Dark is the Sun – Philip Jose Farmer

At the twilight of a world, a young man goes in search of mate, but soon loses his soul egg. Without it, he’s no one, and in his search for it, he finds adventure, science, magic, love, and escape from a rapidly collapsing world.

3 stars
In brief: An interesting world, decent (if into entirely credible) characters, and a challenging quest.

The Lovers – Philip Jose Farmer

In a repressive future society, a jack-of-all-trades linguist exchanges cultural restrictions for a long trip to another world. Whe he finds there shakes and reshapes his world view and his heart.

3 stars
In brief: This should probably have stayed at short story length

Mississippi Roll – George R.R. Martin (ed)

Wild Cards #24

The 24th book in a shared world anthology in which many humans have been transformed by an alien virus either into jokers (deformed) or aces (super-powered). A varied collection of people on a riverboat aim to help Kazakh refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

2 stars
In brief: An argument in favor of ending shared world anthologies early.

Artemis – Andy Weir

Jazz Bashara, brilliant ne’er-do-well, has a get rich quick scheme on the Kenyan owned Artemis lunar base. Unfortunately, so do a clever entrepeneur, a mysterious cartel, and a host of others.

3.5 stars
In brief: A clever, well-told story brought down by an attitude that feels more 1970s than 2000s.