The Stonehenge Gate
by Jack Williamson
Tor, 2005, ISBN 0-765-30897-5
A book review by Elisabeth Carey
Seventy-seven years after his first sale, Williamson is still producing sf worth reading. Will Stone, an English professor at Eastern New Mexico University, and three of his friends (Derek Ironcraft, a physicist; Lupe, an archeologist; and Ram, a professor of linguistics and African history) become interested in a recent discovery of a Stonehenge-like structure buried deep in the Sahara, and wind up planning an expedition to investigate it. In a bit of a good news/bad news development, they find it, and it turns out to be an interstellar gateand the first stop is really unpleasant, and guarded by very hostile critters. Lupe gets snatched, and the others have to go after her. As they keep following the trail, they travel through several more worlds where there's clear evidence of a stellar empire that fell. Eventually Will and Ram, now separated from Derek also, land in the midst of a war that's still going on, albeit at a far more primitive level than the first stages of the war must have been. And since this war is humans against humans, and white against black, white Will and black Ram land themselves in trouble almost immediately, and never really get out of it.
This is good, solid adventure sf, not Williamson's best, but "not Williamson's best" is still pretty good. A fun read.