Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-09
- Reviewer: Staff
James's second Far Orbit collection is a mostly successful attempt to harness the magic of mid-20th-century science fiction. There are a few gems among the 13 stories, including Julie Frost's "The Affairs of Dragons," which is an utterly charming Firefly-esque tale about a space captain and crew who take on very unusual cargo: a clutch of dragon eggs that must be kept safe at all costs. When they hatch, the crew find themselves in the middle of a dragon clan war and hosts to a wily bunch of tiny, hungry fire-breathers. In Keven R. Pittsinger's "Culture Shock," the attempted sabotage of a mining rig lands the saboteur in the brig, where he begins an unlikely friendship with his diametrically opposed jailer. In Dominic Dulley's "Dainty Jane," the 17-year-old daughter of a bulk hauler will do anything not to continue her father's business, but when raiders board their ship, she realizes there are much worse fates. Unfortunately, stumbles like Dave Creek's "Murder at Tranquility Base," a by-the-numbers lunar murder mystery, and "A Most Exceptional Scholarship" by Nestor M. Delfino, about a bullied young man offered the chance of a lifetime, keeps this collection from being entirely successful. (Oct.)