This week, I’m heading back out into space with one hot-off-the-press novel and one that’s been sitting on my TBR pile for eight months.
Science Fiction was my first passion as a reader. Recently, it feels like I’ve been neglecting it a little. I only read seven Science Fiction novels last year.
The two I’ve picked here are both new takes on old SF ideas. One seems to be a sort of Space Western – a twist on the Seven Samurai / Magnificent Seven trope with a kick-ass female lead. The other is a crime mystery story in space, a sort of SF locked-room mystery where the ‘room’ is a spaceship and everyone on board is a suspect.
I’m looking for fast, fun reads rather than an exploration of man’s existential angst.
‘Persephone Station’ by Stina Leich (2021)
For me, ‘Persephone Station’ is a roll of the dice: it’s a new-to-me-author and it’s a book that’s been available for ten days. It’s been well hyped but hyped as everything from a feminist novel through to cowboy bebop.
The reviews are mixed, ranging from
The Chicago Review Of Books ‘Exploring the Future of Humanity in “Persephone Station” Leicht’s novel feels important now, as exploitation and violence continue on our planet. It feels empowering to read of characters on interplanetary adventures fighting for the underdog. Persephone Station is a story about salvaging the elements that make us human’.
NPR’s ‘Persephone Station’ Aims For The Stars — And Almost Makes It Here’s the thing, though: Most of this is okay. Most of it — even the squishy middle bit — is buoyed along by Leicht’s talent for making characters you want to hang with just a little bit longer.‘
Still, I like the cover (it takes me back to the years when I bought 2000AD every week) and the story sounds like it has potential, so I’m just going to let those dice fall as they will and hope for the best.
‘Six Wakes’ by Mur Lafferty (2017)
Mur Lafferty is also a new author for me but the book has been around for three years now and the press has been consistently good.
I love this hook:
‘Six crew. One ship. One killer. On a spaceship far from earth, someone is murdering the crew. And the crew’s newly awakened clones will have to find their killer-before they strike again.’
This reminds me of the kind of plot I used to find in the early Asimov books. It’s been a while since I’ve done SF as a murder mystery and I’m looking forward to it.