Hello and welcome to what will be an occasional feature on my blog!
So – what, exactly, do I mean by ‘unknown or under-appreciated’?
To put it simply – not everyone is a Kevin J. Anderson or David Weber or Eric Flint or Robert Heinlein. Some authors – I would venture to say, MOST authors – produce perfectly fine books: readable, enjoyable, well-structured, skillfully plotted and with fully-developed characters. And yet, something happens.
They never quite get the recognition they deserve. The book slides into obscurity, and the author – having watched their baby disappear from the public eye – often follows.
Well, no more!
I’ve been reading SF for basically my entire conscious life, and when I like a book, I hold onto it. So, for you lucky, lucky readers, I’m diving back into my stacks to find books which deserve another shot at the sunlight.
So you probably looked at the title of this week’s post and said, “David Weber? DAVID WEBER? He’s hardly an unknown!”
David Weber, for the two of you who might not be aware, is one of the hottest names in SF today. Author of the immensely popular Honor Harrington series, the Safehold series, and a whole host of other books. But, like any author, there are books that he has written which do not share the same bright light of day as his other works.
The Apocalypse Troll is one of those works.
It opens aboard the TNS Defender in the twenty-fifth century. The human race has been battling an alien race known colloquially as Kangas – who use another race, called Trolls, as infantry – for the better part of four centuries, and is finally winning. The Defender intercepts a fleet of Kanga ships on a course for Earth.
Panic does not ensue, but rather a desperate attempt to figure out what the Kangas are doing – why Earth, the most heavily defended of all human worlds? Why such a relatively small fleet? Why do the ships keep climbing higher and higher through the bands of warp space?
Eventually they determine that the most likely strategy for the Kangas is to attempt time travel, into Earth’s past, and kill the planet before humans can become a threat. Thus the Defender and her cohorts engage the enemy.
Over the course of a protracted battle, most of the Kanga fleet is destroyed, as are most of the Terran forces. Only the Defender remains with a few fighters, including the CAG, Colonel Ludmilla Leonova. In a final battle the last ships transition into the past, the Defender is destroyed, and the Colonel is left to attempt to stop the few Trolls.
Now the real story can begin.
It’s 21st Century Earth, and Captain Richard Aston is sailing his boat across the Atlantic. He witnesses the battle between Leonova and the Trolls, and rescues the Colonel from the life pod ejected from her wrecked ship.
Okay, enough plot summary.
How, or why, is this book different from other Weber?
Well, unlike the Harrington and Safehold books, politics are a very minor part of this one – there is action and more action, with a dash of humor and romance thrown in for good measure. The science at least sounds plausible (and, truly, what more can you expect from SF?), and Weber spends special attention on the biology.
Simply put, for fans of Weber, this is a gem. Unlike most of his others, this books stands alone and wraps everything up in a neat package at the end. Yes, he could have written more in this universe, so similar to our own, but he didn’t; nor does he need to.
Grab this book. It is now available as an ebook from Amazon, but there is something special about holding a physical book in your hand. One way or another, you should go out and get this book and enjoy a good evening’s read.
Moving forward – I welcome your comments and suggestions! If there is a book YOU want me to review, drop me a line! You can find me on Facebook (very creatively, Adam Gaffen) or you can send an email to "> OR you can simply leave a comment here!
Thanks – and I’ll be back soon with another lost treasure!
Ah – one of my favorite Weber books! I happily re-read this every so often, which is more than I can say for some of the recent Harrington sagas. Thanks for the reminder – I need to make sure I have it as an ebook since the paper copy is most likely gone in my moving purge.