Friday, August 31, 2007

Morality - Theodore Sturgeon

Homo Gestalt investigations.


3.5 out of 5

More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon

I was pretty amazed the first time I came across this book. It is structured in 3 parts - novellas/novelettes, or what have you.

The basic premise is that Homo Gestalt is coming. Children that develop and relate to people differently than Homo Sapiens. The characters here included a telepath, a telekinetic, a couple of teleporters, and an infant genius.

Broadly speaking, the first part, as you would expect, is about their coming to be, the second, exploring what they are going to do, and the third, more about their influence on society.

It is rather more hopeful than the feared and hunted X-Men type milieu.



More Than Human : 1 The Fabulous Idiot - Theodore Sturgeon
More Than Human : 2 Baby Is Three - Theodore Sturgeon
More Than Human : 3 Morality - Theodore Sturgeon


End of the innocence.

3.5 out of 5


Gestalt growth.

3.5 out of 5


Homo Gestalt investigations.

3.5 out of 5





4.5 out of 5

Baby Is Three - Theodore Sturgeon

Gestalt growth.


3.5 out of 5

The Fabulous Idiot - Theodore Sturgeon

End of the innocence.


3.5 out of 5

Diamond Dogs Turquoise Days - Alastair Reynolds

Two excellent novella style works, here. The first is about an alien artifact that is a complicates of series of mathematical puzzles that get harder as they go on, and the desperate lengths people will go to to try and understand it.

The second is about two sisters and their relationship with the biology of the strange ocean on their planet, as well as the unstable political situation they live in.

Fine work.

Diamond Dogs Turquoise Days : Diamond Dogs - Alastair Reynolds
Diamond Dogs Turquoise Days : Turquoise - Alastair Reynolds


Mathematics requires surgical precision.

5 out of 5


I sea we have a problem.

3.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Turquoise Days - Alastair Reynolds

I sea we have a problem.


3.5 out of 5

Diamond Dogs - Alastair Reynolds

Mathematics requires surgical precision.


5 out of 5

The Weapon Shops of Isher - A. E. Van Vogt

A short book in three parts. A mysterious weapon shop appears in the present, and only lets certain people in. One man finds himself in the future. A young man there finds out he has superhuman luck altering powers.

The third section involves a man who has made himself immortal, and is out to save society via his weapon shops and other schemes.

Weapon Shops of Isher : 1 The Seesaw - A. E. van Vogt
Weapon Shops of Isher : 2 The Weapon Shop - A. E. van Vogt
Weapon Shops of Isher : 3 The Weapon Shops of Isher - A. E. van Vogt


Cosmic balance sucks if it is you.

3.5 out of 5


An incontrovertible supply of bang and zap is important.

4 out of 5


Put me in charge, I do old really well.

3.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Weapon Shops of Isher - A. E. van Vogt

Put me in charge, I do old really well.


3.5 out of 5

The Weapon Shop - A. E. van Vogt

An incontrovertible supply of bang and zap is important.


4 out of 5

The See-Saw - A. E. van Vogt

Cosmic balance sucks if it is you.


3.5 out of 5

Tryst of Fate - M. S. Murdock

Wilma Deering and Killer Kane had a thing, and the latter bailed for the other side, and Ardala is manipulating in the middle.


2.5 out of 5

Beowulf's Children - Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes

This is the sequel to the former Legacy of Heorot novel, also called the Dragons of Heorot, I think, and unfortunately it is not as interesting.

The older generation begin to have health problems from all that they have endured, so a serious generation gap develops between those born locally, and those not.

So, the book mostly is about the difference in cultural attitudes between the two, and the new kids wanting to go their own way.


3 out of 5

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dreamsnake - Vonda N. McIntyre

Dreamsnake is a novel about a healer in a postapocalyptic world. The title object is an animal that has very unique properties that can be used in the protagonist's chosen profession.

So, she promptly loses it and has to try and find another. This means a postapocalyptic road trip, and a couple of companions, a man that helps her and a girl to protect.

Originally, the stories in here were in Analog, and this is what makes up the novel.

Dreamsnake : Of Mist and Grass and Sand - Vonda N. McIntyre
Dreamsnake : The Serpent's Death - Vonda N. McIntyre
Dreamsnake : The Broken Dome - Vonda N. McIntyre


Double serpent treatment.

4.5 out of 5


Backbreaking snake release.

3.5 out of 5


Dreamsnake search disagreement.

3.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Broken Dome - Vonda N. McIntyre

Dreamsnake search disagreement.


3.5 out of 5

The Serpent's Death - Vonda N. McIntyre

Backbreaking snake release.


3.5 out of 5

Cities - Peter Crowther

This book includes four novellas. China Mieville takes a look at a bleak, blasted out London full of not very nice things. Avatars of death and politics collide in Paul Di Filipo's A Year in the Linear City, which is really quite good. Ryman's V A O is shorter, and not as interesting. A 3.25 average for this one by worth the benefit of the doubt.

Cities : A Year in the Linear City - Paul Di Filippo
Cities : The Tain - China Miéville
Cities : Firing the Cathedral [Jerry Cornelius] - Michael Moorcock
Cities : V.A.O. - Geoff Ryman - na PS Publishing, 2002



Any transport is slow, in this city. Or, what happens when it takes
years to travel around the city you live in? Quite interesting, but
short. The main character is actually a SF writer. The other odd thing
thrown in, is that there is an actual avatar of Death, so something you
don't want to see. With a city that is millions and millions of blocks
long, achieving political nogoodnikness is quite problematic.

3.5 out of 5



Bleak, blasted out London full of not very nice things.

3.5 out of 5



Of most interest to me is yet another outing for the fabled Jerry Cornelius. In Firing the Catherdral, Moorcock is attempting a scatching satirical take on our post 9/11 type world, as seen by all the newspaper quotes at the start of chapters, from both 2002 and also from decades in the past.

Jerry is running around doing his thing, happy to be back and functioning. So is the omnipresent Una Persson, travelling at Jerry's side for much of the time. The usual brothers, sisters, bishops and even Colonel Pyat make an appearance. It is ok, but maybe more than a touch heavyhanded, at times.

3.5 out of 5


Age Rage and dodgy blokes.

3 out of 5





3.5 out of 5

VAO - Geoff Ryman

Age Rage and dodgy blokes.


3.5 out of 5

The Tain - China Mieville

Bleak, blasted out London full of not very nice things.


3.5 out of 5

Slan Hunter - A. E. Van Vogt and Kevin J. Anderson

Secret police clueless about what is really going on.


When the head of the human secret police discovers that the President is actually a slan, arresting him and Jommy Cross gives the tendrilless slan group freedom to act unopposed. When the somewhat incompetent spook is told the real story they have tot ry and work together without getting blown up. Luckily the other two and friends have some plans in place.


"Mutants are cropping up everywhere—it's a veritable plague!"

The tendrilless have control of Earth, and Jommy and company turn to his shotgun packing granny for help, hoping to find some allies.

Slans to the rescue.


It isn't good for the older generation in this book, as the hunt for Jommy and the tendrilless realisation that further true slans are being born, no matter what they do. A surprise waits in space for everybody concerned.


3.5 out of 5

The Best of the Nebulas - Ben Bova

A collection that is taken from the list of Nebula winners between 1965 and 1985. As such, chosen by an experienced editor like Bova, you would expect it to be an excellent selection. It is, averaging the magic 4.0 per story exactly.

Best of the Nebulas : The Doors of His Face the Lamps of His Mouth - Roger Zelazny
Best of the Nebulas : Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman - Harlan Ellison
Best of the Nebulas : He Who Shapes - Roger Zelazny
Best of the Nebulas : Aye and Gomorrah - Samuel R. Delany
Best of the Nebulas : Passengers - Robert Silverberg
Best of the Nebulas : Behold the Man [SS] - Michael Moorcock
Best of the Nebulas : When It Changed - Joanna Russ
Best of the Nebulas : Gonna Roll the Bones - Fritz Leiber
Best of the Nebulas : Dragonrider - Anne McCaffrey
Best of the Nebulas : Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death - James Tiptree Jr.
Best of the Nebulas : Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones - Samuel R. Delany
Best of the Nebulas : A Boy and His Dog - Harlan Ellison
Best of the Nebulas : The Day Before the Revolution - Ursula K. Le Guin
Best of the Nebulas : Slow Sculpture - Theodore Sturgeon
Best of the Nebulas : Houston Houston Do You Read? - James Tiptree, Jr.
Best of the Nebulas : Catch That Zeppelin! - Fritz Leiber
Best of the Nebulas : Of Mist and Grass and Sand - Vonda N. McIntyre
Best of the Nebulas : The Persistence of Vision [SS] - John Varley
Best of the Nebulas : Grotto of the Dancing Deer - Clifford D. Simak
Best of the Nebulas : Sandkings - George R. R. Martin
Best of the Nebulas : Jeffty Is Five - Harlan Ellison


Big fish, or cut bait bloke.

3.5 out of 5


Joker fan not keen on digital watches, but does quite like a jelly bean.

3.5 out of 5


Psychiatric seeing rather stupid.

3.5 out of 5


Gender altered space workers provide exotic rough trade on shore leave.

3 out of 5


Mind ridden physical reservations.

4 out of 5


Jesus, it's time for.

4 out of 5


Separation anxiety.

3.5 out of 5


Dicing with Death.

4.5 out of 5


Time for some serious dragon recruiting.

5 out of 5


I'm for dinner, mum.

4 out of 5


Singing shiny password.

4 out of 5


Never you mind my mind, people are tasty.

4 out of 5


Political extroversion is tiring.

4 out of 5


Charged cancer cure.

4 out of 5


Solar flare spaceship time lost in space, plague earth now has paucity of separatist clone chick population.

4.5 out of 5


Airship transport changes.

3 out of 5


Double serpent treatment.

4.5 out of 5


Communication fuller but lots weirder with fewer senses.

4.5 out of 5


Only fair to have an immortal Cro-Magnon given the odd immortal neanderthal.

4 out of 5


Parents eventual terminal lack of patience with kid with the brilliant new old stuff.

5 out of 5

Gender altered space workers provide exotic rough trade on shore leave.

3 out of 5




5 out of 5

Sandkings - George R. R. Martin

Feed your pets properly, fool.


4 out of 5

Grotto of the Dancing Deer - Clifford D. Simak

Only fair to have an immortal Cro-Magnon given the odd immortal neanderthal.


4 out of 5

Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones - Samuel R. Delany

Singing shiny password.


4 out of 5

Dragonrider - Anne McCaffrey

Time for some serious dragon recruiting.


5 out of 5

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Gonna Roll the Bones - Fritz Leiber

Dicing with Death.


4.5 out of 5

Behold the Man - Michael Moorcock

Jesus, it's time for.


4 out of 5

Passengers - Robert Silverberg

Mind ridden physical reservations.


4 out of 5

He Who Shapes - Roger Zelazny

Psychiatric seeing rather stupid.


3.5 out of 5

The Doors Of His Face the Lamps Of His Mouth - Roger Zelazny

Big fish, or cut bait bloke.


3.5 out of 5

A Civil Campaign - Lois McMaster Bujold

If you like a chick, occasionally it is a good idea to tell her.


Especially before you are in the middle of a formal situation and the M word might blurt out. A pretty lightweight part of the series this one, and you could easily skip it, as both of the M brothers try and sort out themselves and the various female acquaintances that they are keen on.

In this situation, they decide to become mummy's boys so she can use some of her wiles against the various potential in-laws standing in the way.


3 out of 5

Komarr - Lois McMaster Bujold

Suicide is a rather extreme method for getting someone into trouble.


Miles tags along on an investigation that takes place on Komarr. There are some isolations to foil, and a woman to take a fancy too. She is married, but it turns out her ball and chain is more bent than a pig's genitals. Said bloke actually offs himself to try and put the heat on Miles. Not the sharpest tool in the hogcleaning shed, you could say

Throw in a secret weapons plot and it gets a little tricky.


