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1. The Depths of Time
2. The Ocean of Years (The Chronicles
3. Showdown At Centerpoint (Star
4. BSI: Starside: Death Sentence
5. The Shattered Sphere
6. Rogue Powers
7. Orphan of Creation
8. The Cause of Death (BSI Starside)
9. David Brin's Out of Time: The
10. Supernova
11. BSI: Starside: Final Inquiries
12. The Shattered Sphere
14. Utopia
15. The Shores of Tomorrow (The Chronicles
16. Isaac Asimov's "Utopia"
17. The Corellian Trilogy
18. The Ring of Charon
19. The Ring of Charon: The First
20. The Torch of Honour (Venture SF

1. The Depths of Time
by Roger Macbride Allen
Mass Market Paperback: 496 Pages (2001-06-26)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553574973
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Time is of the essence when you're stranded in the future....

Humanity is running out of time.

The settled universe is filled with terraformed worlds linked by timeshafts -- temporal wormholes in deep space. These timeshafts are the only way to travel the vast distances between the stars.

The Chronologic Patrol is charged with guarding the timeshaft wormholes and preventing time paradoxes at all costs. But one critical mission ends in disaster, turning Anton Koffield, captain of the Upholder, into a dark legend....

As ships carrying relief supplies to a crippled planet approach a timeshaft, they are mercilessly set upon by mysterious attackers -- their crews are murdered and the sanctity of time itself is at risk.

In response, Koffield is forced to do the unthinkable: he must stop the invasion by destroying the timeshaft. Marooned eighty years in the future, he lives as a cursed figure, the villain who killed a world.

And his odyssey through time has only just begun....
... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars How Deep does the rabbit hole go?
For fans of Roger Allen's work, this story doesn't dissapoint.The action in the first few chapters pulls you in, and the mystery needing to be solved keeps you going. Allen likes to mix a liberal dose of science into his stories, giving you the feeling that given the right conditions, the story could and in fact should actually happen.Allen takes you to the outer reaches of the galaxy, and makes you feel like you belong there.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting story
This book starts out with a bang, but seemed to peter out a little after that. There was an abrupt cutoff that made the beginning seem irrevelant, but of course it wasn't. By the end of the book, when I was wondering why I was a little bored in the middle, I went back to the table of contents and realized the sequence was well thought out and worked really well. I did really like this book, but I removed two stars for the following reasons:

1. I thought the scene building was a bit wordy, but out of more than 400 pages, cutting some of the descriptions probably wouldn't have saved more than 15-20 pages.
2. I have to admit, I found the time travel model a little tough to keep straight in my head, but after realizing there wasn't much point in paying attention to the details of it, the generalized idea of the time travel method was straightfoward.
3. The ending wasn't as complete as I would have liked, setting it up for a sequel.

The character development was not very deep, but in this case, I think it served the novel well as it probably would have destracted from the high level concepts the author presented. The characters were believable and human.

The author is very intelligent, based on the detail paid to so many of the nuances of the novel's time setting and science and to the complex plot of the novel. I look forward to reading more of his novels.

3-0 out of 5 stars Uptime Without a Paddle
In a universe where one must pass through a temporal wormhole in order to travel the vast distances of space (travel through the wormhole compensates for the vast amount of time it takes a ship to traverse the even vaster distances of space), Chronologic Patrol Officer Anton Koffield is stranded in his own future after a bizarre and disturbing incident.Now he must help avert a disaster of planetary proportions.In this cautionary tale of terraforming gone awry, Anton Koffield is attempting to get vital information to the correct people...the inhabitants of the planet Solace, whose artifically created biosphere is falling apart at the seams.

The Depths of Time had an exceedingly mediocre start, with some "action" within the first 50 pages, but then little seems to happen for well over 200 pages of this nearly 500 page book.Worse yet, the characterizations leave much to be desired.You hardly get much depth with the main character's personality until the last 100 pages or so...hardly an ideal situation when most of the story hinges on this character.

Despite the above criticisms, there is enough interest in the plot to keep the book moving (barely)...and the ending does pick up some.All in all, this is not a stellar read, but with only two more books in the trilogy ("Chronicles of Solace") I will likely pick up the sequel...and hope that it is better than the first.

4-0 out of 5 stars Despite the flaws an enjoyable not so hard sci-fi story
Most of the reviewers hit the weak points in the book, it is not hard sci-fi, the uptime/downtime wormhole has a few flaws in its theory, and at times, the story is long winded.When I first bought the book there was no indication it was the first in a series, which is a pet peeve of mine.

On the plus side, the book is really as much a mystery with a sci-fi premise and a case study in what drives a man, Admiral Koffield, when his career is basically ruined and he is stranded 100 years in the future, and his obsession with tracking down the man responsible.

Allen lays out his characters well, the reserved Admiral, his eventual sidekick Norla Chandry, (who is strikingly similar to Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchens from three of Jack McDevitt's books) and the megalomaniac man behind the curtain Oscar DeSilvo.

I would recommend it for the most part, because I thought the second book in the series was extremely entertaining and it was a break from some of the harder sci-fi that I read.To paraphrase, "with mild expectations come acceptable results."

3-0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, but a bit long
In the acknowledgements, the author thanks his editor for allowing him to stretch his single book story into a trilogy.This will not go down as one of said editor's crowning professional achievements.The story is interesting but, once you make it past the beginning sequence, the effort to stretch it into a trilogy is obvious.The middle of the book is full of filler and drags on for far too long.

It also bugs me a bit that, when it becomes obvious that Solace is dying, it never dawns on anyone to simply ask Earth to send timeshaft ships to evacuate the whole solar system.Wouldn't leaving be the simple answer to their so-called life threatening ecology crisis? ... Read more

2. The Ocean of Years (The Chronicles of Solace, Book 2)
by Roger Macbride Allen
Mass Market Paperback: 464 Pages (2002-06-25)
list price: US$6.50 -- used & new: US$2.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553583646
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Time Is Up

In a far-flung universe--where history is a timeshaft away--a manhunt begins to determine the future of a world....

Oskar DeSilvo was the founder of the planet Solace. As the director of its terraforming project, he literally made the world--but he s been dead for over a hundred years. Or so Anton Koffield thought. Now, as Solace slides into ecological collapse, Koffield discovers that DeSilvo may still somehow be alive--and that the secrets he holds could save not only Solace but all of humanity.

But Koffield has his own reasons to find DeSilvo. Once a decorated officer of the Chronologic Patrol, he now battles against all they stand for to find the man who nearly destroyed him. Driven by a ruthless sense of justice and honor, Koffield takes his crew back through a timeshaft wormhole to a time and a place none of them have ever seen: Earth of the next century. There the search begins. A quest not only to explore the past--but to free the future from the clutches of a genocidal madman.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars What's The Point?
Number 2 in the Chronicles of Solace, this continues in the world of the 54th century, where humans have terraformed over 50 worlds, but the total human population is only one billion, with half that on Earth. Space travel is via the novel method of covering half the distance to a destination at 0.1C, ducking into a wormhole to a distance in the past equal to the entire trip length, then finishing the second half at 0.1C again, so that you arrive about the time you left.

So far, so good. But the entire story is spent chasing the villain, who supposedly destroyed the terraforming on one world, botched another, destroyed a wormhole, and left clues all over space to lead our heroes on a interstellar scavenger hunt. The clues are lame. One based on a Shakespeare quote would be opaque to 99% of people today (its usually misquoted), let alone to people in another 3,300 years. All the activity happens at the author's whim, not to any serious plan.

The author tells us that terraforming cannot succeed, and all the colonies are going to die. An extremely unlikely scenario given millenia of research. We are shown an uber-library in orbit of Neptune, but with few exceptions the design of the library seems more 19th century than modern. We are shown a terraforming failure on Mars, where mutant mold eats everything, yet the quarantine of the planet is so lame our villein and the heroes both sneak in and out with little trouble.

The technology just isn't convincing. The players actions aren't convincing. For example, would you go land on a hostile planet without so much as a pocket knife for tools? The villain isn't convincing, No matter how big his ego.

