Æ Read Ö Dining Out with the Ice Giants (Dining Out Around The Solar System, #2) by Clare O'Beara ã Dining Out Around The Solar System Book Two Journalists In An Alternate Future London Meet The People From The Outer Planets During One Of The Worst Winters For Cold And Flooding That London Has Suffered From Political Misdeeds To Mushroom Picking In A Disused Tube Station, Donal And Myron Uncover All Sorts Of Activities And Dangers SAVED FROM LONDON S FLOODDonal, An Irish Journalist, And Myron, His Cockney Jamaican Colleague, Are Feature Writers With Zine London S Eye They Tend To Attract Trouble FLU VACCINES NEARLY GONESince They Have Many Friends From Other Planets, They Also Enjoy Good Meals In Ethnic Restaurants BOND STAR MISTRI DIESThis Winter, A Whole Lot Of Problems Are Facing London, And Who Better To Cover Them BANK PAYMENTS HACKEDThe Lads Might Even Make New Friends In The Process Of Gaining A Scoop Or New EnemiesDRUG COMPANY SCANDAL Dining Out with the Ice Giants is a gem of a book that creates a world that feels just like ours but for the several species of Aliens who have immigrated in search of employment These alien immigrants end up filling the marginal roles that poor immigrants fill in real world society Suitably, the aliens willingness to work for low pay elicits resentment and scorn from Earth citizens Moreover, scoundrels both human and alien find ways to manipulate and exploit the most powerless among the aliens The combination of the banal a powerful man trying to intimidate a poor young woman with the bizarre the woman is a Martian cleaning lady on a temporary work visa creates a feeling of surrealism that will stay with you after reading While this is novel is correctly categorized as science fiction, it felt a lot like magical realism The novel s plot is multi threaded and unfolds at a leisurely pace If you re looking for space battles between FTL warships, this is not the book for you While interplanetary travel is a possibility, the protagonists concerns are at a very human scale and concern their own neighborhood and circle of friends in London Almost the entire story is told through the eyes of Donal, an Irish resident of London, who is distinguished by super acute senses that allow him to convey every alien smell, taste, and texture in precise detail.
Donal and his best buddy Myron are unofficial human ambassadors to the resident alien communities in London The precise nature of their connection seems to have been established in a prequel, but it s evident that most humans are content to ignore the aliens among them, who all come from poorer planets Only Donal and Myron form friendships with off worlders, and much of the plot consists of them helping these newcomers navigate their newly adopted city.
The book is written in British English and there is some British slang used, particularly Cockney rhyming slang, where stairs are called apples because well, it s a long story In most cases the slang is explained but in a few I was left scratching my head But that is a minor complaint and in summary, this book is highly enjoyable, thought provoking, and definitely worth reading.
I certainly picked a good time to read this middle book in Clare O Beara s Dining Out series January 2016, just after the horrendous Christmas and New Year floods in the UK Here s what we hope is not a prediction for us, from Clare s vision of the not so distant future in her alternate earth Half of Somerset and Norfolk is under water, Lyme Regis cliffs falling into the sea, snow blocking roads in the Pennines Cornwall, those sixty foot waves In the universe where our two heroes Myron and Donal live, the exploration of the solar system has led to the discovery of inhabitants on all the other planets Some of these have come to earth, as ambassadors and business entrepreneurs, but just as with immigrant peoples between countries in our Earth, some are being exploited, employed at low wages in the least desirable jobs, or working in slave conditions out of sight of the general population.
Myron and Donal are journalists on a zine called London Eye, and although they are employed to report on the relatively uncontroversial issues of fine dining, wines and entertainment, they rove the streets of London like a couple of hard bitten investigative journalists of film noir vintage Except of course for the advanced technology they and everyone else in this convincingly possible future London make use of with such ease I used to live in the areas covered by the story, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Islington and am wholly convinced by Clare s evocation of the struggle that life has become may really become for the increasingly poorer ordinary folk But against this bleak background there is adventure and fun, with several plot lines evolving through the story, and satisfying revelations at the end no spoilers thanks to our heroic duo weaving their way through streets, underground tunnels, computer programs, restaurants, and hit tech offices in Docklands in their fight for the right and for justice It s the next 50 years equivalent of swashbuckling, and there are fireworks too Carefully researched and compellingly written, this is a book for fantasy SF readers who like to identify with the good guys and see the baddies get their come uppance Thoroughly recommended.
