Sunday, February 28, 2010

Queenpin - Megan Abbott

Abbott makes this distaff version of a dodgy criminal taking and corrupting a clever youth look effortless. A hardboiled style that is pretty much as good as it gets.

Not so effortless for the protagonist as she becomes embroiled in the schemes of the wrong bloke.

Also refreshing to see a very short novel, too, no padding necessary.

That is two out of two novels very good so far. Can't imagine the one I haven't read is any less polished.

Very impressive.


4 out of 5

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Timing Chains of the Heart - Scott Nicholson

You can See Paradise By the Dashboard Light. Sometimes you run it over and it doesn't die though.


3.5 out of 5

The Secret Lives of Fairy Tales - Steven Popkes

Five of them, unfortunately.


2 out of 5

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Honesty - Scott Nicholson

Kiss me time travel lies. With leopardskin.


3.5 out of 5

Penance - Scott Nicholson

Soldier or grandma, all gonna get it.


3.5 out of 5

Orbus - Neal Asher

Orbus is an Old Captain hooper from Spatterjay. Rather crazy sadist at one time. He had a run in with the old war drone Sniper at one stage in a rather embarassing fashion.

So when Sniper is sick of being the Spatterjay Warden AI and decides to upgrade and take off on his own - who does he get teamed up with to investigate a Polity-Prador No-Man's Land dangerous situation with? Yep, Orbus. Plus the Ship AI that takes them there.

The story gets more complicated than spies and skirmishes, with more revelations about the Spatterjay virus, and also the political history of the Pradtor. Overon is the Third King - but a monster known as the Golgoloth was the Second. In Asher's Polity Universe, monsters are very, very real. So, sometimes are the leftovers of dead advanced alien races such as the Jain.

These aren't all the old 'friends' showing up, however. Note one Prador named Vrell, and the drone Thirteen and you have a Spatterjay reunion in space.

A book that gets better as it goes along, but again is perhaps a touch long.

Definitely inventive, though, in the usual twisted and dangerous fashion.

Sniper is easily one of the best robot characters ever. The other good thing is using the alien Prador as characters, and making them seem like they are of another species who are built and think differently. And of course lose different body parts when shot with railguns, missiles or laser!


3.5 out of 5

The God Engines - John Scalzi

Power Lord Righteous.


3 out of 5

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Skinner - Neal Asher

The Skinner is one of Asher's best novels.

Here we get the story of the planet Spatterjay, and an extremely vile pair of mass murdering torturer war criminals trading in slaves to the Prador in the war.

The war drone Sniper is again one of the main characters, and this is a good thing. The book does shift viewpoints from the ECS agent Sable Keech (who is dead) to a man on a mission from a planet of a sentient Hornet Hive through some others at times, and this is well handled.

The Old Captains on Spatterjay have a history with one of their early number - Jay Hoop - the Skinner, now a monster. Keech has also been hunting down what remains of his band of criminals, at the cost of his life, now being basically a cyborg zombie. Yeah, robot space zombie. Pretty cool.

The Spatterjay virus infects you, and gives you long life and strength - but will also turn you into an insane monster without maintenance. Plus most of the fauna on the planet is incredibly deadly as a result of surviving in this sort of ecosystem.

With all this, and Prador renegades, mercenaries, historians and really big fish to deal with the Spatterjay planetary Warden AI has a lot to keep track of.


4 out of 5

Monday, February 15, 2010

Siren Beat - Tansy Rayner Roberts

Cadmus numina numina drug.


3 out of 5

Delta Void and the Clockwork Man - Tansy Rayner Roberts

Evil twin valkyrie caper.


3 out of 5

Night Life - Tracey Rolfe

Sleep pair short.


3 out of 5

It's A Gas - Tony Plank

Squidlord Joker solution.


3.5 out of 5

Rent - Brendan Duffy

Starfish coral bionet Stratego.


4 out of 5

The Procyon Plate - Richard Harland

Vicar maybe.


