Monday, November 30, 2009

Doctor Who The Five Doctors - Terrance Dicks

This wasn't going to be a particularly easy story to pull off in a short book - and one that was a focus of a lot of attention because of the teamup hoopla. However, the author here actually did lift his game a bit - perhaps he felt this one was worth more of an effort because of that.

Anyway, the various doctors are well handled - the new boy isn't so interesting here, so to speak.


3.5 out of 5

Third Person Infinite - David King

Boring shelf.


2 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Leisure Hive - David Fisher

A somewhat amusing story, this one, not first of all is the destination caused by K9 getting a bit wet - not something that is the best idea for a robot dog.

So they end up on a planet that has been devastated - so their only economic activity is this giant resort structure for tourists.

Sounds like a Poirot story, yes - there is a murder to solve - and as often happens they blame the new Time Lord or Time Lords, here, as likely culprits.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Keeper Of Traken - Terrance Dicks

The Doctor returns from E-Space sans Romana and robot dog - and with just Adric. Not that great a deal if you ask me.

He ends up on Traken - a fairly decent place if it wasn't for the Master via an evil statue trying to get him killed.

Luckily the Keeper's daughter Nyssa is a bit more open minded about what is going on, and becomes an ally.

An ok outing, maybe a 3.25, but we'll round this one down.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the State Of Decay - Terrance Dicks

This is a fondly remembered story, even if the book version isn't that great, really.

Because, well, secret Time Lord info and Giant Space Vampires - that has gotta be good for the youngsters, no doubt.

The book is pretty average, though - although for some of those bits you might have some fun with it.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and An Unearthly Child - Terrance Dicks

This is the novelisation (again if you like) of the very first Doctor Who story. The Doctor's niece Susan is at school on Earth, and Barbara is one of her teachers whom Ian is interested in.

Unearthly is a good word for someone whose 'grandfather' is a Time Lord - and the rest of the story has a stone age scenario for them to race through.

Quite reasonably well done.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Monster Of Peladon - Terrance Dicks

Back to Peladon, but not as good as the first time. Although the Doctor finds an old friend in the ambassador is there.

Here we have a struggle between the miners and those that of course want to make money exploiting the same - and it is even a bit more complicated than that, with bad people, bad Ice Warriors, and more. Which might be ok in a longer work.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Keys Of Marinus - Philip Hinchcliffe

Doctor Who and the Keys Of Marinus is one of the First Doctor stories - and not one that is any good, either. An iconic shot of the TARDIS on the cover is nice, though. Although when you are scraping like that you can tell the plot isn't worth much - and it really isn't.

e.g. We aren't bad, believe us boss, those guys are, here's how we fix it, bad computer.


2.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Androids Of Tara - Terrance Dicks

The Androids of Tara is another part of the Keys sequence.

Here Romana and the Doctor's arrival soon finds them in possession of the piece they need - but only briefly.

Romana for some reason is a dead ringer for one of the local royals - and as such instantly falls under suspicion - which with plots and robots.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Stones Of Blood - Terrance Dicks

This is part of the good Keys To Time sequence - and a little from left field as this particular involvement involves your standing stones and druid cults and things along those lines.

On tv the supporting cast was rather good - not so good in the translation to the page, though, but it is still worth a look. Perhaps a 3.25 with enough interesting for the coin flip to round up. Despite the mundane treatment.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Invasion Of Time - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Invasion Of Time is another Gallifrey story - and again is basically a case of who is outsmarting who.

The Doctor for some reason (with Leela along) appears to have gotten involved with a plan to invade Gallifrey and perhaps for him to rule. Does he know what he is doing, has he been duped, is there a little of both.

Perhaps not enough of one or the other to make this memorable, though.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Underworld - Terrance Dicks

The backstory of this is that getting involved with the Time Lords is bad for you, as a race. As here they interacted directly, bestowed technology upon them - so of course they blew each other up.

Here the Doctor and Leela appear on a ship of theirs on an odd quest - a long one, as these guys can do rejuvenation as well.

A few problems to overcome, like computer overlords, slavery and other such nastiness.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Destiny Of the Daleks - Terrance Dicks

One of the not so good Dalek stories.

After the Key to Time the Doctor and Romana have a rather powerful enemy - so they've gone for the old random manoeuvre evasive tactics stop them locking on trick.

Although that can still land you somewhere there is trouble - like where a bunch Daleks and Davros might have to be.

The use of Romana here is a bit strange, too, regen-wise.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Image Of the Fendahl - Terrance Dicks

The Doctor, Leela, and K9 (if he was working that is, anyway).

That is about where the good part ends, unfortunately.

As yet again it is back to England because of a time anomaly and anomalous in time skull. Which if you are thinking that's more a case for a researcher than a troubleshooting Time Lord then I would certainly agree.

You can skip this second rate old bad things type story.



2.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Robots Of Death - Terrance Dicks

The Robots Of Death is a story that looks pretty nifty on screen so a short novel is not going to spend too much time on visual cues.

Not Daleks, Cybermen or any of the usual, here, but a murder mystery of a different sort for the Doctor and Leela to sort out.

This time on a sand mining expedition, with a greater range of possibilities of death dealing than your usual Agatha Christie.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Hand Of Fear - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Hand of Fear is the end for Sarah Jane Smith, despite solar power and explosions though, thankfully it is not terminal.

The story itself is not particularly notable for anything over that, as the pair get involved in the story of a power mad criminal and his desire for immortal revenge


3 out of 5

Doctor Who Death To the Daleks - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks is just an average Dalek story.

The title of course is not likely to ever happen as far as getting rid of the whole lot of them at this point in time, either.

It is another case of Daleks as overlords, though, here they want to exploit a particular mineral resource - and actual people that have bodily configurations that are better for mining make a better choice than those shaped like salt shakers to actually do such work.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Time Warrior - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Time Warrior is an example of a run of the mill story with no particular thing to recommend or disrecommend it - barring a like or dislike for ranting Sontaran authority figures, of course.

As the title suggests, and time travel plot with him and of course someone smart enough to actually pull off the time travel part , too.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Tomb Of the Cybermen - Gerry Davis

Archaeology should be left for dead stuff.


That is, do not dig up killer robot men that are only in stasis. Especially if expert people suggest that this is a really bad idea.

Or, this is exactly what happens on this particular planet. So it is up to The Doctor to try and stop everyone being cyber-crushed.

A better example of a Cyberman novel.

3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Horror Of Fang Rock - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Horror of Fang Rock lives up to the title, and is certainly one of the creepiest outings of our favourite Time Lord.

The setting here is an isolated Light House in the early part of the Twentieth Century and there are noises and ghosties and beasties around, perhaps, even before the arrival of the TARDIS.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Face Of Evil - Terrance Dicks

Here, the Doctor and Leela get intro trouble because of the octor himself.

An earlier exploit has led to the particular inhabitants that are not too pleased with him seeing him as a bad thing - due to an image of the Doctor himself.

This is another case of the tv version being better, particularly Leela, in a situation that caters to her strengths.


2.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Masque Of Mandragora - Philip Hinchcliffe

The TARDIS, at the moment containing the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith picks up a hitchhiker - the Mandragora. An alien energy entity.

It then arrives on Earth in Renaissance Italy and the pair promptly get embroiled in local politics.

And worse, of course. You have your secret society cult that worships said alien entity - even if they don't understand what it is - and are more than happy to help it in its plans to rule everything.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Talons Of Weng Chiang - Terrance Dicks

This fourth doctor and Leela story is quite a good one, although the book is a bit short to convey the Time Lord by Gaslight feel of the tv show.

The conflict between Leela's primitive warrior nature and the buttoned down Victorian society types is interesting. As is the Fu Manchu homage, creepy homunculi and more.

One of the better efforts.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Deadly Assassin - Terrance Dicks

The Doctor finds himself in the middle of a plot on Gallifrey.

Arriving back on the Time Lord planet he realises he is in the middle of a political plot and is being set up to take the fall for crimes committed in the pursuit of power during the change of presidency.

Previous prophetic remarks by the Master come back to haunt - about death in The Matrix - which is indeed something like what it sounds.

Handled ok - but here the tv is better than the book I think.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Planet Of Evil - Terrance Dicks

Antiman story.


The Doctor lands on a planet whereupon he finds a scientific expedition, or what is left of one. Antimatter is something you want to be a bit careful with, but you expect it to be a bit more explosive rather than monster making or even Qwardian in general in something like this. A reasonable story.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Brain Of Morbius - Terrance Dicks

With a title like that you are going to be disappointed if you do not get a mad scientist story, aren't you?

Well, you won't be disappointed here, as a gong astray TARDIS lands on a planet with just such a bloke and his experiments upon unlucky denizens (and upon parts of unlucky denizens, too).

There's a supply of no longer functioning spaceships from elsewhere - so guess what happened to the inhabitants?


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Claws Of Axos - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Claws Of Axos is a garden variety not very good third doctor and UNIT story where dumbarse human authority figures don't understand that alien invasion type thing = bad. Neither do your hidebound grunts or grunts in charge. If they would just get out of the way and let The Doctor do his thing, or UNIT assist him, then everything would be much more hunky dory - and a shorter serial, of course.


2.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion Of Earth - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion Of Earth is a novelisation of one of the Hartnell First Doctor stories. This is one is just average in whichever media in particular.

Something of a Terminator type story - the machines (or mutant housing machines) are basically in control and a dirty, desperate human resistance does what they can to oppose them, with the Doctor and company thrown into the mix.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Carnival Of Monsters - Terrance Dicks

The third Doctor finally gets away from the whole tedious stuck on Earth for budgetary reasons and back to time travelling. The first story of which is rather interesting, as he realises they have ended up on a ship on the day that it disappeared from history.

They are stuck in a time loop that could have been a plot by Brainiac, as it turns out. Cheesy special effects on tv are balanced out by this not being the best of the books, but still pretty cool.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Pyramids Of Mars - Terrance Dicks

A start and an end tacked on by the author to this entertaining tale.

Mummies and aliens. How could that be bad? (ok, it could be if the syphilis channel did it, but this is not them).

The Doctor and his dodgy time machine are attempting to get Sarah Jane back to where Sarah Jane is supposed to be. Which is not involved in Egyptology in Edwardian England - although at least in the right general geographic region, so a few points for that for the old blue box.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Planet Of the Daleks - Terrance Dicks

This story follows on from Doctor Who and the Space War - a rather dangerous affair with a bare escape.

The Doctor is badly hurt thanks to the Master's desire to perforate him. So while he is out of it, it is up to an out of her depth Jo to investigate what is going on with the planet they have landed on.

Pretty obviously from the title, some very bad things. Contact will need to be made with the other race that exists and opposes the Daleks on these planets, as seen in other Dalek stories.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Space War - Malcolm Hulke

This story has something you don't see too much of in Doctor Who - something a little space operatic.

