Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Twelve Tales Of the Supernatural - Michael Cox

An anthology of older work, with some earlier twentieth century pieces. The editor says it should be a representative sample of what supernatural fiction tries to do.

None of them seem particularly good, with Landon and Jacobs the pick.

Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : Wicked Captain Walshawe of Wauling - J. S. Le Fanu
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : A Terrible Vengeance - Mrs J. H. Riddell
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : Number 13 - M. R. James
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : Railhead - Perceval Landon
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : The Toll-House - W. W. Jacobs
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : The Face - E. F. Benson
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : The Tool - W. F. Harvey
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : Look Up There! - H. R. Wakefield
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : The Last Bouquet - Marjorie Bowen
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : In Due Course - Andrew Caldecott
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : A Christmas Game - A. N. L. Munby
Twelve Tales of the Supernatural : Florinda - Shamus Frazer

These evil phantoms really get old.

3 out of 5


Kiss chasey with phantoms pales.

3 out of 5


Yes, that one really is unlucky.

3.5 out of 5


Headbangers foretold.

3.5 out of 5


Haunted house bet.

3.5 out of 5


Dead pickup.

3 out of 5


Laying it on.

2 out of 5


Cloud army.

3 out of 5


Old actress double.

3.5 out of 5


Big buggy.

3 out of 5


Pass the dead bits.

3 out of 5


Cracker of an ending.

3 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

In Due Course - Andrew Caldecott

Big buggy.


3 out of 5

The Last Bouquet - Marjorie Bowen

Old actress double.


3.5 out of 5

Look Up There - H. Russell Wakefield

Cloud army.


3 out of 5

The Tool - William Harvey

Laying it on.


2 out of 5

A Christmas Game - A. N. L. Munby

Pass the dead bits.


3 out of 5

Florinda - Shamus Frazer

Cracker of an ending.


3 out of 5

Monday, April 28, 2008

Flat Diane - Daniel Abraham

Picture porn's a killer.


4 out of 5

The Ferryman's Wife - Richard Bowes

Time Ranger family.


4 out of 5

Dance Of the Yellow-Breasted Luddites - William Shunn

Flocking humans a bit slow.


3 out of 5

A Day's Work On the Moon - Mike Moscoe

Rocket girl rescue rover.


4 out of 5

How To Make Unicorn Pie - Esther M. Friesner

Horning in on the critic.


4.5 out of 5

Will Be - Robert Reed

Pop prophecy Dead Zone.


4 out of 5

Lost Girls - Jane Yolen

Neverland strikebreaking pirates.


3.5 out of 5

The Mercy Gate - Mark McGarry

"It was worse with the last bunch," Cara reminded him. "At least we can be reasonably sure these pirates won't try to kill us in our sleep." "Yes," he said flatly, "they're grave robbers, cheats, and barbarians, but they're not murderers."

With a metamorph stargate trap, in a big way.


4 out of 5

Lifeboat On A Burning Sea - Bruce Holland Rogers

Death machine desertion discussion.


4 out of 5

Mirror Of Lop Nor - George Guthridge

Mongol-Lin along for quite some time.


4 out of 5

The Resurrection Man's Legacy - Dale Bailey

Simulated coach has pop.


3.5 out of 5

Tea and Hamsters - Michael Coney

"But Loo had been briefed for that. "We do not eat felines. Felines have an unacceptable gamey flavor." "How do you know, you monster?" "It is written.""


3.5 out of 5

Jesus At the Bat - Esther M. Friesner

"There is nothing in the rule books against having God on your side. Play ball!"


4 out of 5

Basement Magic - Ellen Klages

Brastring bad juju.


3 out of 5

555 - Robert Reed

Virtual shooting plot promotion.


3.5 out of 5

The Mask Of the Rex - Richard Bowes

Gateway politics.


3 out of 5

Trouble Is - Robert Reed

Prion revenge thanks.


3.5 out of 5

Necronauts - Terry Bisson

Psychic painter death art love.


4 out of 5

The Skeleton Key - Nina Kiriki Hoffman

I'm dead mum. A proper sacrifice I would have been if it wasn't all Greek to them.


4 out of 5

Things Not Seen - Martha Soukup

Robot deja vu all over again.


3.5 out of 5

The Honeycrafters - Carolyn Ives Gilman

Bees is the drug.


3 out of 5

Guide Dog - Michael Conner

Nope, actually a human, for aliens.


3.5 out of 5

Black Glass - Karen Joy Fowler

Zombie cocktail.


3 out of 5

Getting Real - Susan Shwartz

Temporary Reality bunny.


3 out of 5

A Time For Every Purpose - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Time Force dad pre crime.


3.5 out of 5

Strata - Edward Bryant

Reunion Ghost Dance land shark road shock.


4.5 out of 5

Myths Of the Near Future - J. G. Ballard

Porno bedroom flight.


3 out of 5

Fast Cars - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Charisma potion reunion.


4 out of 5

The Way Station - Stephen King

Remember the demon bits.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Cost Of Doing Business - Leslie What

Professional victim.


4 out of 5

Thirteen Ways To Water - Bruce Holland Rogers

Twelve too bloody many, Jack and Diane.


2.5 out of 5

Sister Emily's Lightship - Jane Yolen

Alien Dicko visit.


2.5 out of 5

The Year's Best Science Fiction 06th Annual Collection - Gardner Dozois

A very impressive volume in this series, weighting in just a bit under the magic 4.00 number, at 3.95.

This book is headlined by Steven 'Jumper' Gould's outstanding literally balls to the wall 'Peaches For Mad Molly'

There are several other excellent pieces, and only one I thought was average.


Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Surfacing - Walter Jon Williams
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Home Front - James Patrick Kelly
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : The Man Who Loved the Vampire Lady - Brian M. Stableford
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Peaches for Mad Molly - Steven Gould
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : The Last Article - Harry Turtledove
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Stable Strategies for Middle Management - Eileen Gunn
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : In Memoriam - Nancy Kress
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Kirinyaga - Mike Resnick
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : The Girl Who Loved Animals - Bruce McAllister
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : The Last of the Winnebagos - Connie Willis
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Love in Vain - Lewis Shiner
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : The Hob - Judith Moffett
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Our Neural Chernobyl - Bruce Sterling
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : House of Bones - Robert Silverberg
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Schrodinger's Kitten - George Alec Effinger
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Do Ya Do Ya Wanna Dance? - Howard Waldrop
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : The Growth of the House of Usher - Brian M. Stableford
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Glacier - Kim Stanley Robinson
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Sanctuary - James Lawson
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : The Dragon Line - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Mrs. Shummel Exits a Winner - John Kessel
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Emissary - Stephen Kraus
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : It Was the Heat - Pat Cadigan
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Skin Deep - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Dying in Hull - David Alexander Smith
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Distances - Kathe Koja
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : Famous Monsters - Kim Newman
Year's Best Science Fiction 06 : The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter - Lucius Shepard

Undersea communication research alien possession accomodation.

4 out of 5


Enlistment prospect never heard of the Human Bomb, but what they say about a good big man still holds.

4 out of 5


Humans rule, ok? With some AIDS, that is.

4 out of 5


Falling off a 700 story building without a parachute is a real Howler.

5 out of 5


Passive resistance IS useless. Against ratzis, anyway.

4 out of 5


Getting a head through corporate bioengineering.

3.5 out of 5


Killer memory life wipe.

4 out of 5


Demon baby killer Maintenance.

4 out of 5


Zoobaby.

3 out of 5


Dog photomurder blame.

4.5 out of 5


Supernatural serial killers and the high school horn.

4 out of 5


Space elves not too sheepish with anti-heffalump memory treatment.

4 out of 5


Intelligence AIDS more for canines, rather than birds. Useless cats still lazy though.

4 out of 5


Cro-mag compassion.

4 out of 5


Budayeen physicist choices.

4 out of 5


Getting the band back together, big audience.

3.5 out of 5


Sister still bugs me.

3.5 out of 5


Even if you were a dog, you ain't going to be in Kansas, ever.

3.5 out of 5


Dog disincorp decap defense.

4.5 out of 5


Throat cutting, gonad slicing megalomaniac Arthurian remnants.

3.5 out of 5


" " was his name, oh!

3.5 out of 5


Alien pet transport unveiling.

4 out of 5


Taking a loa off.

4 out of 5


Bloody shedding alien shapeshifters.

4.5 out of 5


It'd be just like lobstering, without the house flooding and vicious gangs.

4 out of 5


Glasshead proximity proximate breakdown prompts Proxima paired procession.

4 out of 5


Martian extras.

4.5 out of 5


Rape escapee dragon prisoner junkie.

3.5 out of 5




5 out of 5

The Crab Lice - Gregory Feeley

Past art, no care much.


3.5 out of 5

Virtual Love - Maureen F. McHugh

Yep, I'm like you.


4 out of 5

Alien Jane - Kelley Eskridge

Hurts not so good.


3.5 out of 5

Halting State - Charles Stross

Taggart 2030.


Or, it seems a bit like that at times, especially with Sergeant Smith and company.

The second person thing didn't really worry me at all, I had read the first two or three chapters on the web, so once you get used to it after a few pages I found I wasn't really noticing it at all, and just reading it the same as any other novel.

