Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Than One Universe - Arthur C. Clarke

An extensive collection of Clarke stories (over 60). If you just wanted one, this would do very nicely, having parts of lots of the others, and it does include all the best work.

More Than One Universe : I Remember Babylon - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Summertime on Icarus - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Orbiting - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Who's There? - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Into the Comet - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : An Ape about the House - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Let There be Light - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Death and the Senator - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Trouble with Time - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Before Eden - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : A Slight Case of Sunstroke - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Dog Star - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Nine Billion Names of God - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Refugee - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Other Side of the Sky - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Special Delivery - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Feathered Friends - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Take a Deep Breath - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Freedom of Space - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Passer-by - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Call of the Stars - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Security Check - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : No Morning After - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Venture to the Moon - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Starting Line - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Robin Hood, F.R.S. - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Green Fingers - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : All That Glitters - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Watch This Space - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : A Question of Residence - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : All the Time in the World - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Cosmic Casanova - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Star - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Out of the Sun - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Transience - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Songs of Distant Earth - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Food of the Gods - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Maelstrom II - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Shining Ones - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Wind from the Sun - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Secret - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Last Command - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Dial F for Frankenstein - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Reunion - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Playback - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Light of Darkness - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Longest Science-Fiction Story Ever Told - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Love That Universe - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Crusade - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Neutron Tide - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Transit of Earth - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : A Meeting with Medusa - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : When the Twerms Came - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Quarantine - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : siseneG - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Rescue Party - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Curse - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Hide and Seek - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Possessed - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Superiority - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : A Walk in the Dark - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Reluctant Orchid - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Encounter at Dawn - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : Patent Pending - Arthur C. Clarke
More Than One Universe : The Sentinel - Arthur C. Clarke


Satellite broadcast instruction propaganda.

3 out of 5


Hot stuck time doesn't bear repeating.

4 out of 5


Space rugrat 1.

3 out of 5


Kitten score quite popular.

3.5 out of 5


Ship abacus report.

3.5 out of 5


Art can be done by smart monkeys.

3 out of 5


Affair death ray.

3 out of 5


Zero G cardio cure.

3 out of 5


Siren Goddess nicked.

3.5 out of 5


Venusian botany on the run.

3 out of 5


South American soccer dodgy even in Clarke stories, but frying the ref probably wasn't intended.

3.5 out of 5


Pooch love warning.

4 out of 5


Ubergeek monks finish a cataloguing project, and with it comes some serious consequences.

5 out of 5


Space Prince training.

3 out of 5


A group of short-shorts, or mini-collection, if you like, of near space type stories.

The Other Side of the Sky : Special Delivery - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : Feathered Friends - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : Take a Deep Breath - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : Freedom of Space - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : Passer-by - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : The Call of the Stars - Arthur C. Clarke

Some new satelittes for ya.

3 out of 5


Canarynaut warning.

3.5 out of 5


Space leak suntan.

3.5 out of 5


Broadcast Relay Chain work.

3 out of 5


Report dunno.

3 out of 5


Dad not a space fan

3 out of 5

3 out of 5


Some new satelittles for ya.

3 out of 5


Canarynaut warning.

3.5 out of 5


Space leak suntan.

3.5 out of 5


Broadcast Relay Chain work.

3 out of 5


Report dunno.

3 out of 5


Dad not a space fan.

3 out of 5


Space Legion design investigation.

3 out of 5


Telepathic brain's thirty-seventy dimensional warp bridge earth fry escape message rejection.

3.5 out of 5


A group of short-shorts based around the first expedition to the moon with a lengthy stay.

Venture to the Moon : The Starting Line - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : Robin Hood F.R.S. - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : Green Fingers - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : All That Glitters - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : Watch This Space - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : A Question of Residence - Arthur C. Clarke


Giving you the real story.

3.5 out of 5


Moon archery ideas.

3.5 out of 5


Moon botanist rooted.

3.5 out of 5


Lots of moon diamonds, but anybody can do 'em now.

3 out of 5


Ad is the bomb

3 out of 5


Go back second, no tax.

3.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5


Giving you the real story.

3.5 out of 5


Moon archery ideas.

3.5 out of 5


Moon botanist rooted.

3.5 out of 5


Lots of moon diamonds, but anybody can do 'em now.

3 out of 5


Ad is the bomb.

3 out of 5


Go back second, no tax.

3.5 out of 5


A sneaky thief discovers that time travel robbery isn't all it is cracked up to be.

3.5 out of 5


Not as keen on the tall girls.

3 out of 5


Jesuit crewing for amusement finds supernova technology treasure cache is Star of Bethlehem reference point.

3.5 out of 5


Equatorial prominence being blowout.

3.5 out of 5


Time to leave.

3 out of 5


Stopping for a wakeup dance.

3.5 out of 5


Making synthetics.

3 out of 5


Making synthetics.

4 out of 5


Giant squid scientists.

3.5 out of 5


Seven to the fore in this starsailor space race.

3.5 out of 5


Lunar life extension upset.

3.5 out of 5


No point blowing anything else up.

2.5 out of 5


Phone exchange Is Alive.

3.5 out of 5


We can fix you, pasty boys.

2.5 out of 5


Regressing memory.

2.5 out of 5


African tyrant blinding.

3.5 out of 5


Recursive rejection.

4 out of 5


Talking to the Galactic Core.

3 out of 5


Metal life condition investigation.

3 out of 5


Battlecruiser crushing groaner.

3.5 out of 5


Marsnaut's useful ending.

3.5 out of 5


Jovian airship's robojock first contact radio days.

4 out of 5


Financial dirt takeover.

3 out of 5


Chess a waste of computing resources.

4 out of 5


God program cancel.

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


Rocket dust rain epitaph.

3.5 out of 5


Military Intelligence Phobos evasion story.

3.5 out of 5


Swarm mind search lemming poor pick.

3.5 out of 5


Weapons tech advance space war failure.

3.5 out of 5


Starlight, definitely not even close to bright.

3.5 out of 5


Wellsian hothouse epic coward.

4 out of 5


Generation gap leavetaking.

3.5 out of 5


Sensation register commerce.

2.5 out of 5


Moon machine.

4 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Computer Cried Charge - George R. R. Martin

Battletanks are ugly.


3 out of 5

Retreat From Earth - Arthur C. Clarke

Martian takeover termite defeat.


3.5 out of 5

Whacky - Arthur C. Clarke

Not a case anymore.


3 out of 5

When the Twerms Came - Arthur C. Clarke

Financial dirt takeover.


3 out of 5

A Recursion In Metastories - Arthur C. Clarke

Recursive rejection.


4 out of 5

The Songs Of Distant Earth - Arthur C. Clarke

Stopping for a wakeup dance.


3.5 out of 5

Who Wrote That Message to the Stars? in Letters a Thousand Miles Long? - Arthur C. Clarke

Ad is the bomb.


3 out of 5

Double-Crossed In Outer Space - Arthur C. Clarke

Giving you the real story.


3.5 out of 5

Venture To the Moon - Arthur C. Clarke

A group of short-shorts based around the first expedition to the moon with a lengthy stay.

Venture to the Moon : The Starting Line - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : Robin Hood F.R.S. - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : Green Fingers - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : All That Glitters - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : Watch This Space - Arthur C. Clarke
Venture to the Moon : A Question of Residence - Arthur C. Clarke


Giving you the real story.

3.5 out of 5


Moon archery ideas.

3.5 out of 5


Moon botanist rooted.

3.5 out of 5


Lots of moon diamonds, but anybody can do 'em now.

3 out of 5


Ad is the bomb

3 out of 5


Go back second, no tax.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Cosmic Casanova - Arthur C. Clarke

Not as keen on the tall girls.


3 out of 5

A Question Of Residence - Arthur C. Clarke

Go back second, no tax.


3.5 out of 5

Watch This Space - Arthur C. Clarke

Ad is the bomb.


3 out of 5

All That Glitters - Arthur C. Clarke

Lots of moon diamonds, but anybody can do 'em now.


3 out of 5

The Starting Line - Arthur C. Clarke

Giving you the real story.


3.5 out of 5

The Other Side Of the Sky - Arthur C. Clarke

A group of short-shorts, or mini-collection, if you like, of near space type stories.

The Other Side of the Sky : Special Delivery - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : Feathered Friends - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : Take a Deep Breath - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : Freedom of Space - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : Passer-by - Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Side of the Sky : The Call of the Stars - Arthur C. Clarke

Some new satelittes for ya.

3 out of 5


Canarynaut warning.

3.5 out of 5


Space leak suntan.

3.5 out of 5


Broadcast Relay Chain work.

3 out of 5


Report dunno.

3 out of 5


Dad not a space fan

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Passer-by - Arthur C. Clarke

Report dunno.


3 out of 5

Freedom Of Space - Arthur C. Clarke

Broadcast Relay Chain work.


3 out of 5

Take A Deep Breath - Arthur C. Clarke

Space leak suntan.


3.5 out of 5

Special Delivery - Arthur C. Clarke

Some new satelittles for ya.


3 out of 5

Refugee - Arthur C. Clarke

Space Prince training.


3 out of 5

Jupiter V - Arthur C. Clarke

Jupiter Moon Martian Culture X conflict.


3 out of 5

The Stroke Of the Sun - Arthur C. Clarke

South American soccer dodgy even in Clarke stories, but frying the ref probably wasn't intended.


3.5 out of 5

Improving the Neighbourhood - Arthur C. Clarke

Quantum planet explosion oopsie.