I predict that the third book will introduce the miraculously discovered FTL drive, heal all the planets, vindicate the villain and the hero, and all will live happily ever after.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Hunt for Oskar DeSilvo
Anton Koffield and the crew of the merchant vessel Dom Pedro IV have been stranded uptime due to the machinations of the terraformist Oskar DeSilvo.DeSilvo led the effort to terraform the planet Solace more than two hundred years prior.Now Solace is in the midst of an ecological and climactic collapse.Koffield, and those working with him, discover that the collapse of the planet Solace is but one piece to a puzzle that has ramifications throughout all of settled space.But DeSilvo, believed to be dead for a century is very much alive, and has left clues to his whereabouts so that Koffield and those working with him can find him.And what DeSilvo intends to show Koffield could not only save the planet Solace from further collapse, but could change the course of human history.

The Ocean of Years is a much better novel than its predecessor, The Depths of Time.The plot is developed in a much more precise and focused way (the author makes it clear that the story is not about whether DeSilvo is alive or not, he obviously is, but about determining what he knows and why he has done what he has done) and even moves along at a pace that permits easy-reading.But the really important difference between this novel and its predecessor is that The Ocean of Years actually has characters that are worth reading about.The characterization in The Depths of Time was poor...to put it mildly.But in this novel, Koffield and much of the crew of the Dom Pedro IV actually feel real enough to keep turning the pages...a pleasant change from The Depths of Time's cardboard, two-dimensional, boring, just-there-to-move-what-felt-like-a-subpar plot along characterizations.

In all honesty, after The Depths of Time, I am surprised I picked up its sequel...but I did, and the reward was a novel whose plot moves along at a clip that promotes the idea of turning pages, and characterizations that serve a story that is interesting enough for a trilogy, but not at all presented well in the first novel.The Ocean of Years is recommended to anyone who has the gumption to get through The Depths of Time.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Best in the 3 Book Series
If you can get past the fact that Allen has a habit of being repetitive, especially considering no one is reading the second book if they have not read the first, then you can enjoy this as the best and most interesting of the three in the series.

Of all three books, here we get to really see Allen's vision of the future, how humanity has stagnated and the populace has ignored the clues to the impending crisis.The most enjoyable section of the book was the image and description of The Permanent Physical Collection, the housing of all the books in a giant space habitat orbiting Neptune.As has been discussed in tech circles and other sci-fi books, the weakest link in our push towards a total digital age is being able to store the original source material in accessible form, ie paper.

The failed terraforming experiment of Mars was also an enjoyable read, as Koffield and Norla go searching through the suppressed technology hidden by the time patrol. Finally, after playing Wile E Coyote to DeSilvo's roadrunner, Koffield finally catches up with DeSilvo, but of course, we are left to a resolution in the third book.

The book/series certainly have some weak points.Many of the themes are common in other sci-fi stories, Allen really could have told the story in two books, and whatever issues you want to throw into a book with some form of time travel. However, despite those weaknesses, the story is compelling, and I found myself extremely interested in two of the three main characters, Koffield and Norla.

As an aside, Greg Bridges did the artwork on the cover of the book, which I enjoyed so much I found his website and ordered a print.He does many sci-fi covers and in my opinion is one of the best along with Jim Burns.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Superb Sequel in an Outstanding Series: Eco-Socio Future
I feel strongly that Mr. Allen's work in this series, and in both of these volumes is some of the best writing I have seen in a long long time. It excells not only as masterly work in the genre but also as truly visionary and extremely thoughtful work concerning possible ecological and social challenges facing human society not in the future, but Today! The careful, and sensitve development of all the major characters are also of a high quality. Each and every main character and even the secondary ones are fully realized, the author has thoughtfully considered each of them, and woven them into a tapestry of realism which evokes the time and situation that the story is based on. Actions, dialog, descriptions of settings, passage of time, and the complexity and paradoxes of ordinary lived life are all realized throughout this work with a masterful touch.

The descriptive prose moved easily, and with poise and grace from location to location, and the scope of a universe which we in our modern world can only glimpse is a reality of real challenges, limits, dangers, and disapointments. Beneath the plot runs a deep concern with the limits and dangers of excessive technology. I would ask that this be declared mandatory reading for all high governmental officials, science leaders and especially students and faculty of ecological study and research institutions.

The plot thoroughly entertains, and moves and beckons to the reader, and the frustrations, fears and hopes of the characters are drawn with a careful eye to detail and to humanity. I find in this book a maturity and a sensitivity that is lacking in most other leading names of the genre, where too often cheap and shallow militarism, violence and incongruous simplistic good versus bad space soap opera limit the literature and the authors' vision. I cannot truly say that there are any better authors writing today, some are Allen's equal, but he has no superiors in a critical and essential topic: the role of human society in the natural environment, and the limits imposed by the inexonerable laws of nature. These laws, complex, subtle and fundamental, require that we as a species rise to the challenges set by our desires, and needs with worthwhile contributions of our own. Allen offers the encouraging figures of Koffield, Norla, and others who show their determination and hope not in grandiose gestures, but in steady, constant, very human effort. In this fine book, and series, events change and are changed by the people involved in them, and results are never certain, yet always to be strived for. I look forward to a long and fruitful career for Mr. Allen, and believe that his critics, like Koffield's will be silenced in the end by the fundamental and undeniable quality of insight applied with veracity, vision and compassion.

Finally, in work of this genre, and in fiction, the author must first and foremost evoke and create an environment in which the characters and their story is real, and for which there are realistic paths that they can follow. In the very best fiction, the story constantly creates echos and resonance with the real reality that the reader inhabits. It is the interchange that occurs both on the conscious level and sub consiously that can bring not only entertainment but also insight bringing awareness that the reader develops in his or her own mind and thoughts. This book and this series that Allen is masterfully creating is a classic and a resource for us and our culture in our own time. I reccomend this work and this author and congratulate him on his achievement.

1-0 out of 5 stars A great 250-page book
Unfortunately the other 200+ pages make it a long and boring read.

I first encountered Roger MacBride Allen when I read 'Allies and Aliens' some years back.It was a great read and since that time I've often looked for other titles by him when browsing for books.When I spotted 'The Depths of Time' (henceforth TDOT) several months back, I picked it up immediately.It was very disappointing -- if you haven't read the reviews on that book, I recommend doing so before you buy this one (or buying TDOT if it's not too late).That novel had all of the same problems that this one does -- way too many pages for the storyline and the interest level is all or nothing.Both are largely filled with highly detailed and very uninteresting fluff, alleviated every once in a while by a few pages where something actually happens.Both spend time detailing information about politics and conspirators -- which never end up connecting back with the storyline.

The obvious question then becomes -- if I was so disappointed with volume one -- why get volume two?I bought this book for two reasons.First -- TDOT had such an incomplete and unsatisfying ending that I really wanted to find out what the final resolution was going to be -- I *hate* not knowing the ending to a story.Second -- I had enjoyed my first MacBride experience with 'Allies and Aliens' so much that I was hoping that TDOT was simply a fluke and that with the storyline now set up, the follow-on book would be considerably more interesting and loose ends from the first book would be neatly connected.I was very wrong.'The Ocean of Years' is, if anything, even more long-winded and boring than TDOT.The ending is, if anything, even more unsatisfying and loose ends have expanded geometrically.However -- as much as I hate not finishing all the books in a trilogy -- I won't be purchasing the third book: 'The Shores of Tomorrow'.

Both books (and probably the third as well) should have been massively trimmed and either released all as a single volume or at the most as a duology.The basic concepts are interesting, the universe believable, but there's simply not enough story for the amount of pages being used to tell it. ... Read more

3. Showdown At Centerpoint (Star Wars - The Corellian Trilogy Book 3)
by Roger MacBride Allen
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1995)

Asin: B001KWJK5S
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars Moving conclusion to an above average trilogy
Events are boiling down to the wire.Luke, Lando, and Gaeriel investigate Centerpoint Station and begin to learn its secrets.Anakin unleashes the power of the artifact he helped find on Drall.And Han, Leia, and Mara attempt to rouse the Selonians to action.

