Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

More Posts By Peter

Review: Od Magic – Patricia A. McKillip

Brenden Vetch likes to talk to plants more than he likes talking to people – but when the great wizard Od invites him to become a gardener at her school of magic, he sets out to the capital of the kingdom to take up residence. Meanwhile, the capital is enthralled by the presence of the mysterious illusionist Tyramin, the King and his wizards wondering whether the illusive enchanter practices real and illegal magic of if perhaps it is all just tricks. Finally princess Sulys, the King’s daughter, finds that her betrothal to the cold wizard Valoren, one of the King’s counsellors, makes her question her father’s laws and judgment.

Review: The Secrets of the Wild Wood – Tonke Dragt

When the wandering knight Ristridin of the South does not return from his quest in the Wild Woods at the agreed upon time, Tiuri of the White Shield, his squire Piak, and Ristridin’s other friends set out to find him. But the Wild Woods are full of secrets, dangers, and men in green…

Review: The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi – S.A. Chakraborty

Part one in the Amina al-Sirafi Trilogy – Retired pirate captain Amina al-Sirafi is called back to the sea when she is recruited to investigate the kidnapping of the daughter of a wealthy merchant from the city of Aden. While she struggles to leave behind her daughter, she gathers her old crew around her and sets out to find the cruel Frank mercenary Falco Palamenestra. The quest takes a dark turn, however, when rumours reach Amina that the Frank is an occult sorcerer with dangerous magic…

Review: I Am Legend – Richard Matheson

In this 1954 novel that arguably laid the groundwork for today’s zombie apocalypse genre, Robert Neville is a lone survivor in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone who is not dead has turned into a bloodsucking monster. Having lost everything to live for, he sits behind the walls of his fortified house, listens to Chaupin to drown out the cries from the dark,  and drinks too much whiskey, trying to find meaning in staying alive.

Review: Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones

On a normal day selling hats in the shop, hatmaker Sophie has the bad luck to be cursed by a witch to look and feel like an old crone. Previously having resigned herself to her dull fate, she now promptly leaves the shop and knocks on the door of the wizard and notorious womanizer Howl to get her curse lifted. She comes to an agreement with the fire demon living in Howl’s hearth instead.

Review: Dune: Part Two – Denis Villeneuve

Having joined a band of Fremen guerillas, Paul Atreides, now Duke of Arrakis, needs to find a way to avenge the death of his father and friends. But how can he strike back at the Harkonnens, or even the Emperor, from the depth of the desert? His mother believes the key to lie with the Bene Gesserit prophesy of the Lisan al-Gaib, the off-world prophet foretold to lead the Fremen to paradise. But along that path lie many dangers, and Paul is reluctant to follow it.

Review: The Sins on Their Bones – Laura R. Samotin

Dimitri used to be the Tzar of Novo-Svitsevo – until he was usurped by his husband Alexey, who turned out not to just be abusive, but also a dark sorcerer. Having lost his husband as well as a civil war, Dimitri has fallen into depression and is now in exile, holed up in a foreign city with a handful of his most loyal followers, trying to think of a way to kill an immortal man and put Dimitri back on the throne of his empire. Perhaps the most important of those followers is Vasily, Dimitri’s former spymaster, who must find a way to infiltrate Alexey’s court – while also navigating complex feeling towards Dimitri. Alexey, meanwhile, is trying to forget Dimitri – and to focus on his plans for world domination.

Review: Dogs of War – Adrian Tchaikovsky

Rex is a dog-human hybrid, a bioengineered supersoldier known as a bioform, serving alongside a number of other human-animal hybrids in a private security company engaged in the supression of an uprising in Mexico. When he loses connection to his master on a mission, he and his team are faced with difficult questions on their role in the war and the world beyond. The world, meantime, is faced with exactly the same questions.

Review: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Robert A. Heinlein

Manny is a computer engineer in charge of programming Mike, the central supercomputer running the systems of Earth’s penal colony on the Moon. Unbeknownst to anyone but Manny, Mike has achieved self-awareness. Mike mainly wants to learn to understand human humour, but when the AI meets political activist Wyoming Knott through Manny, the three of them start speculating on an uprising that would free Luna from the yoke of the Warden and the Federated Nation’s Lunar Authority.

Review: Starship Troopers – Robert A. Heinlein

The Earth is at war with several alien races. On a whim, rich kid Johnny Rico joins the Mobile Infantry on his 18th birthday, to serve a term and earn citizenship. But as he goes through bootcamp to join humanity’s greatest military outfit, and he trains for orbital drops on alien planets, his resolve is sorely tested.

Review: Floating Hotel – Grace Curtis

The Grand Abeona Hotel is both space ship and resort, an interstellar cruise ship floating from system to system, providing old fashioned luxury to the well-to-do of each planet at which it calls. Its crew are a chaotic bunch of outcasts and refugees, forged into a well oiled machine (well, mostly) by kindly hotel manager Carl – who knows that each and every one of them has a story of their own. But even an out-of-this-world place like the Grand Abeona cannot escape the political realities of the galaxy. Some of the guests carry secrets – and even worse, perhaps so do some of the staff…