3.5 out of 5

The Castaway - Arthur C. Clarke

Radiant visitor.


3.5 out of 5

siseneG - Arthur C. Clarke

God program cancel.


3.5 out of 5

Saved! By A Bow and Arrow - Arthur C. Clarke

Moon archery ideas.


3.5 out of 5

The Further Sky - Keith Laumer

Not-men cave of no return 3-d only mind flea past galaxy portal ship gift.


4 out of 5

The Other Sky - Keith Laumer

Not-men cave of no return 3-d only mind flea past galaxy portal ship gift.


4 out of 5

Monday, September 29, 2008

Planet Of the Black Dust - Jack Vance

Greed, needle guns, and gamma-ray detonators.


3 out of 5

The Accidental Murders - Robert Moore Williams

Found a non-live decision point.


3 out of 5

You Ought To Be Dead - Robert Moore Williams

Cold, floating, with ship-jumpers.


2.5 out of 5

Cosmetics - John D. MacDonald

Jason Blood has no more use for the prettyboy lifestyle.


3.5 out of 5

The Machine - Robert Moore Williams

Mini smart choo-choo heist.


3 out of 5

Pacifist Of Hell's Island - Robert Moore Williams

Robots need a fight to stop.


3 out of 5

Raiders Out Of Space - Robert Moore Williams

Nazis bad enough without robots from the moon.


3 out of 5

Blitz Against Japan - Robert Moore Williams

Disappearing battleship nazi sabotage and rocket ships.


2.5 out of 5

Fifth Column Of Mars - Robert Moore Williams

G-Man perhaps a bit out of his jurisdiction.


3.5 out of 5

Further Information - Michael Moorcock

Family commando raid - maybe fratricidal.


3 out of 5

With Wings - John Jakes

Nup. Skewered.


3 out of 5

The Barrier - Murray Leinster

Star Pup crazy bet.


3 out of 5

The Real Thrill - James Blish

Have to take this old trap up to fight.


3.5 out of 5

Rockets Over Europe - Robert Moore Williams

Bring me one that's not blown up.


3 out of 5

And All Disastrous Things - A. Bertram Chandler

Human space zombies on Ceres for the spider people.


3.5 out of 5

Overdrive - Murray Leinster

The Profession, hard at work whether in bar brawls or hyperspace.


3.5 out of 5

Treasure On Thunder Moon - Edmond Hamilton

There's money around Uranus.


2.5 out of 5

The Prisoner OF Mars - Edmond Hamilton

A drying out, dying Mars - the population doesn't fancy becoming Electrae - or electrical beings, rather than physical. So, instead, why not steal water from Earth. So, invasion, a giant Brain, robots, a space princess, and fighting aliens in New Jersey.


2 out of 5

Lost Elysium - Edmond Hamilton

Cullan's Cuchulain descendant re-crossover.


3 out of 5

Improbability - Henry Kuttner

Lucky punch.


3 out of 5

Iron Sunrise - Charles Stross

After reading Saturn's Children recently, and thinking it was his weakest novel, I was wrong. It is certainly Iron Sunrise, so the former needs correcting.

This story of Eschaton agent trying to stop a planet or lots going Kabloeey is perfectly serviceable, and I definitely don't regret the time spent reading it.

In fact, I'd call this one a 3.25, which is pretty much my garden variety average novel rating over the lot of them.

It quite possibly suffers in comparison to all his other work, and the copious amounts of brilliant inventiveness on display in those books. Iron Sunrise is a fairly standard-Omnisomething Eschaton monitors aside-sf adventure. People that prefer that sort of story to something like Lobsters or Accelerando might actually want to choose this one as their introduction to his work, perhaps, to get a little of the flavour, if not the full hit.

(call it 3.25)
3 out of 5

Down In the Zero - Andrew Vachss

Favour owed becomes a double dominatrix deal.


The kid of a woman who has been told to contact Burke if he gets into trouble calls in her marker. So Burke has some babysitting to do, along with some car racing to check out, and also to try and find out why a bunch of young people have been killing themselves. The latter being what has scared the kid into calling him.

As for as the double dodgy doms, he really isn't the sort of bloke to be dominated (or any of his motley crew), so is out to work out their deal, too in this blunt, spare book.



3.5 out of 5

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lacuna - Nicholas Royle

Sandgroper dunny, late.


3 out of 5

Loop - Douglas E. Winter

Perfect porno collection, beginning to ending.


4 out of 5

The Grey Madonna - Graham Masterton

Stone me, that was a nun.


4 out of 5

The True History Of Doctor Pretorius - Paul J. McAuley

A man who uncovers Pretorius' secret gets a Famous Monsters recitation and demonstration.


4 out of 5

Cradle - Alan Brennert

Water broken Blade-like baby bummer.


4 out of 5

The Bungalow House - Thomas Ligotti

Audio tape dream disappointment.


3 out of 5

The Finger Of Halugra - Manly Wade Wellman

Stone god cure can be crushing.


3.5 out of 5

Going Under - Ramsey Campbell

Phone flesh tide.


3.5 out of 5

More Tomorrow - Michael Marshall Smith

ABE Penet partial porn picture.


4 out of 5

Extinctions In Paradise - Brian Hodge

Rio street kid pack aide.


4 out of 5

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Secret Life Of Maria McCune - Jeff VanderMeer

Weedkill.


2 out of 5

The Pain Threshold - Jason Nahrung

Bloody time travel not likely, mate.


3.5 out of 5

Screening Test - Chris Lawson

Violence risk factor.


3 out of 5

Daughter Of the Red Cranes - Sue Isle

Need an inter-continental non-martial breeding solution.


3.5 out of 5

Different In the Lands Of Glory - Jay Lake

Bloodnut of god fade.


3 out of 5

The Secret Lives Of Rick and Peggy - Jeff VanderMeer

Rick not impressed with VanderMeer's anti-Lovecraft arrogance, given the situation.


3 out of 5

One Night Stand - Dirk Flinthart

Elvis impersonating is draining.


3.5 out of 5

King Tales - Jeff VanderMeer

Three short pieces come under this title:

The Trouble With Bears

Cleanup runaway pieride linguistics.

3.5 out of 5


The Unreliability Of Cats

Another use for a dead one.

2.5 out of 5




The Indecisiveness Of Birds

Songbird skyrace second-stage slingshot coronation.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Cape - Joe Hill

I am the bad guy.


4 out of 5

Lost - Jeff VanderMeer

Too mushy.


2 out of 5

The Bone-carver's Tale - Jeff VanderMeer

Armless art.


2.5 out of 5

The Jennifer Morgue - Charles Stross

What do you get if you cross

a) Lovecraft
b) James Bond
c) A bunch of computer geekery

The answer, in this case, is a really good book. Presuming you have some interest in any of the above.

The supervillain of the piece wants to control the world, of course, but with Deep Ones in the picture, it won't be pretty.

Stross plays with the Bond character types here, but the female assassin is a halfing from Dunwich with a demon problem, for example. There's a geas that makes them follow the movie story patterns with a little help from an occult device that lets you talk to the dead. Ian Fleming, of course, is dead.

Someone who has Robert Howard as an alias playing a part in a Bond movie is a bit croggling, too.

Bob, of course, has nowhere near the budget for punting and wrecking stuff that 007 does, either, making do with his magic capable smartphone and a usb key with a linux distribution.

All lots of fun.

The story 'Pimpf' is included afterwards, as is a fictional non-fiction Wold-Newtonesque type piece on how the whole Bond spy thing fits into Bob Howard's world.

Pimpf

Bob Howard manages to get told off for not playing MMORPG's enough at work, given that is his current assignment, to stop real monsters gaining a foothold there.

He even gets an intern, asthe Laundry finds a kid who gets in deeper than he should while playing and hacking, and hands him to Bob. They go on a bit of a dungeon bash to save the day.


4.5 out of 5

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Solaris Book Of New Fantasy - George Mann

Just an average anthology at 3.28. However, it does have a few things going for it. The leadoff story by Chadbourn is strong, and the best in the book. Erikson wins the most bizarre award, easily, to finish off.

This is a mass-market book designed to have mass appeal and distribution it would appear, and as such, it does have several examples of the mass market high fantasy and urban fantasy style of story that can be seriously lacking in some other fantasy anthologies. People that like the standard fantasy trilogy may well find some stories they like here that I didn't, as much, not really being a reader of such.

Also, the cover fails to have a chick in a flouncy dress on it, which it seems is almost de rigeur. So there is a chance younger male readers won't be embarassed to be seen with this publication, given the nifty looking dragon.

So, overall, 500 pages of decent fantasy stories for a good price

Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : Who Slays the Gyant Wounds the Beast – Mark Chadbourn
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : Reins of Destiny – Janny Wurts
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : Tornado of Sparks – James Maxey
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : Grander than the Sea – T. A. Pratt
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : The Prince of End Times – Hal Duncan
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : King Takes – Jeff VanderMeer
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : In Between Dreams – Christopher Barzak
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : And Such Small Deer – Chris Roberson
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : The Wizard's Coming – Juliet E. McKenna
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : Shell Game – Mike Resnick
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : The Song Her Heart Sang – Steven Savile
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : A Man Falls – Jay Lake
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : O Caritas – Conrad Williams
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : Lt. Privet's Love Song – Scott Thomas
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : Chinandega – Lucius Shepard
Solaris Book Of New Fantasy : Quashie Trapp Blacklight – Steven Erikson


Dead poet High Society, Swyftely.