An in-game raid on a bank in a MMORPG leads to an investigation, that has intelligence, financial and communications implications.

A near future setting where people are even more wired, and physical reality has a virtual overlay where things can be tagged, or have information added to them like a wiki, and people use this via mobile phones and glasses. The police, for example, use CopSpace.

Gaming is more prevalent, with people also taking part in large scale LARP and what they call ARG - co-ordinated by computer and phone - one of which, amusinglyg enough, is called 'SPOOKS'. No mention of games of Hustle or Life On Mars though, maybe firing up the Quatro would be frowned upon by law-enforcement. :)

For some of the flavour :

"..They're guarding some loot I need to get my hands on. About a quarter of a million lines of source code, squirreled away among the skeletons and treasures guarded by a fiercely large Shoggoth; if you want to keep your data secure, there's nothing quite like sticking it in a record in a holographic distributed database that's guarded by Lovecraftian horrors."

or

"The traffic looks like game-play to GCHQ or CESG or NSA or whoever's sniffing packets; looking in-game for characters run by Abdullah and Salim holding private chat about blowing up the White House garden gnomes won't get you a handle on what's going on because they're not using the game a sa ludic universe to chat in, they're using it as a transport layer! They're tunnelling TCP/IP over AD&D!"

There are three main characters, a game developer, a forensic accountant, and a police Sergeant, with stories told in three different threads, as their investigation leads into something rather nastier going on in real-life.


4 out of 5

The End Of the World As We Know It - Dale Bailey

No Triffids, Kraken, Cuckoos or Lichen.


4 out of 5

I Live With You - Carol Emshwiller

Multi personality generosity.


3.5 out of 5

The Extraordinary Voyages of Amelie Bertrand - Joanna Russ

Station destination immense variation.


4 out of 5

Distances - Kathe Koja

Glasshead proximity proximate breakdown prompts Proxima paired procession.


4 out of 5

Skin Deep - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Bloody shedding alien shapeshifters.


4.5 out of 5

The Strange Redemption Of Sister Mary Ann - Mike Moscoe

Cancer nun's dream convo.


3.5 out of 5

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Shining A Light On Australia's Gothic Literature - James Doig

http://blogs.abc.net.au/articulate/2008/04/say-horror-and.html

An interview talking about doing the Australian Gothic anthology.

Aloha - Ken Wharton

End of the universe time reverse conversion.


4 out of 5

Creature - Carol Emshwiller

Rosie the reptile.


3.5 out of 5

These Shoes Strangers Have Died Of - Bruce Holland Rogers

Dead nazi art.


4.5 out of 5

The Button and What You Know - W. Gregory Stewart

Not even a red one.


2.5 out of 5

Heirs Of the Perisphere - Howard Waldrop

Simulacra capsule wait.


3 out of 5

High Steel - Jack Dann and Jack C. Haldeman

Stranger in the business.


3.5 out of 5

Corridors - Barry N. Malzberg

The Journey Of the Sorcerer.


2.5 out of 5

Zeke - Timothy Sullivan

Albino freak meet albino alien.


4 out of 5

Secrets Of the Heart - Charles L. Grant

Psionic power princess punishment.


4 out of 5

Window - Bob Leman

Alternate world discovery attack leftovers.


4 out of 5

A Sunday Visit With Great-grandfather - Craig Strete

Super old guy vs the aliens.


4 out of 5

Camera Obscura - Thomas F. Monteleone

Artless, with lizard men.


3.5 out of 5

The Adinkra Cloth - Mary Aldridge

Mum looks after us good, even if she's dusted.


4 out of 5

Breath's A Ware That Will Not Keep - Thomas F. Monteleone

Breeder tank womans's psi rebellion attachment ending.


4.5 out of 5

White Wolf Calling - Charles L. Grant

Hairy harbinger.


3.5 out of 5

Growing Up In Edge City - Frederik Pohl

Outside getaway Dropout love.


3.5 out of 5

Time Deer - Craig Strete

Everybody watching.


2 out of 5

How I Lost the Second World War and Helped Turn Back the German Invasion - Gene Wolfe

Military game history race discussion.


3.5 out of 5

Shark - Edward Bryant

Maneaters, human, and the laser-beam on head variety.


4 out of 5

Shaffery Among the Immortals - Frederik Pohl

Accidental disease spread means no other worries.


3.5 out of 5

The Last Ghost - Stephen Goldin

Long run gone guide loneliness.


4 out of 5

It Was the Heat - Pat Cadigan

Taking a loa off.


4 out of 5

Emissary - Stephen Kraus

Alien pet transport unveiling.


4 out of 5

Heathen God - George Zebrowski

A Gnome There Was. For a long time, until they lasergunned him.


4 out of 5

Sword Game - H. H. Hollis

Magic tesser-act.


4 out of 5

The Doctor - Theodore L. Thomas

Old fashioned healer.


4 out of 5

Game - Donald Barthelme

Might have to short that military jack off.


3.5 out of 5

The House the Blakeneys Built - Avram Davidson

Techno rebuilding.


2.5 out of 5

The Drowned Giant - J. G. Ballard

Shrinking from investigation.


3.5 out of 5

Come To Venus Melancholy - Thomas Disch

Cyborg slug.


3 out of 5

Inside Man - H. L. Gold

Bedwarmer.


3 out of 5

Keep Them Happy - Robert Rohrer

Prison babe whack off.


4 out of 5

Over the River and Through the Woods - Clifford D. Simak

Forbesing off time.


3 out of 5

The Eight Billion - Richard Wilson

Not much to do.


3 out of 5

A Glow Of Candles A Unicorn's Eyes - Charles L. Grant

Acting, with extras.


3.5 out of 5

Polly Charms the Sleeping Woman - Avram Davidson

Heavens for Murgatroyd.


3.5 out 5

A Galaxy Called Rome - Barry N. Malzberg

Can't skipstone out of the local area.


3.5 out of 5

The Rest Is Silence - Charles L. Grant

Academic Shakespearan murder.


3 out of 5

Animal Fair - Alfred Bester

Guess farm was taken, but a lot smarter this bunch.


3 out of 5

Mount Charity - Edgar Pangborn

Alien beast host history record.


4.5 out of 5

Dear Aunt Annie - Gordon Eklund

Gonna be human again.


3 out of 5

The Shaker Revival - Gerald Jonas

Just Say Noes.


3.5 out of 5

The Happy Man - Jonathan Lethem

Family Hell.


3.5 out of 5

Mars Is No Place For Children - Mary Turzillo

Sick girl trouble fraternal correspondence dowsing sojourn.


3.5 out of 5

The Dog's Story - Eleanor Arnason

Merlin's dog boy heat.


3.5 out of 5

The Masculinist Revolt - William Tenn

Get your cods on, it's a riot!


4 out of 5

The Encounter - Kate Wilhelm

Cold and alone.


3 out of 5

Case and the Dreamer - Theodore Sturgeon

Galactic arm penetration bailout long wait death departure decision stowaway declaration.


3.5 out of 5

The Angel Of Death - Michael Shea

Hot tip anatomy parameters.


3 out of 5

The Girl Who Was Plugged In - James Tiptree Jr

Remote media darling.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Ways Of Love - Poul Anderson

Space spread out.


3 out of 5

Schwarzschild Radius - Connie Willis

War message disease.


3.5 out of 5

The Girl Who Fell Into the Sky - Kate Wilhelm

Get rid of that damn piano.


2.5 out of 5

Blooded On Arachne - Michael Bishop

"Sej, you burgundy bastard," he hissed.

...

"Sej, he thought, Sej, you treacherous spidherd."

...

"Oh, what a man you are now," Sej said. "You're stained and smeared and shredded, just like a spidherd. Just like a spidherd, lovely one."

I'm spewing about being a pilot now!


4 out of 5

The Listeners - James Gunn

Big Ear, Little Ear, dead.


3.5 out of 5

The Big Flash - Norman Spinrad

"To make a long story short and sweet, I gave the network the royal screw. I signed the Horsemen to a contract that made me their manager and gave me twenty percent of their take. Then I booked them into the American Dream at ten thousand a week, wrote a check as proprietor of the American Dream, handed the check to myself as manager of the Four Horsemen, then resigned as a network flunky, leaving them with a $10,000 bag and me with 20% of the hottest group since the Beatles.

What the hell, he who lives by the fine print shall perish by the fine print."

Apocalypto Rock and Rollo.


4 out of 5

The Dragon Line - Michael Swanwick

Throat cutting, gonad slicing megalomaniac Arthurian remnants.


3.5 out of 5

The Robot's Twilight Companion - Tony Daniel

A good book. This collection averages 3.50 which is really nicely done for a first batch, anchored by the excellent 'A Dry, Quiet War' about a very strange post-war homecoming from his Metaplanetary setting. A few stories from that setting, as well as a couple in the middle that tend to the supernatural, and even a science fiction spy story, in Prague.

