Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Falling - Chris Mooney

Honey trap's black-eyed sharkbait saviour.


3.5 out of 5

The Other Side Of the Mirror - Eric Van Lustbader

Dad, you the double shooter, me too.


3 out of 5

The Athens Solution - Brad Thor

Ambassador terror fake control device sharked.


3.5 out of 5

Surviving Toronto - M. Diane Voigt

Murderer dad removal rescue.


4 out of 5

The Powder Monkey - Ted Bell

Nelson's glass fleet pirate rescue.


3 out of 5

Interlude At Duane's - F. Paul Wilson

Ice cream bad mood deli rescue.


3.5 out of 5

Man Catch - Christopher Rice

Dad, with, not boyfriend.


3 out of 5

At the Drop Of A Hat - Denise Hamilton

Albania drug conference.


3 out of 5

Dirty Weather - Greg Hurwitz

Correction bar mistake.


4 out of 5

Kill Zone - Robert Liparulo

Sniper contest.


4 out of 5

The Double Dealer - David Liss

Farting Dan's financial flipping.


3.5 out of 5

Spirit Walker - David Dun

Anthrax frameup desitny


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Wanderer Of Time - John Russell Fearn

No messing with the timeline, mate, you're dead.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Abyss - Robert A. W. Lowndes

Wish is was just hypnotism, not tentacled Elder God stuff that got him.


3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Success Of A Mission - Dennis Lynds

Corpse confection transfer sacrifice information targeting war winner.


4 out of 5

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Abelard Sanction - David Morrell

Monastery sonkiller double car blast.


3.5 out of 5

Disfigured - Michael Palmer and Daniel Palmer

Freezeface blackmail.


3 out of 5

The Hunt For Dmitri - Gayle Lynds

Disguise surprise for Carnivore's daughter.


3.5 out of 5

The Sword-Edged Blonde - Alex Bledsoe

A Fantasy Private Investigator.

The protagonist is a disgraced Baron, who, after various misadventures and some serious mistakes is asked for a favour. Hard to say no, too, given it is asked by a king who happens to be a childhood bestfriend.

Even harder when the king's wife has been arrested for killing and eating their son, in some strange circumstances. So strange as to be supernatural, or sorcerous. Or cultish, even.

Time for a bit of somewhat hardboiled nose-sticking-in for an aging sword-wielding sleuth.

Amusingly, also shares a trait with the not-so-serious Thraxas, in that he prefers a good beer to the females serving them, for various reasons.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kowalski's In Love - James Rollins

Mad baboon killer jungle trail trap wetsuit babe ambush variable kinetic shrieker antidote rescue.


4 out of 5

Empathy - James Siegel

Ex-kill sucker final double shot.


3.5 out of 5

The Face In the Window - Heather Graham

“Never pull out a frying pan unless you intend to use it”


3 out of 5

Operation Northwoods - James Grippando

Flaming Camp Delta.


3 out of 5

James Penney's New Identity - Lee Child

Reacher does a fellow vet with a really hot temper a favour.


4 out of 5

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cleon the Emperor - Isaac Asimov

Some pruning at the top on Trantor.


3.5 out of 5

Norse Code - Greg Van Eekhout

California Ragnarok.

Which, I suppose, is what you have to buy if you are going to be interested in this book. Recruited valkyries, secret organisations tracking such, and minor godlings. Plus trolls, giants, and wolves hanging around a much beachier and more literally concrete environment than ice-ridden frost giant hangouts or Asgardian halls.

The main characters are not the usual major players of the Norse pantheon, which gives the author some room to move in the whole end of the Aesir scenario.

Does read a bit like earlier work, but there are fun parts, particularly later on, with the 'bullshit your way unto Hel's death ship scenario'.

Then there's the odd fight: "The god collapsed with a soft squeak, his brains leaking from his crushed head"

All leading up to more of your traditional players making an appearance for the end of everything. Just a hell of a lot more monkeyboys and girls in the way as possible collateral damage, this time around.

Call it a 3.25.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Up There - Donald A. Wollheim

Flying to space. In a plane.


