Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Cairene Purse - Michael Moorcock

Sister's alien lovechild leaving lethality.


4 out of 5

Invaders - John Kessel

Alien Flash of conquistador history waffle.


3.5 out of 5

Past Magic - Ian R. MacLeod

Nailing the ex for cloning.


3.5 out of 5

And the Angels Sing - Kate Wilhelm

Alien escapee local journalism.


4 out of 5

A Braver Thing - Charles Sheffield

Black bagged mate's Nobel notebook space travel cribbing award speech shocker.


4 out of 5

The Year's Best Science Fiction 07th Annual Collection - Gardner Dozois

A fair bit down this volume, for a Dozois Year's Best. A 3.62 average, and a lot more than usual of the fairy pollution. The only one worthy of inclusion as being particularly good is Somtow's extremely funny Thai supernatural story. While it is good to know that Robert Sampson has written about pulp heroes, and worth chasing up, that story couldn't be any more lightweight if you put it in a balloon full of helium. Probably the most pointless Connie Willis story I have seen, too.

This volume, therefore, is sneak into over 4.25 round up to 4.5 territory.

The other standout is also amusing, just not in the laugh out loud way, and belongs to Charles Sheffield.

You can certainly see a marked contrast in tone between this volume, and some of the recent variety, too.

Dozois references one of his earlier series commentaries on publishing, remarking that it is almost amazing that good SF books are still published, even though publishing declined a little in this year, in general. Given that he was bemoaning the climbing amount of tie-ins etc., in 1977 and this book is in 1990, and the trend is still upward in both tie-in properties and in numbers of books published.

Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Tiny Tango - Judith Moffett
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Out of Copyright - Charles Sheffield
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : For I Have Touched the Sky - Mike Resnick
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Alphas - Gregory Benford
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : At the Rialto - Connie Willis
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Skin Deep - Kathe Koja
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : The Egg - Steven Popkes
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Tales from the Venia Woods - Robert Silverberg
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Visiting the Dead - William King
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Dori Bangs - Bruce Sterling
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : The Ends of the Earth - Lucius Shepard
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : The Price of Oranges - Nancy Kress
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Lottery Night - S. P. Somtow
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : A Deeper Sea - Alexander Jablokov
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : The Edge of the World - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man - Megan Lindholm
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : The Third Sex - Alan Brennert
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Winter on the Belle Fourche - Neal Barrett, Jr.
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Enter a Soldier Later Enter Another - Robert Silverberg
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Relationships - Robert Sampson
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Just Another Perfect Day - John Varley
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : The Loch Moose Monster - Janet Kagan
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : The Magic Bullet - Brian M. Stableford
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : The Odd Old Bird - Avram Davidson
Year's Best Science Fiction 07 : Great Work of Time - John Crowley

AIDS survival crossdress meltdown mutant melon alien hibernation.

4 out of 5


Dead egghead clone draft team terraforming match winning streak so organised, you'd think it's a crime.

4.5 out of 5


Reading not for local girls.

3 out of 5


Journey to the Centre of Venus, no thanks.

4 out of 5


Quantum conference definitely pointless.

2.5 out of 5


Alien ho soap watching group.

3 out of 5


Gray alien nanny centaur pet kid save.

4 out of 5


No ghost, just an old emperor type.

3 out of 5


If you don't take a clone army to a clone war, then, fundamentally, you are stoopid.

3.5 out of 5


Art and music maybes.

3.5 out of 5


Writer's Guatemalan getaway gains girl, but the local game proves a tad gruesome.

4 out of 5


Everything used to be cheap, but relatives are still weird.

3.5 out of 5


Ancestor reincarnation best mate foreign winner.

4.5 out of 5


Dolphin war great white space saviour.

4 out of 5


Unwise excursion can get a bloke absolutely lost.

3.5 out of 5


Department storie Merlin.

3.5 out of 5


Androgynous reunion fulfillment.

4 out of 5


Poetess Crow defense purloining.

3 out of 5


Socratic simulation Conquistador convo.

4 out of 5


Old flame matchmaking.

3 out of 5


Multi-dimensional Martian memory loop man for the job.

3.5 out of 5


Is moose, no squirrel, plenty of Odders.

4 out of 5


Female immortality killing.

4 out of 5


Archaeopteryx, more like chicken, or lizard?

3.5 out of 5


Time travel profiteering problematic.

3.5 out of 5





4.5 out of 5

Just Another Perfect Day - John Varley

Multi-dimensional Martian memory loop man for the job.


3.5 out of 5

Relationships - Robert Sampson

Old flame matchmaking.


3 out of 5

Enter A Soldier Later Enter Another - Robert Silverberg

Socratic simulation Conquistador convo.


4 out of 5

Winter On the Belle Fourche - Neal Barrett

Poetess Crow defense purloining.


3 out of 5

The Third Sex - Alan Brennert

Androgynous reunion fulfillment.


4 out of 5

Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man - Robin Hobb

Department store Merlin.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Deeper Sea - Alexander Jablokov

Dolphin war great white space saviour.


4 out of 5

Lottery Night - S. P. Somtow

Ancestor reincarnation best mate foreign winner.


4.5 out of 5

Visiting the Dead - William King

If you don't take a clone army to a clone war, then, fundamentally, you are stoopid.


3.5 out of 5

The Egg - Steven Popkes

Gray alien nanny centaur pet kid save.


4 out of 5

Skin Deep - Kathe Koja

Alien ho soap watching group.


3 out of 5

At the Rialto - Connie Willis

Quantum conference definitely pointless.


2.5 out of 5

Out Of Copyright - Charles Sheffield

Dead egghead clone draft team terraforming match winning streak so organised, you'd think it's a crime.


4.5 out of 5

Tiny Tango - Judith Moffett

AIDS survival crossdresser's mutant melon meltdown alien hibernation.


4 out of 5

Fantasy the Best of the Year 2001 - Robert Silverberg and Karen Haber

The first of the iBooks Year's Best Fantasy series, and a good book, too, making it over the 3.50 mark at 3.55, and with no dodgy stories.

Quite a pleasing volume, even if no standout quality stories.

Fantasy Best of 2001 : The Bones of the Earth - Ursula K. Le Guin
Fantasy Best of 2001 : Legerdemain - Jack O'Connell
Fantasy Best of 2001 : Diving the Coolidge - Brian A. Hopkins
Fantasy Best of 2001 : The Mould of Form - Rosemary Edghill
Fantasy Best of 2001 : Eternity and Afterward - Lucius Shepard
Fantasy Best of 2001 : Wolves Till the World Goes Down - Greg van Eekhout
Fantasy Best of 2001 : The Lady of the Winds - Poul Anderson
Fantasy Best of 2001 : Ave de Paso - Catherine Asaro
Fantasy Best of 2001 : Grass - Lawrence Miles
Fantasy Best of 2001 : Slipshod at the Edge of the Universe - Robert Thurston
Fantasy Best of 2001 : Hell Is the Absence of God - Ted Chiang

Local mastery.

4 out of 5


Refugee book experience recovery.

3.5 out of 5


Ghost rescue, with cat.

4 out of 5


Goodfellow pirate Hooked.

3.5 out of 5


Magic mafiya's dead dude disco.

4 out of 5


No End Of the World Blues.

4 out of 5


"Aiala’s glance lingered more than it pierced. “I do not really wish to destroy you, Cappen Varra,” she told him slowly. “You have a rather charming way about you. But—should you disappoint me—you will understand that one does have one’s position to maintain.”"

3.5 out of 5


Earth Lord demons.

3 out of 5


Presidential mammoth herd.

3 out of 5


We might find out. Or not.

3 out of 5




4 out of 5

Cleopatra Brimstone - Elizabeth Hand

Butterfly boy collection mounting.


4.5 out of 5

Queen - Gene Wolfe

Housekeeper leftover.


2 out of 5

Oh Glorious Sight - Tanya Huff

Pied pod piper navigation.


3 out of 5

Grass - Lawrence Miles

Presidential mammoth herd.


3 out of 5

Onion - Caitlin R. Kiernan

Lost world therapy.


3.5 out of 5

Crocodile Lady - Christopher Fowler

Teaching comeback child abduction collection.


4 out of 5

Trading Hearts At The Half Kaffe Cafe - Charles De Lint

Skinwalker date destruction decision.


4 out of 5

The God Of Dark Laughter - Michael Chabon

Clown hide cult hunt.


4 out of 5

The Honeyed Knot - Jeffrey Ford

Platehead dead girl story.


3.5 out of 5

In These Final Days Of Sales - Steve Rasnic Tem

Retirement not so rotten.


3.5 out of 5

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The 1990 Annual World's Best SF - Donald A. Wollheim and Arthur W. Saha

The last volume of this series, and a pretty good one. The editor had help from Arthur W. Saha with some mechanics I guess, presumably because as the very brief intro says, he was too ill at the time to do some of it.

Overall, a very good finish, not quite excellent, being your bit over 4.25 round up to 4.50 book, as there are no real standouts, just a bunch of good stories, with the odd average piece in the middle.

Donald Wollheim 19 : Alphas - Gregory Benford
Donald Wollheim 19 : The Magic Bullet - Brian M. Stableford
Donald Wollheim 19 : North of the Abyss - Brian W. Aldiss
Donald Wollheim 19 : Chip Runner - Robert Silverberg
Donald Wollheim 19 : Abe Lincoln in McDonald's - James Morrow
Donald Wollheim 19 : Death Ship - Barrington J. Bayley
Donald Wollheim 19 : In Translation - Lisa Tuttle
Donald Wollheim 19 : A Sleep and a Forgetting - Robert Silverberg
Donald Wollheim 19 : Not Without Honor - Judith Moffett
Donald Wollheim 19 : Dogwalker - Orson Scott Card
Donald Wollheim 19 : Surrender - Lucius Shepard
Donald Wollheim 19 : War Fever - J. G. Ballard


Journey to the Centre of Venus, no thanks.