Robot's Twilight Companion : Life on the Moon - Tony Daniel
Robot's Twilight Companion : A Dry Quiet War - Tony Daniel
Robot's Twilight Companion : Radio Praha - Tony Daniel
Robot's Twilight Companion : Aconcagua - Tony Daniel
Robot's Twilight Companion : Black Canoes - Tony Daniel
Robot's Twilight Companion : Death of Reason - Tony Daniel
Robot's Twilight Companion : Mystery Box - Tony Daniel
Robot's Twilight Companion : Grist - Tony Daniel
Robot's Twilight Companion : The Robot's Twilight Companion - Tony Daniel

Centre of the earth rescue rangers.

3.5 out of 5


Ferret girl proves vital in time tweaking titans massive personality conflict.

3.5 out of 5


Pellicle met pellicle. Grist met grist.

With some landscaping and brain blowing.

3 out of 5


"F.A. license HARCO234319599 for genre constructions, science fiction.""

Cop stuff, however, far from Ideal.

3 out of 5


Inversion cave crucificixion rite.

3.5 out of 5


Climbing ghost guide.

3.5 out of 5


Smoking spies like us radio statis time.

3.5 out of 5


Metaspace Marine homecoming cleanout.

4.5 out of 5


Architectural possibilities scrambled.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

Mystery Box - Tony Daniel

"Pellicle met pellicle. Grist met grist."

With some landscaping and brain blowing.


3 out of 5

Death Of Reason - Tony Daniel

“F.A. license HARCO234319599 for genre constructions, science fiction.”

Cop stuff, however, far from Ideal.


3 out of 5

Black Canoes - Tony Daniel

Inversion cave crucifixion rite.


3.5 out of 5

Aconcagua - Tony Daniel

Climbing ghost guide.


3.5 out of 5

Radio Praha - Tony Daniel

Smoking spies like us radio stasis time.


3.5 out of 5

Auspicious Eggs - James Morrow

"Neither has ever missed a Sacrament of Extramarital Intercourse."


3.5 out of 5

Poor Man Beggar Man - Joanna Russ

Even if I am a spook boy, you still can't take it with you.


3 out of 5

A Knight Of Ghosts and Shadows - Gardner Dozois

You left me you steely old battleaxe, piss off.


4 out of 5

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Rite Of Spring - Fritz Leiber

Seven times too long.


3 out of 5

The Warlord Of Saturn's Moons - Eleanor Arnason

Writing dull.


3 out of 5

The Custodians - Richard Cowper

Forgery prediction.


3 out of 5

Sanctuary - Alan Dean Foster

Dog disincorp decap defense.


4.5 out of 5

Glacier - Kim Stanley Robinson

Even if you were a dog, you ain't going to be in Kansas, ever.


3.5 out of 5

The Growth Of the House Of Usher - Brian Stableford

Sister still bugs me.


3.5 out of 5

Do Ya Do Ya Wanna Dance - Howard Waldrop

Getting the band back together, big audience.


3.5 out of 5

Schrodinger's Kitten - George Alec Effinger

Budayeen physicist choices.


4 out of 5

House Of Bones - Robert Silverberg

Cro-mag compassion.


4 out of 5

The Copyright Notice Case - Paul Levinson

DNA transcription kill.


3.5 out of 5

Famous Monsters - Kim Newman

Martian extras.


4.5 out of 5

Mrs Shummel Exits A Winner - John Kessel

" " was his name, oh!


3.5 out of 5

Our Neural Chernobyl - Bruce Sterling

Intelligence AIDS more for canines, rather than birds. Useless cats still lazy though.


4 out of 5

The Hob - Judith Moffett

Space elves not too sheepish with anti-heffalump memory treatment.


4 out of 5

The Girl Who Loved Animals - Bruce McAllister

Zoobaby.


3 out of 5

The Last Article - Harry Turtledove

Passive resistance IS useless. Against ratzis, anyway.


4 out of 5

Peaches For Mad Molly - Steven Gould

Falling off a 700 story building without a parachute is a real Howler.


5 out of 5

Behold the Mighty Dinosaur - David Jablonski

An anthology actually put together by a palaeontologist. From the University of California at Santa Barbara at the time, apparently.

As such, there is an introduction talking about such science, and even Robert Bakker in particular. It is around 20 pages long.

Behold the Mighty Dinosaur : Poor Little Warrior! - Brian W. Aldiss
Behold the Mighty Dinosaur : The Wings of a Bat - Paul Ash
Behold the Mighty Dinosaur : A Sound of Thunder - Ray Bradbury
Behold the Mighty Dinosaur : The Sands of Time - P. Schuyler Miller
Behold the Mighty Dinosaur : The Runners - Bob Buckley
Behold the Mighty Dinosaur : Before the Dawn - John Taine
Behold the Mighty Dinosaur : During the Jurassic - John Updike


He's got the dino crabs.

3.5 out of 5


Pteranodon parent.

4 out of 5


Stay in the lines, you dino hunting dumbarse.

4 out of 5


"Damn it," he cried, "no bald-headed old fuzzy-wuzzy is going to call me a liar twice! You may know a lot about dead bones, but your education with regard to living things has been sadly neglected. So reptiles never herd? What about alligators? What about the Galapagos iguanas? What about snakes? Bah—you can't see any farther than your own nose and never will! When I show you photographs of living dinosaurs, taken with this very camera twenty-four hours ago, not more than three or four miles from where we're standing—well, it's high time you scrap your hidebound, bone-dry theories and listen to a branch of science that's real and living, and always will be. I photographed those dinosaurs! I can do it again—any tune I like. I will do it."

Throw in a couple of groups of antagonistic aliens.

3.5 out of 5


Many big dinos can eat you. Small ones too, if you do that past tirp thing.

3 out of 5


Dino viewing tour.

2.5 out of 5


Big slow reptiles.

3 out of 5





3.5 out of 5

Before the Dawn - John Taine

Dino viewing tour.


2.5 out of 5

The Giant Book Of Golden Age SF - Martin H. Greenberg and Isaac Asimov and Charles G. Waugh

The pommie version of this was apparently called the Mammoth Book of Golden Age Science Fiction, from Robinson.


A book of short novels, or novellas, whichever you prefer, from the forties.

Giant Book of Golden Age SF : Time Wants a Skeleton - Ross Rocklynne
Giant Book of Golden Age SF : The Weapons Shop [Isher] - A. E. Van Vogt
Giant Book of Golden Age SF : Nerves - Lester del Rey
Giant Book of Golden Age SF : Daymare - Fredric Brown
Giant Book of Golden Age SF : Killdozer! - Theodore Sturgeon
Giant Book of Golden Age SF : No Woman Born - C. L. Moore
Giant Book of Golden Age SF : The Big and the Little - Isaac Asimov
Giant Book of Golden Age SF : Giant Killer - A. Bertram Chandler
Giant Book of Golden Age SF : E for Effort - T. L. Sherred
Giant Book of Golden Age SF : With Folded Hands - Jack Williamson


Skull ring graviton past xmas present.

3 out of 5


An incontrovertible supply of bang and zap is important.

3.5 out of 5


Atomic accident surgery improvisation.

3.5 out of 5


Night whisper wheel takeover takedown.

3.5 out of 5


Neutronium activated lethal load.

3 out of 5


High performance machine act.

4 out of 5


Trading atomic religion in.

3 out of 5


Rat race ship slaughter.

4 out of 5


Historical record breakthough chaos.

4 out of 5


Robot home help useless.

2.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Big and the Little - Isaac Asimov

Trading atomic religion in.


3 out of 5

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Morning Child and Other Stories - Gardner Dozois

Here's a candidate for cloning, if you ever saw one. A pre-eminent editor that can write stories well enough to average 3.70 needs a double to do some more writing work. Given all the magazine and book production it did take 30 years or so to come up with enough to cull this selection from, but still, it is very impressive. I think I like it even more reading it for the second time. Two 4.5's in ten is a high strike rate.

A couple will seem a bit old-fashioned American to some, perhaps. All in all, really good though.

Morning Child and Other Stories : MORNING CHILD - Gardner Dozois
Morning Child and Other Stories : A SPECIAL KIND OF MORNING - Gardner Dozois
Morning Child and Other Stories : THE HANGING CURVE - Gardner Dozois
Morning Child and Other Stories : A KINGDOM BY THE SEA - Gardner Dozois
Morning Child and Other Stories : A DREAM AT NOONDAY - Gardner Dozois
Morning Child and Other Stories : ANCESTRAL VOICES - Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick
Morning Child and Other Stories : FAIRY TALE - Gardner Dozois
Morning Child and Other Stories : THE PEACEMAKER - Gardner Dozois
Morning Child and Other Stories : MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE - Gardner Dozois
Morning Child and Other Stories : CHAINS OF THE SEA - Gardner Dozois


Weapon parental effects.

4 out of 5


Oh what a lovely war.

4.5 out of 5


Slow pitch series ender.

3.5 out of 5


Hammertime dreamtime.

3.5 out of 5


Childhood memory death.

3.5 out of 5


Dark Angel First Contact zap insanity removal mercy regret.

4.5 out of 5


Cinderella existence not all it is cracked up to be.

3.5 out of 5


Sea sacrifice.

3.5 out of 5


No dying for you, girly.

3 out of 5


Invasion top dog talking people termination time.

3.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Chains Of the Sea - Gardner Dozois

Invasion top dog talking people termination time.