The TARDIS turns up on a ship in space - and the people on the ship thing the TARDIS crew are an alien enemy, the Draconians.

The Doctor et. al. however seem to notice that there are Ogrons around - and where you smell Ogrons, there be Daleks.

This makes this tense political and military situation rather more dangerous.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Web Of Fear - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Web of Fear is another of the strange menace affects London stories of which there are more than a few in the Doctor Who canon.

More of your creeping insidious doom variety is the web, though, compared to some of the other more tangible or monstrous threats.

A decent enough novel, with an early meeting of the Doctor and Lethbridge-Stuart as a highlight of note in this second doctor story.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Genesis Of the Daleks - Terrance Dicks

The Genesis Of the Daleks is one of the few very best Doctor Who stories without a doubt. The novelisation is rather good, too, if necessarily cut down because of all that is going on.

The experiments on Skaro, Davros, the local inhabitants of the planet, and the Doctor with an extremely terrible decision to make about what to do about it all when he has the power.

Definitely one to check out to find out how the favorite bad guys came to be.


4 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Revenge Of the Cybermen - Terrance Dicks

Finally there is a Doctor Who Cybermen novel that is actually reasonable. Perhaps a bit of revenge fires up the writers more than Cyberblokes on other planets or moons.

Anyway, this is much Better than Doctor Who and the Cybermen or Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet, so worth a look if you are revisiting the occasional Doctor Who book and want an earlier one with some classic enemies.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who Invasion Of the Dinosaurs - Malcolm Hulke

Here you have something of a precursor to Primeval I suppose. I wonder if any people involved with that were fans of this episode. Their dinosaurs of course look close to 100% more convincing than the dodgy ones in this tv episode.

So, in this case, the novelisation is more effective than the tv show as dinosaurs are far more impressive on in prose at this point in time.

You of course have your time travel plot here - apart from UNIT etc. trying to stop people getting stomped and eaten in general.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion - Malcolm Hulke

Here you have something of a precursor to Primeval I suppose. I wonder if any people involved with that were fans of this episode. Their dinosaurs of course look close to 100% more convincing than the dodgy ones in this tv episode.

So, in this case, the novelisation is more effective than the tv show as dinosaurs are far more impressive on in prose at this point in time.

You of course have your time travel plot here - apart from UNIT etc. trying to stop people getting stomped and eaten in general.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster - Terrance Dicks

Now if you have a story about a Yeti, then of course you have to have a story with the Loch Ness monster as well, particularly if you are going to have so many tales set in the British Isles. A no-brainer, really.

One giant swimming lizard isn't really much of a challenge to anybody (apart from finding it), so here you have the Zygons, your secret alien plotting menace, which is all fun enough.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Three Doctors - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Three Doctors is your fanboy dream type of story - team up all three incarnations up to that time of the Doctor. This actually works a little better in prose than on tv I think, as it is a little easier to explain, link and interact than with the technology etc. available at the time.

A pretty reasonable story knocked together to facilitate the whole thing so that fun can be had.


3.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Planet Of the Spiders - Terrance Dicks

The Planet Of the Spiders is definitely one of the better Doctor Who novelisations and scary giant spider types taking over people is rather scarier than dodgy looking cheap special effect deals, anyway.

Strange colorful crystals, chanting cults, creepy possessions and transports and more work rather well to build suspense


4 out of 5

Doctor Who Robot - Terrance Dicks

The transition from the third doctor to the fourth doctor story, either Giant Robot, or Robot.

So you have an unstable and even whackier than usual Time Lord trying to stop the plot of a bunch of mad scientists with a super weapon from taking over. With a Robot to throw a spanner in the works.

Sort of barely passable, this one.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Giant Robot - Terrance Dicks

The transition from the third doctor to the fourth doctor story, either Giant Robot, or Robot.

So you have an unstable and even whackier than usual Time Lord trying to stop the plot of a bunch of mad scientists with a super weapon from taking over. With a Robot to throw a spanner in the works.

Sort of barely passable, this one.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Cybermen - Gerry Davis

This is a ordinary second doctor story. The Cybermen want to take over the moon, etc.

Why? So they can then take over the Earth. It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. They could happily have the moon themselves - but why not cut out the middleman directly and just go to Earth to start with.

The Doctor and friends have to save the base full of humans if they can.


2.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen is a reasonable entry in the catalogue of Terrance Dicks Doctor Who novelisations.

Also, you have to be somewhat amused by the whole idea of monks battling a yeti, to start with, I think. So that element of the story certainly doesn't hurt as the second doctor and friends try and find out why the hell that is actually happening.


3 out of 5

Doctor Who and The Day Of The Daleks - Terrance Dicks

This Dicks novel, however, is a completely different story. This is far and away one of the best of the Doctor Who novelisations.

With the suspenseful guerilla war and collaboration of The Controller tale as The Daleks try and run the place with minions and the assistance of traitors.

A quite gripping story in general, and if you were just going to try one Doctor Who novel, this would be a fine selection.


4 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion - Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and The Auton Invasion is the first of the novels written by the prolific Terrance Dicks. Unfortunately (for those reading this one) and fortunately (for those reading a lot more of his later stuff) there would be others that were better.

The Auton Invasion is a story I don't think much of, and the novelisation of such completely lives up to that poor standard.


2.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and the Zarbi - Bill Strutton

The Zarbi story is really not a very good Doctor Who tale - and the novelisation of it is somewhat on the shaky side, too, with some not consistent with usual form ways of referring to our hero and his gear.

This is actually a little better than the tv show, but that isn't saying a lot for this bunch of dodgy giant insects.


2.5 out of 5

Doctor Who and The Daleks - David Whitaker

The first of the Doctor Who books, this one, and it is also one of the best.

Here you get the background on how Ian and Barbara meet (the latter already knowing Susan) and then how they get involved with the crotchety old man known as The Doctor and his strange ways.

Not to mention our favorite robots-of-death-with-mutants inside, The Daleks.


4 out of 5

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

Justice by Elimination

A group of not very nice people are lured to an island. This is for the case of taking poetic justice somewhat more literally. All of them have been killer types in the past - so now they get theirs.

The twist is that they are killed by methods associated with the rhyme 'Ten Little Indians.'.

A rather delicious setup, and one of her best, easily.


4 out of 5

Ten Little Indians - Agatha Christie

Justice by Elimination

A group of not very nice people are lured to an island. This is for the case of taking poetic justice somewhat more literally. All of them have been killer types in the past - so now they get theirs.

The twist is that they are killed by methods associated with the rhyme 'Ten Little Indians.'.

A rather delicious setup, and one of her best, easily.


4 out of 5

Ten Little Niggers - Agatha Christie

Justice by Elimination

A group of not very nice people are lured to an island. This is for the case of taking poetic justice somewhat more literally. All of them have been killer types in the past - so now they get theirs.

The twist is that they are killed by methods associated with the rhyme 'Ten Little Indians.'.

A rather delicious setup, and one of her best, easily.


4 out of 5

Curtain - Agatha Christie

Old team reunion serial killings.

Poirot and Captain Hastings get a communication that leads them back to Styles, the site of the their first case together.

Also to something a little nastier than your average cozy murder scenario - and the elderly pair have quite a bit to risk in the twisty plot, after Poirot announces that there is a killer among them.


3.5 out of 5

The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side - Agatha Christie

A fan of a movie star is killed - and the actress in question may have been the actual target of the murder.

One of Miss Marple's relatives lets her know about the case - as she is holed up elsewhere. Also happy to have a case to solve to go along with that.


2.5 out of 5

Murder In Retrospect - Agatha Christie

Some bad wedding info.

A young woman has discovered that apparently her mother murdered her father - who was an artists.

Not pleased and not believing of this information she decides to enlist some help.

This help comes in the form of Hercule Poirot's little grey cells and detective work.


3 out of 5

The Patriotic Murders - Agatha Christie

Here you have your dodgy financier story. Or, when you have a high flyer who is important to the running of your economy any sex, drugs, booze or more esoteric kinks may be overlooked while they are doing the job for you.

But, being a Christie novel, you still have to have a deader - and the stakes are a bit more international in this scenario.


3 out of 5

An Overdose Of Death - Agatha Christie

Here you have your dodgy financier story. Or, when you have a high flyer who is important to the running of your economy any sex, drugs, booze or more esoteric kinks may be overlooked while they are doing the job for you.

But, being a Christie novel, you still have to have a deader - and the stakes are a bit more international in this scenario.


3 out of 5

Poirot Loses A Client - Agatha Christie

Poirot this time is informed about a murder by mail.

The twist is that the letter is actually from the dead person - an elderly woman whose correspondence reaches him after she is deceased.

This, of course, sets the ratiocinative processes going, so that he can get to the bottom of this dastardly deed.


2.5 out of 5

A Holiday For Murder - Agatha Christie

Dead patriach, will.

An elderly and not so pleasant father decides to change his will at xmas time, with his family around. This, of course, results in him becoming very mortally challenged in a loud and bloody fashion.

It is up to Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells to work out who is extremely unhappy with the current inheritance prospects.


3 out of 5

Murder For Christmas - Agatha Christie

Dead patriach, will.

An elderly and not so pleasant father decides to change his will at xmas time, with his family around. This, of course, results in him becoming very mortally challenged in a loud and bloody fashion.

It is up to Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells to work out who is extremely unhappy with the current inheritance prospects.


3 out of 5

Death In the Air - Agatha Christie

This time the episode of mortally challengedness happens on a plane flight going from France to England.

This gets two sets of people from different countries interested in solving the case. However, on board is also one Hercule Poirot. The killer had to be on the flight - so it is time for the little grey cells to go to work and pinpoint the passenger.


3 out of 5

Murder On the Calais Coach - Agatha Christie

A very glamorous train trip.

This time happens to have one Hercule Poirot involved to solve a somewhat surprising murder on board. Not the easiest thing to do - violently dispose of someone on a train full of people. Therefore the usual investigate need the help of the Belgian little grey cells. Definitely one of the better efforts.


4 out of 5

Dead Man's Mirror - Agatha Christie

A decent collection of longer mystery stories.

Murder In the Mews : Murder in the Mews - Agatha Christie
Murder In the Mews : The Incredible Theft - Agatha Christie
Murder In the Mews : Dead Man's Mirror - Agatha Christie
Murder In the Mews : Triangle at Rhodes - Agatha Christie

Guy Fawkes shooting.

3.5 out of 5


Bomber plans.

3 out of 5


Gervase murder angle.

3 out of 5


Cocktail poison.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Murder In the Mews - Agatha Christie

A decent collection of longer mystery stories.

Murder In the Mews : Murder in the Mews - Agatha Christie
Murder In the Mews : The Incredible Theft - Agatha Christie
Murder In the Mews : Dead Man's Mirror - Agatha Christie
Murder In the Mews : Triangle at Rhodes - Agatha Christie

Guy Fawkes shooting.

