Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Robber Girl - Phyllis Ann Karr

Gungirl princely retrieval.


3 out of 5

Zroya's Trizub - Gordon Derevanchuk

Bash the gobbies, supergirl.


3 out of 5

Southern Lights - Tanith Lee

She's a real doll, dad's a disturbed magician though.


3.5 out of 5

The Battle Crow's Daughter - Gillian Fitzgerald

Hmm, think the other brother might suit.


4 out of 5

For A Daughter - F. M. Busby

I will give up a few bits.


3 out of 5

The Solar System - Leigh Brackett

A second fabulous a Leigh Brackett omnibus from Baen, to follow on from The Eric John Stark Saga. Now the Stark stories are the best stuff she did in general, but this is only slightly lesser quality. Lesser is somewhat relative when it is this good, too, perhaps.

The same price, but seven books are included here instead of eight, with more collections as opposed to short novels. $2.50 or $2.86, either of those prices is sensational value for Brackett books.

Stories of the Awesome, fantastic, stupendous, amazing, incredible. Call it what you like, Brackett could produce it.

Looks fantastic too, great job. Leaves me inclined to get their other omnibus projects (A. Bertram Chandler, etc.) and her husband, Edmond Hamilton is apparently coming, too.

This is structured nicely, each collection (Mercury's Light, Swamps Of Venus, Martian Quest and Beyond Mars) put stories about each planet, or planets in the case of the latter in the appropriate book, which is certainly a deft touch.

Having written this, I want to shove (or delete) the too read stuff, and read both of these omnibuses again.

Solar System : Mercury's Light - Leigh Brackett
Solar System : Swamps of Venus - Leigh Brackett
Solar System : Sea-Kings of Mars - Leigh Brackett
Solar System : Shadow Over Mars - Leigh Brackett
Solar System : Beyond Mars - Leigh Brackett
Solar System : Martian Quest - Leigh Brackett
Solar System : Alpha Centauri or Die - Leigh Brackett


Solar System : Mercury's Light - Leigh Brackett

A collection of four unrelated Brackett stories, and a good one. A couple of the Planetary Romance variety, a couple of Space Opera. The setting in general being the titutal planet.

Mercury's Light : The Demons of Darkside - Leigh Brackett
Mercury's Light : A World Is Born - Leigh Brackett
Mercury's Light : Cube From Space - Leigh Brackett
Mercury's Light : Shannach—The Last - Leigh Brackett



Crystal life loneliness is murderous.

4 out of 5


Prison authority hostage escape.

3 out of 5


By Crom we have to do something about these aliens!

3.5 out of 5


An Earthman on Mercury stumbles into a long lost colony in a hidden air-filled valley, ruled by harsh Sunstone wielding hawk controlling lords - and, of course, an alien overlord behind them.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5


The second book collection in Baen's Leigh Brackett Solar System omnibus, collecting a bunch of sterling tales about Venus. The Coalation wants to make the planet fit for people from Earth and Mars, which involves clearing out the swamp habitats of the natives. The problem with this is they don't necessarily want to go. There are stories shown from both sides of this conflict.

The final collaborative story with Leigh Bradbury is more in the John Carter tradition, as a man's mind is brought into the body of a warrior who has been a a pivotal figure in a siege. Witch queens, warriors, zombies, corsairs and more in this great adventure.


Solar System : Swamps of Venus - Leigh Brackett
Swamps of Venus : The Stellar Legion - Leigh Brackett
Swamps of Venus : Interplanetary Reporter - Leigh Brackett
Swamps of Venus : The Dragon-Queen Of Venus - Leigh Brackett
Swamps of Venus : The Citadel Of Lost Ships - Leigh Brackett
Swamps of Venus : Terror Out Of Space - Leigh Brackett
Swamps of Venus : The Vanishing Venusians - Leigh Brackett
Swamps of Venus : Lorelei Of the Red Mist - Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury



What's an ugly legionnaire want? Women, cash, booze and nice weather. Treason perhaps not the best strategy.

4 out of 5


Such a war correspondent could get killed by anything from multiple planets. Especially in a war.

3.5 out of 5


Two problems to hold the fort against, rust, and anti-water. There's a solution there somewhere.

3.5 out of 5


Sticking up for the little guy, and the Romany life, on whatever planet.

4 out of 5


Plant people deity defense deal.

3.5 out of 5


Psionic flower children hunt.

3.5 out of 5


Power from the Greenwitch
Zombie army from the sea,
All shall find victory at last
Starke's barbarity

4.5 out of 5





5 out of 5


Solar System : Sea-Kings of Mars - Leigh Brackett

Matt Carse, an archaeologist of the most definitely rogueish sort of tomb raider is looking to score, when the discovery of the mythical Sword of Rhiannon catapults him back into time, and into the body of a man well suited to be a barbarian adventurer.

Landing in the middle of a group of people that really don't like his country, he has to go from galley slave to dealing with possession by an ancient powerful scientist and war.

A great old-style planetary romance shortish novel that ratchets up the adventure as it goes along, hero, comic sidekick, femme fatale, winged men, fish women, ancient super weaponry and more.

Great stuff.

4.5 out of 5



Solar System : Shadow Over Mars - Leigh Brackett

Hardboiled Martian mysticism.

An old woman prophesises Rick as the titular figure, a man who may rule the planet.

However, new corporate exploitation is in full swing, and this would spoil their plans somewhat.

So, people would like to ventilate or perforate him:
"Your mate is awake," Kyra said. Her speech was pure High Martian, and a little difficult for Rick to follow. "Mate?" He shook his head. "No. Just a swell girl I almost died with." He got up. Mayo was sitting up on a second heap of furs and bright cloths. She smiled.

Interplanetary corporations don't play nice:
"He watched the Martians fight and go down under the blasters of Storm's men. Guards came. The hall was choked with warriors. The huge white-haired Venusians, the blasters, and the black apes cut them down."

Storm, the headkicker fancies his own chances, speaking of hardboiled.:
"You've got it so it practically runs itself." He leaned over and crushed out his cigarette. He went on casually, "You're getting flabby, Ed. Physically, I mean. You're turning into the typical tycoon, the guy who sits behind the desk and grows a veranda, and only gets a kick out of doing tricks with his brain. I've watched you, when I've had to take some of these tough boys to the wall. You don't like it, Ed. It makes you sick. What happened in Ruh made you sick, and you were so scared you almost passed out. You're getting old, Ed, beginning to slow down and get cautious. I've put over the first blow, but there'll be other blows. Other companies, hijacking, throat-cutting, all the rest of it. Mars isn't a world you can afford to get old on, Ed."

So, a mystical object signifying rule, The Collar of Ruh, is a prize in this story. Brackett's Mars of course isn't short of ancient races and technology and ritual, either, all of which Rick will have to endure, not to mention the dangerous opponent Storm.

Pretty good novel, overally. Perhaps 3.75.


4 out of 5



The fifth book in the Baen Leigh Brackett Solar System bundle is a collection of stories based around Mars. From the day to day job of getting such a dry planet to support Earth life, through encounters with ancient legends in The Sorcerer of Rhiannon and The Last Days of Shandakor, to drugs, pirates, genetic throwbacks and more.

The editors have ended the book with two stories that are basically a homage or farewell to her own setting, or even parody if you like, in the case of 'Purple Priestess of the Mad Moon'.

Some strong work to be found here.



Solar System : Martian Quest - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest : Martian Quest - Leigh Brackett
http://freesf.blogspot.com/2008/07/treasur-eof-ptakuth-leigh-brackett.html">Martian Quest : The Treasure of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest : Water Pirate - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest : The Sorcerer of Rhiannon - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest : The Veil of Astellar - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest : The Beast-Jewel of Mars - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest : The Last Days of Shandakor - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest : Mars Minus Bisha - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest : The Road to Sinharat - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest : Purple Priestess of the Mad Moon - Leigh Brackett



Need to do something about the big lizard problem.

3 out of 5


A couple of archaeological adventurers find that gamma ray treatments make you tough, but very mad. Not green, though.

3.5 out of 5


Perhaps a reasonable scientific solution to this guy, but a good raygun won't hurt, either.

3.5 out of 5


Ancient Martian enemy awakening love for diplomacy.

4 out of 5


Interdimensional space vampire X-crystal life showdown.

3.5 out of 5


A devolutionary drug-type ceremony draws a spacer in a search for a lost womann, and some truths about the Martians are revealed.

4 out of 5


Ancient illusions and hokey philosophies are no match for a barbarian horde at the gate, kid.

4.5 out of 5


Brain sucking ancient telepathy not a nice inheritance.

4 out of 5


An environmental lesson from the serial immortals of said joint.

3.5 out of 5


Old time sacrifice.

3 out of 5





4.5 out of 5


Solar System : Beyond Mars - Leigh Brackett

The sixth volume in the Leigh Brackett Solar System omnibus moves out past the Inner Solar System - way out, in the case of Child of the Green Light, which, apart from a couple of lines with slightly dated tech could be pretty close to being in a magazine now.

Then back into the Solar System for a bit of Jovian action, with prison breaks and murder.

Beyond Mars : No Man's Land in Space - Leigh Brackett
Beyond Mars : Child of the Green Light - Leigh Brackett
Beyond Mars : Outpost on Io - Leigh Brackett
Beyond Mars : The Halfling - Leigh Brackett
Beyond Mars : The Dancing Girl of Ganymede - Leigh Brackett


"Drop your gun, Loren!" he shouted. "You, call off your ape."

3 out of 5


Moving Between universes.

4 out of 5


Prison zap break.

3.5 out of 5


Catmen cult girl dance of revenge.

4 out of 5


Girlbot love verboten.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5


Solar System : Alpha Centauri or Die - Leigh Brackett

A short fixup that begins with a small group of people that are sick of robots ruling the spacelanes, and rigid control of human space travel. So, they hatch a plot, complete with telepath, to get one of the old clappers that are secreted away into space, and make a run for someone out of the control of said authorities. They don't want to let them get away easily, and even if they do a surprise awaits on the other end.

