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There Will Be Dragons
John Ringo
Baen, 526 pages

Clyde Caldwell
There Will Be Dragons
John Ringo
John Ringo had visited 23 countries and attended 14 schools by the time he graduated high school. This left him with an appreciation of the oneness of humanity and a permanent aversion to foreign food. He chose to study marine biology. Now he manages a quality control database.

John Ringo Website
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SF Site Review: There Will Be Dragons
SF Site Review: Hell's Faire

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Michael M Jones

In the far future, we've finally used technology to master the world and all aspects of our lives. Teleportation and shapechanging are commonplace, sickness and death are practically unknown, and there is no need. Our imaginations dictate our surroundings, and we spend our lives indulging in fantasies and various forms of instant gratification. Technology has, in other words, become sufficiently advanced so as to be indistinguishable from magic, like in Clarke's Third Law. For some people, a world where they can have anything is too dull, so they go back to the land, reenacting times long past, or times long imagined. And for a very few, those who control the Net that controls the power that keeps the world running, even the world isn't enough.

A shocking decision. A deadly plan. An audacious assassination attempt, and suddenly the Council is split in two, warring against itself. In the process, the Net goes down, and all over the world, the power goes out. Many die instantly as they fall from great heights, burn up in the Sun, suffocate in space, or are crushed by the depths of the ocean. Many more are left helpless in a hostile world, as nature, no longer controlled, goes wild. Only a few are prepared for life without nannites and free power. One of them, Edmund Talbot, is about to become a rallying point and leader for those determined to survive the hard way. Unfortunately, he's got enemies at the gates, loved ones in trouble, and a past that won't stay buried. He's our best hope, though.

There Will Be Dragons is the latest epic from relative newcomer John Ringo, who's already racked up an impressive list of best-selling military SF novels. In this one, he lets his imagination run unfettered, taking society and technology to a logical progression, then dropping them both over a cliff to see what survives. As usual, his characters are strong and fun to root for, his action scenes visceral, and the plot never quite stops moving. My only complaint is that he spends quite a lot of time explaining the details of things, to the point where I started wondering if he was trying to write a book, or justify all the research he must have done. There Will Be Dragons could almost double as a "how to" manual in some parts. However, that's a minor flaw in a rather enjoyable book, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

Copyright © 2005 Michael M Jones

Michael M Jones enjoys an addiction to books, for which he's glad there is no cure. He lives with his very patient wife (who doesn't complain about books taking over the house... much), eight cats, and a large plaster penguin that once tasted blood and enjoyed it. A prophecy states that when Michael finishes reading everything on his list, he'll finally die. He aims to be immortal.

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