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Vorpal Blade (Looking Glass) [Hardcover]

John Ringo , Travis S. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 17.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Sep 2007 Looking Glass (Book 2)
The sequel to "Into the Looking Glass." William Weaver, PhD. and SEAL Chief Adams are back and Bill got himself a ship! The former SSBN "Nebraska" has been converted, using mostly garage mechanics and baling wire, into a warp ship ready to go "out there." But as everyone knows, the people who really are going to bear the brunt are the poor Security guys, Force Recon Marines who are kept in the dark and fed manure all day. That is until they land on an alien planet, get partially wiped out and then load back up again. Ranging in topics from the best gun to kill armored space monsters to particle physics to cosmology to health and beauty tips, "Vorpal Blade "is a return to the "good old days" of SF when the science problems were intractable and the beasts were ugly. The monkeys are out in the space lanes and ready to rock. As soon as they get another roll of duct tape.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (4 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416521291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416521297
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 16.5 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,632,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Ringo is author of the "New York Times" best-selling Posleen War series which so far includes "A Hymn Before Battle," "Gust Front," "When the Devil Dances," and "Hell s Faire," as well as the connected novels "Cally s War" (with Julie Cochrane), "The Hero" (with Michael Z. Williamson), and "Watch on the Rhine" (with Tom Kratman), and is the hottest new science fiction writer since David Weber. A veteran of the 82nd Airborne, Ringo brings first-hand knowledge of military operations to his novels of high-tech future war. Travis S. Taylor Doc Taylor to his friends has earned his soubriquet the hard way: He has a Doctorate in Optical Science and Engineering, a Master's degree in Physics, a Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering, a Master's degree in Astronomy, and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Taylor has worked on various programs for the Department of Defense and NASA for the past sixteen years. He's currently working on several advanced propulsion concepts, very large space telescopes, space-based beamed energy systems, and next generation space launch concepts. He lives in Auburn, AL with his wife Karen and their daughter.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puts the Science in Science Fiction 12 Nov 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This brought back memories of my first E.E.Doc Smith reads years ago when I first began reading Sci - Fi, the explanation of the Science at the end of the book is a revelation I just wish I'd read it first!
I can't help but like the idea of a submarine belting through space solving knarly quantum physics problems yet still taking the time to meet and kill dangerous if somewhat innocent alien life forms. Still if a lifeform chooses to eat first and not bother to ask questions later it deserves the maximum application of fire power with extreme prejudice.
Alot is packed in with plenty o of science, action, casualties, new alien life forms,weapons and even a little teaser running through the whole book. What's not to like
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alice does not live here anymore 22 May 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As one of the reviews has stated, the tone if not the tech remind me of the excellent old school Doc Smith Skylark series of the 20s. This is both a fun read, Space Marines in exo-armour suits, & fairly educational with Dr. Taylor providing a scientific milieu which touches on everything from the bio-sciences to the high-end quarks with a special mention of the mechanism of "ID Ten T decontaminant". I found, for this type of novel, the characterisation good, with the distinctive personalities of the crew being one of the key factors of the ship's voyage.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  61 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ringo & Taylor bring back old school sci-fi! 13 Sep 2007
By William N. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
John Ringo and Travis Taylor team up again to bring out a sequel to Ringo's 2005 Sci-Fi/action novel Into the Looking Glass. Thanks to the events in the first book the door has been opened for space exploration on a new scale as faster than light travel is now possible. So in order to scout out the neighborhood and protect against possible invasion by the alien Dreen, the humans and their allies cobble together their first faster than light spaceship: the Vorpal Blade.

The Ship was a former U.S. Navy nuclear missile submarine and now through alien technology, human ingenuity, and a lot of duct tape and bailing wire it is ready for its maiden voyage. Familiar characters Dr. William Weaver and SEAL Chief Adams are joined by a mixed bag of scientists, naval personnel and force recon marines (now the space marines). Their mission takes them to a number of different worlds and through encounters with aliens both friendly and hostile.

The book is a return to a more classic feel for sci-fi, with real monsters, aliens and strange worlds. Ringo's ability to write engaging military and small unit action stories combines well with Taylor's "techy" side, to give the reader a combination of action, adventure and science based-science fiction. The book especially shines in that it doesn't just depend on the monsters and aliens for tension. The very nature of travel on the first faster than light ship provide intense and often amusing segments to the book. The crew must deal with everything from gravity issues, to possibilities of space viruses to, the question of where in space is the best place to get a drink of water and more. All of this handled with a mix of ingenuity, luck and elbow grease.

