Science Fiction Book Reviews

“Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it’s the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. …Science fiction is central to everything we’ve ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don’t know what they’re talking about.”

-Ray Bradbury

Science Fiction Book Reviews

“Here’s a quick rule of thumb: Don’t annoy science fiction writers. These are people who destroy entire planets before lunch.  Think of what they’ll do to you.”

― John Scalzi

Science Fiction Book Reviews

Barbara Walters: “But what would you do if the doctor gave you only six months to live?”

Asimov: “Type faster”

Science Fiction Book Reviews

“..science fiction is something that could happen – but usually you wouldn’t want it to. Fantasy is something that couldn’t happen – though often you only wish that it could.”

— Arthur C. Clark

Science Fiction Book Reviews

“It really seems to me that in the midst of great tragedy, there is always the possibility that something terribly funny will happen.”

— Philip K. Dick

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“There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.” (Starship Troopers)

— Robert A. Heinlein

Science Fiction Book Reviews

“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”

— Robert A. Heinlein

Science Fiction Book Reviews

“If you want me to treat your ideas with more respect, get some better ideas.”

— John Scalzi

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“Advertising is legalized lying.”

— H. G. Wells

Science Fiction Book Reviews

“Sometimes I think I must have a Guardian Idiot.  A little invisible spirit just behind my shoulder, looking out for me…only he’s an imbecile.”

― Spider Robinson

“Rain of Fire”

Author: Kern, Ralph

A new author, a new series and the first book, can’t get any better than that! Well, I guess you can when the first book reads like it’s going to be a pretty great series!

I haven’t had the pleasure of reading anything from Mr. Kern, but this first book is very well written. I would think he’s some what of a history buff, and probably a penchants for military history. As he indicates at the back of the book, his story is very similar to something that happened at the end of May and early June, 1940. That something was Dunkirk. I’m sure that if you’re English, you’ll know all about that heroic event. I’m a Yank, so I haven’t gotten a lot of information other than what I’ve read and seen. But, Mr. Kern’s story brings the events of Dunkirk into a far future and his writing gives a glimpse into the very real horror and that historical event.

We’re following Private Patrick “Wink” Goble. This name for this character comes from the real Private Henry “Wink” Gobel, who died at Dunkirk in 1940. His family gave the author permission to us the name. This Private Goble is trapped on a planet called Asteria. He and his unit are fighting a “retrograde” back to Port Rorain where they hope to be picked up by spacecraft from the Kingdom (the author never says what kingdom!). His unit was there along with 500,000 more just like him to support the Oriliion Republic. unfortunately, the Orillion Republic wasn’t quite ready for the aggression of the Neo Hegemony. And, now it doesn’t appear that the Kingdom was either!

The Neo Hegemony was once called the Galton Hegemony, but that faction lost “The Great War”. They were humiliated and forced to sign the Treaty of Charis which restricted a lot of the Galton’s future military active. But, apparently no one bothered to really check on what the Galtons were actually doing. What did happen was that a new faction within the Galton Hegemony came to power. They changed the countries name to the Neo Hegemony and vowed to avenge their previous defeat. They had secretly built a vast ground army and a tremendous aerospace fleet. Both were launched at the Orillion Republic with unexpected success. And now, five hundred thousand or what was left of the large number of Kingdom soldiers were stuck on Asteria with the Neo Hegemony army making a deadly advance to wipe them out. Only a very small contingent of Republic forces were still alive.

If you’re getting the gist of the story, you’ll start seeing how familiar this all sounds. For us, it started in 1939. Our history around that time was exactly what was happening now. The Kingdom is located just a short 10 light-year jump across the Regis Gap. Across that gap lies the Orillion Republic and the Neo Hegemony and war. Captain Hal Cutter, commanding the Kingdom’s newest battleship, the Achilles, was going on a mission across the Regis Gap to bring home those five-hundred thousand men and women of the Kingdom’s army, yet his ship could only hold about 300. How were they going to rescue that many soldiers when they had only a day to do so?

A very British story about a past historial British event that’s happening again in the far future!

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Rain of Fire
Book Author: Kern, Ralph
Series Title: The Great War
Series Number: 1
Review Date: 03/20/2020