OUTPASSAGE – Great Science Fiction!

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By Janet Morris and Chris Morris

Great Sci-Fi tale! Real characters you can relate to, like, hate, feel sorry for. If you know any army Rangers, you will recognize “Det” Cox. He doesn’t think much of bureaucrats or, come to think of it, most officers with little experience. He commands a group of Rangers on loan from the government to the largest inter-spacial mining entity on earth… naturally based in the US. They are being sent to an unnamed planet still in the process of being terraformed, but already being mined for rare minerals, under the guise of stopping a rebellion.

As they say, no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy and this is no exception!

A wild story and a great read!


Wonderful YA Dark Fantasy/Sci-Fi

TheArchivedThe Archived (The Archived, #1)

by Victoria Schwab

I’m ashamed to say I read this book and forgot to write a review when it was fresh in my mind.   But, as I think back, all the elements of the story are still clear as a bell, even though I have probably read 50 books since this one.

The story contains a wonderful plot that combines the love of a child for her grandfather, the sorrow of losing that grandfather and then her younger brother, dealing with her mother’s inability to accept her brother’s loss and trying to handle her duties as a Keeper that were passed to her when her grandfather died.

Her grandfather was a Keeper, one of those charged with keeping the souls in the Archives, shelved similarly to books in a library, where they belong, retrieving new souls unable to get to the Archives the “normal” way and tracking down and returning souls who manage to get out of the Archives for any number of reasons, most of them not good.  She is too young to be a Keeper but that doesn’t seem to have stopped the power from descending to her from her grandfather when he passed away.  Even though he had been training her for several years, there is still a lot she does not know and she needs to learn fast!

After moving with her parents to an old residential hotel where her mother intends to open a coffee shop (can you say “geographical cure”?), she is even busier trying to keep up with her duties as her ability to “read” events of deaths that occurred in a certain place blossoms.  She meets a boy about her own age also living in this antique building, who is very different from most of the friends she just left behind, who seems to be showing up at the most interesting times.

The author’s description of the Keeper’s duties trying to corral souls who do not understand what has happened to them or who refuse to accept the fact that they have died are truly amazing and somewhat terrifying. This is a book I would recommend to teenage readers or adults with a liking for dark and mysterious doings.  I look forward to the next books in this series.

STRANDED by Anne Bishop, Anthony Francis and James Alan Gardner

STRANDED by Anne Bishop, Anthony Francis and James Alan Gardner

Three thought-provoking, short stories of young people stranded in some manner in space.  Each story features situations that have to be dealt with by the teens/young adults who have been placed in charge of their lives in various ways, whether intentionally or not.

One is a “city-ship” from earth charged with atoning for the devastation visited on other species by humans, millennia in the past.  This takes the form of carefully seeding other planets with everything needed to establish a balanced ecology from single-celled creatures to large, animals and everything they need to survive, using advanced technology which the people of the ship can no longer create.  Each successive generation is trained to take over these tasks from the previous generation of adults… but technology can’t last forever and all things come to an end.

One is an exploration ship on which the adults and many young people were stricken with a terrible disease and died, leaving a bare few children and teenagers to operate the ship as they grow up and try to figure out how to deal with a closed society, lacking any helpful instructions or ideas, as the ship voyages on, looking for a port where they can find help.

One is the story of a teenage girl who awakens by herself in a medical facility with no idea how she got there or where the rest of the people have gone.  She must find her own way through the facility and try to find help, but encounters an unimaginable reality that she discovers is all too real and she, along with many other sleeping humans, are about to be destroyed by the human race because they are “infected” with an alien plague.

Three very different situations imagined by these excellent writers.  Each story is brilliantly written without condescending to the age group it showcases.  If you know a teenager who thinks “sci-fi” is for old fuddy-duddies, give them “Stranded” and see how the feel after they read it!  I definitely recommend this set of short stories to young adult and other readers who enjoy YA.

I was given a free copy of this work by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This will be posted on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, LibraryThing and my blog at http://www.museofhellreviews.wordpress.com.