4.5 out of 5


Guilded.

2 out of 5


Baby reason, dragon-style.

3.5 out of 5


Shark god, squid god, close enough for crazy sorcerer stings.

4 out of 5


Scrabble babble.

2.5 out of 5



The Trouble With Bears

Cleanup runaway pieride linguistics.

3.5 out of 5


The Unreliability Of Cats

Another use for a dead one.

2.5 out of 5


The Indecisiveness Of Birds

Songbird skyrace second-stage slingshot coronation.

3.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5


Cleaning up getaway.

3 out of 5


Giant Rat of Sumatra crosses over for Van Helsing.

3.5 out of 5


Get him.

3 out of 5


John Justin Mallory has fun and games with the last lamia egg.

3.5 out of 5


Give her the rock.

3 out of 5


Remains of the day.

3.5 out of 5


Narcoshade jump.

3.5 out of 5


No charms, thanks.

3 out of 5


Whore Queen relation revelation.

4 out of 5


Tarantula cat hat heffalump bath bar partnership.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Quashie Trapp Blacklight - Steven Erikson

Tarantula cat hat heffalump bath bar partnership.


3.5 out of 5

Chinandega - Lucius Shepard

Whore Queen relation revelation.


4 out of 5

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Golden - Lucius Shepard

Old fashioned murder mystery.


Although the detective and his suspects are vampires.

A project to build something really tasty in the direction of people to drink from has ended in a murder.

A detective i called in by the vampire family with capital F involved to try and work out what is going on.

Vampire politics, not so much fun if you are stuck in the middle of them.


3.5 out of 5

The Devil You Know - Mike Carey

Hellblazer lite.


Not much of a surprise given Carey is writing it, and it is a pretty reasonable book, but certainly if this character and Constantine walked past each other on the street they'd do a double take.

Castor is not quite down to that sordid and nasty level, though. As an exorcist who has chucked in the job in a world where ghosts are real and the average person knows about it, he gets drawn back in to something that is quite sordid, involving trafficking and Eastern Europe, and a ghost mystery.

Werewolves here, for example, are just another variety of ghost, and one of the funniest threats seen recently - 'I can rip your throat out before you get to a second note' - said to Castor, who employs a tin whistle of all things to put down the undead.

If he gets bored and chucks in the ghost busting, he can always sit in with the Chieftains, the Pogues, Flogging Molly or the Dropkick Murphys or someone, we suppose.


3.5 out of 5

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shell Game - Mike Resnick

John Justin Mallory has fun and games with the last lamia egg.


3.5 out of 5

Debatable Space - Philip Palmer

The cover says this writer works in Radio, tv, etc., and boy does it show. This novel is riddled with stuff that could presumably go in scripts, huge bold worlds, and even text-only splash pages that would appear to be completely pointless outside of comics.

Obviously deliberately employed, here, but really annoying when there are so many examples.

Apart from that, on something that mentions a space pirate kidnap gone wrong there is a lot of extremely tedious flashbackery.

This book doesn't hold up well next to that paragon of subtlety and story, the John Cleve Spaceways series.

Definitely unfinishable.


1 out of 5

Money Shot - Christa Faust

Avenging Angel.


A retired adult entertainment star, now managing some of the same is called out of her retired state.

Horny, and asked to do a scene with the hot new stud she agrees, and walks straight into a trap.

A botched execution leaves her on the run, framed for murder, injured, and very angry.

Despite that, this is a lot better than it sounds, as Faust handles this very well, and with some talent as the main character evolve from someone who was concerned at the start of the novel with her appearance, to a gun-wielding revenge seeker.


4.5 out of 5

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Dark Descent - David G. Hartwell

A monster horror retrospective. In hardback, you could institute this in your weight training, clocking in at the four figure page count.

Hartwell says that the anthology grew of out three years of discussions with Kathryn Cramer and Peter Pautz.

The book is divided into three sections, and actually has been published as such.

1. The Color of Evil
2. The Medusa In the Shield
3. A Fabulous Formless Darkness

In a lengthy introduction Hartwell categorises three types of horror, broadly, as moral allegorical, psychological metaphor, and the fantastic. This part of the book also points out that horror was mostly done at short length, until the advent reasonably recently of King and company. Further, he suggest actual horror fans don't like the third sort as much as there is rarely any terror.

Color Of Evil : The Reach [Do the Dead Sing?] - Stephen King
Color Of Evil : Evening Primrose - John Collier
Color Of Evil : The Ash-Tree - M. R. James
Color Of Evil : The New Mother - Lucy Lane Clifford
Color Of Evil : There's a Long Long Trail A-Winding - Russell Kirk
Color Of Evil : The Call of Cthulhu [short story] - H. P. Lovecraft
Color Of Evil : The Summer People - Shirley Jackson
Color Of Evil : The Whimper of Whipped Dogs - Harlan Ellison
Color Of Evil : Young Goodman Brown - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Color Of Evil : Mr. Justice Harbottle - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Color Of Evil : The Crowd - Ray Bradbury
Color Of Evil : The Autopsy - Michael Shea
Color Of Evil : John Charrington's Wedding - Edith Nesbit
Color Of Evil : Sticks - Karl Edward Wagner
Color Of Evil : Larger Than Oneself - Robert Aickman
Color Of Evil : Belsen Express - Fritz Leiber
Color Of Evil : Yours Truly Jack the Ripper - Robert Bloch
Color Of Evil : If Damon Comes - Charles L. Grant
Color Of Evil : Vandy Vandy - Manly Wade Wellman
Medusa In the Shield : The Swords - Robert Aickman
Medusa In the Shield : The Roaches - Thomas M. Disch
Medusa In the Shield : Bright Segment - Theodore Sturgeon
Medusa In the Shield : Dread - Clive Barker
Medusa In the Shield : The Fall of the House of Usher - Edgar Allan Poe
Medusa In the Shield : The Monkey - Stephen King
Medusa In the Shield : Within the Walls of Tyre - Michael Bishop
Medusa In the Shield : The Rats in the Walls - H. P. Lovecraft
Medusa In the Shield : Schalken the Painter - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Medusa In the Shield : The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Medusa In the Shield : A Rose for Emily - William Faulkner
Medusa In the Shield : How Love Came to Professor Guildea [The Man Who Was Beloved] - Robert S. Hichens
Medusa In the Shield : Born of Man and Woman - Richard Matheson
Medusa In the Shield : My Dear Emily - Joanna Russ
Medusa In the Shield : You Can Go Now - Dennis Etchison
Medusa In the Shield : The Rocking-Horse Winner - D. H. Lawrence
Medusa In the Shield : Three Days - Tanith Lee
Medusa In the Shield : Good Country People - Flannery O'Connor
Medusa In the Shield : Mackintosh Willy - Ramsey Campbell
Medusa In the Shield : The Jolly Corner - Henry James
Fabulous Formless Darkness : Smoke Ghost - Fritz Leiber
Fabulous Formless Darkness : Seven American Nights - Gene Wolfe
Fabulous Formless Darkness : The Signal-Man - Charles Dickens
Fabulous Formless Darkness : Crouch End - Stephen King
Fabulous Formless Darkness : Night-Side - Joyce Carol Oates
Fabulous Formless Darkness : Seaton's Aunt - Walter de la Mare
Fabulous Formless Darkness : Clara Militch - Ivan Turgenev
Fabulous Formless Darkness : The Repairer of Reputations - Robert W. Chambers
Fabulous Formless Darkness : The Beckoning Fair One - Oliver Onions
Fabulous Formless Darkness : What Was It? - Fitz-James O'Brien
Fabulous Formless Darkness : The Beautiful Stranger - Shirley Jackson
Fabulous Formless Darkness : The Damned Thing - Ambrose Bierce
Fabulous Formless Darkness : Afterward - Edith Wharton
Fabulous Formless Darkness : The Willows - Algernon Blackwood
Fabulous Formless Darkness : The Asian Shore - Thomas M. Disch
Fabulous Formless Darkness : The Hospice - Robert Aickman
Fabulous Formless Darkness : A Little Something for Us Tempunauts - Philip K. Dick


Mainland ghost, gran.

4 out of 5


Shop people.

3 out of 5


Keep dead witches and bloody big spiders away from the house.

4 out of 5


Wooden tail tale.

2.5 out of 5


I'm axeing for help, Frank.

4 out of 5


Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

4.5 out of 5


Could be worse, could be Crystal Lake.

3.5 out of 5


City god call.

3.5 out of 5


Witchocrites.

3 out of 5


Hanging judge, yes.

3.5 out of 5


Accident cycle.

3.5 out of 5


Bodysnatcher's new home in serious need of repair.

5 out of 5


Best if the groom's still alive, really.

3.5 out of 5


Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of the Old Ones? Kent Allard's nephew!

4 out of 5


Religious synthesis forum, very weird.

3 out of 5


Nazi gas delayed, no chamber.

3.5 out of 5


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

4.5 out of 5


Cat, kid, you can have the lot, woman.

3.5 out of 5


Washington gives no quarter, warlock.

4 out of 5

--
Sheath girl.

3 out of 5


Bug control black flag.

3.5 out of 5


You are bloody well not going.

4 out of 5


Fear experiment just axeing for some clowning around.

4 out of 5


Blame Wodewick.

4 out of 5


Getting rid of an evil toy at the bottom of Crystal Lake? Wouldn't be the first location i would chose. Actually, it'd be really close to the bottom. Arkham, Dunwich, 'Salem's Lot, down around there somewhere.

