Entries in Kameron Hurley (2)


The Light Brigade

This novel is far darker and more brutal than I usually read, but I always make a grimdark exception for Hurley because her books are always so amazing. And like with The Stars Are Legion, this one also ends on a hopeful note that made the viscera-soaked journey worth it.

This is the brutal, hard-hitting, anti-fascist, capitalism-eviscerating, hopeful time-travelling military SF this timeline needs. Inspired by Starship Troopers (film version), the book follows military grunt Dietz through basic training and the long, impossible journey through war.

In this bleak future, soldiers are busted down into particles of light and beamed off to war. But it does not always go right. Some soldiers come back with their body parts in the wrong place. Dietz keeps coming back to the wrong time with the wrong memories.

She has to struggle through memories and events that don't make sense, trying to keep a tenuous grip on sanity while navigating the dictator corporation she belongs to. This is an excellent sci-fi thriller/mystery mash up with some time travel for fun and I'm probably going to have to read it again just to keep everything straight.

If you're already a Hurley fan, this won't disappoint. If you haven't read any of her books yet, this is a fine place to start.


The Stars Are Legion

This book isn't released for another week (Feb 7) but you should definitely get a copy once it's out. I met the author at ConFusion earlier this month and was lucky to score an ARC (advance reading copy). Also, Kameron is awesome. Super friendly, a class act. You should buy all her books.

So the story is about LESBIANS IN SPACE!!! *cough* If that sort of thing frightens you, you should turn back now. (And maybe re-examine your life choices.) There are no men in this story. But the women have such a refreshing myriad of personality types that you'll barely even notice. Which is how it should be.

The world-building for this is phenomenal and I personally wouldn't have minded if the book had been longer to explore more of it, though that definitely would have slowed the pace down tremendously. But the story takes place in a setting where the word for ship and world is pretty much the same. There are these massive semi-organic world-ships orbiting a false sun way out at the edge of creation, called the Legion. These world-ships are all dying.

The story is told from the 1st-person present tense POV of two characters, primarily Zan, a woman who woke up with limited memory of the world around her and almost no memory at all of who she is. It's fascinating to watch Zan remake herself in the face of her lost memories as she navigates unfamiliar politics during tense times. She's at the mercy of those around her, women who are only marginally interested in her survival.

But she manages to forge alliances along the way as she creeps toward the climax of the book and gets within grasp of remaking the world and saving the Legion. By the end of it, the book is as much about the relationships between these women as it is about the adventure and the race to save the world.

There aren't many things that I didn't love about this book, but the end and it's hopeful tone were the best part. In these troubling times, it's exactly what I needed.