2.5 out of 5

Waste Land - Stephen Dedman

Vampires got me boxed in.


3 out of 5

Incident At Five Mile Creek - Chuck McKenzie

Ned, probably a Martian.


3.5 out of 5

The Ballad of Farther-On Jones - Dirk Flinthart

Interstellar swap extension First Contact spread.


3.5 out of 5

Privateer - Simon Brown

Or space pirate, depending on how you look at it.

The captain of the Magpie is human, and his business is raiding and looting alien ships - the Calethar, a race powerful enough to challenge humans for control of space.

A young man is bored with hanging out on the local planet - a planet that happens to keep said captain in supplies and weapons for a share of his booty. His guardian arranges for him to get a berth - not necessarily such a great thing given Captain Kidron has a 10% casualty rate on average per voyage.

Plus, it is discovered that an ambitious Calethar leader has had a new ship built, one that outguns the Magpie. She has started raiding human colonies to try and draw out the Magpie out. So it is spare pirate space torpedo cat and mouse, and hope someone lives afterwards.


3.5 out of 5

Work In Progress - Scott Nicholson

Frozen Painted women.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Destroyer of Worlds - Mark Chadbourn

The third book in a trilogy, the third trilogy in a trio, so for now the story of Brothers and Sisters of Dragons is done, with a rather high bodycount.

The two teams, or what is left of them, have yet another desperate plan to try and save Existence.

More than one team of course given they have been collecting their own small army of counterparts throughout time. So while the X-Men and X-Force are off trying to save the universe (while hoping Emma Frost and Dark Cyclops don't stab them in the back) it is up to a Roman barbarian to try and mold an army together to give them some time to get it done. Complete with jokes about what barbarians usually due to sorcerers, too, when we discover that like Conan, he, too, has a plan.

Anyone who knows zilch about mythology might get slightly lost in the thunder god team-ups perhaps, but this is fun, as the Pendragon spirit wielders, the Tuatha De Danan and most of the gods of several Earth pantheons make a stand. Except for the Egyptians, whom Church and company discovered they really didn't like all that much in a prior instalment.

Or to put it another way, there is a fair pile of Simon R. Green level crazy to be found in this one with god armies, monsters, superwitches, dragons, talking lamps, monsters and the odd ten billion spiders.

While still leaving wiggle-room for more if so desired.


3.5 out of 5

Asimov's 410 - Sheila Williams

A little worse than the last issue at 3.25. 4's are thin on the ground this year so far, it seems. JPK on free stuff.

ASIMOVS410 : HELPING THEM TAKE THE OLD MAN DOWN - William Preston
ASIMOVS410 : CENTAURS - Benjamin Crowell
ASIMOVS410 : BLIND CAT DANCE - Alexander Jablokov
ASIMOVS410 : TICKET INSPECTOR GLIDEN BECOMES THE FIRST MARTYR OF THE GLORIOUS HUMAN UPRISING - Derek Zumsteg
ASIMOVS410 : THE SPEED OF DREAMS - Will Ludwigsen
ASIMOVS410 : THE TOWER - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Artic citadel work end.

3.5 out of 5


Drop no shank.

3 out of 5


Animal Training.

3.5 out of 5


Alien zone designations, incorrect.

3.5 out of 5


Racing sleep experiment.

2.5 out of 5


17th century past caper research violence.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Tower - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

17th century past caper research violence.


3.5 out of 5

The Speed of Dreams - Will Ludwigsen

Racing sleep experiment.


2.5 out of 5

Ticket Inspector Gliden Becomes The First Martyr Of The Glorious Human Uprising - Derek Zumsteg

Alien zone designations, incorrect.


3.5 out of 5

Blind Cat Dance - Alexander Jablokov

Animal Training.


3.5 out of 5

Centaurs - Benjamin Crowell

Drop no shank.


3 out of 5

Helping Them Take the Old Man Down - William Preston

Artic citadel work end.