4 out of 5


Female immortality killing.

4 out of 5


Anubis wifewhacker reject.

3 out of 5


Anorexic electron wannabe.

3.5 out of 5


Presidential slave android adjustment.

3.5 out of 5


Human history time punishment.

3 out of 5


Boohoo. Do me, not the alien.

3.5 out of 5


Genghis Crusade creation.

3.5 out of 5


Mickey Mouse Club Marsnaut alien role model.

4 out of 5


Password Man green plan goes gooey.

4 out of 5


Guatemalan mini-mutant massacre.

4 out of 5


Blue beret innoculation experiment overthrow.

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Best Science Fiction of the Year 15 - Terry Carr

There's a really large percentage of weird and unease in this particular group of stories. A 3.75 average only, a little under the Year's Best Mark, but there is a 5.

Charles N. Brown's roundup of the year is a bit longer, and a bit less snarky, so more interesting and more useful. So enough to creep this into the just over 4.25 get to round up to 4.5 score.

Something of note is that Hubbard and Herbert both passed away, and SF bookselling was doing very nicely, with the hardback thing coming along.

Actually three Australian stories in the recommended reading. A Tooth For Every Child, by Damien Broderick. Shatterwrack at Breaklight, by Terry Dowling, and The Fittest, by George Turner. Not a bad effort.

I have still never seen 'The Gods Of Mars' by Dann, Swanwick and Dozois, also listed.

Terry Carr 15 : Sailing to Byzantium - Robert Silverberg
Terry Carr 15 : Flying Saucer Rock and Roll - Howard Waldrop
Terry Carr 15 : Bluff - Harry Turtledove
Terry Carr 15 : A Spanish Lesson - Lucius Shepard
Terry Carr 15 : Snow - John Crowley
Terry Carr 15 : Shanidar - David Zindell
Terry Carr 15 : All My Darling Daughters - Connie Willis
Terry Carr 15 : Of Space-Time and the River - Gregory Benford
Terry Carr 15 : A Gift from the GrayLanders - Michael Bishop
Terry Carr 15 : Praxis - Karen Joy Fowler
Terry Carr 15 : The People on the Precipice - Ian Watson
Terry Carr 15 : The Only Neat Thing to Do - James Tiptree Jr.


Tedious travelogue and artificial lifetime constraints.

3 out of 5


Blackout showstopper.

3.5 out of 5


Godspeaking consciousness full house fibber upgrade.

4 out of 5


Twin alternate traveller Disciple tunnel terror Tibetan exile ending.

4 out of 5


Memorial replay random deterioration.

4 out of 5


Old transformation.

2.5 out of 5


Frack this creepy father pet stuff.

4 out of 5


Alien Egyptian liftoff localisation.

4 out of 5


Blasted Earth Zombies.

4 out of 5


Cyber simulation act.

3 out of 5


Edgeworld migration.

4 out of 5


Far Traveller broken by bitty brainbiter, makes combo decision to go out in early Pink Floyd style.

5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Not Without Honor - Judith Moffett

Mickey Mouse Club Marsnaut alien role model.


4 out of 5

A Sleep and A Forgetting - Robert Silverberg

Genghis Crusade creation.


3.5 out of 5

In Translation - Lisa Tuttle

Boohoo. Do me, not the alien.


3.5 out of 5

Death Ship - Barrington J. Bayley

Human history time punishment.


3 out of 5

Abe Lincoln In MacDonald's - James Morrow

Presidential slave android adjustment.


3.5 out of 5

Chip Runner - Robert Silverberg

Anorexic electron wannabe.


3.5 out of 5

North Of the Abyss - Brian Aldiss

Anubis wifewhacker reject.


3 out of 5

The People On the Precipice - Ian Watson

Edgeworld migration.


4 out of 5

Praxis - Karen Joy Fowler

Cyber simulation act.


3 out of 5

Of Space-Time and the River - Gregory Benford

Alien Egyptian liftoff localisation.


4 out of 5

All My Darling Daughters - Connie Willis

Frack this creepy father pet stuff.


4 out of 5

Bluff - Harry Turtledone

Godspeaking consciousness full house fibber upgrade.


4 out of 5

Legerdemain - Jack O'Connell

Refugee book experience recovery.


3.5 out of 5

Diving the Coolidge - Brian A. Hopkins

Ghost rescue, with cat.


4 out of 5

Slipshod At the End Of the Universe - Robert Thurston

We might find out. Or not.


3 out of 5

Ave de Paso - Catherine Asaro

Earth Lord demons.


3 out of 5

The Lady Of the Winds - Poul Anderson

"Aiala’s glance lingered more than it pierced. “I do not really wish to destroy you, Cappen Varra,” she told him slowly. “You have a rather charming way about you. But—should you disappoint me—you will understand that one does have one’s position to maintain.”"


3.5 out of 5

The Mould Of Form - Eluki Bes Shahar

Goodfellow pirate Hooked.


3.5 out of 5

The Best Science Fiction Novellas of the Year 02 - Terry Carr

I don't know why this series was stopped after two books, if there was a reason other than poor sales. Certainly this one wasn't very good, with a measly 3.40 average, at least for a Year's Best books anyway. Too many dull stories in a row doesn't help. Just your garden variety book this one, too.

Some confusion with categories between editors and awards too. The boring Priest story is a Hugo Novelette according to Locus, and in volume 6, sub-titled short stories and novelettes, there is a Nebula Novella from Wolfe. Certainly looked like it, at 70 odd pages. Confusing people wouldn't help, I'd imagine.

Terry Car Novella 2 : Enemy Mine - Barry B. Longyear
Terry Car Novella 2 : The Moon Goddess and the Son - Donald Kingsbury
Terry Car Novella 2 : Palely Loitering - Christopher Priest
Terry Car Novella 2 : Songhouse - Orson Scott Card
Terry Car Novella 2 : Ker-Plop - Ted Reynolds


Two fighters on opposite sides of a war, and on different species are forced to work together to stay alive.

This relationship also moves on to the next generation, and the human combatant becomes a diplomatic bridge between the two alien races, once they are out of the hairy situation.

4 out of 5


Father-son seduction space trip.

3.5 out of 5


Time flux bridge.

3 out of 5


Leave me in Control.

3 out of 5


Checker out the big ship, and all those people!

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Ker-plop - Ted Reynolds

Checker out the big ship, and all those people!


3.5 out of 5

Songhouse - Orson Scott Card

Leave me in Control.


3 out of 5

Palely Loitering - Christopher Priest

Time flux bridge.


3 out of 5

The Moon Goddess and the Son - Donald Kingsbury

Father-son seduction space trip.


3.5 out of 5

The Best Science Fiction of the Year 06 - Terry Carr

In 1976, here is what Terry Carr has to say:

"The short story is a dying art-form everywhere but in science fiction and the reasons are worth considering."

Comparisons to tv and movies etc. and goes on further "I have a theory that short stories don't thrive today because people don't like to think...it has been said a good short story is essentially the pivotal chapter of a novel..inviting readers to extrapolate the background and aftermath for themselves...people prefer to have their thinking done for them by the authors...want writers to tell them what Maria said to her lover when she found out he was her uncle..Who wants to speculate?--We live in a world that worships data.

Well, maybe that's why the science-fiction short story isn't dying: because sf is a genre based on speculation."

He also has another theory: "I suspect most sciene-fiction readers being by reading novels, and only later do they graduate to novelettes and short stories. The shorter form is more demanding."

His thoughts aside, this is a fine collection, with a class start and finish, let down a bit by the middle, with the absolute nadir the overly tedious Christopher Priest story that could certainly have benefited from being shorter.

There is a brief recommended reading list, and several page overview of the science fiction year by Charles N. Brown.

Terry Carr 06 : I See You - Damon Knight
Terry Carr 06 : The Phantom of Kansas - John Varley
Terry Carr 06 : Seeing - Harlan Ellison
Terry Carr 06 : The Death of Princes - Fritz Leiber
Terry Carr 06 : The Psychologist Who Wouldn't Do Awful Things to Rats - James Tiptree Jr.
Terry Carr 06 : The Eyeflash Miracles - Gene Wolfe
Terry Carr 06 : An Infinite Summer - Christopher Priest
Terry Carr 06 : The Highest Dive - Jack Williamson
Terry Carr 06 : Meathouse Man - George R. R. Martin
Terry Carr 06 : Custer's Last Jump - Steven Utley and Howard Waldrop
Terry Carr 06 : The Bicentennial Man - Isaac Asimov


A switch to the left, a switch to the right, let's watch the time warp again. Either with voyeuristic or revolutionary intention. Or whatever.

4 out of 5


Recording robbed revenant revenge Rat.

4 out of 5


Mutant eye theft breakdown.

3.5 out of 5


Comet info feed.

3.5 out of 5


People experiments maybe more fun.

3.5 out of 5


Blind boy, no threat, maybe.

3 out of 5


Freeze freezer.

3 out of 5


Tornado topology opportunity slowdown splashdown.

3.5 out of 5


Dead love handles.

4 out of 5


Dirigible Big Horn.

4 out of 5


Robot evolution legal test case.

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Eyeflash Miracles - Gene Wolfe

Blind boy, no threat, maybe.


3 out of 5

A Fistful Of Strontium - Jaspre Bark and Steve Lyons

Double trouble mutopia.


Johnny Alpha and mutant mate have a bounty to track down, with a twist.

