cover image Vorpal Blade

Vorpal Blade

John Ringo, Travis S. Taylor, . . Baen, $25 (400pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-2129-7

Military SF specialist Ringo teams up with real-life rocket scientist Taylor for this far-out sequel to 2005's Into the Looking Glass . Much of the science deals with the arcane mysteries of quantum mechanics, lending the often grim events an absurdist twist appropriately reminiscent of Lewis Carroll. Several years after an experiment that opened a gateway from central Florida into other dimensions, Doc Weaver, a physicist turned U.S. naval officer, adapts an alien star drive to a nuclear submarine and creates humanity's first warp-capable star ship. The goal of Capt. Steven Blankemeier and Cmdr. Clay White of the Alliance Space Ship's unfortunately named Vorpal Blade is to scout out worlds contaminated by the alien Dreen. The awkward use of alien vocabulary to censor the predictably foul-mouthed marines only slightly hinders the shoot-'em-up action as the scientists and crew of the Blade blast through whatever adversity comes their way. (Sept.)