This book certainly lacks the atmosphere of most of Brackett's other material, in general.

Alpha Centauri Or Die : The Ark of Mars - Leigh Brackett
Alpha Centauri Or Die : Teleportress of Alpha C - Leigh Brackett

Men in space, but it is a long chase.

3 out of 5

You thought a bit of telepathy was impressive?

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5





5 out of 5

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oddest Jobs - Christopher Golden

Christopher Golden manages to maintain the good quality of the other two 'Odd' Hellboy anthologies here, this one coming in at 3.61, thanks to another fine lineup. Lansdale at the start, and Mieville at the end, not too shabby at all. Nix, Braunbeck kWilliams and Hambly come up with good stuff, too, and Hughes goes for bizarre but cool in a Farmeresque homage.

A cool cover, too, with Hellboy in Daredevil-style gargoyle pose, and there are Mignola illustrations at the start of stories as an added bonus.

Everything Hellboy continues to be good quality, so those that like the Big Red Guy and friends should definitely give this book a try.

Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 01 Jiving with Shadows and Dragons and Long Black Trains - Joe R. Lansdale
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 02 Straight No Chaser - Mark Chadbourn
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 03 Second Honeymoon - John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 04 Danny Boy - Ken Bruen
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 05 Strange Fishing In the Western Highlands - Garth Nix
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 06 Salamander Blues - Brian Keene
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 07 The Thursday Men - Tad Williams
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 08 Produce - Amber Benson
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 09 Repossession - Barbara Hambly
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 10 In Cupboards and Bookshelves - Gary A. Braunbeck
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 11 Feet Of Sciron - Rhys Hughes
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 12 Monster Boy - Steven Volk
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 13 Evolution and Hellhole Canyon - Don Winslow
Hellboy Oddest Jobs : 14 A Room Of One's Own - China Mieville


Hellboy and a werewolf reverend vs the Obsidian Giant, who has a lot of horror pulp influence to draw on.

4 out of 5


Hellboy has to find Robert Johnson's shoes for a dead-not dead wedding.

3.5 out of 5


Titan family time for Hellboy and the BPRD.

3 out of 5


An ordinary decent criminal, and another problem for Hellboy.

3 out of 5


A Scots doctor gets a fast, druidic initiation as part of his dad's defense unit, and a new big, red fishing buddy.

4 out of 5


Revenge of the mermen means an egg hunt and a lot less pancakes for Hellboy.

3.5 out of 5


BPRD poker story of cross-dimensional defense.

4 out of 5


The tail's the thing, lost in the supermarket, at least until Hellboy notices.

3.5 out of 5


Hellboy has to sort out some sixties demon collecting in Egypt.

4 out of 5


Hellboy is asked for a favour by the Reverend, for some brave children.

4 out of 5


A rogue planet counterpart, ectoplasmic sex rituals with the Carnacki institute, and a Journey To the Centre Of the Earth for Liz and Abe. Plus some help from a dead Philip Jose Farmer, on a long river.

4 out of 5


Working out if King Kong would beat Mothra, then delivering some hand of doom action thanks to Hellboy inspiration.

3 out of 5


Desert attacks for the Big Red Guy.

3 out of 5


Perkins vs James apparition dressmatch, and don't mention the crossdressing, says Hellboy.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

A Room Of One's Own - China Mieville

Perkins vs James apparition dressmatch, and don't mention the crossdressing, says Hellboy.


4 out of 5

Evolution and Hellhole Canyon - Don Winslow

Desert attacks for the Big Red Guy.


3 out of 5

Monster Boy - Steven Volk

Working out if King Kong would beat Mothra, then delivering some hand of doom action thanks to Hellboy inspiration.


3 out of 5

Feet Of Sciron - Rhys Hughes

A rogue planet counterpart, ectoplasmic sex rituals with the Carnacki institute, and a Journey To the Centre Of the Earth for Liz and Abe. Plus some help from a dead Philip Jose Farmer, on a long river.


4 out of 5

In Cupboards and Bookshelves - Gary A. Braunbeck

Hellboy is asked for a favour by the Reverend, for some brave children.


4 out of 5

Repossession - Barbara Hambly

Hellboy has to sort out some sixties demon collecting in Egypt.


4 out of 5

Produce - Amber Benson

The tail's the thing, lost in the supermarket, at least until Hellboy notices.


3.5 out of 5

The Thursday Men - Tad Williams

BPRD poker story of cross-dimensional defense.


4 out of 5

Salamander Blues - Brian Keene

Revenge of the mermen means an egg hunt and a lot less pancakes for Hellboy.


3.5 out of 5

Strange Fishing In the Western Highlands - Garth Nix

A Scots doctor gets a fast, druidic initiation as part of his dad's defense unit, and a new big, red fishing buddy.


4 out of 5

Danny Boy - Ken Bruen

An ordinary decent criminal, and another problem for Hellboy.


3 out of 5

Second Honeymoon - John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow

Titan family time for Hellboy and the BPRD.


3 out of 5

Straight No Chaser - Mark Chadbourn

Hellboy has to find Robert Johnson's shoes for a dead-not dead wedding.


3.5 out of 5

Jiving With Shadows And Dragons And Long Black Trains - Joe R. Lansdale

Hellboy and a werewolf reverend vs the Obsidian Giant, who has a lot of horror pulp influence to draw on.


4 out of 5

Veniss Underground - Jeff VanderMeer

Do Meerkats Bladerun from The Island of Doctor Moreau? after reading Jeff VanderMeer's Veniss Underground, you will probably have an opinion on the subject.

The 2003 Tor collection of three related stories of increasing length, the last hence being a novella. Each different story features a different main character, and they are all known to each other, whether acquaintance, sibling or lover.

The Spectra collection adds four other Veniss-milieu short stories to the other 3. The ones with the capitalised titles, or the last four. It almost omits the add-on story fragment/origin of Quin and afterword in the Tor version. The extra stories aren't all as good as the related initial 3, which would make this version a not quite 4.25 sort of book overall, but you could also look at it as bonus material I suppose - although the left out Quin part is certainly interesting. The two best of these are also online at infinity plus.

A setting that has parts reminiscent of what two other men with guns have found when going searching, whether in Logan's Run, or perhaps the movie version of Blade Runner.

However, the weird biotech is brought to the fore in this book. Whereas most of us think meerkats are cute pack oriented little furry creatures we see in zoos, none of us have met uplifted highly intelligent four foot tall assassin gourmets with kangaroo and gorilla genes as found in the second story. Nor carried their disembodied heads in our pockets, either, as per the third.

There are many more weird things to be found, similar creatures in micro-elepants.

Each of the three characters is looking for something, or someone, and in the last and best part of the book, VanderMeer a la Saberhagen (and the odd ancient Greek bloke) has his main character head for the underworld in search of a woman --a strange place as is mentioned more than once "You hardly knew there was a tenth level below ground". Nine levels is not enough in this world, it seems.

The Moreauesque figure is the Quin of the alternative title to the first story, a man whom many seek.

There is where it gets weird, and nasty, and you pretty much know early on in the piece that it ain't just the animals being experimented upon.

Veniss Underground : Nicholas [Quin's Shanghai Circus] - Jeff VanderMeer
Veniss Underground : Nicola - Jeff VanderMeer
Veniss Underground : Shadrach - Jeff VanderMeer
Veniss Underground : THE SEA, MENDEHO, AND MOONLIGHT - Jeff VanderMeer
Veniss Underground : DETECTIVES AND CADAVERS - Jeff VanderMeer
Veniss Underground : A HEART FOR LUCRETIA - Jeff VanderMeer
Veniss Underground : BALZAC'S WAR - Jeff VanderMeer


Meerkat commerce.

3.5 out of 5


Giving me crabs is ok if you cook them, fuzzy, but killing me for dessert isn't on the menu.

3.5 out of 5


In the Underworld Revolution Furnace, having Gun Without Occasional Music.

4 out of 5


No swimming.

3.5 out of 5


Muttie corpse wave.

3 out of 5


Meerkat commerce, again.

3.5 out of 5


"So, she's a dog..."

4 out of 5





4 out of 5

Detectives and Cadavers - Jeff VanderMeer

Muttie corpse wave.


3 out of 5

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Sea Mendeho and Moonlight - Jeff VanderMeer

No swimming, mate.


3.5 out of 5

Veniss Underground - Jeff VanderMeer

Do Meerkats Bladerun from The Island of Doctor Moreau? after reading Jeff VanderMeer's Veniss Underground, you will probably have an opinion on the subject.

This 2003 collection from Tor of three related stories of increasing length, the last hence being a novella. Each different story features a different main character, and they are all known to each other, whether acquaintance, sibling or lover.

A setting that has parts reminiscent of what two other men with guns have found when going searching, whether in Logan's Run, or perhaps the movie version of Blade Runner.

However, the weird biotech is brought to the fore in this book. Whereas most of us think meerkats are cute pack oriented little furry creatures we see in zoos, none of us have met uplifted highly intelligent four foot tall assassin gourmets with kangaroo and gorilla genes as found in the second story. Nor carried their disembodied heads in our pockets, either, as per the third.

There are many more weird things to be found, similar creatures in micro-elepants.

Each of the three characters is looking for something, or someone, and in the last and best part of the book, VanderMeer a la Saberhagen (and the odd ancient Greek bloke) has his main character head for the underworld in search of a woman --a strange place as is mentioned more than once "You hardly knew there was a tenth level below ground". Nine levels is not enough in this world, it seems.

The Moreauesque figure is the Quin of the alternative title to the first story, a man whom many seek.

There is where it gets weird, and nasty, and you pretty much know early on in the piece that it ain't just the animals being experimented upon.