3 out of 5

Pavane - Keith Roberts

A collection of stories of an alternate England, where the whole Catholic thing went rather differently, and Old Ones still look, so a little odd. Alternate history is not my thing, but the first two stories in this collection are rather good. Overall, a 3.43.

Pavane : The Lady Margaret - Keith Roberts
Pavane : The Signaller - Keith Roberts
Pavane : Brother John - Keith Roberts
Pavane : Lords and Ladies - Keith Roberts
Pavane : The White Boat - Keith Roberts
Pavane : Corfe Gate - Keith Roberts
Pavane : Coda - Keith Roberts

Shipmaster shot down by vessel's female namesake bangs the pedal to the metal.

4 out of 5


Elf nurse.

4 out of 5


Dunno about this incubus guff, think about the future.

3 out of 5


Maybe get out of this Space and Time please.

3.5 out of 5


Gun union.

3 out of 5


Growler reply changes.

3.5 out of 5


Newworld history.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Coda - Keith Roberts

Newworld history.


3 out of 5

Corfe Gate - Keith Roberts

Growler reply changes.


3.5 out of 5

The White Boat - Keith Roberts

Gun union.


3 out of 5

Lords and Ladies - Keith Roberts

Maybe get out of this Space and Time please.


3.5 out of 5

Brother John - Keith Roberts

Dunno about this incubus guff, think about the future.


3 out of 5

Bad Monkeys - Matt Ruff

Just not bad enough.

It seemed to me that after an ok start with the interrogation part, it is just not enough of anything.

Not funny enough, not paranoid enough, not action enough, not weird enough.

Also very saggy and dull in the middle with the whole sex with jailbait boys and drugs part.

The is she a crazy one or a weird science fiction super agent character was pretty unmemorable.


2.5 out of 5

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Political Science 101 - Ian Tregillis and Walton Simons

Joker babies like rabbits and recruiting.


3 out of 5

The History Of the Science Fiction Magazine 1926-1935 - Mike Ashley

The first of a series. The beginning section is non-fiction about the evolution of this particular form, and is quite interesting. Then there is a story section, with an insert with some black and white cover photos. The last part has a bibliography for the various authors included in the anthology section.

History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : The Coming of the Ice - G. Peyton Wertenbaker
History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : The Machine Man of Ardathia - Francis Flagg
History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : Out of the Sub-Universe - R. F. Starzl
History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : The Eternal Man - D. D. Sharp
History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : The Power and the Glory - Charles Willard Diffin
History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : The Voice from the Ether - Lloyd Arthur Eshbach
History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : The Asteroid of Gold - Clifford D. Simak
History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : The Island of Unreason - Edmond Hamilton
History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : One Prehistoric Night - Philip Barshofsky
History of the Science Fiction Magazine Part 1 : Davey Jones' Ambassador - Raymond Z. Gallun

Long time cold and lonely.

3.5 out of 5


I'm a time travelling synthetic, primitive dude.

3 out of 5


With the daughter, Elektron.

3 out of 5


Immortality no good, all static-like.

3.5 out of 5


Got a great death ray here. Scary.

3 out of 5


Killer plants and planets.

2.5 out of 5


Space Pup and pirates.

3 out of 5


I kinda like it, I think.

3.5 out of 5


Dinosaurs saved Earth from Martian invasion.

3.5 out of 5


Busted bathysphere first contact prison escape passenger.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

One Prehistoric Night - Philip Barshofsky

Dinosaurs saved Earth from Martian invasion.


3.5 out of 5

The Voice From the Ether - Lloyd Arthur Eschbach

Killer plants and planets.


2.5 out of 5

The Asteroid Of Gold - Clifford D. Simak

Space Pup and pirates.


3 out of 5

The Power and the Glory - Charles Willard Diffin

Got a great death ray here. Scary.


3 out of 5

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Tower Of Fear - Glen Cook

I didn't find anything of any real interest in this novel, at all, and I generally enjoy Cook's work.

Overall, rather tedious, and it seems that not one of the characters involved caught my interest at all. One of those situations where you hardly notice what you are reading.

Even with infighting and Witch women.


2 out of 5

The Rope - Noreen Doyle

Up and out of here, Oh God yes.