The man they have to find is on a planet that welcomes mutants, and others are the minority.

This isn't helped by the fact that his power is to user other people's powers, or look like them.

Much getting shot at by arrows, too, actually, and interacting with the local power structures both dodgy, and non-dodgy, find their troubles are two times as much as they thought.

Pretty ordinary, this one.


2.5 out of 5

The Highest Dive - Jack Williamson

Tornado topology opportunity slowdown splashdown.


3.5 out of 5

An Infinite Summer - Christopher Priest

Freeze freezer.


3 out of 5

The Death Of Princes - Fritz Leiber

Comet info feed.


3.5 out of 5

Seeing - Harlan Ellison

Mutant eye theft breakdown.


3.5 out of 5

The Best Science Fiction of the Year 03 - Terry Carr

Robert Silverberg stories, being so many of them just seem to trickle in, and soon you probably have 100 of them. There's another here, and four in the recommended reading list that is only a page long.

Carr points out that this year there were more original short stories and novelettes published in books, compared to magazines, meaning his reading workload had doubled, presumably compared to some years back.

If a ghost of Terry is around somewhere still, perhaps he will spare a thought for Hartwell, Horton, and Strahan and the considerably larger number again of junk they have to inflict on their eyeballs to produce the modern versions of this book, reading not juts the SF, but the present in larger numbers fantasy and whatever.

Carr said the book stories were starting to improve, too, so presumably more good stories to choose from. Volume 3 is certainly significantly better than volume 2, with a 3.73 compared to a 3.53. Interestingly, all the not so good is at the start. The two standouts are in the middle, and a strong end exists.

Terry Carr 03 : Something Up There Likes Me - Alfred Bester
Terry Carr 03 : The World as Will and Wallpaper - R. A. Lafferty
Terry Carr 03 : Breckenridge and the Continuum - Robert Silverberg
Terry Carr 03 : Rumfuddle - Jack Vance
Terry Carr 03 : Tell Me All About Yourself - F. M. Busby
Terry Carr 03 : The Deathbird - Harlan Ellison
Terry Carr 03 : Of Mist and Grass and Sand - Vonda N. McIntyre
Terry Carr 03 : The Death of Dr. Island - Gene Wolfe
Terry Carr 03 : The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas - Ursula K. Le Guin
Terry Carr 03 : Sketches Among the Ruins of My Mind - Philip José Farmer
Terry Carr 03 : The Women Men Don't See - James Tiptree Jr.


Observatory life not predictable.

3 out of 5


Ultralopolis bookie.

3 out of 5


Riddle existence.

3 out of 5


I hold the keys to this many world business, bad guy teamup Norse bloke.

4.5 out of 5


Necrophiliac selection.

3.5 out of 5


Devil Stack Man end.

4 out of 5


Double serpent treatment.

4.5 out of 5


Isolated mental adjustment.

3.5 out of 5


"Well we know where were goin
But we dont know where weve been"

4 out of 5


Four day fadeout sequence Big Ball carom shot last chance.

4 out of 5


Crash alien intro.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

Sketches Among the Ruins Of My Mind - Philip Jose Farmer

Four day fadeout sequence Big Ball carom shot last chance.


4 out of 5

Tell Me All About Yourself - F. M. Busby

Necrophiliac selection.


3.5 out of 5

Breckenridge and the Continuum - Robert Silverberg

Riddle existence.


3 out of 5

The World As Will and Wallpaper - R. A. Lafferty

Ultralopolis bookie.


3 out of 5

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Best Science Fiction of the Year 02 - Terry Carr

An anthology that includes Joe Haldeman's brilliant 'Hero' is certainly worth grabbing, and this also has 'The Fifth Head of Cerberus' and 'Nobody's' home on top of that, but quite a fair bit of ordinary drags this one down.

Terry Carr 02 : The Meeting - Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
Terry Carr 02 : Nobody's Home - Joanna Russ
Terry Carr 02 : Fortune Hunter - Poul Anderson
Terry Carr 02 : The Fifth Head of Cerberus - Gene Wolfe
Terry Carr 02 : Caliban - Robert Silverberg
Terry Carr 02 : Conversational Mode - Grahame Leman
Terry Carr 02 : Their Thousandth Season - Edward Bryant
Terry Carr 02 : Eurema's Dam - R. A. Lafferty
Terry Carr 02 : Zero Gee - Ben Bova
Terry Carr 02 : Sky Blue - Alexei and Cory Panshin
Terry Carr 02 : Miss Omega Raven - Naomi Mitchison
Terry Carr 02 : Patron of the Arts - William Rotsler
Terry Carr 02 : Grasshopper Time - Gordon Eklund
Terry Carr 02 : Hero - Joe Haldeman
Terry Carr 02 : When We Went to See the End of the World - Robert Silverberg
Terry Carr 02 : Painwise - James Tiptree Jr.


Brain surgery decision.

3.5 out of 5


Only smart girls at parties, please.

4.5 out of 5


Rather be bush.

3.5 out of 5


Cheap clone kid chops clone dad, convict time done proves chip off the old research block.

4.5 out of 5


Sorry, none for you prettyboy.

3 out of 5


Psychiatry program.

2.5 out of 5


Breasting wrong memory.

3 out of 5


Last dolt good with bots.

3.5 out of 5


More than Mile High manipulation.

3.5 out of 5


Landlord, evict 'em.

2.5 out of 5


Corvidae superior.

3.5 out of 5


3-D disappearance.

3.5 out of 5


Half human hunt.

3 out of 5


"...Then some bright lad in the General Assembly decided that we ought to field an army of footsoldiers to guard the portal planets of the nearer collapsars. This led to the Elite Conscription Act of 1996 and the most elitely conscripted army in the history of warfare."

5 out of 5


Apocalypso touristo.

3 out of 5


Nociception not for pod people.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Grasshopper Time - Gordon Eklund

Half human hunt.


3 out of 5

Miss Omega Raven - Naomi Mitchison

Corvidae superior.


3.5 out of 5

Sky Blue - Alexei Panshin and Cory Panshin

Landlord, evict 'em.


2.5 out of 5

Zero Gee - Ben Bova

More than Mile High manipulation.


3.5 out of 5

Their Thousandth Season - Edward Bryant

Breasting wrong memory.


3 out of 5

Caliban - Robert Silverberg

Sorry, none for you prettyboy.


3 out of 5

Fortune Hunter - Poul Anderson

Rather be bush.


3.5 out of 5

The Pleasure Garden Of Felipe Sagittarius - Michael Moorcock

Sam Begg is a metatemporal investigator in Europe.

He comes across Adolf Hitler, and ends up supplying Eva Braun with some useful toys.


3 out of 5

The Metatemporal Detective - Michael Moorcock

A collection compiling all of the tales, whether modified old, or newly constructed, of Sir Seaton Begg versus his nemesis the albino Monsieur Zenith.

Or, the Metatemporal Detective vs The Eternal Champion as Elric in one of his other incarnations in worlds a little more similar to our own than those which contain Melnibone or Tanelorn.

So, something here for whacky alternate history fans, Sexton Blake buffs, as well as Eternal Champion afficionados, or even those who don't mind a little along the lines of Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

Metatemporal Detective : 01 The Affair of the Seven Virgins - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 02 Crimson Eyes - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 03 The Ghost Warriors - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 04 The Girl Who Killed Sylvia Blade - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 05 The Case of the Nazi Canary - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 06 Sir Milk-and-Blood - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 07 The Mystery of the Texas Twister - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 08 London Flesh - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 09 The Pleasure Garden of Felipe Sagittarius - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 10 The Affair of the Bassin des Hivers - Michael Moorcock
Metatemporal Detective : 11 The Flaneur des Arcades de l'Opera - Michael Moorcock


The consulting detective, Seaton Begg, has an albino visitor, and things get complicated.

3.5 out of 5


Seaton Begg, in the course of investigating some murders, runs into Count von Bek and his black blade.

3.5 out of 5


A bit of a teamup with The Masked Buckaroo, and an Apache leader to find, named Pale Wolf.

3.5 out of 5


A shooting, and Klosterheim's kinky club.

3 out of 5


Begg is called in to assist when Hitler's girlfriend is killed, but there are Von Beks and albinos around.

3 out of 5


A pair of IRA bombers don't realise that their 'release from active duty' involves The Black Sword.

3.5 out of 5


Seaton Begg becomes enmeshed in a Texas political plot, wherein Zenith has sold his aeronautircal engineering expertise. It is Rose to the rescue.

3.5 out of 5


A blood sacrifice, and an outlaw and Christmas interruptus for Begg and Sinclair.

3.5 out of 5


Sam Begg is a metatemporal investigator in Europe.

He comes across Klosterheim and Eva Braun.


3 out of 5





4 out of 5

The Flaneur des Arcades de l'Opera - Michael Moorcock

Begg pursues some Nazis who have discovered the Roads Between the Worlds. Worse, Klosterheim is involved in a plot involving the grail, and right at the Cosmic Balance.

All may be lost, except for a certain albino named Zenith...


4 out of 5

London Flesh - Michael Moorcock

A blood sacrifice, and an outlaw and Christmas interruptus for Begg and Sinclair.


3.5 out of 5

The Mystery Of the Texas Twister - Michael Moorcock

Seaton Begg becomes enmeshed in a Texas political plot, wherein Zenith has sold his aeronautical engineering expertise. It is Rose to the rescue.


3.5 out of 5

The Case Of the Nazi Canary - Michael Moorcock

Begg is called in to assist when Hitler's girlfriend is killed, but there are Von Beks and albinos around.


3 out of 5

The Ghost Warriors - Michael Moorcock

A bit of a teamup with The Masked Buckaroo, and an Apache leader to find, named Pale Wolf.