I Liked:
Although it had a weak middle, this book picks up nicely.The characters are now joined by a Jenica Sonsen, an administrator of Centerpoint.I am amazed at how Allen has created so many new ladies (Belindi Kalenda, Dracmas, Aunt Marcha, Tendra Risant, Jenica) or used old ladies (Gaeriel, Mara, and, of course, Leia) and never once did I mistake one lady for another.Each was special and unique, ranging from slightly timid and very lady-like (Tendra) to no-nonsense kick butt (Mara).And I like how each one plays a role that fits her character.It doesn't feel forced one bit.And I want to commend him for using Gaeriel and Mara, both previous additions that haven't been used at all or very often since they were first introduced into Star Wars EU.
Of course, Allen's handling of the characters itself is impressive.He has a huge cast, and could get easily lost, but he does a nice job manipulating all of them and still making it feel like each character is spot on.I haven't felt this good about the characters since Timothy Zahn!
I really must applaud Allen on the story.I found the mystery of the Corellian system, the uprisings in the sector new, interesting, and fun!We don't have a sniff of the Empire in sight, and while the galaxy is sorta pulled into it (when the baddies start blowing up stars), this conflict is heavily Corellian, not a galaxy-wide "life or death" threat.Further, he does the unthinkable and has an EU character die in a very heart-pulling way (causing me to tear up!).And the ending is very nice, tying up loose ends but not in a dorky, over-the-top, clichéd way.It left things open (cleaning up the Corellian system, figuring out the repulsors and Centerpoint), but it didn't leave major plot points open.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the kids.They worked together, they had adventures and yet they still acted like children, running and playing and pouting at the most inopportune time.

I Didn't Like:
Okay, so there's another superweapon.That was more than a little annoying.Also, Lando comes off as far too knowledgeable about things he really shouldn't.I swear, he should be teaching a physics or quantum physics class based on his knowledge here!And I really think that Anakin sometimes acted way more mature and knowledgeable than he should have been.As for Han and Leia being okay with their kids helping out with the repulsor...uh, they capitulated way too easily for good parents.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Some d*** and h***.
Sparks fly between Lando and Tendra.
Several characters die or are injured.There is an epic space battle at the end.

This whole trilogy puts a smile on my face.I am entertained, I am happy, heck, I even laughed a bit.There are intense action sequences, quite, moving, heart-rending sequences, a hint of lost love between Luke and Gaeriel, the hint of future love for Lando, the awakening of Force powers in Anakin, Jaina, and Jacen, and the revelation of one of the most interesting systems in the galaxy.So what if it includes a superweapon?It's a nice, fun novel, and that's more than anyone could ask for.

Brought to you by:
*C.S. Light*

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and fun
This series was a very good star wars series set in Han Solo's home star system.I found that it added to the star wars story line and that it was a fun read. There were a few parts which brought it down a star, due to some of the writing being a little elementary, for example parts where it would say something to the affect of "the button labeled OPEN THE HATCH BUTTON" or something to that nature.There were also some parts in the book which didn't seem to be very "realistic" in the sense of realism in the star wars universe.There was a massive interdiction field which mean ships could only travel at sublight speed, but some of the space craft seemed to be able to make it to places too quickly considering.

On the good note, it was an enjoyable read, all three books were and I would recommend it to friends of mine. (If I had friends who read the star wars novels that is.)

4-0 out of 5 stars The end of the Corellian Trilogy
Showdown at Centerpoint is the final book in Roger Macbride Allen's Corellian Trilogy. In the first two books we followed Han, Leia, and their kids along with Chewie, Lando, Luke, and our two favorite droids as they all took various paths to end up in the middle of what appeared to be a rebellion in the Corellian sector. In this book, Luke and Lando uncover the Starbuster that is part of Centerpoint Station and that is programmed to explode the star Bovo Yagen and destroy millions of people. The Sacorrian Triad started rebellions on each of the five planets in the Corellian system and gained control of Centerpoint Station as part of a master plan to force the New Republic to acknowledge the Corellian sector as an independent state.

Centerpoint Station is an enormous gray-white space station in the Corellian system located at the balance point between the twin worlds of Talus and Tralus. Approximately 350 kilometers long, it is even larger than the original Death Star and can fire a tractor-repulsor hyperspace burst. The Sacorrian Triad discovered that the station could destroy stars, but it had been stable for thousands of years until suddenly two stars were destroyed. The Triad activated massive interdiction and jamming fields over the entire Corellian system and had a fleet of ships ready to do battle with New Republic and Bakuran forces.

All of our heroes were involved with foiling the Triad's plan with different ones of them coming at the problem from entirely different approaches. They were assisted in their efforts by Gaerial Captison, who had been an Imperial Senator from Bakura during the final years of the rebellion and led her planet to freedom. Admiral Hotel Ossilege commanded the Bakuran fleet. Mara Jade also offered valuable assistance.

Some of the most interesting roles in the tale are played by the Solo kids - Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin. We find that, even at their young ages, they are skilled enough to fly the Millennium Falcon, at least well enough to escape from the clutches of Han's evil cousin Thracken Sal-Solo on the planet Drall. Plus, Anakin's force powers enable him to control the planetary repulsor that is on Drall. Pretty impressive kids.

Showdown at Centerpoint is the best book in the trilogy and tells a tale that moves right along. My only real quibble with the book is that I felt it could have been severely edited in a few places.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Corellian Trilogy became progressively more interesting
Roger MacBride Allen's Showdown at Centerpoint completes the Corellian Trilogy and neatly ties up the storylines laid out in the first two novels. It continues the accelerated pace found in Assault at Selonia and includes a handy synopsis at the beginning for anyone who hasn't read or doesn't remember the prior books (Star Wars novels rarely contain a synopsis of what's gone before, making it worthy of note). Events in the Corellian system have turned into a race against time, as our heroes struggle to discern the truth behind the murky maneuverings of the Human League and other splinter groups. If they can't solve the plot quickly enough, they will fail to stop the annihilation of millions of sentients whose sun is targeted for destruction by the mysterious starbuster device.

The most intriguing portion of this book deals with the massive Centerpoint station, a facility of unknown origin and purpose sitting in space between Corellia's Double Moons. It doesn't take too much effort for the reader to connect Centerpoint with the destroyed stars and this hunch is quickly confirmed. The only significant new character introduced in this final volume appears on Centerpoint: Jenica Sonsen. She serves primarily as a guide to the station, which has developed a strange little culture unto itself in the isolation of space. The introduction of Centerpoint and the mysteries that still surround it at the end of the book make a lovely little hook for future authors to build upon.

A key storyline of Showdown at Centerpoint (actually started in the prior book) revolves around the three Solo children and their efforts to locate a planetary repulsor on Drall. Once it is located, Anakin Solo cannot resist delving further into the machine's secrets, leading to a great action sequence when it is turned on. Unfortunately, this also leads to one of the nastier events for the kids, when their malicious uncle Thracken Sal-Solo shows up to kidnap them and take control of the repulsor. Thracken doesn't get to do much in this book beyond chew some scenery and show a cold-blooded willingness to harm his own flesh and blood. The notion of Thracken as a sort of "shadow" Han Solo has plenty of promise, but overall the trilogy doesn't take this as far as I'd like. The most interesting interaction between the two is in their shared scenes in Assault at Selonia.

The trilogy delivers a substantial amount of information about the three native Corellian species and their unusual system of five worlds. I enjoyed the exploration of the Selonian culture in particular. They pretend to conform to human societal standards but in reality have a whole separate social system working just under the surface (literally). Their travel by underground tunnels seems rather impractical but it does make for some good entertainment. Also, their reliance on negotiation, especially when contrasted with their impressive physical skills, makes for some unexpected dynamics when they try to come to terms with Leia, Han, and Mara Jade.

Some other good points: the Tendra Risant storyline which originated in Lando's ridiculous search for a rich wife comes to a satisfactory conclusion. There's a terrific escape sequence with the Solo children featuring a nifty little display of a seldom-used Force ability. One character I hadn't mentioned in my prior reviews of the trilogy is Q9-X2, a modified astromech that speaks Basic and exhibits a rather marked streak of paranoia. Q9 continues to entertain here just as in the prior novels, and one pairing I would love to see would be him with I5 of Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, Medstar, and Coruscant Nights fame.