Veniss Underground : Nicholas [Quin's Shanghai Circus] - Jeff VanderMeer
Veniss Underground : Nicola - Jeff VanderMeer
Veniss Underground : Shadrach - Jeff VanderMeer


Meerkat commerce.

3.5 out of 5


Giving me crabs is ok if you cook them, fuzzy, but killing me for dessert isn't on the menu.

3.5 out of 5


In the Underworld Revolution Furnace, having Gun Without Occasional Music.

4 out of 5





4.5 out of 5

Shadrach - Jeff VanderMeer

In the Underworld Revolution Furnace, having Gun Without Occasional Music.


4 out of 5

Nicola - Jeff VanderMeer

Giving me crabs is ok if you cook them, fuzzy, but killing me for dessert isn't on the menu.


3.5 out of 5

Night Shift - Stephen King

Stephen King's first collection, and very good it was too. Mostly horror as you would expect, but some SF horror, a twisted little crime story, and a call it would you like death by disease story to finish.

Demons, Elder Gods, voodoo, punishment, armageddon, bloody murder and more exist for you to find in these pages.

Night Shift : Jerusalem's Lot - Stephen King
Night Shift : Graveyard Shift - Stephen King
Night Shift : Night Surf - Stephen King
Night Shift : I am the Doorway - Stephen King
Night Shift : The Mangler - Stephen King
Night Shift : The Boogeyman - Stephen King
Night Shift : Gray Matter - Stephen King
Night Shift : Battleground - Stephen King
Night Shift : Trucks - Stephen King
Night Shift : Sometimes They Come Back - Stephen King
Night Shift : Strawberry Spring - Stephen King
Night Shift : The Ledge - Stephen King
Night Shift : The Lawnmower Man - Stephen King
Night Shift : Quitters Inc - Stephen King
Night Shift : I Know What You Need - Stephen King
Night Shift : Children of the Corn - Stephen King
Night Shift : The Last Rung on the Ladder - Stephen King
Night Shift : The Man Who Loved Flowers - Stephen King
Night Shift : One for the Road - Stephen King
Night Shift : The Woman in the room - Stephen King

May as well be hung for Yogshoggoth as a lamb.

3.5 out of 5


Rats in the tunnels.

4 out of 5


Just the flu got us in the end.

3 out of 5


Venus traveller, bad.

3.5 out of 5


Demons not ironed out.

4.5 out of 5


Closeted, badly.

3.5 out of 5


Bad beer.

4 out of 5


Green plastic army men are well armed these days.

4.5 out of 5


Pump slaves.

4 out of 5


Braindead, a lot of these students.

4 out of 5


Hey, I think I know this slasher.

3.5 out of 5


Walking around the welshers.

4.5 out of 5


Cat mower massacre prompts new gardening hire who has vegetarian and other disturbing habits.

3.5 out of 5


Aversion family therapy.

4.5 out of 5


Boyfriends with Necronomicons, just say no.

4 out of 5


Crucifixion row monster.

3.5 out of 5


Swan dive too late.

3.5 out of 5


Bloody hammers not a Norma-tive bouquet.

3.5 out of 5


What sort of people go to 'Salem's Lot? Not smart ones, that is for sure.

4 out of 5


Mum overdose improvement.

3 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Woman In the Room - Stephen King

Mum overdose improvement.


3 out of 5

The Man Who Loved Flowers - Stephen King

Bloody hammers not a Norma-tive bouquet.


3.5 out of 5

The Last Run On the Ladder - Stephen King

Swan dive too late.


3.5 out of 5

I Know What You Need - Stephen King

Boyfriends with Necronomicons, just say no.


4 out of 5

Quitters Inc. - Stephen King

Aversion family therapy.


4.5 out of 5

The Ledge - Stephen King

Walking around the welsher.


4.5 out of 5

Strawberry Spring - Stephen King

Hey, I think I know this slasher.


3.5 out of 5

Sometimes They Come Back - Stephen King

Braindead, a lot of these students.


4 out of 5

Trucks - Stephen King

Pump slaves.


4 out of 5

Battleground - Stephen King

Green plastic army men are well armed these days.


4.5 out of 5

Grey Matter - Stephen King

Bad beer.


4 out of 5

The Boogeyman - Stephen King

Closeted, badly.


3.5 out of 5

The Mangler - Stephen King

Demons not ironed out.


4.5 out of 5

I Am the Doorway - Stephen King

Venus traveller, bad.


3.5 out of 5

Night Surf - Stephen King

Just the flu got us in the end.


3 out of 5

Graveyard Shift - Stephen King

Rats in the tunnels.


4 out of 5

Lightstorm - Peter F. Hamilton

Websuit cyberat marsh game.


3 out of 5

Eat Reecebread - Peter F. Hamilton and Graham Joyce

Hermie spread, toastlike.


3.5 out of 5

Futures - Peter Crowther

Crowther traces the development of his SF reading in the introduction, and looking for wonder, but this is one of the statements he finishes with: "What the great supporters of the field have always said is true: science fiction is the literature of ideas. Here are four more ... but they are four covering a whole host of styles and images and approaches to the field. Space Opera, Future Civilizations, Alien Invasions, Scientific Advancement, Political Chicanery, Human Relationship and even Police Procedural-they're all here. But then they would be ... because those are what science fiction is all about."

A rare sort of anthology this one, all novellas. A good one, too, at 3.50.

Futures : Watching Trees Grow - Peter F. Hamilton
Futures : Reality Dust - Stephen Baxter's
Futures : Making History - Paul McAuley's
Futures : Tendeleo's Story - Ian McDonald


War torture story.

3.5 out of 5


Who is scared of who, why?

3 out of 5


A Kenyan woman and her community come to terms with an alien infestation, as the outsider who fancies her adapts as well.

4 out of 5


Caesar murder, by Jupiter.

3.5 out of 5





4 out of 5

Making History - Paul J. McAuley

War torture story.


3.5 out of 5

Watching Trees Grow - Peter F. Hamilton

Caesar murder, by Jupiter.


3.5 out of 5

Starlight Dreamer - Peter F. Hamilton

Elf hunt.


3.5 out of 5

Adam's Gene - Peter F. Hamilton

A not quite human band.


3.5 out of 5

Spindrift - Allen M. Steele

Compared to the rest of the Coyote series that I have read, this book is rather on the bland side.

A competent enough story of a first contact situation, and yet again the screwups made by the old Earth politicians and their divisions, as they sneak an unpleasant surprise onto the starship sent out to investigate the receipt of a signal for intelligent aliens.

The crew includes a convicted mass-murderer, who helped posthumans kill many humans in an experiment, because he is the planet's leading exobiologist. Haven't read Coyote Frontier, not sure if this story is in there, or not.

When a ship includes a politial officer as well, though, things are just about guaranteed to go fubar.

I'd call this one just a 3.25 I think, because I like the Coyote thing.


3.5 out of 5

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gardens Of the Moon - Steven Erikson

Black Company power up.


I believe I read that Erikson mentions Glen Cook as one of his influences - something that would seem to be abundantly clear, here.

There's a smart, more than usual bunch of soldiers stuck in the middle of a conflict between a scary lady, and a scary man.

Although they aren't undead sorcerers, when you have 20,000 year old assassins with black swords and silver hair or something similar, not sure there is much difference.

The Malazan Empire is at war, and has a power struggle going on amidst its own army.

Unlike Cook, though, Erikson ratchets up the power levels, in general.

There's magic craziness all over the shop.

If you are old enough to remember playing Space Invaders and Galaxian, it is like the difference between moving from those games to the variety that had big fat ships with ravening power beams and power ups that flew all over the shop on the screen.

Thieves and assassins abound, too, along with alien magic monsters and godlings galore.

There's a huge cast, and the author's important person list is very, very long, matched by a glossary at the back.

At times, though, you think, 'I don't care about minor godling A, mage B, boy thief C, or possessed thing D, get me back to Whiskeyjack and the Bridgeburners, please. This motley crew of soldiers, sappers and sorcerers is easily the most interesting part, and unlike Croaker's Gobln and company, Whiskeyjack's magic men have some serious mojo. Sort of like in the Lord of the Rings where you get sick of hobbits declaring their undying devotion, and you just want to get back to Legolas and Gimli bashing orcs.

Knowing that their days are numbered, and the boss would be happy to get rid of them, the boys begin to plot a reversal manoeuvre.

Long, but no tedious forest traipsing, and any dragons seem to have a very short lifespan. Or, as far as this sort of thing goes, much more my sort of book.


4 out of 5

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Batman Begins - Dennis O'Neill

Solidly done.

O'Neill again does not disappoint with a Batman story, as he follows the young Bruce Wayne in his wanderings and violent confrontation that leads him to the mysterious al Ghul and his training, and back to Gotham to become a legend.

Most of the time the author stays with Batman, but occasionally the viewpoing character is Gordon, Alfred, or Rachel, as far as that side of the law goes.

He conveys the tone rather well, and has a lot of fun with Lucius Fox, too.

Definitely worth reading.


3.5 out of 5

Virus - Sarah Langan

Disappointing.


I picked this one up because it was mentioned in Interzone, and looked to be a shortish horror novel.

The only problem is that not much of that going in in the first part of it I read, or the rest I flipped through. In fact, not a lot going on, apart from what was happening between a slightly odd couple.

Definitely not for me.


1.5 out of 5

The Arbor House Treasury of Science Fiction Masterpieces - Martin H. Greenberg and Robert Silverberg

A rather hyperbolic title, and rather a misnomer, not much of this is of the masterpiece variety. Classic, perhaps may have been better. Pretty easy to tell it is not the former when it only average just 3.50.

An anthology designed to apparently link the old science fiction to the magazine science fiction tradition. The editors mention a lot of bad pulp SF stories were written way back when (and of course one of the editors contributed quite a few of such, neglecting to mention that :)).