3.5 out of 5

The Starry Rift - Jonathan Strahan

All hail Awesome Alastair Reynolds, Modern Master Of the Spaceways.

Now, that being said, apart from Cory Doctorow it is all downhill from there. Luckily, though, not too much of a slide, and in general, this is a high quality original anthology, averaging a considerable 3.69.

There are some odd things about it, though. The editor says in his intro "that he "..turned to a handful of the best writers in the field asking them to write stories that would offer today's readers the same kind of thrill enjoyed by pulp readers over 50 years ago."

Does he mean before Galaxy and Fantasy and Science Fiction? For a book produced for an audience where the introduction actually footnotes the terms space opera and even, oddly enough, Cold War, perhaps a little more definition or explanation is wanted, for readers on that simple, young, or uneducated a level. If the gold Martiniere cover is supposed to indicate the Golden Age of SF, that may be too subtle for almost everyone.

Noting people mentioning they use they got out of the basic list of further fantasy reading provided by Gary Gygax in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, that is an opportunity completely missed here, too. If this is a book designed to interest younger readers that need the basic level of footnote guidance given at the start, a list of possible work to check out is a basic requirement of such a book, as far as I can see. A self-promotional list of what each writer has done before is not the same thing, given however much if it is fantasy, or mainstream as Gwyneth Jones mentions. Have to commend Jeffrey Ford for pointing out an author that such readers may like to check out here, though. There's a complete blank double sheet of paper wasted at the end of this book, too. Why wouldn't you use it? Nothing about current magazine or other sources of stories, either.

Now, the type of stories. Some of them are exactly what the editor said he was aiming for. Stephen Baxter, for example, gives it a humrous 110% if you like. Whereas as far as Kelly Link goes, it is much closer to 0%. In fact, you could go so far as to call her story 'Have Soccer Ball, Won't Travel'. I would think she would be about as far as you can get from a natural writer of that sort of science fiction, and as an example of such, she makes a sports reporter. Not a very good one at that, as it seems she is ignorant of a basic term like 'save' as far as goalkeepers go. Despite all the namedropping of SF paperback authors in the actual story, she completely fails to get it. In fact, Kage Baker or Connie Willis, too of the women whose books were mentioned by her in the work would certainly have done a better job.

There is no way such a kid as in that story would be.
Strahan's comment thanking about her 'persevering' suggests she might have struggled with writing anything this straightforward. If that is the case, why use writers like that, when you would be full aware of their style. I can't imagine these sort of people (unlike a Gaiman) are likely to help you move books in a way that say, a Peter F. Hamilton or someone like that might. Westerfeld's story is good and the right type, for example, but not sure I buy a 13 year old boy taking as his weight allowance an ancient paper book for much younger readers, when he lives in a future time that has working cryosleep voyages to distant stars for colony reasons.

Never thought I'd compare her to Greg Egan, but the same goes for his tale of detention centres. An issue obviously important to him, but similarly a story in which nothing happens in the 'youthful action sense'. Neither would readers of Planet Stories or the equivalent Halo books or whatever today be much interested in stories of whether to regrow the clone of your dead brother, yourself, perhaps. They aren't bad stories, they just in no way whatsoever fit the mold that I see as being implied in the introduction. For the rst, I'd suggest that McDonald's story is closer to the Egan and Link end, but far, far less static and introverted, with suborned killer robot monkeys as an example. Halam/Jones, Reynolds, McAuley, Sullivan, Nix, Doctorow and Williams are more down toward the Baxter, if you want to look at it like that.

On the Asimov's forum, Gardner Dozois mentions that a lot of these stories could pretty easily appear in adult magazines, and for most of them, those not at the Westerfeld and Jones end of the scale, he is probably right. So there is a fair amount here for the adult reader to enjoy. Ford and Langan for example, you wouldn't see as child protagonist focused or aimed pieces at all.

That being said, the kids in this book, because it is from a children's imprint label, are a very chaste and straitlaced bunch. More on looking at this for adult readers: pretty much no sex, drugs, alcohol or rock and roll, except in the case of Walter Jon Williams' far more realistic view of the actual lives of your more standard teenager, where you get the lot. Obviously this sort of content watering down, writing about how parents 'in general' want books aimed at younger readers to be, will continue to happen, particularly if they are hoping to flog this to those buying for the single digit age group. Such parents of course completely ignore what most of them got up to at the same age.

Overall this volume was quite a bit better than I thought it would be, certainly being less simple than I expected. Looking at the list of authors, it does run more true to form of what you would expect, there. When Gardner Dozois mentions that this could be the best original anthology of the year, he may well be right. Original anthologies rating over 4 are pretty rare, and this is a solid 4.25, that is going to benefit from some rounding. A little more or improved ancillary material could have got it to a native 4.5. On that, I notice there is a website, but I don't think I saw a reference to it in the book, or at least not an obvious one. If no authors there, shouldn't that be on the cover?


Starry Rift : Ass-Hat Magic Spider - Scott Westerfeld
Starry Rift : Cheats - Gwyneth Jones
Starry Rift : Orange - Neil Gaiman
Starry Rift : The Surfer - Kelly Link
Starry Rift : Repair Kit - Stephen Baxter
Starry Rift : The Dismantled Invention of Fate - Jeffrey Ford
Starry Rift : Anda's Game - Cory Doctorow
Starry Rift : Sundiver Day - Kathleen Ann Goonan
Starry Rift : The Dust Assassin - Ian McDonald
Starry Rift : The Star Surgeon's Apprentice - Alastair Reynolds
Starry Rift : An Honest Day's Work - Margo Lanagan
Starry Rift : Lost Continent - Greg Egan
Starry Rift : Incomers - Paul McAuley
Starry Rift : Post-Ironic Stress Syndrome - Tricia Sullivan
Starry Rift : Infestation - Garth Nix
Starry Rift : Pinocchio - Walter Jon Williams


Charlotte's colony diet Web.

4 out of 5


Neuronaut hack recruit.

3.5 out of 5


Question?

3 out of 5


Shortjock quarantine cult leader death alien landing.

3.5 out of 5


Timestream quantum fuse fix, thanks!

3.5 out of 5


Robot off button.

3 out of 5


Liza, Lisa, Anda's clan jam game grunt gold grab gunplay showdown.

4.5 out of 5


Well, I'll be a brother's mother.

3 out of 5


Black Widow water rights kiss.

4 out of 5


Butcher boy pirate fry-up Baby Makes Three.

4.5 out of 5


Timber! monster brain buster.

3.5 out of 5


Future detention centre.

3.5 out of 5


Spy seeking stuffup space war city save memorial story.

4 out of 5


M-Space Meeting with Medusa forfeit team-up unM-asked.

4 out of 5


Vampire$ slayer scenario not alien to Judas.

4 out of 5


Gorilla too vanilla for flash in the pan pack-man.

3.5 out of 5





4.5 out of 5

Pinocchio - Walter Jon Williams

Gorilla too vanilla for flash in the pan pack-man.


3.5 out of 5

In Re Glover - Leonard Tushnet

Power failure cryo-oops.


3.5 out of 5

Eye Of the Beholder - Burt K. Filer

Antigrav hunt.


3.5 out of 5

Epiphany For Aliens - David Kerr

Neanderthaloid stalking.


3 out of 5

Chuck Berry Won't You Please Come Home - Ken McCullough

Got the woofer blues, Stiff.


3 out of 5

Elouise And The Doctors Of The Planet Pergamon - Josephine Saxton

Congenital gynecological improvement hope.


3 out of 5

American Dream - James Sallis

Wife whacker.


2 out of 5

At the Fitting Shop - James Sallis

Peepee model.


3 out of 5

Bed Sheets Are White - Evelyn Lief

Certainly can't get away with this one.


2.5 out of 5

And the Sea Like Mirrors - Gregory Benford

Swarmer Skimmer shock.


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Test-tube Creature Afterward - Joan Bernott

Better get rid of her.


2.5 out of 5

Black Spot - Gahan Wilson

Alien veggies. (wonder if he bought any artist formerly known as Prince albums).


3 out of 5

Soundless Evening - Lee Hoffman

Kid cut-off.


3 out of 5

Post-Ironic Stress Syndrome - Tricia Sullivan

M-Space Meeting with Medusa forfeit team-up unM-asked.


4 out of 5

Lost Continent - Greg Egan

Future detention centre.


3.5 out of 5

An Honest Day's Work - Margo Lanagan

Timber! monster brain buster.


3.5 out of 5

Sundiver Day - Kathleen Ann Goonan

Well, I'll be a brother's mother.


3 out of 5

The Dismantled Invention Of Fate - Jeffrey Ford

Robot off button.


3 out of 5

Repair Kit - Stephen Baxter

Timestream quantum fuse fix, thanks!


3.5 out of 5

The Surfer - Kelly Link

Shortjock quarantine cult leader death alien landing.


3.5 out of 5

Cheats - Gwyneth Jones

Neuronaut hack recruit.


3.5 out of 5

Ass-Hat Magic Spider - Scott Westerfeld

Charlotte's colony diet Web.


4 out of 5

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

This is a book of stories chosen by a vote of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America association, in the mid-nineties. Apparently in a six month process they voted for their favorite stories, etc. Because writers are slow and can't think of their favorites it takes them six months? Bizarre. Anyway, doesn't really maker how long they took to do it. It was apparently produced had a Science Fiction Hall of fame volume, multiple, actually, as the novellas etc. go in other books of the series. These came out in the late sixties, but the fantasy name change inclusion for the SFWA was 1992 according to the book's intro.

Anyway, there is an earlier book with this title, and the same editors. I should quote the famous Tim of LibraryThing on the non-brightness of doing that.

