Power Armor: A Love Story by David Barr Kirtley

When I was a wee lass, I had a bit of an unhealthy preoccupation with the game Mech Warrior 2. This interest in giant machinery grew naturally into a pre-teen obsession with Gundam Wing and then later The Big O. I don’t think anyone was surprised by my fangirl squealing during Pacific Rim. In short, I love battle mecha. What is strange though, and even I admit this, is that it took me a really long time to come around to power armor and battle suits. The amount of resistance I threw up for the Iron Man movies was rather uncharacteristic. I continue to find myself hesitant to accept the smaller, precursors to my beloved giant warbots.

My reticence is waning, though. In large part due to stories like David Barr Kirtley’s Power Armor: A Love Story, which is about  time traveling renegade Anthony Blair, who never-ever-ever takes off his power armor. As you could probably assume from the title, there is also a woman. A woman who does not want Anthony Blair in his power armor for a variety of reasons, including the desire to be close to the man in the iron suit. But also to maybe kill him. Continue reading…

Out of Copyright by Charles Sheffield

There is a school of thought that believes it is science fiction’s obligation to explore the social consequences of technology. I don’t think all science fiction fits nicely with that prescription, but it’s a good parameter. Especially for today’s story which deals with the pros and cons of cloning, especially when it comes to brilliant thinkers like Einstein, Tesla, and Oppenheimer.

Out of Copyright by Charles Sheffield was prescient for its time. The story was first published seven years before Dolly the sheep made headlines as the first cloned adult mammal. Our protagonist, Al, is on his way to the draft pick which determines which large companies will get the exclusive rights to clone famous geniuses in order to use their superior intelligence to solve problems. Its pretty telling that the problem Al’s company is currently solving is a completely ridiculous task of launching asteroids at Jupiter’s moon Io. Continue reading…

Mirrorverse by Joseph Bates

Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear the world ‘multiverse,’ I instantly think of superheroes, villains, and/or Dr. Daniel Jackson trying to explain the phrase to yet another person at Stargate Command. Perhaps that’s because I’m a bit of a nerd. Maybe not just a bit.

Joseph Bates’ Mirrorverse is about the multiverse. But there are no superheroes, no villians, and certainly no Lieutenant Samantha Carter. His story actually concerns what happens when an ordinary person, dissatisfied with life, gets hold of a new technology under the guise of writing a review for a newspaper. The wonderful and bizarre device allows anybody to see what is happening throughout the multiverse, whether that is their own lives or those of famous people. Continue reading…

Gamma Series by C.C. Kelly

Lets talk about robots for a minute, okay? I think we can all agree that robots are awesome, even when they’re not. I mean, HAL 9000 anyone? Awesome, even if he is a little murderous and also just an ominous red lens. Science fiction has run the gambit of good robots, evil robots, and complete benign robots. Fundamentally, those stories are about how we as people interact with technology, which is there anything that could be more timely?

C.C. Kelly’s Gamma Series is also about robots. No, I mean that literally. Its central scene is a conversation about the problems with creating a robot army that won’t kill all humans indiscriminately, as played out by a scientist, the military, and a bumbling idiot senator tasked with overseeing the whole mess. Continue reading…