The Corellian Trilogy is not an earth-shaking piece of Star Wars literature, but it is a fun ride and quite enjoyable while it lasts. The books got progressively better and Centerpoint itself is truly an interesting place. The series is worth reading for anyone who is a fan of the Original Trilogy heroes and wants a fairly light and adventurous romp.

5-0 out of 5 stars Star Wars Book
I think this is the best book in the Corellian Trilogy. Second best is Assualt at Selonia (book #2). If you are thinking of reading the Corellian Trilogy skip the first book (Ambush at Corellia) the opening of Assualt at Selonia has a "What Has Gone Before" that adequately summarizes what was in the first book. ... Read more

4. BSI: Starside: Death Sentence
by Roger Macbride Allen
Mass Market Paperback: 496 Pages (2007-05-29)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$1.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553587277
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
They are the elite agents of interstellar investigation and their duty is to preserve and protect humanity throughout the galaxy. They are the men and women of the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) and their case files are literally out of this world.

It was just a simple courier job, but it ended in disaster. More than six months after BSI agent Jamie Mendez’s predecessor was sent out on a mission, his ship has been found, the twenty-five-year-old agent inside dead—of old age. The urgent message he sacrificed his life to deliver has survived in the form of a highly encrypted datafile. The encryption has kept the sensitive information safe from alien code-breakers—so far. But with the decryption key lost, the file is just as useless to BSI. Now agents Mendez and Hannah Wolfson must travel off-world in the ill-fated ship on a desperate mission to discover what happened to one of their own . . . and to search for the key to a secret that could set off an interstellar, interspecies war—one that may end with humanity’s extinction. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Part CSI, Part Police Procedural and all Science Fiction
BSI: Death Sentence is the second in the Bureau of Special Investigations series. Basically, BSI is a combination of police, diplomats, arbitrators, and jacks-of-all trades. They watch over humans throughout the galaxy, seeing that they get a fair deal. This time Special Agents Hannah Wolfson and Jamie Mendez are sent out to find the murderer of Special Agent Trevor Wilcox III. They also need to find out why he was killed and where he hid the decrypt key for the document he carried.

Trevor Wilcox was sent out on a fairly routine courier detail. He wouldn't learn anything about the message he would carry unless the contact gave him information when he arrived to pick up the item. Long overdue, his ship, the Irene Adler, was found as was the body of Wilcox. Trevor, a young agent, died of old age. All evidence points to the fact that he knew he was dying and that he expected to be boarded again after his death, so he'd hid the decrypt key for the document that he carried so that only another BSI agent could find it. The bad news was that so far no one had. The document's contents are unknown but could cause a galactic-wide war -- so it's imperative that it be found as soon as possible.

Now that we're up to chapter two, the tension just continues to build. Hannah and Jamie are sent to Metran to see if they can learn anything from the people that Wilcox had met with while on planet. Metrans are one of the elder races and the Unseen Ones who lived with the Metrans were an even older race. Hannah and Jamie are being dropped into the deep end of the pool sans swimming lessons and expected to figure it all out before they drown.

Once more Allen gives us a rich detailed world and civilizations with all the attendant rules, tensions, history, and backstory. He manages to pack the book with all the information that is needed with the clues right out there for all to see, but to stir the pot with enough miscellaneous information so that our main characters will solve the problem about the same time we do. The tension is kept throughout and the witty repartee is just what's needed to release some as you read along.

3-0 out of 5 stars a scifi mystery
OK, it's not great literature but it's a fun read.Wolfson and Mendez could use some fleshing out as characters but I hope that will come as the series develops. As with the first novel in the series, Cause of Death, it starts a bit slowly and is too long.It's still a nice little space opera/who-dun-it. ... Read more

5. The Shattered Sphere
by Roger MacBride Allen
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (1995-09)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$54.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812530160
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Striving to retrieve a stolen planet Earth and restore it to its proper solar system, an unlikely band of human scientists, dictators, and professional troublemakers face two enemies in the powerful Charonians and the mysterious Adversary. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have, but where's the rest?
This book is awesome in its scope taking place pretty far in humanities future.It's the second book in the series.In the first book, a gravitational control experiment on Pluto wakes up alien machinery which steals the Earth through an artificial black hole and begins dismantling the other planets for its own purposes.It's humanties first glimpse of FTL travel, and follows the desperate struggle of those left behind to survive and halt the aliens progress towards transforming the solar system, all the while trying to duplicate the feat.

This book picks up with the efforts of the humans left behind to find and retrieve the Earth from the alien menace.It also follows the struggle of the people of Earth who find themselves in an entirely new system, with hundreds of stars and planets and ravenous alien life form/machines bent on exploiting all life and resources of the Earth.Not to mention the mysterious "enemy" that consumes all life, that has located Earths new home.

The book ends just as things start to get REALLY good, and there has yet to be another book to finish off this story, and it's been quite a while now.So - Where's the Rest?If you don't buy it, put the series on your "watch" list and when the next one comes out - get them all!

4-0 out of 5 stars Shattered Series as well
Second in the series but (I must admit at the begining) surely not planned as last in the story. Earth "stolen" to alien Multisystem after gravitic experiment has triggered on wheel-like superstrucure burried deep into Moon. In the second book we can watch Earth, NaPurHab (crazy Naked Purpure Habitat) and Terra Nova ship in Multisystem strugging to survive among COREs and SCOREs - alien objects smashing nearly anything what get into their path or into collision course with any planet they guarding.
This book is one of the true hard SF with all hi-tech stuff and of course some future-stuff tech. You can find here some psychological background of main characters also, but there is also bad side. The plot is moving to slowly from the beginning and reader have to wait nearly till the end of the book for some real action. Everything before is only "getting data, sorting data, making some kind of hypothesis etc..." ocassionaly inset by short flashes about Charonians Heritage Memory or Adversary thinking.
The end is not "The End" the way we would expecting it. It seems to me as small stop before next volume which should be great conclusion of this story. May be establishing something like relationship between humans and Charonians like it is stated on last two pages of Shattered Sphere book.
Calculated together - very good book for those who like SF, but you have to expect, that there is no strong end. I hope there will be third book soon and I will be able to get one copy to read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware (But still buy it ;)
This book, like its predecessor, is some of the best science fiction that I've ever had the privelege to read.

Unfortunately, the author leaves the reader hanging, waiting for a sequel to tie up all sorts of loose ends (intentionally, no doubt).The author has not, however, published the third book in the series.

It's been a 10 year wait so far.Only buy this book if you are willing to subject yourself to the heartache of needing to look for new Anderson every time you walk into a bookstore, but find nothing other than continuation of lesser men's work (Asimov, Lucas, etc).

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss this!
This is the sequel to The Ring of Charon, and excellent science fiction.Though The Ring of Charon had some of the most horrendus cover art I've ever seen, it was an excellent book, with good characterization (though Iwish he'd concentrate more on one character).The Shattered Sphere isgreat, and I can't wait to read the next in the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars A no-brainer.
This is the sequel to Ring of Charon. If you liked that book, get this one. If you didn't like it, don't. If you haven't read Ring of Charon, do. It's one of the best "hard sci fi" books I've ever read, and TheShattered Sphere is just about as good. ... Read more

6. Rogue Powers
by Roger MacBride Allen
Paperback: Pages (1986-09-01)
list price: US$3.50 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671655841
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars 2nd in the Allies and Aliens Series
This 1986 book is the second book in the Allies and Aliens series (Allen's first two published books).The series was republished in 1995 as a combined revised book called "Allies and Aliens." The first book in the series is "The Torch of Honor," published 1985.

The two book series is about a married couple that work for the League of Planets Survey Service.A planet has been taken over by an invading alien force, and Lt. MacKenzie & Larson's mission is to help lead an army to the planet through an experimental device.

