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Gerald M. Weinberg
on July 22, 2013 :
How good is Michael Angel's Strangelets...? Here's what it did to me:
I was reading the latest Jack Reacher novel when I received a tweet announcing the publication of Strangelets with a Side of Grilled Spam. I had read and loved several of Michael's stories (Adventures of Amanda Love and The Detective and the Unicorn), so I interrupted my reading for a moment to take a look at a sample of Strangelets...
I never got back to Jack Reacher, not until I'd read all four volumes of Strangelets... It's the kind of fascinating science fiction that satisfies an entire spectrum of fandom. There's aliens, of course, but their half bio and have mecho. There's warfare, but the humans are losing and very much on the brink of extinction. There's plenty of brand new, innovative near-future tech, and not just weapons.
But that's not all. We meet an artificial intelligence with personality and a heart, and she's not the only romantic element. There's scientists whose experiments start all the trouble then struggle to contain it, military brass both good and bad, and non-commissioned grunts whose dirty hands win real wars.
There's movement, lots of movement. The heroes move physically around the familiar Midwest, which as been transformed into a most unfamiliar and deadly wasteland. They also move intellectually, as they attempt desperately to understand these most puzzling of aliens. And, best of all, as my "moment to look at a sample" shows, the story moves the reader–right out of the present into a future whose outcome is always in doubt.
(reviewed the day of purchase)