Dragons and Jetpacks

Dragons & Jetpacks: Books of the Month, December 2015


Dragons & Jetpacks is a science fiction and fantasy bookgroup, based on Goodreads. The group is open to all, all that is required is a Goodreads account. We read two books a month, one fantasy and one sci-fi – the second week of each month is when members make suggestions, and the third is used for voting. We’re always happy to meet fellow fans of the genres, so you’re more than welcome to join the group!



For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future – to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire – both scientists and scholars – and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun – or fight them and be destroyed.

Lions of Al-Rassan


The ruling Asharites of Al-Rassan have come from the desert sands, but over centuries, seduced by the sensuous pleasures of their new land, their stern piety has eroded. The Asharite empire has splintered into decadent city-states led by warring petty kings. King Almalik of Cartada is on the ascendancy, aided always by his friend and advisor, the notorious Ammar ibn Khairan – poet, diplomat, soldier – until a summer afternoon of savage brutality changes their relationship forever.

Meanwhile, in the north, the conquered Jaddites’ most celebrated – and feared – military leader, Rodrigo Belmonte, driven into exile, leads his mercenary company south.

In the dangerous lands of Al-Rassan, these two men from different worlds meet and serve – for a time – the same master. Sharing their interwoven fate – and increasingly torn by her feelings – is Jehane, the accomplished court physician, whose own skills play an increasing role as Al-Rassan is swept to the brink of holy war, and beyond.

Have you read either of this month’s picks? What did you think?


6 thoughts on “Dragons & Jetpacks: Books of the Month, December 2015”

  1. Just browsed through and saw this. GGK is someone I keep saying I need more of, and The Lions of Al-Rassan looks great!

    On the other hand, I first read Foundation… hmm. Maybe around ’86? Probably need to give it another read, it’s probably been since about ’90 since last time. Of course, the entire series has three distinct parts (not counting all the ‘earlier’ books and stories that are technically in the same universe). The original trilogy has a great underpinning (Gibbon in space!), with typical Asimov plot-driven writing. The later books (Foundation’s Edge…) were not very good, with Foundation and Earth being awful. On the other hand, the two Prelude books were very good. I’ve never gotten around to the other books done after his death.

    1. I can’t say I’ve read either Guy Gavriel Kay or Isaac Asimov before. I’m more intrigued by Foundation to be honest, but I’m not sure when I’ll get round to it.

      Which GGK books have you read and enjoyed? 🙂

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