- Michael S. Briggs - ... Read more

7. Orphan of Creation
by Roger MacBride Allen
Paperback: 344 Pages (2000-12-01)
list price: US$21.50 -- used & new: US$13.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0967178339
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In the most unlikely of places -- a burial ground in Mississippi -- an anthropologist stumbles across a stunning secret that will put the very definition of humanity suddenly in doubt. Are the bones buried there the remains of humans, or apes -- or something else? The answer will turn her life, and the world, upsidedown.
"Allen's attention to detail is sterling...totally believable...well portrayed...dead accurate.... This book goes a long way toward doing for anthropology what Timescape did for high-energy particle physics: humanizing it, making its real workings accessible to a new audience. Anyone who likes good hard science in their fiction will have to go a long way to find a better-done book." --Locus
"...a novel that reminds us that moral and social evolution depends not only on our knowing where we are going, but remembering where we have been." --Christian Science Monitor
"Allen's writing technique is a well-balanced blend of dialogue, action, description and narrative-each in proper proportion to the other... a fine read ... word of mouth will bring acclaim that is more than deserved." --Otherrealms
"Orphan of Creation takes an interesting scientific premise and lets it loose upon real human beings revealing to the reader a higher level of understanding of the world. Orphan is science and fiction; in examining the human condition, it does what both ideally intend to do." --The New York Review of Science Fiction
"Mr.Allen has found an idea worthy of his talent. The book has that unmistakably correct feel of authenticity. A very readable as well as thoughtful story. Bravo to Mr. Allen for writing this risky book. Read it. Then pass it on to your mundane friends. With any luck, it will drive them crazy." --Lan's Lantern ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars What does it mean to be "human"?
This book is a wonderful example of SF at its best. It is a fascinating story in its own right with a very interesting and well-conceived protagonist but it also gives insight into an important philosophical question: just what does it mean to be "human"?
Previous reviewer Rob Sawyer (one of the favorite SF writers and one of the VERY few I buy in hardback!) has commented on this being a book with interesting psychological interactions (a quality I find very well represented in his own books). The most prominent of these is the protagonist's struggle as an African-American with the lack of acceptance of the Neandertals in Africa. However, men to whom I have recommended this book have resonated especially to the protagonist's relationship with her husband, which is tested in an extraordinary way in the course of this book.
This is a book I have recommended highly to non-science-fiction readers with excellent response. For SF fans, this is a great way to convince your friends that SF is more than space ships and invading aliens!

5-0 out of 5 stars What if a group of primitive hominids had survived ?,

Like Harry Turtledove's "A different Flesh" this superb book by Roger MacBride Allen takes as its starting point the survival of an early race of hominids and the enormous moral problems which might arise if humanity discovered a race of creatures which are human enough that we have to accept them as people but primitive enough that we cannot pretend even as a legal fiction that they are our equals.

The story starts when a paleontologist, who is an American of colour, is staying with her family, who have done well enough that they now own the plantation where their ancestors were once slaves. She finds some records indicating that the original owner had imported as slave labour a group of creatures who her ancestor described as apes. Intrigued she organises an archaological dig to try to find out what kind of ape could have been used in this way. She was not expecting what she finds ...

An example of one of the thought provoking ideas in the book - a journalist asks a distinguished scientist what question he would ask an Australopithicus, and he replies that he would ask "What is a person?" Later in the story he actually does get to meet a hominid closely related to Australopithecus, and on a whim he does ask her this question.

On the last page of the book we get her answer and, although of limited use as a wider definition, it would be completely convincing. If you want to know what it is, you'll have to read the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, now back in print
I finished reading this book a few days ago, and find myself constantly bringing it up in conversation with my wife and other people.It's extremely good:paleoanthropologically accurate, but also dead-on in its human psychology.More:it's one of those books that happens to be packaged as science fiction that could be read, and thoroughly enjoyed, by any thoughtful reader.Indeed, I used to say that no SF book would ever have a chance of being an Oprah's Book Club pick, but this one just might.Its soaring humanity, fascinating look at the concept of slavery (through the distorting lens of a group of African-American slaves having actually burried australopithecines who had been forced to work alongside them in the fields), and finely detailed (and completely believable) African-American female protagonist would make it a natural choice for Oprah.But it also should satisfy anyone who IS a science-fiction reader.It certainly satisfied this lifelong fan.I've written my own paleoanthropologically themed SF (HOMINIDS, from Tor Books), and deliberately waited until I'd finished before I started Allen's book, so as not to be influenced by it.Now that I have read it, it impressed the heck out of me.Five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars A keeper
The year this book came out, my friends passed it around until the copies we had were tattered. We all thought Allen deserved to win the Campbell award for best new writer.I still have a "circulation" copy forothers to read because it's so good.

The basic story line takes you fromAfrica to the Smithsonian Institue in Washington, DC, then to a startlingdiscovery in the Southern States (remains of prehistoric man are found thatonly date back to the 1800's).The main character is a black woman, who'spoint of view is so convincing, I initially thought Allen was a pseudonymfor a woman.She's not only dealing with an anthropological mystery, butalso with everyday life and marital problems.

The anthropology andbasic science presented in the story helps move the plot along, rather thaninterfering.In fact, by the end of the book, I found myself believing theevents depicted really could happen! ... Read more

8. The Cause of Death (BSI Starside)
by Roger Macbride Allen
Mass Market Paperback: 480 Pages (2006-02-28)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553587269
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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They are the elite agents of interstellar investigation. Their mission: solve off-Earth crimes and protect humanity’s starside interests. They are the men and women of the Bureau of Special Investigations–BSI–and their cases are literally out of this world.

The message was garbled, but it appeared to be a simple enough request: escort a human prisoner convicted of murder back to Earth for punishment. But when BSI agents Jamie Mendez and Hannah Wolfson arrive on a planet settled by the enigmatic Pavlat, it seems that everyone is determined to kill them before they can complete their mission–or even find out what it is. And on a planet where murder is a time-honored tradition, Death is a cause everyone believes in. Mendez and Wolfson must find a way to untangle the web of Pavlavian intrigue obscuring the case and sort out what’s really going on. But there’s far more than just one man’s life at stake–and soon they’ll have a fresh murder to solve…. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Uneven, but enjoyable Sci-Fi mystery
Hey, it's hard to write Science Fiction mysteries.Very few authors can pull it off.I remember reading an old Larry Niven novel about a murder on the moon.It was one of his worst books.So, you have to hand it to MacBride for daring to leap into this arena. I have read a couple of other of MacBride's books over the years, with "Ring of Charon" standing out in my mind as a fairly decent novel.I was intrigued with his new book, the first in an obvious series, about a couple of futuristic FBI Agents handling crimes committed by Earthlings on other planets.The book is really two mysteries, wrapped into one. This does cause a bit of confusion and makes the plot rather uneven, but not fatally so. The first mystery is not so much a mystery as a plot contrivance.How do you charge someone for murder if committing the murder is acceptable under the law?I found that conundrum to be very interesting and I wished the author had stuck with that plot line a bit further.Instead, about half way through the book, an actual murder occurs and the book turns into an Agatha Christie novel.

This is not a bad thing, by the way, but it did cause me as a reader to change my understanding of the novel.It also disappointed me that the actual murderer was a bit too easy to deduce, although the method of the crime was quite clever.I look forward to reading other novels in this "series".This may be one of the few times that writing a series may actually be worth the effort, unlike most of the neverending novels that appear on the bookshelves these days.

2-0 out of 5 stars Tighten it up, Allen!
As another reviewer mentioned, there is WAYYYYYYY too much padding in this book. It's ridiculous that you are 264 pages into the freaking story before you even find out what the crime is. Why does it take 48 pages for a spaceship to crash?

And something only barely explained: BSI operatives are specifically explained as having the bare minimum of spaceship piloting training due to cost cutbacks. So how is it that their juvenile antics manage to successfully avoid the targeting skills of professional military technicians firing state-of-the-art ordinance at them?

Why Allen took the time to carefully mention that BSI Operatives are lousy pilots and then had them outfly anti-aircraft fire (which is designed to shoot down military craft) while flying a civilian ship (which would have about one fifth the maneuverability and acceleration of a military ship-- the craft that the anti-aircraft guns are DESIGNED TO SHOOT DOWN!) defies comprehension. It was an attempt to heighten the suspense that got old after the first twenty pages-- and then dragged on for another twenty-EIGHT pages before the anti-climactic ending of the scene.