With this second helping in the Dining Out science fantasy series, we re filling in some of the gaps in Donal and Myron s journalistic career and finding quirky insights into the secret lives of the visitors from the outermost planets in the System The Ice Giants are, of course, Uranus and Neptune, but immigrants from dwarf planet Pluto are also prominent in this book where we find out about their early days in London before they go into the ice cream and frosty treats trade.
What I really like about O Beara s dystopian London are the left field details that take what s starting to happen in the present to logical but often surprising and illuminating conclusions as hinted at in headlines of the book blurb, from ethnic James Bonds, to flood surges, to heavy runs on Flu vaccines the British Space Mining variety The friendly and courageous Neptunians are again stepping up or should that be swimming when the Thames starts to show its vicious side, before looking for a permanent residence alongside the river Our intrepid reporters are able to help them find something suitable AND affordable in return for past hospitality and favours from these gentle giants and also help the Plutonians find a much better place to stay after a rather unpleasant and macabre experience with a scary Uranian mushroom farmer Red headed Tania short for Titania is first glimpsed by hyper sensitive Donal at London s New Years Eve Fireworks celebration by the river and, realising there s something literally other worldly about her, he and Myron go on a Cinderella hunt across the city and cyberspace, after losing her in the crowds after midnight Once found, Donal quickly realises this is not going to go anywhere romantically, but uber cool, almost mannequin like Tania and he are interested enough in each other to stay in touch for mutual pursuits Donal also does restaurant reviews Which is when he discovers that Tania has dozens of wage slave plutonians tending to her underground mushroom plantation Suffice it to say Uranians don t appear to know the first thing about health and safety, although she does have a very basic, if not fundamental understanding of re cycling Hint of a spoiler there, but far better to take the ride yourself Yet another excellent and insightful read from Clare O Beara, well deserving of 4 stars and, I hope, not the last we ll see of Donal and Myron.
Dining Out With the Ice Giants is a whimsical view of life in London, England at some point in the future where inter planetary travel is not only possible, but is common This story is told in first person view through the eyes of Donal, a male reporter who works for an on line news source that is quite popular and highly esteemed.
During his regular rounds throughout the city Donal stumbles upon a race of Plutonians inhabitants of the planet Pluto who are being treated like slave labour One would think after the 20th century experience in slavery and emancipation, Earth would have known better by now But no Apparently mistreatment of beings from other planets is tolerated and not widely reported, and Donal plans to change all that.
This book takes place in a science fiction setting, but I wouldn t really consider it science fiction Rather, I would categorize it as humour and commentary, although in a science fiction setting There are no spaceships in this story none that our characters set foot on, anyway and no laser blast fights or planetary conquest For this reason, this story does not seem to have a traditional story line, but rather it takes time to slow down and delve into several issues, one at a time i.
e environmental concerns, political corruption, and municipal zoning some of which are quite intellectual and thought provoking The pace is at times a bit relaxing, and the tension is light, but for those who love reading commentary, it is a feast for the mind.
Two journalists on a futuristic magazine zine are always on the look out for stories They are the number one asset of the zine, and known for cutting edge expos s as well as their restaurant reviews Due to their past histories, they are also used to communicating with immigrants from all over the solar system Venusians, Plutonians, Neptunians well you get the picture Due to the floods at the Thames Barrier and some heroic work by a group of fluid loving Neptunians, our journalists get involved in this group, who would love to stay in the area, but there s a shady politician involved Meanwhile, one of the journos is exploring the lighter side of London life did I mention it s set in a futuristic, and very recognisable London by joining a dating site for red haired people While colour and race sensitivities have declined, since the advent of the off Earthers, there is still plenty of prejudice around Our journalist meets up with Tania, a red head, sure, but with hair unlike an Earthlings, since it seems to twirl itself towards the sun.