Stating that this is not supposed to be a text book, but enjoyable, that start their journey with Edgar Allan Poe.

There's also a version of Karel Capek's R.U.R. play included here, too.

Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Mellonta Tauta - Edgar Allan Poe
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : In the Year 2889 - Jules Verne
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Sold to Satan - Mark Twain
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The New Accelerator - H. G. Wells
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Finis - Frank Lillie Pollock
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : As Easy as A.B.C. - Rudyard Kipling
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Dark Lot of One Saul - M. P. Shiel
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Tissue-Culture King - Julian Huxley
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Metal Man - Jack Williamson
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Gostak and the Doshes - Miles J. Breuer
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Alas All Thinking! - Harry Bates
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Mad Moon - Stanley G. Weinbaum
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : As Never Was - P. Schuyler Miller
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Desertion - Clifford D. Simak
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Strange Case of John Kingman - Murray Leinster
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Dreams Are Sacred - Peter Phillips
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Misbegotten Missionary - Isaac Asimov
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Dune Roller - Julian May
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Warm - Robert Sheckley
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : A Bad Day for Sales - Fritz Leiber
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Man of Parts - H. L. Gold
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Man Who Came Early - Poul Anderson
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Burning of the Brain - Cordwainer Smith
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Men Who Murdered Mohammed - Alfred Bester
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Man Who Lost the Sea - Theodore Sturgeon
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Goodlife - Fred Saberhagen
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Sliced-Crosswise Only-On-Tuesday World - Philip José Farmer
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Gehenna - Barry N. Malzberg
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : A Meeting with Medusa - Arthur C. Clarke
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Painwise - James TiptreeJr.
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Nobody's Home - Joanna Russ
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Think Only This of Me - Michael J. Kurland
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Capricorn Games - Robert Silverberg
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : The Author of the Acacia Seeds and Other Extracts from the Journal of the Association of Therolinguistics - Ursula K. LeGuin
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Travels - Carter Scholz
Arbor House SF Masterpieces : Doing Lennon - Gregory Benford


Balloon future.

3 out of 5


Future seems like the same old, if you are there.

3 out of 5


Hell on radium.

3.5 out of 5


Flash tonic.

3.5 out of 5


Flame on, lights out.

4 out of 5


Air travel advancing control.

4 out of 5


Portugal exit.

2.5 out of 5


Slave breeding for type, now how about some telepathy?

3 out of 5


Amazing scientifiction.

3 out of 5


Coordinate rotation world.

3.5 out of 5


Big brain man end.

3 out of 5


Loony girl hallucination romance.

3 out of 5


Archaeological knife's edge paradox.

4 out of 5


Altered man mission adds a mutt.

4.5 out of 5


Alien longtime patient dumbing down.

3.5 out of 5


Don't mind the fantasy cure, babe.

4 out of 5


Fragmentary infiltration.

3.5 out of 5


Chase me, bake me, just die.

4 out of 5


Gestalt body view.

3.5 out of 5


No market for babysitting.

3 out of 5


Rebuilt alien rocky space.

3.5 out of 5


Yank is a Viking misfit.

4 out of 5


Mind destruction manoeuvre rescue transfer.

3.5 out of 5


Personal past ghosts.

4 out of 5


Moon wreck fear.

4 out of 5


Life is evil, need to experiment on it a bit.

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


Three views dead.

2 out of 5


Jovian airship's robojock first contact radio days.

4 out of 5


Nociception not for pod people.

3.5 out of 5


Only smart girls at parties, please.

4.5 out of 5


Superwoman loyalty limitations.

3.5 out of 5


Mind signs lengthy two-way.

3.5 out of 5


Lower order communication.

3.5 out of 5


Polo star computer spread.

2.5 out of 5


Fielding impersonation simulation.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

Capricorn Games - Robert Silverberg

Mind signs lengthy two-way.


3.5 out of 5

Gehenna - Barry N. Malzberg

Three views dead.


2 out of 5

Man Of Parts - H. L. Gold

Rebuilt alien rocky space.


3.5 out of 5

Dreams Are Sacred - Peter Phillips

Don't mind the fantasy cure, babe.


4 out of 5

As Never Was - P. Schuyler Miller

Archaeological knife's edge paradox.


4 out of 5

Alas All Thinking - Harry Bates

Big brain man end.


3 out of 5

The Gostak and the Doshes - Miles J. Breuer

Coordinate rotation world.


3.5 out of 5

Dark Lot Of One Saul - M. P. Shiel

Portugal exit.


2.5 out of 5

Sold To Satan - Mark Twain

Hell on radium.


3.5 out of 5

The Arbor House Treasury Of Great Science Fiction Short Novels - Martin H. Greenberg and Robert Silverberg

A companion volume to The Arbor House Treasury of Modern Science Fiction, here collecting novella length work, noting that SF is one of the places that still produced a reasonable number of these too short to be standalone and too long for your garden variety anthology works.

Fine stuff, too, at 3.70.

Like the companion book, a 4.25ish round up to 4.5 anthology.

Arbor House SF Short Novels : Beyond Bedlam - Wyman Guin
Arbor House SF Short Novels : Equinoctial - John Varley
Arbor House SF Short Novels : By His Bootstraps - Robert A. Heinlein
Arbor House SF Short Novels : The Golden Helix - Theodore Sturgeon
Arbor House SF Short Novels : Born with the Dead - Robert Silverberg
Arbor House SF Short Novels : Second Game - Charles V. De Vet and Katherine MacLean
Arbor House SF Short Novels : The Dead Past - Isaac Asimov
Arbor House SF Short Novels : The Road to the Sea - Arthur C. Clarke
Arbor House SF Short Novels : The Star Pit - Samuel R. Delany
Arbor House SF Short Novels : Giant Killer - A. Bertram Chandler
Arbor House SF Short Novels : A Case of Conscience - James Blish
Arbor House SF Short Novels : Dio - Damon Knight
Arbor House SF Short Novels : Houston Houston Do You Read? - James Tiptree Jr.
Arbor House SF Short Novels : On the Storm Planet - Cordwainer Smith
Arbor House SF Short Novels : The Miracle-Workers - Jack Vance


Dealing with the alter-egos.

3.5 out of 5


Engineer birth hunt Parameter Symbiote ennui Ringer alternative.

4 out of 5


Time Gate dingus me visit.

3 out of 5


Devolution people planting spread.

3.5 out of 5


Ex-life wife pursuit not so interesting when examined cold.

4 out of 5


The Player Of is a clever sneaky absorbing spy.

4.5 out of 5


Chronoscope Carthage.

2.5 out of 5


Last city exploration scene evacuation.

3.5 out of 5


Psycho kids good at space travel.

3 out of 5


Rat race ship slaughter.

4 out of 5


Logical planet split decision kid gift.

4 out of 5


Eternal adolescence end works.

3.5 out of 5


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

4.5 out of 5


Turtle girl's longevity vigil requires warrior assistant.

4 out of 5


Mental telepathy and associated talents not efficient for group killing.

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Arbor House Treasury Of Modern Science Fiction - Martin H. Greenberg and Robert Silverberg

The introduction mentions the editors were influenced by two massive anthologies available in book form in the 1940s, by Groff Conklin, and Healy and McComas. These were 800 and 1000 pages of small print, so packed full, apparently.

While this book is not quite that big, their aim was to produce something similar for the 1980s, with the publication of this book.

A good effort, too, this one comes out at 3.65, producing your 4.25 round up to 4.5 type of anthology.

Some excellent and lots of good stuff here.

Arbor House Modern SF : Angel's Egg - Edgar Pangborn
Arbor House Modern SF : Rescue Party - Arthur C. Clarke
Arbor House Modern SF : Shape - Robert Sheckley
Arbor House Modern SF : Alpha Ralpha Boulevard - Cordwainer Smith
Arbor House Modern SF : Winter's King - Ursula K. Le Guin
Arbor House Modern SF : Or All the Seas with Oysters - Avram Davidson
Arbor House Modern SF : Common Time - James Blish
Arbor House Modern SF : When You Care, When You Love - Theodore Sturgeon
Arbor House Modern SF : The Shadow of Space - Philip José Farmer
Arbor House Modern SF : All You Zombies - Robert A. Heinlein
Arbor House Modern SF : I'm Scared - Jack Finney
Arbor House Modern SF : Child's Play - William Tenn
Arbor House Modern SF : Grandpa - James H. Schmitz
Arbor House Modern SF : Private Eye - Henry Kuttner
Arbor House Modern SF : Sundance - Robert Silverberg
Arbor House Modern SF : In the Bowl - John Varley
Arbor House Modern SF : Kaleidoscope - Ray Bradbury
Arbor House Modern SF : Unready to Wear - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Arbor House Modern SF : Wall of Crystal, Eye of Night - Algis Budrys
Arbor House Modern SF : Day Million - Frederik Pohl
Arbor House Modern SF : Hobson's Choice - Alfred Bester
Arbor House Modern SF : The Gift of Gab - Jack Vance
Arbor House Modern SF : The Man Who Never Grew Young - Fritz Leiber
Arbor House Modern SF : Neutron Star - Larry Niven
Arbor House Modern SF : Impostor - Philip K. Dick
Arbor House Modern SF : The Human Operators - Harlan Ellison & A. E. van Vogt
Arbor House Modern SF : Poor Little Warrior! - Brian W. Aldiss
Arbor House Modern SF : When It Changed - Joanna Russ
Arbor House Modern SF : The Bicentennial Man - Isaac Asimov
Arbor House Modern SF : Hunting Machine - Carol Emshwiller
Arbor House Modern SF : Light of Other Days - Bob Shaw
Arbor House Modern SF : The Keys to December - Roger Zelazny
Arbor House Modern SF : Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand [Snake] - Vonda N. McIntyre
Arbor House Modern SF : A Galaxy Called Rome - Barry N. Malzberg
Arbor House Modern SF : Stranger Station - Damon Knight
Arbor House Modern SF : The Time of His Life - Larry Eisenberg
Arbor House Modern SF : The Marching Morons - C. M. Kornbluth
Arbor House Modern SF : The Women Men Don't See - James Tiptree, Jr.
Arbor House Modern SF : The Queen of Air and Darkness - Poul Anderson

A fast little memory visitor record.

