Friday, July 25, 2008

Rats, Bats & Vats (Mass Market Paperback)

by Eric Flint (Author), Dave Freer (Author) "The Expediter listened in silence..." (more)
Key Phrases: Van Klomp, Miss Virginia, Corporal Simms (more...)
Search for title: HCL RCL MPL SPPL MnLINK

See last post - I REALLY like Baen books - as much as I rely on libraries, I go out of my way to buy them, just to support the terrific stuff they put out - so... the other day I bought "The Rats, the Bats and the Ugly," forgetting it was a SEQUEL... to a book I hadn't read. So I quickly requested it... and the library delivered - the sequel (I assume a cataloging error). Anyway, I tracked down a copy and read it at a breakneck pace - and wasn't disappointed.

From Publishers Weekly

Freer (The Forlorn) and Flint (Mother of Demons) join forces in this lighthearted SF offering set on the colony world of Harmony and Reason, which is being invaded by the dreaded, insectoid alien Magh'. Chip, a former sous-chef and "vat"Aa human bred for hard laborAfinds himself trapped behind enemy lines with the rats and bats of the title, genetically engineered animals designed for close-quarters combat, stealth and plenty of off-color wisecrackery. But when Virginia Shaw, a daughter of the yuppie Shareholder class, gets caught behind enemy lines with her alien tutor, and Chip and Co. rescue her, the sexual sparks start to fly. Chip and Ginny recognize that their class hatred is an obstacle to defeating the Magh'; when the two learn to cooperate, everyone soon lends a hand or paw or wing, refurbishing a rusty old farm tractor, on which animal and human careen through Magh' defenses. Although the military SF plot is peppered with its share of Dirty Dozen-esque cliffhangers, the sharpest moments in this giddy entertainment are those where the rodents blithely skewer human mores.
It's pretty silly stuff - but lots of fun. And NOW I can read the sequel... except the library just delivered the latest Weber book "By Schism Rent Asunder" which retells the Reformation in a far future setting.... so that has to take precedence...

Boundary (Mass Market Paperback)

by Eric Flint (Author), Ryk E. Spoor (Author)
Search for title: HCL RCL MPL SPPL MnLINK

(How many times do I need to say - I REALLY love Baen books!?! They dependably deliver good "golden age" SF, and this is no exception.)

From School Library Journal:

As this engaging and mostly lighthearted tale of the first expedition to Mars begins, three friends and colleagues are sharing what they expect to be their last dig in Montana with paleontologist Dr. Helen Sutter. Joe Buckley and Jackie Secord are graduate students about to embark on engineering careers–Joe with the Ares Project, and Jackie as an astronaut. After a strange fossil is found, anomalies pile up, and A.J. Baker, a genius with new imaging technologies, comes to help document the site. Then a robot explorer he is working with on the Ares Project finds a suspiciously similar fossil on Phobos, the Mars moon, and before long the four are on their way there, along with an equally likable pilot, security officer, and international crew of scientists.

Lots of excellent ideas and speculation here - really a fun story. I'd be happy to see - but don't really expect - a sequel.