Sunday, August 29, 2010

Skin Deep - Mark Del Franco

A pretty ordinary book. The best thing about it is the classier cover.

Blackstone is a secret agent type for a Faerie organisation - something that is made easier when you can do the magic thing and change your appearance. No Shadow or Batman type disguise skills needed.

Runs into a cop she fancies the arse of - who is a part-giant - the part without the height it seems. A midget giant? Woman with secret, can't get involved as it can be dangerous to the mission, etc., etc.

What happens is just not that interesting - seems to be about enough plot for a novella, really.


2.5 out of 5

Soul Stealers - Andy Remic

Vampires bloody everywhere.

Or bloody vampires everywhere. After Kell gets done with them, anyway.

In the second book of this Gemmellesque homage trilogy Kell is still looking to rescue his granddaughter. Saark is still attempting to be able to just have a good time - with the problem that almost anyone he runs into wants to kill or eat him. Including the evil vampire sisters on the cover. They are happy to do this to Kell, too, though - happy to share the evil slaying around.

The things (and people) they have done in the past continue to come back to haunt them. One of whom of course has his granddaughter.

There's a wild card force with the addition of another ancient race, or at least one member of.

Once you get some way into this you can see where the obvious trilogitis it has will leave it. However, it doesn't hide this fact, with Book 2 stamped on it.

Apart from that, it is as good as the first book.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Vengeful Virgin - Gil Brewer

A teenager is the carer for her stepfather - who is dying of a respiratory disease and is mostly bedridden. She is tied to him by money, as she has to stay if she wants to inherit.

This is slowly driving her nuts, and she spirals out of control as she lures a tv installer into her sexy young clutches - something he goes along with gladly for her body and the possibility of a big payoff when the old man carks it.

However, there is another woman, and a doctor that is smarter than all of them.


3 out of 5

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Asimov's 415 - Sheila Williams

Only a 3.13. JPK as usual can be relied on for an interesting column.
The best of this lot is Bossert's Shanghai space hack.

ASIMOVS415 : SUPERLUMINOSITY - Alan Wall
ASIMOVS415 : THE LOVELY UGLY - Carol Emshwiller
ASIMOVS415 : CRIMES FOLLIES MISFORTUNES AND LOVE - Ian Creasey
ASIMOVS415 : THE BATTLE OF LITTLE BIG SCIENCE - Pamela Rentz
ASIMOVS415 : WARNING LABEL - Alexander Jablokov
ASIMOVS415 : THE WITCH THE TINMAN THE FLIES - J.M. Sidorova
ASIMOVS415 : ON THE HORIZON - Nick Wolven
ASIMOVS415 : SLOW BOAT - Gregory Norman Bossert

Multiple bags.

2.5 out of 5


Gliding sex accomodation.

3.5 out of 5


Memory archive recovery.

3 out of 5


Time for bingo.

3 out of 5


Food tagged.

3 out of 5


Heart gene gone.

3 out of 5


Heart gene gone.

3.5 out of 5


NaN. Mars Shangahi payback Project, Our Lady Thereof.

3.5 out of 5



3 out of 5

Slow Boat - Gregory Norman Bossert

NaN. Mars Shangahi payback Project, Our Lady Thereof.


(call it 3.75)
3.5 out of 5

On the Horizon - Nick Wolven

Brain interpreter motive.


3.5 out of 5

The Witch The Tinman The Flies - J. M. Sidorova

Heart gene gone.


3 out of 5

Warning Label - Alexander Jablokov

Food tagged.


3 out of 5

The Battle Of Little Big Science - Pamela Rentz

Time for bingo.


3 out of 5

Crimes Follies Misfortunes And Love - Ian Creasey

Memory archive recovery.


3 out of 5

The Lovely Ugly - Carol Emshwiller

Gliding sex accomodation.


3.5 out of 5

Superluminosity - Alan Wall

Multiple bags.


2.5 out of 5

Distant Signals - Andrew Weiner

Alien bad tv.


2 out of 5

Night-rise - Katherine MacLean

Kali cult population pressure sacrifice solution.


3.5 out of 5

Monday, August 9, 2010

In the Stacks - Scott Lynch

Vocabuvore giant exam passing psycho roommate consumption.


4 out of 5

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mirror Space - Marianne de Pierres

I am not sure what went wrong here, but this is not remotely up to the standard of De Pierres other books.

This series seems to sort of peter out here, focusing more on some subsidiary characters than the actual protagonist built up in the last couple of books. So not sure if this is 2 books cut down, or one stretched, or what.

Definitely disappointing. I can happily recommend any of her other work, under whatever name, but not this book.


2.5 out of 5

Amortals - Matt Forbeck

What happens if serial immortality of the copy your memories into another body variety becomes available?

The rich and powerful will pay lots of money to have this facility available.

This is the story of the figurehead for the program - a secret service agent who is non of the above - but is mortally injured doing his thing.