3.5 out of 5

Analog 948 - Stanley Schmidt

Considerably better than the last issue, with a couple of stories edging towards very good with Hemry and Cooper, and Oltion making it. 3.29 overall. There's even a review of the Legion of Super Heroes Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds. Along with a neuroscience article that is quite interesting.

ANALOG948 : SWORDS AND SADDLES - John G. Hemry
ANALOG948 : SNOWFLAKE KISSES - Holly Hight & Richard A. Lovett
ANALOG948 : A SOUND BASIS FOR MISUNDERSTANDING - Carl Frederick
ANALOG948 : NOTHIN' BUT BLUE SKIES - Stephen L. Burns
ANALOG948 : WHEN WE WERE FAB - Jerry Oltion
ANALOG948 : THE PLANET HUNTERS - S.L. Nickerson
ANALOG948 : THE ROBOTS' GIRL - Brenda Cooper

Asteran Amazons, like lightning!

3.5 out of 5


Neurochemical love.

3 out of 5


Alien hop noise.

2.5 out of 5


Turble gas sales.

3 out of 5


Public domain re-production.

4 out of 5


BST ET CFC ST TV.

35 out of 5


Substitute family genius.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Robots' Girl - Brenda Cooper

Substitute family genius.


3.5 out of 5

The Planet Hunters - S. I. Nickerson

BST ET CFC ST TV.


3.5 out of 5

When We Were Fab - Jerry Oltion

Public domain re-production.


4 out of 5

Nothin' But Blue Skies - Stephen L. Burns

Turble gas sales.


3 out of 5

A Sound Basis For Misunderstanding - Carl Frederick

Alien hop noise.


2.5 out of 5

Snowflake Kisses - Richard A. Lovette and Holly Hight

Neurochemical love.


3 out of 5

Swords and Saddles - John G. Hemry

Asteran Amazons, like lightning!


(call it 3.75)
3.5 out of 5

Asimov's 409 - Sheila Williams

An issue a little down at 3.33. The closest to breaking out past garden variety are Broderick and de Bodard.

ASIMOVS409 : STONE WALL TRUTH - Caroline M. Yoachim
ASIMOVS409 : DEAD AIR - Damien Broderick
ASIMOVS409 : THE WOMAN WHO WAITED FOREVER - Bruce McAllister
ASIMOVS409 : THE BOLD EXPLORER IN THE PLACE BEYOND - David Erik Nelson
ASIMOVS409 : THE WIND-BLOWN MAN - Aliette de Bodard
ASIMOVS409 : THE ICE LINE - Stephen Baxter

Zebra stitchup slice.

3 out of 5


TV Casualty.

3.5 out of 5


Statue removal.

3 out of 5


Squidscapade.

3.5 out of 5


Monky Singularity.

3.5 out of 5


Phoebeans On Mars.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Ice Line - Stephen Baxter

Phoebeans On Mars.


3.5 out of 5

The Wind-Blown Man - Aliette de Bodard

Monky Singularity.


3.5 out of 5

The Bold Explorer In The Place Beyond - David Erik Nelson

Squidscapade.


3.5 out of 5

The Woman Who Waited Forever - Bruce McAllister

Statue removal.


3 out of 5

Dead Air - Damien Broderick

TV Casualty.


3.5 out of 5

Stone Wall Truth - Caroline M. Yoachim

Zebra stitchup slice.


3 out of 5

Analog 947 - Stanley Schmidt

Articles on isotopes and solar systems in this underwhelming issue. Christopher L. Bennett's was entertaining, though.

ANALOG947 : OF ONE MIND - Shane Tourtellotte
ANALOG947 : ENCOUNTER IN A YELLOW WOOD - Bud Sparhawk
ANALOG947 : LOCKED IN - Brad Aiken
ANALOG947 : TEN THOUSAND MONKEYS - Tocho Ligon
ANALOG947 : DR. SKENNER'S SPECIAL ANIMALS - by David A. Simons
ANALOG947 : THE HUB OF THE MATTER - Christopher L. Bennett
ANALOG947 : NARROW WORLD - Carl Frederick

Overlay disturbance.

