Posts Tagged ‘William Dietz’

‘At Empire’s Edge’ is a fun but negligible science fiction adventure

October 13, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
Oct. 13, 2016

At Empire’s Edge, a 2009 novel by William C. Dietz, is an entertaining if low-rent science-fiction thriller set on a remote colony world in the far future.

The book’s main protagonist is Jak Cato, a “section leader” in a group of genetically engineered police officers whose psychic sensitivity enables them to identify a race of malevolent alien shape-shifters known as Sagathi. When a space battle forces his unit to set down on Dantha, the planet’s venal ruler, Uma Nalomy, arranges to have Cato’s fellow cops murdered in order to use their prisoner as an assassin.

This deadly scheme is prompted by the imminent arrival of a high-ranking official of the Uman (read: Human) Empire. Isulu Usurlus may be decadent, but he’s a relatively decent sort, and he’s outraged by Nalomy’s blatant corruption, oppression of her subjects and squandering of imperial resources. By replacing one of Usurlus’s trusted aides with the shape-shifter, who goes by the unfortunate name of Fiss Verafti, Nalomy hopes not just to tighten her grip on Dantha but to expand her influence on the galactic stage.

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William Dietz’s fast-paced ‘Runner’ is well built but mindless science-fiction entertainment

August 18, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 18, 2015

Runner, a 2005 novel by William C. Dietz, is set in a far-distant future where humanity has settled dozens of planets across the galaxy but has lost most of its understanding of science and technology.

A trio of characters are at the center of the book: The titular runner, Jak Rebo, a seasoned interstellar courier-cum-mercenary; Tra Lee, a roughly 10-year-old boy who is a contender to be named leader of his religion, a Buddhist-like denomination known as the Way; and Lanni Norr, a “sensitive” with psychic powers who finds herself gaining unwanted attentions from the ghost of a deceased technology enthusiast and the order founded by the dead man.

The plot is kicked into motion when Rebo is hired to escort Lee to Thara, which happens to be both the home world of the mainly irreligious runner and the headquarters of the Way. While trying to elude operatives of a rival sect while traveling aboard a starship, the duo encounter Norr, who senses that Lee’s life is in danger after he becomes separated from Rebo.

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