Lee, Sharon, and Steve Miller: Tomorrow Log, The

I dithered for a long while at Boskone about whether to buy Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s latest, The Tomorrow Log. This is a non-Liaden novel, first in an apparent series. I was getting lukewarm on the Liad books anyway, and flipping through this at the dealer’s table gave me the impression that it was a novel in the angsty mode, à la Local Custom, when I prefer the calmer mode of Scout’s Progress.

I read the sample chapters online (which turn out to be a full third of the novel [!]), and decided to buy it at Amazon’s discount. Yes, it looked a little angsty, and there were hints of Foreordained Destiny, but I’m a sucker for cool caper bits, and I can generally count on Lee and Miller to make me care about their characters.

I read this when puppy-sitting, and then re-read it after to make sure I was giving it a fair chance.

It was okay.

To be fair, it seems quite likely that I’m not the right reader for this. I’m not as fond of Foreordained Destiny plots as I once was, and here we have not one but two of the things working on our protagonist. More specifically, our protagonist is an involuntary exile from a multi-generation colony ship, which picks its captains from a prophecy, the eponymous Tomorrow Log. At the same time that a cousin from the ship shows up to tell him that he’s next on the list, he comes into possession of a mysterious artifact that appears to have a mind of its own, and plans for our protagonist. Happily for plot purposes, the two end up heading in the same direction. (Speaking of plot, it also depends on an absolutely mind-boggling, suspension-of-disbelief-blowing coincidence about halfway through. That may have been the straw, actually.)

I am curious as to how the protagonists are going to get out of the plot hole they’re in at the end of this—but there’s the rub, I can’t say I have any confidence that they’ll get out of it in a believable way, after the end of I Dare and the aforementioned enormous coincidence in this book. Maybe I’ll just beg for spoilers online.

[ That’s what I did, by the way, with the latest Robert Jordan book, in the unlikely event that someone was wondering why it hadn’t appeared here yet. I asked Chad to spoil it thoroughly for me, listened carefully, and said, “Nope, I don’t need to read any of that.” It was remarkably freeing. To be fair, there is one plot thread that sounded interesting, but I think I would have found it distressing to read. ]

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