Hemingway is rolling over in his grave right now. ("The spaceship crashed. In the mud.")

I purchased this book for the same reason you probably grabbed it: the idea of "CSI in Space." I thought it would be interesting to see today's TV-enhanced forensics through the eyes of science fiction. It's an aspect of Sci-Fi that has largely been ignored: the technological murder/mystery case. Unfortunately, the padding makes me want to literally rip about two hundred pages out of the book. (It sort of reminded me of "Men's Health" magazine; once you tear out all the advertisements you end up with about 1/3 the pages.) Add into the extra padding the sort of bad guy incompetence that Imperial Stormtroopers would be proud of, and we end up taking a good plot line and setting and turning it into a dull treatise on how NOT to tell a story.

I was extremely disappointed in this book, which looks like it is going to lead into a series. I think I'm going to give the rest a wide berth.


3-0 out of 5 stars Needs a "good parts version"
_The Cause of Death_ is a pretty good 210-page novel.

Unfortunately, the book is 470 pages long.

Fortunately, the good part is the last half--not the first. The book ends up being an enjoyable read in spite of its serious editing problems.

The setup, in Chapter 1, is good. We're introduced to the fleeing George, given a hint at the bind he's in, and thrown into a good action scene. It ends on a nice little cliffhanger.

But then ...

We get a chapter or two of BSI internal politics, organization, and budget, which is totally irrelevant to the story, and delivered by a character who never shows up again.

We get a chapter that's mostly about the mechanics of starflight, which is totally irrelevant to the story.

There's a chapter about a message sent to our heroes, which is of no use to them and is totally irrelevant to the story.

We get a big lump of exposition about the Pax Humana organization. This *is* relevant, but we don't need to know this much this quickly. It would have been better to release this information in the course of the narrative.

There are a couple chapters in which secondary characters talk vaguely about their plots.

There's a crashing-spaceship scene. It's not bad in and of itself, but it doesn't develop into anything. There are no consequences, nor does it provide any real exposition.

Then our heroes hole up in a hotel for a chapter in which nothing happens. The nothing is described at some length.

And then ... on page 260... our heroes meet the aliens ...

And the story takes off! We find out why George is in trouble, and it's a doozy. We find out some cool stuff about alien culture and biology. We get a sketchy but interesting third character, an alien operative with his own agenda. We get a nifty intellectual puzzle.

There's a lot of talking in this section, but that's inevitable in this kind of tale. Allen keeps the conversation moving nicely. The clues are fairly planted. The ending is sufficiently foreshadowed, but a lovely twist for all that.

I don't know why Allen chose to pad out the book with non-story elements. Perhaps his manuscript came in way under its contracted length; this is evidently meant to be the first of a series. He would have been better served by fleshing out his main story, though. Add in a red herring or two, another crime, maybe an action scene involving the protagonists ...

Part of the trouble is the setup. The message that summons the BSI is garbled, and the detectives start out not knowing exactly what their mission is. I suppose this is an attempt to create tension in the first half of the book.

But this gimmick doesn't really have any effect on the plot. It could easily have been omitted. To make it work, we'd have to see the mission strictly through the agents' eyes--sharing their confusion--and they'd have to actually work at finding out what's going on. The reader would then share in the excitement.

Instead, we get the aliens' viewpoint. They know what's going on, but never mention it. They spend a couple of chapters talking their way rather stiltedly around the issue. This is the worst of both worlds! We readers get neither the thrill of discovery nor the tension of knowing something the main characters don't.

Allen has produced some excellent work in the past (_Farside Cannon_, _The Ring of Charon_). _The Cause of Death_ is not up to that level. But once the story finally starts up, it's quite a good read, particularly for readers who deman intellectual stimulation in addition to mere action. I have hopes that subsequent installments in the series will show more editorial discipline.

5-0 out of 5 stars exciting science fiction murder mystery
In the far distant future when various races have colonized the stars, the BSI was formed to deal with human involvement in criminal cases outside the homeworld system.Agents Hannah Wolfson and Jamie Mendez are sent to Reqwar, one of the worlds colonized by the Pavlat, to escort a prisoner home.When they arrive there, they are greeted by troops who want to kill them; they barely make it to the surface alive.

An official tells them they were not sent to escort George home, but to observe his execution.His crime is that he refused to kill his adopted father Thelm Lantrall, the leader of the world.When a murder occurs, various alien races must work together to solve the homicide before civil war explodes.

The planet Reqwar and its inhabitants are described in colorful vivid detail so that the audience can easily visualize the planet and its occupants though that also slows down an exciting science fiction murder mystery.Fans of outer space police procedurals will enjoy Roger MacBride Allen's fine thriller containing realistic enigmatic alien races and two superb human cops struggling to deal with unfamiliar cultures in which the definition of what is a crime differ.

Harriet Klausner
... Read more

9. David Brin's Out of Time: The Game of Worlds
by Roger MacBride Allen
Mass Market Paperback: 256 Pages (1999-08)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380799693
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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In the year 2345, young heroes yanked from the 20th century and beyond must fight an enemy more skilled, cunning, and dangerous than they ever imagined. But these young heroes are the world's only hope...

Adam O'Connor is no stranger to trouble. His most recent stunt--setting off firecrackers in a teacher's car--has landed him a school suspension. But even Adam can't have predicted the brand of trouble that awaits him when he's yanked to 2345 to lead an historic meeting between humans and the warlike K'lugu and Devlins. Will he display the "grit" that only a select few in his generation possess? Will he become the hero that he is destined to be? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Face to Face With the Devlin
In the twenty-fourth century, the Earth is a happy and healthy place.War and disease have been wiped out.It is a utopia.Humanity has become peaceful and calm.So when mysterious aliens nicknamed Givers came and gave humanity the ability to reach the stars with transporters, humans were no longer prepared to face the dangers of a new frontier.As special problems arise, they search in time for special individuals with "grit" and bring them forward to help out.Because teleporters don't seem to work with adults, teenagers are the ones yanked to the future.

The final volume of the series (don't know if more were planned).This time a teen from 1999 who seems to be on a downward slide is pulled to the future to help out.Humanity is going to have a meeting with a belligerent race that is able to teleport adults.The first meeting will be very important and lead to a second closer to Earth.A third race will be acting as hosts and mediators.Each side will have eight delegates.The humans have decided to add three teens with grit to their party.Their main goal will be to find out if the aliens have any knowledge of a lost colony that may have survived from the ship Roanoke.

This story takes a long time to really get going.The mission begins about midway through the book.The framework moves even further away from the first book which leads me to believe that series setting was only very loosely worked out.But in the end it is still a good story even if the framework changes are necessary to some of the plot and not just the setting. ... Read more

10. Supernova
by Roger Macbride Allen, Eric Kotani
 Paperback: Pages (1991-10)
list price: US$4.50 -- used & new: US$35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380760606
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars SCIENCE fiction!
Wow!Science fiction that is full of science!The best kind!I actually had this book on my shelf for a long time before I read it, as I was sort of expecting another sordid disaster novel.When I did read it, however, I wondered why I had waited so long.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you love "science-based" fiction, find this book!
I don't know why I've waited so long to praise this book; its one of my favorite reads. I got it several years ago, for a buck at a book outlet store. Which shows that with books, what you pay has very little relation to how much you enjoy it. I re-read it at least once a year.
The story is about what happens around the unfolding event of a nearby star (Sirius) going supernova. I thought the astronomy was very clearly explained. But its also a very human story of the reactions of some of the people this event touches, from the astronomer who first raises the possibility that the supernova might happen (only to be laughed at by senior scientists-a very realistic scene), to a young Japanese technician who finds out that EMP from the event might destroy Earth, to a world-weary psychiatrist who joins a millenial group called the Christ-Riders (who see in the supernova a harbinger of the end times).
In the novel, the supernova's light appears at Earth right around the millenium (year 2000), but that doesn't make the story obsolete--I think an event of this "magnitude" would cause cultish reactions in any year it happened. The human relationships are as well drawn as the science. I can't do it justice in a short review, so I will recommend it to anyone interested in hard-science fiction, or novels with millenial scenarios.
As presented in the book, the possibility of Sirius being unstable enough to go supernova is so convincing, that after every time I read it, I go do some research to see if that star really has changed over time (i.e., whether the premise could be true). And after reading it, for the next several days I'll look into the night sky and wonder if catastrophes have already happened out there, but their effects have yet to reach us here on Earth. In other words, the book causes you to think, for a long time after you read it. And thats my definition of a good book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good!!Ten years out of print.Slightly technical.
The book gives a very interesting view of whatmay happen if Sirus B goes Supernova.The star is within 10 light years of earth.The individual making the prediction is a young astronomer who just obtained his P.Hd.Due to his young age, he is not taken very seriously. More discriptions were needed within the book reguarding the atmospheric effects of the supernova.The only discriptions given about the changes in the weather patterm was the statement such as "Storms were the result of the Supernova."There were also brief mentions of the unusualy cool days in parts of California.Also, there was a brief mention of icemelt and snowstorms in Antarctica. Book also includes a rogue religious cult bent on distroying L.A. after it is blasted by a Electro Magnetic Pulse from the supernova. Good book if you like to see L.A. and Tokyo burn. I still recommend it.Need some science background to understand small parts of it ... Read more