2.5 out of 5

Other Earths - Jay Lake and Nick Gevers

After seeing this and being a little dubious being nothing resembling a fan of alternate history, my mind was changed when someone said 'Lucius Shepard - 90 pages.'.

Having Alastair Reynolds and Robert Charles Wilson doesn't hurt, either, and the latter perhaps edges Shepard for best tale.

Reynolds tale is definitely odd, certainly a little different for him. Although there's a few of his early tales I haven't seen, so not sure if it resembles those. Van Eekhout also aims for American oddball.

Highly variable in genre and content, this one, so possibly you'll dislike some and like some quite a bit, the same as I did with this only 3.18 average anthology.

Other Earths : This Peaceable Land or the Unbearable Vision of Harriet Beecher Stowe - Robert Charles Wilson
Other Earths : The Goat Variations - Jeff VanderMeer
Other Earths : The Unblinking Eye - Stephen Baxter
Other Earths : Csilla's Story - Theodora Goss
Other Earths : Winterborn - Liz Williams
Other Earths : Donovan Sent Us - Gene Wolfe
Other Earths : The Holy City and Em's Reptile Farm - Greg van Eekhout
Other Earths : The Receivers - Alastair Reynolds
Other Earths : A Family History - Paul Park
Other Earths : Dog-Eared Paperback of My Life - Lucius Shephard
Other Earths : Nine Alternate Alternate Histories - Benjamin Rosenbaum

Liberty Lodge pictorial illumination.

4 out of 5


Mushroom adept prediction time.

3.5 out of 5


Darwin not Inca girl.

3 out of 5


Plus another one or two.

2.5 out of 5


Flying Dutchman Under-Hill.

3 out of 5


Churchill's a yank, so better Luger him.

3 out of 5


Templar Temple Slot snakepit survival.

3.5 out of 5


Mad war music listening post.

3.5 out of 5


Wouldn't have been true.

2.5 out of 5


Cradles of the forest repellent.

4 out of 5




3 out of 5

Dog-eared Paperback Of My Life - Lucius Shepard

Cradles of the forest repellent.


4 out of 5

Nine Alternate Alternate Histories - Benjamin Rosenbaum

Universal limit to infinity.


2.5 out of 5

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Silent Blade - Ilona Andrews

Don't dump well-built mutant assassins who make good pastries for squillions and a string of blondes.


4 out of 5

A Family History - Paul Park

Wouldn't have been true.


2.5 out of 5

The Receivers - Alastair Reynolds

Mad war music listening post.


3.5 out of 5

The Holy City And Em's Reptile Farm - Greg Van Eekhout

Templar Temple Slot snakepit survival.


3.5 out of 5

Donovan Sent Us - Gene Wolfe

Churchill's a yank, so better Luger him.


3 out of 5

Winterborn - Liz Williams

Flying Dutchman Under-Hill.


3 out of 5

Brother Of the Moon - Holly Phillips

Our hero lacks personality transformation.


3 out of 5

Buttons - William Alexander

Push kill.


2 out of 5

Just Cause 1 - Carrie Vaughn

Worrying about the Curveball.


3.5 out of 5

The Sword Shall Never Depart From Thy House - Melinda M. Snodgrass

Double Helix with an eye on the Nigerian situation, and Lohengrin's bed.


3.5 out of 5

Coulda - Caroline Spector

No missions for Bubbles.


3.5 out of 5

To the Hungry Soul Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet - Melinda M. Snodgrass

Double Helix wonders about being a real girl.


3 out of 5

Csilla's Story - Theodora Goss

Plus another one or two.


2.5 out of 5

The Unblinking Eye - Stephen Baxter

Darwin not Inca girl.


3 out of 5

This Peaceable Land Or The Unbearable Vision Of Harriet Beecher Stowe - Robert Charles Wilson

Liberty Lodge pictorial illumination.


4 out of 5

The Goat Variations - Jeff VanderMeer

Mushroom adept prediction time.


3.5 out of 5

Martian Quest the Early Brackett - Leigh Brackett

A collection of the first batch of Leigh Brackett's stories, chronologically. As such, there are a few average works here, and overall, this averages 3.58. So, a 4.25 type took, rounded up.