3.5 out of 5

Time Wants A Skeleton - Ross Rocklynne

Skull ring graviton past xmas present.


3 out of 5

The Runners - Bob Buckley

Many big dinos can eat you. Small ones too, if you do that past tirp thing.


3 out of 5

The Wings Of A Bat - Pauline Ashwell

Pteranodon parent.


4 out of 5

Machines Of Loving Grace - Gardner Dozois

No dying for you, girly.


3 out of 5

Ancestral Voices - Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick

Dark Angel First Contact zap insanity removal mercy regret.


4.5 out of 5

The Hanging Curve - Gardner Dozois

Slow pitch series ender.


3.5 out of 5

A Special Kind Of Morning - Gardner Dozois

Oh what a lovely war.


4.5 out of 5

Life Regarded As A Jigsaw Puzzle Of Highly Lustrous Cats - Michael Bishop

Turds with fur.


3 out of 5

Goodbye To All That - Harlan Ellison

Afterlife, maybe the chips are ok.


3 out of 5

Wound the Wind - George Zebrowski

Short time extension pitch.


4 out of 5

In the Shade Of the Slowboat Man - Dean Wesley Smith

Sucker for human hubby.


4 out of 5

Five Fucks - Jonathan Lethem

One Pup to put down.


2.5 out of 5

Tall One - K. D. Wentworth

Priest supply comeback, easy.


3.5 out of 5

Fortune and Misfortune - Lisa Goldstein

Old Greek curse.


3.5 out of 5

Short Timer - Dave Smeds

Purple Haze save.


4 out of 5

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Horse Of Air - Gardner Dozois

Gated, walled, what's the diff?


4.5 out of 5

Disciples - Gardner Dozois

Lacking Last Days layabout Left Behind.


4 out of 5

When the Bow Breaks - Steven Brust

Ahoy there you useless elf. Do something.


3.5 out of 5

White Creatures - Gregory Benford

Frozen search.


4 out of 5

Good News From the Vatican - Robert Silverberg

Robopope.


3.5 out of 5

Lennon Spex - Paul Di Filippo

Spaghetti headtrip plugin politics.


4 out of 5

Bible Stories For Adults No. 17 The Deluge - James Morrow

No room on this ark.


3 out of 5

Vernalfest Morning - Michael Bishop

Kiddie cannon fodder.


4 out of 5

War Beneath the Tree - Gene Wolfe

Cry hassock and let slip the toys of new.


3.5 out of 5

The Island Of Dr Death and Other Stories - Gene Wolfe

Wait just a Moreau and the story will be with you again.


4 out of 5

A Scraping At the Bones - Algis Budrys

Space kill.


3.5 out of 5

The Man Who Learned Loving - Theodore Sturgeon

Mensch monkey puzzle.


3.5 out of 5

The Good New Days - Fritz Leiber

Dull, robotic and smashing.


3 out of 5

Cyclops - Fritz Leiber

"Allison stared at him. "You're seriously suggesting an animal with the velocity of a rocket?" Ness thought, Somebody is. He said, "They'd be a sort of squid. Pyne's idea. Maybe like a ramjet they'd gather and eject the dust they drive through. Maybe communities of them would help one member gather speed, like step rockets."

Giant space squids. Who can not like that?


4 out of 5

A Few Kindred Spirits - John Christopher

Queer lives, these birds and dogs.


3.5 out of 5

The Best Science Fiction of the Year 01 - Terry Carr

After splitting off to go his own way, here's what Carr has to say in the conclusion to his introduction.

"The specific technique isn't important...any of an endless variety of approaches to fictional creation. What matters is the pleasure we experience in reading these sotires, and when the whole range of literary technique is usec to evoke the wondr, scope and beauty of the universe--yes, and its dangers too--then we have a genre that cannot fail to be exciting.
This year's collections of stories provides many examples of science fiction's growth and variety. There will be more to come toomrrow. (The is always more to come tomorrow.)..January 14, 1972"

If he could pop in and have a look at 2008, I am sure he would be quite pleased.

However, this volume is a bit on the weak side for a Year's Best, although its age of course has to be taken into account here. Poul Anderson's clever not-fantasy aside, there isn't lots of standout stuff.

The Panshin story though? If you put yourself, and your wife, and crapping on to your mates about selling short stories to editors AND YOUR FRACKING DUCKS in it, as you point out, you do have some problems when the most interesting character is a bit part goose. Ok, well, gander, actually, but still. Maybe they had been taking some of Spinrad's Psychedelics Inc. stuff.


Terry Carr 01 : Occam's Scalpel - Theodore Sturgeon
Terry Carr 01 : The Queen of Air and Darkness - Poul Anderson
Terry Carr 01 : In Entropy's Jaws - Robert Silverberg
Terry Carr 01 : The Sliced-Crosswise Only-On-Tuesday World - Philip José Farmer
Terry Carr 01 : A Meeting with Medusa - Arthur C. Clarke
Terry Carr 01 : The Frayed String on the Stretched Forefinger of Time - Lloyd Biggle Jr.
Terry Carr 01 : How Can We Sink When We Can Fly? - Alexei Panshin
Terry Carr 01 : No Direction Home - Norman Spinrad
Terry Carr 01 : Vaster Than Empires and More Slow - Ursula K. Le Guin
Terry Carr 01 : All the Last Wars at Once - George Alec Effinger
Terry Carr 01 : The Fourth Profession - Larry Niven


People alteration protection.

3 out of 5


A fairy stole my baby.

4.5 out of 5


Communication let me down, now I'm left to fix myself out in space somewhere.

4 out of 5


Don't like Mondays? This is the place for you. If you like variety in your days, it isn't.

3 out of 5


Jovian airship's robojock first contact radio days.

4 out of 5


Justice suspension.

3.5 out of 5


Not even the goose could float this.

2 out of 5


How did we survive without all that acid?

3.5 out of 5


Empathetic comeback.

3 out of 5


Group expunging deadline.

4 out of 5


Alien alcohol test case quad pill investigation.

3.5 out of 5





3.5 out of 5

No Direction Home - Norman Spinrad

How did we survive without all that acid?


3.5 out of 5

How Can We Sink When We Can Fly? - Alexei Panshin

Not even the goose could float this.


2 out of 5

The Fantasy Hall Of Fame - Martin H. Greenberg and Robert Silverberg

A rather impressive collection of fantasy work, Only three of these stories I thought were average, and as such, this average 3.66.

Something of a historical overview, from the time of Poe and Bierce, through the Weird Tales Three and the pulp era, and on to the sixties and seventies, so a very useful sampling of authors for someone that is intersted in fantasy stories, or writers to check out.

Although this Hall of Fame is without Conan or Lankhmar is perhaps a little light on. Although the Leiber is a classic, there are better Howard stories that could have been included.

Definitely recommended, however.

Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Masque of the Red Death - Edgar Allan Poe
Fantasy Hall of Fame : An Inhabitant of Carcosa - Ambrose Bierce
Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Sword of Welleran - Lord Dunsany
Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Women of the Wood - A. Merritt
Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan - Clark Ashton Smith
Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Valley of the Worm - Robert E. Howard
Fantasy Hall of Fame : Black God's Kiss - C. L. Moore
Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Silver Key - H. P. Lovecraft
Fantasy Hall of Fame : Nothing in the Rules - L. Sprague deCamp
Fantasy Hall of Fame : A Gnome There Was - Henry Kuttner
Fantasy Hall of Fame : Snulbug - Anthony Boucher
Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Words of Guru - C. M. Kornbluth
Fantasy Hall of Fame : Homecoming - Ray Bradbury
Fantasy Hall of Fame : Mazirian the Magician - Jack Vance
Fantasy Hall of Fame : O Ugly Bird! - Manly Wade Wellman
Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Silken-Swift - Theodore Sturgeon
Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Golem - Avram Davidson
Fantasy Hall of Fame : That Hell-Bound Train - Robert Bloch
Fantasy Hall of Fame : Kings in Darkness - Michael Moorcock
Fantasy Hall of Fame : Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes - Harlan Ellison
Fantasy Hall of Fame : Gonna Roll the Bones - Fritz Leiber
Fantasy Hall of Fame : The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas - Ursula K. LeGuin


Bloody party.

3.5 out of 5


Death set in stone.

3.5 out of 5


Old hero ghost guides.

4 out of 5


Forest slayage.

3.5 out of 5


A beggar prophecies that man's greed will be his undoing. More to the point, some emeralds, and he meant it literally.

3 out of 5


Dragonslaying, Norse reincarnation style. Not quite to the standard of his other stories, I think.

3 out of 5


An escape from a captor leads Jirel basically into a Clark Ashton Smith story, and a passionate revenge.

4 out of 5


After opening the iron box and finding what was in it, no one can find Randolph Carter anymore.

4 out of 5


Mermaid ring-in doesn't quite make the seal of sobriety.

4 out of 5


Underground transformation organisation against the head egg man.

4 out of 5


Man a bit of a demon.

3.5 out of 5


Planet busting phoneme.

3.5 out of 5


I want to feel the wind beneath my wings. Or I'll cry.

3.5 out of 5


Spell use needs to be judicious.

