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Price: $6.99 FREE for Members
Type: eBook
Publisher: Baen
Page Count: 384
Format: pdf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0671319469
ISBN-13: 9780671319465
User Rating: 3.6667 out of 5 Stars! (3 Votes)

Drakas! ebook

S.M. Stirling download

From Publishers Weekly

What is the foundation of our civilization? asks Stirling (Conquistador) in this rousing tale of the aftermath of an uncanny event, "the Change," that renders electronics and explosives (including firearms) inoperative. As American society disintegrates, without either a government able to maintain order or an economy capable of sustaining a large population, most of the world dies off from a combination of famine, plague, brigandage and just plain bad luck. The survivors are those who adapt most quickly, either by making it to the country and growing their own crops—or by taking those crops from others by force. Chief among the latter is a former professor of medieval history with visions of empire, who sends bicycling hordes of street thugs into the countryside. Those opposing him include an ex-Marine bush pilot, who teams up with a Texas horse wrangler and a teenage Tolkien fanatic to create something very much like the Riders of Rohan. Ultimately, Stirling shows that while our technology influences the means by which we live, it is the myths we believe in that determine how we live. The novel's dual themes—myth and technology—should appeal to both fantasy and hard SF readers as well as to techno-thriller fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


For survivors of a mysterious event that caused electricity, internal combustion engines, and gunpowder to fail, the Pacific Northwest furnishes enough land to support subsistence existence in a future that belongs not to today's rifle-toting survivalists but to people who know older ways. Musician Juniper takes refuge on her family's land with a growing group of friends that becomes "Clan MacKenzie." Reenactors know useful things (see Jenny Thompson's War Games [BKL Je 1&15 04]), such as how to build log houses and craft bows for hunting. Meanwhile, Mike Havel, a pilot who was flying when the Change happened, and his passengers, having survived crashing in a frigid lake, gather followers, too. Thanks to a former Society for Creative Anachronism (a real organization of eclectic reenactors) fencer, and after hard work and the accident that gives their group the name "Bearkillers," they have the knowledge to sell their protective services. There are villains, too, such as a medieval history professor who starts a feudal revival, in Stirling's intriguing what-if about modern humans denied their treasured conveniences. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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| 4 out of 5 Stars!

For those of us who have been anxiously waiting for a new Draka novel since _Drakon_ came out in 1996, this short story anthology is the next best thing.

Featuring works by such speculative fiction luminaries as David Drake, Harry Turtledove, John Barnes, Jane Lindskold, and others, the anthology revisits one of the most intriguing, fascinating, and terrifying alternate realities ever created.

The stories are all of good quality, and cover a wide time spectrum. I particulary liked the stories by Lindskold (who shows us another side of Eric von Shrakenberg) and Turtledove (who gives the Alliance for Democracy just a bit of hope).

The anthology is best read after reading the four Draka novels, much of it will make little sense to those not familiar with them.

The only things that prevented me from awarding five stars instead of four were some minor continuity problems with the Draka novels in a couple of the stories, and the absence of a new story by Stirling himself. But these are just minor concerns.

| 2 out of 5 Stars!

The original Draka books are in my opinion the best alternate history ever written, and I thus opened this volume of shared-world short stories with some anxiety; this sort of venture is almost always disappointing. Boy, was I wrong: these stories are almost all wonderful. To pick out a few particular successes at random: David Drake's story is truly chilling. Harry Turtledove's affords some small but very satisfying consolation for the wrenching conclusion of The Stone Dogs, the third volume of the original trilogy. Jane Lindskold has written a quietly hilarious homage to another series which does no irreprable violence to the original Marching Through Georgia. A few people, such as Lee Allred, were new to me, and very, very good. So if you know the originals, these are a must-buy.

| 5 out of 5 Stars!

S. M. Stirling's Draka are one of alternate history's more memorable creations. Bloodchillingly nasty and utterly efficient, they are seen name authors as Harry Turtledove and David Drake, is the result. And a worthwhile result it is, for every story is good in it's own right. The first two tell, in bloody detail, how George Custer and Chinese Gordon help the Draka conquer Africa. David Drake tells the tale of gritty, un-glorious military politics during the Eurasian War.

Some of the most interesting stories, however, come later in the anthology. Perhaps the best are those that deal with trans-dimensional travel. This sub-genre may seem hopelessly tired, but these stories give it new life. John Barnes, for instance, pits the hero of his Timeline Wars novels against the Draka. In Anne Marie Talbott's "A Walk in the Park", a woman from our timeline swears that those tall, inexplicably charismatic strangers she sees in the park are just like something out of an SF series she once read.

This is a good choice for any science fiction fan. Fans of the Draka series will understand the background better, but everyone will appreciate the high quality of the writing.

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