3 out of 5


Tree cleanup.

3 out of 5


Monster rehab.

3 out of 5


And too many cats.

2.5 out of 5


Rover the Dragon.

3.5 out of 5


Network jam quantelope.

3.5 out of 5


Screaming Beaver quarantine.

2.5 out of 5



2.5 out of 5

Narrow World - Carl Frederick

Screaming Beaver quarantine.


2.5 out of 5

The Hub of the Matter - Christopher L. Bennett

Network jam quantelope.


3.5 out of 5

Dr. Skenner's Special Animals - David A. Simons

Rover the Dragon.


3.5 out of 5

Ten Thousand Monkeys - Tom Ligon

And too many cats.


2.5 out of 5

Locked In - Brad Aiken

Monster rehab.


3 out of 5

Encounter In a Yellow Wood - Bud Sparhawk

Tree cleanup.


3 out of 5

Of One Mind - Shane Tourtellotte

Overlay disturbance.


3 out of 5

Friday, February 12, 2010

Agog! Terrific Tales - Cat Sparks

A good quality original anthology, which is a more impressive effort given the Australian author focus. A couple of standouts by Sussex and Livings, and a strong story from Flinthart.

Agog! Terrific Tales : Kijin Tea - Kyla Ward
Agog! Terrific Tales : Waiting at Golgotha - Simon Brown
Agog! Terrific Tales : Runaway - Lucy Sussex
Agog! Terrific Tales : Moonflowers at the Ritz - Marianne de Pierres
Agog! Terrific Tales : Louder Echo - Brendan Duffy
Agog! Terrific Tales : Lacey's Fingerprints - Chris Lawson Watson
Agog! Terrific Tales : In the Days of the Red Animals - Kate Orman
Agog! Terrific Tales : JAM Jars - Robert Hood
Agog! Terrific Tales : Bone Dog - Kaaron Warren
Agog! Terrific Tales : Sigmund Freud and the Feral Freeway - Martin Livings
Agog! Terrific Tales : Uncharted - Leigh Blackmore
Agog! Terrific Tales : Exterminator Rex - Adam Browne
Agog! Terrific Tales : Storm in a Chandelier - Tracey Rolfe
Agog! Terrific Tales : Witness of Blood - Sue Isle
Agog! Terrific Tales : The Big One - Dirk Flinthart
Agog! Terrific Tales : Tigershow - Janeen Webb
Agog! Terrific Tales : Butterfly Merchant - Sean Williams
Agog! Terrific Tales : That Which Does Not Kill Us - Scott Westerfeld
Agog! Terrific Tales : The Singular Life of Eddy Dovewater - Deborah Biancotti
Agog! Terrific Tales : Making Two Fists - Lee Battersby
Agog! Terrific Tales : Eden - Jack Dann

Foxy Tooth.

3.5 out of 5


Crucify Thai.

3.5 out of 5


Helpful mutant horsepeople.

4.5 out of 5


Party at the sharp end.

3.5 out of 5


Preformation, Little Man.

3.5 out of 5


Clone girl, no freeze.

3.5 out of 5


Blueface babyeater.

3 out of 5


Jettisoned Amorphic Mechanism death replacement overmatch.

3.5 out of 5


Fat and skeletal lived in a house with likely a decidedly odd garden.

3 out of 5


Android analysis road rage evolution revolution.

4.5 out of 5


Magic or gf.

3 out of 5


Me Beobogwulf, you Grendelsaur. Kill! Kill! Kill!

3.5 out of 5


Bad housepainter.

3 out of 5


History visions.

2.5 out of 5


Lost Asteroid Last Wave.

4 out of 5


Aunty procured.

3 out of 5


Database search match murderer bugged.

3 out of 5


No grave dick, boy.

3.5 out of 5


Beating the Black Racer.

3.5 out of 5


Rentaboy boomerang bleedout.

3.5 out of 5


Biped salad.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Stealing Alice - Claire McKenna

Twas somewhat brillig and slithy quantum.