They try out this nascent technology on him - and it works - and they have to keep him around and alive for PR reasons.

When he is killed again while working, it is recorded on video - and sent to him - and in the process of investigating his own murder, he finds out something is rotten indeed at the heart of this program.

And it does have flying cars. And reduced life expectancy.


3.5 out of 5

Deep Navigation - Alastair Reynolds

If you are wondering about the early Alastair Reynolds stories that you haven't seen, and if they are any good, then worry no longer, they are. So this is worth getting.

It is just a shame that NESFA have no digital publishing program, because this would sell as many copies probably in a week or two as it will, ever in this limited edition numbered format.

There's another Revelation Space story here - Monkey Suit.

Still, good to have, and a great book.

Deep Navigation : Nunivak Snowflakes - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : Monkey Suit - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : The Fixation - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : Feeling Rejected - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : Fury - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : Stroboscopic - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : The Receivers - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : Byrd Land Six - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : The Star Surgeon's Apprentice - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : On the Oodnadatta - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : Fresco - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : Viper - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : Soiree - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : The Sledge-Maker's Daughter - Alastair Reynolds
Deep Navigation : Tiger Burning - Alastair Reynolds

Brane circle future message creator inspiration warning investigation.

4.5 out of 5


Great Winter war worry witch weapon passing.

4.5 out of 5


I gotta be human? Makes me want to cry.

4 out of 5


Murderer parole test mobile prison psych-out.

4 out of 5


The life and death of interstellar civilisations as art.

3 out of 5


Neural disincorporation farewell showup revenge bovine baby host massacre mangaroo mission deal.

4 out of 5


Butcher boy pirate fry-up Baby Makes Three.

4.5 out of 5


Freezing entangled isolation nuclear sacrifice escape.

4 out of 5


Mad war music listening post.

3.5 out of 5


Serious reality computer gaming science.

4 out of 5


Galactic Emperor two suit, secret now less fishy.

4 out of 5


Dyson sphere SWINE SETI.

4 out of 5


Multiversal mechanism order stealing fix ghosts.

4 out of 5


Volition box Melding Plague dead man fix.

4 out of 5


Time travelling dead fish rain arm stealing mail delivery.

3.5 out of 5




5 out of 5

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dapple Hew the Tint Master - Michael Shea

Slymire crystal revelation.


3.5 out of 5

De Bello Lemures Or The Roman War Against the Zombies of Armorica - Thomas Brookside

 A tale as a history discovered in a palimpset in an ancient manuscript, leaving scholars incredulous about what they are reading.

A military leder is putting down opposition in brutally efficient Roman fashion. He crucifies a bunch of the opposition as an example, breaking their legs, too, so they will die faster.

One mistake, in that one of them is a sorcerer - and dying on the cross he calls down a cruse - and their enemies return again: to try and eat them.


3 out of 5

The Mask of Circe - Henry Kuttner

This is reasonable enough - a man finds himself inserted into ancient Greek legend in an Abraham Merritt fashion. Now, because this is Kuttner, there is a science fantasy twist to the story as to what the gods etc. really are.

A decent enough short novel.


3 out of 5

Friday, August 6, 2010

Analog 952 - Stanley Schmidt

Articles on dodgy medical research and a review of Allen M. Steele's Coyote Destiny.

ANALOG952 : THAT LEVIATHAN WHOM THOU HAST MADE - Eric James Stone
ANALOG952 : PUPA - David D. Levine
ANALOG952 : SPLUDGE - Richard A. Lovett
ANALOG952 : RED LETTER DAY - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
ANALOG952 : FLOTSAM - K.C. Ball
ANALOG952 : THE VIEW FROM THE TOP - Jerry Oltion
ANALOG952 : SANDBAGGING - Kyle Kirkland
ANALOG952 : EIGHT MILES - Sean McMullen

First swale or anything, Neuter Kimball.

3.5 out of 5


Adult sleep assertion.

3 out of 5


Green problem.

2.5 out of 5


Future gun warning, no basketball.

3.5 out of 5


Mary Shelley fire descent.

3.5 out of 5


Space station emotion.

2.5 out of 5


Computo says: half die. Fib?

4 out of 5


Angelica lives advances.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Eight Miles - Sean McMullen

Angelica lives advances.


3 out of 5

Sandbagging - Kyle Kirkland

Computo says: half die. Fib?


4 out of 5

The View From the Top - Jerry Oltion

Space station emotion.


2.5 out of 5

Flotsam - K. C. Ball

Mary Shelley fire descent.


3.5 out of 5

Red Letter Day - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Future gun warning, no basketball.


3.5 out of 5

Spludge - Richard A. Lovett

Green problem.


2.5 out of 5

Pupa - David D. Levine

Adult sleep assertion.


3 out of 5

That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made - Eric James Stone

First swale or anything, Neuter Kimball.


3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, August 4, 2010