Walter Jon Williams' latest space opera novel came out last week - Conventions of War. It's pretty good, if a little less focused and a little less structured than the first two in the series. He gets distracted by a shipboard murder-mystery for a good chunk of the book, and it results in a somewhat undigested, lumpy sort of narrative, but no individual portion of the book is bad on its own merits. It was a good way to waste a few autumn days.
What really needs work, however, is the presentation by the publisher, EOS. The cover is the most bland of greenish-black-nondescript-ships-against-a-starscape&planet layout, and I actually had a co-worker pick up the book from my desk & mock the blurb-text. "Dread Empire's Fall" is a pretty cheesy series-title, too. If it wasn't for my deep respect for Williams as a writer, I would have never given these books a second glance.