Monday, April 20, 2009

The Dushau Trilogy by Jacqueline Lichtenberg

When I found Farfetch (second in the trilogy) in the Science Fiction and Fantasy bookbox at BookObsessed, I was immediately drawn to get the other books so that I could read the entire story. I've enjoyed Lichtenberg for many years, but only knew her through her Sime-Gen stories. Fortunately, I was able to located copies of Dushau and Outreach through Paperback Swap so that I could read straight through.

Dushau by Jacqueline LichtenbergAs Dushau begins, Krinata is a debriefing officer employed by the Allegiency to work with the Dushau exploration teams returning from a search for habitable planets. The Dushau are a near-immortal species, some of whom possess the ability to form a telepathically linked group called an “oliat”. Within the oliat, they are able to understand the ecology of newly discovered planets and determine whether colonization is possible without destroying either the indiginous species or the colonists themselves.

When we meet Jindigar, he is one of the surviving members of his oliat and attempting to provide his report to Krinata in spite of the overwhelming grief he feels for the deceased member of the oliat. Unfortunately, the emperor demands that Jindigar's oliat come to report personally, in spite of the fact that such stress is likely to be harmful to the members of the oliat until after they have grieved and disbanded their telepathic linkages.

During their meeting with the emperor, Jindigar acknowledges a growing rapport with Krinata as both are practical and pragmatic in spite of their personal idealistic goals. Recognizing that the empire of the Allegiency is imploding, Jindigar convinces Krinata to flee with him to a hidden planet where they can join a multi-species colony and ride out the coming chaos.

Farfetch by Jacqueline Lichtenberg Second in Lichtenberg's Dushau trilogy. Farfetch continues the adventures of Krinata, a 33 year old human researcher who has assisted Jindigar, an Duschau outcast, to escape from the rapidly declining empire of the Allegiency empire.

Having successfully evaded the emperor's forces, Jindigar and Krinata have gathered a small group of Dushau, humans, and other species and are attempting to escape to an undocumented planet that the Dushau had decided to use for a multi-species colony. Evading the fleets raised against them takes its toll and they crash-land on the planet known as Phanphihy. And, it appears that they will be the last to arrive, leaving the colonists without a functioning oliat.

Phanphihy is a planet already populated by species which form “hives” and resist incursion into their own territory by non-hive members. Jindigar knows that if they can convince the nearby hives that the refugees are a new type of hive, they will be able to co-exist with the natives. If not, the natives will attack and wipe out this small and fragile colony.

Outreach by Jacqueline Lichtenberg Third novel in Lichtenberg's Dushau trilogy. Outreach concludes the adventures of Krinata, a 33 year old human researcher who has assisted Jindigar, an Duschau outcast, to escape from the rapidly declining empire of the Allegiency empire.

At the end of Farfetch, Jindigar has managed to constitute a functioning oliat from six Duschau and Krinata. With the human in the telepathically linked group, the oliat is fragile and has yet to achieve a smoothly function rapport. But, they've managed to convince the nearby natives that the multi-species colony of escapees from the Allegiancy is a new type of hive, thus allowing the colonists to co-exist with the natives. But it's a precarious truce at best.

Now the time has come to disband the oliat as most of its Duschau members are quickly approaching Renewal, a biological change that occurs every 1000 years restoring youth and fertility, but suppressing the telepathic ability to join in the oliat. Native swarms become confused by the lack of cohesion in the oliat and attack the colony—preventing the oliat from successfully dissolving their telepathic linkages. It's up to Jindigar and Krinata to come up with a solution that will preserve the sanity and even lives of the oliat's members and also forge a permanent acceptance of the colony by the native species.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Quartly reading update - 1Q2009

In the first three months of 2009, I read 31 books, evenly distributed through the months—10 in January, 9 in February, and 11 in March. As I noted earlier, I started out the year reading mostly electronic books. In mid-February, I realized that I owed quite a large number of as yet unread books which I had offered in swaps at BookObsessed and I needed to buckle down and read those so I could mail them out. So, I've been dilligently catching up with the owed TBRs for the past 6 weeks.

1. The Host, Stephenie Meyer (2 Jan, Kindle)
2. Miss Julia Strikes Back, Ann B Ross (3 Jan, TP)
3. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Joshilyn Jackson (5 Jan, HB)
4. Fortune and Fate, Sharon Shinn (11 Jan, Kindle)
5. Neptune Crossing, Jeffrey Carver (12 Jan, Sony)
6. Mars Girl, Jeff Garrity (13 Jan, Sony)
7. Dragon Bones, Patricia Briggs (18 Jan, Kindle)
8. The Dragon Delasangre, Alan F Troop (19 Jan, Kindle)
9. Suspicious, Heather Graham (22 Jan, Kindle)
10. Oleander House, Ally Blue (25 Jan, Kindle)
11. The Right to Arm Bears, Gordon R Dickson (31 Jan, Blackberry)
12. A Ceremonial Death, B J Oliphant (2 Feb, MMP)
13. Stargazer's Woman, Aimee Thurlo (5 Feb, Kindle)
14. The Shack, William P Young (14 Feb, Kindle)
15. Mistborn: The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson (17 Feb, Kindle)
16. Halfway to the Grave, Jeaniene Frost (20 Feb, MMP)
17. Home Sweet Homicide, Kate Morgan (21 Feb, MMP)
18. Alien Secrets, Annette Curtis Klause (22 Feb, MMP)
19. Monkeewrench, P J Tracy (23 Feb, MMP)
20. Live Bait, P J Tracy (27 Feb, MMP)
21. Killing Raven, Margaret Coel (5 Mar, MMP)
22. The Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson (6 Mar, Kindle)
23. The Edge of Winter, Luanne Rice (7 Mar, MMP)
24. A Door into Ocean, Joan Slonczewski (11 Mar, MMP)
25. Click Here for Murder, Donna Andrews (15 Mar, MMP)
26. Access Denied, Donna Andrews (17 Mar, HB)
27. Birds of a Feather,, Jacqueline Winspear (21 Mar, TP)
28. Murder of a Sweet Old Lady, Denise Swanson (22 Mar, MMP)
29. How to Murder a Millionaire, Nancy Martin (27 Mar, MMP)
30. Nerd in Shining Armor, Vicki Lewis Thompson (30 Mar, MMP)
31. Dragon's Bait, Vivian Vande Velde (31 Mar, MMP)

Altogether, I read the equivalent of 10,402 pages in this first quarter of the year. By comparison, I read 33 books and 12,072 pages in the first quarter of 2008.

Breakdown by genre:

  • Christian: 1
  • Fantasy: 6
  • Mainstream: 3
  • Mystery: 13
  • Romance: 1
  • SciFi: 7

Breakdown by format:

  • Kindle: : 10
  • Paper: : 18
  • Sony: : 2
  • Blackberry: : 1

Sources for eBooks:

  • Free from Amazon: 2
  • Purchased from Amazon: 8
  • Purchased from Baen: 1
  • Free download from author: 1
  • Free download from MobileRead: 1