User Profile

Keith Stevenson

Joined 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm the author of the sf thriller Horizon. I'm also publisher at coeur de lion publishing and a past editor of Aurealis - Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine from 2001 to 2004. I hosted 30 episodes of the Terra Incognita Speculative Fiction Podcast, and edited and published Dimension6 the free Australian speculative fiction electronic magazine from 2014 to 2020.

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Keith Stevenson's books

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Hellburner (Paperback, 1993, Grand Central Publishing, Questar Science Fiction, Warner Books) 4 stars

Review of 'Hellburner' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Hellburner is a direct sequel to Heavy Time and, according to Cherryh, these are the only two books that need to be read in order, which says something about how she's constructed the whole Company Wars saga with multiple entry points into the narrative.

Cherryh takes the same approach as Heavy Time, which I think bears out the general theme of the little guy trying hard to piece together what the hell is going on while at the mercy of people and systems far more powerful than they are. It's told in very close third person POV, which can be hard going at times, but it gives a good sense of the characters being trapped and fighting to survive.

The hints and revelations they do manage to uncover point to an extraordinarily detailed set of machinations, powerplays and political maneuverings around the success or otherwise of the Hellburner project. …

Heavy Time (Paperback, 1992, Grand Central Publishing) 4 stars

Review of 'Heavy Time' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The Klondike days of asteroid mining are long over and it's getting harder to make a living with the government and corporations slapping regulations over routes, assays, claims, flight certification. A lot of it the name of safety, but really it's all about Earth controlling the Belt and easing the freelancers out.

This might sound like something out of the Expanse, but it’s the premise for CJ Cherryh’s Heavy Time, the first prequel to her Hugo-winning Downbelow Station which - together with over twenty other Alliance-Union novels - charts a story of humanity’s future that spans multiple worlds and centuries of time.

James SA Corey acknowledged the debt the Expanse owes to Cherryh’s books in a recent Twitter exchange:

Are you a fan of CJ Cherryh? I’ve started reading her stuff and wondered if maybe she was an influence of yours. Spacers, stationers, and belters; interesting similarities there.

— …
Across realtime (Paperback, 1994, Millennium) 5 stars

Anthology containing The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime.

Review of 'Across realtime' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

In 1984, I read Vernor Vinge's Peace War when it was serialised in Analog Magazine. Years later elements of that story still stayed with me and - since this was the age of e-books - I decided to read it again. For obscure reasons, the novel and its follow up Marooned in Realtime were not available on any platform I cared to search, including Gollancz's own SF Gateway site (although his Zones of Thought series was readily available).

I would have given up, but it niggled at me, so I finally bit the bullet and bought a dead tree copy - the compendium Across Realtime. I'm glad I did.

Like the best science fiction, Across Realtime riffs off a simple idea: the bobbles. These are shiny spheres that are created by a bobble generator. They can be any size (depending on the power available) and they can last for …

Inhibitor Phase (2021, Orion Publishing Group, Limited) 3 stars

Review of 'Inhibitor Phase' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

As one of Alastair Reynolds's more sarcastic characters, such as Scorpio the Hyperpig - or Triumvir Ilia Volyova - might say, 'you don't read Alastair Reynolds for the breakneck, frenetic pacing.' His dialogue also tends towards the wordy. But you do read Alastair Reynolds for the jaw-dropping concepts.

In the case of Inhibitor Phase, the title promises to bring some kind of significant event - or maybe even a denouement - to this cosmic scourge, which is a huge drawcard. The Inhibitors emerged as the main protagonists of Reynolds's Revelation Space Trilogy, sort of like souped-up versions of Fred Saberhagen's Berserkers or the Doomsday Machine from the Star Trek TOS episode of the same name.

The story starts promisingly enough with an unexpected visitor to a colony in hiding from the Inhibitor machines and a tense negotiation for one of the colonists to take a trip to find a …

Desolation Called Peace (Paperback, 2022, Pan Macmillan) 4 stars

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with …

Review of 'Desolation Called Peace' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I loved A Memory Called Empire but I think A Desolation Called Peace is even better. Empire did have some slow spots, particularly in the middle where I felt it dragged a little. But Peace is all killer no filler. Get it now!

Review of 'Revenant Winds' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Huge fun in this adventure set in Mitch Hogan's fantasy world of Wiraya. An unlikely group of mercenaries and church enforcers come together to save a village from a monstrous threat and discover what ancient secrets lie in the nearby caves. Deception, old rivalries and hidden agendas among the group - plus the threat of the legendary and evil Tainted Cabal - make for a fast-paced story where you're never sure what's going to happen next.