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Melissa Scott is an SF/F writer. She hadn't published anything that I came across for several years, but in the last year or two, that's certainly changed. She teamed up with Jo Graham and Amy Griswold for a multi-book Stargate: Atlantis series, with Graham for an alternate 1930s mystery/fantasy series, published a new book in the Astreiant series, and rewrote the final book in the Silence Leigh trilogy. She and Griswold have started a new series, set in a late Victorian or early Edwardian England--alternative, of course. Magic is real, called metaphysics, and done via diagrams and symbology. A metaphysician in private practice, Ned Mathey, is hired by the father of one of his prefects at boarding school to ensure there's no curse on the family silver. Mathey is conflicted--the son made his life a living hell in school--but a job is a job. The client, Edgar Nevett, later turns up dead...struck down by silver candlestick.

Mathey is then hired by the son, Victor Nevett, to find out who killed his father. Mathey asks for help from a long-term friend (who also attended the school), Julian Lynes, another metaphysician. Mathey and Lynes had been particularly close friends in school, but had drawn apart at university. This book includes a swiftly complicating murder mystery (as usual more people end up dying) and the reconciliation and deepening relationship of Mathey and Lynes. Lynes in particular is conflicted by the case and he was bullied by Victor and has never forgiven him or decided to "put it all in the past" as Mathey has or tried to do. There are flashback scenes which detail what happened at the school.

Interesting world and characters. I want to see more of these characters, including Mathey's secretary/assistant, Miss Frost. Women aren't allowed yet to attend the same colleges as the men, but she has a degree from women's college and metaphysics training and helps them out with some particularly women's magic.
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I managed to read two new novels and a collection while on vacation. I also reread one book: Megan  Whalen Turner's The King of Attolia. The first book was Uncertain Allies by Mark del Franco. It's one of the Connor Grey series. Grey used to be a high-powered operative for the Guild. He's a mage in a world where the Faerie realms ended up in our world a hundred years ago or so. There are two faerie kingdoms in a cold war (Celtic and Teutonic), plus unaligned creatures. Grey lost most of his power several years ago in a battle with a fey terrorist. He still works with the police and some Guild investigators and ekes out a living.

He's getting pulled back into the politics, as he has some power, and dirt on several people. Fall-out from the last book is dealt with in this one. His girlfriend, who ended up in a magical coma, is still in it and several things are tried to wake her up.

I haven't tired of this series yet. It's nice to have a male protagonist, and he's not powering up a level in each book, like some series. There's also some movement forward in the overall plotlines.

I then read book two in a new Stargate: Atlantis series. I never got into SG1, but started watching SGA in season 2, and then backed up and watched the first season. I started watching SGA because I read an SGA novel by Martha Wells, who's one of my favorite authors. I liked the book enough that I decided I wanted to find out more about the characters. Another of my favorite authors, Melissa Scott (who hasn't been writing in the field much recently), has joined with Jo Graham and Amy Griswold to write a six book miniseries continuing the SGA story. The first book, Homecoming was by Jo Graham and Melissa Scott and I was 'eh' about it. Book two, by Jo Graham and Amy Griswold is called The Lost and I really enjoyed it. Rodney is lost and most of the book is trying to find out where he is and mount a rescue mission. As you might expect in book 2 of 6, there are complications. I'm fully into the story now and am looking forward to book 3.

Among several ebooks that I'd purchased recently was a collection by Diane Duane, Uptown Local and Other Interventions. At least two are in her Wizards series. "Uptown Local" is a Nita and Kit story. "Theobroma" is about another wizard and what's missing in a chocolatier's shop. "Hopper Painting" was written for a Janis Ian story. "The Fix" is set in ancient Rome about a slave assigned to the Coliseum and dreams of being a trainer for the gladiators. "The Rizzoli Bag" and "Out of the Frying Pan" are connected stories about gifts from a Sibyl. "Bears" is a story about Berne (several stories have Switzerland connections as Duane points out). There are 11 stories total. All have been published before.


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November 2016

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