As is the case with many of his works, real life rocket scientist Taylor brings the scientific side of the story to life for the readers. Concepts and theories are explained as they are encountered and this gives not only a realistic feel to the whole experience, but it also makes the reader feel a bit smarter for having read it. Ringo also brings his touch to the story with great attention to the details of the military aspects of the book. He helps cover everything from the practical (what kind of gun is best for killing armored aliens) to the political (which branch of the military will ultimately be responsible for the space program) with a lot of insight and humor.

Over all Vorpal Blade is an exciting, fun book to read. The story is fast paced enough to keep the reader going while at the same time not skipping many of the little details. Ringo and Taylor work well together and their combined work plays well to both of their strengths. Of course Vorpal Blade leaves a number of loose ends, but regular readers of the pair know that the prolific Ringo often crafts stories that require more than one volume to be told. That being said, Vorpal Blade works well as a stand alone book, but it leaves the door open for more adventures to come. Pick up a copy of John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor's Vorpal Blade by today and please keep your hands inside the vehicle until the ride comes to a complete stop!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff 7 Sep 2007
By S. M Stirling - Published on Amazon.com
I thoroughly enjoyed this; John Ringo does good space opera, with all the classic elements but updated and with a more thoroughly worked out background. He also does character quite well, particularly certain types of characters -- he understands soldiers, for example, which it is painfully obvious some writers don't.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Press On Regardless 6 Dec 2007
By Bill J - Published on Amazon.com
Before reading Vorpal Blade I recommend all prospective readers to read Ringo's Through the Looking Glass. This is essential reading to fix the characters' roles in their mind. Forearmed, this story is brilliant! Is this the way we first move out of and into the universe? I frequently think we don't think outside the square enough. Ringo makes this acceptable and palatable. And has enough talent to make it a bloody good read.

If I had a criticism, there are not enough survivors. After 35 years of soldiering, survivors are essential. Some of those killed in Looking Glass would have been major assets to give the next victims some idea of where they wqere heading for and for passing on wisdom. Solsiers have survived most wars and they are usually the better people for it.

May the Vorpal Blade have many other fabulous journeys to he stars,
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction for lovers of military science fiction 10 Feb 2008
By Magna Storm - Published on Amazon.com
Recap of the series: Book one, or Into the Looking Glass, is the TV show Stargate except rated R for violence and extended war scenes. Another way of putting it is DoD meets DandD (Department of Defense meets Dungeons and Dragons).

Book two, Vorpal Blade, is Star Trek with a platoon of alien-killing Klingons on board who get to really be Klingons. Okay, they really are not Klingons, they are Recon Marines and Special Forces troops trained into space marine/powered armor super-trooper status. The ship, the first of its kind from earth and their alien allies, goes where no (earth)man has gone before, the science staff on board takes surveys and studies of new planets found, and when danger appears, instead of the captain talking his way out like some PG-rated TV prime time show, sometimes the Klingons, er, space marines get to strut their stuff, unlimber their heavy weapons, and go all out urrah on the badniks.

The story isn't all phasers set to kill. There's the tediousness of space travel, surveying empty planets, endless training, and those familiar with military life will recognize the type of humor pulled on the unsuspecting new guy on the crew.

Vorpal Blade has a good dose of science in the story telling. I was impressed by some of the technical details of space combined with the realities of how a space ship based on a nuclear submarine would function in that environment.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, have already reread it, and loaned my copy to others.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars it was OK 9 Feb 2008
By C. Woody Butler - Published on Amazon.com
This is an OK book - stylistically I'm betting Ringo wrote very little of this - the bits he did write are head and shoulders above the rest tho.

For the most part this sorta plods along - while the first book never really stops moving until just before the end (and I'd swear they ended it like that so there wouldn't be sequels - but surprise!) this just strolls along until it gets where it's going, which is of course nowhere since it's the beginning of a series or whatever, so it cliffhangs.

Anyway, it's not a bad book - like most of Ringos work that he turns over to his buddies to work on it's got a decent base but the work that's being built on that base is pretty pedestrian.
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