3.5 out of 5


Bomber plans.

3 out of 5


Gervase murder angle.

3 out of 5


Cocktail poison.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Triangle at Rhodes - Agatha Christie

Cocktail poison.


3.5 out of 5

Dead Man's Mirror - Agatha Christie

Gervase murder angle.


3 out of 5

The Incredible Theft - Agatha Christie

Bomber plans.


3 out of 5

Murder In the Mews - Agatha Christie

Guy Fawkes shooting.


3.5 out of 5

Evil Under the Sun - Agatha Christie

Homewrecker holiday.

While doing the taking time off thing, Poirot again manages to find trouble. This time an actress who delights in the seduction of married men encounters someone who objects rather terminally to her activities.

With a random assorted of holidaygoers at a nice beach there are plenty of possible suspects for Poirot to run through the machine of little grey cells.


4 out of 5

Death Comes As the End - Agatha Christie

Death Comes At the End is something slightly different for Christie. This is a mystery set in ancient Egypt. No shambling mummies out to get people, unfortunately.

However, Imhotep does feature, and his family. When people around them start dying, they have to do some Egyptian sleuthing and work out what is going on before they are candidates for the after-burial rites themselves.


3.5 out of 5

One Two Buckle My Shoe - Agatha Christie

Here you have your dodgy financier story. Or, when you have a high flyer who is important to the running of your economy any sex, drugs, booze or more esoteric kinks may be overlooked while they are doing the job for you.

But, being a Christie novel, you still have to have a deader - and the stakes are a bit more international in this scenario.


3 out of 5

N or M? - Agatha Christie

This is a Tommy and Tuppence novel. The two married investigators are working during the second world war in this particular novel.

A mysterious message containing the phrase from the title is uncovered, and to investigate involves undercover sleuthing by the sea.


2.5 out of 5

The Mirror Crack'd - Agatha Christie

A fan of a movie star is killed - and the actress in question may have been the actual target of the murder.

One of Miss Marple's relatives lets her know about the case - as she is holed up elsewhere. Also happy to have a case to solve to go along with that.


2.5 out of 5

Death In the Clouds - Agatha Christie

This time the episode of mortally challengedness happens on a plane flight going from France to England.

This gets two sets of people from different countries interested in solving the case. However, on board is also one Hercule Poirot. The killer had to be on the flight - so it is time for the little grey cells to go to work and pinpoint the passenger.


3 out of 5

Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie

A sad love triangle, too.

A woman is accused of killing the other woman that her fiance may have been interested in.

There is some other collateral damage from this poisoning, as well.

Whether she is guilty or not, those most affected are ambivalent about punishment.

So, up to Poirot's little grey cells to do some sorting out and advising.


3 out of 5

The Cutting Edge - Madeleine E. Robins

Matt Murdoch has a client - a man who has been involved in a project to turn run down buildings into homes for people.

An investment company however wants to buy up all the property and make a large development - and get rid of all the poorer people in the neighbourhood in the process.

A rather ethically challenged company, led by a woman who has acquired a genetic research firm with some human enhancing nanotechnology. Dosed with this 'Bug' she and her boyfriend cause problems for Daredevil's senses. Even worse when said boyfriend is a large, fast, now-enhanced bodybuilder the press have termed 'The Cutter' because of the murders that have happened in the area.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Birthgrave - Tanith Lee

Certainly a slightly odd book as a woman with no name (not a gunfighter though) wakes up and sets out.

A warrior, she also becomes other things ranging all the way from goddess back down to domestic.

She is also rather superhuman, which helps her survive a lot of the trouble she gets into. Also why there is interest in her, too.

A strange affect this book, a sort of non-introspective first person, and pretty much completely humourless.


3 out of 5

Death On the Nile - Agatha Christie

A rather more exotic location than some small, stifling English setting - even if it is mostly peopled by some of the same.

Poirot is taking a trip - and runs into a couple - who soon are an ex-couple thanks to the murder of one of them.

As the river title suggests, there is a reasonable sized floating transport device full of possible miscreants responsible for the dastardly deed.

Definitely one of the best Poirots.


4 out of 5

Visions Of Liberty - Martin H. Greenberg and Mark Tier

A libertarian story anthology that isn't any good, at a 2.94 average. Seems to be common with these. Resnick and Sawyer's are worth a look, though.

Visions of Liberty : The Unnullified World - Lloyd BiggleJr.
Visions of Liberty : The Right's Tough - Robert J. Sawyer
Visions of Liberty : The Shackles of Freedom - Mike Resnick and Tobias S. Buckell
Visions of Liberty : Anarchist Embasy - Brad Linaweaver
Visions of Liberty : According to Their Need - Michael A. Stackpole
Visions of Liberty : Pakeha - Jane Lindskold
Visions of Liberty : Devil's Star - Jack Williamson
Visions of Liberty : Renegade - Mark Tier
Visions of Liberty : The Colonizing of Tharle - James P. Hogan

Mining murder.

2.5 out of 5


Trusted history.

3.5 out of 5


Doctor's religious restriction dilemma.

4 out of 5


A little mastery, a little slavery.

2.5 out of 5


Covenant direction.

2.5 out of 5


Kiwi metal.

3 out of 5


Starhawke Free Space.

3 out of 5


Sex party death insurance.

3 out of 5


Share judge.

2.5 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

The Colonizing Of Tharle - James P. Hogan

Share judge.


2.5 out of 5

Renegade - Mark Tier

Sex party death insurance.


3 out of 5

Devil's Star - Jack Williamson

Starhawke Free Space.


3 out of 5

Pakeha - Jane Lindskold

Kiwi metal.


3 out of 5

According To Their Need - Michael A. Stackpole

Covenant direction.


2.5 out of 5

Anarchist Embassy - Brad Linaweaver

A little mastery, a little slavery.


2.5 out of 5

Murder On the Links - Agatha Christie

If you are contemplating dashing off some correspondence to Hercule Poirot, perhaps you should think again - as a reasonable chance you will end up dead afterwards.

The guy here, as the title suggests, has been planted on a golf course. Those who might have done it? Probably any of his family, among others.

Not going to be that simple of course.


3 out of 5

Judgment Night - C. L. Moore

A fine collection of planetary romance style stories in the main. Brackett fans should like these, for sure. Not quite half the book is taken up by the lead short novel.

Two of the stories are set in the same future history explicity, referencing 'Thresholders' - humans that are altered to fit different environments in the Solar System. I can't think of any of her others that fit definitely here - or whether her planetary stories all (or part of) also fit into a particular Future History or not. It is certainly interesting, though.

Judgment Night : Judgement Night - C. L. Moore
Judgment Night : Paradise Street - C. L. Moore
Judgment Night : Promised Land - C. L. Moore
Judgment Night : The Code - C. L. Moore
Judgment Night : Heir Apparent - C. L. Moore

Amazon space princess.

Who does not see eye to eye with her father about how to run an empire that is under threat from a somewhere around equal strength barbarian force.

She favours a bit more of the shoot first and nuke them all approach than his rather more diplomatic style.

So, she goes on holiday to planets where the filthy rich and powerful do that sort of thing - and runs into her opposite number. A bloke that is suave and cultured - and one of the leaders of the barbarian forces.

They managed to pheromonally avoid bloodshed - but not when they return.

When betrayal and super weapon shenanigans reign in desperate battles.

3.5 out of 5


Drug stampede new frontier.

4 out of 5


Ganymede Threshold largescale centrifuge overlord heir rebellion.

4 out of 5


Rejuvenation worldline chessboard change.

3.5 out of 5


Round Table Integrator machine.

3 out of 5




4 out of 5

Heir Apparent - C. L. Moore

Round Table Integrator machine.


3 out of 5

What Is She? - David J. Lake

A pointy eared other universe magic girl.


2 out of 5

Dumb Witness - Agatha Christie

Poirot this time is informed about a murder by mail.

The twist is that the letter is actually from the dead person - an elderly woman whose correspondence reaches him after she is deceased.

This, of course, sets the ratiocinative processes going, so that he can get to the bottom of this dastardly deed.


2.5 out of 5

The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie

Your old fashioned pommie murder, add one Belgie.


An English gent type gets bumped off - and the possibilities for who did the bumping are reasonably extensive, as Poirot discovers thanks to the local grapevine.

That being said, I found this particular mystery rather dull, with plenty of other Christie books being of more interest.


2 out of 5

The Code - C. L. Moore

Rejuvenation worldline chessboard change.


3.5 out of 5

Promised Land - C. L. Moore

Ganymede Threshold largescale centrifuge overlord heir rebellion.


4 out of 5

The Dog Said Bow-Wow - Michael Swanwick

A 3.66 collection, so this is very good. In fact, down to Legions In Time it is extremely good, with every story a 4 or better. After that, it weakens. It is Swanwick, so it isn't bad or anything, just not up to the standard of the rest A few of these are also vignette type pieces that are supposed to be a little silly, as a lot of his short shorts can be.

Still, a fine book.

Dog Said Bow-Wow : Hello Said the Stick - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : The dog said bow-wow - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : Slow life - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : Triceratops summer - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : Tin marsh - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : An episode of stardust - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : The skysailor's tale - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : Legions in time - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : The little cat laughed to see such sport - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : The bordello in Faerie - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : The last geek - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : Girls and boys come out to play - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : A great day for brontosaurs - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : Dirty little war - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : A small room in Koboldtown - Michael Swanwick
Dog Said Bow-Wow : Urdumheim - Michael Swanwick

Energetic weapon surprise.

4 out of 5


Canine anti-tech adventures.

4 out of 5


Flying first contact breakdown breakthrough confession comeback.

4 out of 5


Time loop holiday.

4.5 out of 5


'Naughty girl. Papa spank!' I wish! Wahhh!

4 out of 5


Just a vixen for a con.

4 out of 5


I'm not a bloke, but you can kiss me anyway, airship boy.

4 out of 5


Slave escape chronowar torpedo overrun takedown homage revolution.

4.5 out of 5


Feline literary pursuit.

3.5 out of 5


Star-woman nice degradation, some nasty, Ned.

3 out of 5


Dying profession.

2.5 out of 5


Godmaking and removal, squid variety included.

3.5 out of 5


Prehistoric backengineering.

3 out of 5


Dead message.

3 out of 5


Right role for reveal.

3 out of 5


Learn your letters, Nimrod.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

Dirty Little War - Michael Swanwick

Dead message.


3 out of 5

A Great Day For Brontosaurs - Michael Swanwick

Prehistoric backengineering.


3 out of 5

The Last Geek - MIchael Swanwick

Dying profession.


2.5 out of 5

The Bordello In Faerie - Michael Swanwick

Star-woman nice degradation, some nasty, Ned.


