cover image Leviathan


Jack Campbell. Ace, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-425-26054-8

Campbell’s fifth SF novel in the Beyond the Frontier branch of the Lost Fleet series (after Steadfast) is a well-written military SF story that never gets snagged on its complex backstory. John “Black Jack” Geary was thawed out after a century of cryonic preservation to help lead the interstellar Alliance to victory over the Syndicate. Peace never lasts, however, and now Geary’s fleet must face some mysterious AI-controlled ships patterned after the Black Jack of legend. To complicate matters, malware attacks are used to disrupt communications among Geary’s ships, and human spies further undermine trust. Teaming up with the alien Dancers, Geary and his forces move against their enemies and take the story into space-opera territory. Campbell fully understands the implications of 3-D combat in space, including the orbital mechanics and vast distances involved, without ever succumbing to a dry recitation of mathematics. Military intelligence may be an oxymoron to some, but this novel demonstrates that intelligent military SF is entirely possible. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky. (May)