Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Da Gears

OK, so this in keeping with this month's theme of Romance in Science Fiction, Tripping the Write Fantastic will be covering the works of the notable writing couple of W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neil Gear. As a prelude and preview for next weeks discussion, I have decided to spend some time here on the blog reviewing some of my favorite books by the Gears.

The Anasazi Mysteries: Although not, strictly speaking, science fiction or fantasy, this series is notable as a magnificent mystery told in two different parts. That's right, there are actually two concurrent mysteries going on in each of the books, one ancient and one modern, as archeologists Dusty Stewart and Maureen Cole unearth relic of the past and try to make sense of a horror story unfolding before their eyes. Meanwhile, 800 years before, Catkin, Browser, and Stone Ghost try to unravel the fresh mystery of bad spirits and murder in their tribe. Brilliant work all around, with a heart stopping climax in The Summoning God.

Forbidden Borders: This trilogy of stories opens an obviously far future humanity that is trapped in a rather limited section of space. Walled off by strange super-beings, these humans have fought war after war until only two super-powers and one major mercenary commander remain. The series is amazing in its scope and detail, and was the first set of Gear books I ever read. To this day it remains a favorite.

Starstrike: The nations of a pitiful backwater planet called Earth find themselves drafted by pacifistic aliens to fight an aggressive foewho apparently does not know that war is about to be declared on them. Every nation must send its best unit to work together with the Ahimsa to end the threat. Though the political scene is admittedly dated, it is still a fun story, and, for those of us who were alive at the time, will recall us to the height of the Cold War and its paranoia.

People of Spider: OK, now imagine a future where most of humanity lives either on Space Stations or Planets. Now imagine that the space stations are ruled by Managers, vastly powerful space-adapted humans with immense brain power capable of running the star-spanning space empire. Now imagine that they run into spiritual psychics descended from Navajo who were stranded on a small world by the last prison ships of the Soviet Empire of the 21st Century. Fun, huh? It gets better, and weirder.

These are a few of my favorite series by the Gears, and I hope that you pick them up and enjoy them too!

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