4 out of 5

Map of Bones - James Rollins

The Killer Scientists of Sigma Force and back, and this it is even better. If you think military skilled PhDs, or vice versa, sounds a bit Doc Savage, well you'd probably be right. One of the Sigma Force team is even named Monk. No sign of an pet pig, though. No gray-eyed Wold Newtoners, either, but the leader of this particular mission in the field is one Commander Gray Pierce.

The opening is great, from a toasted Catholic service to chases across giant balls with a black leather Dragon Lady.

Plenty of others are involved, their Guild rivals, the Italian art police, Vatican senior spies, and oh, a secret Catholic society with a nazi castle and giant dogs, of course. Not very nice people. What have your relatives been up to, then?

Rollins is a vet, so obviously a very smart man to start with. His scientific knowledge and research shows, as does his appreciation of SF and fantastic elements. He manages to juggle this with enough character development to make these books a considerable cut above a lot of the militaristic technothrillers out there, without sacrificing the weaponry-branding beloved of big fans of that stuff. For those familiar, more towards the Matthew Reilly end of the scale, just much more talented.

M-state elements, Meissner fields, levitation, liquid body armour, and the Bones of the Magi. Plenty of eye-popping stuff to be found here, and he also gives you a bit of an overview of some science elements at the end.

I'm going to read all his books along these lines as I find them, and alternate between the standalones and the Sigma Force as they hold out. There's only one other thriller writer I have ever said that about - Robert Ludlum, and he did not have anywhere near the cool stuff Rollins comes up with, being more into the spy games.


4 out of 5

Seven Ancient Wonders - Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly has finally decided to take a crack at an Australia hereo.

Jack West Jr is ex-SAS, and had a falling out with his American allies in the middle east.

Now he leads a team of soldiers from a League of Small Nations trying to stop megalomaniac American and European militaries from assembling an ancient artifact and performing a ritual to take control of the world. With a little human sacrifice of kids to top it off, of course. Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, some Arabs, etc.

He also has a bionic arm, and a falcon, and you definitely, definitely would not want Reilly to be your Dungeon Master. There is an insane amount of death traps in this novel.

You ever want to see Noddy and Big Ears killed? Now's your chance.


(call it 3.25)
3.5 out of 5

Eden - Jack Dann

Biped salad.


3 out of 5

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fantasy and Science Fiction 687 - Gordon Van Gelder

Lucius Shepard takes a look at District 9. Chris Moriarty apparently likes Walter Jon Williams' Implied Spaces as much as I did, and is also happy that Greg Bear wrote some SF again.

The fiction is below average at a measly 3.00, but a couple of funny stories by Whitlock and Aurealian. Reed is solid as usual.

Also, it appears John Langan can do no wrong, by far the best story.

FSF687 : GHOSTS DOING THE ORANGE DANCE - Paul Park
FSF687 : THE LONG RETREAT - Robert Reed
FSF687 : WRITERS OF THE FUTURE - Charles Oberndorf
FSF687 : NANOSFERATU - Dean Whitlock
FSF687 : CITY OF THE DOG - John Langan
FSF687 : BAIT - Robin Aurelian
FSF687 : SONGWOOD - Marc Laidlaw
FSF687 : THE SECRET LIVES OF FAIRY TALES - Steven Popkes
FSF687 : THE LATE NIGHT TRAIN - Kate Wilhelm

A trial.

1.5 out of 5


Endless Nation Army.

3.5 out of 5


Anti-Mind.

3 out of 5


Bloody reproduction cure.

3.5 out of 5


Not so groovy ghuly girl.

3.5 out of 5


Now, monster, can't eat sister, just bit the heads off a few babies instead.

3.5 out of 5


Gargoyle agitation.

3 out of 5


Five of them, unfortunately.

2.5 out of 5


Too quiet.

2.5 out of 5



(call it 2.75)
3 out of 5

Nanosferatu - Dean Whitlock

Bloody reproduction cure.


