New Jedi Order series is as good as its predecessor. Keyes is spinning a well told, nearly perfect Star Wars story that has all the feel of the original movies and all the danger and risk of the New Jedi Order. How I wish he would write every other novel in the NJO.

Singularity Sky
, by Charles Stross. As an author Charles Stross has been hit or miss. His Merchant Princes is the perfect example of this, but I think overall his work can stand as a Hit or Miss. His Bob Howard "Laundry" novels were excellent, Merchant Princes so so with some good work there. Missile Gap was solid. This brings me to one of his earlier novels and harder science fiction, Singularity Sky. The novel itself is hit or miss. The stuff with Martin and Rachel is top notch and possible to follow. The stuff with the Festival and the Critics...baffling. Overall, I thought Singularity Sky was a bit of a confusing mess, but nearly everything he writes gets critical acclaim. My guess is that Singularity Sky was just a bit over my head with what Stross was attempting to do. This isn't for the casual science fiction reader and though I read a decent amount of SF, I may be a bit too casual for this entry of Charles Stross.

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