The limitation they chose was the stories had to be post 1939, when Unknown Worlds, the fantasy magazine edited by John W. Campbell started, because it had logically worked out fantasy, or something. The other limitation is no longer stories, novellas, etc. 'May be a future volume with those' to paraphrase the intro. No sign of it 10 years later though, it seems, so you could probably make it one of those 1000/1 William Hill novelties if you wanted.

So, right from that you are pretty much likely to get a book that is inferior to the early volume. No Lovecraft, Howard, Smith, Poe, etc.

That certainly turns out to be the case, with a 3.60 average, compared to 3.66. It is still a good book, just not an excellent one, and no real Hall of Fame, with less standouts. You could call it The Modern Hall of Fame, perhaps, although calling the thirties or early forties modern doesn't sound too modern to me.

So if you have a choice and just want to get one of these Hall Of Fame books, get the earlier volume.

Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Trouble with Water - H. L. Gold
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Nothing in the Rules - L. Sprague de Camp
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Fruit of Knowledge - C. L. Moore
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Tlön Uqbar Orbis Tertius - Jorge Luís Borges
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Compleat Werewolf [Fergus O'Breen] - Anthony Boucher
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Small Assassin - Ray Bradbury
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Our Fair City - Robert A. Heinlein
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : There Shall Be No Darkness - James Blish
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Loom of Darkness [Liane the Wayfarer] - Jack Vance
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles - Margaret St.Clair
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Silken-Swift - Theodore Sturgeon
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Golem - Avram Davidson
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Operation Afreet - Poul Anderson
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : That Hell-Bound Train - Robert Bloch
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Bazaar of the Bizarre - Fritz Leiber
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Come Lady Death - Peter S. Beagle
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Drowned Giant - J. G. Ballard
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Narrow Valley - R. A. Lafferty
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Faith of Our Fathers - Philip K. Dick
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Ghost of a Model T - Clifford D. Simak
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Demoness - Tanith Lee
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Jeffty Is Five - Harlan Ellison
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Detective of Dreams - Gene Wolfe
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Unicorn Variations - Roger Zelazny
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Basileus - Robert Silverberg
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : The Jaguar Hunter - Lucius Shepard
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight - Ursula K. LeGuin
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Bears Discover Fire - Terry Bisson
Fantasy Hall of Fame SFWA : Tower of Babylon - Ted Chiang



Gnome sweetener.

4.5 out of 5


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

4 out of 5


"Why," he stammered, "you...you're the Queen of Air and Darkness."

3.5 out of 5


Vague geography tract.

2.5 out of 5


Counterespionage canine capers.

4 out of 5


Rugrat's gonna get me, maybe I should get it first?

4 out of 5


Stone loser.

3.5 out of 5


Whirlwind collection.

3 out of 5


Werewolf symphony.

4 out of 5


Witchy Lith.

3 out of 5


Eyes for greed, will consume you.

3 out of 5


Virgin deception test, unicorn required.

3 out of 5


"I am not a human being!"

3.5 out of 5


Witchwolf teamup success requires djinn psychology.

4 out of 5


Time-stop devil of a deal indecision.

4 out of 5


Wizard errands suck, so do commercial crapsters.

4 out of 5


You like me? Great! Now you can be me!

4 out of 5


Shrinking from investigation.

3.5 out of 5


Ditch illusion psychic projection projectile fun.

3.5 out of 5


"Don't you see, Mr. Chien? You've learned something. The Leader is not the Leader; he is something else, but we can't tell what. Not yet. Mr. Chien, when all due respect, have you ever had your drinking water analyzed? I know it sounds paranoiac, but have you?"

3.5 out of 5


Dead drive ok with me if booze is good.

3 out of 5


Succubus. Sword. Swing. Simple. Ask her, stupid.

4 out of 5


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

5 out of 5


Execution not too well d___.

3 out of 5


Mythological species replacement with sasquatch chess master.

4 out of 5


Computing angel Cunningham countdown plan.

3.5 out of 5


Man decides sexy werejaguar is better than crappy American cop show.

4 out of 5


Don't eat the salmon.

2.5 out of 5


Hibernatin's a big ol' waste of time.

4 out of 5


Built like a brick lighthouse tunnelway to heaven.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

Basileus - Robert Silverberg

Computing angel Cunningham countdown plan.


3.5 out of 5

The Detective Of Dreams - Gene Wolfe

Execution not too well d___.


3 out of 5

The Demoness - Tanith Lee

Succubus. Sword. Swing. Simple. Ask her, stupid.


4 out of 5

The Ghost Of A Model T - Clifford D. Simak

Dead drive ok with me if booze is good.


3 out of 5

The Man Who Sold Rope To the Gnoles - Margaret St Clair

Eyes for greed, will consume you.


3 out of 5

There Shall Be No Darkness - James Blish

Werewolf symphony.


4 out of 5

The Compleat Werewolf - Anthony Boucher

Counterespionage canine capers.


4 out of 5

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tlon Uqbar Orbis Tertius - Jorge Luis Borges

Vague geography tract.


2.5 out of 5

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

An anthology that came about from discussions at the 1981 World Fantasy Convention - so that is the upper limit on story inclusion. Apparently a poll was taken, and these were the 18 stories that garnered the highest number of votes.

Looks like the voters indeed did a very good job coming up with their favorites.

There is a several page introduction tracing the history of horror stories, briefly, from the gentle English ghost story, to Weird Tales and Unknown Worlds up to Rosemary's Baby and the Stephen King phenomenon.

Also, a fairly attractive biography section, with a long paragraph on each author included in the book.

Horror Hall of Fame : The Fall of the House of Usher - Edgar Allan Poe
Horror Hall of Fame : Green Tea - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Horror Hall of Fame : The Damned Thing - Ambrose Bierce
Horror Hall of Fame : The Yellow Sign - Robert W. Chambers
Horror Hall of Fame : The Monkey's Paw - W. W. Jacobs
Horror Hall of Fame : The White People - Arthur Machen
Horror Hall of Fame : The Willows - Algernon Blackwood
Horror Hall of Fame : Casting the Runes - M. R. James
Horror Hall of Fame : The Graveyard Rats - Henry Kuttner
Horror Hall of Fame : Pigeons from Hell - Robert E. Howard
Horror Hall of Fame : It - Theodore Sturgeon
Horror Hall of Fame : Smoke Ghost - Fritz Leiber
Horror Hall of Fame : Yours Truly Jack the Ripper - Robert Bloch
Horror Hall of Fame : The Small Assassin - Ray Bradbury
Horror Hall of Fame : The Whimper of Whipped Dogs - Harlan Ellison
Horror Hall of Fame : Calling Card - Ramsey Campbell
Horror Hall of Fame : Coin of the Realm - Charles L. Grant
Horror Hall of Fame : The Reach [Do the Dead Sing?] - Stephen King


Blame Wodewick.

4 out of 5


Hesselius investigates a spectre that tends to not want to meet him.

3.5 out of 5


Invisible monster.

4 out of 5


Serpentskin books - don't get 'em.

3.5 out of 5


Wishes not so handy.

4 out of 5


Be choosy with literature and statuary.

3 out of 5


Wind in the tree monsters.

4.5 out of 5


Knocking the writing problem on the head.

3.5 out of 5


Mummy, it's a coffin.

4.5 out of 5


A man is murdered, and in no ordinary fashion. When law enforcement investigates this is the story he gets from a witness:

"and my G0d, sir, he was dead! His head had been split open. I saw brains and clotted blood oozing down his face, and his face"

It appears there is a zuvembie in town, the long awaited aftermath of a property that had white women mistreating their black slaves, badly.

4 out of 5


Mud man grandpa bones deals with hunters people until all washed up.

4 out of 5


Spectral look.

3.5 out of 5


Doc, you are actually right at the sharp end, stoopid.

4.5 out of 5


Rugrat's gonna get me, maybe I should get it first?

4 out of 5


City god call.

3.5 out of 5


First foot, slimy.

3.5 out of 5


Osiris toll.

4 out of 5


Mainland ghost, gran.

4 out of 5




5 out of 5

Coin Of the Realm - Charles L. Grant

Osiris toll.


4 out of 5

Calling Card - Ramsey Campbell

First foot, slimy.


3.5 out of 5

Infinite Dreams - Joe Haldeman

A very solid, if mostly unspectacular collection of stories from the seventies. The award winning Tricentennial is certainly the best.

Not quite making it to a 3.50 average, the old half point off.

For the non-seppos among us, a Mason jar is apparently one with a metal lid for jam making, according to the spousal unit.

Infinite Dreams : Counterpoint - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : Anniversary Project - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : The Mazel Tov Revolution - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : To Howard Hughes: A Modest Proposal - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : A Mind of His Own - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : All the Universe in a Mason Jar - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : The Private War of Private Jacob - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : A Time to Live - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : Juryrigged - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : Summer's Lease [Truth to Tell] - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : 26 Days On Earth - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : Armaja Das - Joe Haldeman
Infinite Dreams : Tricentennial - Joel Haldeman


Death match.

3.5 out of 5


Literary analysis requires very old fashioned help.

3.5 out of 5


Billionaire rescue.

3.5 out of 5


Nuke 'em disarmament.

3.5 out of 5


Legless personality overlay therapy rejection.

3.5 out of 5


Alien lost takes a shine to us, civilising.

4 out of 5


Brain enhanced switch.

3 out of 5


Redo relativity misunderstanding.

3 out of 5


Lack of ambition cyborg oversight selection.

3 out of 5


Hot time to get some alien impersonation cash.

3.5 out of 5


Mutant superiority study session.