3 out of 5


Stone boy Santa shock.

4 out of 5


Cat not up to Roman god stuff and rodents.

4 out of 5


Lost Rose.

3 out of 5


The decor around here needs serious work.

3.5 out of 5


Dead hair find.

3.5 out of 5


Parrot punishment.

3.5 out of 5


Slow offspring.

2 out of 5


Vamped.

3.5 out of 5


Spreading pillow talk.

3.5 out of 5


Lucky punt breakdown.

3.5 out of 5


Hanging extension coverup.

3.5 out of 5


Give me my leg back you bastard.

3.5 out of 5


No shelter left.

3.5 out of 5


Ghost me.

2 out of 5


--

Spectral look.

3.5 out of 5


Play things.

3.5 out of 5


Danger light haunting.

4 out of 5


Mythos scoffer mortality.

4 out of 5


Seance surprise.

3.5 out of 5


Ghost house.

3.5 out of 5


Poisoned woman not all gone.

3.5 out of 5


PR work not nice, free euthanasia not popular.

4 out of 5


Loopy writer problems.

4 out of 5


Nightmare rather solid it appears.

4 out of 5


Our house got lost.

3 out of 5


Invisible monster.

4 out of 5


Ghost visit.

3 out of 5


Wind in the tree monsters.

4.5 out of 5


Turkish twists.

3 out of 5


Lodging lacks lager and fun.

3 out of 5


Time to avoid own deaths.

4 out of 5





4.5 out of 5

The Medusa In the Shield - David G. Hartwell

The second part of Hartwell's Dark Descent anthology, as stand alone book. Some psychological stuff.

Medusa In the Shield : The Swords - Robert Aickman
Medusa In the Shield : The Roaches - Thomas M. Disch
Medusa In the Shield : Bright Segment - Theodore Sturgeon
Medusa In the Shield : Dread - Clive Barker
Medusa In the Shield : The Fall of the House of Usher - Edgar Allan Poe
Medusa In the Shield : The Monkey - Stephen King
Medusa In the Shield : Within the Walls of Tyre - Michael Bishop
Medusa In the Shield : The Rats in the Walls - H. P. Lovecraft
Medusa In the Shield : Schalken the Painter - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Medusa In the Shield : The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Medusa In the Shield : A Rose for Emily - William Faulkner
Medusa In the Shield : How Love Came to Professor Guildea [The Man Who Was Beloved] - Robert S. Hichens
Medusa In the Shield : Born of Man and Woman - Richard Matheson
Medusa In the Shield : My Dear Emily - Joanna Russ
Medusa In the Shield : You Can Go Now - Dennis Etchison
Medusa In the Shield : The Rocking-Horse Winner - D. H. Lawrence
Medusa In the Shield : Three Days - Tanith Lee
Medusa In the Shield : Good Country People - Flannery O'Connor
Medusa In the Shield : Mackintosh Willy - Ramsey Campbell
Medusa In the Shield : The Jolly Corner - Henry James



Sheath girl.

3 out of 5


Bug control black flag.

3.5 out of 5


You are bloody well not going.

4 out of 5


Fear experiment just axeing for some clowning around.

4 out of 5


Blame Wodewick.

4 out of 5


Getting rid of an evil toy at the bottom of Crystal Lake? Wouldn't be the first location i would chose. Actually, it'd be really close to the bottom. Arkham, Dunwich, 'Salem's Lot, down around there somewhere.

3 out of 5


Stone boy Santa shock.

4 out of 5


Cat not up to Roman god stuff and rodents.

4 out of 5


Lost Rose.

3 out of 5


The decor around here needs serious work.

3.5 out of 5


Dead hair find.

3.5 out of 5


Parrot punishment.

3.5 out of 5


Slow offspring.

2 out of 5


Vamped.

3.5 out of 5


Spreading pillow talk.

3.5 out of 5


Lucky punt breakdown.

3.5 out of 5


Hanging extension coverup.

3.5 out of 5


Give me my leg back you bastard.

3.5 out of 5


No shelter left.

3.5 out of 5


Ghost me.

2 out of 5




4 out of 5

Three Days - Tanith Lee

Hanging extension coverup.


3.5 out of 5

You Can Go Now - Dennis Etchison

Spreading pillow talk.


3.5 out of 5

The Swords - Robert Aickman

Sheath girl.


3 out of 5

Bright Segment - Theodore Sturgeon

You are bloody well not going.


4 out of 5

The Roaches - Thomas Disch

Bug control black flag.


3.5 out of 5

Three Hearts and Three Lions - Poul Anderson

Holger the hero.

Is transported from a World War II battle straight to a world where he becomes a sort of Arthurian champion of Law.

However, this resembles Moorcock or Elric completely not at all given it is full of unicorns and knights and trolls, and annoying personifications of Morgan Le Fay, etc.

Pretty light fantasy, not anywhere near such aforementioned sword and sorcery stuff.

e.g. "He glimpsed the beautiful white beast flitting between the trees. A stray wisp of ivy had caught on its horn. Wait. He peered through the half-light. Didn’t someone walk beside it?

Meriven tensed pantherishly. “If we steal close—” she whispered. Her horse moved forward, hoofs noiseless on the turf.

The unicorn stopped, looked back at them, and was away, a shining shadow rapidly lost to sight. Meriven swore with unladylike imaginativeness. Holger said nothing, because he had seen what accompanied the animal. For one moment he had locked eyes with Alianora. Now she was also gone."

Not to mention the odd damsel:
"The girl turned her head. Holger saw how the blush stained her face and bosom. Still more acutely was he aware of her young curves. within the swan tunic, of great gray eyes and soft lips and fluttering hands. “Nay,” she whispered. “I dinna know what ye means, Sir Carahue.”

Then the annoying Arthurians :

"“Well, we of the gentler sex must be permitted a little fancifulness, must we not, my sweet?” She patted his cheek. “It’s God’s truth that I have come to win you back.”

“Win me back to Chaos!” he blustered.

“And why not? What is there about dull Law that drives you to defend it? See, I am honest with you; now do you be honest with yourself. Why, Holger, my darling bear, you’re but bulwarking loutish peasants and fat-gutted burghers, when the mirth and thunder and blazing stars of Chaos could be yours. When were you ever one for a safe and narrow life, locked in its own smugness, roofed with a sour gray sky, stinking of smoke and dung—you who drove armies from the field? You could hurl suns and shape worlds if you chose!”


3 out of 5

A Science Fiction Argosy - Damon Knight

An anthology of older stoires, of reasonable quality. Interestingly, it also includes a novel (Bester) and a collection (Sturgeon) as well, so a little bit of a long, strange beast.

Science Fiction Argosy : Green Thoughts - John Collier
Science Fiction Argosy : The Red Queen's Race - Isaac Asimov
Science Fiction Argosy : The Cure - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore
Science Fiction Argosy : Consider Her Ways - John Wyndham
Science Fiction Argosy : An Ornament to His Profession - Charles L. Harness
Science Fiction Argosy : The Third Level - Jack Finney
Science Fiction Argosy : One Ordinary Day with Peanuts - Shirley Jackson
Science Fiction Argosy : Bernie the Faust - William Tenn
Science Fiction Argosy : Light of Other Days - Bob Shaw
Science Fiction Argosy : The Game of Rat and Dragon - Cordwainer Smith
Science Fiction Argosy : Becalmed in Hell - Larry Niven
Science Fiction Argosy : Apology to Inky - Robert M. Green
Science Fiction Argosy : The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
Science Fiction Argosy : Day Million - Frederik Pohl
Science Fiction Argosy : Manna - Peter Phillips
Science Fiction Argosy : Can You Feel Anything When I Do This? - Robert Sheckley
Science Fiction Argosy : Somerset Dreams - Kate Wilhelm
Science Fiction Argosy : He Walked Around the Horses - H. Beam Piper
Science Fiction Argosy : Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-Tah-Tee - Fritz Leiber
Science Fiction Argosy : Sea Wrack - Edward Jesby
Science Fiction Argosy : Man in His Time - Brian W. Aldiss
Science Fiction Argosy : Four Brands of Impossible - Norman Kagan
Science Fiction Argosy : Built Up Logically - Howard Schoenfeld
Science Fiction Argosy : Judgment Day - L. Sprague de Camp
Science Fiction Argosy : Journeys End - Poul Anderson
Science Fiction Argosy : More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon

Needs fertiliser.

2.5 out of 5


Atomic energy time depletion.

3 out of 5


Yep, you could be nuts.

3 out of 5


Rat killing means ex-men, even if only in the mind, and the unmoderated female influence ain't much fun at all.

4.5 out of 5


Patent dodge devil of a game.

3.5 out of 5


Old station bits.

2.5 out of 5


Bad tips.

3 out of 5


Want to buy the Earth?

4 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


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

4 out of 5


Ship brain Venus trip.

3 out of 5


Staying out of the Witch World.

2 out of 5


In The Demolished Man, society goes for the Doc Savage school of rehabilitation of criminals. i.e. they alter their brains and minds until they are good productive citizens. Telepaths can generally notice when crimes will be committed beforehand.

Here, a clever supervillain type is at large, and has a plan to change things. A man must try and stop him.

4 out of 5

Stored love.

3.5 out of 5


Spook canned delivery.

3.5 out of 5


Expecting something better.

3 out of 5


Town sleep test.