3.5 out of 5

Memory - Lois McMaster Bujold

Having been dead is bad, it can seriously crimp your spy stylin's.


Especially when the boss finds out. The head of Imperial Security finds out Miles is really not a well bloke, and gives him the arse from his current assignment.

This is seen as an opportunity for some that don't like the current boss to try and get rid of him.

The first bit backfires on those that have targeted the head of Security as Miles finds an old law that lets the Emperor appoint a troubleshooter who can basically order whoever th ehell he likes around. He gets a surprise when said Emperor makes it him. This sort of troublemaking shitekicking certainly suits him as he does the business.


3.5 out of 5

Mirror Dance - Lois McMaster Bujold

One deadsicle, one schizo.


Mark impersonates his brother to take the Free Mercs off on a liberation mission. A bit of an understatement to say this doesn't go well. The original version is killed and frozen, and Mark is tortured until his not so stable personality fragments into many.

The M & M show has to someone get out of this and wreak some havoc on bad Barons.


3.5 out of 5

Brothers In Arms - Lois McMaster Bujold

Cousin clone kill.


Miles has problems on most fronts. The Cetagandans are none too happy with his escapades. His conservative opposition is none to happy with his escapades. He has a clone brother that wants to kill him. As far as I remember, I think he had enough clean undies and socks to go around though.

A spot of survival and reconciliation is in order.


3.5 out of 5

Borders Of Infinity - Lois McMaster Bujold

A collection of three novellas, a couple of which came from Analog, and another from a book. This is taken none too seriously with a Miles under investigation for accounting irregularities linking sort-of-story.

Borders of Infinity : Borders of Infinity - Lois McMaster Bujold
Borders of Infinity : Labyrinth - Lois McMaster Bujold
Borders of Infinity : Mountains of Mourning - Lois McMaster Bujold


Undercover recover uprising bustout.

3.5 out of 5


Werewolf nookie rescue.

3 out of 5


Infanticide investigation experience.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Labyrinth - Lois McMaster Bujold

Werewolf nookie rescue.


3 out of 5

Borders Of Infinity - Lois McMaster Bujold

Undercover recover uprising bustout.


3.5 out of 5

Ethan of Athos - Lois McMaster Bujold

Manhome loses some girl bits.


A scientists investigates the disappearance of some reproductive material from the titular planet, one which is completely populated by males. In the course of his investigations he meets a woman from that Vorkosigan related bunch, the Dendarii Free Mercenaries. Being a spook of sorts, she is rather useful, especially when kidnapping and dodgy bounty hunters is involved.


3 out of 5

Cetaganda - Lois McMaster Bujold

Dead Empress divestiture.


Miles gets sent to the boring duty of going to an Imperial funeral. Some people would also be happy if he didn't come back, of course, given he has been sent to Cetaganda. Miles of course manages to get involved with a mystery into the bargain, helping out one of the local military, and eve gets a medal for his trouble. A medal from this bunch doesn't really endear him to the locals much, either.


3 out of 5

The Vor Game - Lois McMaster Bujold

Graduation is a cold experience.


Just out of the academy, and not the most popular preson with the conservative types, Miles get a crappy job in a remote polar location. He very soon gets into trouble via a murder, which he is accused of. Also, the young emperor has bailed in space. Miles has to get himself out of trouble and also do something about the missing royalty, with the odd dangerous woman and space war thrown in just to keep him on his toes.


3.5 out of 5

Barrayar - Lois McMaster Bujold

Countering coup.


Aral and Cordelia are married, and when the current bloke in charge carks it, he gets left in charge. All is not well however, as political opposition stages a coup, with leads to their damaged in the womb by poison attack son's environment being taken away, and the pair forced to go on the run and see what they can work out to set things write.

As the regent's wife, the more liberal Cordelia will have a changing effect on the Prince's upbringing compared to the status quo.


3 out of 5

Shards of Honor - Lois McMaster Bujold

Butcher bad boy bit of a babe.


A survey ship captain from a pretty decent planet, gets into trouble and her crew is attacked, and she gets knocked out. Waking up she finds she is left with a bloke with a very unsavoury reputation, Aral Vorkosigan of Barrayar.

Secrets, lies, politics and spies from thereon in, with, given this is a romance type series, her of course falling for the guy she is left in trouble with.


3 out of 5

Flight Of the Old Dog - Dale Brown

Desperate death ray defence.


Who are the bad guys? The Russians? How did you guess? Anyway, they have come up literally with a death ray, and decide to shoot down some US aero intelligence assets. The US of course gets grumpy and sends some B1 bombers etc. to deal with this, and promptly lose them too.

Luckily for them, they have McLanahan and his technology. In this case one of the huge old bombers that has been updated to use as a flying defence platoform with new sensors and weapons capability. They need it badly because at the momen the Russkies can missile who they like.

The only problem that they have is that it is pretty untested, and some of the only people that can crew it are noncombatants, and no-one knows how they will react if the Russians start deathraying them.


3 out of 5

Warrior Class - Dale Brown

Stealth planes and Evil Oil Baron.


Your average megavillain rich megalomaniac wants to control an oil pipeline. This, being a military technothriller, means that the US types of course have to now go and blow the crap out of him. This is trickier than usual because he has a bomber that is very difficult to detect.

Of course, McLanahan and his crew of Dreamworks gadgeteers and support pilots have some tech tricks of their own, so shooting and blowing up does get to happen.


3 out of 5

The Wishsong of Shannara - Terry Brooks

Bad books need bashing, unfortunately through singing.


The descendants of the elf boy etc. in the first couple of books are now needed to save the place from a Tome of Evil. Of course, your manipulative magic druid guy is still around to make suggestions Inheriting magical talents is one thing, but having to sing them? No thanks there, ancestor people. Each book in this series gets worse.


2.5 out of 5

The Elfstones of Shannara - Terry Brooks

Magic elf tree is dying.


So guess who gets to go on a quest? Yep, your young elf boy. After all, apparently most people don't want to have the demon realm invade their own and do very very bad things. Most people also don't have druids manipulating them, magic powers that don't work very well, magic swords, annoying elf girls, or any of the rest of that sort of thing.


3 out of 5

The Clan Corporate - Charles Stross

Hierarchical hardball.


This is really just as good as the others, but an obvious part of a series. Miriam makes some mistakes, running into the royal spymaster. Breeding plans for her are afoot by the 'old bitches' as her mother and the King call them.

Further complicating the plot, Matthias' defection in the last book has left a US alphabet soup agency force with the knowledge and Clan hostages to enable them to start making inroads into the situation. They are terrified of people teleporting nuclear weapons.

Then, it all gets a bit Guns of Avalon if you like.


4 out of 5

Future Weapons of War - Martin H. Greenberg and Joe Haldeman

The cover here looks like space soldiers out of a computer game, or something like that. However, this is not, given Haldeman as an editor, a kill-'em-all marines in space sort of thing. Only one story really has military geek technobabble to the max, otherwise it is is all pretty good, and Rusch's story is excellent and chilling.

Future Weapons of War : Craters - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Future Weapons of War : David In the Lion's Den - Geoffrey A. Landis
Future Weapons of War : Rocket Boy - Paul J. McAuley
Future Weapons of War : Jade Angel - Dena Bain Taylor
Future Weapons of War : Broken Bits - Mark L. VanName
Future Weapons of War : The First Cup of Coffee War - James H. Cobb
Future Weapons of War : The Soldier Within - Michael A. Burstein
Future Weapons of War : Spec-Ops - L. E. Modesitt
Future Weapons of War : The Weapon - William H. Keith
Future Weapons of War : The Looking Glass War - Brendan DuBois
Future Weapons of War : The Humans Call it Duty - Michael Z. Williamson
Future Weapons of War : Casualty - Brian Stableford


Mandatory babychipping has horrendously explosive terrorist consequences, reporter finds.

4.5 out of 5


Pork, it's what's for dinner. Cleverly used as a weapon against those for whom it ain't.

3 out of 5


Smartgun revolution overkill.

4 out of 5


Chimese dragon defence.

3.5 out of 5


"Not much call for fruit drinks"

3.5 out of 5


Near earth orbit warporn geekery.

2.5 out of 5


Telepathic rifle rejection subversion strategy.

3.5 out of 5


This war is for the birds, bats, gators, snakes, cockroaches...

3.5 out of 5


Long term social engineering.

4 out of 5


Leopardmanslaughter.

4 out of 5


Biosoldier up the duff drafting.

3.5 out of 5



4 out of 5

Casualty - Brian Stableford

Biosoldier up the duff drafting.


3.5 out of 5

The Humans Call It Duty - Michael Z. Williamson

Leopardmanslaughter.


4 out of 5

The Looking Glass War - Brendan DuBois

Sino takeover forgotten at the top.


3.5 out of 5

The Weapon - William H. Keith

Long term social engineering.


4 out of 5

Spec-Ops - L. E. Modesitt

This war is for the birds, bats, gators, snakes, cockroaches...


3.5 out of 5

The Soldier Within - Michael A. Burstein

Telepathic rifle rejection subversion strategy.


3.5 out of 5

The First Cup of Coffee War - James H. Cobb

Near earth orbit warporn geekery.


2.5 out of 5

Broken Bits - Mark L. Van Name

"Not much call for fruit drinks"


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Brightness Reef - David Brin

Jijo mojo nogo.


A second Uplift trilogy starts here, and unfortunately it is a big old mess. Nowhere near as entertaining or well done as the other three books. The book is set on an alien world that has been settled by a whole bunch of different alien races, and apparently it has all been done on the shonk, in general.

Add in a mystery person and perhaps some ties to the other books, but this one needed some serious plot work to make it readable or make you want to go on with the rest.


2 out of 5

The Uplift War - David Brin

No-one likes uppity monkey boys, or even uppity monkeys.


Humanity, being so cool and all, has done what none of those stody old slow types in the galaxy have done, raised non-sentient races to sentient intelligence. In this case, dolphins and apes, and working on the canine variety next. This makes the aliens unhappy, as the whole uplift another bunch means you get to exploit them for lots and lots of work and cash, to put it plainly.

The various Terrans have other ideas. Entertaining stuff.


4 out of 5

The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley

A rather foggy version.


As far as Arthurian stories go, this one is definitely on the tedious end, and pretty hard to get through. An actual case where I amazingly enough found a tv miniseries significantly more enjoyable. Anyway, this is told from the point of view of a more peripheral character, Morgaine, and details the conflicts between her religion and magic, and the new variety that is coming, as well as some of the usual backstory.


2.5 out of 5

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury

A good old creepy carny type story.


The wicked in the title refers to the travelling sideshow/fun fair/show or whatever you want to call it attraction that rolls into a nowheresville USA town. Bad things start happening because of this creepy joint, and two boys end up in the thick of the action trying to work out what they can do to stop all the dastardly goings-on.


3.5 out of 5

Jupiter - Ben Bova

The father out you go, the worse this gets.


Or, this book isn't as good as the Venus novel, which is not as good as the Mars novel, so this is about where I stop. For this sort of thing, a plot involving your religious moral majority nut types forcing a not too bright kid to get a job in the Jovian arena to spy for them is really as dull as dishwater.


2 out of 5

Venus - Ben Bova

Both planet and book not as interesting as Mars, physically or written.


A family conflict dominates this book. One dead brother from a preivous Venus mission. One not in the best of shape and healthy decidedly not studly Roger Ramjet astronaut type, and an incredibly wealthy overbearing father. The brother wants to get his dead relative's body back, the father wants cash.

This was not very interesting at all, unfortunately.


2.5 out of 5

Mars - Ben Bova

In the midst of all the politics, please remember your vitamins.


A Soviet dominated mission to Mars is put together, and a rather late inclusion is a Native Amreican geologist. When they actually arrive, after a few hair-raising moments on the trip there, he ignites controversy by speaking his native tongue instead of what the cue cards suggest.