3.5 out of 5


Gypsy computer curse transfer contagion apocalypse.

3.5 out of 5


SETI success spurs space dwellers to sneaky space mission.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

26 Days On Earth - Joe Haldeman

Mutant superiority study session.


3.5 out of 5

Truth To Tell - Joe Haldeman

Hot time to get some alien impersonation cash.


3.5 out of 5

Juryrigged - Joe Haldeman

Lack of ambition cyborg oversight selection.


3 out of 5

A Time To Live - Joe Haldeman

Redo relativity misunderstanding.


3 out of 5

The Private War Of Private Jacob - Joe Haldeman

Brain enhanced switch.


3 out of 5

All the Universe In A Mason Jar - Joe Haldeman

Alien lost takes a shine to us, civilising.


4 out of 5

To Howard Hughes: A Modest Proposal - Joe Haldeman

Nuke 'em disarmament.


3.5

A Mind Of His Own - Joe Haldeman

Legless personality overlay therapy rejection.


3.5 out of 5

The Mazel Tov Revolution - Joe Haldeman

Billionaire rescue.


3.5 out of 5

Counterpoint - Joe Haldeman

Death match.


3.5 out of 5

World's Best Science Fiction 1969 - Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr

The editors point out in the intro that this is only supposed to be SF, no sneaking in of the fairy pollution, or vague parables, or anything like that.

They also point out that although they try and read all the stories each year, they often disagree quite strongly on the stories, so this is a compromise selection.

Only 3.47, so too many ordinary stories, but the Colin Kapp Cloudbuilders technoogy recovery story was an interesting find, and some excellent stories from Knight and Saberhagen, too.


Wollheim Carr 05 : Street of Dreams Feet of Clay - Robert Sheckley
Wollheim Carr 05 : Backtracked - Burt K. Filer
Wollheim Carr 05 : Kyrie - Poul Anderson
Wollheim Carr 05 : Going Down Smooth - Robert Silverberg
Wollheim Carr 05 : The Worm That Flies - Brian W. Aldiss
Wollheim Carr 05 : Masks - Damon Knight
Wollheim Carr 05 : Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones - Samuel R. Delany
Wollheim Carr 05 : Hemeac - E. G. Von Wald
Wollheim Carr 05 : The Cloudbuilders - Colin Kapp
Wollheim Carr 05 : This Grand Carcass - R. A. Lafferty
Wollheim Carr 05 : A Visit to Cleveland General - Sydney J. Van Scyoc
Wollheim Carr 05 : The Selchey Kids - Laurence Yep
Wollheim Carr 05 : Welcome to the Monkey House - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Wollheim Carr 05 : The Dance of the Changer and the Three - Terry Carr
Wollheim Carr 05 : Sword Game - H. H. Hollis
Wollheim Carr 05 : Total Environment - Brian W. Aldiss
Wollheim Carr 05 : The Square Root of Brain - Fritz Leiber
Wollheim Carr 05 : Starsong - Fred Saberhagen
Wollheim Carr 05 : Fear Hound - Katherine MacLean


Urban Bellwether reminder.

3.5 out of 5


Spousal saviour return divorce dump.

3.5 out of 5


Supernova human alien telepathic communication ending prolonged.

4 out of 5


Binary bad language.

3.5 out of 5


Immortal stone record.

3 out of 5


Everything cut off.

4.5 out of 5


Singing shiny password.

4 out of 5


Robotic education.

3 out of 5


Journeyman anti-raider civilisation upgrade.

4 out of 5


Robovampsuck monument deal.

3 out of 5


Non-remembered reused bits.

3 out of 5


Brood not all human.

3 out of 5


Nothinghead Ethical Suicide Service shag.

3.5 out of 5


Destructive exhibition draws you in.

3.5 out of 5


Magic tesser-act.

4 out of 5


Block of time compression, hopeful for ESP.

3 out of 5


Unindentified story article.

2 out of 5


Even though human brains are really nifty, still won't help that old underworld lookback tragedy.

4.5 out of 5


Broadcast Archetype Rescue Squad save hire.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Fear Hound - Katherine MacLean

Broadcast Archetype Rescue Squad save hire.


3.5 out of 5

The Square Root Of Brain - Fritz Leiber

Unindentified story article.


2 out of 5

Welcome To the Monkey House - Kurt Vonnegut

Nothinghead Ethical Suicide Service shag.


3.5 out of 5

The Selchey Kids - Laurence Yep

Brood not all human.


3 out of 5

A Visit To Cleveland General - Sydney Van Scyoc

Non-remembered reused bits.


3 out of 5

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This Grand Carcass - R. A. Lafferty

Robovampsuck monument deal.


3 out of 5

The Cloudbuilders - Colin Kapp

Journeyman anti-raider civilisaiton upgrade.


4 out of 5

Hemeac - E. G. Von Wald

Robotic education.


3 out of 5

Backtracked - Burt K. Filer

Spousal saviour return divorce dump.


3.5 out of 5

Street Of Dreams Feet Of Clay - Robert Sheckley

Urban Bellwether reminder.


3.5 out of 5

The Road To Science Fiction 1 - James Gunn

The subtitle for the first of the Road To Science Fiction is 'From Gilgamesh to Wells'. Ancient mythological legends are only talked about in introduction, though.

This is not a volume of short stories in general, as the time period the editor is tracing the changes in human thought and method over didn't have such things. In fact, he points out that 'The Diamond Lens' may be the first SF story 'as such'.

So, here it does make sense to use excerpts where there is no other choice, fro, Verne, Shelley, Swift, etc.

Apart from that, the best three stories are right at the end, so people just interested in that part of it should start there, and browse the rest, which will be of little interest to many. Browsing the intro pieces to the work is worth a look, even if you don't want to read ancient Greek silliness, for example.

Road To Science Fiction 1 : A True Story [short story] - Lucian Samosata
Road To Science Fiction 1 : The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Mandeville [short story] - Anonymous Anonymous
Road To Science Fiction 1 : Utopia [short story] - Sir Thomas More
Road To Science Fiction 1 : The City of the Sun [short story] - Tommaso Campanella
Road To Science Fiction 1 : The New Atlantis [short story] - Francis Bacon
Road To Science Fiction 1 : Somnium or Lunar Astronomy - Johannes Kepler
Road To Science Fiction 1 : A Voyage to the Moon [short story] - Cyrano de Bergerac
Road To Science Fiction 1 : A Voyage to Laputa [short story] - Jonathan Swift
Road To Science Fiction 1 : The Journey to the World Underground [short story] - Ludwig Holberg
Road To Science Fiction 1 : Frankenstein [short story] - Mary Shelley
Road To Science Fiction 1 : Rappaccini's Daughter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Road To Science Fiction 1 : Mellonta Tauta - Edgar Allan Poe
Road To Science Fiction 1 : The Diamond Lens - Fitz-James O'Brien
Road To Science Fiction 1 : Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea [short story] - Jules Verne
Road To Science Fiction 1 : Around the Moon [short story] - Jules Verne
Road To Science Fiction 1 : She [short story] - H. Rider Haggard
Road To Science Fiction 1 : Looking Backward [short story] - Edward Bellamy
Road To Science Fiction 1 : The Damned Thing - Ambrose Bierce
Road To Science Fiction 1 : With the Night Mail - Rudyard Kipling
Road To Science Fiction 1 : The Star - H. G. Wells


Buzzard cavalry in Cloudcuckooland.

3 out of 5


"Of the Palace of the King of the Isle of Java. Of the Trees that bear meal, honey, wine, and venom; and of other marvels and customs used in the Isles marching thereabout."

3 out of 5


"“The island of Utopia is in the middle two hundred miles broad, and holds almost at the same breadth over a great part of it, but it grows narrower towards both ends. Its figure is not unlike a crescent. Between its horns the sea comes in eleven miles broad, and spreads itself into a great bay, which is environed with land to the compass of about five hundred miles, and is well secured from winds. In this bay there is no great current; the whole coast is, as it were, one continued harbour, which gives all that live in the island great convenience for mutual commerce. "

3 out of 5


"The great ruler among them is a priest whom they
call by the name Hoh, though we should call him Metaphysic.

He is head over all, in temporal and spiritual matters, and all
business and lawsuits are settled by him, as the supreme authority. Three princes of equal power -- viz., Pon, Sin, and Mor -- assist him, and these in our tongue we should call Power, Wisdom, and Love. To Power belongs the care of all matters relating to war and peace. He attends to the military arts, and, next to Hoh, he is ruler in every affair of a warlike nature. He governs the military magistrates and the soldiers, and has the management of the munitions, the fortifications, the storming of places, the implements of war, the armories, the smiths and workmen connected with matters of this sort."

3 out of 5


"These are (my son) the riches of Salomon's House.

"For the several employments and offices of our fellows; we have twelve that sail into foreign countries, under the names of other nations, (for our own we conceal); who bring us the books, and abstracts, and patterns of experiments of all other parts. These we call Merchants of Light.

"We have three that collect the experiments which are in all books. These we call Depredators.

"We have three that collect the experiments of all mechanical arts; and also of liberal sciences; and also of practices which are not brought into arts. These we call Mystery-men.

"We have three that try new experiments, such as themselves think good. These we call Pioneers or Miners.

"We have three that draw the experiments of the former four into titles and tables, to give the better light for the drawing of observations and axioms out of them. These we call Compilers.

"We have three that bend themselves, looking into the experiments of their fellows, and cast about how to draw out of them things of use and practise for man's life, and knowledge, as well for works as for plain demonstration of causes, means of natural divinations, and the easy and clear discovery of the virtues and parts of bodies. These we call Dowry-men or Benefactors.

