Book Review 2008 #13: The Dragon’s Nine Sons

I love alternate history.
One of my favorite sub-genres within the lands of Fantasy and Science Fiction, I’ve alternate history from Lest Darkness Fall and Guns of the South, and through newer authors like Charles Stross, Naomi Novik and S.M. Stirling.
Another favored sub-genre of mine is space opera and adventure. From Planet of Adventure and Vance’s novels in the Gaean Reach, through Vorkosigan’s adventures, Alistair Reynolds, and others.
Chris Roberson (whose Paragaea was one of my favorite reads last year) has married these two genres in a novel set in his Celestial Empire alternate history, The Dragons Nine Sons. (TDNS). I also, thanks to his kind graces, had an opportunity to first read a prequel story, “The Line of Dichotomy”

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Milky Way is larger than we thought

The Milky Way is twice the size we thought it was – News and Events – University of Sydney
Astrophysicist Professor Bryan Gaensler at the University of Sydney has determined that the thickness of the Milky Way is actually 12,000 light years, rather than the 6,000 previously thought.
I remember a recent article that posited that there was a dwarf galaxy “embedded” in the Milky Way–a galaxy that ours evidently ate aeons ago. And another article positing that instead of an ordinary spiral galaxy, the Milky Way is really a barred spiral.
It would seem, all of this taken together, that our ordinary and humdrum spiral galaxy really, in the end, is unique and individual.