The good thing is that some hard to find stories (unless you like paying lots of money for ancient crumbling magazines) are here, that you can't get via Baen or more recent old paperbacks. For example, 'The Tapestry Gate' from the pretty certain to have never heard of it Strange Stories is an out and out horror piece.

There's a good lengthy introduction by Michael Moorcock entitled 'Queen Of the Martian Mysteries', which you can find online, either via Free SF or the usual search giants.

Also included at the end is a short 'Meet the Author' piece reprinted from Amazing Stories. Talking of being a kid, for example:
"...I discovered 'imaginative fiction''"
"There was an apprehensive shaking of heads among female relations. Attempts were made to save me. But it was too late. I devoured Burroughs, Haggard, Balmer and Wylie. Doyle's unforgettable 'Maracot Deep,' Jules Verne. Yes, boys and girls. I was hooked. Completely and utterly."

Taking up piracy, smuggling or the cowboy life seemed unlikely, so becoming a writer it was, it seems.

We are very happy she did.

Martian Quest Haffner : Martian Quest - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : The Treasure of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : The Tapestry Gate - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : The Stellar Legion - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : The Demons of Darkside - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : Water Pirate - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : Interplanetary Reporter - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : The Dragon-Queen of Jupiter - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : Lord of the Earthquake - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : No Man's Land in Space - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : A World Is Born - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : Retreat to the Stars - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : Child of the Green Light - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : The Sorcerer of Rhiannon - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : Child of the Sun - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : Out of the Sea - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : Cube from Space - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : Outpost on Io - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : The Halfling - Leigh Brackett
Martian Quest Haffner : The Citadel of Lost Ships - 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


Human hair hanging Satan sucked in sacrifice.

3.5 out of 5


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

4 out of 5


Crystal life loneliness is murderous.

4 out of 5


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

3.5 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


Pyramid time machine god ruler belting getaway.

3.5 out of 5


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

3 out of 5


Prison authority hostage escape.

3 out of 5


Shoot the state spy, we've got a spaceship to fly.

3.5 out of 5


Moving Between universes.

4 out of 5


Ancient Martian enemy awakening love for diplomacy.

4 out of 5


Pick on people your own size, starthing boy.

3.5 out of 5


Come many monsters. What else but Japanese attack? Maybe a super scientist.

3.5 out of 5


By Crom we have to do something about these aliens!

3.5 out of 5


Prison zap break.

3.5 out of 5


Catmen cult girl dance of revenge.

4 out of 5


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

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Asimov's 402 - Sheila Williams

There's a column by Silverberg about his collecting of his own work in foreign editions. PDF on more off the wall books, collections and anthologies. Editorial on economic cycles.

However, overall this issue was pretty tedious, and a very poor 3.08. The only person failing to disappoint was R. Garcia y Robertson, who provides yet another delightful SuperCats story. Taken as a whole, this group of tales is awesome.

Much prefer Stephen Baxter in Far Future mode, as opposed to the alternate anything variety.

ASIMOVS402 : THE LAST APOSTLE - Michael Cassutt
ASIMOVS402 : CAMP NOWHERE - Kit Reed
ASIMOVS402 : SINBAD THE SAND SAILOR - R. Garcia y Robertson
ASIMOVS402 : SLEEPLESS IN THE HOUSE OF YE - Ian McHugh
ASIMOVS402 : SHOES-TO-RUN - Sara Genge
ASIMOVS402 : EARTH II - Stephen Baxter


Alpha moon coral end.

3 out of 5


'Cool people don't come to places like this,' So we going.

2.5 out of 5


Catching falling air hostess on Barsoom.

4 out of 5


Worms gonna get there.

3 out of 5


Less woman, more hunt.

3 out of 5


Purple indedible instability.

3 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

SinBad the Sand Sailor - R. Garcia y Robertson

Catching falling air hostess on Barsoom.


4 out of 5

Earth II - Stephen Baxter

Purple indedible instability.


3 out of 5

Shoes-to-run - Sara Genge

Less woman, more hunt.


3 out of 5

Sleepless In The House Of Ye - Ian McHugh

Worms gonna get there.


3 out of 5

Camp Nowhere - Kit Reed

"Cool people don't come to places like this," So we going.