"Then after divers meetings and consults of our whole number, to consider of the former labours and collections, we have three that take care, out of them, to direct new experiments, of a higher light, more penetrating into nature than the former. These we call Lamps.

"We have three others that do execute the experiments so directed, and report them. These we call Inoculators.

"Lastly, we have three that raise the former discoveries by experiments into greater observations, axioms, and aphorisms. These we call Interpreters of Nature.

3.5 out of 5


"Fifty thousand German miles up in the ether lies the island of Levania."

3.5 out of 5


"And for my part, Gentlemen,", said I, "that I may put in for a share, and guess with the rest; not to amuse myself with those curious Notions wherewith you tickle and spur on slow-paced Time; I believe, that the Moon is a World like ours, to which this of ours serves likewise for a Moon."

3 out of 5


Student, broke and going down.

3 out of 5


"Abhorred monster! Fiend that thou art! The tortures of hell are too mild a vengeance for thy crimes. Wretched devil! You reproach me with your creation, come on, then, that I may extinguish the spark which I so negligently bestowed."

3.5 out of 5


Chastity death touch defence.

3.5 out of 5


Balloon future.

3 out of 5


Mad microscopist's evaporated babe.

3.5 out of 5


"Unintentionally?" the stranger replied, raising his voice a little. "Was it unintentionally that the Abraham Lincoln hunted me on every sea? Was it unintentionally that you traveled aboard that frigate? Was it unintentionally that your shells bounced off my ship's hull? Was it unintentionally that Mr. Ned Land hit me with his harpoon?"

I detected a controlled irritation in these words. But there was a perfectly natural reply to these charges, and I made it.

"Sir," I said, "you're surely unaware of the discussions that have taken place in Europe and America with yourself as the subject. You don't realize that various accidents, caused by collisions with your underwater machine, have aroused public passions on those two continents. I'll spare you the innumerable hypotheses with which we've tried to explain this inexplicable phenomenon, whose secret is yours alone. But please understand that the Abraham Lincoln chased you over the Pacific high seas in the belief it was hunting some powerful marine monster, which had to be purged from the ocean at all cost."

3.5 out of 5


"At this moment the bottom of the projectile deviated somewhat from the lunar surface, in order to follow the slightly lengthened elliptical orbit. From this point, had the earth been at the full, Barbicane and his companions could have seen it, but immersed in the sun's irradiation she was quite invisible. Another spectacle attracted their attention, that of the southern part of the moon, brought by the glasses to within 450 yards. They did not again leave the scuttles, and noted every detail of this fantastical continent."

2.5 out of 5


"A phenomenon solved by modern philosophy and astronomy. The Laputians’ great improvements in the latter. The king’s method of suppressing insurrections."

3 out of 5


"When this was done She bade Billali and the six bearer mutes to retreat behind a grove of flowering magnolias about a hundred yards away, and remain there under pain of death till we had vanished. They bowed humbly, and went, and, as he departed, old Billali gave me a friendly shake of the hand, and whispered that he had rather that it was I than he who was going on this wonderful expedition with "She-who-must-be-obeyed," and upon my word I felt inclined to agree with him. In another minute they were gone, and then, having briefly asked us if we were ready, Ayesha turned, and gazed up the towering cliff."


3.5 out of 5


If you had told me," I replied, profoundly awed, "that a thousand years instead of a hundred had elapsed since I last looked on this city, I should now believe you."

"Only a century has passed," he answered, "but many a millennium in the world's history has seen changes less extraordinary."

3 out of 5


Invisible monster.

4 out of 5


Postal progress still has the odd issue.

4 out of 5


Just a near miss, that planet going past Earth. Nothing to worry those Martians.

4 out of 5





3.5 out of 5

The Journey To the World Underground - Ludwig Holberg

Student, broke and going down.


3 out of 5

Somnium - Johannes Kepler

"Fifty thousand German miles up in the ether lies the island of Levania."


3.5 out of 5

The Road To Science Fiction 3 - James Gunn

Excerpts. Bad Editor. Papa spank.

When you have put together a retrospective and analytical anthology of good to outstanding stories, why spoil it with not meant to be chopped out bits of novels? Sure, maybe they are that authors best work. As a novel. Just say so, choose another bloody story and move on. Or choose other authors and one of their stories, not like there is a shortage.

That being said, the rest is really good, from intros to authorial analyses, to the stories which average 3.85. About half the worst ratings come from excerpts, so you could consider that to be higher. Without those, the book would be pushing 5 stars.

This volume is subtitled from Heinlein to here, Here being the late 70s in this case. Or post Golden Age (everyone pretty much knowing what this means at the time, in general, apart from Norman Spinrad's delusionally self-involved definition of 1966-70, which Gunn mentions.)

Anyway, a fine, and highly readable work in a nice compact little paperback, and likely the volume of these Road To... books that people will like the most, in general. Also the longest, as you can probably tell from the 36 story count.

Road To Science Fiction 3 : All You Zombies - Robert A. Heinlein
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Reason - Isaac Asimov
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Desertion - Clifford D. Simak
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Mimsy Were the Borogoves - Lewis Padgett
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Million-Year Picnic - Ray Bradbury
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Thunder and Roses - Theodore Sturgeon
Road To Science Fiction 3 : That Only a Mother - Judith Merril
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Brooklyn Project - William Tenn
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Coming Attraction - Fritz Leiber
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Sentinel - Arthur C. Clarke
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Sail On! Sail On! - Philip José Farmer
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Critical Factor - Hal Clement
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Fondly Fahrenheit - Alfred Bester
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Cold Equations - Tom Godwin
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Game of Rat and Dragon - Cordwainer Smith
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Pilgrimage to Earth [Love Incorporated] - Robert Sheckley
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Who Can Replace a Man? - Brian W. Aldiss
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Harrison Bergeron - Kurt Vonnegut
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Streets of Ashkelon - Harry Harrison
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Terminal Beach - J. G. Ballard
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Dolphin's Way - Gordon R. Dickson
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Slow Tuesday Night - R. A. Lafferty
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Day Million - Frederik Pohl
Road To Science Fiction 3 : We Can Remember It for You Wholesale - Philip K. Dick
Road To Science Fiction 3 : I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream - Harlan Ellison
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Aye and Gomorrah - Samuel R. Delany
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Jigsaw Man - Larry Niven
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Kyrie - Poul Anderson
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Masks - Damon Knight
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Stand on Zanzibar [short story] - John Brunner
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Big Flash - Norman Spinrad
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Sundance - Robert Silverberg
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Left Hand of Darkness [short story] - Ursula K. Le Guin
Road To Science Fiction 3 : When It Changed - Joanna Russ
Road To Science Fiction 3 : The Engine at Heartspring's Center - Roger Zelazny
Road To Science Fiction 3 : Tricentennial - Joe W. Haldeman

Self-seduction time.

4 out of 5


Robot curiosity of philosophy.

3.5 out of 5


Altered man mission adds a mutt.

4.5 out of 5


A technology discovery is beyond the adults, but definitely not the children, with unforeseen results.

4.5 out of 5


Mealtime archaeology.

3.5 out of 5


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

4.5 out of 5


Don't know baby.

2.5 out of 5


Past alterations pseudopocryphal.

4 out of 5


Strange social fashions.

4 out of 5


Moon machine.

4 out of 5


Angel radio.

4 out of 5


Rocky swimming.

3.5 out of 5


Hot for crime android.

4 out of 5


Kid is a waste of oxygen.

5 out of 5


Another actual use for a live cat. Fight you little bastard.

4 out of 5


Time Enough For Love. Briefly. If you pay.

3.5 out of 5


Human lack machine chaos conflict.

4 out of 5


Handicap gravity uplift termination.

4 out of 5


Native superstition addition.

4.5 out of 5


The centre has a hold.

3 out of 5


Interspecies communication has much wider importance.

5 out of 5


There really are Morning People. Whenever you sleep, get rich quick.

4 out of 5


Stored love.

3.5 out of 5


Brain alteration badness.

4 out of 5


AM modelled slave.

4 out of 5


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

3 out of 5


Organlegging escape.

4 out of 5


Supernova human alien telepathic communication ending prolonged.

4 out of 5


Everything cut off.

4.5 out of 5


Instability or urbanity.

3 out of 5


"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


Genocidal possibility is troubling, even if not real.

3.5 out of 5


Karhide parade.

3 out of 5


Separation anxiety.

3.5 out of 5


Bork Bork borked.

3 out of 5


SETI success spurs space dwellers to sneaky space mission.

4 out of 5





4.5 out of 5

The Left Hand Of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin

Karhide parade.


3 out of 5

Stand On Zanzibar - John Brunner

Instability or urbanity.


3 out of 5

Pilgrimage To Earth - Robert Sheckley

Time Enough For Love. Briefly. If you pay.


3.5 out of 5

Critical Factor - Hal Clement

Rocky swimming.


3.5 out of 5

The Road To Science Fiction 2 - James Gunn

Gunn's second volume in this series is concerned with the early twentieth century writers like Wells and Burroughs and the birth of the science fiction magazines from Amazing to Astounding.

There is a reasonable length introduction and each story has a piece placing the work and the author in time, with an overview and some biography. This is all very readable, and probably more directed to include the general reader.

There are some excerpts from novels, too, which will annoy some. Some good tales in these early stories, bit nothing outstanding.

