Torchship Pilot (Torchship #2) ★★★☆☆

torchshippilot (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Torchship Pilot
Series: Torchship #2
Author: Karl Gallagher
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 346
Format: Digital Edition



War has broken out between the Fusion and the Disconnect. The Fusion is convinced that AI is a threat to all humanity and the only way to stop it is with a united humanity, under their control. So while humanity should be fighting off the continued probes by the AI of the Sol System, instead they’re fighting each other.

The Diskers end up with a radio weapon that shuts down all computer based activity. They got this from the treasure trove that Michie helped recover in the previous book. They also got a lot of history. Said history showed that the AI Betrayal wasn’t an actual betrayal but just a carrying out of orders by spiteful humanity. Turns out is was more of an overload/crash/accident than an intelligent take over.

With their new weapon the Diskers defeat a Fuzie fleet, reveal the secret history and find out that the AI’s are just running whatever their last command was. Michie makes contact with an AI on a former Fuzie world and communications between AI and Humanity has begun.


My Thoughts:

So, these aren’t AI in the “I am self-aware and want to destroy you” Skynet kind of way. They’re just suped up computer programs. Big whoop de doo. I was rather disappointed at that. And then to have the salt added to the wound that they’re just big cuddlies carrying out their programs and they don’t actually mean to be mean to anyone? Boo hoo hoooooo!

This gets the romance tag because Michie and her husband are always having quickies. After they get up in the morning but before going on duty. Before that meaning in 15 minutes. After dinner. And on and on and on. It was reading about 2 newly-weds who acted like they’d been virgins before getting married. Except Michie was a whore to steal information, so that doesn’t hold up. She also giggles a lot. And her husband just thinks “I love her. I’m going to make this marriage work” as an excuse to let behavior by Michie slide. Beta male all the way.

And this got 3 stars from me? Yep. The rest of the book was pretty good. Several of the characters from the first book either die or move on. Sadly, no one really moves in to take their place and it becomes the Michie and Husband show. I complain about them but I do think that the author does a better job of focusing on the story when he only has 2 main characters to interact with instead of a whole crew.

I am planning on reading the final book but have no intention of reading more by the author if he has even written anything else.



bookstooge (Custom)




Torchship (Torchship #1) ★★★☆½

torchship (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission 
Series: Torchship #1
Author: Karl Gallagher
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 300
Format: Digital Edition



Michigan Long is some sort of undercover agent. After rescuing a scientist who is delving into AI and getting him out of the Fusion (a collection of worlds with a lot technology), she takes up residence as a pilot on a Disconnected (a group of worlds without tech and where slide rules are used for space travel) ship, she has several adventures.

One, their ship is hired as a tour ship that is a cover for a high profile kidnapping. Michigan helps save the day and brings some much needed attention to their ship by powerful people, with money.

That leads into them coming to the attention of the Terraformers, humans who still have contact with uncorrupted AI (corrupted AI are known as Betrayers as they took over the Sol system way back when and are now at quiet war with humanity). They go to a terraformer world only to find a powerful poacher killing wildlife left and right. They deal with him.

The third adventure is a story and a story. They are approached by a man who claims that his grandfather fled from Earth during the betrayal but buried 2 cargo loads of invaluable treasure on a meteor in the Sol system. He has the coordinates but needs a ship and crew willing to risk their lives to enter AI space. To avoid treasure seekers following them, they hire out as a Pilgrim ship. Pilgrims are humans who want to return to Earth, thinking that they will be integrated with the AI. No one, or even any information, has ever returned from a Pilgrimage. They are successful at dropping the pilgrims of in the Sol system and at picking up the treasure.

On their way home they run into an eruption of the war between AI and humans. They are used as bait by the Fusion navy, who uses a new secret weapon to wipe out the Betrayers. Michigan marries the mechanic on the Torchship and is instructed to inform the captain of the ship on her secret military status.


My Thoughts:

This was science fiction in the vein of Heinlein, what with the slide rules, etc. Gallagher did a good job of revealing information about the existing universe without me feeling like he was infodumping OR with-holding info “because of reasons”.

I was not expecting the various adventures format, so it threw me at first but once I realized what was going on, it was enjoyable.

In regards to Michie, there is a lot of hints but very little concrete. I figure the next 2 books will delve more into what is going on with her. This book felt like an introduction to her, the crew & ship and the existing universe in general.

There was a little side plot about the scientist she rescues at the beginning running through the book and I figure since he’s into AI that he’ll be central to defeating the Betrayers if that is the route Gallagher takes us. I hope so because I LOVE humans vs AI stories where humans kick some silicon butt.

The nice thing is that I already know this is a trilogy, so no cliffhangers for me!



bookstooge (Custom)