While landed successfully, the mission has some serious problems to overcome, to survive.


3.5 out of 5

Brothers - Ben Bova

Fraternal regen triangle.


One brother is your average decent bloke. The other brother is seen as a corporate biotech hustler, who may have come up with a process for organ regeneration. However, it is not all that well tested, and this gun jumping process may have caused a death.

The two brothers end up being involved with the one wife, and also on opposite sides in a courtroom drama.


3 out of 5

Psycho II - Robert Bloch

Also possessed by sequelitis.


While the first Psycho novel is a pretty good book, this one is only half the book the first was, at least in quality, as you can see by the rating.

Norman escapes and goes all Slasher, which is really not why it was interesting to start with.


2 out of 5

Twilight Zone the Movie - Robert Bloch

Novelisation of the anthology format movie.


Robert Bloch, in an interesting choice, takes the three screenplays for the various parts of this movie and puts them into book form. Not overly long, basically like episodes of a tv show. You wouldn't have thought that, would you? Just a garden variety job as far as this one goes, however.


2.5 out of 5

Legion - William Peter Blatty

Possessed by sequelitis.


Unfortunately, Legion is pretty much a classic example of the sequel being not too flash compared to the rather entertaining original. Or, to put it more plainly, you really do not need to read this, but keen fans that find it for next to nothing in a second hand shop might want to take a look to fill in some of the goings on surrounding the milieu of the first book, or for their collection. Quite avoidable, indeed.


2.5 out of 5

Heart Of the Comet - Gregory Benford

Space tribe time.


An expedition to explore a comet is not exactly filled with the most stable of individuals. This causes long term problems when they begin to use the giant ball of stuff as a space vehicle. When a virus strikes, atavistic tribal behaviour comes to the fore, and some of the more rational still among those on board struggle to keep things together.


3.5 out of 5

Tides Of Light - Gregory Benford

Robots centipedes aren't good.


Or, this book follows on from Great Sky River, with Killeen in charge of his particular group of chess piece clan human strugglers. Mechs, mechanical big insects, other people, pretty much it seems everything is out to get them, in general.

Not much different in quality between this and the preceding novel, like the other one, you will probably like this book, too.


3 out of 5

Against Infinity - Gregory Benford

A is for alien to be hunted.


The writing in this book is a bit of a different style, a little more old fashioned feeling compared to a lot of his other work. On a tough, hard to survive on icy moon an alien force lies buried. When the locals realise something is stirring again, a boy and his father take on the task of doing something about it, if life wasn't rough enough for them to start with. This leads to some revelations for those involved.


3 out 5

Find the Changeling - Gregory Benford and Gordon Eklund

Hard to stop someone when you don't know what they look look.


A group is dedicated to stopping changeling assassinations, but it is an occupation that has a pretty high fatality rate. This is a fairly bleak book, as neither the hunter or the hunted are people that you really would want to have dinner with, in this situation. Fairly short, but not really worth the time, as such.


2 out of 5

Great Sky River - Gregory Benford

Mechs are bad, okay.


A rag-tag fugitive bunch is trying to survive on a planet. They meet a group who have apparently cut a deal with the enemy to assure their survival. The enemy in this case being one of the Mechs. You know how this sort of story usually plays out, deals with the devil and all that sort of thing. Just not too interesting this book, as everything of course gets worse from there.


3 out of 5

The Prefect - Alastair Reynolds

Detective, spies and AI.

Alastair Reynolds has done it again, delivering another good book. Over 20 novels and stories of his I have read, and still averaging over 4. Very impressive.

The Glitter Band is a system of ten thousand floating habitats, all independent, but all tied into a common voting mechanism for government administration by an organisation that is called the Panoply. Think Judge Dredd, without the guns and you will have some idea.

At the beginning of the novel, the voting software for this organisation needs upgrading to remove a security hole. Around the same time one of the habitats is blasted by the drive of an Ultra spaceship.

Panoply field prefect Tom Dreyfus smells a big rat, and with his team, sets out to investigate.

Although this is a standalone novel, elements do tie in in small ways to the Sylveste epic, in a way that will be pleasing to longtime readers.

No space opera this one, but the baroque and slightly creepy atmosphere and characters of his other Revelation Space novels is well to the fore. If you like those, not much doubt you will like this story, too.

It gets quite a bit more complicated after the early setup, with political divisions, plots, and counterplots emerging, as Dreyfus unravels the mess, finding out some truths about himself in the process, as well as who he is working for.


4 out of 5

Triple Cross - Abigail Irvine

Ardala Walmar has a brainwave, and after finding out that Buck Rogers' body has been discovered, she decides to send NEO colonel Wilma Deering to recover it, partly out of jealousy. Oops.


3.5 out of 5

The Mathematics of the Author

The Mathematics of the Author

There are over 1900 authors, editors and
team-ups in Not Free SF Reader and Free
SF Reader it seems.

Here is a quick author and editor breakdown.
I have only included those with 4 or more entries,
so a non-prolific teamup will not be included.
Hartwell and Cramer, for example, and also
Peter F. Hamilton due to not getting to
B through I much as yet, as a couple of examples
off the top of my head.