3.5 out of 5


A English diplomat in Prussia, in 1809, performs the titular action and disappears. The story is told in documentation about the event.

3 out of 5


Jumbo magic pattern words.

4 out of 5


Homo Aquaticus surprise war warning.

4 out of 5


Consciousness continuum concentration expedition communication.

4 out of 5


Professional student breakdown.

3 out of 5


Shocked by me.

3.5 out of 5


Iron reaction bullyboy global blowup.

4.5 out of 5


Telepathy no meeting of minds.

3 out of 5


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

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

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

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



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


End of the innocence.

3.5 out of 5


Gestalt growth.

3.5 out of 5


Homo Gestalt investigations.

3.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5






3.5 out of 5

Visions Of Wonder - David G. Hartwell and Milton T. Wolf

An anthology of science fiction and fantasy, as well as some criticism, given it is related to the science fiction research association. There are chapters from books like Damon Knights, and Hartwell's Age of Wonders, as well as pieces by Cramer, Delany, Stableford and others, including a lengthy chunk by Budrys. The stories are good quality, coming out at 3.53.

For those interested in more academic geekery, there is a lengthy bibliography of such material by Gary Wolfe, at the end.

Visions Of Wonder : The Ship Who Sang [short story] - Anne McCaffrey
Visions Of Wonder : Blood Music - Greg Bear
Visions Of Wonder : Paperjack - Charles de Lint
Visions Of Wonder : Forever Yours Anna - Kate Wilhelm
Visions Of Wonder : Mr. Boy - James Patrick Kelly
Visions Of Wonder : Jamboree - Jack Williamson
Visions Of Wonder : The Death of Doctor Island - Gene Wolfe
Visions Of Wonder : Ender's Game [short story] - Orson Scott Card
Visions Of Wonder : Bears Discover Fire - Terry Bisson
Visions Of Wonder : One Down One to Go - Philip José Farmer
Visions Of Wonder : Sur - Ursula K. Le Guin
Visions Of Wonder : Doing Lennon - Gregory Benford
Visions Of Wonder : A Tupolev Too Far - Brian W. Aldiss
Visions Of Wonder : Them Old Hyannis Blues - Judith Tarr
Visions Of Wonder : Masque of the Red Shift - Fred Saberhagen
Visions Of Wonder : Redemption in the Quantum Realm - Frederik Pohl
Visions Of Wonder : Devil You Don't Know - Dean Ing
Visions Of Wonder : The Eye of the World [short story] - Robert Jordan
Visions Of Wonder : Split Light - Lisa Goldstein
Visions Of Wonder : The Sun Spider - Lucius Shepard
Visions Of Wonder : Souls - Joanna Russ
Visions Of Wonder : Overdrawn at the Memory Bank - John Varley
Visions Of Wonder : The Girl Who Was Plugged In - James TiptreeJr.
Visions Of Wonder : Burning Chrome - William Gibson
Visions Of Wonder : Identifying the Object [Forward Echoes] - Gwyneth Jones
Visions Of Wonder : The Mountain to Mohammed - Nancy Kress
Visions Of Wonder : Wall Stone Craft - Walter Jon Williams
Visions Of Wonder : Boobs - Suzy McKee Charnas
Visions Of Wonder : Spider Silk - Andre Norton
Visions Of Wonder : A Braver Thing - Charles Sheffield
Visions Of Wonder : Getting Real - Susan Shwartz
Visions Of Wonder : True Names - Vernor Vinge

Rogue rejection replacement return.

3.5 out of 5


Microcolony kill failure transfer overrun.

4 out of 5


Fiddlng with origami.

3.5 out of 5


Love letter time analysis.

4 out of 5


Not wanting to grow up attitude certainly isn't helped by mum's mechanical approach to parenting.

3.5 out of 5


Hop on Pop old Scouts won't be Rovers.

3.5 out of 5


Isolated mental adjustment.

3.5 out of 5


Battle School strategy surprise.

4 out of 5


Hibernatin's a big ol' waste of time.

4 out of 5


Humans, not quite breeding like insects.

3.5 out of 5


Antarctic women trip, even a really small one.

3.5 out of 5


Fielding impersonation simulation.

4 out of 5


Russian travel wasted.

2.5 out of 5


Iron Maggie anti-terror band.

3 out of 5


Big star leadership freeze out massacre revival.

3.5 out of 5


God's observation doesn't count.

4 out of 5


Patient retardation.

3 out of 5


Moraine story.

3 out of 5


Just passed around.

2.5 out of 5


Sunbeast seeker shags separately from spouse, summons super maths.

3 out of 5


Nun of that Viking stuff here.

3.5 out of 5


A man's virtual vacation is extended rather too long.

3.5 out of 5


Remote media darling.

3.5 out of 5


Cracking victim charity.

4 out of 5


Then blowing it up, if alien.

3.5 out of 5


Emergency medicine restrictions.

4 out of 5


Shelley war effort.

4 out of 5


A well-built werewolf still has to eat Billy.

4.5 out of 5


With a title like that you won't be disappointed, there are giant ones, and half-human hybrids. So they have to hope the blind witch girl can handle her fledgling powers.

3 out of 5


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

4 out of 5


Temporary Reality bunny.

3 out of 5


Delivering the Mailman is Slippery.

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Wizard's Coming - Juliet E. McKenna

Get him.


3 out of 5

The Indecisiveness Of Birds - Jeff VanderMeer

Songbird skyrace second-stage slingshot coronation.


3.5 out of 5

The Unreliability Of Cats - Jeff VanderMeer

Another use for a dead one.


2.5 out of 5

The Trouble With Bears - Jeff VanderMeer

Cleanup runaway pieride linguistics.


3.5 out of 5

In Between Dreams - Chris Barzak

Cleaning up getaway.


3 out of 5

The Prince Of End Times - Hal Duncan

Scrabble babble.


2.5 out of 5

Reins Of Destiny - Janny Wurts

Guilded.


2 out of 5

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jamboree - Jack Williamson

Hop on Pop old Scouts won't be Rovers.


3.5 out of 5

Identifying the Object - Gwyneth Jones

Then blowing it up, if alien.


3.5 out of 5

The Eye Of the World - Robert Jordan

Moraine story.


3 out of 5

Redemption In the Quantum Realm - Frederik Pohl

God's observation doesn't count.


4 out of 5

Them Old Hyannis Blues - Judith Tarr

Iron Maggie anti-terror band.


3 out of 5

A Tupolev Too Far - Brian Aldiss

Russian travel wasted.


2.5 out of 5

Paperjack - Charles De Lint

Fiddlng with origami.


3.5 out of 5

Judgment Day - L. Sprague De Camp

Iron reaction bullyboy global blowup.


4.5 out of 5

Somerset Dreams - Kate Wilhelm

Town sleep test.


3.5 out of 5

We Kill People - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

Mutant bug multipliers.


4 out of 5

Open Secret - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

Thinking robot worry.


3 out of 5

Noon - Henry Kuttner

Mindless woman flame blossom save.


3 out of 5

Jesting Pilot - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

City Barrier hypnosis.


3.5 out of 5

Grab Bag - Henry Kuttner and Robert Bloch

Ghost sack face chomp.


3.5 out of 5

Secret Of the Pyramid - Robert Moore Williams

Spider race incubation struggle.


4 out of 5

Can You Feel Anything When I Do This? - Robert Sheckley

Expecting something better.


3 out of 5

Green Thoughts - John Collier

Needs fertiliser.


2.5 out of 5

Nightsound - Algis Budrys

Farmboy alien mechanic chip off the old block.


3 out of 5

The Last Victory - Tom Godwin

No Technogration, trust the dog. Or even the kitten.


3 out of 5

The Other People - Leigh Brackett

Lightning ship alien smuggling scare.


3 out of 5

The Mile Long Spaceship - Kate Wilhelm

Human astronomy lacking.


3.5 out of 5

One Down One To Go - Philip Jose Farmer

Humans, not quite breeding like insects.


3.5 out of 5

Deadly Beloved - Max Allan Collins

Ms. Tree, revisited.


To start with the end material, Collins gives an overview of how the character came into being via comic serials and issues, in a bit of a surprise - and also a tv series being declined for NYPD Blue. He mentions this is an updated take on the origin story with a few changes. The original idea for the character was apparently a bit of a gender reversal of the Mike Hammer and secretary tale.

Here, in a story told via flashbacks in a visit to her shrink, Ms. Tree details the death of her husband and partner, and an investigation a year or so later that ties into this murder.


4 out of 5

Grave Descend - Michael Crichton

Yacht subterfuge.

A diver in Ocho Rios is hired by an insurance firm to salvage some important items from a yacht of the sunken variety.

He soon realises there is something very odd about this whole situation, and ends up up to his neck in alligators, hammerhead sharks, ocelots, and more.

The odd speargun and trusted violent friend will certainly come in handy, here.


4 out of 5

Project - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

Committee against Mutant Riots.


3 out of 5

Rite Of Passage - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

Soul stealing will cost you.


3.5 out of 5

Wild Surmise - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

Narcosynthesis bug dream.


3 out of 5

The Bloodless Peril - Henry Kuttner

Got to do something before it is a big shop of horrors.


3 out of 5

Avengers Of Space - Henry Kuttner

The Eagles has landed, Mars, Saturn, wherever.


2 out of 5

This Is the House - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

Not just rewiring.


3 out of 5

The Prisoner In the Skull - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

One magic window Hed-D-Acher.