4 out of 5


A good whack from a silver string axe leaves your big turkey ghost just a cold casserole.

3.5 out of 5


Virgin deception test, unicorn required.

3 out of 5


"I am not a human being!"

3.5 out of 5


Time-stop devil of a deal indecision.

4 out of 5


Too much royalty and dead things, but some reward.

3.5 out of 5


Maggie, I wish I had something to say to you. But you're dead.

3.5 out of 5


Dicing with Death.

4.5 out of 5


"Well we know where we're goin
But we dont know where we've been"

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Daymare - Fredric Brown

Night whisper wheel takeover takedown.


3.5 out of 5

Nothing In the Rules - L. Sprague de Camp

Mermaid ring-in doesn't quite make the seal of sobriety.


4 out of 5

Astounding Tales Of Space and Time - John W. Campbell

A collection of old sf work, with the best of it in the guts, with Sturgeon's nuclear nightmare, and Sherred's viewing the truth manoeuvre story.

Astounding Tales of Space and Time : Hobbyist - Eric Frank Russell
Astounding Tales of Space and Time : Hindsight - Jack Williamson
Astounding Tales of Space and Time : Thunder and Roses - Theodore Sturgeon
Astounding Tales of Space and Time : E for Effort - T. L. Sherred
Astounding Tales of Space and Time : Late Night Final - Eric Frank Russell
Astounding Tales of Space and Time : Protected Species - H. B. Fyfe
Astounding Tales of Space and Time : Historical Note - Murray Leinster

Parrot planet record.

2.5 out of 5


"Can't you see that the Astrarch really is no different from any of the old pirates? His fleets still seize any independent vessel, or make the owners ransom it with his space-patrol tax."

Space-time battle, commence!

3 out of 5


With everything nuked, limitation, hope and waiting is all that can be done.

4.5 out of 5


Historical record breakthough chaos.

4 out of 5


Planet takeover by the book.

2.5 out of 5


Old ape hunt.

3.5 out of 5


Russian flying horde cabbage patch.

2 out of 5





2.5 out of 5

Time and Stars - Poul Anderson

A very solid SF collection from the sixties. No particular standouts, but several good stories to be found here.

Time and Stars : NO TRUCE WITH KINGS - Poul Anderson
Time and Stars : ESCAPE FROM ORBIT - Poul Anderson
Time and Stars : EPILOGUE - Poul Anderson
Time and Stars : THE CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON - Poul Anderson
Time and Stars : EVE TIMES FOUR - Poul Anderson
Time and Stars : TURNING POINT - Poul Anderson

Psychodynamic psionic war society manipulation.

4 out of 5


Meteor ship wreck.

3 out of 5


Robot race Zero radio last men conflict.

3.5 out of 5


Robot literature bad.

4 out of 5


Alien group forced colonisation harem.

3 out of 5


Assimilating smart people is key.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

Eve Times Four - Poul Anderson

Alien group forced colonisation harem.


3 out of 5

Epilogue - Poul Anderson

Robot race Zero radio last men conflict.


3.5 out of 5

Escape From Orbit - Poul Anderson

Meteor ship wreck.


3 out of 5

Kirinyaga - Mike Resnick

A collection exploring the conflict between an aboriginal people and an advanced technology. In this case, an African group, the Kikiyu, and European advanced technology.

This book looks at some stories of what happens when a group of these people are moved to live on an artificial habitat suited to them, and also of the character of their people that must have understanding of the technology while they do not.

Kirinyaga : One Perfect Morning With Jackals - Mike Resnick
Kirinyaga : Kirinyaga - Mike Resnick
Kirinyaga : For I Have Touched the Sky - Mike Resnick
Kirinyaga : Bwana - Mike Resnick
Kirinyaga : The Manamouki - Mike Resnick
Kirinyaga : Song of a Dry River - Mike Resnick
Kirinyaga : The Lotus and the Spear - Mike Resnick
Kirinyaga : A Little Knowledge - Mike Resnick
Kirinyaga : When the Old Gods Die - Mike Resnick
Kirinyaga : The Land of Nod - Mike Resnick

Kenya piss off.

3.5 out of 5


Demon baby killer Maintenance.

4 out of 5


Reading not for local girls.

4 out of 5


Hopeless hyena hunters.

3.5 out of 5


Hyena poo bad, Wanda.

3.5 out of 5


Witchdoctoring can be stressful.

3 out of 5


Maybe the elephant had the right idea, given this whole witch doctor thing.

4 out of 5


My friend mundumugu, he taught me what to say
My friend mundumugu, he taught me what to do
Computer taught me different, though.

4 out of 5


Kirinyaga magic vs medicine decision.

3.5 out of 5


Old ways holdout, with heffalump.

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Song Of A Dry River - Mike Resnick

Witchdoctoring can be stressful.


3 out of 5

The Classic Philip Jose Farmer 1952-1964 - Philip Jose Farmer

When you first come across Philip Jose Farmer, you will generally pick up on the fact that you have come across something new and different, and this is even more of the case if it was a considerable time that you did so.

From oddball fantasy, to the strange alien captivity of Mother, and including even some more mainstream SF here and there.

Classic Philip Jose Farmer : Sail On! Sail On! - Philip Jose Farmer
Classic Philip Jose Farmer : Mother - Philip Jose Farmer
Classic Philip Jose Farmer : The God Business - Philip Jose Farmer
Classic Philip Jose Farmer : The Alley Man - Philip Jose Farmer
Classic Philip Jose Farmer : My Sisters Brother - Philip Jose Farmer
Classic Philip Jose Farmer : The King of Beasts - Philip Jose Farmer


Angel radio.

4 out of 5


Stay at home's mobile mate misunderstandings hard on the in-laws.

4 out of 5


Brewing up a new world.

4 out of 5


"I am laughing, laughing, laughing. Just because you’re a freak of nature, a monstrosity whose bones all went wrong in the womb, you’ve dreamed up this fantastic myth about being descended from the Neanderthals…"

3 out of 5


Got to find the others to get off this planet, but this alien reproduction stuff is rather interesting.

3.5 out of 5


Man scariest.

3 out of 5




4 out of 5

The God Business - Philip Jose Farmer

Brewing up a new world.


4 out of 5

Sail On! Sail On! - Philip Jose Farmer

Angel radio.


4 out of 5

The Calvin Coolidge Home For Dead Comedians - Bradley Denton

It is not much of a surprise that Howard Waldrop provides an introduction for this book, it certain would seem to be his sort of whacky, if venturing a bit more towards horrror, perhaps.

Calvin Coolidge Home : SKIDMORE - Bradley Denton
Calvin Coolidge Home : THE CALVIN COOLIDGE HOME FOR DEAD COMEDIANS - Bradley Denton
Calvin Coolidge Home : THE SIN-EATER OF THE KAW - Bradley Denton
Calvin Coolidge Home : THE HERO OF THE NIGHT - Bradley Denton
Calvin Coolidge Home : THE TERRITORY - Bradley Denton

Good boy dead guy kill decision.

3.5 out of 5


Minus puritanical progress.

3.5 out of 5


Last soul taster.

3 out of 5


Martyr cycle.

3.5 out of 5


Dream motivation, as Twain meet in war.

3 out of 5





3.5 out of 5

The Sin-Eater Of the Kaw - Bradley Denton

Last soul taster.


3 out of 5

The Calvin Coolidge Home For Dead Comedians - Bradley Denton

Minus puritanical progress.


3.5 out of 5

Skidmore - Bradley Denton

Good boy dead guy kill decision.


3.5 out of 5

Isaac Asimov's Detectives - Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams

Another short anthology of work taken from Asimov's science fiction magazine. Unlike some of the more fantasy-oriented topics, there is a much larger range of work to draw on with a theme like this, as there are many sf detective type stories. This bunch hence manages a 3.67. Egan's story is an excellent example such. The Varley and Kress pieces are superior to the more mundane Wilhelm and Asimov stories, too.

Isaac Asimov's Detectives : THE BARBIE MURDERS - John Varley
Isaac Asimov's Detectives : COCOON - Greg Egan
Isaac Asimov's Detectives : THE GORGON FIELD - Kate Wilhelm
Isaac Asimov's Detectives : RITES OF SPRING - Lisa Goldstein
Isaac Asimov's Detectives : THE BACKWARD LOOK - Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov's Detectives : FAULT LINES Nancy - Kress


Standard lookalikes hard to investigate.

4 out of 5


A private policeman investigates a bombing of a biological research centre looking into natal protection of babies, when he stumbles across the fact of the company moving anyone not died in the wool hetero away from the project, and realises they are also experimenting with preventing non-hetero births by controlling maternal stress factors.

4.5 out of 5


Power hunt.

3 out of 5


Goddess kid missing.

3.5 out of 5


Black Widower writing method eclipse.

3 out of 5


Elderly neuropharm bonding kill.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

The Backward Look - Isaac Asimov

Black Widower writing method eclipse.


3 out of 5

Rites Of Spring - Lisa Goldstein

Goddess kid missing.


3.5 out of 5

The Gorgon Field - Kate Wilhelm

Power hunt.


3 out of 5

Late Night Final - Eric Frank Russell

Planet takeover by the book.