2.5 out of 5

The Last Apostle - Michael Cassutt

Alpha moon coral end.


3 out of 5

The Eternal Man - D. D. Sharp

Immortality no good, all static-like.


3.5 out of 5

The Case Of the Vanishing Beauty - Richard S. Prather

Shell smells something off when he is hired by a woman to do no more than escort her around town.

The first place, includes a night out a Mexican club that includes a knife throwing act. The tacos are ok, though.

A murder soon leads to an investigation of very unsavoury characters - mostly concerned with a drug dealing cult.

This particular PI is quite a bit like Bruce Campbell's character in Burn Notice as far as temperament goes.

"SHE LOOKED HOTTER than a welder's torch and much, much more interesting."

No depression, alcoholism, or any of that other stuff.

Still along the hardboiled lines, though, if on the lighter side.


3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Quest Of the Starhope - Leigh Brackett

Anti-gravity greed nerve ending companion consumption crash.


3.5 out of 5

Thralls Of the Endless Night - Leigh Brackett

Ship Legend heatstone rebellion explosion deal.


3.5 out of 5

The Blue Behemoth - Leigh Brackett

Four-way male mate doublecross rampage.


4 out of 5

Analog 941 - Stanley Schmidt

Solidly consistent issue, with not much of particular note. Carter's story is nicely whacky, though.

A bit over 3.30 here, and a consistent issue, with the best here being the extensive explanatory article by one of the Large Hadron Collider scientists.

A 3.75 type issue, rounded up.

ANALOG941 : SEED OF REVOLUTION - Daniel Hatch
ANALOG941 : THE BEAR WHO SANG OPERA - Scott William Carter
ANALOG941 : PAYBACK - Tom Ligon
ANALOG941 : FAILURE TO OBEY - John G. Henry
ANALOG941 : DUCK AND COVER - Don D'Ammassa
ANALOG941 : GLOBAL WARMING - Harry Turtledove
ANALOG941 : THE CALCULUS PLAGUE - Marissa K. Lingen
ANALOG941 : TURNING THE GRAIN 1 - Barry B. Longyear

Scarlet Starflower exchange evolution.

3 out of 5


Naked kickboxing performance anxiety recovery.

3.5 out of 5


Blow up the Sun? Think we should stop 'em doing that. Maybe shoot back, too.

3.5 out of 5


Call in the Space Station Space Marines. To trial.

3 out of 5


Multiple soldier promotion.

3.5 out of 5


Wizards, eat 'em.

3 out of 5


Viral memory experiments.

3.5 out of 5


Timespanning archaeology.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

Out Of the Sea - Leigh Brackett

Come many monsters. What else but Japanese attack? Maybe a super scientist.


3.5 out of 5

The Tapestry Gate - Leigh Brackett

Human hair hanging Satan sucked in sacrifice.


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Turning the Grain 1 - Barry B. Longyear

Timespanning archaeology.


3.5 out of 5

Failure To Obey - John G. Hemry

Call in the Space Station Space Marines. To trial.


3 out of 5

Global Warming - Harry Turtledove

Wizards, eat 'em.


3 out of 5

Seed Of Revolution - Daniel Hatch

Scarlet Starflower exchange evolution.


3 out of 5

Duck and Cover - Don D'Ammassa

Multiple soldier promotion.


3.5 out of 5

The Bear Who Sang Opera - Scott William Carter

Naked kickboxing performance anxiety recovery.


3.5 out of 5

The Memory Plague - Marissa Lingen

Viral memory experiments.


3.5 out of 5

Payback - Tom Ligon

Blow up the Sun? Think we should stop 'em doing that. Maybe shoot back, too.


3.5 out of 5

Revenge - Albert E. Cowdrey

Heart ripper.


2.5 out of 5

The Soul Eater - Mike Resnick

Here we get a hard core space hunter and a quixotic or ahabic or pellinoric quest, take your pick.

He wants to do away with The Dreamwish Beast, a large, spacefaring energy creature, and becomes completely obsessed with this aim.

This to the extent of ignoring everything else, and burning plenty of bridges, even when offered some sage advice. Or even greedy collector advice.

He even has a specially designed new weapon for him to achieve his aim.


3 out of 5