3.5 out of 5

The Late Night Train - Kate Wilhelm

Too quiet.


2.5 out of 5

Ghosts Doing The Orange Dance - Paul Park

A trial.


1.5 out of 5

Songwood - Marc Laidlaw

Gargoyle agitation.


3 out of 5

Writers of the Future - Charles Oberndorf

Anti-Mind.


3 out of 5

Bait - Robin Aurelian

Now, monster, can't eat sister, just bit the heads off a few babies instead.


3.5 out of 5

The Long Retreat - Robert Reed

Endless Nation Army.


3.5 out of 5

Asimov's 408 - Sheila Williams

Magazines, ancient machines and hovercars. Also not a lot of note storywise, with Reed and Landis the best efforts.

ASIMOVS408 : MARYA AND THE PIRATE - Geoffrey A. Landis
ASIMOVS408 : CONDITIONAL LOVE - Felicity Shoulders
ASIMOVS408 : A LETTER FROM THE EMPEROR - Steve Rasnic Tem
ASIMOVS408 : WONDER HOUSE - Chris Roberson
ASIMOVS408 : THE GOOD HAND - Robert Reed
ASIMOVS408 : WILDS - Carol Emshwiller
ASIMOVS408 : THE JEKYLL ISLAND HORROR - Allen M. Steele

By necessity boss, with glue.

3.5 out of 5


Laser mum.

3 out of 5


Nils diary.

3 out of 5


Super publication.

3 out of 5


French nuking resistance.

3.5 out of 5


Cash distribution.

2.5 out of 5


Sucker story.

3 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

The Jekyll Island Horror - Allen M. Steele

Sucker story.


3 out of 5

Wilds - Carol Emshwiller

Cash distribution.


2.5 out of 5

The Good Hand - Robert Reed

French nuking resistance.


3.5 out of 5

Wonder House - Chris Roberson

Super publication.


3 out of 5

A Letter From the Emperor - Steve Rasnic Tem

Nils diary.


3 out of 5

Conditional Love - Felicity Shoulders

Laser mum.


3 out of 5

Marya and the Pirate - Geoffrey A. Landis

By necessity boss, with glue.


3.5 out of 5

Making Two Fists - Lee Battersby

Rentaboy boomerang bleedout.


3.5 out of 5

Monday, February 8, 2010

Smoker - Greg Rucka

Atticus Kodiak is hired as an extra for a Sentinel guarding job - and finds out that all is not as it seems on this supposed cakewalk. Automatic weapons attacks, assassins, decoys, and more are to be dealt with.

Then we discover why the title: the real target is a star witness who was a tobacco industry scientist with hard evidence of their deliberate hiding of the deadly effects of their products. They are willing to kill to stop the testimony, and this bodyguard job Atticus and his friend Natalie, daughter of the owner of Sentinel, are asked to assist with.

There's some entertaining scenes of 'security auditing' as Atticus and his partner test the defenses for the boss.

Another fine Rucka novel.


4 out of 5

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blackhearts the Omnibus - Nathan Long

An omicollection if you like, a la Baen about a group of ordinary-seeming but rather resourceful dodgy soldiers in the Warhammer fantasy setting.

Blackhearts Omnibus : Hetzau's Follies - Nathan Long
Blackhearts Omnibus : Valnir's Bane - Nathan Long
Blackhearts Omnibus : Rotten Fruit - Nathan Long
Blackhearts Omnibus : The Broken Lance - Nathan Long
Blackhearts Omnibus : Tainted Blood - Nathan Long

I *swear* she was a Chaos priestess when I killed her.

3.5 out of 5


This is your dirty dozen plot.

Go on a nasty mission for us you soldier boys in the brig, or else get hung.

So, being soldiers, they opt for branding and the secret mission. A motley crew of wastrels, pikemen, surgeons, bowmen, duellists, and others, all who had been arrested for some supposed crime or other. Some a lot guiltier than others.

Add one hardbitten veteran captain in charge, and a priestess who comes along, and it is even more suspicous.