2.5 out of 5

Hindsight - Jack Williamson

"Can't you see that the Astrarch really is no different from any of the old pirates? His fleets still seize any independent vessel, or make the owners ransom it with his space-patrol tax."

Space-time battle, commence!


3 out of 5

Hobbyist - Eric Frank Russell

Parrot planet record.


2.5 out of 5

Give Me Liberty - Martin H. Greenberg and Mark Tier

A look at what new technology and discoveries can do to the existing power structures and authorities. Some of the stories are overtly satirical, such as Momument. The Leinster is just bad, looking at it now. However, that is made up for by the excellent Second Game, clearly the best work here.

A reasonable reprint anthology at 3.44, with a little too much ordinary work.

Give Me Liberty : MONUMENT - Lloyd Biggle Jr.
Give Me Liberty : GADGET VS. TREND - Christopher Anvil
Give Me Liberty : THE UNGOVERNED - Vernor Vinge
Give Me Liberty : HISTORICAL NOTE - Murray Leinster
Give Me Liberty : THE WEAPON SHOP - A. E. Van Vogt
Give Me Liberty : SECOND GAME - Katherine MacLean and Charles de Vet
Give Me Liberty : COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE - Frank Herbert
Give Me Liberty : AND THEN THERE WERE NONE - Eric Frank Russell

Native planet protection tax strategy.

3.5 out of 5


Quiet struggle statis.

3 out of 5


Private policing provisions.

3 out of 5


Russian flying horde cabbage patch.

2 out of 5


An incontrovertible supply of bang and zap is important.

4 out of 5


The Player Of is a clever sneaky absorbing spy.

4.5 out of 5


Personal weapon power restraint.

3.5 out of 5


Antigand-a be any authority around here, you crazy people.

4 out of 5



3.5 out of 5

Historical Note - Murray Leinster

Russian flying horde cabbage patch.


2 out of 5

The Frayed String On The Stretched Forefinger Of Time - Lloyd Biggle

Justice suspension.


3.5 out of 5

In Entropy's Jaws - Robert Silverberg

Communication let me down, now I'm left to fix myself out in space somewhere.


4 out of 5

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Well Of Lost Plots - Jasper Fforde

Undercover operative.


Or perhaps between covers, as there is a lot of hiding out in books and exploring the alternate fictional reality for new agent Next.

A detective of course, in these non-realistic fluffier type mysteries has to have a murder (or several), and that is certainly what she gets, in amongst the book shows and libraries of anything, and bad guys out to get her.

Quirky, but the mystery part isn't too interesting.


3 out of 5

Lost In A Good Book - Jasper Fforde

Eraserhubby.


Or, that is what Goliath corp gets their flunkies to do to Thursday Next, being none too pleased with what they have done to her, to start with.

Married detectives, generally not so interesting, anyway, so might have been a good thing if they could have kept it that way.

Not as good as the first book, as you are used to the mad inventor-book jumping type strangeness that is going to come your way by this point in time.


3 out of 5

The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde

Book police get no respect.


They don't if they call themselves literary detectives, either.

That's what the main character here has to deal with. Along with a time travelling on the run father, a failed relationship, a dodgy town, an ongoing war, and a supervillain that appears to be more than a match for her and her measly underfunded crew of public servants.

Plenty of bad jokes (even with character names - Thursday Next, Jack Schitt, etc.), dry humour and deliberate fourth wall breaking inside the book, so to speak, as they aren't just chasing Lovejoy types.

Here, they can actually physically get into works of fiction, fantasy style, and there's a whole bureaucracy set up there, too.

Amusing, and you are likely to like it more if you are interested in JaneEyre to start with, which I completely am not.


3.5 out of 5

The Year's Best Science Fiction 05th Annual Collection - Gardner Dozois

A definite return to form from the year before, this book averaging 3.75. There are four excellent stories in this volume. A bit of fantasy, some black humour, but a considerably more interesting group of work this time.

Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Rachel in Love - Pat Murphy
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Dream Baby - Bruce McAllister
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Flowers of Edo - Bruce Sterling
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Forever Yours Anna - Kate Wilhelm
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : At the Cross-Time Jaunters' Ball - Alexander Jablokov
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Dinosaurs - Walter Jon Williams
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : The Temporary King - Paul J. McAuley
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Perpetuity Blues - Neal Barrett
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight? - Ursula K. Le Guin
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : The Pardoner's Tale - Robert Silverberg
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : The Glass Cloud - James Patrick Kelly
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : The Evening and the Morning and the Night - Octavia E. Butler
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Night of the Cooters - Howard Waldrop
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Angel - Pat Cadigan
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Shades - Lucius Shepard
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : The Faithful Companion at Forty - Karen Joy Fowler
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Candle in a Cosmic Wind - Joseph Manzione
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : The Emir's Clock - Ian Watson
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Ever After - Susan Palwick
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : The Forest of Time - Michael F. Flynn
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : The Million-Dollar Wound - Dean Whitlock
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : The Moon of Popping Trees - R. Garcia y Robertson
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Diner - Neal Barrett
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : All the Hues of Hell - Gene Wolfe
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Halley's Passing - Michael McDowell
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : America - Orson Scott Card
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : For Thus Do I Remember Carthage - Michael Bishop
Year's Best Science Fiction 05 : Mother Goddess of the World - Kim Stanley Robinson

The life of a superintelligent chimp, the result of scientific experimentation into sign language. She is helped by some humans.

3.5 out of 5


Nam Talent squad rebellion.

4.5 out of 5


Local art ideas, one demon.

3 out of 5


Love letter time analysis.

4 out of 5


Critic revenge.

4 out of 5


Evolution specialisation inflexibility devastation.

4.5 out of 5


Love 'em, but you can't leave them if they kill you.

4 out of 5


Play waiting surprise.

3 out of 5


Don't eat the salmon.

2.5 out of 5


If you can hack it here, you can hack it anywhere. Unless the aliens get better at android collaborator impersonators.

4.5 out of 5


Alien architecture requirements are quite whacky.

4 out of 5


Concentration of disease.

4 out of 5


That sheriff is just Martian dynamite.

4 out of 5


Alien exile is a fracking crime.

4 out of 5


Ghost grunt.

3.5 out of 5


Tonto, unappreciated.

4 out of 5


Interstellar ship dust disaster sunstorm species slaughter.

4.5 out of 5


Mechlife time?

3 out of 5


A true death for this fairy tale.

2 out of 5


Can't get back to Kelly country.

3.5 out of 5


Tour of Duty reconstruction really gets you down.

4 out of 5


Ghost Dance space Coyote.

3.5 out of 5


It is pretty fishy you have piggy, local man.

3.5 out of 5


Physical ambiguity.

4 out of 5


Longtime lack of Serial habits.

4 out of 5


Got your gear off, Mormon boy? Good, let's make a god.

4 out of 5


Yo, bible bashing book dad, your bastard prodigal is a man of science.

4 out of 5


Body burying hero climb Tulku Everest sneakup.

4 out of 5





4.5 out of 5

Gods Of Riverworld - Philip Jose Farmer

Ethical kill mystery.


X, or whoever you want to call him/her/it/whatever, is dead. Having made it to the tower, and having the resurrection power now available to it, what would a bunch of sneaky dodgy human types do with it?

Not always good things, and resurrecting people galore takes up a lot of space.

Whether this is a necessary book or not, not completely sure, but no worse than book 3, certainly.


3 out of 5

Mother Goddess Of the World - Kim Stanley Robinson

Body burying hero climb Tulku Everest sneakup.


4 out of 5

For Thus Do I Remember Carthage - Michael Bishop

Yo, bible bashing book dad, your bastard prodigal is a man of science.


4 out of 5

Halley's Passing - Michael McDowell

Longtime lack of Serial habits.


4 out of 5

Diner - Neal Barrett

It is pretty fishy you have piggy, local man.


3.5 out of 5

The Moon Of Popping Trees - R. Garcia y Robertson

Ghost Dance space Coyote.


3.5 out of 5

The Magic Labyrinth - Philip Jose Farmer

Riverboat battle.


An improvement on some the tedious discursions that could get annoying in the previous book, although some of this does drag at time.

Mysteries still abound, in and around the John v Sam upcoming riverboat clash.

Whoever gets past that, still has a tower full of something to sort out at the end.


3 out of 5

The Dark Design - Philip Jose Farmer

Multi-streaming.


A little on the slow side, this volume, with the various parties and their journeys, Burton, Clemens, London, etc. There's also more than a bit of PFJ PJFing via a mouthpiece character that gets in the way, of what else is going on.

The what else is going on is finding out what else is going on, with the cessation of the resurrection shuffle and strange problems happening.


3 out of 5

The Fabulous Riverboat - Philip Jose Farmer

Clemenering for transport.


Or, as you may guess by the title, Sam wants to be able to put together a nice and nifty craft that will last the trip to find out what is going on in this great big river.

Not so easy to do with the lack of materials around, and so he has to try and make deals with various individuals along the way.

Here we have Odysseus, Cyrano, and other entertaining personages.


3.5 out of 5

The Lair Of Bones - Dave Wolverton

Earth united, hopefully.

