|Vanguard by Jack Campbell
Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 8pm
770 Rt.17 North
Paramus, NJ 07652
This group meets on the 4th Thursday of each month to discuss various works of modern
masters or upcoming talent in SF, fantasy, paranormal, horror and related genres. It also
occasionally explores classics and the 'masters' of the classics.
*For the complete list of titles for 2019 scroll below event recap. You will find all
Vanguard by Jack Campbell: Jack Campbell returns to the world of the New York Times
bestselling Lost Fleet novels with a new action-packed military science fiction series that
explores the founding of the Alliance . . . and the men and women who fought to create it.
Earth is no longer the center of the universe. After the invention of the faster-than-light
jump drive, humanity is rapidly establishing new colonies. But the vast distances of space
mean that the old order of protection and interstellar law offered by Earth has ceased to
When a nearby world attacks, the new colony of Glenlyon turns to Robert Geary, a young
former junior fleet officer, and Mele Darcy, a onetime enlisted Marine. With nothing but
improvised weapons and a few volunteers, Geary and Darcy must face down warships and
armored soldiers--or die trying.
As battles rage and pirates take an increasing toll throughout the colonies, the only hope
for lasting peace lies with Carmen Ochoa, a "Red" from the anarchic world of Mars, and
Lochan Nakamura, a failed politician. They have a plan: to lay the groundwork for mutual
defense that could someday grow into an alliance. But if their efforts don't succeed, the
growing power of aggressor worlds could turn regions of space founded on freedom into
battlefields between the first interstellar empires.
|Modern Masters Selections for 2019
|Recaps & comments
|The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars #1) by Ian Tregellis
Our year-end review discussed books read from both Suspense Central and Modern Masters, plus any other books read
during 2018. Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn, though not discussed because of cancellations, was deemed the worst
book of the year. Beyond juvenile, it was infantile. On a brighter note, some of the best books included The Long Way to a
Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, and Talon of God by Wesley Snipes / Ray
Norman. Crestwood Lake by Mark Vogel was excellent, with the hope that it's sequel Crestwood Lake 2 will be selected in
the near future. Revisiting authors such as Gail Carriger (Blameless) and Kat Richardson (Vanished) were also appreciated.
2018 was a fine year of reading.
|The Gradual by Christopher Priest
Finishing up our musical theme for the month was The Gradual by Christopher Priest. A composer’s tour of a Dream
Archipelago explores themes of time, memory and the petty frustrations of travel. Alessandro Sussken is a brilliant
musician and composer living in the iron-curtain-ish Republic of Glaund. Glaund is fighting an Orwellian never-ending war
with another island called Faiandland. All the actual fighting happens on a distant southern continent, but war still touches
every aspect of island life. Sussken’s older brother goes off to fight, but Sussken’s burgeoning musical reputation means
he instead joins a concert tour of the archipelago. During his travels he discovers that time seems to slip in unpredictable
ways from one island to the next. A journey that lasts a few months for him corresponds to many years passing on
Glaund. When he returns home his parents have died, while his wife has given up on him and left. Sussken, the main
character, loses his bearings along the way. The book was well written but handled the explanations of what was
happening confusingly. Generally rated a "B".