3 out of 5

The Murder At the Vicarage - Agatha Christie

Military murder for Miss Marple.


Not a character I was interested enough in to want to read too many stories about, but this was one of them.

Here, a blustering Colonel is the sacrifice for the story, so that our crafty older lady gets to do some sleuthing.

Or, how dodgy is this particular church and its inhabitants?


3 out of 5

Hercule Poirot's Christmas - Agatha Christie

Dead patriach, will.

An elderly and not so pleasant father decides to change his will at xmas time, with his family around. This, of course, results in him becoming very mortally challenged in a loud and bloody fashion.

It is up to Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells to work out who is extremely unhappy with the current inheritance prospects.


3 out of 5

Five Little Pigs - Agatha Christie

Some bad wedding info.

A young woman has discovered that apparently her mother murdered her father - who was an artists.

Not pleased and not believing of this information she decides to enlist some help.

This help comes in the form of Hercule Poirot's little grey cells and detective work.


3 out of 5

Murder On the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

A very glamorous train trip.

This time happens to have one Hercule Poirot involved to solve a somewhat surprising murder on board. Not the easiest thing to do - violently dispose of someone on a train full of people. Therefore the usual investigate need the help of the Belgian little grey cells. Definitely one of the better efforts.


4 out of 5

Paradise Street - C. L. Moore

Drug stampede new frontier.


4 out of 5

The Reclaimers - Petrina Smith

Bad air.


3 out of 5

A Place So Foreign and Eight More - Cory Doctorow

A good collection with many strong stories at 3.67. A couple of weaker efforts prevent it from getting top marks, though. The first and last stories are the highlights.

Place So Foreign : Craphound - Cory Doctorow
Place So Foreign : A Place So Foreign - Cory Doctorow
Place So Foreign : All Day Sucker - Cory Doctorow
Place So Foreign : To Market to Market: The Rebranding of Billy Bailey - Cory Doctorow
Place So Foreign : Return to Pleasure Island - Cory Doctorow
Place So Foreign : Shadow of the Mothaship - Cory Doctorow
Place So Foreign : Home Again, Home Again - Cory Doctorow
Place So Foreign : The Super Man and the Bugout - Cory Doctorow
Place So Foreign : 0wnz0red - Cory Doctorow

A human and alien have a rivalry over trash and treasure and other market collecting.

4 out of 5


Growing up, aliens, time travel, all the usual.

4 out of 5


Smart packing end.

2.5 out of 5


Hard kid sell.

3.5 out of 5


Bizarre biology and theme parks.

3 out of 5


A spot of anti-alien chemical rebellion.

4 out of 5


Growing up, but this time alien orphanages, robots, and Tesla types.

3.5 out of 5


What if Superman was jewish and grew up very left wing, instead of right wing, plus having the odd alien around, in the future.

4 out of 5


Coding hell to military co-option.

4.5 out of 5



4 out of 5

All Day Sucker - Cory Doctorow

Smart packing end.


2.5 out of 5

Paddy Four-Finger - Kevin McKay

Lightning scare.


3.5 out of 5

The Wide Waters Waiting - Bruce Gillespie

Sea soldier drop.


3 out of 5

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Proving Dr Tom's Hypothesis - Michael Swanwick

Time travel chirpy birdfood, Rex.


3.5 out of 5

Herbivores - Michael Swanwick

Rubber suit carnivore pickup.


3.5 out of 5

Pocket Brontosaurs - Michael Swanwick

Six inch dinos are wrong.


3.5 out of 5

Duelling Mosasaurs - Michael Swanwick

Radio controlled Presidential chicken.


3.5 out of 5

The Scientific Method - Michael Swanwick

Inflated barging accident terminal.


3 out of 5

Parallels - Michael Swanwick

Troodon analogy, smart.


3 out of 5

Dinosaur Music - Michael Swanwick

Bonehead concert time.


3.5 out of 5

How the West Was Won II - Michael Swanwick

Triceratops barbie.


3 out of 5

Three Conversations - Michael Swanwick

Pteranodon bully chomper.


3.5 out of 5

A Matter Of Size - Michael Swanwick

Gigantosaurs dumb, like beer.


3 out of 5

The Thief Of Time - Michael Swanwick

Eoraptor camera whacked cackleberry nicker.


3.5 out of 5

Tales Of Old Earth - Michael Swanwick

An excellent collection, with lots of his best stories. In fact, the few weaker works are clustered in the middle, so you could read the start and the end first if you didn't have so much time.

At a 3.82 though you won't go to far wrong with this group of science fiction and fantasy stories. Especially if you like dinosaurs.

The introduction actually says 'Swanwick is not for mundane wimps' which is amusing.

Tales Of Old Earth : The Very Pulse of the Machine - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : The Dead - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Scherzo with Tyrannosaur - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Ancient Engines - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : North of Diddy-Wah-Diddy - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : The Mask - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Mother Grasshopper - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Riding the Giganotosaur - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Wild Minds - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-O - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Microcosmic Dog - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : In Concert - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Radiant Doors - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Ice Age - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Walking Out - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : The Changeling's Tale - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Midnight Express - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : The Wisdom of Old Earth - Michael Swanwick
Tales Of Old Earth : Radio Waves - Michael Swanwick


Immortality breakdown.

4 out of 5


Elf retrenched.

4 out of 5


Zombies make you obsolete, and sell well as sex toys.

5 out of 5


Lost fridge city.

3.5 out of 5


Lenin band.

3 out of 5


Lady affair.

3 out of 5


Smartly single.

2.5 out of 5


Beast with two backs Elf train.

3.5 out of 5


Bugworld new personality.

3.5 out of 5


On the Hell train.

4 out of 5


Future Ownership fightback.

4.5 out of 5


Corpsegrinding.

3 out of 5


Archetypal creation.

4.5 out of 5


T-Rex! Hah. Could have him for breakfast.

4 out of 5


T. Rex man dinner inspires time message to self.

4.5 out of 5


Moon life message.

4 out of 5


New England gone, city boy.

4 out of 5


Non-optimised worries.

3.5 out of 5


Posthuman a tad fragile on holiday.

3.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Very Pulse Of the Machine - Michael Swanwick

Moon life message.


4 out of 5

Midnight Express - Michael Swanwick

Beast with two backs Elf train.


3.5 out of 5

Ice Age - Michael Swanwick

Lost fridge city.


3.5 out of 5

In Concert - Michael Swanwick

Lenin band.


3 out of 5

Microcosmic Dog - Michael Swanwick

Smartly single.


2.5 out of 5

The Mask - Michael Swanwick

Lady affair.


3 out of 5

Hokas Pokas - Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson

A trio of tales of a planet of small furry aliens that are highly prone to going the whole hog for a craze.

Hokas Pokas : Full Pack - Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson
Hokas Pokas : The Napoleon Crime - Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson
Hokas Pokas : Star Prince Charlie - Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson

Jungle Book visitor reception.

3 out of 5


Fuzzy Little Emperor problems.

3 out of 5


Got some small, fuzzy rebels laddie!

3 out of 5




2 out of 5

Star Prince Charlie - Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson

Got some small, fuzzy rebels laddie!


3 out of 5

The Witching Hour - James Gunn

A triple of light supernatural stories of greater length, of which the last is the best.

Witching Hour : The Reluctant Witch - James Gunn
Witching Hour : The Beautiful Brew - James Gunn
Witching Hour : The Magicians - James Gunn

Machines might cause problems - but so does the supernatural stuff.

2.5 out of 5


Getting Blitzed.

3 out of 5


A fun story involving a private investigator at a magic convention trying to track someone done. Where there is a gumshoe, there is often a girl, and that is the case here.

Throw in some mathematics as rules for the magic, and you have a fun book.

3 out of 5




1.5 out of 5

Sine Of the Magus - James Gunn

A fun story involving a private investigator at a magic convention trying to track someone done. Where there is a gumshoe, there is often a girl, and that is the case here.

Throw in some mathematics as rules for the magic, and you have a fun book.


3 out of 5

The Beautiful Brew - James Gunn

Getting Blitzed.


3 out of 5

Wherever You May Be - James Gunn

Machines might cause problems - but so does the supernatural stuff.


2.5 out of 5

The Reluctant Witch - James Gunn

Machines might cause problems - but so does the supernatural stuff.


2.5 out of 5

Judgement Night - C. L. Moore

Amazon space princess.


Who does not see eye to eye with her father about how to run an empire that is under threat from a somewhere around equal strength barbarian force.

She favours a bit more of the shoot first and nuke them all approach than his rather more diplomatic style.

So, she goes on holiday to planets where the filthy rich and powerful do that sort of thing - and runs into her opposite number. A bloke that is suave and cultured - and one of the leaders of the barbarian forces.

They managed to pheromonally avoid bloodshed - but not when they return.

When betrayal and super weapon shenanigans reign in desperate battles.


3.5 out of 5

Worlds Without End - Clifford D. Simak

A couple of longer stories in this collection.

Worlds Without End : Worlds Without End - Clifford D. Simak
Worlds Without End : The Spaceman's Van Gogh - Clifford D. Simak
Worlds Without End : Full Cycle - Clifford D. Simak

Take some dreaming, and maybe a century.

3 out of 5


Unimportant planet eating.

3 out of 5


Trailer swarm tax flying.

3.5 out of 5



3 out of 5

Full Cycle - Clifford D. Simak

Trailer swarm tax flying.


3.5 out of 5

The Spaceman's VanGogh - Clifford D. Simak

Unimportant planet eating.


3 out of 5

Worlds Without End - Clifford D. Simak

Take some dreaming, and maybe a century.


3 out of 5

The Civilisation Game and Other Stories - Clifford D. Simak

A pretty decent collection at 3.36. Quite a few stories with the old Martian/Mercury type settings.

Civilisation Game and Other Stories : Horrible Example - Clifford D. Simak
Civilisation Game and Other Stories : The Civilisation Game - Clifford D. Simak
Civilisation Game and Other Stories : Hermit of Mars - Clifford D. Simak
Civilisation Game and Other Stories : Masquerade - Clifford D. Simak
Civilisation Game and Other Stories : Buckets of Diamonds - Clifford D. Simak
Civilisation Game and Other Stories : Hunch - Clifford D. Simak
Civilisation Game and Other Stories : The Big Front Yard - Clifford D. Simak

Best colony rating.

3 out of 5


Project Continuation bishop kill.

3.5 out of 5


Madman Canal beaver hunt Ghost study.

3.5 out of 5


Mercury Roman Candles, Creepy.

3 out of 5


Thinking up the good stuff.

3 out of 5


Just one Hannibal, but lots of Martian writings.

3.5 out of 5


Doggie alien discovery otherworld drive.

4 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Hunch - Clifford D. Simak

Just one Hannibal, but lots of Martian writings.