In what is perhaps the least interesting of these four books, Gaborn still has to deal with both the Reaver master, and Raj Ahten, but does have some supowered help of various sorts, wizards, wives, soldiers and maybe a mythical hero.

So, save everybody, save the earth, which is getting a bit cataclysmic feeling all around them.


3 out of 5

Brotherhood Of the Wolf - Dave Wolverton

Earth King, baby.


At least temporarily, anyway. With rumours of his new status growing, Gaborn finds it a little easier to gather forces to him.

An old retainer of the King has awakened after his death, and ends up finding a strange, mystical superwoman.

Raj Ahten, the super-superman is still around, of course, and even worse, a monster army that really would like to get rid of all the humans is on the way.


3 out of 5

Wizardborn - Dave Wolverton

Braineater plan change.


Having acted against Earth wishes in trying to get rid of his enemy, Gaborn isn't as superpowerful as before, but still will try and get rid of the Reavers.

A kid gives him surprising new information gained from eating the brain of a dead 'un. Yum.

So, a underground Reaver bash, is what comes next, to try and remove the menace before their super-wizard runs amok with an army.

The Sum Of All Men - Dave Wolverton

Endow me please.


An interesting magical ability idea in used in this series - via a rare metal and a ritual, people can donate physical abilities to someone else, strength, speed, hearing, sight, even charisma.

This can even be done with animals.

The feudal system is set up around this, with common people who donate abilities to their rulers being looked after in turn when they can't move, see, etc., afterwards. If dispatched, their gifts are lost, so guarding them is essential.

A young prince in this setting is off to arrange a marriage, when someone who has gone overboard on the endowment thing comes calling, with his army.

Therein lies the enemy they have to defeat, someone who has taken the abilities of hundreds or thousands of people. He decides he would like to be in charge of everything, and is happy to arrange this by force.


3.5 outof 5

Belgarath the Sorcerer - David Eddings

Backstory the elder.


In a similar fashion to the Polgara the Sorceress volume, here we get the backstory of ubersorcerer Belgarath, and learn why he is so.

It all has to do with good gods and bad goods and the disciples of such, along with whacky sorcerer-name prefixes.

Old is certainly the word for this bloke, and it gives you more of an overview of what is going on. Again, basically better than the main series.


2.5 out of 5

Polgara the Sorceress - David Eddings

Backstory the younger.


Set before the time of the Belgariad, the conceit here is that the princess asks said titular character to write her autobiography.

In so doing, we get to investigate her birth, twin, gaining of powers, her father, and how she comes to learn of the not very nice prophecy concerning who she is to marry, etc.

Actually better than some of the Belgariad books.


2.5 out of 5

Enchanters' End Game - David Eddings

What's love got to do with turning to the dark side, anyway?


Even the god Torak thinks Polgara is a babe it seems, trying to convince her and wizard boy that his ideas are pretty cool.

Needless to say, they disagree, and the heart of the matter will be a giant-sized magic sword fight between Belgarion, our hero, and the dark lord.

Or, this is the end of an archetypal completely light, fluffy, devoid of consequence and disposable fantasy series for younger readers where the major characters are generally clearly stamped with 'not going to be hurt' markers, and all will be good in the end.


2 out of 5

Castle Of Wizardry - David Eddings

Magic boy takes control.


With grumpy old wizard Belgarath and daughter out of action due to overindulgence in magic keeping everyone in one piece, it is up to Gation to be head mojo maker.

Not only that, but this farm boy seems to have grown up to be a sorcerer and a king (don't injure your eyes rolling them, here).

The whole king thing is maybe not so cool when you find out you have to fight a god, even with a princess with the hots for you and the army she has put together.


2 out of 5

Magician's Gambit - David Eddings

Necromancer less than Nine.


Garion's magical powers are getting stronger, it seems, as he now has the ability to raise the dead. Even if not particularly a useful example when you can only do it to a horse.

They still have orb retrieval issues, as more than one bad guy would be happy to have this handy little trinket.

War, ghosts, shadowcat like stunts, and a good old epic magic duel to end.


2 out of 5

Queen Of Sorcery - David Eddings

Orb chase.


A knight, an archer, a telepathic horse whisperer, a bratty princess, a couple of grumpy sorcerers, and, of course, the farm boy with super powers.

A-questing they will go. For many books to come, it seems.

Very light fantasy still.


2 out of 5

A Man Rides Through - Stephen Donaldson

Mirror battles.


A somewhat tedious end to what at least is only a duology, as the good guys and bad guys at least from the point of our protagonist run around with their plotting and killing.

At least until they actually come to grips, anyway. Certainly not the equal, storywise, of the other series he has produced.


3 out of 5

The Mirror Of Her Dreams - Stephen Donaldson

Picture power.


If you have read L. E. Modesitt's Soprano Sorceress/Spellsong books, this is along those lines.

A not very confident woman ends up in a fantasy world (and being Donaldson, has a few more psychological issues to deal than in the aforementioned series).

Again, a male dominated sociey, with an odd form of magic - based around mirrors, which have to be crafted carefully and are rather fragile. Not your throwing fireballs and dragons style of book, here.


3 out of 5

White Gold Wielder - Stephen Donaldson

We have that sinking feeling.


Having made it out alive of the complete balls up that was the sinking of the One Tree, the main problem still remains, and it is worsening.

The Clave have gone overboard with the whole human sacrifice to the Sunbane thing, chucking whole towns into the pot.

So, what do your fantasy heroes do with what seems to be an overwhelming force opposing them?

Yep, attack, and hope whacky magic and a few monsters etc. can squeak them through.


3.5 out of 5

The One Tree - Stephen Donaldson

We fought the Law and, well, the dark lord pretty much came out on top of that one.


Covenant wants to do something about the whole screwed up Staff of Law situation, and this involves a quest with Avery and some Haruchai.

Many mysterious mythological races and monsters to be encountered along the way to the One Tree and World's End. Not that Covenant really knows what to do when he gets there.


3.5 out of 5

The Wounded Land - Stephen Donaldson

It was easier being green.


Around a decade after the first trilogy Covenant is in the real world, mostly functioning ok again.

A new character enters the picture in Linden Avery, a doctor with emotional problems of her own, and she gets caught up in the conflict as Foul tries to get to Covenant in his world.

Back in the Land, things are nasty, as the weather and ecology have gone to hell, human sacrifices, dogs and cats living together, and worse.

Plus the usual evil dark lord and minions to deal with.


3.5 out of 5

The Power That Preserves - Stephen Donaldson

High Lord summons.


Called back to the Land because they are in trouble again, Covenant finds only a few years have passed, not a few decades as per last time.

Things are still bad with Fouly now having control of Elena after her screwup last time.

The Bloodguard have also given the High Lord et al. the arse, and decided to go hang out with the giants and horses and try and hep out there.

Covenant is left with some tough decisions on what to do, including being about to save the life of a little girl in the real world.


3.5 out of 5

The Illearth War - Stephen Donaldson

Nutted back to The Land.


A whack on the head has Covenant back in the fantasy realm, and discovering that several decades have passed since he was there last.

He is in now in the middle of a war buildup, with new politicians, magic wielders and others to deal with, although the Bloodguard still stand.

So, your good old nasty quest to find a magic item of power you may or may not know what to do with.

Plus a couple of large battles.


4 out of 5

Stellar Harvest - Eleanor Arnason

Unaltered drama.


3.5 out of 5

Generation Gap - Stanley Schmidt

Self instruction time.


3 out of 5

Agape Among the Robots - Allen M. Steele

Homebot heart.


3 out of 5

Zwarte Piet's Tale - Allen M. Steele

Martian santa mission.


3.5 out of 5

Echea - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Adopted disruption broadcast.


3 out of 5

Time Gypsy - Ellen Klages

Baxter Clarke past publication.


3.5 out of 5

Broken Symmetry - Michael A. Burstein

Super Colliding Einstein-Rosen bridge SQUIDs.


3 out of 5

The Year's Best Science Fiction 04th Annual Collection - Gardner Dozois

This is the worst of the Dozos series that I have yet rated. Not particularly surprising, as eighties science fiction is absolutely inferior to nineties and noughties, there is no doubt about that.

This book is a good example, with more than one example of fantasy and many tending towards the mainstream sort of piece included, and very few of the 'centre core' examples. Even the first and best story by Shepard moves in that direction.

The average here is only 3.44, which is very weak compared to the usual not quite 3.80.

Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : R&R - Lucius Shepard
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Hatrack River - Orson Scott Card
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Strangers on Paradise - Damon Knight
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Pretty Boy Crossover - Pat Cadigan
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Against Babylon - Robert Silverberg
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Fiddling for Waterbuffaloes - Somtow Sucharitkul
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Into Gold - Tanith Lee
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Sea Change - Scott Baker
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Covenant of Souls - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : The Pure Product - John Kessel
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Grave Angels - Richard Keans
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Tangents - Greg Bear
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : The Beautiful and the Sublime - Bruce Sterling
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Tattoos - Jack Dann
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Night Moves - Tim Powers
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : The Prisoner of Chillon - James Patrick Kelly
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Chance - Connie Willis
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : And So To Bed - Harry Turtledove
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Fair Game - Howard Waldrop
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Video Star - Walter Jon Williams
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Sallie C - Neal Barrett
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Jeff Beck - Lewis Shiner
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Surviving - Judith Moffett
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Down and Out in the Year 2000 - Kim Stanley Robinson
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : Snake-Eyes - Tom Maddox
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : The Gate of Ghosts - Karen Joy Fowler
Year's Best Science Fiction 04 : The Winter Market - William Gibson


Soldier trio separation shock.