By Number of Entries

Ent AvgR Name

129 3.31 Smith, Clark Ashton
128 3.53 Howard, Robert E.
91 3.35 Bradbury, Ray
75 3.69 Moorcock, Michael
74 4.06 Doyle, Arthur Conan
70 3.63 Lovecraft, H. P.
65 4.12 Dowling, Terry
56 3.96 Egan, Greg
56 3.73 Martin, George R. R.
53 3.77 Leiber, Fritz
51 3.48 Asimov, Isaac
49 3.37 Anderson, Poul
48 3.58 Dedman, Stephen
47 3.71 Shepard, Lucius
43 3.62 Zelazny, Roger
38 3.42 Leigh, Stephen
36 3.75 Stross, Charles
34 3.81 McMullen, Sean
32 3.52 Di_Filippo, Paul
31 3.55 Kelly, James Patrick
30 3.35 Niven, Larry
30 3.50 Silverberg, Robert
29 3.50 Bear, Elizabeth
29 3.16 Ludlum, Robert
27 3.76 Gemmell, David
26 2.96 Anthony, Piers
25 3.18 Dann, Jack
25 3.60 Sussex, Lucy
25 3.72 Williams, Sean
24 3.67 Fleming, Ian
24 4.06 Smith, Cordwainer
23 3.22 Modesitt, L. E.
23 4.07 Reynolds, Alastair
22 3.11 De_Camp, L. Sprague
22 3.52 McDevitt, Jack
22 3.18 Vance, Jack
21 4.02 Brust, Steven
21 3.40 Robeson, Kenneth
21 3.48 Williams, Walter Jon
20 2.73 Rice, Anne
20 3.63 Snodgrass, Melinda M.
19 3.47 Benford, Gregory
19 3.21 Resnick, Mike
18 3.83 Kress, Nancy
18 3.47 Le_Guin, Ursula K.
18 3.42 Newman, Kim
18 3.42 Wolfe, Gene
17 3.29 Asprin, Robert Lynn
17 3.53 Battersby, Lee
17 3.35 Brown, Simon
17 3.50 Grant, Maxwell
17 3.29 Hamilton, Laurell K.
17 3.21 Holder, Nancy
17 3.21 Hood, Robert
17 3.09 Jordan, Robert
17 3.32 McHugh, Maureen F.
17 3.29 Moon, Elizabeth
17 3.18 Orczy, Emmuska
17 3.68 Reed, Robert
16 3.19 Hamilton, Edmond
16 3.56 King, Stephen
16 3.06 McCaffrey, Anne
16 3.47 Peek, Ben
16 3.56 Sterling, Bruce
15 3.63 Baxter, Stephen
15 3.47 Brin, David
15 3.53 Burroughs, Edgar Rice
15 3.27 Norton, Andre
15 3.40 Robinson, Kim Stanley
15 3.83 Simmons, Dan
15 2.77 Tolkien, J. R. R.
14 2.61 Heinlein, Robert A.
14 3.29 Maloney, Geoffrey
14 3.36 Nix, Garth
14 3.57 Pratchett, Terry
14 3.75 Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
14 3.25 Scott, Melissa
14 3.21 Stoker, Bram
13 3.42 Golden, Christopher
13 3.04 Lanagan, Margo
13 3.58 Le_Carre, John
13 3.08 Love, Rosaleen
13 3.12 Masterton, Graham
13 3.62 Simons, Walton
13 3.19 Smith, E. E. Doc
13 4.04 Swanwick, Michael
13 3.19 Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
12 3.38 Bear, Greg
12 3.50 Broderick, Damien
12 3.71 Clarke, Arthur C.
12 3.79 Doctorow, Cory
12 3.63 Farmer, Philip Jose
12 3.63 Flinthart, Dirk
12 4.42 May, Julian
12 3.75 Pohl, Frederik
12 3.54 Tepper, Sheri S.
12 4.04 Tiptree_Jr, James
12 3.83 Turner, George
12 2.92 Van_Lustbader, Eric
12 3.42 Varley, John
12 3.38 Watts, Peter
12 3.58 Williams, Tad
11 3.73 Chandler, A. Bertram
11 3.36 Harrison, Harry
11 3.55 Roberson, Chris
11 3.36 Sparks, Cat
11 2.91 Tepperman, Emile C.
11 3.50 Wells, H. G.
10 2.80 Aldiss, Brian
10 3.25 Barnes, Arthur K.
10 3.70 Cadigan, Pat
10 3.20 De_Camp, L. Sprague and Lin Carter
10 4.25 Dozois, Gardner
10 3.45 Green, Simon R.
10 3.35 Kennett, Rick
10 2.15 Lewis, C. S.
10 3.60 Livings, Martin
10 4.30 Miller, John J.
10 3.35 Piper, H. Beam
10 3.45 Roberts, Tansy Rayner
10 3.55 Stableford, Brian
10 2.65 Sutcliff, Rosemary
10 3.50 Williams, Sean and Shane Dix
9 3.17 Adams, Stephen
9 3.06 Anonymous, Anonymous
9 3.28 Borneman, John
9 3.39 Cox, Greg
9 3.33 Cummings, Shane Jiraiya
9 3.33 Dickson, Gordon R.
9 4.11 Flint, Eric
9 3.67 Gibson, William
9 3.11 Herbert, Brian
9 3.44 Jamieson, Trent
9 3.72 MacLeod, Ken
9 3.22 Merritt, Abraham
9 3.50 Navarro, Yvonne
9 3.94 Shiner, Lewis
9 3.78 Sturgeon, Theodore
9 3.44 Wyndham, John
8 3.25 Anderson, Kevin J.
8 3.19 Biancotti, Deborah
8 3.25 Blackmore, Leigh
8 3.19 Browne, Adam
8 3.38 Effinger, George Alec
8 3.44 Flint, Eric and Dave Freer and Andrew Dennis
8 3.38 Haggard, H. Rider
8 3.31 Haldeman, Joe
8 3.75 Haynes, Simon
8 3.63 Isle, Sue
8 3.94 Jones, Gwyneth
8 3.13 Lee, Tanith
8 3.94 McAuley, Paul J.
8 3.38 McKenzie, Chuck
8 3.69 Sheckley, Robert
8 2.81 Sheehan, Perley Poore
8 3.00 Tambour, Anna
8 3.88 Van_Gelder, Gordon
8 3.56 Van_Vogt, A. E.
8 3.25 Vinge, Joan D.
8 2.94 Watson, Ian
8 2.56 Whitehouse, Arch
7 3.29 Adams, Douglas
7 3.29 Blish, James
7 3.50 Collins, Max Allan
7 3.79 Collins, Paul
7 3.43 Cook, Glen
7 3.43 Foster, Alan Dean
7 3.29 Gaiman, Neil
7 3.29 Greenberg, Martin H.
7 4.14 Herbert, Frank
7 3.21 Hogan, Robert J.
7 3.71 Kuttner, Henry
7 3.71 Landis, Geoffrey A.
7 3.14 MacLeod, Ian R.
7 3.93 McDonald, Ian
7 4.29 Milan, Victor
7 3.57 Scalzi, John
7 3.93 Scott, Martin
7 3.64 Sheffield, Charles
7 3.21 Simak, Clifford D.
7 3.00 Smith, David C. and Richard L. Tierney
7 3.64 Stapledon, Olaf
7 3.07 Tem, Steve Rasnic
7 3.57 Vinge, Vernor
7 3.14 Warren, Kaaron
7 2.71 Wilson, Robert Anton
6 3.33 Arnason, Eleanor
6 3.67 Asher, Neal
6 3.08 Banks, Iain M.
6 3.50 Barclay, James
6 3.00 Barker, Clive
6 3.50 Battersby, Lyn
6 3.50 Bester, Alfred
6 3.83 Blackford, Russell
6 2.67 Card, Orson Scott
6 3.58 Chadbourn, Mark
6 4.00 Chiang, Ted
6 3.17 Congreve, Bill
6 2.83 Drake, David
6 3.75 Dumas, Alexandre
6 3.75 Ellison, Harlan
6 3.58 Endacott, Sarah
6 3.08 Friesner, Esther M.
6 3.83 Haines, Paul
6 2.83 Jones, Diana Wynne
6 2.83 Kiernan, Caitlin R.
6 3.58 Kipling, Rudyard
6 3.67 Lansdale, Joe R.
6 3.25 Lawhead, Stephen R.
6 3.17 Luckett, Dave
6 3.17 Lumley, Brian
6 2.67 Mitchell, Elynne
6 3.75 Murray, Will
6 3.17 Nolan, William F.
6 3.92 O'Donnell, Peter
6 3.25 Pendleton, Don
6 3.50 Roberts, Adam
6 2.75 Rucker, Rudy
6 3.42 Savage, Les
6 3.67 Schroeder, Karl
6 3.33 Shirley, John
6 3.00 Tilley, Patrick
6 2.83 Verne, Jules
6 3.83 Waldrop, Howard
6 3.50 Wilder, Cherry
6 3.33 Wilhelm, Kate
6 4.08 Williams, Sheila
6 3.17 Zahn, Timothy
5 2.90 Adams, Richard
5 3.30 Alexander, Lloyd
5 3.70 Baen, James
5 3.10 Barnes, John
5 2.90 Betancourt, John Gregory
5 3.10 Boothby, Guy
5 3.60 Bova, Ben
5 3.10 Brooks, Terry
5 3.30 Brunner, John
5 3.80 Buckell, Tobias S.
5 3.60 Campbell, John W.
5 3.30 Campbell, Ramsey
5 3.80 Cassutt, Michael
5 3.60 Clough, B. W.
5 4.30 Cooper, Susan
5 3.10 Crowther, Peter
5 3.40 Darlton, Clark
5 3.70 DeCandido, Keith R. A.
5 3.00 Drummond, John Peter
5 4.40 Frahm, Leanne
5 3.10 Frederick, Carl
5 3.20 Gardner, Craig Shaw
5 3.70 Garrett, Randall
5 3.00 Goulart, Ron
5 3.20 Haber, Karen
5 3.30 Hand, Elizabeth
5 3.60 Harper, Leanne C.
5 3.30 Harvey, Edwina
5 3.30 Jansson, Tove
5 3.50 Kessel, John
5 3.80 Knight, Damon
5 3.60 Kornbluth, C. M.
5 3.40 Lake, Jay
5 3.80 MacLean, Alistair
5 4.10 Maggin, Elliot S.
5 3.40 Mahr, Kurt
5 3.10 Martens, Paul E.
5 3.60 McArthur, Maxine
5 2.80 McIntyre, Vonda N.
5 3.10 Meaney, John
5 3.80 Mieville, China
5 4.40 Morgan, Richard
5 3.80 Nichols, Ian
5 3.20 Odom, Mel
5 3.30 Reilly, Matthew
5 3.80 Rucka, Greg
5 3.40 Saberhagen, Fred
5 3.20 Spinrad, Norman
5 3.50 Steele, Curtis
5 3.10 Stockbridge, Grant
5 3.60 Warrington, Freda
5 2.90 Weber, David
5 3.30 Wellman, Manly Wade
5 4.00 Westerfeld, Scott
5 3.10 Williams, Tess
5 3.00 Willis, Connie
5 3.70 Wilson, F. Paul
5 3.90 Wilson, Robert Charles
4 3.38 Anvil, Christopher
4 2.88 Armstrong, Kelley
4 3.25 Baker, Kage
4 3.25 Barrow, Stuart
4 3.50 Bishop, David
4 3.50 Bloch, Robert
4 2.63 Boyll, Randall
4 1.88 Bradley, Marion Zimmer
4 2.63 Brite, Poppy Z.
4 3.63 Brown, Fredric
4 4.13 Bryant, Edward
4 3.75 Budrys, Algis
4 3.50 Bursztynski, Sue
4 3.00 Canavan, Trudi
4 3.25 Charteris, Leslie
4 3.88 Clement, Hal
4 4.00 Collins, Nancy A.
4 3.63 Cowdrey, Albert E.
4 4.00 Dahl, Roald
4 3.13 David, Peter
4 3.38 Davidson, Rjurik
4 4.00 Dick, Philip K.
4 3.13 Duane, Diane
4 3.13 Flynn, Michael F.
4 3.50 Ford, John M.
4 2.50 Friedman, M. J.
4 2.88 Goodrich, Clifford
4 3.38 Goossens, Darren
4 2.75 Greenland, Colin
4 2.00 Harding, Traci
4 2.63 Harrison, Kim
4 3.13 House, Brant
4 3.38 Irvine, Alex
4 3.13 Jeter, K. W.
4 3.13 Joyce, Graham
4 3.50 Lackey, Mercedes
4 3.75 Lafferty, R. A.
4 4.13 Lake, David J.
4 3.75 Langford, David
4 4.00 Lawson, Chris
4 3.13 Lebbon, Tim
4 2.88 Lee, Stan
4 3.00 Lerner, Edward M.
4 4.13 Levinson, Paul
4 3.13 Lingen, Marissa
4 3.63 Malzberg, Barry N.
4 3.38 McCulley, Johnston
4 3.38 Murphy, Pat
4 3.75 Oltion, Jerry
4 3.50 Paulsen, Steven
4 3.13 Payne, Ben
4 3.75 Pierres, Marianne de
4 3.63 Poe, Edgar Allan
4 3.50 Pryor, Michael
4 2.13 Rawn, Melanie
4 3.25 Robinson, Spider
4 3.13 Robson, Barbara
4 3.50 Rohmer, Sax
4 3.63 Sawyer, Robert J.
4 3.50 Scheer, K. H.
4 4.00 Schmidt, Stanley
4 3.38 Schmitz, James H.
4 3.50 Schow, David J.
4 3.75 Shetterly, Will
4 3.50 Smith, Martin Cruz
4 3.13 Smith, Michael Marshall
4 3.88 Steele, Allen
4 3.88 Stephenson, Neal
4 3.63 Stewart, Alex
4 3.63 Stewart, Mary
4 3.00 Straub, Peter
4 3.38 Tinsley, Theodore
4 2.88 Wallace, Robert
4 3.38 Wellen, Edward
4 3.13 Wells, Martha
4 3.50 Whiteley, Monissa
4 3.13 Williamson, Jack
4 2.38 Winters, Logan
4 3.75 Wodhams, Jack
4 3.50 Wright, John C.