3.5 out of 5

Buckets Of Diamonds - Clifford D. Simak

Thinking up the good stuff.


3 out of 5

Masquerade - Clifford D. Simak

Mercury Roman Candles, Creepy.


3 out of 5

Hermit Of Mars - Clifford D. Simak

Madman Canal beaver hunt Ghost study.


3.5 out of 5

The Civilisation Game - Clifford D. Simak

Project Continuation bishop kill.


3.5 out of 5

Horrible Example - Clifford D. Simak

Best colony rating.


3 out of 5

Strangers In the Universe - Clifford D. Simak

A little over 3.00 only, this collection.

Strangers in the Universe : The Answers [And the Truth Shall Make You Free] - Clifford D. Simak
Strangers in the Universe : The Fence - Clifford D. Simak
Strangers in the Universe : Target Generation [Spacebred Generations] - Clifford D. Simak
Strangers in the Universe : Beachhead [You’ll Never Go Home Again] - Clifford D. Simak
Strangers in the Universe : Mirage [Seven Came Back] - Clifford D. Simak
Strangers in the Universe : Retrograde Evolution - Clifford D. Simak
Strangers in the Universe : Shadow Show - Clifford D. Simak

Puny humans to save a universe or three.

2.5 out of 5


Murder line.

3 out of 5


Book of Instruction purpose.

3 out of 5


Can't stop you landing, could kill you though.

3.5 out of 5


One more or die, Venerable.

3.5 out of 5


Google culture.

3 out of 5


No life find.

3 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

Spacebred Generations - Clifford D. Simak

Book of Instruction purpose.


3 out of 5

Target Generation - Clifford D. Simak

Book of Instruction purpose.


3 out of 5

Shadow Show - Clifford D. Simak

No life find.


3 out of 5

The Fence - Clifford D. Simak

Murder line.


3 out of 5

Retrograde Evolution - Clifford D. Simak

Google culture.


3 out of 5

Seven Came Back - Clifford D. Simak

One more or die, Venerable.


3.5 out of 5

Mirage - Clifford D. Simak

One more or die, Venerable.


3.5 out of 5

The Creator and Other Stories - Clifford D. Simak

A poor collection at 2.94.

Creator and Other Stories : The Creator - Clifford D. Simak
Creator and Other Stories : Shotgun Cure - Clifford D. Simak
Creator and Other Stories : All the Traps of Earth - Clifford D. Simak
Creator and Other Stories : Death Scene - Clifford D. Simak
Creator and Other Stories : Reunion on Ganymede - Clifford D. Simak
Creator and Other Stories : The Money Tree - Clifford D. Simak
Creator and Other Stories : Party Line - Clifford D. Simak
Creator and Other Stories : The Answers - Clifford D. Simak
Creator and Other Stories : The Thing in the Stone - Clifford D. Simak


Bash head time sense discussion.

3.5 out of 5


Might be something ok here.

3 out of 5


Telepathic startalkers swap science.

2 out of 5


Guard rube.

2.5 out of 5


Fight the robot monsters, whichever planet you are from.

3 out of 5


Last day preparation foresight.

3.5 out of 5


Criminal robot.

3.5 out of 5


Alien doctor deal.

3 out of 5


Puny humans to save a universe or three.

2.5 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

The Answers - Clifford D. Simak

Might be something ok here.


3 out of 5

The Money Tree - Clifford D. Simak

Guard rube.


2.5 out of 5

Reunion On Ganymede - Clifford D. Simak

Fight the robot monsters, whichever planet you are from.


3 out of 5

Death Scene - Clifford D. Simak

Last day preparation foresight.


3.5 out of 5

All the Traps Of Earth - Clifford D. Simak

Criminal robot.


3.5 out of 5

The Gay Deceiver - Mildred Clingerman

Piper Frolic.


3.5 out of 5

A Red Heart and Blue Roses - Mildred Clingerman

Banshee nights tattoo.


3 out of 5

A Day For Waving - Mildred Clingerman

Ghosts, no pony.


2.5 out of 5

The Wild Wood - Mildred Clingerman

Xmas tree women.


3 out of 5

The Zeitgeist Machine - Damien Broderick

One of the earlier Australian SF anthologies, and a fairly reasonable one in general.

Zeitgeist Machine : The Inheritors - G. M. Glaskin
Zeitgeist Machine : Spaceman - Lee Harding
Zeitgeist Machine : The Kitten - Stephen Cook
Zeitgeist Machine : Incubation - John Romeril and Damien Broderick
Zeitgeist Machine : Illumination - Michael Wilding
Zeitgeist Machine : The Wonderfully Intelligent Sheep-Dog - Dal Stivens
Zeitgeist Machine : Let It Ring - John Foyster
Zeitgeist Machine : The Mountain Movers - A. Bertram Chandler
Zeitgeist Machine : Growing Up - Damien Broderick
Zeitgeist Machine : Conversations with Unicorns - Peter Carey
Zeitgeist Machine : Point of Departure - Cherry Wilder

Bloody lambing.

3.5 out of 5


Not everyone can do the flying rejuve thing.

3.5 out of 5


Fish Out Of Water.

3 out of 5


Egg Seeking Earth Death.

3.5 out of 5


Weak ghost.

3 out of 5


Tartan animal business.

3.5 out of 5


Strine rich Federation.

3.5 out of 5


A Waltzing Spaceshipa goes The Rock.

4.5 out of 5


Darkstar continuum.

3 out of 5


Pointy headed shootees.

2.5 out of 5


Metal new guys.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Best Horror Of the Year 1 - Ellen Datlow

A bit down for a Year's Best bunch, at 3.37. This new series does have an overview of various media and the horror contained therein - with a focus on prose. However, all written by Datlow by the looks, so rather more succinct than in the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series version. Probably have sacrificed that for stories perhaps.

Best two are by leMoal and Edwards - one nasty, one rather whacky.

Best Horror Of the Year 1 : Cargo - E. Michael Lewis
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : If Angels Fight - Richard Bowes
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : The Clay Party - Steve Duffy
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : Penguins of the Apocalypse - William Browning Spencer
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : Esmeralda - Glen Hirshberg
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : The Hodag - Trent Hergenrader
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : Very Low-Flying Aircraft - Nicholas Royle
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : When the Gentlemen Go By - Margaret Ronald
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : The Lagerstätte - Laird Barron
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : Harry and the Monkey - Euan Harvey
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : Dress Circle - Miranda Siemienowicz
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : The Rising River - Daniel Kaysen
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : Loup-garou - R.B. Russell
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : Girl in Pieces - Graham Edwards
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : It Washed Up - Joe R. Lansdale
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : The Goosle - Margo Lanagan
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : Beach Head - Daniel LeMoal
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : The Man From the Peak - Adam Golaski
Best Horror Of the Year 1 : The Narrows - Simon Bestwick

Evac body blow.

3.5 out of 5


Jumper boy.

3.5 out of 5


Gets much smaller, furry.

3 out of 5


Pooka drink.

3 out of 5


Junk piles.

3 out of 5


Whitey beast.

3.5 out of 5


Headless swooping.

3.5 out of 5


Hollow, blokey existence.

3 out of 5


Plane crash ghosts.

3.5 out of 5


Missing kid doolally.

3.5 out of 5


Rocky skirting.

3.5 out of 5


Ghost bear mad.

3.5 out of 5


Movie me.

3 out of 5


Golem help Athena serial fate.

4 out of 5


Harmonica blasted.

3 out of 5


Arsebanditry better than cannibalry.

3.5 out of 5


Up to the neck clubbing.

4 out of 5


Prudence snack story.

3.5 out of 5


Everything gone. Pray for Death.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

A Cupful Of Space - Mildred Clingerman

A reasonable mixed genre collection with a domesticctouch.

Cupful Of Space : FIRST LESSON - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : STICKENEY AND THE CRITIC - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : STAIR TRICK - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : BIRDS CAN'T COUNT - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : THE WORD - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : THE DAY OF THE GREEN VELVET CLOAK - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : WINNING RECIPE - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : LETTERS FROM LAURA - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : THE LAST PROPHET - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : MR. SAKRISON'S HALT - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : THE WILD WOOD - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : THE LITTLE WITCH OF ELM STREET - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : A DAY FOR WAVING - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : THE GAY DECEIVER - Mildred Clingerman
Cupful Of Space : A RED HEART AND BLUE ROSES - Mildred Clingerman

River drift, stawberry.

3 out of 5


Chicken throw blood blotte.

3.5 out of 5


Bar hunt portal.

3.5 out of 5


Cooking and crochet sanity saves planet.

3 out of 5


Naked hangover watch.

3 out of 5


Right between the antennae.

3.5 out of 5


Collecting Meeting.

3 out of 5


Machine piggie.

3 out of 5


Time travel Minotaur display, mum.

3.5 out of 5


Third wise man outta time.

3.5 out of 5


Stop loss.

2.5 out of 5


Xmas tree women.Xmas tree women.

3 out of 5


Ankle-or-anywhere-else-biter.

3 out of 5


Ghosts, no pony.

3 out of 5


Piper Frolic.

3.5 out of 5


Banshee nights tattoo.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Friday, November 27, 2009

Graeme's Fantasy Book Review Interview - John Joseph Adams

"I’ve interviewed a few authors but this is the first interview I’ve done with an editor of a short story collection. Could you tell me a little bit about the process you had to go through to put ‘Wastelands’ together? Did you have an idea about specific stories that you wanted to be included or did you ask writers to submit work that they thought was suitable?

Well, after reading the abovementioned titles, it became harder to find books on the subject, and so I decided to write an article on the sub-genre, which required tons of research. (I figured if I was going to do the research anyway, I might as well write an article based on it and get paid for it!) In the end, it served me quite well when the time came to put the anthology proposal together; when the time came to do that, I put down most of the table of contents right off the top of my head.
Other than that, I just talked to my friends and colleagues and solicited recommendations from them. Also, once word got out that I'd sold the anthology, I had a few authors approach me to point out that they had stories on the subject I should consider.
There's a bit more to the process than that, of course. Once you settle on a table of contents, you have to contact all of the authors (or their agents) to negotiate permission to reprint the stories. Then, once you secure permission for all the stories, you have to set the order of the stories, which can be a lot like putting together a puzzle. And in the case of Wastelands, I had to write the introduction, write the header notes to all of the stories, and finally assemble the "For Further Reading" appendix."


4 out of 5


http://www.graemesfantasybookreview.com/2008/02/interview-john-joseph-adams.html

The Last Prophet - Mildred Clingerman

Third wise man outta time.


3.5 out of 5

Letters From Laura - Mildred Clingerman

Time travel Minotaur display, mum.


3.5 out of 5

Winning Recipe - Mildred Clingerman

Machine piggie.