Mystic artifacts to be found, betrayals to be uncovered, structures to be demolished, and barbarians to be fought.

3.5 out of 5


Stripped sorceress and strung scofflaws.

3 out of 5


The Blackhearts are now officially dead, being hanged in proxy. However, that doesn't get them off the hook. Now unbranded, they instead have a remote -activation sorcerous poison installed to keep them in line.

The mission this time is to find out why gold shipments aren't being delivered to the Empire from a mine near one of their outposts.

The place is run by a military leader who generally appears to know his arse from his elbow - that is, he is too efficient for the inbred royalty there and has hence been banished to nowheresville.

Throw in a whole lot of skaven (ratmen) for an added complication.

3.5 out of 5


The last novel in this collection takes up almost directly after the end of the last one.

Here we have a combination of problems again affecting out team of no-goods - along with some new recruits.

The various nobles are scheming against each other - including Manfred. Throw in a dark elf sorcerer, a warpstone monument and a couple of skaven clans, and growing mistrust among the Blackhearts themselves and there are plenty of battles to be fought.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Tainted Blood - Nathan Long

The last novel in this collection takes up almost directly after the end of the last one.

Here we have a combination of problems again affecting out team of no-goods - along with some new recruits.

The various nobles are scheming against each other - including Manfred. Throw in a dark elf sorcerer, a warpstone monument and a couple of skaven clans, and growing mistrust among the Blackhearts themselves and there are plenty of battles to be fought.


3 out of 5

The Science Fictional Solar System - Martin H. Greenberg and Isaac Asimov and Charles G. Waugh

An anthology of stories set on the planets of this region. Throws in some others like asteroids and comets to round it out.

Most of them aren't any good, though.

Science-Fictional Solar System : The Weather on the Sun - Theodore L. Thomas
Science-Fictional Solar System : Brightside Crossing - Alan E. Nourse
Science-Fictional Solar System : Prospector's Special - Robert Sheckley
Science-Fictional Solar System : Waterclap - Isaac Asimov
Science-Fictional Solar System : Hop-Friend - Terry Carr
Science-Fictional Solar System : Barnacle Bull - Poul Anderson
Science-Fictional Solar System : Bridge - James Blish
Science-Fictional Solar System : Saturn Rising - Arthur C. Clarke
Science-Fictional Solar System : The Snowbank Orbit - Fritz Leiber
Science-Fictional Solar System : One Sunday in Neptune - Alexei Panshin
Science-Fictional Solar System : Wait It Out - Larry Niven
Science-Fictional Solar System : Nikita Eisenhower Jones - Robert F. Young
Science-Fictional Solar System : The Comet the Cairn and the Capsule - Duncan Lunan

Neutron flux blur.

2.5 out of 5


Drive hot.

3.5 out of 5


Venus robot rules.

2.5 out of 5


Outer space undersea visitor has terrorist plan. Extemporaneous Jupiter project plan convinces laser wielder to desist.

4 out of 5


Marshie mellow frogger mates.

3.5 out of 5


The space sailor.

2.5 out of 5


Screw Jupiter. Lets spindizzy.

3.5 out of 5


Titan tourist desire.

3 out of 5


Titania station enemy dead.

3 out of 5


Worst partner for you.

2.5 out of 5


Corpsicle decision.

3 out of 5


Quest of the Starhope Miranda Zero.

3 out of 5


Alien discovery.

3 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Broken Lance - Nathan Long

The Blackhearts are now officially dead, being hanged in proxy. However, that doesn't get them off the hook. Now unbranded, they instead have a remote -activation sorcerous poison installed to keep them in line.

The mission this time is to find out why gold shipments aren't being delivered to the Empire from a mine near one of their outposts.

The place is run by a military leader who generally appears to know his arse from his elbow - that is, he is too efficient for the inbred royalty there and has hence been banished to nowheresville.

Throw in a whole lot of skaven (ratmen) for an added complication.


3.5 out of 5