3.5 out of 5


An alien survey ship is surprised to find that the Earth system sun is going nova well ahead of schedule, and gets in trouble itself when it goes to look for people to save and can't find signs of life, until much later.

3.5 out of 5


Prefer specialist role.

3.5 out of 5


Hard to believe in France.

3 out of 5


Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

4 out of 5


Bike regeneration mimic.

3 out of 5


Flight observer experience rather wonky.

4 out of 5


Rare Gibbon reproduction.

3 out of 5


Warp speed, BigTime.

4 out of 5


Self-seduction time.

4 out of 5


Out of order.

4 out of 5


Can get a bit more done with another.

3.5 out of 5


Big ol' beast ride.

4 out of 5


Big ol' beast ride.

3.5 out of 5


Genocidal possibility is troubling, even if not real.

3.5 out of 5


Venusian outfitting issues.

3.5 out of 5


Mean ship space end falling star.

3 out of 5


You lot are fishily non-physical.

3.5 out of 5


Corporate corruption clash.

3.5 out of 5


Stored love.

3.5 out of 5


Exiled, forward or back?

3.5 out of 5


Murder communication sea class.

4.5 out of 5


Opposite flow.

3.5 out of 5


Gravity tide ship rip.

4 out of 5


I'm Da Bomb.

4.5 out of 5


Accidental escape crew kill breeding plan.

4 out of 5


He's got the dino crabs.

3.5 out of 5


Separation anxiety.

3.5 out of 5


Robot evolution legal test case.

4 out of 5


Ugly dog.

3 out of 5


A sad story of a use for 'slow glass' technology that traps light for an extended period of time.

3 out of 5


Cold place defense.

3 out of 5


Double serpent treatment.

4.5 out of 5


Can't skipstone out of the local area.

3.5 out of 5


Longevity changes meeting, Sweet Jane.

3.5 out of 5


Taking after the old man sort of a thing a bit literal, here.

3.5 out of 5


Unfrozen average bloke's lemming solution lack of life lesson.

4 out of 5


Crash alien intro.

4 out of 5


A fairy stole my baby.

4.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Dio - Damon Knight

Eternal adolescence end works.


3.5 out of 5

A Case Of Conscience - James Blish

Logical planet split decision kid gift.


4 out of 5

The Golden Helix - Theodore Sturgeon

Devolution people planting spread.


3.5 out of 5

The Time Of His Life - Larry Eisenberg

Taking after the old man sort of a thing a bit literal, here.


3.5 out of 5

Hunting Machine - Carol Emshwiller

Ugly dog.


3 out of 5

The Gift Of Gab - Jack Vance

Murder communication sea class.


4.5 out of 5

Unready To Wear - Kurt Vonnegut

You lot are fishily non-physical.


3.5 out of 5

Shape - Robert Sheckley

Prefer specialist role.


3.5 out of 5

The Marching Morons and Other Famous Science fiction Stories - C. M. Kornbluth

Only 3.33 for this collection, with the title story the best.

Marching Morons : The Marching Morons - C. M. Kornbluth
Marching Morons : Dominoes - C. M. Kornbluth
Marching Morons : The Luckiest Man in Denv - C. M. Kornbluth
Marching Morons : The Silly Season - C. M. Kornbluth
Marching Morons : MS. Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie - C. M. Kornbluth
Marching Morons : The Only Thing We Learn - C. M. Kornbluth
Marching Morons : The Cosmic Charge Account - C. M. Kornbluth
Marching Morons : I Never Ast No Favors - C. M. Kornbluth
Marching Morons : The Remorseful - C. M. Kornbluth

Unfrozen average bloke's lemming solution lack of life lesson.

4 out of 5


Bull market time snap.

3.5 out of 5


Anti-LA leadership plan.

3 out of 5


UFO cry wolf Martian trick.

3 out of 5


Writing monopoly maintenance.

3.5 out of 5


History full of blowing stuff up and big fat fibs.

3.5 out of 5


Functional Epistemology fake.

2.5 out of 5


Some Tough Tony bull.

3 out of 5


Visitor wanker destruction.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Explorers - C. M. Kornbluth

"IN THE beginning there was S. D. Gottesman. Gottesman was born in the early stages of World War II, and science-fiction readers liked him very much. He became a fixture in half-a-dozen magazines of the time—some of them no longer with us—and shortly was joined by a number of other by-lines, attached to much the same sort of wry and colorful story. There was Cecil Corwin and Ganriel Barclay and Walter C. Davies and a good many more, and if the stories seemed closely related to each other, it was easy enough to understand. For behind these pen-names—eighteen or nineteen of them—stood a single bland-faced, sharp-tongued teenager, whose real name was Cyril Kornbluth."

After filling fair chunks of magazines himself, then apparently he got serious, and stuff like this arrived (averaging 3.61):

Explorers : Gomez - C. M. Kornbluth
Explorers : The Mindworm - C. M. Kornbluth
Explorers : The Rocket of 1955 - C. M. Kornbluth
Explorers : The Altar at Midnight - C. M. Kornbluth
Explorers : Thirteen O'Clock - C. M. Kornbluth
Explorers : The Goodly Creatures - C. M. Kornbluth
Explorers : Friend to Man - C. M. Kornbluth
Explorers : With These Hands - C. M. Kornbluth
Explorers : That Share of Glory - C. M. Kornbluth


Unified field theory discovery lost in hormone wash, perhaps.

4 out of 5


Vampire forgets he is not unique, meets Mr. Pointy and Mr. Reaper.

3.5 out of 5


Killer launch.

3 out of 5


Spacer explanations.

3.5 out of 5


Grandpa's magic gangster racket.

4 out of 5


Space writing experience.

3.5 out of 5


Posse alien.

3 out of 5


Starving artist inefficiencies.

3.5 out of 5


Night court terminated for metal war avoidance gem deal.

4.5 out of 5





4 out of 5

The Best Of C. M. Kornbluth - C. M. Kornbluth

Acerbic, cynical and bitter I suppose you could describe the stories of Kornbluth as, generally, with the odd exception. Definitely not twisted, though.

This book is edited by Frederik Pohl, who says:"Cyril kornbluth was my friend from the time we were both in our middle teens until the day of his death, and for most of that time we were collaborators as well. It isn't easy for me to speak of him objectively. A collaboration is too close a relationship for impersonal appraisal. And yet I have no doubt that Kornbluth's work deserves critical study. From first to last, it was lucid, inventive, economical, and informed. Cyril was a wise as well as a talented man. He was also a sardonic soul."

Pohl also gives an introduction to each story, even mentioning in one case he was the editor who censored one of them originally, before presenting the restored version here.

A 3.39 here, but a very solid and consistent set of stories with a few that climb above.

Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Rocket of 1955 - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Words of Guru - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Only Thing We Learn - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Adventurer - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Little Black Bag - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Luckiest Man in Denv - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Silly Season - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Remorseful - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : Gomez - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Advent on Channel Twelve - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Marching Morons - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Last Man Left in the Bar - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Mindworm - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : With These Hands - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : Shark Ship - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : Friend to Man - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : The Altar at Midnight - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : Dominoes - C. M. Kornbluth
Best of C. M. Kornbluth : Two Dooms - C. M. Kornbluth

Killer launch.

3 out of 5


Planet busting phoneme.

3.5 out of 5


History full of blowing stuff up and big fat fibs.

3.5 out of 5


Looking for a revolution.

3.5 out of 5


Explanatory medicine.

3 out of 5


Anti-LA leadership plan.

3 out of 5


UFO cry wolf Martian trick.

3 out of 5


Visitor wanker destruction.

3.5 out of 5


Unified field theory discovery lost in hormone wash, perhaps.

4 out of 5


"Poopy Panda is like unto the child of my flesh and you have made of him a devouring dragon."

4 out of 5


Unfrozen average bloke's lemming solution lack of life lesson.

4 out of 5


Future sorrows, drowned.

3 out of 5


Vampire forgets he is not unique, meets Mr. Pointy and Mr. Reaper.

3.5 out of 5


Starving artist inefficiencies.

3.5 out of 5


Not Live Without A Net.

3.5 out of 5


Posse alien.

3 out of 5


Spacer explanations.

3.5 out of 5


Bull market time snap.

3.5 out of 5


Different German discovery.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Men Martians and Machines - Eric Frank Russell

The very bad and cheesy misadventures of a mixed planet crew on various planets.

Men Martians and Machines : Jay Score - Eric Frank Russell
Men Martians and Machines : Mechanistria - Eric Frank Russell
Men Martians and Machines : Symbiotica - Eric Frank Russell
Men Martians and Machines : Mesmerica - Eric Frank Russell


Hot trip.

2 out of 5


"They've got rocketships, they decapitate lobsters, and in all probability they're instinctively hostile towards strangers. I can see them offering us a big tentacle, yes, right in the masticatory orifice!"

3 out of 5


No feeding the trees.

2.5 out of 5


"Space-conquerors, bah! Nutty, all of them, just like you and me!"

2 out of 5




1 out of 5

Mesmerica - Eric Frank Russell

"Space-conquerors, bah! Nutty, all of them, just like you and me!"


2 out of 5

Symbiotica - Eric Frank Russell

No feeding the trees.


2.5 out of 5

Mechanistria - Eric Frank Russell

"They've got rocketships, they decapitate lobsters, and in all probability they're instinctively hostile towards strangers. I can see them offering us a big tentacle, yes, right in the masticatory orifice!"