3.5 out of 5

Home There's No Returning - Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

Ego is a big, dirty robot.


3 out of 5

Friday, September 19, 2008

Get Off My World! - Murray Leinster

Three stories that show that you can go a lot of places in the galaxy, but whoever is there already may be very unhappy to see you.

Get Off My World : SECOND LANDING - Murray Leinster
Get Off My World : WHITE SPOT - Murray Leinster
Get Off My World : PLANET OF SAND - Murray Leinster


Interplanetary conflict interstellar investigation expedition.

4 out of 5


Living jelly, with tentacles.

3 out of 5


I'll fight you anywhere you like, Space Guard boy.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Planet Of Sand - Murray Leinster

I'll fight you anywhere you like, Space Guard boy.


3 out of 5

White Spot - Murray Leinster

Living jelly, with tentacles.


3 out of 5

The Last Spaceship - Murray Leinster

A short space opera collection with a plucky technician, machinery to keep criminals and those who don't toe the line under control. With one good spaceship and good woman, of course. They leave for other parts and get into plenty of action.

Last Spaceship : THE DISCIPLINARY CIRCUIT - Murray Leinster
Last Spaceship : THE MANLESS WORLDS - Murray Leinster
Last Spaceship : THE BOOMERANG CIRCUIT - Murray Leinster

I'm taking my ship and going somewhere else.

3.5 out of 5


Gender balancing space battle.

3 out of 5


Back to the old Matter Transmitter job for some anti-tyranny machinery.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

The Boomerang Circuit - Murray Leinster

Back to the old Matter Transmitter job for some anti-tyranny machinery.


3 out of 5

The Manless Worlds - Murray Leinster

Gender balancing space battle.


3 out of 5

The Disciplinary Circuit - Murray Leinster

I'm taking my ship and going somewhere else.


3.5 out of 5

Lady Dog - A. Bertram Chandler

This ship is.


3 out of 5

Adapter - Murray Leinster

Turkey gobbler Ethical Equations.


2.5 out of 5

Interference - Murray Leinster

Yep, that's a time travelin' machine.


3 out of 5

The Morrison Monument - Murray Leinster

Time camera murder partner.


3.5 out of 5

Friends - Murray Leinster

Telepathy twin pool.


2.5 out of 5

The Mole Pirate - Murray Leinster

Walk through walls? Sure, mate, but I'm gunna drive through.


3.5 out of 5

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Second Landing - Murray Leinster

Interplanetary conflict interstellar investigation expedition.


3.5 out of 5

Space-can - Murray Leinster

Swamps of Ganymede.


3 out of 5

Plague - Murray Leinster

Glowing dead women disease hunt.


3 out of 5

The Journey - Murray Leinster

Light heavy light.


2.5 out of 5

Imbalance - Murray Leinster

Strange Vegas luck.


3 out of 5

From Beyond the Stars - Murray Leinster

Comics preparation can help stop your kid falling for an alien plot to blow up the Earth.


3 out of 5

Four Little Ships - Murray Leinster

We'll get those mines and subs for ya.


2.5 out of 5

The Devil Of East Lupton - Murray Leinster

Pothead alien defense.


3 out of 5

The Corianis Disaster - Murray Leinster

Double trouble.


3 out of 5

The Gadget Had A Ghost - Murray Leinster

Not really mysticism, just time.


3.5 out of 5

The Middle Of the Week After Next - Murray Leinster

Taxi Monster time vanish.


3 out of 5

Propagandist - Murray Leinster

Buck is a very happy dog. He helped us make allies wipe out the space assassins with power beams.


3.5 out of 5

The Sentimentalists - Murray Leinster

Space guardian patent.


3 out of 5

The Trans-Human - Murray Leinster

We're hunting humans. We hope.


3.5 out of 5

The Wabbler - Murray Leinster

Just swimming around explosively.


3.5 out of 5

Out Of This World - Murray Leinster

An related trio of stories about a physics savant and various atomic issues. This one is dated and not worth bothering with at all.

Out of This World : The Gregory Circle - Murray Leinster
Out of This World : The Nameless Something - Murray Leinster
Out of This World : The Deadly Dust - Murray Leinster

Atomic problem miracle fix.

2.5 out of 5


Stopping them euro nukes.

3 out of 5


Lost the bud.

2.5 out of 5




1 out of 5

The Deadly Dust - Murray Leinster

Lost the bud.


2.5 out of 5

The Nameless Somethng - Murray Leinster

Stopping them euro nukes.


3 out of 5

The Gregory Circle - Murray Leinster

Atomic problem miracle fix.


2.5 out of

The Best Of Murray Leinster - Murray Leinster

An excellent collection. The introduction by John J. Pierce points out that Leinster (a pseudonym, real name William F. Jenkins) is known as the Dean Of Science Fiction. Having started in 1919 or so, and then winning an award 40 years later, is an impressive effort - so is a collection from so early that averages 3.62, with a variety of themes and styles. This is without Exploration Team/Combat Team, too! He could be serious, or funny, and apparently has lots of work in other genres - so rather more talented than your average writer of the time, it would appear.

SF fans that haven't had a look at Leinster, particularly if interested in the history could give this one a go. Some of the stories you will find online thanks to Baen, too, so another way to check them out. Also some work at Gutenberg.

Best of Murray Leinster : Sidewise in Time - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : Proxima Centauri - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : The Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : First Contact - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : The Ethical Equations - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : Pipeline to Pluto - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : The Power - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : A Logic Named Joe - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : Symbiosis - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : The Strange Case of John Kingman - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : The Lonely Planet - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : Keyhole - Murray Leinster
Best of Murray Leinster : Critical Difference - Murray Leinster

Faults in the universe, lots of, means we got large chunks of the alternate thing visiting. Anyone want to be emperor of one?

3.5 out of 5


Vegie men seek animal matter gold.

3.5 out of 5


Kangaroo multiple mishap.

3.5 out of 5


Conflict avoidance transport swap.

4.5 out of 5


Conduct probability Space Patrol.

3 out of 5


Too cold, too fast to die.

3.5 out of 5


Just an alien, not a demon or wizard.

4 out of 5


These machines are after me.

4 out of 5


A bit of biological war.

3 out of 5


Alien longtime patient dumbing down.

3.5 out of 5


Living and smart, too.

4 out of 5


Moon traitor nursery surprise.

3.5 out of 5


Cold, need BIG power.

3.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Lonely Planet - Murray Leinster

Living and smart, too.


4 out of 5

Symbiosis - Murray Leinster

A bit of biological war.


3 out of 5

The Power - Murray Leinster

Just an alien, not a demon or wizard.


4 out of 5

Pipeline To Pluto - Murray Leinster

Too cold, too fast to die.


3.5 out of 5

Sidewise In Time - Murray Leinster

Faults in the universe, lots of, means we got large chunks of the alternate thing visiting. Anyone want to be emperor of one?


3.5 out of 5

The Aliens - Murray Leinster

A couple of aliens come to earth stories, the rest out in space. The title story is easily the best of this lot. You can find it at Project Gutenberg, too.

Aliens : The Aliens - Murray Leinster
Aliens : Fugitive From Space - Murray Leinster
Aliens : Anthropological Note - Murray Leinster
Aliens : Skit-Tree Planet - Murray Leinster
Aliens : Thing From the Sky - Murray Leinster

For friendly encounters, get rid of the xenophobic psychos.

4 out of 5


Falling on the car, possessing the wife, super weapons would be going a bit far.

3 out of 5


Venus wedding night darkness.

3.5 out of 5


Solidly unreal city.

3.5 out of 5


Cliff, Martian.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Thing From the Sky - Murray Leinster

Cliff, Martian.


3 out of 5

Fugitive From Space - Murray Leinster

Falling on the car, possessing the wife, super weapons would be going a bit far.


3 out of 5

The Far Traveler - A. Bertram Chandler

Grimes has apparently managed to get himself in a fair bit of trouble in the Survey Service, and here he ends up signing on with the Baroness, who happens to have a sentient computer, robots (Golden Amazons, no less) and a thing for dashing rogues that aren't Grimes. Not to mention being smarter - she wants Grimes to work for her while she tools around doing an academic survey of some planetary life, among other things in this collection/fixup or whatever you would like to call it.

Far Traveller : The Far Traveller - A. Bertram Chandler
Far Traveller : The Long Fall - A. Bertram Chandler
Far Traveller : The Sleeping Beast - A. Bertram Chandler
Far Traveller : Journey's End - A. Bertram Chandler

Grimes, out of the Survey Service, after helping raise a ship, finds his options limited by people that want to shoot at and/or arrest him, so hires on with the Baroness.

3 out of 5


Fungus is the bogeyman as the Baroness orders Grimes to help her do some first hand research for her thesis.

3.5 out of 5


Grimes Big Sister Baroness ejection rejection.

3.5 out of 5


Some robots please, Big Sisters.

3.5 out of 5





4 out of 5

The Far Traveller - A. Bertram Chandler

Grimes, out of the Survey Service, after helping raise a ship, finds his options limited by people that want to shoot at and/or arrest him, so hires on with the Baroness.


3 out of 5

Battle For the Stars - Edmond Hamilton

Space opera and spies.


The United Worlds has five sectors, and things are tense, particularly between Lyra and Orion. Tense as in 'have space fleet, might use it' sort of tense. The Orionids also have the Lyrans outgunned, without some help.

