To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

To Say Nothing of the Dog defies easy categorization.  It is a hard science fiction novel: the plot revolves around time travel, with its paradoxes and social effects as central to the actions of the characters.   It is a romantic mystery novel:  the lead characters have several mysteries to solve, which they do while falling in love referencing the great 1930’s mystery detective teams.  It is a madcap comedy and it is a historical novel, set in 1880’s and 1940’s England.  Above all, it is a delightful read and a book that stands up to multiple rereads.

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Pandora’s Legions by Christopher Anvil

I am slowly working my way through the Baen Free Library (among other things). This is several stories, shorts through novella, with one overarching theme: the integration of the human race into the Integral Union. The humans are cussedly . . . human, while the aliens are both preplexed and a little frightened: on average, humans are more intelligent then the Centrans who run the Empire.

It’s an enjoyable read but a little lightweight. The battle sequences come off well (until the end, when I had a hard time keeping everything straight), but we don’t get to meet much of a variety of humans to see the psychology of it all play out.

All in all, not a bad read.

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