Archive for the tag 'science fiction'

A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber: a short review

That said, it’s a decent book, and fills in some of the Sphinx backstory. Half of the book’s a direct reprint of the novella with the same name; the second half is new and, to me, far too predictable. Weber often goes out of his way to make his villains into real people; no such luck with this one, who’s pretty much a cartoon.

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The Sons of Heaven by Kage Baker: a review

But the last half of the book is just wonderful, with Budu’s army of massive tenors and countertenors, Victor’s absolutely perfect revenge on his masters, Lewis’s escape from his fate, and all the threads converging on Catalina on The Day of Silence. There are obvious jokes, jokes that assume you read carefully, and jokes that assume you’re well-read. Gosh this is fun.

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Not Less Than Gods by Kage Baker: a short review

Sort of a steampunk version of Robert Heinlein’s story Gulf. It’s got pretty much the same story line and raises the same moral issues. Very bloody, by the way.

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Rocket Boy and the Geek Girls: a short review

A short story sampler of Book View Cafe authors. I liked the Katherin Kerr & Maya Kathryn Bohnhoff stories a lot. YMMV.

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Tramp Royale by Robert Heinlein: a short review

Starts well, ends poorly–the trip, the book, everything. Worth reading for Heinlein fans, and for anyone who wants a reasonable summary of a mid-50s round-the-world trip. Heinlein has some interesting things to say, is up-front about his prejudices, and is a product of his times. Basically a southern-hemisphere trip, by the way.

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Betrayer by CJ Cherryh: a short review

Bren, now really obviously a powerful lord of the realm, rearranges almost everything on the Atevi continent. That’s getting to be a habit. And Cajeiri’s continuing to grow up before our eyes, which is fun. Oddly enough, and unlike other LT reviewers, I liked the first half of the book better than the long, dual-threaded, action sequence.

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Farnham’s Freehold by Robert Heinlein: a short review

Creepy. I first read Freehold as a serial in IF magazine, in my teens. Didn’t like it then. Don’t like it now. Appalling at basically all levels.

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Once a Hero by Elizabeth Moon: a review

That said: Moon is a master plotter, an efficient writer, and truly excellent at character creation. This is a complex novel on several levels. Besides the warfare, there are two very different political environments, fleet politics, family disagreements, on-board relationships, and a young woman finding herself. Moon integrates these various threads more effectively than anyone else writing military SF. I like this stuff; wish she’d return to it.

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Heinlein in Dimension by Alexei Panshin: a review

While Heinlein in Dimension is neither perfect nor definitive, it’s a decent, though often misguided, analysis of Heinlein’s work through 1967. Some of the commentary is painful to read, and parts are just plain wrong, but the context is an author pioneering in difficult terrain. On the one hand, Panshin shows some improbable blind spots, which severely damage the book; on the other, he makes some valuable observations about Heinlein’s themes and methods.

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Sir Dominic Flandry by Poul Anderson: a review

Three novels and a short story. And that appalling, off-putting cover.

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