3 out of 5

Daymares - Fredric Brown

Just an ordinary collection at 3.07.

Daymares : Gateway to Darkness - Fredric Brown
Daymares : Daymare - Fredric Brown
Daymares : Come and Go Mad - Fredric Brown
Daymares : The Angelic Angleworm - Fredric Brown
Daymares : The Star Mouse - Fredric Brown
Daymares : Honeymoon in Hell - Fredric Brown
Daymares : Pi in the Sky - Fredric Brown


Going to psycher you up for the Martian job.

3.5 out of 5


Night whisper wheel takeover takedown.

3.5 out of 5


Choose your bright shining delusion.

3.5 out of 5


Duck out hallucination period.

2.5 out of 5


Mitkey Minnie escape velocity.

2.5 out of 5


Male creation prevention abduction hypnosis.

3 out of 5


Blink mike astronomy excitement.

3 out of 5





2.5 out of 5

The Star Mouse - Fredric Brown

Mitkey Minnie escape velocity.


2.5 out of 5

The Angelic Angleworm - Fredric Brown

Duck out hallucination period.


2.5 out of 5

Gateway To Darkness - Fredric Brown

Going to psycher you up for the Martian job.


3.5 out of 5

Giants Unleashed - Groff Conklin

An anthology built around the theme of the advancement of intelligence, in the future. At 3.38, it is reasonable.

Giants Unleashed : Microcosmic God - THEODORE STURGEON
Giants Unleashed : Commencement Night - RICHARD ASHBY
Giants Unleashed : Deep Range - ARTHUR C. CLARKE
Giants Unleashed : Machine Made - J. T. MCINTOSH
Giants Unleashed : Trip One - EDWARD GRENDON
Giants Unleashed : Venus Is a Man's World - WILLIAM TENN
Giants Unleashed : Good-bye Ilha! - LAWRENCE MANNING
Giants Unleashed : Misbegotten Missionary - ISAAC ASIMOV
Giants Unleashed : The Ethical Equations - MURRAY LEINSTER
Giants Unleashed : Misfit - ROBERT A. HEINLEIN
Giants Unleashed : Genius - POUL ANDERSON
Giants Unleashed : Basic Right - ERIC FRANK RUSSELL


Genius idea factory proves impenetrable.

4.5 out of 5


Fast growth.

3 out of 5


Whale run garners some flake.

4 out of 5


Good storage, but dumb.

3 out of 5


Got to get the space thing worked out.

3 out of 5


Female rule male shortage.

2 out of 5


Those hew-mens are strange.

3.5 out of 5


Fragmentary infiltration.

3.5 out of 5


Conduct probability Space Patrol.

3 out of 5


Space Marine bad boy builders.

3.5 out of 5


Smart breeding colonies and gorillas in uniform.

3.5 out of 5


Smart breeding colonies and gorillas in uniform.

4 out of 5





3.5 out of 5

Basic Right - Eric Frank Russell

What if they are smarter than us alien overlords, boss?


4 out of 5

Good-bye Ilha! - Lawrence Manning

Those hew-mens are strange.


3.5 out of 5

Trip One - Edward Grendon

Got to get the space thing worked out.


3 out of 5

Machine Made - J. T. McIntosh

Good storage, but dumb.


3 out of 5

The Great SF Stories 03 - Martin H. Greenberg and Isaac Asimov

There are of course some fantasy stories here, too, The Words Of Guru, A Gnome There Was, Snulbug, etc.

Asimov has a few funny descriptions of his relationships with some of the writers, throughout, and notes they couldn't get permission for any of that Heinlein stuff.

An ok year, by the looks, Eric Frank Russell aside.

Great SF Stories 1941 : MECHANICAL MICE - Eric Frank Russell
Great SF Stories 1941 : SHOTTLE BOP - Theodore Sturgeon
Great SF Stories 1941 : THE ROCKET OF 1955 - C. M. Kornbluth
Great SF Stories 1941 : EVOLUTION'S END - Robert Arthur
Great SF Stories 1941 : MICROCOSMIC GOD - Theodore Sturgeon
Great SF Stories 1941 : JAY SCORE - Eric Frank Russell
Great SF Stories 1941 : LIAR! - Isaac Asimov
Great SF Stories 1941 : TIME WANTS A SKELETON - Ross Rocklynne
Great SF Stories 1941 : THE WORDS OF GURU - C. M. Kornbluth
Great SF Stories 1941 : THE SEESAW - A. E. van Vogt
Great SF Stories 1941 : ARMAGEDDON - Frederic Brown
Great SF Stories 1941 : ADAM AND NO EVE - Alfred Bester
Great SF Stories 1941 : SOLAR PLEXUS - James Blish
Great SF Stories 1941 : NIGHTFALL - Isaac Asimov
Great SF Stories 1941 : A GNOME THERE WAS - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore
Great SF Stories 1941 : SNULBUG - Anthony Boucher
Great SF Stories 1941 : HEREAFTER INC. - Lester Del Rey


Burman Bullfrog Battery bloke says Bash it to Hell

2.5 out of 5


Hanging around haunting.

4 out of 5


Killer launch.

3 out of 5


Big brain crazy.

3 out of 5


Genius idea factory proves impenetrable.

4.5 out of 5


Hot trip.

2 out of 5


Telepathic robot advice is caught in logic loop.

3.5 out of 5


Telepathic robot advice is caught in logic loop.

3 out of 5


Planet busting phoneme.

3.5 out of 5


Cosmic balance sucks if it is you.

3.5 out of 5


Pigeon trick world saving water pistoleer.

3.5 out of 5


Last man issues.

3 out of 5


Living ship KO.

3.5 out of 5


Media and religion struggle with science. Still.

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


Your're dead, Phin.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Hereafter Inc. - Lester Del Rey

Your're dead, Phin.


3 out of 5

Armageddon - Fredric Brown

Pigeon trick world saving water pistoleer.


3.5 out of 5

Mechanical Mice - Eric Frank Russell

Burman Bullfrog Battery bloke says Bash it to Hell.


2.5 out of 5

Tomorrow the Stars - Robert A. Heinlein

Heinlein delivers an essay on science fiction as literature and what he thinks about it, or something along those lines, as the introduction. Also what is or is not fantasy (time travel, telekinesis, etc. at the time).

Apparently assistance in choosing the stories came from :"My thanks to the other four—Truman Talley, Judith Merril, Fred Pohl, and Walter Bradbury."

A 3.39, so pretty decent for 1952.

Tomorrow the Stars : I'm Scared - Jack Finney
Tomorrow the Stars : The Silly Season - C. M. Kornbluth
Tomorrow the Stars : Report on the Barnhouse Effect - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Tomorrow the Stars : The Tourist Trade - Bob Tucker
Tomorrow the Stars : Rainmaker - John Reese
Tomorrow the Stars : Absalom - Henry Kuttner
Tomorrow the Stars : The Monster - Lester del Rey
Tomorrow the Stars : Jay Score - Eric Frank Russell
Tomorrow the Stars : Betelgeuse Bridge - William Tenn
Tomorrow the Stars : Survival Ship - Judith Merril
Tomorrow the Stars : Keyhole - Murray Leinster
Tomorrow the Stars : Misbegotten Missionary - Isaac Asimov
Tomorrow the Stars : The Sack - William Morrison
Tomorrow the Stars : Poor Superman - Fritz Leiber


Out of order.

4 out of 5


UFO cry wolf Martian trick.

3 out of 5


Psionic professor's Quest For Peace.

4 out of 5


Historical ghost visit.

3.5 out of 5


Get wet girl.

3 out of 5


Mutant moral control.

3 out of 5


The most important paranoiac man. Sort of.

4 out of 5


Hot trip.

2 out of 5


Snowed when selling the Snail Men.

4 out of 5


Colony secrets.

3.5 out of 5


Moon traitor nursery surprise.

3.5 out of 5


Fragmentary infiltration.

3.5 out of 5


Info, not spuds.

3 out of 5


Power of the mind not funny.

4 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Sack - William Morrison

Info, not spuds.


3 out of 5

Misbegotten Missionary - Isaac Asimov

Fragmentary infiltration.


3.5 out of 5

Keyhole - Murray Leinster

Moon traitor nursery surprise.


3.5 out of 5

Survival Ship - Judith Merril

Colony secrets.


3.5 out of 5

Jay Score - Eric Frank Russell

Hot trip.


2 out of 5

The Monster - Lester Del Rey

The most important paranoiac man. Sort of.


4 out of 5

Rainmaker - John Reese

Get wet girl.


3 out of 5

The Tourist Trade - Wilson Tucker

Historical ghost visit.


3.5 out of 5

All Hallows-E - Paula Guran

A short horror anthology on a pretty obvious theme, and pretty good, too, at 3.57.


All Hallows-E : The October Game - Ray Bradbury
All Hallows-E : The November Game - F. Paul Wilson
All Hallows-E : Disturb Not My Slumbering Fair - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
All Hallows-E : The Mask Game - John Shirley
All Hallows-E : The Halloween Man - William F. Nolan
All Hallows-E : Pumpkin Head - Al Sarrantonio
All Hallows-E : Pork Pie Hat - Peter Straub


Never liked this month.

3 out of 5


Child murderer prison horror.

4 out of 5


Morgue ghoul snacks.

4 out of 5


Morgue ghoul snacks.

3 out of 5


Soul snackin' daddy.

3.5 out of 5


Would like friends, but eating some kids will do in a pinch.

4 out of 5


Jazz great interview Backs up murder.

3.5 out of 5





4 out of 5

Pork Pie Hat - Peter Straub

Jazz great interview Backs up murder.


3.5 out of 5

Angel's Egg - Edgar Pangborn

A fast little memory visitor record.


3.5 out of 5

Pumpkin Head - Al Sarrantonio

Would like friends, but eating some kids will do in a pinch.


4 out of 5

The Mask Game - John Shirley

Strange cousin who?