These stories and keep our heroes on their toes, and we see plenty of the underworld as well as the different norms in society of the future I was gripped by the tale and the magnificent world building just what would Pluto produce that make it worthwhile to export to Earth , which is coupled with some deep history of the London Underground and other nooks and crannies which those who have lived in London may be familiar Clare O Beara has done a great job with this book, the second in a series which started off featuring the inner planets There s a third featuring the Gas Giants Jupiter and Saturn but they all involve our journalist heroes And that comes with plenty of tips on keeping yourself out of the public eye or only known for what you want to be known for, very useful for authors developing their presence on the internet An excellent read, especially for lovers of societal intrigue.
This story is set 50 100 years or so in a future London Life forms physically very different from us, but with similar wants, needs and failings have been found on most if not all of the planets from Mercury to Pluto Each of them have unusual strengths and weaknesses.
For instance the Plutonians frequently insist Pluto is a planet Apparently someone told them it wasn t I haven t read the first book in this series of 3 yet, and I definitely will I suspect the answer may be there In any event, they are likeable little fellows and are unfortunately being treated essentially as slaves.
The book is told from Donal s viewpoint He is a news reporter who, along with his friend co worker Myron, run down news stories and sometimes are instrumental in making it happen.
I found the descriptions of people particularly interesting We usually think of each other as having similar wants, needs, likes, dislikes, etc Ms O Beara has carefully described them realistically than I would have thought possible I felt if I walked outside and turned a corner I might meet one walking towards me and recognize what planet he she it was from Some are good and some are bad, including humans as well as those from other planets The good guys find the News, relay it to their bosses and sometimes are instrumental in creating it A Great Book I can t wait now to read the first book in the series, and then the third which I believe is almost done Stew Dining Out with The Ice Giants Dining Out Around The Solar System, Book 2 takes you to an alternative London of the future where residents of Pluto, Neptune, Mars, and Saturn live alongside Earth born Londoners This is the world where Donal and Myron, two bright, hard working journalists ply their trade Donal, also the narrator, has enhanced senses, especially smell I snuffed in a deep breath rich with scent of Myron a spicy mix of powdered ginger and orange oil, to me of Tania, a cold alternate chemical combination of dead leaves, derelict soot clung damp brick, tarmac and traffic, compost and mushrooms In the course of the book, they cover many stories, often overlapping The Uranian woman who s growing mushrooms in an abandoned Tube station, the Finance Minister having an affair with a Martian maid, the rescue of someone caught in the Thames flooding, the ongoing problems at the XuPharmDan plant Life in this London reflects concerns today climate change, xenophobia, human trafficking, and fear of the future But Myron and Donal are both friends and colleagues They ll handle whatever trouble comes their way and probably get a good story out of it.
The ending feels like a pause than a finale I m looking forward to the next book in the series.
This book is a treat well written, fast paced, and complex Highly recommended Excellent series combo Ray Bradbury and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo I have not like a series so much since The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo these are a combo of what I remember of reading Ray Bradbury decades ago I cannot even stop writing long enough to write full reviews I already purchased the others in this series and by this author I love the story telling, the conversation and the main theme I was tempted to think this story is not really a fantasy fiction work about aliens, but let me safely say it is about social issues relating to the integration of immigrants from non English speaking and less advantaged countries into the life and work opportunity in Britain s London community The Neptunians, the short mushroom tenders, Plutonians, Mercurians, etc and the journalists from the London Eye, and other news agencies The Characters are interesting, Donald and Myron fromthe London eye, Ezekiel, Tania, Neptunians and other aliens looking for uranium and other minerals, and employment too Though the racism thing is unappealing, the author, Clare, was successful in engaging me at every twist and education within the threading of the story Social and news breaking addicts investigating the life and plights of the aliens through their first contact, the red head Tania in London as the earth.
they actually succeeded in breaking the giant ice divide of these aliens with the earth people, and discovered the challenges facing them, abuse sexual explotation and enslaving by the indigenes and also created a load of problems too Enjoy, every bit of it and education about journalists rioutous social and nosey life.
I love good stories, and don t know how many times am going to read this.