By Rating

Ent AvgR Name

4.42 12 May, Julian
4.40 05 Frahm, Leanne
4.40 05 Morgan, Richard
4.30 10 Miller, John J.
4.30 05 Cooper, Susan
4.29 07 Milan, Victor
4.25 10 Dozois, Gardner
4.14 07 Herbert, Frank
4.13 04 Bryant, Edward
4.13 04 Lake, David J.
4.13 04 Levinson, Paul
4.12 65 Dowling, Terry
4.11 09 Flint, Eric
4.10 05 Maggin, Elliot S.
4.08 06 Williams, Sheila
4.07 23 Reynolds, Alastair
4.06 24 Smith, Cordwainer
4.06 74 Doyle, Arthur Conan
4.04 12 Tiptree_Jr, James
4.04 13 Swanwick, Michael
4.02 21 Brust, Steven
4.00 06 Chiang, Ted
4.00 05 Westerfeld, Scott
4.00 04 Collins, Nancy A.
4.00 04 Dahl, Roald
4.00 04 Dick, Philip K.
4.00 04 Lawson, Chris
4.00 04 Schmidt, Stanley
3.96 56 Egan, Greg
3.94 09 Shiner, Lewis
3.94 08 Jones, Gwyneth
3.94 08 McAuley, Paul J.
3.93 07 McDonald, Ian
3.93 07 Scott, Martin
3.92 06 O'Donnell, Peter
3.90 05 Wilson, Robert Charles
3.88 08 Van_Gelder, Gordon
3.88 04 Clement, Hal
3.88 04 Steele, Allen
3.88 04 Stephenson, Neal
3.83 18 Kress, Nancy
3.83 15 Simmons, Dan
3.83 12 Turner, George
3.83 06 Blackford, Russell
3.83 06 Haines, Paul
3.83 06 Waldrop, Howard
3.81 34 McMullen, Sean
3.80 05 Buckell, Tobias S.
3.80 05 Cassutt, Michael
3.80 05 Knight, Damon
3.80 05 MacLean, Alistair
3.80 05 Mieville, China
3.80 05 Nichols, Ian
3.80 05 Rucka, Greg
3.79 12 Doctorow, Cory
3.79 07 Collins, Paul
3.78 09 Sturgeon, Theodore
3.77 53 Leiber, Fritz
3.76 27 Gemmell, David
3.75 36 Stross, Charles
3.75 14 Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
3.75 12 Pohl, Frederik
3.75 08 Haynes, Simon
3.75 06 Dumas, Alexandre
3.75 06 Ellison, Harlan
3.75 06 Murray, Will
3.75 04 Budrys, Algis
3.75 04 Lafferty, R. A.
3.75 04 Langford, David
3.75 04 Oltion, Jerry
3.75 04 Pierres, Marianne de
3.75 04 Shetterly, Will
3.75 04 Wodhams, Jack
3.73 56 Martin, George R. R.
3.73 11 Chandler, A. Bertram
3.72 09 MacLeod, Ken
3.72 25 Williams, Sean
3.71 07 Kuttner, Henry
3.71 07 Landis, Geoffrey A.
3.71 47 Shepard, Lucius
3.71 12 Clarke, Arthur C.
3.70 10 Cadigan, Pat
3.70 05 Baen, James
3.70 05 DeCandido, Keith R. A.
3.70 05 Garrett, Randall
3.70 05 Wilson, F. Paul
3.69 08 Sheckley, Robert
3.69 75 Moorcock, Michael
3.68 17 Reed, Robert
3.67 24 Fleming, Ian
3.67 09 Gibson, William
3.67 06 Asher, Neal
3.67 06 Lansdale, Joe R.
3.67 06 Schroeder, Karl
3.64 07 Sheffield, Charles
3.64 07 Stapledon, Olaf
3.63 15 Baxter, Stephen
3.63 70 Lovecraft, H. P.
3.63 20 Snodgrass, Melinda M.
3.63 12 Farmer, Philip Jose
3.63 12 Flinthart, Dirk
3.63 08 Isle, Sue
3.63 04 Brown, Fredric
3.63 04 Cowdrey, Albert E.
3.63 04 Malzberg, Barry N.
3.63 04 Poe, Edgar Allan
3.63 04 Sawyer, Robert J.
3.63 04 Stewart, Alex
3.63 04 Stewart, Mary
3.62 43 Zelazny, Roger
3.62 13 Simons, Walton
3.60 25 Sussex, Lucy
3.60 10 Livings, Martin
3.60 05 Bova, Ben
3.60 05 Campbell, John W.
3.60 05 Clough, B. W.
3.60 05 Harper, Leanne C.
3.60 05 Kornbluth, C. M.
3.60 05 McArthur, Maxine
3.60 05 Warrington, Freda
3.58 48 Dedman, Stephen
3.58 12 Williams, Tad
3.58 06 Chadbourn, Mark
3.58 06 Endacott, Sarah
3.58 06 Kipling, Rudyard
3.58 13 Le_Carre, John
3.57 14 Pratchett, Terry
3.57 07 Scalzi, John
3.57 07 Vinge, Vernor
3.56 16 King, Stephen
3.56 16 Sterling, Bruce
3.56 08 Van_Vogt, A. E.
3.55 10 Stableford, Brian
3.55 31 Kelly, James Patrick
3.55 11 Roberson, Chris
3.54 12 Tepper, Sheri S.
3.53 15 Burroughs, Edgar Rice
3.53 128 Howard, Robert E.
3.53 17 Battersby, Lee
3.52 22 McDevitt, Jack
3.52 32 Di_Filippo, Paul
3.50 30 Silverberg, Robert
3.50 29 Bear, Elizabeth
3.50 17 Grant, Maxwell
3.50 12 Broderick, Damien
3.50 11 Wells, H. G.
3.50 10 Williams, Sean and Shane Dix
3.50 09 Navarro, Yvonne
3.50 07 Collins, Max Allan
3.50 06 Barclay, James
3.50 06 Battersby, Lyn
3.50 06 Bester, Alfred
3.50 06 Roberts, Adam
3.50 06 Wilder, Cherry
3.50 05 Kessel, John
3.50 05 Steele, Curtis
3.50 04 Bishop, David
3.50 04 Bloch, Robert
3.50 04 Bursztynski, Sue
3.50 04 Ford, John M.
3.50 04 Lackey, Mercedes
3.50 04 Paulsen, Steven
3.50 04 Pryor, Michael
3.50 04 Rohmer, Sax
3.50 04 Scheer, K. H.
3.50 04 Schow, David J.
3.50 04 Smith, Martin Cruz
3.50 04 Whiteley, Monissa
3.50 04 Wright, John C.
3.48 51 Asimov, Isaac
3.48 21 Williams, Walter Jon
3.47 19 Benford, Gregory
3.47 18 Le_Guin, Ursula K.
3.47 16 Peek, Ben
3.47 15 Brin, David
3.45 10 Green, Simon R.
3.45 10 Roberts, Tansy Rayner
3.44 09 Jamieson, Trent
3.44 09 Wyndham, John
3.44 08 Flint, Eric and Dave Freer and Andrew Dennis
3.43 07 Cook, Glen
3.43 07 Foster, Alan Dean
3.42 13 Golden, Christopher
3.42 38 Leigh, Stephen
3.42 18 Newman, Kim
3.42 18 Wolfe, Gene
3.42 12 Varley, John
3.42 06 Savage, Les
3.40 21 Robeson, Kenneth
3.40 15 Robinson, Kim Stanley
3.40 05 Darlton, Clark
3.40 05 Lake, Jay
3.40 05 Mahr, Kurt
3.40 05 Saberhagen, Fred
3.39 09 Cox, Greg
3.38 12 Bear, Greg
3.38 12 Watts, Peter
3.38 08 Effinger, George Alec
3.38 08 Haggard, H. Rider
3.38 08 McKenzie, Chuck
3.38 04 Anvil, Christopher
3.38 04 Davidson, Rjurik
3.38 04 Goossens, Darren
3.38 04 Irvine, Alex
3.38 04 McCulley, Johnston
3.38 04 Murphy, Pat
3.38 04 Schmitz, James H.
3.38 04 Tinsley, Theodore
3.38 04 Wellen, Edward
3.37 49 Anderson, Poul
3.36 11 Harrison, Harry
3.36 11 Sparks, Cat
3.36 14 Nix, Garth
3.35 17 Brown, Simon
3.35 91 Bradbury, Ray
3.35 30 Niven, Larry
3.35 10 Kennett, Rick
3.35 10 Piper, H. Beam
3.33 09 Cummings, Shane Jiraiya
3.33 09 Dickson, Gordon R.
3.33 06 Arnason, Eleanor
3.33 06 Shirley, John
3.33 06 Wilhelm, Kate
3.32 17 McHugh, Maureen F.
3.31 08 Haldeman, Joe
3.31 129 Smith, Clark Ashton
3.30 05 Alexander, Lloyd
3.30 05 Brunner, John
3.30 05 Campbell, Ramsey
3.30 05 Hand, Elizabeth
3.30 05 Harvey, Edwina
3.30 05 Jansson, Tove
3.30 05 Reilly, Matthew
3.30 05 Wellman, Manly Wade
3.29 17 Asprin, Robert Lynn
3.29 17 Hamilton, Laurell K.
3.29 17 Moon, Elizabeth
3.29 14 Maloney, Geoffrey
3.29 07 Adams, Douglas
3.29 07 Blish, James
3.29 07 Gaiman, Neil
3.29 07 Greenberg, Martin H.
3.28 09 Borneman, John
3.27 15 Norton, Andre
3.25 14 Scott, Melissa
3.25 10 Barnes, Arthur K.
3.25 08 Anderson, Kevin J.
3.25 08 Blackmore, Leigh
3.25 08 Vinge, Joan D.
3.25 06 Lawhead, Stephen R.
3.25 06 Pendleton, Don
3.25 04 Baker, Kage
3.25 04 Barrow, Stuart
3.25 04 Charteris, Leslie
3.25 04 Robinson, Spider
3.22 09 Merritt, Abraham
3.22 23 Modesitt, L. E.
3.21 14 Stoker, Bram
3.21 07 Hogan, Robert J.
3.21 07 Simak, Clifford D.
3.21 19 Resnick, Mike
3.21 17 Holder, Nancy
3.21 17 Hood, Robert
3.20 10 De_Camp, L. Sprague and Lin Carter
3.20 05 Gardner, Craig Shaw
3.20 05 Haber, Karen
3.20 05 Odom, Mel
3.20 05 Spinrad, Norman
3.19 13 Smith, E. E. Doc
3.19 13 Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
3.19 16 Hamilton, Edmond
3.19 08 Biancotti, Deborah
3.19 08 Browne, Adam
3.18 22 Vance, Jack
3.18 25 Dann, Jack
3.18 17 Orczy, Emmuska
3.17 09 Adams, Stephen
3.17 06 Congreve, Bill
3.17 06 Luckett, Dave
3.17 06 Lumley, Brian
3.17 06 Nolan, William F.
3.17 06 Zahn, Timothy
3.16 29 Ludlum, Robert
3.14 07 MacLeod, Ian R.
3.14 07 Warren, Kaaron
3.13 08 Lee, Tanith
3.13 04 David, Peter
3.13 04 Duane, Diane
3.13 04 Flynn, Michael F.
3.13 04 House, Brant
3.13 04 Jeter, K. W.
3.13 04 Joyce, Graham
3.13 04 Lebbon, Tim
3.13 04 Lingen, Marissa
3.13 04 Payne, Ben
3.13 04 Robson, Barbara
3.13 04 Smith, Michael Marshall
3.13 04 Wells, Martha
3.13 04 Williamson, Jack
3.12 13 Masterton, Graham
3.11 22 De_Camp, L. Sprague
3.11 09 Herbert, Brian
3.10 05 Barnes, John
3.10 05 Boothby, Guy
3.10 05 Brooks, Terry
3.10 05 Crowther, Peter
3.10 05 Frederick, Carl
3.10 05 Martens, Paul E.
3.10 05 Meaney, John
3.10 05 Stockbridge, Grant
3.10 05 Williams, Tess
3.09 17 Jordan, Robert
3.08 06 Banks, Iain M.
3.08 06 Friesner, Esther M.
3.08 13 Love, Rosaleen
3.07 07 Tem, Steve Rasnic
3.06 16 McCaffrey, Anne
3.06 09 Anonymous, Anonymous
3.04 13 Lanagan, Margo
3.00 08 Tambour, Anna
3.00 07 Smith, David C. and Richard L. Tierney
3.00 06 Barker, Clive
3.00 06 Tilley, Patrick
3.00 05 Drummond, John Peter
3.00 05 Goulart, Ron
3.00 05 Willis, Connie
3.00 04 Canavan, Trudi
3.00 04 Lerner, Edward M.
3.00 04 Straub, Peter
2.96 26 Anthony, Piers
2.94 08 Watson, Ian
2.92 12 Van_Lustbader, Eric
2.91 11 Tepperman, Emile C.
2.90 05 Adams, Richard
2.90 05 Betancourt, John Gregory
2.90 05 Weber, David
2.88 04 Armstrong, Kelley
2.88 04 Goodrich, Clifford
2.88 04 Lee, Stan
2.88 04 Wallace, Robert
2.83 06 Drake, David
2.83 06 Jones, Diana Wynne
2.83 06 Kiernan, Caitlin R.
2.83 06 Verne, Jules
2.81 08 Sheehan, Perley Poore
2.80 10 Aldiss, Brian
2.80 05 McIntyre, Vonda N.
2.77 15 Tolkien, J. R. R.
2.75 06 Rucker, Rudy
2.75 04 Greenland, Colin
2.73 20 Rice, Anne
2.71 07 Wilson, Robert Anton
2.67 06 Card, Orson Scott
2.67 06 Mitchell, Elynne
2.65 10 Sutcliff, Rosemary
2.63 04 Boyll, Randall
2.63 04 Brite, Poppy Z.
2.63 04 Harrison, Kim
2.61 14 Heinlein, Robert A.
2.56 08 Whitehouse, Arch
2.50 04 Friedman, M. J.
2.38 04 Winters, Logan
2.15 10 Lewis, C. S.
2.13 04 Rawn, Melanie
2.00 04 Harding, Traci
1.88 04 Bradley, Marion Zimmer

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Mathematics of the Magazine

The Mathematics of the Magazine

If interested in the first post, see :
The Mathematics of the Anthology for the discussion and what it covers, and
The Mathematics of the Anthology 2 for an update.

After a discussion on LibryaryThing (see http://www.librarything.com/talktopic.php?topic=15246, and having rated a bunch of Australian magazines similarly to books, I was wondering where the various US major magazines would place (and one Interzone), only having ever read a couple of a few of Jim Baen's Destinies paperbacks. There is some discussion of the relative value of books to magazines there.

The theory was that they would place somewhere between book publications and the Australian publications. The former in the case of reprints etc. especially have gone past two editors or more, and original collections will often have a couple of editors.

As it turns out, it seems that is basically correct, although I have only read
about 30 of the Northern Hemisphere variety, which is a bit under 300 stories, compared to over 700 of the Australian variety.

In a nutshell without the discussion :

S = Total number of stories in the publication.
A = Average story rating for the the publication.
P = Number of stories with ratings higher than average.
M = Number of stories with average ratings.
N = Number of stories with ratings less than average.

Rating = A + (P - M - 2N)/S


For my purposes, M = 3, N is anything less than M, and P is anything greater than M.

I have gotten to over 80 publications now, with a bunch more to come, and here is a list, with the above Rating for each, and the second number is Kathryn Linge's DAMN INDEX, for comparison. See DAMN INDEX. Basically, this gives a decimal/percentage by calling stories worth reading, average or not worth reading, and for that, here, I have used P, M and N.

For this group of publications, the average Rating is 3.29, and average DAMN Index is 0.72. 56% of the stories are above average. The average raw story average for the publications is 3.29.

The median number of stories in a publication is now 8, and the average is 9.1.80. The highest is 25, and the lowest is 3.

