This week, I’m going back to my first love, Science Fiction. I’ve picked out two books that have just been published which I hope will offer me something new and different to think about. They’re both broadly in the Space Opera category but each with its own distinctive flavour. One fits into the Future Africa category and one looks like it fits a horror/suspense/kickass-women-in-space slot.
‘House Of Gold’ by C. T. Rwizi (2023)
I was impressed by C. T. Rwizi’s debut novel, ‘Scarlet Odyssey‘ (2020). It was a huge fantasy novel, with a big cast of characters that managed to remain character-driven while building a picture of a future Africa where magic and technology mix. It seemed to me that the book had a different, perhaps more African-centric, way of looking at conflict and power and guilt that made me stop and think.
I’d intended to move on to the second book in the series, ‘Requiem Moon’ (2021) when I saw that his latest novel, ‘House Of Gold’, scheduled for publication on 1st April 2023, was available a month early, and for free, via Amazon’s First Reads.
This one seems very different from the Scarlet Odyssey series. It’s set on a distant colony planet in the far future and seems to be built around exploring the nature of freedom and the reality of slavery. I’m looking forward to it.
‘The Scourge Between Stars’ by Ness Brown (2023)
This is Ness Brown’s debut novella. I have high hopes for it: the reviews are good without being improbably stellar, I like the cover and the publisher’s summary, and the audiobook version is narrated by the always-engaging Bahni Turpin.
I’m hoping that this will be more than a riff on ‘Alien’. Given Ness Brown’s background, I’m expecting well-thought through science enlivened by some original ideas.