Rabspeak is Hard to Understand

I wasn’t planning on making a post today.  But I guess I underestimated how long Heavy Time is.  More sci-fi, this time from C.J. Cherryh.  We were talking about Mars at work yesterday, and people going there, which made me think of Heavy Time and Hellburner, in which MarsCorp is a significant presence in the background.

This book takes place out in the Belt (the asteroid belt) and in the region of Asteroid Exploration Refinery Two.  R2 and ASTEX, you see.  ASTEX is owned by the Earth Company, an important point as this book is from the Company Wars era of the Alliance-Union universe.  Essentially, there’s one megaconglomeration that owns all the stuff beyond Earth, and at some point the furthest reaches of human space say No, and refuse to deal nicely.  So the EC builds some warships to bring them in line.  Company Wars.

That’s a terrible summary of how the war started, but it’s the best I’ll do tonight.  I’m not sure how much of Alliance-Union I’ll be reading at this time, as it’s a series that you can pick and choose what you read from anywhere on the timeline.  Some books clearly go together, like Heavy Time and Hellburner, and it’s easier to read them in order.  Some books, like my favorite The Faded Sun trilogy, can’t be read out of order.  But they’re so distantly connected to the bulk of the series that you feel no obligation to read them in any order relating to the rest.

On an unrelated note, I’m proud to say that this book is signed.  C.J. Cherryh was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America earlier this year, and came to Chicago as a result.  Thanks to some good and geeky friends, I learned that the SFWA would be hosting a mass signing open to the public.  It was well worth driving into the city on a Friday night.  I got a bunch of books signed, saw several good friends, and had some great conversation around the loud music of the highschool prom on the same floor.

I’m not rabid about getting books signed, but I’m certainly happy to take advantage of an opportunity.  I always check the autogrpahing tables list for the cons I attend, though mostly it’s just been local authors like Eric Flint and Jody Lynn Nye.  I haven’t been part of the con scene for very long, so signings are just a casual perk for me.

Next up is Hellburner, not just because the characters from Heavy Time return, but because I like that book a lot more than this one.  As far as I’m concerned, these two are loosely enough connected that I don’t feel any obligation to reread Heavy Time just because I want to reread Hellburner.


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