Median P is 5, average is 5.1.
Median M is 2, average is 3.0.
Median N is 1, average is 1.1.


For Australian publications :

For this group of publications, the average Rating is 3.25, and average DAMN Index is 0.71. 53% of the stories are above average. The average raw story average for the publications is 3.27.

The median number of stories in a publication is now 9, and the average is 9.1.80. The highest is 16, and the lowest is 3.

Median P is 5, average is 4.9.
Median M is 3, average is 3.2.
Median N is 1, average is 1.1.


For the major magazines only (Destinies, JBU, the three digests and Interzone) :

For this group of publications, the average Rating is 3.46, and average DAMN Index is 0.75. 60% of the stories are above average. The average raw story average for the publications is 3.36.

The median number of stories in a publication is now 7, and the average is 9.3.The highest is 25, and the lowest is 3.

Median P is 5, average is 5.7.
Median M is 1, average is 2.7.
Median N is 1, average is 1.0.


Some rambling:

On the whole though, if as has been mentioned you can get two year subscriptions
on the order of $2 an issue for Asimov's, etc, or even less than that electronically, that would appear to be pretty good value for money.

A rating of 3.46/3.79 or 0.91 compared to books, and a story median of 7/12 of 0.58.

Call it 0.91 * 0.58 = 0.53.

A US mass market paperback is $7.99, so $7.99 * 0.53 = 4.26. Digest cover prices are $4.50 I think, and JBU is $6 per issue.

Given that for the book set a whole bunch of those books are bigger and more expensive than paperbacks, all the Year's Best and Conan collections and the
camel killer Hard SF Renaissance etc, there is nothing wrong with the value, so the average price for those would be higher.

So, if sales are declining people like other media, flashier stuff, and length more than they used to, given the novel length and collection length increases, as looked at on LT. Less time available and less time spent, of course. This is probably a factor for the average person that only reads a few books a year. The average SF book fan probably reads a bit more than that. For heavy readers, novels that are too long can be bad value, in a time sense.

It is also easier to get used books now. You can score Centaurus or the Year's Best SF 16 for a couple of greenbacks plus postage on ABE if get lucky or just look enough. Same can't be said for the magazines. The comparison then is bad, for a $3.00 used book * 0.53 = $1.59, which is less than the subscription rate, at least for US purchases.


Here is the sample set :


Australian Publications

Rating DAMN Publication
5.00 1.00 New Ceres 2
4.75 1.00 Andromeda Spaceways 29
4.67 1.00 New Ceres 1
4.43 0.93 Andromeda Spaceways 17
4.31 0.94 Andromeda Spaceways 28
4.28 0.94 Andromeda Spaceways 16
4.00 0.83 Borderlands 07
3.70 0.80 Andromeda Spaceways 25
3.61 0.78 Andromeda Spaceways 21
3.57 0.79 Borderlands 03
3.56 0.78 Andromeda Spaceways 26
3.56 0.78 Andromeda Spaceways 27
3.55 0.77 Andromeda Spaceways 12
3.54 0.79 Andromeda Spaceways 22
3.50 0.75 Aurealis 01
3.44 0.72 Orb 7
3.42 0.77 Andromeda Spaceways 05
3.41 0.86 Andromeda Spaceways 11
3.38 0.73 Orb 06
3.35 0.73 Andromeda Spaceways 20
3.33 0.75 Orb 0
3.33 0.75 Borderlands 01
3.31 0.75 Andromeda Spaceways 04
3.27 0.73 Andromeda Spaceways 01
3.25 0.75 Orb0304
3.23 0.73 Andromeda Spaceways 07
3.19 0.63 Andromeda Spaceways 14
3.13 0.69 Andromeda Spaceways 10
3.11 0.67 Borderlands 04
3.06 0.67 Andromeda Spaceways 18
3.05 0.65 Aurealis 03
3.00 0.67 Aurealis 02
2.96 0.67 Andromeda Spaceways 02
2.93 0.64 Borderlands 05
2.93 0.64 Borderlands 08
2.86 0.64 Andromeda Spaceways 24
2.86 0.64 Andromeda Spaceways 06
2.86 0.64 Andromeda Spaceways 23
2.83 0.61 Borderlands 06
2.81 0.56 Andromeda Spaceways 03
2.79 0.64 Borderlands 02
2.71 0.63 Andromeda Spaceways 19
2.66 0.63 Andromeda Spaceways 08
2.59 0.59 Andromeda Spaceways 15
2.56 0.56 Orb 05
2.23 0.50 Andromeda Spaceways 09
2.21 0.50 Andromeda Spaceways 13
2.06 0.44 Orb 1
1.13 0.25 Ticonderoga 11


Major Publications

Rating DAMN Publication
4.23 0.91 Analog 916
4.10 0.90 FSF 664
4.07 0.86 FSF 665
3.92 0.83 Analog 923
3.86 0.79 Asimovs 372
3.83 0.83 Asimovs 378
3.83 0.83 FSF 662
3.81 0.81 Asimovs 377
3.75 0.81 Asimovs 380
3.74 0.82 JBU 04
3.71 0.82 JBU 05
3.68 0.82 JBU 07
3.64 0.79 Asimovs 379
3.60 0.80 Destinies v3 2
3.60 0.80 FSF658
3.58 0.76 JBU 02
3.57 0.79 JBU 06
3.50 0.75 FSF 657
3.38 0.75 JBU 08
3.30 0.70 Interzone 117
3.22 0.67 FSF 666
3.22 0.68 JBU 01
3.17 0.67 Asimovs 373
3.14 0.64 Destinies v1 1
3.13 0.68 JBU 03
3.00 0.67 Analog 922
2.90 0.60 FSF 663
2.50 0.55 Analog 921
2.50 0.60 Destinies v2 2
2.21 0.50 Destinies v2 1

The Mathematics of the Anthology 2

The Mathematics of the Anthology 2

If interested in the first post, see :
The Mathematics of the Anthology for the discussion and what it covers.

In a nutshell without the discussion :

S = Total number of stories in the publication.
A = Average story rating for the the publication.
P = Number of stories with ratings higher than average.
M = Number of stories with average ratings.
N = Number of stories with ratings less than average.

Rating = A + (P - M - 2N)/S


For my purposes, M = 3, N is anything less than M, and P is anything greater than M.

I have gotten to over 200 publications now, with a bunch more to come, and here is a list, with the above Rating for each, and the second number is Kathryn Linge's DAMN INDEX, for comparison. See DAMN INDEX. Basically, this gives a decimal/percentage by calling stories worth reading, average or not worth reading, and for that, here, I have used P, M and N.

For this group of publications, the average Rating is 3.79, and average DAMN Index is 0.79. 68% of the stories are above average. The average raw story average for the publications is 3.52, and there are more anthologies than collections.

The median number of stories in a publication is now 12, and the average is 13.80. The highest is 100, and the lowest is 2.

Median P is 8, average is 9.4.
Median M is 3, average is 3.2.
Median N is 1, average is 1.1.

Here is the sample set :


Rate DAMN Publication

5.75 1.00 Six Great Sherlock Holmes Stories
5.67 1.00 Bloody Crown of Conan
5.67 1.00 Conan the Warrior
5.50 1.00 Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
5.50 1.00 Conquering Sword of Conan
5.36 1.00 Wild Cards 1
5.31 1.00 Rynosseros
5.21 1.00 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
5.20 1.00 Blue Tyson
5.19 1.00 His Last Bow
5.05 1.00 Luminous
5.02 0.98 Year's Best Science Fiction 18
5.00 1.00 Swords and Ice Magic
4.95 0.95 Centaurus
4.94 1.00 Galactic North
4.91 1.00 Galaxy Volume 2
4.88 0.96 Best Of Cordwainer Smith
4.88 1.00 Tales of the Slayer 3
4.88 1.00 Swords and Deviltry
4.88 1.00 Swords Against Wizardry
4.86 1.00 Galaxy the Best of My Years James Baen
4.83 0.97 Axiomatic
4.83 1.00 Weird Works 4 Wings of the Night
4.82 0.97 Mortal Fire
4.81 0.88 Conan Chronicles 2 Hour of the Dragon
4.79 0.96 Australian Science Fiction
4.79 0.95 Mammoth Book of Extreme SF
4.78 1.00 Call To the Edge
4.77 0.94 Year's Best Science Fiction 19
4.77 1.00 Return of Sherlock Holmes
4.75 1.00 Galaxy Volume 1
4.69 0.96 Coming of Conan the Cimmerian
4.64 0.93 Wormwood
4.63 1.00 Case Book of Sherlock Holmes
4.61 0.95 Wild Cards 5
4.61 0.94 New Space Opera
4.60 0.93 Dreaming Down Under 2
4.60 1.00 Mutant
4.58 0.92 Swords in the Mist
4.57 0.93 Beyond the Stars
4.56 0.88 Complete Chronicles of Conan
4.55 0.95 Swords Against Death
4.55 0.85 Wild Cards 2
4.54 0.92 Mirrorshades
4.52 0.93 Hard SF Renaissance
4.51 0.93 Ascent of Wonder
4.50 0.90 Supermen Tales of the Posthuman Future
4.50 1.00 Interplanetary Huntress
4.50 1.00 Second Foundation
4.45 0.91 Science Fiction Hall of Fame 1 Silverberg
4.45 0.95 ASIM Best of Horror Vol 1
4.43 0.93 Wild Cards 4
4.42 0.89 Locus Awards
4.35 0.91 World Turned Upside Down
4.35 0.92 Galileo's Children
4.33 0.94 I Robot
4.33 0.87 New Legends
4.33 0.87 Best Time Travel Stories Of All Time
4.33 0.89 Mammoth Book of 20th Century SF
4.32 0.86 Year's Best AS&F Two (CM)
4.31 0.87 Year's Best Science Fiction 17
4.29 0.93 Eternity and Other Stories
4.27 0.90 Wild Cards 13
4.25 0.88 Conan the Adventurer
4.25 0.89 Conan Chronicles 1 People of the Black Circle
4.25 0.88 Fourth Planet From the Sun
4.20 0.90 Burning Chrome
4.19 0.85 Year's Best AS&F 2 (SB)
4.19 0.88 Modern Classic Short Novels of SF
4.17 0.86 Alien Shores
4.15 0.90 Classic Science Fiction (Space Movies I)
4.15 0.88 Fabulous Formless Darkness
4.13 0.94 Martian Chronicles
4.10 0.93 Wild Cards 8
4.08 0.92 Wolfshead
4.07 0.86 Ends of the Earth
4.07 0.87 Strange But Not A Stranger
4.06 0.89 Weird Works 3 People of the Dark
4.04 0.83 Wonder Years
4.04 0.83 Modern Classics of Science Fiction
4.03 0.82 Forever Shores
4.00 0.86 Wild Cards 16
4.00 0.88 Octopussy and the Living Daylights
3.96 0.79 Tour Guide In Utopia
3.94 0.81 Dreaming Down Under 1
3.93 0.85 Vintage Science Fiction
3.92 0.85 An Intimate Knowledge of the Night
3.88 0.82 Collected Stories H. P. Lovecraft
3.88 0.80 Further Adventures of the Joker
3.88 0.75 Conan the Usurper
3.88 0.79 Caught In the Organ Draft
3.86 0.77 Thing On the Doorstep and Other Stories
3.86 0.82 Hellboy Odd Jobs
3.83 0.77 Year's Best AS&F 1 (SB)
3.83 0.79 Kull Fabulous Warrior King
3.83 0.81 Year's Best Science Fiction 10
3.80 0.80 Black Mist and Other Japanese Futures
3.79 0.79 Tales of the Slayer 1
3.78 0.83 Wild Cards 9
3.78 0.75 Hellboy Odder Jobs
3.78 0.78 Futureshocks
3.78 0.81 Tales From the Mos Eisley Cantina
3.77 0.80 Legends of the Batman
3.75 0.75 Conan the Wanderer
3.75 0.75 Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
3.75 0.75 Foundation and Empire
3.73 0.77 SF Best of 2002 Silverberg
3.70 0.80 Foundation
3.69 0.81 Tales of Time and Space
3.68 0.77 Temps
3.67 0.80 Wild Cards 14
3.65 0.70 Future Sports
3.64 0.79 Shadows Of Sanctuary
3.61 0.80 Mammoth Book of Vampires
3.60 0.80 Weird Works 2 Moon of Skulls
3.59 0.77 Across the Wall
3.56 0.78 Time Patrol
3.55 0.77 Pawn to Infinity
3.53 0.70 Little Doors
3.53 0.76 Adventure Vol 1
3.50 0.75 Thieves World
3.50 0.77 Far Horizons
3.50 0.75 Beast of the Heartland and Other Stories
3.49 0.77 Bradbury Stories
3.46 0.76 Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural
3.45 0.77 Women Of Other Worlds
3.45 0.70 My Lady Tongue and Other Tales
3.43 0.75 Further Adventures of Batman
3.42 0.75 Young Mutants
3.41 0.68 Year's Best AS&F One (CM)
3.41 0.75 Penguin Book of Vampire Stories
3.40 0.78 Laughing Space
3.40 0.70 For Your Eyes Only
3.40 0.75 Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 14
3.38 0.71 Further Adventures of Superman
3.36 0.68 Ships In the Night
3.35 0.79 Tales of the Batman
3.35 0.72 ASIM Best of SF Vol 1
3.35 0.70 Tales of the Slayer 2
3.35 0.75 Black Canaan
3.33 0.75 Dying Earth
3.32 0.71 Adventures of the Batman
3.31 0.75 Off Limits Tales of Alien Sex
3.29 0.71 Sandman Book of Dreams
3.29 0.70 Emperor of Dreams
3.29 0.75 Further Adventures of Batman 3
3.29 0.71 Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn
3.27 0.73 Mothers and Other Monsters
3.25 0.69 Conan
3.25 0.75 Knight and Knave of Swords
3.25 0.75 Interplanetary Huntress Returns
3.20 0.60 Conan the Freeboter
3.20 0.70 Superheroes - John Varley
3.20 0.70 Guardians of Time
3.18 0.65 Jubilee
3.17 0.75 Graveyard Rats and Others
3.15 0.65 Chronicles of Conan 1 de camp
3.14 0.71 Eyes of the Overworld
3.14 0.71 Annals of the Time Patrol
3.13 0.75 Hand of Kane
3.09 0.63 Southern Blood
3.06 0.63 Barnacle Bill the Spacer
3.06 0.65 ASIM Best of Fantasy Vol 1
3.05 0.68 Further Adventures of Batman 2
3.00 0.65 Superheroes - Michael Parry
3.00 0.67 Agent of the Terran Empire
3.00 0.70 Forward the Foundation
2.95 0.65 Decalog 5
2.94 0.68 Whisper of Blood
2.93 0.64 Conan the Swordsman
2.88 0.63 Foursight
2.86 0.68 Eurotemps
2.83 0.67 Lost Valley of Iskander
2.78 0.61 Dracula's Guest and Other Stories
2.78 0.61 Fox Woman and Other Stories
2.77 0.73 Phases
2.74 0.59 Elemental
2.71 0.64 Conan of Cimmeria
2.69 0.63 Further Adventures of Wonder Woman
2.68 0.59 Before the Golden Age 3
2.63 0.57 The Ultimate Silver Surfer
2.63 0.63 Mystery Magic Voodoo and the Holy Grail
2.62 0.59 Free Space
2.61 0.58 Shadows Over Baker Street
2.61 0.56 Book of Robert E. Howard 1
2.61 0.58 Ultimate Dracula
2.59 0.62 Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 18
2.58 0.58 Murasaki
2.57 0.57 Isaac Asimov's Choice
2.56 0.56 Before the Golden Age 1
2.56 0.56 Gates of Empire
2.55 0.55 Black Juice
2.50 0.50 Conan of Aquilonia
2.44 0.47 Golden Road
2.33 0.57 Pawn of Chaos
2.30 0.50 Weird Heroes 1
2.25 0.46 Weird Works 1 Shadow Kingdoms
2.10 0.50 Treasures of Tartary
2.00 0.42 X-Men Legends
2.00 0.50 Interplanetary Huntress Last Case
2.00 0.50 Time Patrolman
1.62 0.35 Rollerball