3 out of 5

The Day Of The Green Velvet Cloak - Mildred Clingerman

Collecting Meeting.


3 out of 5

The Word - Mildred Clingerman

Right between the antennae.


3.5 out of 5

Birds Can't Count - Mildred Clingerman

Naked hangover watch.


3 out of 5

Stair Trick - Mildred Clingerman

Bar hunt portal.


3.5 out of 5

Stickeney and the Critic - Mildred Clingerman

Chicken throw blood bottle.


3.5 out of 5

First Lesson - Mildred Clingerman

River drift, stawberry.


3 out of 5

The Things That Shall Come Upon Them - Barbara Roden

Sherlock Holmes and Flaxman Low team-up.


3.5 out of 5

The Adventure OF the Mummy's Curse - H. Paul Jeffers

Inheritance death.


3 out of 5

The Shocking Affair Of The Dutch Steamship Friesland - Mary Robinette Kowal

Family execution.


3 out of 5

Lady Be Good - John G. Hemry

Tramp Haven survival.


4 out of 5

Have You Any Wool - Alan De Niro

Story space shepherding prey.


4 out of 5

The Muse Of Empires Lost - Paul Berger

Ship beast priestess.


3.5 out of 5

Loup-garou - R. B. Russell

Movie me.


3 out of 5

The Rising River - Daniel Kaysen

Ghost bear mad.


3.5 out of 5

Harry and the Monkey - Euan Harvey

Missing kid doolally.


3.5 out of 5

Very Low-flying Aircraft - Nicholas Royle

Headless swooping.


3.5 out of 5

The Hodag - Trent Hergenrader

Whitey beast.


3.5 out of 5

Esmerelda - Glen Hirshberg

Junk piles.


3 out of 5

Girl In Pieces - Graham Edwards

Golem help Athena serial fate.


4 out of 5

The Clay Party - Steve Duffy

Gets much smaller, furry.


3 out of 5

Penguins Of the Apocalypse - William Browning Spencer

Pooka drink.


3 out of 5

It Washed Up - Joe R. Lansdale

Harmonica blasted.


3 out of 5

Beach Head - Daniel Lemoal

Up to the neck clubbing.


4 out of 5

The Man From the Peak - Adam Golaski

Prudence snack story.


3.5 out of 5

Cargo - Michael E. Lewis

Evac body blow.


3.5 out of 5

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quiet Earth Interview with Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse editor - John Joseph Adams

"When you first started your research, were you surprised to find that an authoritative anthology of Post Apocalyptic fiction really wasn't out on the market? Have you formulated any opinions on why that is?

I wasn't surprised that there wasn't such an anthology--because there was one--but I was surprised that there was only one. The one I'm talking about is a book called Beyond Armageddon, edited by Walter M. Miller, Jr. and Martin H. Greenberg. But it came out around 1985, and it was the only anthology of its kind (not counting other similar anthologies, such as Armageddons, which is focused on apocalyptic rather than post-apocalyptic fiction).

Wastelands was put together as a kind of spiritual successor to Beyond Armageddon. I basically picked up where that left off. I purposely avoided duplicating anything that had already been reprinted in that book, and chose most of the stories from Wastelands from the time period following publication of Beyond Armageddon (though there are a few stories that pre-date it)."


4 out of 5

http://www.quietearth.us/articles/2008/03/01/Interview-with-Wastelands-Stories-of-the-Apocalypse-editor-John-Joseph-Adams

Nuts and Bolts - John Joseph Adams

"This week's Nuts & Bolts interviewee is John Joseph Adams. The assistant editor for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and a longtime book reviewer, he has recently turned his hand to editing anthologies. I interviewed him about Seeds of Change (Prime, August 2008)."

...

"Which leads us to editing difficulties--of which, I can thankfully say, there were relatively few. Which was fortunate, especially since this was my first attempt to put together an original anthology. One problem was that a lot of writers who I was counting on didn't deliver stories, so I ended up with a smaller pool of stories to select from than I'd been hoping for. (Not that I bear any ill will to those who didn't send me stories; it's all part of the process, and you have to plan accordingly for it.) Additionally, I couldn't hold an open reading period for the anthology (i.e., accept unsolicited submissions); this is because my day job is working as the assistant editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and the publisher and editor, Gordon Van Gelder (my boss), felt like it would be a conflict if I accepted unsolicited submissions in this particular case since the theme of the anthology is so broad. Which is fair enough, though it did make editing the book a bit more difficult."


4 out of 5

http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/400000640/post/430032643.html?nid=4381

Bibliophile Stalker Interview - John Joseph Adams

"What I appreciate about you is how you market your anthologies, especially the websites you create which feature short interviews and excerpts from the book. How involved are you with the marketing/promotions, and who comes up with these ideas? What techniques in your opinion have been the most effective so far?

I'm glad you and others seem to find the anthology websites useful; it's hard to measure how effective they are, but I figure they can't hurt, and it's always nice to be able to sample before you buy. I believe I decided to do the website for Wastelands on my own, or perhaps it came about as a result of a discussion with my friend and colleague Jeremiah Tolbert, who built and designed that website for me. Later anthologies have all employed a WordPress template customized to the anthology; building a new template for each book proved to be too time consuming and costly (as I can't do that stuff on my own), but what matters most is the content, and the template I've been using is clean and has a nice aesthetic. Basically what happens is, I get Jeremiah (who is also my web host and webmaster) to setup the blank template for me (substituting the default banner with one for the anthology), then I just use WordPress to fill the site with content. (Lately, I've had my interns help me out with this; huge thanks go to Haris Durrani for the work he did on the By Blood We Live and Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes sites.)

As for marketing and promotions otherwise, well, for my Night Shade titles, I'm pretty involved otherwise, as I'm also Night Shade's publicist. (That's not how or why I was able to sell Wastelands, incidentally; they hired me to be their publicist after I sold them Wastelands.)"


4.5 out of 5

http://charles-tan.blogspot.com/2009/09/interview-john-joseph-adams-2009.html

Let It Ring - John Foyster

Strine rich Federation.


3.5 out of 5

Afraid - J. A. Konrath

Smart monkey mindchip supersoldier Red-Op beartrap, Woof!


Or, what happens when a transhumanist military experiment gone wrong collides with your podunk yank small town.

Bad things, man. Bloody bad things.

You know they are in trouble as soon as you learn the place is called Safe Haven, and all they have is an over the hill sheriff around.


3 out of 5

Monday, November 23, 2009

Old Twentieth - Joe Haldeman

Rich immortal cleanout.

A longevity process is invented - and of course is very expensive. With rumours that it doesn't actually cost that much flying around - war based on the haves and have nots happens.

How do you deal with people who have lesser immune systems than yours? Yep, bioweapons.

The background is not the main point of the story in general, though, as they get over the genocide and post-apocalyptic removal of a few billion bodies and getting the power mostly back on issues.

Then, what do a lot of long-lived people do? Come up with something to spend money on - build a generation starship. The whole crew succession problem isn't, when the people on board don't die.

The title comes in to play when you need something to keep these people occupied - in this case, a sophisticated plug yourself in virtual reality.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Wonderfully Intelligent Sheep-Dog - Dal Stivens

Tartan animal business.


3.5 out of 5

Illumination - Michael Wilding

Weak ghost.


3 out of 5

A Conflagration Artist - Bradley Denton

A decent collection of stories at 3.31. They tend towards the oddball.

Conflagration Artist : In the Fullness of Time - Bradley Denton
Conflagration Artist : Top of the Charts - Bradley Denton
Conflagration Artist : Killing Weeds - Bradley Denton
Conflagration Artist : The Music of the Spheres - Bradley Denton
Conflagration Artist : The Summer We Saw Diana - Bradley Denton
Conflagration Artist : Captain Coyote's Last Hunt - Bradley Denton
Conflagration Artist : The Chaff He Will Burn - Bradley Denton
Conflagration Artist : A Conflagration Artist - Bradley Denton

Darrell rest.

3 out of 5


Interstellar Peace Project album.

3.5 out of 5


Pajama men shotties.

3.5 out of 5


Bobby brain cut.

3 out of 5


Survey says you only love the same.

3.5 out of 5


Dog save supernatural.

4 out of 5


Some martyrs, maybe not.

3 out of 5


Spandex fire dive.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Chaff He Will Burn - Bradley Denton

Some martyrs, maybe not.


3 out of 5

The Summer We Saw Diana - Bradley Denton

Survey says you only love the same.


3.5 out of 5

The Music Of the Spheres - Bradley Denton

Bobby brain cut.


3 out of 5

Top Of the Charts - Bradley Denton

Interstellar Peace Project album.


3.5 out of 5

In The Fullness Of Time - Bradley Denton

Darrell rest.


3 out of 5

The Narrow Land - Jack Vance

Just an ordinary collection at 3.21, with one strong story in Green Magic.

Narrow Land : Green Magic - Jack Vance
Narrow Land : The Masquerade on Dicantropus - Jack Vance
Narrow Land : The Narrow Land - Jack Vance
Narrow Land : Where Hesperus Falls - Jack Vance
Narrow Land : The World-Thinker - Jack Vance
Narrow Land : Chateau D'If - Jack Vance
Narrow Land : The Ten Books - Jack Vance

Magical maladroit mastery malaise.

4 out of 5


Found us a spaceship.

3 out of 5


Two Freak.

3.5 out of 5


Old and satellite sick of it.

3 out of 5


Isabel May retrieval.

3.5 out of 5


Empyrean Tower completion.

3 out of 5


Maybe 12 solutions.

2.5 out of 5




3 out of 5

Incubation - Damien Broderick and John Romeril

Egg Seeking Earth Death.


3.5 out of 5

The Kitten - Stephen Cook

Fish Out Of Water.


3 out of 5

Chateau D'If - Jack Vance

Empyrean Tower completion.


3 out of 5

The Ten Books - Jack Vance

Maybe 12 solutions.


2.5 out of 5

The World-Thinker - Jack Vance

Isabel May retrieval.


3.5 out of 5

Where Hesperus Falls - Jack Vance

Old and satellite sick of it.


3 out of 5

The Masquerade On Dicanthropus - Jack Vance

Found us a spaceship.


3 out of 5

The Narrow Land - Jack Vance

Two Freak.


3.5 out of 5

The Many Worlds Of Magnus Ridolph - Jack Vance

Collection of stories from around 1950 of a professional get into and out of trouble type. Only a 3.17.

Many Worlds Of Magnus Ridolph : THE KOKOD WARRIORS - Jack Vance
Many Worlds Of Magnus Ridolph : THE UNSPEAKABLE McINCH - Jack Vance
Many Worlds Of Magnus Ridolph : THE HOWLING BOUNDERS - Jack Vance
Many Worlds Of Magnus Ridolph : THE KING OF THIEVES - Jack Vance
Many Worlds Of Magnus Ridolph : THE SPA OF THE STARS - Jack Vance
Many Worlds Of Magnus Ridolph : COUP DE GRACE - Jack Vance

Battle bets.