As well as the where to put our space fleets, dance, there is some good old fashioned spies like us running around in the woods to try and gain or prevent advantages, as well as some of the more straight out diplomacy. Mr. Birrel has his hands full in this reasonable novel.


3 out of 5

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Constellations - Peter Crowther

A pretty ordinary orginal anthology, with two clear standouts in McAuley and Reynolds. For a book called Constellations, a fair bit of stick-close-to-homeness to be seen, and some pretty nebulous qualifications for thi sin some stories.

Constellations : A Heritage of Stars - Eric Brown
Constellations : Rats of the System - Paul McAuley
Constellations : Ten Billion of Them - Brian W. Aldiss
Constellations : Star! - Tony Ballantyne
Constellations : Lakes of Light - Stephen Baxter
Constellations : No Cure for Love - Roger Levy
Constellations : The Navigator's Children - Ian Watson
Constellations : A Different Sky - Keith Brooke
Constellations : The Fulcrum - Gwyneth Jones
Constellations : The Meteor Party - James Lovegrove
Constellations : Written in the Stars - Ian McDonald
Constellations : The Order of Things - Adam Roberts
Constellations : The Little Bear - Justina Robson
Constellations : Kings - Colin Greenland
Constellations : Beyond the Aquila Rift - Alastair Reynolds

Dying for love.

3 out of 5


Transcendent hunter-killer chase experiment.

4.5 out of 5


Small maybe not better.

3 out of 5


Big fat glowing girl.

3 out of 5


Star wrapping investigation.

3.5 out of 5


Put it to sleep.

2.5 out of 5


Constellation shift, Eks.

3 out of 5


Originated me.

3 out of 5


Anti-information score dangerous.

3 out of 5


Where you get pissed, unless you uptight childless shrew.

3 out of 5


Ordinated freedom.

3 out of 5


Rather be an astronomer than fiddle around with the fjords.

3 out of 5


Continuum lost, grog ruined.

3.5 out of 5


Too many signs.

2.5 out of 5


Lost In Space.

"Space," it says, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how
vastly hugely mindboggingly big it is.

4.5 out of 5





2.5 out of 5

Kings - Colin Greenland

Too many signs.


2.5 out of 5

The Little Bear - Justina Robson

Continuum lost, grog ruined.


3.5 out of 5

The Order Of Things - Adam Roberts

Rather be an astronomer than fiddle around with the fjords.


3 out of 5

Written In the Stars - Ian McDonald

Ordinated freedom.


3 out of 5

The Meteor Party - James Lovegrove

Where you get pissed, unless you uptight childless shrew.


3 out of 5

A Different Sky - Keith Brooke

Originated me.


3 out of 5

The Song Is You - Megan Abbott

A stylish mystery built around a real life disappearance case. A party girl B-actress, in this case.

The protagonist of the piece is a little different, in that he is a studio PR flack that happened to be at the same party on the night she was last seen, with a friend.

In fact, cops, detectives etc. are pretty much absent in this one, apart from implied threats to inflict on the various dodgy characters who inhabit the Hollywood of this time - most of them in this case in the media.

One of the dodgy characters is our publicity man's wife, or ex-wife if you like, as too many nights and too many women have finished that, given his job is to either drink with, be nice to, or get beautiful women out of trouble, a fair bit of the time.

More a stylish piece than pulp thrills, as tough guys and bullets are nowhere to be seen, so perhaps rather tame for someone expecting that from their noir.

Still good though.


4 out of 5

The Navigator's Children - Ian Watson

Constellation shift, Eks.


3 out of 5

No Cure For Love - Roger Levy

Put it to sleep.


2.5 out of 5

Star! - Tony Ballantyne

Big fat glowing girl.


3 out of 5

Ten Billion Of Them - Brian Aldiss

Small maybe not better.


3 out of 5

A Heritage Of Stars - Eric Brown

Dying for love.


3 out of 5

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Live Without A Net - Lou Anders

Another fine anthology by Lou Anders. In fact, of the three I have read, this is the best at 3.58 (3.53, 3.47). Not sure whether you would call this a theme anthology, on a negated theme anthology, given the stories are to show futures with no cybepunk predominance. Some do have nets of various sorts that get destroyed for various different reasons, however, where others have purely organic technology developments. The latter includes the wild World War Two spy novella by John Meaney, that is the strongest work here. No bad stories to be seen, either, even though Michael Swanwick's penchant for the vignette seems to not quite come together, here. There is even one outright elves and entrail reading for real story, as far as the completely impossible futures go.


So far, it seems, anything Anders has edited is worth a read, and you can't do better than that.

Live Without A Net : Smoke and Mirrors Parts I-IV - Michael Swanwick
Live Without A Net : O One - Chris Roberson
Live Without A Net : Clouds and Cold Fires - Paul Di Filippo
Live Without A Net : New Model Computer - Adam Roberts
Live Without A Net : Conurbation 2473 - Stephen Baxter
Live Without A Net : The Memory Palace - Matthew Sturges
Live Without A Net : Dobcheck Lost in the Funhouse - Mike Resnick and Kay Kenyon
Live Without A Net : Rogue Farm - Charles Stross
Live Without A Net : Swiftwater - Terry McGarry
Live Without A Net : The Crystal Method - S. M. Stirling
Live Without A Net : Reformation - Alex Irvine
Live Without A Net : Singletons in Love - Paul Melko
Live Without A Net : I Feed the Machine - Del Stone Jr.
Live Without A Net : Reality Check - David Brin
Live Without A Net : Frek in the Grulloo Woods - Rudy Rucker
Live Without A Net : All the News All the Time from Everywhere - Dave Hutchinson
Live Without A Net : The Swastika Bomb - John Meaney
Live Without A Net : No Solace for the Soul in Digetopia - John Grant

Darger and Surplus discussion.

3 out of 5


Chinese abacus boy Luddites dislike computing advances.

3.5 out of 5


Upflower resistance sapiens storm clearing.

3.5 out of 5


We made us some meat, so now all hail our old fleshy overlords.

3.5 out of 5


Coalition collaboration issues.

4 out of 5


Ethereally desperate.

3.5 out of 5


Old age fashioned connection.

3.5 out of 5


Pastoral life breakdown.

3.5 out of 5


Hyperspace ESP memory death deal.

3.5 out of 5


Clone dragon sf fantasy.

3 out of 5


The Nineteen Letters of God's infowar.

3 out of 5


Community clusterfuck.

4 out of 5


No Tabulator A into Checker B blasted Retirement.

4 out of 5


Satire. Fermi paradox and boring immortality, what to do?

3.5 out of 5


Angelwing cackleberry.

3 out of 5


Bloody anti-communication sylvan media.

4.5 out of 5


Fleming's hyperdragon nucleic infiltration sniper mission.

4.5 out of 5


Polycosmos.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

No Solace For the Soul In Digitopia - John Grant

Polycosmos.


3.5 out of 5

The Swastika Bomb - John Meaney

Fleming's hyperdragon nucleic infiltration sniper mission.


4.5 out of 5

All the News All the Time From Everywhere - Dave Hutchinson

Bloody anti-communication sylvan media.


4.5 out of 5

Frek In the Grulloo Woods - Rudy Rucker

Angelwing cackleberry.


3 out of 5

I Feed the Machine - Del Stone

No Tabulator A into Checker B blasted Retirement.


4 out of 5

Reformation - Alex Irvine

The Nineteen Letters of God's infowar.


3 out of 5

The Crystal Method - S. M. Stirling

Clone dragon sf fantasy.


3 out of 5

Swiftwater - Terry McGarry

Hyperspace ESP memory death deal.


3.5 out of 5

Dobcheck Lost In the Funhouse - Mike Resnick and Kay Kenyon

Old age fashioned connection.


3.5 out of 5

The Memory Palace - Matthew Sturges

Ethereally desperate.


3.5 out of 5

New Model Computer - Adam Roberts

We made us some meat, so now all hailr our old fleshy overlords.


3.5 out of 5

Clouds and Cold Fires - Paul Di Filippo

Upflower resistance sapiens storm clearing.


3.5 out of 5

Smoke and Mirrors Parts I-IV - Michael Swanwick

Darger and Surplus discussion.


3 out of 5

Monday, September 15, 2008

Recycled - Selina Rosen

What's a mind-altered now Queen junk expert of somewhat dubious morality going to do with too much royalty type boring stuff? Drink way too much, shag anything that moves, and get busted in a compromising position that involves multiple people, and a goat.

Van Gar, not happy, calls her bluff, and leaves.

After that, you get everyone getting into trouble, as while Drewcila has been pissed out of her horny little mind the King has decided to start a lovely little war, being all peeved and all.

Or, this one is pretty funny, too, if not quite as good as the first.


4 out of 5

Sunday, September 14, 2008

House Of Suns - Alastair Reynolds

Perhaps Reynolds' least successful novel. That, however, is relative, as it is still better than most.

There are two plot strands in this novel, one showing the young Abigail and how the technology and decision to scatter thousands of clones of a particular person across the galaxy to explore and periodically reunite. Functionally immortal and able to travel at almost the speed of light these travels cover large distances and huge amounts of time, such that being 'late for a reunion' can be measured in decades.

The second and more important is far in the future, and a particular pair of Shatterlings from one particular origin - The Gentian Line. They have a big problem, as they are ambushed at their latest gathering, and need to find out why. This part is where Reynolds runs into trouble a little, and is a bit bloated - his penchant for mysteries perhaps getting away with him, drawing out an interrogation and gathering and scene setting middle section of the book too much, without the sharply delineated characters to make this a bit more interesting. They are all clones, after all.