Beyond 5000



Beyond 5000

I usually update the lists once a week,
and this week I find Not Free SF Reader
has gone over 5000 fiction posts, so
thought that a fair time to look at a
breakdown. I have seen at various times
that the Blogger counts are not always
correct, either, btw. However, they
will certainly be close enough for this
part of the exercise.

Free SF Reader passed 1000 a while back,
too.

So, for a Not Free SF Reader breakdown,
this is how the distribution goes:

0.5 0%
1.0 1%
1.5 1%
2.0 3%
2.5 8%
3.0 29%
3.5 29%
4.0 22%
4.5 5%
5.0 3%

This has an overall average of 3.39.
I had a look a while back, and short
stories individually rate more highly
than novels to the tune of around 0.15
a piece, so the more of those that get
posted, the slightly higher this number
will creep, for novels only, it would
be around 3.30.

Free SF Reader looks like this :

0.5 0%
1.0 0%
1.5 1%
2.0 2%
2.5 9%
3.0 27%
3.5 33%
4.0 21%
4.5 4%
5.0 3%

for an average of 3.43.

Combining the two gives :

0.5 0%
1.0 0%
1.5 1%
2.0 3%
2.5 8%
3.0 29%
3.5 30%
4.0 22%
4.5 5%
5.0 3%

and an average a lot closer to
Not Free SF Reader of course.


To look at what I am biased towards liking
numerically, if anyone is interested, then
for Not Free SF Reader it looks like this,
in average :

3.31 scary
3.49 science
3.13 sleuth
3.28 sorcery
2.91 speculative
3.26 spy
4.07 study
3.39 superhero
3.16 supernatural
3.18 swords

For Free SF Reader :

3.31 scary
3.59 science
3.13 sleuth
3.42 sorcery
2.99 speculative
3.00 spy

3.55 superhero
3.27 supernatural
3.02 swords

and overall :

3.31 scary
3.51 science
3.13 sleuth
3.29 sorcery
2.93 speculative
3.26 spy
4.07 study
3.42 superhero
3.19 supernatural
3.12 swords

As an additional exercise, and an approximate
try at fitting the conglomerate of the
superhero base category into the other, more
familiar to most sections I have broken it down
to be roughly like this
(see Super Reader in links if anyone
is interested) :

sci 3.00 adventure
sci 3.36 dc universe
sci 3.33 judge dredd 2000ad
sci 3.14 jungle lords
sci 2.19 kids
sci 3.13 marvel universe
sci 3.55 original heroes
sci 3.12 pulp heroes
sci 3.34 pulp heroines
sci 3.27 pulp villains
sci 3.54 sf
sci 3.11 space heroes
sci 3.88 wold newton
sle 3.03 lone riders
sle 3.70 old adventurers
sor 3.56 eternal champion
sor 3.45 spoof
sor 3.52 sword and sorcery
spe 3.44 related
spy 3.53 spy heroes
sup 3.24 buffy universe
sup 2.90 flying aces
sup 3.36 ghost busters
sup 3.59 modern legends
sup 3.26 other tie-in heroes
sup 2.92 romance

and this gives

3.31 scary
3.47 science
3.51 sleuth
3.40 sorcery
2.96 speculative
3.34 spy
4.07 study

3.21 supernatural
3.12 swords

as compared to

3.31 scary
3.51 science
3.13 sleuth
3.29 sorcery
2.93 speculative
3.26 spy
4.07 study
3.42 superhero
3.19 supernatural
3.12 swords

To come:

Around 1000-1200 or something novels I have
not commented on.

On the story front:

A whole bunch of Year's Bests I have not done.
A lot of older Australian anthologies and some
magazines. A bunch of Analog/Asimov/FSF and
a few stray other Northern Hemisphere type mags.
Various other anthologies I have.

As far as Free SF Reader is concerned, there is
still a whole lot at freesfonline.de and other
places like Project Gutenberg and Project
Gutenberg Australia.

Hopefully more mags and books will start doing
electronic versions.















Queen City Jazz - Kathleen Ann Goonan

Bee an art lover.


One serious problem with this book, it reads like a padded chunk of a series, and apparently this is a series. It is very, very slow.

Runaway type technology has changed a lot of things, and the protagonist of the piece lives in a paranoid type of religious community trying to stay uninvolved.

Needless to say, she has to get out of there, and heads for Cincinnati for a painstakingly dragged out revelation or two. Cincinnati presumably is nicknamed the Queen City.

Not interesting enough to want to read several more books.


2.5 out of 5

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural - Stephen Jones

A collection from a fantasy magazine edited by the editors of the book, basically. Not too bad.
It also includes some artwork, Dave Carson's particularly interesting. Perhaps these are 'best of'
artworks from the mag, too. A nice added touch.

Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Child of an Ancient City - Tad Williams
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Cutty Black Sow - Thomas F. Monteleone
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Treason in Zagadar [Kull] - Adrian Cole
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Fatal Age - Nancy Holder
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Mouths of Light - Ramsey Campbell
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : scribbled graffiti - David J. Schow
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Storyteller's Tale - Brian M. Stableford
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Big Game - Nicholas Royle
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Cat in the Wall - Alex Stewart
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Shadow Queen - Anne Goring
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Waldteufel Affair - Brian Mooney
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Up Yours Federico - Parke Godwin
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Foul Moon Over Sticklespine Lane - Andrew Darlington
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Star Weave of Snorgrud Sunbreath - Mike Chandler
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Pele - Melanie Tem
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Alchemist's Gold - William Thomas Webb
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Horror Writer - Allen Ashley
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Healing Game - Laurence Staig
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Love-Gift - Josepha Sherman
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : A New Lease - David Riley
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : A Fly on the Wall - H. J. Cording
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : At Diamond Lake - William F. Nolan
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Satan Claws - Randall D. Larson
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Maiden and the Minstrel - Dallas Clive Goffin
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Sight Unseen - Jean-Daniel Brèque
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Malspar Sigil - David Andreas
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Cracking - Steve Green
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Angel Combs - Steve Rasnic Tem
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Waters of Knowing - S. M. Stirling
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Just a Visitor at Twilight - Charles Wagner
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : And Make Me Whole - Joel Lane
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Last Child of Masferigon - Darrell Schweitzer & John Gregory Betancourt
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Silent Scream - Samantha Lee
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Store Wars - Garry Kilworth
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : Daddy - Earl Godwin
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Dark Fantastic - Adam Nichols
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The View - Michael Marshall Smith
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : The Salesman and the Travelling Farmer's Daughter - C. Bruce Hunter
Giant Book of Fantasy and the Supernatural : And the Spirit That Stands by the Naked Man - Peter Dennis Pautz

Sad stories say so much, says the vamp.

4


Hogfather mistake not good.

3


A Kull pastiche taking the Three Men Sat beginning from an unfinished tale. One of Kull's generals is investigating the military situation in an outlying part of his realm. Necromancy, lizard men, and a traitor, not to mention a Cthulhoid summong await Kull, Brule and the Red Slayers. Not too bad at all.

3.5


Poison pizza party.

2.5


Cave snack.

3.5


Punk death haunting.

3


Slave escape run.

3


Sadopron's a living, just not much of one.

3.5


Good moggie, bad pussy.

3.5


Bulldusted.

3


Castle werewolfenstein.

3.5


Smart bulls a good bet.

4.5


Girl's monster bits.

2


Guilty dodger's dragon death empowerment deal.

4


Volcano goddess takes boyfriend on permanent loan.

