Ethan of Athos: Amusing side story

Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold

Athos is a planet of men. No women are allowed — they are evil and they ruin good men. Since there isn’t a lot of immigration to Athos (their advertising campaigns just don’t seem to be very effective), they need to create baby boys to keep the population from dying out. Dr Ethan Urquhart is one of the men who’s responsible for using stock ovarian cultures to create and incubate male babies in uterine replicators. When the ovarian cultures begin to give out, Ethan orders new stock, but when it arrives it is full of the wrong kind of material. Something has gone wrong. Now Ethan must be sent off-planet to find new ovaries. Ethan is pretty nervous about his quest — he knows that there are women out there and that they are all out to capture and degrade men. He plans to stay well away from them, get his job done, and return to the safety of Athos as fast as he can.

But Ethan gets tangled up in int... Read More

Days of Air and Darkness (A Time of Justice): Losing interest

Days of Air and Darkness (A Time of Justice) by Katharine Kerr

With Days of Air and Darkness / A Time of Justice, Katharine Kerr wraps up The Westlands Cycle. It is a fairly decent final book, bringing a number of ongoing stories together and finishing things decently. With that said, it felt a little soulless to me — with her first four books, Kerr made the characters come alive and I had a lot of interest in their doings. Gradually I am losing interest in Rhodry and co.

In this novel we head back in time for a while, and that section was by far the most gripping. We meet a previous incarnation of Raena, the raven-woman, known in those times as Lady Mallona. It is no accident that my favourite part of the book coincides with us reading about Jill and Rhodry while they rode the long road as silver daggers. I far preferred those two charact... Read More