11. BSI: Starside: Final Inquiries (Bsi Starside)
by Roger Macbride Allen
Mass Market Paperback: 432 Pages (2008-02-26)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553587285
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
It’s the most dangerous assignment of their careers—a mission so top-secret, not even their commanding officer has been permitted to know the details. Within minutes, BSI agents Jamie Mendez and Hannah Wolfson are whisked aboard an Elder Race ship as massive as a small moon, hurtling across the galaxy at unheard-of speed toward the scene of a crime no one dares to put into words. They’ve been partnered on the case with Brox 234—an agent of the Kendari, humanity’s chief rival in the endless game of interstellar diplomatic threat and bluster. Mendez and Wolfson quickly learn one thing for certain: they’re about to face a threat so deadly that only an alliance between the human race and its fiercest foes will give any of them even the slimmest chance of survival. And even that chance is about to slip away.… ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read!Perfect for summer!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.Very well plotted, if a little expository, but I found it gripping enough I regretted having to finish it.I will be looking for the first two in the BSI series to read, as well.

3-0 out of 5 stars Once more in the deep end of the pool
BSI: Death Sentence is the second in the Bureau of Special Investigations series. Each BSI agent is a combination of police officer, diplomat, arbitrator, and jacks-of-all trades. They watch over humans throughout the galaxy, seeing that they get a fair deal. This time Special Agents Hannah Wolfson and Jamie Mendez are sent out to find the murderer of Special Agent Trevor Wilcox III. They also need to find out why he was killed and where he hid the decrypt key for the document he carried.

Trevor Wilcox was sent on a fairly routine courier detail. He wouldn't learn anything about the message he would carry unless the contact gave him information when he arrived to pick up the item. Long overdue, his ship, the Irene Adler, was found as was the body of Wilcox. Trevor, a young agent, died of old age. All evidence points to the fact that he knew he was dying and that he expected to be boarded again after his death, so he'd hid the decrypt key for the document that he carried so that only another BSI agent could find it. The bad news was that so far no one had. The document's contents are unknown but could cause a galactic-wide war -- so it's imperative that it be found as soon as possible.

Now we're up to chapter two, the tension just continues to build from here. Hannah and Jamie are sent to Metran to see if they can learn anything from the people that Wilcox had met with while on planet. Metrans are one of the elder races and the Unseen Ones who lived with the Metrans were an even older race. Hannah and Jamie are being dropped into the deep end of the pool sans swimming lessons and expected to figure it all out before they drown.

Once more Allen gives us a rich detailed world and civilizations with all the attendant rules, tensions, history, and backstory. He manages to pack the book with all the information that is needed with the clues right out there for all to see, but to stir the pot with enough miscellaneous information so that our main characters will solve the problem about the same time we do. The tension is kept throughout and the witty repartee is just what's needed to release some as you read along.

Allen has to be one of the best writers of hard science fiction going. While his novels are entertaining, they do manage to pack in a lot of information without that "as you know, Bob" feel.

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating military science fiction thriller
Bureau of Special Investigation Agents Hannah Wolfson and Jamie Mendez are sent to their Commandant to learn of a mission so Top Secret even she has no idea what it entails.To their surprise they are to work with Kendori Agent Brox, who they have teamed up with before.The Kendori and Humanity are Younger Races looked down on with scorn by the Elder Races who were in space long before man left the swamps.The Kendori and Humanity are not at war, but hostilities can happen at anytime as they are in close competition with each other.

They compete for the inhabitable worlds in the Perton System while an Elder Species the Vixa will decide who gets them.Brox takes the two BSI Agents to Vana to find out who killed a Kendori woman working in their embassy which is connected to that of the Human Embassy sharing a common work place.Circumstantial evidence points to a human as the killer, but neither Hannah nor Jamie allow surface appearances to taint their investigation.The more the pair digs, the more they believe that there is a larger conspiracy to put the Younger Races in their place, which is not in space; to do that without losing Elder blood means manipulating the rivalry so that the two lesser species are at war with each other.

This fascinating military science fiction thriller makes man in space competing with other races seem real due to the vivid social, economic, and cultural details of the Vaxa society.FINAL INQUIRIES takes place far into the future with humanity struggling to find its niche in a hierarchy in which those at the top of the pyramid want those underneath to stay there; as the superior races see mankind and the Kendori as recalcitrant children who need to be taught respect for their Elders.The BSI Agents and Brox try to understand one another as they work together on the homicide investigation, but it is difficult as the differences between their species have been emphasized though interestingly the two groups have so much more in common.Roger MacBride Allen provides an exciting space opera.

Harriet Klausner
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12. The Shattered Sphere
by Roger MacBride Allen
 Hardcover: Pages (1994)

Asin: B0023X9UH6
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by Roger MacBride [Dust Wrapper art by Boris Vallejo, design by Carol Russo] Allen
 Hardcover: Pages (1994-01-01)

Asin: B002JSMFHC
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14. Utopia
by Isaac Asimov, Roger MacBride Allen
 Paperback: 320 Pages (1996-11)
list price: US$13.00
Isbn: 0614173124
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15. The Shores of Tomorrow (The Chronicles of Solace, Bk. 3)
by Roger Macbride Allen
Mass Market Paperback: 512 Pages (2003-12-02)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553583654
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
On the verge of extinction, only the gravest imaginable crime against humanity can save it...A bold new plan seeks to ignite a new Sunspot over Greenhouse, saving the habitat domes crucial to the survival of the Solacian people. But a secret clouds this symbol of much-needed hope: human space is contracting at a startling rate, threatening to wipe out all living worlds including Earth. The only answer lies in the hands of the founder of the planet Solace: Oskar DeSilvo, seemingly returned from the dead to save the worlds his frauds had doomed to destruction. But as the work begins, agents of the Chronologic Patrol step in to prevent interference with the past even at the risk of dooming humanity. Thwarted at every turn, DeSilvo and his onetime nemesis, Anton Koffield, propose one last wildly grandiose idea one final, desperate gamble. But if the only choice lies between madness and certain catastrophe is there any choice at all? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I have enjoyed the entire series. Since this is the third book in the series I got a little tired of all the backtracking done to bring people up to speed on the previous story. I would have liked to see a note telling people to read the other books and then have this book get on with the story. The entire concept was great. I wish there had been a little more detail in the final Teraforming chapters. Overall, a good read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Conclusion to an Interesting Trilogy
Certainly the weakest of the three books.For starters, by now the continued repetitiveness of the storytelling becomes too much, especially at 450 pages that could have been wrapped up in about 150. Secondly, the series really revolves around Koffield and the somewhat kafkaesque like journey he goes through. Yet in the final book, the character is relegated to third tier status, and Allen ends up focusing on minor characters. After all the chaos and lives destroyed by DeSilvo, he basically gets off easy.

Within the framework of the story, the final solution to solving the problem of terraforming a planet long enough so it won't fail was interesting, but without giving away the solution, is too much a happy ending, "humanity wouldn't screw it up" answer.