3.5


Atheist scientist unbelieved.

3.5


Mistress makes master of men, but must be paid.

4


God squad program just the opposite.

3.5


Power grab boomerang.

3.5


Boxed diner.

3


Two things you'd say to someone who finds a djinn and wishes to be an insect.
1. You're a fracking idjit.
2. Mortein really does work as well as advertised.

3.5


Replace Diamond, with Crystal, and you get the idea.

3.5


Old Nick St Nick 1, garden variety Nick 0.

3.5


Three songs, a shag and a slope.

3


Nobody notices me, this can really hurt.

3.5


Sneaky artifact dealings.

2.5


Old rhymes working is not good.

3.5


Nasty pieces of these, wish I could chuck 'em out.

3


God-King transference betrayal shenanigans.

3.5


Deathly black eyes.

3.5


Who are those little guys, anyway?

3

Godson?

2.5


Next time, choose cremation.

3


Are You Being Served? Shotguns, fourth floor. Deathtraps, swords and poison, second floor.

4


Fast life cycle.

4

Rocky explorations.

3

Just scored a killer flat.

3.5


Snow girl grab.

3


Women photogenic in that way are rather rare.

3.5




3.5 out of 5

Agent of the Terran Empire - Poul Anderson

This book is two novelettes and a novella, I guess, that pits superagent Dominic Flandry against his Merseian nemesis/counterpart/duelling partner. Flandy has the Terran resources to back him, but his opposite number is a telepath of no mean ability.

It is hard to plot and plan with him around, particularly in a diplomatic setting. Batman would be pretty happy with Flandry's valet/butler, pretty good with the spaceship and the raygun.


Agent of the Terran Empire : Tiger by the Tail - Poul Anderson
Agent of the Terran Empire : Warriors From Nowhere! - Poul Anderson
Agent of the Terran Empire : Hunters of the Sky Cave - Poul Anderson


Flandry gets involved with some of the ruling class of an alliance opposed to his, and uses their tribal society system against them via some political destabilisation, and a spot of duelling.

4 out of 5


Flandry has to deal with an opposite number with a telepathic advantage.

3 out of 5


Flandry gets into to grass roots work on a planet with some nasty conditions, and ends up in deadly shipboard combat, all with the help of a local woman.

3.5 out of 5




3 out of 5

David In the Lion's Den - Geoffrey A. Landis

Pork, it's what's for dinner. Cleverly used as a weapon against those for whom it ain't.


3 out of 5

A Boy and His Dog - Harlan Ellison

Never you mind my mind, people are tasty.


4 out of 5

Saturday, August 25, 2007

And the Spirit That Stands By the Naked Man - Peter Dennis Pautz

Women photogenic in that way are rather rare.


3.5 out of 5

The Salesman and the Travelling Farmer's Daughter - C. Bruce Hunter

Snow girl grab.


3 out of 5

The View - Michael Marshall Smith

Just scored a killer flat.


3.5 out of 5

The Dark Fantastic - Adam Nichols

Rocky explorations.


3 out of 5

Daddy - Earl Godwin

Incest fast life cycle.


4 out of 5

Store Wars - Garry Kilworth

Are You Being Served? Shotguns, fourth floor. Deathtraps, swords and poison, second floor.


4 out of 5

Silent Scream - Samantha Lee

Next time, choose cremation.


3 out of 5

The Last Child of Masferigon - Darrell Schweitzer and John Gregory Betancourt

Godson?


2.5 out of 5

And Make Me Whole - Joel Lane

Who are those little guys, anyway?


3 out of 5

Just A Visitor At Twilight - Charles Wagner

Deathly black eyes.


3.5 out of 5

The Waters of Knowing - S. M. Stirling

God-King transference betrayal shenanigans.


3.5 out of 5

Angel Combs - Steve Rasnic Tem

Nasty pieces of crap, these, wish I could chuck 'em out.


3 out of 5

Cracking - Steve Green

Old rhymes working is not good.


3.5 out of 5

The Malspar Sigil - David Andreas

Sneaky artifact dealings.


2.5 out of 5

Sight Unseen - Jean-Daniel Breque

Nobody notices me, this can really hurt.


3.5 out of 5

Hunters of the Sky Cave - Poul Anderson

Flandry gets into to grass roots work on a planet with some nasty conditions, and ends up in deadly shipboard combat, all with the help of a local woman.


3 out of 5

Warriors From Nowhere! - Poul Anderson

Flandry has to deal with an opposite number with a telepathic advantage.


3 out of 5

The Maiden and the Minstrel - Dallas Clive Goffin

Three songs, a shag and a slope.


3 out of 5

Satan Claws - Randall D. Larson

Old Nick St Nick 1, garden variety Nick 0.


3.5 out of 5

At Diamond Lake - William F. Nolan

Replace Diamond, with Crystal, and you get the idea.


3.5 out of 5

A Fly On the Wall - H. J. Cording

Two things you'd say to someone who finds a djinn and wishes to be an insect.

1. You're a fracking idiot.
2. Mortein really does work as well as advertised.


3.5 out of 5

A New Lease - David Riley

Boxed diner.


3 out of 5

The Love-Gift - Josepha Sherman

Power grab boomerang.


3.5 out of 5

The Healing Game - Laurence Staig

God squad program just the opposite.


3.5 out of 5

The Horror Writer - Allen Ashley

Mistress makes master of men, but must be paid.


4 out of 5

Alchemist's Gold - William Thomas Webb

Atheist scientist unbelieved.


3.5 out of 5

Pele - Melanie Tem

Volcano goddess takes boyfriend on permanent loan.


3.5 out of 5

The Star Weave of Snorgud Sunbreath - Mike Chandler

Guilty dodger's dragon death empowerment deal.


4 out of 5

Foul Moon Over Sticklespine Lane - Andrew Darlington

Girl's monster bits.


2 out of 5

Up Yours Federico - Parke Godwin

Smart bulls a good bet.


4.5 out of 5

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rollerball - William Harrison

Apart from the excellent titular story, the rest of this just is not any good. Not even the intro where he whines about falling standards, and even dislikes pinball, of all things. A man who doesn't like pinball perhaps has a fair chance of being really, really dull. This generally shows up in the majority of these stories, apart from the obvious exception.
Pretty much only two of these stories are genre of any description.

So, if you are ever in need of firelighting material, or even better, something to prop under one leg of a pinnie, or MAME cabinet, rip Roller Ball Murder out and use the rest.

Roller Ball Murders : The Warrior - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : The Hermit - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : Down the Blue Hole - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : Eating It - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : The Pinball Machines - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : Roller Ball Murder - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : The Blurb King - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : A Cook's Tale - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : The Arsons of Desire - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : The Good Ship Erasmus - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : Under the House - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : Nirvana Gotterdammerung and the Shot Put - William Harrison
Roller Ball Murders : Weatherman: A Theological Narrative - William Harrison


Army man blowup.

3 out of 5


Nowheresville.

2 out of 5



Creepy town.

3 out of 5


Porno aunt.

2 out of 5


Games not for us.

2.5 out of 5


The rules keep getting changed in a violent spectator sport as a popular player gains a following that threatens the corporate overlords.

4.5 out of 5


Write a bit.

3 out of 5


Talk too much.

2 out of 5


Flaming rescue.

3.5 out of 5


Smokey smuggler.

2.5 out of 5


Mr. Fixit scores.

3 out of 5


Loopy thrower.

3 out of 5


Presenter, not deity.

2 out of 5




1 out of 5

Down the Blue Hole - William Harrison

Creepy town.


3 out of 5

The Homecoming - Robert Sheckley

A young man studying at John Carter military school is summoned back to Mercury because his cash is tied up in some plotting by the ruler, and they need his signature. Wilma Deering is in his future.


3.5 out of 5

Armageddon 1995 - Flint Dille

Buck has to take a space adapted fighter on a suicide mission against a Russian madman, a supercomputer, enemy fighters and space weapons to stop WWII.


3 out of 5

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Waldteufel Affair - Brian Mooney

Castle werewolfenstein.


3.5 out of 5

The Shadow Queen - Anne Gorin

Bulldusted.


3 out of 5

The Cat In the Wall - Alex Stewart

Good moggie, bad pussy.


3.5 out of 5

The Big Game - Nicholas Royle

Sadoporn's a living, just not much of one.


3.5 out of 5

The Storyteller's Tale - Brian Stableford

Slave escape run.


3 out of 5

Scribbled Graffiti - David J. Schow

Punk death haunting.


3 out of 5

The Mouths Of Light - Ramsey Campbell

Cave snack.


3.5 out of 5

Fatal Age - Nancy Holder

Poison pizza party.


2.5 out of 5

Treason In Zagadar - Adrian Cole

A Kull pastiche taking the Three Men Sat beginning from an unfinished tale. One of Kull's generals is investigating the military situation in an outlying part of his realm. Necromancy, lizard men, and a traitor, not to mention a Cthulhoid summong await Kull, Brule and the Red Slayers. Not too bad at all.


3.5 out of 5

The Cutty Black Sow - Thomas F. Monteleone

Hogfather mistake not good.


3 out of 5

The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror 14 - Stephen Jones

There is a massive year long recap here by the editor, mentioning just about anyone who even contemplated doing anything horror related in a passing chat with their nana. Very comprehensive, about 80 pages of it. Also a long list of dead people related to the genre in the Necrology, so that part is worth bonus points.

Best New Horror 14 : October in the Chair - Neil Gaiman
Best New Horror 14 : Details - China Mieville
Best New Horror 14 : The Wretched Thicket Of Thorn - Don Tumasonis
Best New Horror 14 : The Absolute Last of the Ultra-Spooky Super-Scary Hallowe'en Horror Nights - David J. Schow
Best New Horror 14 : Standard Gauge - Nicholas Royle
Best New Horror 14 : Little Dead Girl Singing - Stephen Gallagher
Best New Horror 14 : Nesting Instincts - Brian Hodge
Best New Horror 14 : The Two Sams - Glen Hirshberg
Best New Horror 14 : Hides - Jay Russell
Best New Horror 14 : The Unbeheld - Ramsey Campbell
Best New Horror 14 : Ill Met By Daylight - Basil Copper
Best New Horror 14 : Catskin - Kelly Link
Best New Horror 14 : 20th Century Ghost - Joe Hill
Best New Horror 14 : Egyptian Avenue - Kim Newman
Best New Horror 14 : The Boy behind the Gate - James Van Pelt
Best New Horror 14 : Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea - Caitlin R. Kiernan
Best New Horror 14 : The Prospect Cards - Don Tumasonis
Best New Horror 14 : The Cage - Jeff VanderMeer
Best New Horror 14 : Dr. Pretorius and the Lost Temple - Paul McAuley


Monthly avatar stories that most of them don't even like.

2 out of 5


Pattern recognition terror.

3 out of 5


Island getaway advice should be taken.

4 out of 5


Theme park hoodlum slasher cleanup.

4 out of 5


Just the right height for the old across the train tracks special.

3.5 out of 5


Talent contest puppet.

3.5 out of 5


Woman quite malleable.

3.5 out of 5


Miscarriage packets.

2.5 out of 5


Robert Louis Eatemson.

3.5 out of 5


Drawer baby.

2 out of 5


Old tomb guy scary.

3 out of 5


Witches and felines combo = bad.

3 out of 5


Cinema-goers leave the dead in the aisles.

4 out of 5


Old rich guy takes the whole Egyptian burial thing way too far.

3.5 out of 5


Good boy, bad boy, whichever, chuck 'em in an old mine.

4 out of 5


Women problems require sacrifice, Dagon-it.

4 out of 5


Bomb prediction girl stuck in one song groove until cured of the horn.

4 out of 5


Nasty reports.

3.5 out of 5


Good idea to keep little monsters locked up.

3 out of 5


Mr Carlyle is asked to help an engineer look into something strange going on with an underground tunnel project in London.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5