3 out of 5

The October Game - Ray Bradbury

Never liked this month.


3 out of 5

Isaac Asimov's Universe The Diplomacy Guild - Martin H. Greenberg

A series designed to let others play with Isaac Asimov. Not too sure trying to imitate that stuff is such a good idea, it seems.

A bit under 2.25, this book.

Diplomacy Guild : They Hide We Seek - Robert Silverberg
Diplomacy Guild : The Diplomacy Guild - David Brin
Diplomacy Guild : Myryx - Robert Sheckley
Diplomacy Guild : The Burning Sky - Poul Anderson
Diplomacy Guild : Island of the Gods - Harry Turtledove


"In a short time, yes, we've figured out black holes and pulsars and hyperdrives and neutrino-wave communication, and maybe all that makes us think we're pretty hot stuff. But when it comes to galactic politics we're still strictly novices."

3 out of 5


Short time philosophy Frankenstein creation.

3 out of 5


"Are you the spirit of what we call Alien City?"

3 out of 5


Just a general planetarist.

3.5 out of 5


AI perversion and funny looking centaurs.

2.5 out of 5




2 out of 5

Island Of the Gods - Harry Turtledove

AI perversion and funny looking centaurs.


2.5 out of 5

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Burning Sky - Poul Anderson

Just a general planetarist.


3.5 out of 5

Myryx - Robert Sheckley

"Are you the spirit of what we call Alien City?"


3 out of 5

The Diplomacy Guild - David Brin

Short time philosophy Frankenstein creation.


3 out of 5

Creatures From Beyond - Terry Carr

Monsters, often from outer space, some of whom may look very scary, but are actually trying to help. Those others? Much more full of the badness.

At 3.61, a good little anthology.

Creatures From Beyond : THE WORM - David H. Keller
Creatures From Beyond : MIMIC - Donald A. Wollheim
Creatures From Beyond : IT - Theodore Sturgeon
Creatures From Beyond : BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - Henry Kuttner
Creatures From Beyond : SOME ARE BORN CATS - Terry and Carol Carr
Creatures From Beyond : FULL SUN - Brian W. Aldiss
Creatures From Beyond : THE SILENT COLONY - Robert Silverberg
Creatures From Beyond : THE STREET THAT WASN'T THERE - Clifford D. Simak and Carl Jacobi
Creatures From Beyond : DEAR DEVIL - Eric Frank Russell

However big you are, I'll ave ya.

3 out of 5


Think army ants.

4 out of 5


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

4 out of 5


Venus Eggman's bigtime flower power warning.

4 out of 5


Evil from outer space.

3 out of 5


Werewolf urban trend.

3.5 out of 5


Discovery death.

3 out of 5


Highly local prison dreams.

3.5 out of 5


Marooned Martian guidance holocaust comeback poetry.

4.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

Full Sun - Brian Aldiss

Werewolf urban trend.


3.5 out of 5

Some Are Born Cats - Terry Carr and Carol Carr

Evil from outer space.


3 out of 5

Beauty and the Beast - Henry Kuttner

Venus Eggman's bigtime flower power warning.


4 out of 5

Mimic - Donald A. Wollheim

Think army ants.


4 out of 5

Isaac Asimov's Camelot - Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams

The first story is the notable one, there are a few other reasonable tales to go along with it, from modern spoof, to modern setting, to typical Arthurian style stories.

A round-up to 3.5 type anthology.

Isaac Asimov's Camelot : THE LAST DEFENDER OF CAMELOT - Roger Zelazny
Isaac Asimov's Camelot : THE THREE QUEENS - Esther M. Friesner
Isaac Asimov's Camelot : THE DRAGON LINE - Michael Swanwick
Isaac Asimov's Camelot : THE QUIET MONK - Jane Yolen
Isaac Asimov's Camelot : INTO GOLD - Tanith Lee
Isaac Asimov's Camelot : DR. COUNEY'S ISLAND - Steven Popkes
Isaac Asimov's Camelot : SON OF THE MORNING - Ian McDowell
Isaac Asimov's Camelot : SILVER LADY AND THE FORTYISH MAN - Robin Hobb
Isaac Asimov's Camelot : WAKE-UP CALL - Esther M. Friesner
Isaac Asimov's Camelot : THE DOG'S STORY - Eleanor Arnason


Lancelot, the Wandering Frenchy is still around when he runs into Le Fay fortunetelling, and Merlin's arrival 1000 years later. That's about enough of the Arthurian stuff for most of them.

4 out of 5


"It is just Modred and the Fey."

3 out of 5


Throat cutting, gonad slicing megalomaniac Arthurian remnants.

3.5 out of 5


Convent duty.

2 out of 5


Fire woman not to blame.

3 out of 5


Crazy? Short? Maybe time to go again, Merlin.

3 out of 5


Not Uncle Arthur : "He groaned. “Too big. Sometimes evil’s just too damned big. And I’m too old for this.”"

3.5 out of 5


Department store Merlin.

3.5 out of 5


Fucking hard work, this sleeping legend stuff.

3.5 out of 5


Merlin's dog boy heat.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Wake-Up Call - Esther M. Friesner

Fucking hard work, this sleeping legend stuff.


3.5 out of 5

Son Of the Morning - Ian McDowell

Not Uncle Arthur : "He groaned. “Too big. Sometimes evil’s just too damned big. And I’m too old for this.”"


3.5 out of 5

Dr. Couney's Island - Steven Popkes

Crazy? Short? Maybe time to go again, Merlin.


3 out of 5

The Three Queens - Esther M. Friesner

"It is just Modred and the Fey."


3 out of 5

Earthmen and Strangers - Robert Silverberg

The Strangers Silverberg refers to in this case are actual aliens, and the stories here all deal with the former meeting the latter, in a variety of situations, each prefaced with an introduction by the editor.

A good anthology, at 3.56.

Earthmen and Strangers : Dear Devil - Eric Frank Russell
Earthmen and Strangers : The Best Policy - Randall Garrett
Earthmen and Strangers : Alaree - Robert Silverberg
Earthmen and Strangers : Life Cycle - Poul Anderson
Earthmen and Strangers : The Gentle Vultures - Isaac Asimov
Earthmen and Strangers : Stranger Station - Damon Knight
Earthmen and Strangers : Lower Than Angels - Algis Budrys
Earthmen and Strangers : Blind Lightning - Harlan Ellison
Earthmen and Strangers : Out of the Sun - Arthur C. Clarke

Marooned Martian guidance holocaust comeback poetry.

4.5 out of 5


You can't handle the truth.

4 out of 5


Maybe not pleased to meet you, plural.

3 out of 5


Mercury Twonk men.

3.5 out of 5


Nuclear decontamination Cold War waiting monkey boy catch plan.

3 out of 5


Longevity changes meeting, Sweet Jane.

3.5 out of 5


I did say no to the "Are You A God" question.

4 out of 5


Telepathic hot kitty.

3 out of 5


Equatorial prominence being blowout.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

Blind Lightning - Harlan Ellison

Telepathic hot kitty.


3 out of 5

Lower Than Angels - Algis Budrys

I did say no to the "Are You A God" question.


4 out of 5

Stranger Station - Damon Knight

Longevity changes meeting, Sweet Jane.


3.5 out of 5

Life Cycle - Poul Anderson

Mercury Twonk men.


3.5 out of 5

The Best Policy - Randall Garrett

You can't handle the truth.


4 out of 5

Men and Machines - Robert Silverberg

Just an average anthology at 3.30. Machines mostly meaning robots, in this case, whether trying to get rid of us, the leftovers, wanting to be different, or just not behaving how expected.

Men and Machines : Counter Foil - George O. Smith
Men and Machines : A Bad Day for Sales - Fritz Leiber
Men and Machines : Without a Thought - Fred Saberhagen
Men and Machines : Solar Plexus - James Blish
Men and Machines : The Macauley Circuit - Robert Silverberg
Men and Machines : But Who Can Replace a Man? - Brian W. Aldiss
Men and Machines : Instinct - Lester del Rey
Men and Machines : The Twonky - Lewis Padgett
Men and Machines : The Hunting Lodge - Randall Garrett
Men and Machines : With Folded Hands - Jack Williamson

""Teleport circuits either work or they don't. It neither swallows people nor does it go off its electromechanical rocker and run off a squadron of duplicates."

3 out of 5


No market for babysitting.

3 out of 5


Berserker fancies a game.

3 out of 5


Living ship KO.

3.5 out of 5


Music program.

3 out of 5


Human lack machine chaos conflict.

4 out of 5


Maketh the man.

3.5 out of 5


Radio rule.

3.5 out of 5


Robots bumping off bent ancient politicians is bad?

4 out of 5


Robot home help useless.

2.5 out of 5




3 out of 5

The Hunting Lodge - Randall Garrett

Robots bumping off bent ancient politicians is bad?


4 out of 5

Instinct - Lester Del Rey

Maketh the man.


3.5 out of 5

Solar Plexus - James Blish

Living ship KO.


3.5 out of 5

A Bad Day For Sales - Fritz Leiber

No market for babysitting.


3 out of 5

Counter Foil - George O. Smith

""Teleport circuits either work or they don't. It neither swallows people nor does it go off its electromechanical rocker and run off a squadron of duplicates."


3 out of 5

Modern Classics Of Fantasy - Gardner Dozois

An extensive tome, closing on the 700 page mark, so fine value. A good anthology, too, for fantasy, averaging 3.52.

There is a fairly extensive, useful introduction where the editor goes over the history of the fantasy story and fantasy publishing, partially seen through the lens of his own reading in his younger days - mentioning for instance that it was a fantasy magazine that he looked forward to the most, and anything in cheap paperback as hardbacks were out of range. That there was pre-Tolkien fantasy reader interest, etc. So, pretty good work.

There's also a shortish selection at the end of some other work to look for, if interested.