Although this is a different milieu to Revelation Space - you get a bit of this horror feel with the sectioning interrogation.

Once you are past that, you get a space chase that gets a little bit Edmond Hamilton perhaps. Then you have the good, wild Reynolds, strange entities, enigmatic machine life, and astronomical revelations. This does redeem the draggy middle as it ups the ante.

Call this one a 3.75, a fine start, a fine end, but just a bit above average middle.


4 out of 5

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hard-Boiled - Bill Pronzini and Jack Adrian

A really excellent anthology. An informative introduction of around fifteen pages to set it up for you, and there are also good introductory passages to each story that tell you something about each author, and set the scene for the work.

Reading this has been a very pleasing and enlightening experience as far as the title goes.

Interestingly, the only lame story, that could perhaps have stayed in literary journal land as it is rather dull was followed by two ripper five star wild stories in a row. For SF fans, you will find a Leigh Brackett story here.

The stories proceed in chronological order, decade by decade, from Hammett to Gorman.

Really well done, and to the publishers too, for putting this out. Another good Oxford University Press lengthy retrospective.

At a 3.71 average, and the extra material I'd call this a 4.75 plus.

Hard-Boiled : The Scorched Face - Dashiell Hammett
Hard-Boiled : Round Trip - W. R. Burnett
Hard-Boiled : Mistral - Raoul Whitfield
Hard-Boiled : Backwash - Frederick Nebel
Hard-Boiled : Trouble-Chaser - Paul Cain
Hard-Boiled : Fruit Tramp - Daniel Mainwaring
Hard-Boiled : Brush Fire - James M. Cain
Hard-Boiled : Human Interest Stuff - Brett Halliday
Hard-Boiled : Waiting for Rusty - William Cole
Hard-Boiled : I'll Be Waiting - Raymond Chandler
Hard-Boiled : Marijuana and a Pistol - Chester Himes
Hard-Boiled : Who Said I Was Dead? - Norbert Davis
Hard-Boiled : Nor Iron Bars - John D. MacDonald
Hard-Boiled : Dock Walloper - Benjamin Appel
Hard-Boiled : Three-Ten to Yuma - Elmore Leonard
Hard-Boiled : The Bobby-Soxer - Jonathan Craig
Hard-Boiled : Black Pudding - David Goodis
Hard-Boiled : Guilt-Edged Blonde - Ross Macdonald
Hard-Boiled : Mama's Boy - David Alexander
Hard-Boiled : The Screen Test of Mike Hammer - Mickey Spillane
Hard-Boiled : Home - Gil Brewer
Hard-Boiled : So Pale So Cold So Fair - Leigh Brackett
Hard-Boiled : A Piece of Ground - Helen Nielsen
Hard-Boiled : The Merry, Merry Christmas - Evan Hunter
Hard-Boiled : Forever After - Jim Thompson
Hard-Boiled : The Old Pro - H. A. DeRosso
Hard-Boiled : The Saturday Night Deaths - Michael Kerr
Hard-Boiled : Graveyard Shift - James M. Reasoner
Hard-Boiled : Deadhead Coming Down - Margaret Maron
Hard-Boiled : To Florida - Robert Sampson
Hard-Boiled : It's a Hard World - Andrew Vachss
Hard-Boiled : Junior Jackson’s Parable - James Hannah
Hard-Boiled : Bonding - Faye Kellerman
Hard-Boiled : Gravy Train - James Ellroy
Hard-Boiled : Batman's Helpers - Lawrence Block
Hard-Boiled : The Long Silence After - Ed Gorman

Orgy killzone negative Con Op coverup bull.

4 out of 5


Those Toledo flatfeet are too bent for us Chicago gangsters, boss.

3.5 out of 5


Bad wind and bullets in on the lam bar showdown.

3.5 out of 5


I'm just a governer-elect robbing gigolo.

4 out of 5


No talent for blackmail, either.

3.5 out of 5


He ain't no peach with a hole in him.

3 out of 5


Save him, kill him, very annoying.

3.5 out of 5


Ranger justice engineering.

4 out of 5


Miss twice and hope to die.

3.5 out of 5


"I could maybe give nine guesses. And twelve of them would be right."

3.5 out of 5


This is a stickup, dope.

3.5 out of 5


Not everybody, apparently.

3 out of 5


You can have him, boys. However, he does have a submachine gun. Go for your lives.

4 out of 5


No trouble, please.

3.5 out of 5


Working hard for the money. Bullets flying honey.

4 out of 5


Just a pro, unless you act funny.

3.5 out of 5


If you left me alone when I got out of the slammer, I wouldn't have had to make you kill each other.

4 out of 5


Mom, I'm running out of family, here. Tell her Mr. Archer.

4 out of 5


She went down like a two dollar really smart witness.

3.5 out of 5


Back up, make sure you got him.

3.5 out of 5


A local crimelord has a problem when the body of a reporter enemy's old lover is dumped on the newsman's doorstep.

4 out of 5


Too good to be true is a real killer, farmboy.

4.5 out of 5


Happy person lights out.

4 out of 5


Husbands, a pain in the neck.

3 out of 5


Need a non-soft killer again.

4 out of 5


Finishing off the bad loose ends, captain.

4 out of 5


Seven-eleven cleanup experience.

4 out of 5


Trucking along racking up the X's.

3.5 out of 5


Holiday cracker clearout.

3 out of 5


I think I'll let you have my spot in it.

3.5 out of 5


Organ Walls.

2.5 out of 5


Professionally not bored.

5 out of 5


Love me, love my bull terrier.

5 out of 5


The Copyright Protection Case.

3.5 out of 5


Disease shooter decision.

4 out of 5





5 out of 5

The Long Silence After - Ed Gorman

Disease shooter decision.


4 out of 5

Batman's Helpers - Lawrence Block

The Copyright Protection Case.


3.5 out of 5

Gravy Train - James Ellroy

Love me, love my bull terrier.


5 out of 5

Bonding - Faye Kellerman

Professionally not bored.


5 out of 5

Junior Jackson's Parable - James Hannah

Organ Walls.


2.5 out of 5

It's A Hard World - Andrew Vachss

I think I'll let you have my spot in it.


3.5 out of 5

To Florida - Robert Sampson

Holiday cracker clearout.


3 out of 5

Deadhead Coming Down - Margaret Maron

Trucking along racking up the X's.


3.5 out of 5

Graveyard Shift - James M. Reasoner

Seven-eleven cleanup experience.


4 out of 5

The Saturday Night Deaths - Michael Kerr

Finishing off the bad loose ends, captain.


4 out of 5

The Old Pro - H. A. Derosso

Need a non-soft killer again.


4 out of 5

Friday, September 12, 2008

Around An Ancient Star - G. David Nordley

We're the new race on Mars.


3.5 out of 5

Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang - Mordecai Richler

A little kid that gets ignored all the time - and has to make himself heard once again (hence the name), gets thrown in the slammer for the horrible crime of an insult.

Supervillains to overcome, superhero friends to have help you out, etc.

A funny kids book.


3 out of 5

No Such Thing As A Witch - Ruth Chew

Kids book. A couple of kids have a next door neighbour who isn't your average old lady. She can make with the magic chocolate mojo. The more you take, the more that you just might need Doctor Dolittle.


3 out of 5

The Little Black Box - Philip K. Dick

A classic example of a good collection. A 3.50 average and a clear majority of the stories are above average. A few of the more bizare variety are to be found here, not that bizarre isn't sort of a default condition a lot of the time for PKD.

Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : The Little Black Box - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : The War with the Fnools - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Precious Artifact - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Retreat Syndrome - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : A Tehran Odyssey - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Your Appointment Will Be Yesterday - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Holy Quarrel - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : A Game of Unchance - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Not by its Cover - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Return Match - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Faith of Our Fathers - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : The Story to End All Stories - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : The Electric Ant - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Cadbury the Beaver Who Lacked - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : A Little Something for Us Tempunauts - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : The Pre-Persons - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : The Eye of the Sibyl - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : The Day Mr. Computer Fell out of its Tree - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : The Exit Door Leads In - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Chains of Air Web of Aether - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Strange Memories of Death - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : Rautavaara's Case - Philip K. Dick
Eye of Sibyl and Other Classic Stories : The Alien Mind - Philip K. Dick

Telepathy empathy.

3.5 out of 5


Short alien Lightfoot anew.

3.5 out of 5


Scary Proxmen.

3 out of 5


Terran delusions need for speed.

3.5 out of 5


Problems with mushies.

3 out of 5


Peaks and phases.

3.5 out of 5


Attack conclusion machine creator.

3.5 out of 5


Carny stench of psi-rigging.

3.5 out of 5


Outside judging inside, for once.

4 out of 5


Space casino kill.

4 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


Frankenstein shagging crunchy god yum.

3.5 out of 5


Mechanical slave tape experiment.

3.5 out of 5


Staid blue chip engineer.

3 out of 5


Time to avoid own deaths.

4 out of 5


Bring out your kids.

4 out of 5


Books, time, cult.

3.5 out of 5


Machine crackers.

3 out of 5


Show some backbone, bibleboy.

4 out of 5


Sick and of sitting around here.

3.5 out of 5


Get the nuts out.

3 out of 5


Slightly warm with the memories.

4 out of 5


Dead monitor restoration, christ.

3.5 out of 5


Dead cat food.

3 out of 5




4 out of 5