The Lampworks Lamplighter SF & Fantasy News & Reviews
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On a recent weekend getaway to the frozen wonderland of Lake Champlain, my wife and I found something quite different among the ice fishermen and the old ruins of French and Indian War battlements. In Ticonderoga, NY there is a complete and full-scale replica of the set of the USS Enterprise from the Original Series (TOS). It includes the bridge, engineering, medical bay, conference rooms, officer’s quarters, and the iconic curved hallways. Every detail has been recreated as accurately as possible with loving attention, and using period materials and methods when possible. The founder managed to engage the original art director from the series, and eventually obtain all the design notes and specifications to allow him and his crew to fabricate all the sets and props to original scale and appearance. They have gotten the original cast involved as well, and many of them visit for special events. It’s apparently so accurate it sends Shatner and the others into a fugue of memory, recalling their times filming the series.
We had the good fortune to visit on a day when there weren’t any other visitors. It was a nasty day, with hazardous travel and wind chills of minus seventeen Fahrenheit. (On our first attempt to visit the day before, we turned back after a few miles because of impassable roads.) As a result, we had the full and undivided attention of a tour guide who was glad to have an audience, and one that ready to nerd out over all the trivia and behind-the-scenes gossip that he had to share. After our tour, we went back to the cabin and watched several episodes of the series, and continued to be amazed at how accurately they had reconstructed every last instrument, panel, and even the mementos on the tables in Kirk’s quarters. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. Check them out at https://www.startrektour.com/.
A short story for the holidays in the world of Knots. Escher and Emeline have brought a tree into the house to decorate, and Trefoil the cat must investigate, of course. There’s something not quite right about this tree – they’ve brought trouble into the house along with it. It’s up to Trefoil to guard the house against the mayhem that ensues. If he doesn’t get put outside first.
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What We‘re Reading
Visit our archive of reviews and recommendations on the Books We Like page of our website. You‘ll find over one hundred recommendations in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Non Fiction.
Steven BrustSkyler White
There is a loose association of a few hundred essentially immortal people. They pass their memories and personalities down to new recruits every generation. They see it as their mission to make small changes to improve society, some of them for altruistic reasons, others for the simple reason of wanting to improve the world because they expect to live in it for a few more millenia. The story follows the induction of a new recruit, from both the point of view of the recruiter and the recruited. It goes sideways, because the former host of the newly transferred psyche of the recruit was playing the long game, and none of them were going to like the result. Not the top of Brust’s game, but his best is so awesome that he still delivers an entertaining and thought provoking tale even on an off day.
Buy on amazon
A Master of Djinn
P. Djèlí Clark
in P. Djèlí Clark’s universe, legions of Djinn were set free in Cairo near the end of the 19th century, issuing in a middle-eastern renaissance of magically powered machinery, clockwork golems, and other wonders. Within this newly prosperous city, a mysterious figure claiming to be the vanished architect of the Djinn’s release reappears and begins sowing chaos. Inspector Fatma el-Sha’arawi suspects that as bad as this seems, the reality might be much worse. Working with a new recruit and a free agent friend, she risks her life to uncover the identity of the one who calls himself al-Jahiz.
This is a richly detailed setting, a mixture of the real and the fantastic, with believable characters and a satisfying plot. I’ll be looking for more from Clark in the future.
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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
V. E. Schwab
Three hundred years ago, Addie LaRue is desperate to escape a marriage she doesn’t want and a village that’s too confining. She wants to see the world, to go beyond the market city that her father took her to when he traded his woodworking for goods and coins. She makes a deal with a devil in the woods the night before her wedding, and comes out to find the entire village has forgotten her. Doomed to live and cursed to be forgotten, she sees the world as she had wished, but cannot find anyone to share it with. Then in the beginning of the new millenium, she finds someone who can remember her name…
A twist on the deal with the devil folk tales, this story asks an interesting question. How do you leave your mark on the world if no one can remember you once you’re out of their sight?
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The Wall: Eternal Day
Brandon Q. Morris
Judith Rosenberg, captain of the spaceship ARES, is under pressure. After the previous mission to Mars crashed, she is supposed to set down the first humans on the Red Planet. Maxim Goncharov, meanwhile, has other problems to contend with. He’s in charge of building an international lunar base at the moon’s south pole, where the sun almost always shines. But his crew is slowly running out of resources. Humankind seems to have lost interest in the moon. When the ARES encounters an interstellar visitor, the researchers on the moon uncover its true nature: A discovery with terrible consequences, as Judith and Maxim find out almost simultaneously.
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IF YOU THINK LIFE IS A GAME, WAIT UNTIL YOU PLAY DEATH!
Chris and Steve were quite happy sitting in their rooms playing online games until events in a kabab shop changed everything and reset all of the rules.
A deal with the Grim Reaper could give them both a second chance at life if they can play the game of their lives inside some of the games they have only ever seen through a screen, until now.
Luckily they are not alone, friends they had not met, or maybe they had, help the new guys, the Noobs!
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Siouca is a member of the advanced Wanderer civilisation. What does Siouca want?
The quest to unlock the secrets of interstellar travel leads a Roranian crew on an epic journey across space. Saved by a dying machine-lect, stranded in a failing ship, faced with an ultimate choice. Were they too eager in their attempts to reach the stars?
The fractious Primals are the ancient, all-powerful rulers of the Creatites. Their origins are shrouded in mystery although Storytellers recite their legends. Tallic has recently been granted special abilities by the Barrier Primal that most other Creatites could only dream of, although he has an unexpected encounter with an intruder that changes everything.
What secrets have the Primals kept hidden since time began?
Nurilm resides within a decaying temple. One day, she chances upon forbidden knowledge about an enigmatic entity called the ‘Collector’, and an unthinkable battle waged long ago in which the Primals were united.
What does it all mean? And how is it all connected?
One thing is for certain. Siouca is coming.
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Lightwave Short Stories 1
A fabulous collection of short stories set in the Folding Space Universe!
In Hellcat Invasion, an incompetent boss creates an invasive species problem and shifts the blame. What can Gia do to protect scientist Matias and herself? (No spoilers, previously published in the Hellcats Anthology.)
In A Fair Trade, Saree of Jericho rescues a stranded traveler and receives a generous gift. (This prequel contains minor spoilers for the Folding Space Series; previously published in The Great Beyond Anthology.)
In Suicide By Time Guild, Chief Bhoher survives the defining moment of his life. (This prequel contains minor spoilers for the Folding Space Series; exclusive for newsletter subscribers!)
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