Road To Science Fiction 2 : The New Accelerator - H. G. Wells
Road To Science Fiction 2 : The Machine Stops - E. M. Forster
Road To Science Fiction 2 : The Chessmen of Mars [short story] - Edgar Rice Burroughs
Road To Science Fiction 2 : The People of the Pit - A. Merritt
Road To Science Fiction 2 : The Red One - Jack London
Road To Science Fiction 2 : Dagon - H. P. Lovecraft
Road To Science Fiction 2 : The Tissue-Culture King - Julian Huxley
Road To Science Fiction 2 : The Revolt of the Pedestrians - David H. Keller
Road To Science Fiction 2 : Last and First Men [short story] - Olaf Stapledon
Road To Science Fiction 2 : Brave New World [short story]) - Aldous Huxley
Road To Science Fiction 2 : A Martian Odyssey [short story] - Stanley G. Weinbaum
Road To Science Fiction 2 : Twilight - John W. Campbell, Jr.
Road To Science Fiction 2 : Proxima Centauri - Murray Leinster
Road To Science Fiction 2 : What's It Like Out There? - Edmond Hamilton
Road To Science Fiction 2 : With Folded Hands - Jack Williamson
Road To Science Fiction 2 : Hyperpilosity - L. Sprague de Camp
Road To Science Fiction 2 : The Faithful - Lester del Rey
Road To Science Fiction 2 : Black Destroyer - A. E. van Vogt
Road To Science Fiction 2 : Nightfall [short story] - Isaac Asimov
Road To Science Fiction 2 : Requiem - Robert A. Heinlein

Flash tonic.

3.5 out of 5


Can't do anything ourselves.

3 out of 5


""You deserted us, Tara of Helium," said John Carter. "It is not what the guests of John Carter should expect.""

3 out of 5


Explorer gets horribly lost.

3.5 out of 5


"Possessed of more than a cursory knowledge of astronomy, he took a sick man’s pleasure in speculating as to the dwellers on the unseen worlds of those incredibly remote suns, to haunt whose houses of light, life came forth, a shy visitant, from the rayless crypts of matter. He could no more apprehend limits to time than bounds to space. No subversive radium speculations had shaken his steady scientific faith in the conservation of energy and the indestructibility of matter. Always and forever must there have been stars. And surely, in that cosmic ferment, all must be comparatively alike, comparatively of the same substance, or substances, save for the freaks of the ferment. All must obey, or compose, the same laws that ran without infraction through the entire experience of man. Therefore, he argued and agreed, must worlds and life be appanages to all the suns as they were appanages to the particular of his own solar system.

Even as he lay here, under the breadfruit tree, an intelligence that stared across the starry gulfs, so must all the universe be exposed to the ceaseless scrutiny of innumerable eyes, like his, though grantedly different, with behind them, by the same token, intelligences that questioned and sought the meaning and the construction of the whole. So reasoning, he felt his soul go forth in kinship with that august company, that multitude whose gaze was forever upon the arras of infinity."

...

"“Once, O Ngurn,” Bassett repeated, “let the Red One speak so that I may see it speak as well as hear it. Then strike, thus, when I raise my hand; for, when I raise my hand, I shall drop my head forward and make place for the stroke at the base of my neck. But, O Ngurn, I, who am about to pass out of the light of day for ever, would like to pass with the wonder-voice of the Red One singing greatly in my ears.”

“And I promise you that never will a head be so well cured as yours,” Ngurn assured him, at the same time signalling the tribesmen to man the propelling ropes suspended from the king-post striker. “Your head shall be my greatest piece of work in the curing of heads.”"

3.5 out of 5


Marine monstrosity.

4 out of 5


Slave breeding for type, now how about some telepathy?

3 out of 5


If our boots were mad efor shooting, how about we just turn off your machines you crawling, legless freaks?

3.5 out of 5


"For another branch of the degenerated fifth species had retained a more terrestrial habit and the ancient human form. Sadly reduced in stature and in brain, these abject beings were so unlike the original invaders that they are rightly considered a new species, and may therefore be called the Sixth Men. Age after age they gained a precarious livelihood by grubbing roots upon the forest-clad islands, trapping the innumerable birds, and catching fish in the tidal inlets with ground bait. Not infrequently they devoured, or were devoured by, their seal-like relatives. So restricted and constant was the environment of these human remnants, that they remained biologically and culturally stagnant for some millions of years.

At length, however, geological events afforded man's nature once more the opportunity of change. A mighty warping of the planet's crust produced an island almost as large as Australia. In time this was peopled, and from the clash of tribes a new and versatile race emerged. Once more there was methodical tillage, craftsmanship, complex social organization, and adventure in the realm of thought.

During the next two hundred million years all the main phases of man's life on earth were many times repeated on Venus with characteristic differences. Theocratic empires; free and intellectualistic island cities; insecure overlordship of feudal archipelagos; rivalries of high priest and emperor; religious feuds over the interpretation of sacred scriptures; recurrent fluctuations of thought from naïve animism, through polytheism, conflicting monotheisms, and all the desperate "isms" by which mind seeks to blur the severe outline of truth; recurrent fashions of comfort-seeking fantasy and cold intelligence; social disorders through the misuse of volcanic or wind power in industry; business empires and pseudo-communistic empires--all these forms flitted over the changing substance of mankind again and again, as in an enduring hearth fire there appear and vanish the infinitely diverse forms of flame and smoke. But all the while the brief spirits, in whose massed configurations these forms inhered, were intent chiefly on the primitive needs of food, shelter, companionship, crowd-lust, love-making, the two-edged relationship of parent and child, the exercise of muscle and intelligence in facile sport. Very seldom, only in rare moments of clarity, only after ages of misapprehension, did a few of them, here and there, now and again, begin to have the deeper insight into the world's nature and man's. And no sooner had this precious insight begun to propagate itself, than it would be blotted out by some small or great disaster, by epidemic disease, by the spontaneous disruption of society, by an access of racial imbecility, by a prolonged bombardment of meteorites, or by the mere cowardice and vertigo that dared not look down the precipice of fact."

3.5 out of 5


Alpha delta stability.

3 out of 5


Interplanetary interpersonal communication.

4 out of 5


Future science dwindling.

3.5 out of 5


Vegie men seek animal matter gold.

3.5 out of 5


Mars crackup shootout coverup.

4 out of 5


Robot home help useless.

2.5 out of 5


Hairy virus cure, no thanks.

3.5 out of 5


Dogs still happy to see us.

3.5 out of 5


A ship's crew lands on a planet and meets an alien with extraordinarily dangerous abilities.

3.5 out of 5


Media and religion struggle with science. Still.

4 out of 5


Any ship will do if you can get me there.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

Hyperpilosity - L. Sprague De Camp

Hairy virus cure, no thanks.


3.5 out of 5

What's It Like Out There? - Edmond Hamilton

Mars crackup shootout coverup.


4 out of 5

The Revolt Of the Pedestrians - David H. Keller

If our boots were mad efor shooting, how about we just turn off your machines you crawling, legless freaks?


3.5 out of 5

The Tissue-Culture King - Julian Huxley

Slave breeding for type, now how about some telepathy?


3 out of 5

Again Dangerous Visions 1 - Harlan Ellison

I think lots of people know this anthology, split here into two pieces isn't as good as the first. Still better than The Last Dangerous Visions though. Lots of not too good stories here. Bernard Wolfe supplies good booze, or something perhaps, to get two stories. Only a bit over a 3 average here, and 50-50 if the stories are any good, which overall spells a big steenkin' average.

Funny to hear Piers Anthony rant about editors not taking chances and later on go and write more fluffy kids fantasies in a series than you can probably count on your digits.

The intros and afterwords are pretty much done in the same style and spirit as the earlier volume.

Again Dangerous Visions 1 : Ching Witch! - Ross Rocklynne
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : The Word for World Is Forest [short story] - Ursula K. Le Guin
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : For Value Received - Andrew J. Offutt
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : Robot's Story - Gene Wolfe
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : Against the Lafayette Escadrille - Gene Wolfe
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : Loco Parentis - Gene Wolfe
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : Time Travel for Pedestrians - Ray Faraday Nelson
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : King of the Hill - Chad Oliver
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : The 10:00 Report Is Brought to You By... - Edward Bryant
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : The Funeral - Kate Wilhelm
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : Harry the Hare - James B. Hemesath
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : When It Changed - Joanna Russ
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : The Big Space Fuck - Kurt Vonnegut
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : Bounty - T. L. Sherred
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : Still-Life - K. M. O'Donnell
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : Stoned Counsel - H. H. Hollis
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : The Bisquit Position - Bernard Wolfe
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : The Girl with Rapid Eye Movements - Bernard Wolfe
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : With a Finger in My I - David Gerrold
Again Dangerous Visions 1 : In the Barn - Piers Anthony

Wapoo ips SF.

3 out of 5


Apart from the fabulous title, a pretty interesting book.

A planet of aliens that are similar but different to humans is a target of exploitation.

The forests hold the whole ecology together in a more important way than on Earth. The natives know nothing of violent conflict, but when brutality and violence is used by the invaders to try and get what they want, the locals learn quickly.

4 out of 5


Resident patient intern cost.

4 out of 5


Real, maybe, dope.

2.5 out of 5


Balloon chick, maybe.

3 out of 5


Substitute boy.

2.5 out of 5


Wanker trip.

3 out of 5


Humans history, give the furry Titans a go.

4 out of 5


Literal newsmakers.

4 out of 5


Getting hairy.

3.5 out of 5


Cartoon copyright escape.

3.5 out of 5


Separation anxiety.

3.5 out of 5


Stupendous space spoof load launch.

3 out of 5


Robbery removal, high calibre.

3.5 out of 5


Third man pissoff whiner.

3 out of 5


Dream lawyers.

2.5 out of 5


Napalm death dog.

3.5 out of 5


Dream rock psi transfer rubbish.

2.5 out of 5


Malleable reality.

3 out of 5


Udderly alternate Earth Prime.

3.5 out of 5




3 out of 5