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nu luna Paperback – April 19, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Andrew Biscontini was raised in Lansdowne, PA and has a degree in film production from the Pennsylvania State University. He lives in New York City.
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Top customer reviews
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"Good book, solid story, good characters -- read it."
For everyone else, I'll start with what the book isn't.
I read a fair amount of science fiction, and one of the problems with the format is that you need to cram a ton of information into users' brains to get them to up to speed - particularly in a first book. This is rarely done gracefully (even by authors we know and like), which is why there are so many horrible sci-fi short stories. By the time you're familiar with just how the gravity field generators of Xargon-6 work, the story is almost over (the novels start just as poorly but have time to recover). I'm happy to say that Nu Luna is not that book.
Don't get me wrong--there's a lot of information in there. It's a big world, and Biscontini did his homework, but he does a really masterful job (especially for a newer author) of couching it in context, and if something comes up early in the book, it pays off in some real way by the end. There's none of that "data dump as cheap plot device" ("The meluthium crystals we need for the TumTum device are only mined in the Zimgan district, which happens to be guarded by the ZubZub mercenaries! Oh no! Road trip!"), or worse yet--blathering on about crap that has no bearing on the story. Everything ends up mattering, and a lot of what appears to be background (e.g., aggregated uploaded AIs) is actually explored in interesting ways. So thumbs up--a new sci-fi writer who can write!
It's also not one of those "Great sci-fi books with an absolute crap ending" (yes, my beloved Neuromancer -- I adore you, but you phoned in the last 15 pages, and I'm embarrassed for you, even 25 years later...). It ends right.There's room for a sequel, prequel, or some other exploration of the universe he's created, but there doesn't need to be. It stands on its own, with a solid start, a really interesting middle, and a clean, satisfying ending.
As to what it _is_, it's a fun, expansive ride through themes that have nothing to do with science and everything to do with being human, and you care about damn near every character in it. Emotionally, it feels like a Heinlein novel. If you're not familiar with Heinlein, 1) become so now, and 2) it's like a hug for your soul if you have any shred of childhood adventure and rebellion left in you. The book takes chances, and they pay off almost every time. It leaves a lot of room for more, but doesn't need it. In short, it's a good book about human themes that happens to ales be framed by good science. And you should read it. See TL:DR, above.
Bonus: Girls with guitars and revolution! It's like a Moonborn Pussy Riot!