As with the Modern Classics of Science Fiction here, Dozois wants to reprint some of the not so commonly found stories, along with the others, and some of his favorites - allowing that to influence his selecting.

Definitely a good book to get.

Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Trouble with Water - Horace L. Gold
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Gnarly Man - L. Sprague deCamp
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Golem - Avram Davidson
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Walk Like a Mountain - Manly Wade Wellman
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Extempore - Damon Knight
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Space-Time for Springers - Fritz Leiber
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Scylla's Daughter - Fritz Leiber
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Overworld - Jack Vance
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Signaller - Keith Roberts
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Manor of Roses - Thomas Burnett Swarm
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Death and the Executioner - Roger Zelazny
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Configuration of the North Shore - R. A. Lafferty
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Two Sadnesses - George Alec Effinger
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Tale of Hauk - Poul Anderson
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Manatee Gal Ain't You Coming Out Tonight - Avram Davidson
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Troll - T.H. White
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Sleep of Trees - Jane Yolen
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : God's Hooks! - Howard Waldrop
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule - Lucius Shepard
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : A Cabin on the Coast - Gene Wolfe
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Paper Dragons - James P. Blaylock
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Into Gold - Tanith Lee
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Flowers of Edo - Bruce Sterling
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight - Ursula K. Le Guin
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : A Gift of the People - Robert Sampson
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Missolonghi 1824 - John Crowley
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Bears Discover Fire - Terry Bisson
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Blunderbore - Esther M. Friesner
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Death and the Lady - Judith Tarr
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : The Changeling's Tale - Michael Swanwick
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros - Peter S. Beagle
Modern Classics Of Fantasy : Beauty and the Opera or the Phantom Beast - Suzy McKee Charms


Gnome sweetener.

4.5 out of 5


Neanderthal lightning strikee holds his age like Vandal Savage.

3.5 out of 5


"I am not a human being!"

3.5 out of 5


Just call me lightning.

4 out of 5


Time trip question.

3.5 out of 5


Superkitten research.

3.5 out of 5


It is Rat-Queens, sea monsters, annoying bloody kittens and world travelling dragon riding collectors for Fafhrd and the Mouser.

4.5 out of 5


Cugel busted and drafted.

3.5 out of 5


Elf nurse.

4 out of 5


Mandrake murder massacre munchies.

3 out of 5


Powers, godliness, stranging and swordslinging.

3.5 out of 5


Dodgy dream.

3 out of 5


Honey fuzzy dirty wind.

3 out of 5


Zombie skipper dad.

3.5 out of 5


Bloody bigger than I thought.

3.5 out of 5


"Now very few people can have been in a position to decide what to do when a troll earmarks them for its next meal."

3 out of 5


Dryad deflowered detreed leaves me mute.

3.5 out of 5


Fishy doom, with a nice pie.

3 out of 5


Really big canvas cost story.

4 out of 5


Disappearance swap deal.

4 out of 5


Crabby about dead one.

3.5 out of 5


Fire woman not to blame.

3 out of 5


Local art ideas, one demon.

3 out of 5


Don't eat the salmon.

2.5 out of 5


Facing the water.

3.5 out of 5


Getting the goat out.

3.5 out of 5


Hibernatin's a big ol' waste of time.

4 out of 5


Wholemealsome girlfriend.

3.5 out of 5


Wood kid.

3 out of 5


Elf retrenched.

4 out of 5


One horned, variable and lacking excreta.

4 out of 5


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

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

Editing the Wild Anthology - Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold

http://www.irosf.com/q/zine/article/10208

What it says, mostly for writers.

Professor Gottesman And The Indian Rhinoceros - Peter S. Beagle

One horned, variable and lacking excreta.


4 out of 5

The Changeling's Tale - Michael Swanwick

Elf retrenched.


4 out of 5

Death And the Lady - Judith Tarr

Wood kid.


3 out of 5

Blunderbore - Esther M. Friesner

Wholemealsome girlfriend.


3.5 out of 5

The Planeteers - John W. Campbell

While this is decidedly not good in the usual sense. It is immensely cheesy, and IS good in 'Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines' silly comedy sense, if you look at it that way.

Planeteers : The Brain Stealers of Mars - John W. Campbell
Planeteers : The Double Minds - John W. Campbell
Planeteers : The Immortality Seekers - John W. Campbell
Planeteers : The Tenth World - John W. Campbell
Planeteers : The Brain Pirates - John W. Campbell

Ravening violet guns to sort out those protoplasmic chameleons.

3 out of 5


"Oh-h-h-what in double blazes-ah-h-h-h -are you stewing? It smells like fury!"

Also pongs a little of treachery.

3 out of 5


Very ungrateful about the overlord overthrowing.

3 out of 5


Hold the telepathy, but don't spare the proton gun!

3 out of 5


This invisibility caper is silly.

3 out of 5





2 out of 5

The Brain Pirates - John W. Campbell

This invisibility caper is silly.


3 out out of 5

The Tenth World - John W. Campbell

Hold the telepathy, but don't spare the proton gun!


3 out of 5

The Immortality Seekers - John W. Campbell

Very ungrateful about the overlord overthrowing.


3 out of 5

The Double Minds - John W. Campbell

"Oh-h-h-what in double blazes-ah-h-h-h -are you stewing? It smells like fury!"

Also pongs a little of treachery.


3 out of 5

Thursday, July 24, 2008

50 in 50 - Harry Harrison

The author divides this book into sections, by theme, as below :

ALIEN SHORES
MAKE ROOM! MAKE ROOM!
MIRACULOUS INVENTIONS
LAUGH—I THOUGHT I WOULD CRY
OTHER WORLDS
R.U.R.
ONE FOR THE SHRINKS
THE LIGHT FANTASTIC
SQUARE PEGS IN ROUND HOLES

The first story is by far the best. Overall, Harrison is just a workmanlike short story writer in general (3.30), but rarely comes up with a clunker. So if you like your basic simple science fiction short story, and lots of them with variety, this is worth a look. Apart from the Streets Of Ashkelon, there are several other good stories.

There are only two fantasy stories - The Light Fantastic section - but one of those is a good one. Harrison says when he thinks story, he just doesn't think 'fantasy'.

50 in 50 : The Streets of Ashkelon - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Rescue Operation - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Repairman - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Pressure - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Welcoming Committee - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Heavy Duty - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : A Criminal Act - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Roommates - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Pliable Animal - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : After the Storm - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Down to Earth - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Final Encounter - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Speed of the Cheetah Roar of the Lion - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Greatest Car in the World - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Rock Diver - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Toy Shop - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : I Always Do What Teddy Says - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : From Fanaticism, Or for Reward - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : I See You - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Greening of the Green - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Day After the End of the World - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Man from P.I.G. - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Space Rats of the CCC - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Captain Honario Harpplayer, R.N. - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Simulated Trainer - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Survival Planet - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : How the Old World Died - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The K-Factor - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : R.U.R. - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Arm of the Law - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Robot Who Wanted to Know - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : I Have My Vigil - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Velvet Glove - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Not Me Not Amos Cabot! - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Gods Themselves Throw Incense - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : You Men of Violence - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : A Civil Service Servant - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Captain Bedlam - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : THE LIGHT FANTASTIC - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : At Last the True Story of Frankenstein - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Incident in the IND - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : SQUARE PEGS IN ROUND HOLES - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Portrait of the Artist - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Mute Milton - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : An Artist's Life - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Ever-Branching Tree - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : By the Falls - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : American Dead - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Dawn of the Endless Night - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : An Honest Day's Work - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : If - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : Brave Newer World - Harry Harrison
50 in 50 : The Road to the Year 3000 - Harry Harrison

Native superstition addition.

4.5 out of 5


Wrong place to land.

3.5 out of 5


Local blending mechanics.

3 out of 5


Saturn landing death.

3 out of 5


Earth spider.

3 out of 5


Gravity of communication.

3.5 out of 5


Breeding punishment volunteer.

4 out of 5


Shortage society.

3 out of 5


Who's the real murderer?

3.5 out of 5


Old boat business spy.

3.5 out of 5


Safe, but captured by alternate Germans. I hate that.

3.5 out of 5


All Man.

3 out of 5


Ostentatious travel.

2.5 out of 5


Maestro race message modification.

3 out of 5


Penetrating find kill.

3.5 out of 5


Battery illusion goad.

3 out of 5


Bear alteration.

3 out of 5


Hunter Follower.

4 out of 5


Sentence reduction, no?

3.5 out of 5


Bog standard Paddy Power.

3.5 out of 5


I thought it was just the two of us, Greeny.

3 out of 5


Boar guard.

3.5 out of 5


A man is not a camel.

3.5 out of 5


Naval misadventure.

3 out of 5


Mars washout.

3.5 out of 5


Slavery remains.

3 out of 5


Robot overload.

3 out of 5


Sociological problem.

2.5 out of 5


Robot gangbuster.

3 out of 5


Robot the horn.

3 out of 5


Robots don't bleed in no-space.

3.5 out of 5


Robot drug bust hire.

3 out of 5


Hereafter reservation.

3 out of 5


Ship blowup lot drawing nonexistence.

4 out of 5


Raver pacifist prison break backfire.

3.5 out of 5


Form or die test.

3.5 out of 5


Only pilot, tough.

3 out of 5


Zombie report.

4 out of 5


Subway snack chick.

3.5 out of 5


Comic machine.

3 out of 5


Slave degree.

3 out of 5


Moon painter sculpted.

3 out of 5


Time history lesson.

3 out of 5


Upstream plea.

4 out of 5


Southern resistance.

3.5 out of 5


Cold blooded die-off.

4 out of 5


Tunnel volunteer.

3 out of 5


Mutant progenitor, lizzy.

3 out of 5


Good stuff, but incomplete.

3 out of 5


Longevity minority sabotage.

3.5 out of 5




3 out of 5