Finally, any story with time travel requires a certain amount of suspension of belief, it is inevitable because no matter what path the author chooses there are bound to be contradictions. For two books Koffield comes across as a duty bound Admiral, I envisioned him like Captain Ramius in "The Hunt For Red October."To assume that Koffield would join forces and almost become friends with DeSilvo is pushing the limits of credibility.

Overall, a promising trilogy that fizzled out and would have been tighter and more enjoyable to read in two books.

3-0 out of 5 stars Clever Ending, But not as Clever as it Could Be
This series set up a seemingly insoluble problem, and this book came up with a very clever solution.Then used a different solution.The basic idea of the series seems somewhat silly.(A terraformed planet sufers ecological catastrophe after a number of years equal to the number of years spent solving it?Why?Why not just terraform planet after planet, than move to new ones with FTL?) The mystery aspects of the series, the clever FTL method, and the way this seriesfor once does NOT ignore the fact FTL means time travel make it unique.The ending was a slight disappointment, skipping clever solutions they proposed in favor of an overly complex one.It was also a little to "cosmic" in scale for me to really identify with what was going on.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
After endless pages of detail, the story finishes with an impossible, unimaginative, conclusion with visuals stolen from a popular TV series.The conclusion does not do justice to the groundwork laid down in the previous two books of the trilogy.Its as though, after laying the groundwork, the author ran out of ideas for a finish.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but have seen this before
While he is one of my favorite authors, I must admit that certain things were quite confusing to me. Just some details of the story. Some inconsistancies too, but maybe in my own mind. Anyway, the story is basically good but it echoes from a previously unfinish trilogy (hint, hint) that involves, well, things moving. In any case, the series was enjoyable. ... Read more

16. Isaac Asimov's "Utopia"
by Roger MacBride Allen
 Hardcover: 320 Pages (1996-08-19)
-- used & new: US$69.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1857982800
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
On Inferno, the old tensions between Spacer and Settler are as strong as ever, but the two sides are working together reasonably well, with most robots now engaged in terraforming. But Governor Kresh is planning to bring the Comet Grieg down on Utopia to create an artificial sea. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Follows the Asimov mold
This one continues the Asimov Robot tradition and raises even more thought provoking questions about the status and future of robot relations with humanity as well as the distinctions between settlers and spacers.The only downside was an extremely poor editing job, especially toward the end of the book.

3-0 out of 5 stars A reasonable ending to the trilogy
The behind the eyes thinking was revealed better in Utopia than Inferno, but I would have liked to have seen more time spent behind Prospero's eyes. Prospero was the only New Law Robot you really get to meet, andfor all his faults was complex and manipulative, but unlike Caliban, his thinking was rarely revealed except through overt actions. The governor, formerly police chief had serious planet wide dillemas and his tension was felt more. Since he married his one time adversary Fredda, I would have liked to have seen a more complete interaction than was done. The ending was a bit rushed, and I feel that some serious consequences were not dealt with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended to fans of Asimov's robot stories
Asimov's robots have delighted me since I was a boy, so it was a wonderful surprise to find new robot stories written by a capable author.The philosophy and plot lines of the new novels are true to the Good Doctor'svision and make a fine addition to the legacy left by Asimov.Caliban,Inferno and Utopia are all good, but Utopia is the best.Read them all,and enjoy once again being immersed in the wonderful world Isaac Asimovcreated for us!

5-0 out of 5 stars Utopia
A very good book. Although I know it's the end of this story I hope it's not the end. The saga concludes with Inferno's enviromental problems being out of control. As a solution, the unthinkable idea of dropping a comet onto the planet is not only suggested but accepted. The idea of Settlersand Spacers working and living together is explored more in this book as ithas been in the last two. It's a wonderful addition to the Robot novel's byAsimov. Although it hints at the idea of the two societies merging it doesnot resolve the issue of what becomes of the Spacer's and Settlers. Thisleaves room for future novels! I can only hope Allen or someone of hisstyle is chosen to write them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best of the 3 Caliban Series books!
After reading all three of these back-to-back, I must say this third was the best. Allen takes the preposterous idea of purposely crashing a comet into a planet, and makes it into an enthralling story.I literally did notput it down for the last 100 pages.In the wake of 'catasrophy' movieslike 'Deep Impact' and 'Armgeddon' (yuck!); Allen's book would've made fora far more entertaining movie.Throw in the new-law robots, old-lawrobots, no-law robots, insane robots - well its just a massive party at theassembler level!Book is worth the money! ... Read more

17. The Corellian Trilogy
by Roger MacBride Allen
 Hardcover: 696 Pages (1995-09)
list price: US$14.98 -- used & new: US$91.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568651562
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars What books make up this series.
these are the 3 books published in 1995 or so: Ambush at Corellia, Assault at Selonia, Showdown at Centerpoint.You can look at the 3 reviews to get an idea. ... Read more

18. The Ring of Charon
by Roger MacBride Allen
 Paperback: Pages (1994-07)
-- used & new: US$13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9994622773
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Hard Sci-Fi Novel
***Spoiler FREE REVIEW***

This was a great Hard Sci-Fi novel that didn't get lost in the 'science' aspect.Had just the right mixture of hard science, plot, and characterization.It was written back in 1990 but doesn't feel dated.The writing is decent but the only problem is that the narration takes a little too much liberty with character related info dumps.

I think if the editor could have reduced each character related info dump by 35% then this book would have been more or less perfect.There were a few times I just skipped over the narration as it started to detract from the story

but, the story was pretty good, so I could overlook that minor flaw.

the other only 'minor' flaw was a plot hole, namely, the absence of our military.I would assume that in the future mankind (especially the future depicted here) would have a military.

anyways, even with those 2 flaws, the book was a great read, great story, and I would love to read more.Unfortunately, it looks like book 3 did not get published so the series will leave you hanging after book 2 :(so I guess i'm done with the series.Which is a shame, would have loved to see how it all turned out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where Aliens are Real Aliens - and Space is Big
This is my favorite serious science fiction book of all time.Two aspects put this book ahead of all the rest: scale and aliens.The size of space is actually treated honestly in this book.If somebody on Earth wants to talk with somebody on Pluto, they don't just pick up their subspace communicator and call them like they were next door, they send a message and wait a good, long time before they get an answer back.And let's face it, you probably know people more alien than most "aliens" in typical science fiction.This book's aliens are what aliens should be - as different from you as you are from a tree.

The third book in the series is still not written but don't let that stop you.By the time the third comes out, you'll be ready to read the first two again!

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid SF after a slow start
In the context of a large number of unnecessary, bloated, drawn-out SF trilogies, this solid start (and Book 2) is by contrast a source of frustration in that Roger MacBride Allen never seems to have been able to write the third volume. Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable page turner after a slow start.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great sci-fi with only minor flaws..
Roger M. Allen's "Ring of Charon" is great science-fiction.A hence-undiscovered alien race causes the Earth to disappear through a wormhole due to the unauthorized experiments of a gravity scientist, and the remaining off-Earth scientists try to find out what really happened.The story is told brillantly through the eyes of the human scientists, and the strange Charonians who plan to use the Earth for their own ends, which are not good for mankind.The way that the Charonians are Von Neumann creatures is a bit hard to swallow, as is the occasional overload of detail, as well the Naked Purple movement and the K-Crash, but Allen manages to be a master storyteller, and weaves a great story of human survival and the need for curiousity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gravity gone wild
This was really wonderful story.The characters were bright and real.Their growth of character waswell considered, making them even more believable.The science was really spooky:it could be true.The use of gravity waves for discovering knowledge is on the edge of our future.Speculation of ways and means is pushing the boundaries of our knowledge bringingthe capability to use gravity waves to within our grasp.
The outstanding dilemma of the Earth being lost to some outside, alien power gives the story and characters the impetusfor their growth and development.
There must be a sequel, and I will be looking for it.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
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19. The Ring of Charon: The First Book of the Hunted Earth
by Roger MacBride Allen
 Hardcover: Pages (1990)
-- used & new: US$11.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001V0T338
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20. The Torch of Honour (Venture SF Books)
by Roger MacBride Allen
Paperback: 352 Pages (1989-01-19)
-- used & new: US$86.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0099621800
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