4.5 out of 5


Bloody Mary land.

2 out of 5


Immortal rabbit madness.

3.5 out of 5


Nancy dancers a dime a dozen. Data dude? Now, that's new.

4 out of 5


Flaming alien wifenappers.

3.5 out of 5


Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Star Wars Body Snatcher Exorcist.

3.5 out of 5


Fire woman not to blame.

3 out of 5


Whose bright spark idea to send me to boarding school?

3.5 out of 5


Ghost girl nuke end.

3 out of 5


Nasty tricks.

3 out of 5


Death the shoveler.

3.5 out of 5


Music just adds that extra dimension.

4 out of 5


Copying what a dragonfly does is rather complex.

3.5 out of 5


Psychic tatooist's self-portraiture penance.

3.5 out of 5


Dead girl stalker.

3.5 out of 5


Spook journalist thinks spiders and snakes is WILDLIFE overload.

4 out of 5


Uni meetings.

3 out of 5


Hairy hybrid London.

3 out of 5


Wild Man end.

4 out of 5


Backstab badguy popularity poison.

4 out of 5


That Kid Billy has the Wright stuff?

3 out of 5


Not the completist guitar hero.

3.5 out of 5


Sally, Queen of the Jungle.

4 out of 5


Dope kazoo.

3.5 out of 5


Serpent brain wartech is problematic.

4 out of 5


China story.

2.5 out of 5


Diseased girl disappearance upload.

3 out of 5




4 out of 5

The Million-Dollar Wound - Dean Whitlock

Tour of Duty reconstruction really gets you down.


4 out of 5

The Forest Of Time - Michael F. Flynn

Can't get back to Kelly country.


3.5 out of 5

The Emir's Clock - Ian Watson

Mechlife time?


3 out of 5

Candle In A Cosmic Wind - Joseph Manzione

Interstellar ship dust disaster sunstorm species slaughter.


4.5 out of 5

At the Cross-Time Jaunters' Ball - Alexander Jablokov

Critic revenge.


4 out of 5

The Gate Of Ghosts - Karen Joy Fowler

China story.


2.5 out of 5

Down and Out In the Year 2000 - Kim Stanley Robinson

Dope kazoo.


3.5 out of 5

Sallie C - Neal Barrett

That Kid Billy has the Wright stuff?


3 out of 5

Video Star - Walter Jon Williams

Backstab badguy popularity poison.


4 out of 5

Fair Game - Howard Waldrop

Wild Man end.


4 out of 5

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Night Moves - Tim Powers

Dead girl stalker.


3.5 out of 5

Impostor - Philip K. Dick

I'm Da Bomb.


4.5 out of 5

The Man Who Never Grew Young - Fritz Leiber

Opposite flow.


3.5 out of 5

The Shadow Of Space - Philip Jose Farmer

Warp speed, BigTime.


4 out of 5

Winter's King - Ursula K. Le Guin

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


4 out of 5

Beauty and the Opera Or the Phantom Beast - Suzy McKee Charnas

No nookie for masked men who don't keep promises.


3.5 out of 5

Must and Shall - Harry Turtledove

Southern terrorism.


3.5 out of 5

The Franchise - John Kessel

Bush league homeric Fidelity.


4.5 out of 5

Deep Eddy - Bruce Sterling

Cultural Critic stand.


3.5 out of 5

True Faces - Pat Cadigan

"People had been strangled before, and they'd get strangled again, but this was the first time one had ever been strangled in an alien embassy."


4 out of 5

Leap - Stephen L. Burns

Human fly no fry friar.


4 out of 5

Danny Goes To Mars - Pamela Sargent

I turned into a Martian Whoa, Oh, Jeez!


4 out of 5

In the Stone House - Barry N. Malzberg

J Kennedy overload.


2.5 out of 5

Over the Long Haul - Martha Soukup

Trucker fucker pickup smashup.


4 out of 5

Dear Devil - Eric Frank Russell

Marooned Martian guidance holocaust comeback poetry.


4.5 out of 5

Can These Bones Live? - Ted Reynolds

Bring these guys back instead, they are much cooler.


4 out of 5

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Miracle - Connie Willis

In the Spirit of matchmaking


3.5 out of 5

A Little Knowledge - Mike Resnick

My friend mundumugu, he taught me what to say
My friend mundumugu, he taught me what to do
Computer taught me different, though.


4 out of 5

The Manamouki - Mike Resnick

Hyena poo bad, Wanda.


3.5 out of 5

Solitude - Ursula K. Le Guin

Observation limitations.


3 out of 5

The Martian Child - David Gerrold

"Half an hour later, I knew. Martians aren't telepathic. But they do like rainbow sherbet. A lot."


3.5 out of 5

The Secret History Of the Ornithopter - Jan Lars Jensen

Flapping into war.


4 out of 5

The Shadow Knows - Terry Bisson

"As you probably know, the Shadow won't talk with me." "The Shadow?" "That's what I call it. From your old American radio serial. 'Who Knows what Evil lurks in the Hearts of Men? The Shadow knows!' "

The lunar alien communicator one certainly does, anyway, smelly bums and all.


4.5 out of 5

Suppose They Gave A Peace - Susan Shwartz

Vietnam family politics.


4 out of 5

Fin de Cycle - Howard Waldrop

Bike film war weirdo.


3 out of 5

Dogwalker - Orson Scott Card

Password Man green plan goes gooey.


4 out of 5

Dream Baby - Bruce McAllister

Nam Talent squad rebellion.


4.5 out of 5

Everything But Honor - George Alec Effinger

Multi universe messup.


3 out of 5

Ginny Sweethips Flying Circus - Neal Barrett

Sextape speedup shootout repair hookup.


4.5 out of 5

The Function Of Dream Sleep - Harlan Ellison

Death mouth over.


3 out of 5

The Barbarian Princess - Vernor Vinge

"...over six feet tall, fantastically built, unbelievably strong and crafty and vengeful and libidinous."

A good character, bit of a shock if something approximating the real thing turns up at your office.


3.5 out of 5

A Gift From the Graylanders - Michael Bishop

Blasted Earth Zombies.


4 out of 5

The Weigher - Eric Vinicoff and Marcia Martin

Human change surrender.


4 out of 5

Return To the Fold - Timothy Zahn

Crazy docking stress.


3.5 out of 5

Aquila - S. P. Somtow

"Titus, old chap," The Emperor said to me, "have I conquered anything lately?"


3.5 out of 5

The Diary Of the Rose - Ursula K. Le Guin

Memory diagnosis scope shock.


3 out of 5

Pawn's Gambit - Timothy Zahn

Alien game experiment subterfuge.


4 out of 5

The Lordly Ones - Keith Roberts

Nice clean kid tries to stay out of Trouble.


4 out of 5

Savage Planet - Barry B. Longyear

History flunky Manifest Destiny lesson.


3.5 out of 5

The Quickening - Michael Bishop

Babel scattering.


3.5 out of 5

The Fire When It Comes - Parke Godwin

Ghost actress possession.


4 out of 5

The Cloak and the Staff - Gordon R. Dickson

Resistance is useless, Pilgrim.


3.5 out of 5

The Thermals Of August - Edward Bryant

Smashed.


4 out of 5

Homecoming - Barry B. Longyear

Alien arrival PR smoothing.


4 out of 5

The Queen Of Air and Darkness - Poul Anderson

A fairy stole my baby.


4.5 out of 5

The Man Who Had No Idea - Thomas Disch

Temporary license is right.


2.5 out of 5

Hunter's Moon - Poul Anderson

Xenology swarm study feedback a bit two-way.


3.5 out of 5

Mikal's Songbird - Orson Scott Card

Galactic Empire assassin block plot family.


4 out of 5

Eyes Of Amber - Joan D. Vinge

I am the Music Man, and I talk to people who don't come from down your way.


3.5 out of 5

Devil You Don't Know - Dean Ing

Patient retardation.


3 out of 5

The Ninth Symphony Of Ludwig Van Beethoven And Other Lost Songs - Carter Scholz

Past composer time.


3 out of 5

San Diego Lightfoot Sue - Tom Reamy

In the nuddy, you can paint the lot of me.


3.5 out of 5

Tinker - Jerry Pournelle

Horny boost slinger.


3 out of 5

The New Atlantis - Ursula K. Le Guin

Earthquakes etc., totally not our fault.


3.5 out of 5

After the Dreamtime - Richard A. Lupoff

"And the Djanggawul, like the other membrane ships, plied between the stars, carrying meat, carrying freight, faster and cheaper than the clumsy sealed ships of other men."


4 out of 5

Nix Olympica - William Walling

"First of all," he said, "we don't have to climb a seventy-six-thousand-foot volcano."


3 out of 5

Millenium Babies - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Planned birth failures.


3.5 out of 5