The big difference: Fleet is a standalone novel set in Known Space. If you have a vague memory of Ringworld and the short stories, you’ll be fine. Juggler, on the other hand, is not only a direct sequel to Fleet, but also to more than a dozen Known Space short stories (including everything in Crashlander), which are air-dropped into the story at seemingly random intervals. The “big surprise” is also so poorly handled that for several chapters you can’t be sure that a major character wasn’t just another reference. On the plus side, it gives a faint nod to the old “down in flames” story idea, which was more fun than most of the backstage views of decades-old stories.
I’ve read all of the Known Space stories several times, so I got most of the references, but the secret history of the secret history of Beowulf Shaeffer just got tiresome after a while, and it took up space that would have been better spent expanding on the interesting new characters who were the focus of Fleet. They’re pretty much reduced to spear-carriers in Juggler.
Fleet stands alone quite nicely, and adds some real depth to the Puppeteers, both individually and as a race. I didn’t dislike Juggler, but I doubt I’ll reread it.
Harry Dresden is a rather unconventional wizard, in a rather decent set of urban fantasy/detective novels. He has no significant connection to Japan, and indeed his magic is very strongly Western in origin.
So where did the glowing runes on his staff come from?
The paperback edition of Dead Beat doesn’t seem to name the cover artist anywhere, but whoever it was decided that the English loanword マトリックス (“matrix”) made a dandy set of runes.
[oh, and I just noticed that Amazon has a new “Amapedia” site…]
It’s not a bad collection of sci-fi babes, but I’m not the only one who choked on this line about Heinlein’s Starship Troopers:
One of the main plot points of Heinlein’s original novel was that all the experienced officers were killed off, leaving only the kids in charge.
What are they teaching kids in school these days?
…then it’s hilarious. I haven’t been following the new Battlestar Galactica series, even though it’s getting lots of good reviews, mostly because I simply haven’t been watching much television at all. However, while looking at the fan sites, I noticed that Grace Park’s character, Boomer, is a Cylon disguised as a human being.
Boomer. Cylon. Where are the Knight Sabers when you need them?
It’s been a while since I’ve read a novel by Mike Resnick. After finishing The Return of Santiago, it looks like it will be a while before I read another one.
It’s competently executed, and sufficiently entertaining that I did finish it, but if the plot had been any more telegraphed, they’d have had to change the title to Western Union. Maybe it’s because I’ve read four and a half other books set in this universe (I bounced hard on Widowmaker), but absolutely nothing that happened in this novel surprised me, and I’m already having trouble remembering any distinguishing characteristics of the characters.
Two things stand out: the running gag about Virgil’s sex life, which has no impact whatsoever on the story, and the fact that after Danny stumbles across the biggest secret in the history of the Inner Frontier, he cheerfully blabs it to damn near anyone within earshot, swearing them all to absolute secrecy.
Could someone please explain to me how the film shown in this trailer could possibly deserve the title I, Robot? Or even how they managed to pull this story out of Asimov’s legacy? “Sci-fi action thriller suggested by the classic short story collection”, my ass!
Adding insult to injury, the official movie site is a steaming pile of Flash.
Yes, yes, Kinsey is a villain composed of equal parts pure evil and arrogant condescension. We get it already, okay? Could you please drop the Snidely Whiplash act and get on with the story now? Yeesh.