3 out of 5


Ant-creature wants.

3 out of 5


Stew good for only so long.

3 out of 5


Stew good for only so long.

3.5 out of 5


Creature mollies.

3.5 out of 5


Hub barbarians.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Coup De Grace - Jack Vance

Hub barbarians.


3 out of 5

The Spa Of the Stars - Jack Vance

Creature Mollies.


3.5 out of 5

The King Of Thieves - Jack Vance

Crown nick promotion.


3.5 out of 5

The Howling Bounders - Jack Vance

Stew good for only so long.


3 out of 5

The Unspeakable McInch - Jack Vance

Ant-creature wants.


3 out of 5

The Kokod Warriors - Jack Vance

Battle bets


3 out of 5

Spaceman - Leigh Harding

Not everyone can do the flying rejuve thing.


3.5 out of 5

Orbit 07 - Damon Knight

A round up to average original anthology at 3.21. Two strong stories by Dozois and Wolfe, but also some poor and a chunk of ordinary.

Orbit 07 : April Fool's Day Forever - Kate Wilhelm
Orbit 07 : Eyebem - Gene Wolfe
Orbit 07 : Continued on Next Rock - R. A. Lafferty
Orbit 07 : To Sport with Amaryllis - Richard Hill
Orbit 07 : In the Queue - Keith Laumer
Orbit 07 : The Living End - Sonya Dorman
Orbit 07 : A Dream at Noonday - Gardner R. Dozois
Orbit 07 : Woman Waiting - Carol Emshwiller
Orbit 07 : Old Foot Forgot - R. A. Lafferty
Orbit 07 : Jim and Mary G - James Sallis
Orbit 07 : The Pressure of Time - Thomas M. Disch
Orbit 07 : The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories - Gene Wolfe

No terminal help, baby.

3 out of 5


Loop low power.

3.5 out of 5


Dig this old stuff.

3.5 out of 5


Mind club.

2.5 out of 5


Bureaucracy disappointment.

3.5 out of 5


Childbearing limit.

3 out of 5


Flight sensation.

2.5 out of 5


Tentacle fix.

3 out of 5


Kid finish.

3 out of 5


Immortal catho decline.

3 out of 5


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

4 out of 5



3 out of 5

The Pressure Of Time - Thomas Disch

Immortal catho decline.


3 out of 5

Jim and Mary G - James Sallis

Kid finish.


3 out of 5

Old Foot Forgot - R. A. Lafferty

Tentacle fix.


3 out of 5

Woman Waiting - Carol Emshwiller

Flight sensation.


2.5 out of 5

The Living End - Sonya Dorman

Childbearing limit.


3 out of 5

To Sport With Amaryllis - Richard Hill

Mind club.


2.5 out of 5

April Fool's Day Forever - Kate Wilhelm

No terminal help, baby.


3 out of 5

New Writings In SF 03 - John Carnell

An original anthology from an older series. At 3.19, just about average.

New Writings In SF 3 : The Subways Of Tazoo - Colin Kapp
New Writings In SF 3 : The Fiend - Frederik Pohl
New Writings In SF 3 : Manipulation - John Kingston
New Writings In SF 3 : Testament - John Baxter
New Writings In SF 3 : Night Watch - James Inglis
New Writings In SF 3 : Boulter’s Canaries - Keith Roberts
New Writings In SF 3 : Emreth - Dan Morgan
New Writings In SF 3 : Spacemaster - James H. Schmitz

Tough archaeology logic power planet.

3 out of 5


The Ship who perved.

3.5 out of 5


Telekinesis is bad enough, who needs more?

3 out of 5


Desperate hunt.

3 out of 5


Automatic Stellar Observation Vehicle.

3.5 out of 5


Woozlum photo terms.

3.5 out of 5


Hypersickness knifing.

3 out of 5


Empire genetic rise and fall.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Emreth - Dan Morgan

Hypersickness knifing.


3 out of 5

Boulter's Canaries - Keith Roberts

Woozlum photo terms.


3.5 out of 5

Night Watch - James Inglis

Automatic Stellar Observation Vehicle.


3.5 out of 5

Testament - John Baxter

Desperate hunt.


3 out of 5

Manipulation - John Kingston

Telekinesis is bad enough, who needs more?


3 out of 5

Bauchelain and Korbal Broach - Steven Erikson

Three novellas of black humour and sorcery from Steven Erikson's Malazan setting.

Bauchelain and Korbal Broach : Blood Follows - Steven Erikson
Bauchelain and Korbal Broach : The Healthy Dead - Steven Erikson
Bauchelain and Korbal Broach : The Lees of Laughter's End - Steven Erikson

Battleaxe perhaps better than necromancy.

When a man, whom we discover later is an old veteran, has something unfortunate happen to a previous employer he has to find a new job.

First a few beers though, which is maybe not the best thing beforehand. His new employers turn out to be anything but ordinary, and he soon finds himself mixed up in a serial killing investigation led by the King's best investigator.

Starts off in a lighthearted manner, and descends into something nastier, as our protagonist, Reese, is in way over his head.

Apparently part of some backstory of his Malazan series, although I am not sure this is good enough to make me want to read 7000 pages of that, as yet.

4 out of 5


Fad vigilance can be killer.

It seems that some time has passed since the last novellas featuring these characters, and they have left some more unhappy cities in their wake.

This misadventure is what might happen if you took a Terry Pratchett novel and twisted it one hundred and eight degrees to the postive end of the grotesque axis.

A city with an obsessive and enforced observance of health feds is not too healthy at all in reality, and easy prey for demonic deadly sins.

Enter the necromancers and hireling, who, funnily enough, might actually improve the situation in this town.

4 out of 5


Korbal, Bauchelain and Emancipor Reese have a demon on ship excursion.

3 out of 5





4 out of 5

The Lees Of Laughter's End - Steven Erikson

Korbal, Bauchelain and Emancipor Reese have a demon on ship excursion.


3 out of 5

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Inheritors - G. M. Glaskin

Bloody lambing.


3.5 out of 5

Are You Loathsome Tonight - Poppy Z. Brite

An okish mostly horror collection of definitely short stories. 3.18 for this lot.

Are You Loathsome Tonight : Arise - Poppy Z. Brite
Are You Loathsome Tonight : Saved - Poppy Z. Brite and Christa Faust
Are You Loathsome Tonight : King of the Cats - Poppy Z. Brite and David Ferguson
Are You Loathsome Tonight : Self-Made Man - Poppy Z. Brite
Are You Loathsome Tonight : Pin Money - Poppy Z. Brite
Are You Loathsome Tonight : America - Poppy Z. Brite
Are You Loathsome Tonight : Entertaining Mr. Orton - Poppy Z. Brite
Are You Loathsome Tonight : Mondays Special - Poppy Z. Brite
Are You Loathsome Tonight : Vine of the Soul - Poppy Z. Brite
Are You Loathsome Tonight : Mussolini and the Axeman's Jazz - Poppy Z. Brite
Are You Loathsome Tonight : Are You Loathsome Tonight? - Poppy Z. Brite

Posthumous release.

3 out of 5


Luger not girl, Jesus.

3.5 out of 5


Nine lives kept.

3 out of 5


Tooling up for Thai takeaway.

3.5 out of 5


Dead master.

3 out of 5


Man-headed cat, no hurt.

3 out of 5


Dead sex shift.

3 out of 5


Dr's ricer.

3 out of 5


“I VASS BORN TO KEEL UND MAKE LOVE!”

3.5 out of 5


I might just be a demon, silly.

3.5 out of 5


Jampacked megacolon.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Are You Loathsome Tonight - Poppy Z. Brite

Jampacked megacolon.


3 out of 5

Mussolini and the Axeman's Jazz - Poppy Z. Brite

I might just be a demon, silly.


3.5 out of 5

Vine Of the Soul - Poppy Z. Brite

“I VASS BORN TO KEEL UND MAKE LOVE!”


3.5 out of 5

Monday's Special - Poppy Z. Brite

Dr's ricer.


3 out of 5

America - Poppy Z. Brite

Man-headed cat, no hurt.


3 out of 5

Pin Money - Poppy Z. Brite

Dead master.


3 out of 5

King Of the Cats - Poppy Z. Brite and David Ferguson

Nine lives kept.


3 out of 5

Saved - Poppy Z. Brite and Christa Faust

Luger not girl, Jesus.


3.5 out of 5

Arise - Poppy Z. Brite

Posthumous release.


3 out of 5

The Mammoth Book Of Vampire Stories By Women - Stephen Jones

An anthology that is somewhat disappointing, at only 3.06. The greatest is last, with Connie Willis' Jack. Other of note include Nancy A. Collins, Elizabeth Hand, Tanya Huff, Christa Faust and Gala Blau.

Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : The Master of Rampling Gate - Anne Rice
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Homewrecker - Poppy Z. Brite
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : When Gretchen Was Human - Mary Turzillo
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : The Vengeful Spirit of Lake Nepeakea - Tanya Huff
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : La Diente - Nancy Kilpatrick
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Miss Massingberd and the Vampire - Tina Rath
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : The Raven Bound - Freda Warrington
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Vampire King of the Goth Chicks - Nancy A. Collins
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Just His Type - Storm Constantine
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Prince of Flowers - Elizabeth Hand
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Services Rendered - Louise Cooper
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Aftermath - Janet Berliner
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : One Among Millions - Yvonne Navarro
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Luella Miller - Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Sangre - Lisa Tuttle
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : A Question of Patronage - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Hisako San - Ingrid Pitt
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Butternut and Blood - Kathryn Ptacek
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Sleeping Cities - Wendy Webb
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : The Haunted House - E. Nesbit
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Turkish Delight - Roberta Lannes
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Venus Rising on Water - Tanith Lee
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Year Zero - Gemma Files
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Good Lady Ducayne - Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Lunch at Charon's - Melanie Tem
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Forever Amen - Elizabeth Massie
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Night Laughter - Ellen Kushner
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Bootleg - Christa Faust
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Outfangthief - Gala Blau
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : My Brother's Keeper - Pat Cadigan
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : So Runs the World Away - CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : A North Light - Gwyneth Jones
Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women : Jack - Connie Willis

Burning down the house as dead dad suggested a better move.

2.5 out of 5


And gonad bloodsucker.

3 out of 5


Immortal disease.

3.5 out of 5


Developing spirit.

3.5 out of 5


El Chupa-cabra!

3 out of 5


Iron deficiency.

2.5 out of 5


Humans will make you mad.

3 out of 5


Dispose of fakers too, does Sonja.

3.5 out of 5


Bloody etheric entities.

3.5 out of 5


Puppets (or clowns). Horror. Never a good combo if you are stuck in it.

3.5 out of 5


I can fix your sick dude, just not quite how you expect.

3 out of 5


Lilith fear.

2.5 out of 5


Open legs, gimme twins.

3 out of 5


Local dying.

2 out of 5


S for sucker.

2.5 out of 5


Let's make a Saint-Germain deal.

3 out of 5


Catsuit chopper double fall.

3.5 out of 5


Uncivil lamia.

3 out of 5


Chinese disinterred.

3 out of 5


Four race blood combo.

3 out of 5


Dead delay.

2.5 out of 5


Canvas notice.

3.5 out of 5


Citizen blood.

3.5 out of 5


Servant sucking.

3 out of 5


Madyson Avenue.

2.5 out of 5


Don't want him to be dead twice.

3.5 out of 5


Not hungry.

2.5 out of 5


Dead love production.

3.5 out of 5


Limb off fetish, ripper.

3.5 out of 5


Junkie vamped.

3 out of 5


Dead Girl story.

3.5 out of 5


Camilla wrong.

3 out of 5


Dracula air patrol.

4 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

A North Light - Gwyneth Jones

Camilla wrong.


3 out of 5

So Runs the World Away - Caitlin R. Kiernan

Dead Girl story.


3.5 out of 5

Outfangthief - Gala Blau

Limb off fetish, ripper.


3.5 out of 5

Night Laughter - Ellen Kushner

Not hungry.


2.5 out of 5

Forever Amen - Elizabeth Massie

Don't want him to be dead twice.


3.5 out of 5

Lunch At Charon's - Melanie Tem

Madyson Avenue.


2.5 out of 5

Year Zero - Gemma Files

Citizen blood.


3.5 out of 5

Turkish Delight - Roberta Lannes

Dead delay.


2.5 out of 5

Sleeping Cities - Wendy Webb

Chinese disinterred.


3 out of 5

Butternut and Blood - Kathryn Ptacek

Uncivil lamia.


3 out of 5

Hisako San - Ingrid Pitt

Catsuit chopper double fall.


3.5 out of 5

A Question Of Patronage - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Let's make a Saint-Germain deal.


3 out of 5

Sangre - Lisa Tuttle

S for sucker.


2.5 out of 5

Aftermath - Janet Berliner

Lilith fear.


2.5 out of 5

One Among Millions - Yvonne Navarro

Open legs, gimme twins.


3 out of 5

Services Rendered - Louise Cooper

I can fix your sick dude, just not quite how you expect.


3 out of 5

Just His Type - Storm Constantine

Bloody etheric entities.


3.5 out of 5

Vampire King Of the Goth Chicks - Nancy A. Collins

Dispose of fakers too, does Sonja.


3.5 out of 5

The Raven Bound - Freda Warrington

Humans will make you mad.


3 out of 5

Miss Massingberd and the Vampire - Tina Rath

Iron deficiency.


2.5 out of 5

La Diente - Nancy Kilpatrick

El Chupa-cabra!


3 out of 5

The Vengeful Spirit of Lake Nepeakea - Tanya Huff

Developing spirit, is Victory Nelson.


3.5 out of 5

When Gretchen Was Human - Mary Turzillo

Immortal disease.


3.5 out of 5

Homewrecker - Poppy Z. Brite

And gonad bloodsucker.


3 out of 5

Black Projects White Knights - Kage Baker

An ok collection ok Company stories, with a couple of the stronger tales towards the end. Only a 3.13 overall though, so you'd have to be keen on them.

Black Projects White Knights : Introduction: The Hounds of Zeus - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : Noble Mold - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : Smart Alec - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : Facts Relating to the Arrest of Dr. Kalugin - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : Old Flat Top - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : The Dust Enclosed Here - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : The Literary Agent - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : Lemuria Will Rise - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : The Wreck of the Gladstone - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : Monster Story - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : Hanuman - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : Studio Dick Drowns Near Malibu - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : The Likely Lad - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : The Queen in Yellow - Kage Baker
Black Projects White Knights : The Hotel at Harlan's Landing - Kage Baker

Don't eat the lentils when checking out the staff.

3 out of 5


Vine bonus.

3 out of 5


Pirate Playfriend.

3.5 out of 5


Immortal fight harder.

3 out of 5


Great Goat Cult Enforcer Facilitator.

3.5 out of 5


CyberWill.

2.5 out of 5


Stevenson dream.

2.5 out of 5


Dune Sisterhood DNA sampling.

3.5 out of 5


Enhanced wet kid.

3 out of 5


Lotta tests.

3 out of 5


Company monkeyboy upgrade shrink.

4 out of 5


Death fake rescue.

3.5 out of 5


Pirate Playfriend.

3 out of 5


Archaeology with non humans and bad parrots.

3 out of 5


Community, bar Company.

4 out of 5




3 out of 5

The Queen In Yellow - Kage Baker

Archaeology with non humans and bad parrots.


3 out of 5

Studio Dick Drowns Near Malibu - Kage Baker

Death fake rescue.


3.5 out of 5

Monster Story - Kage Baker

Lotta tests.


3 out of 5

The Wreck Of the Gladstone - Kage Baker

Enhanced wet kid.


3 out of 5

Lemuria Will Rise - Kage Baker

Dune Sisterhood DNA sampling.


3.5 out of 5

The Literary Agent - Kage Baker

Stevenson dream.


2.5 out of 5

Old Flat Top - Kage Baker

Great Goat Cult Enforcer Facilitator.


3.5 out of 5

Facts Relating To The Arrest Of Dr. Kalugin - Kage Baker

Immortal fight harder.


3 out of 5

Noble Mold - Kage Baker

Vine bonus.


3 out of 5

The Hounds Of Zeus - Kage Baker

Don't eat the lentils when checking out the staff.


3 out of 5

Terror Australis - Leigh Blackmore

The first mass market Australian horror anthology. From the 1980s, so that shows how backward we were/are.

The introduction details this and a brief history of Australian horror all the way from 19th century writers like Guy Boothby up to Greg Egan and beyond.

An interesting book, and reasonable quality at 3.31.

Terror Australis : Catalyst - Leanne Frahm
Terror Australis : The Daemon Street Ghost-Trap - Terry Dowling
Terror Australis : The Wolves Are Running - Paul Lindsey
Terror Australis : Chameleon - Sharon A. Hansen
Terror Australis : Hantu-Rimba - Dr John Hugoe-Matthews
Terror Australis : Losing Faith - Louise M. Steer
Terror Australis : Openings - Robert Hood
Terror Australis : Remorseless Vengeance - Guy Boothby
Terror Australis : A Gift from Gehenna - B. J. Stevens
Terror Australis : Johnny Twofeller - Kendall Hoffman
Terror Australis : In the Light of the Lamp - Steven Paulsen
Terror Australis : Feeling Empty - Christopher Sequeira
Terror Australis : The Nicholas Vine - Ann C. Whitehead
Terror Australis : The Keeper - Geoff O'Callaghan
Terror Australis : Out of the Storm - Rick Kennett
Terror Australis : Twist of the Knife - Sean Williams
Terror Australis : The Hut - Sheila Hatherley
Terror Australis : The Hourglass - Leigh Blackmore
Terror Australis : A Dangerous Thing - Michael Bryant
Terror Australis : Makeover - Sue Isle
Terror Australis : Dear Reader - Dirk Strasser
Terror Australis : The Vivisector - Eddie Van Helden
Terror Australis : Anzac Day - Cherry Wilder
Terror Australis : Red Ambrosia - Bill Congreve
Terror Australis : Heir of the Wolf - Stephen Dedman
Terror Australis : Neighbourhood Watch - Greg Egan
Terror Australis : Denials - Bill Fewer
Mabuza's Plum - Eddie Van Helden

Middle aged women slash, too.

3.5 out of 5


Son's a sucker for spooks.

4 out of 5


Mutant cannibal son cull.

3.5 out of 5


That's not Curly.

3.5 out of 5


Ghost tiger.

3 out of 5


Double hanging haunting.

3 out of 5


Lying pixie.

3 out of 5


Leave the hanging to the dead people, bro.

3.5 out of 5


Multple penis dinner.

3.5 out of 5


Wombi snake bi-location.

3 out of 5


A couple go to meet their dealer to score some weed, but he isn't there, and they end up buying a lamp from a strange show. Lovecraftian vistas await.

3.5 out of 5


Eel inside-outside.

3 out of 5


Thorny dead problem.

3 out of 5


Paintball crypt crucified.

3.5 out of 5


Corvette crewlost hag vision.

3.5 out of 5


GUTS plan, bro.

3 out of 5


Dropout scary poetry book.

3.5 out of 5


Hourglass figure, hourglass sex fetish. Add skull goblets and magic, you have an incantation for death.

3.5 out of 5


Demon summoning lack of communication.

3.5 out of 5


Body transfer Time.

3.5 out of 5


Dark infection.

3 out of 5


Slices of life.

3 out of 5


Mum hack.

3 out of 5


Rapist woman bloodsucker suicide wait.

3.5 out of 5


Prefer human well done.

3.5 out of 5


A group of local residents make a deal with a monster to keep the local area crime free. Crime not done by them, anyway. You know what those deals with the devil are like.

4 out of 5


With killings, paperboy.

2.5 out of 5


Skinny bits.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Denials - Bill Fewer

With killings, paperboy.


2.5 out of 5

Heir Of the Wolf - Stephen Dedman

Prefer human well done.


3.5 out of 5

Red Ambrosia - Bill Congreve

Rapist woman bloodsucker suicide wait.


3.5 out of 5

Crisis - Roger Elwood

An editorial that seems a bit pleased with itself. The title is the theme for the stories, so fairly broad. SF except perhaps for Hoch's fable.

Only a 3.15 - so a 2.75 book. Not enough of note to round up here, though, Brackett aside.

Crisis : The Day the Founder Died - Robert Silverberg
Crisis : Mommies and Daddies - Leigh Brackett
Crisis : We'll Walk Again in the Moonlight - Tom Godwin
Crisis : Psychosomatica - Gordon Eklund
Crisis : Limited Accommodations - Doris Piserchia
Crisis : The Boy Who Brought Love - Edward D. Hoch
Crisis : The Spacers' Dance - Maureen Exter
Crisis : Gamesman - J. F. Bone
Crisis : The Proust Syndrome - Howard Goldsmith
Crisis : Xong of Xuxan - Ray Russell

City prison not intentional.

3.5 out of 5


Junky kid Hunt hat cull.

4 out of 5


Star World delirium.

3 out of 5


Local force bot.

3 out of 5


Not for human planet.

2.5 out of 5


King enemy gift destruction.

3 out of 5


But no love.

3.5 out of 5


Family war Umpire price.

3.5 out of 5


Nostalgia plague life.

3 out of 5


Got new wordx.

2.5 out of 5




2.5 out of 5