Category Archives: Book reviews

Flash review: A Rose for Ecclesiastes by Roger Zelazny

Roger Zelazny was a master wordsmith, and Rose is one of his early masterpieces.  It is so skillfully written that one doesn’t even notice that it is more akin to a Greek tragedy than to science fiction.  And one doesn’t … Continue reading

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Flash Review: The Little Black Bag by Cyril M. Kornbluth

This highly amusing and cynical short story hits all the right buttons.  It contains a future that may be funny for some and terrifying for others.  It has a highly emotional redemption arc.  And a crime and punishment element so … Continue reading

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Flash review: Scanners Live in Vain by Cordwainer Smith

Before Alastair Reynolds and the Ultras, before the mind-numbing and soul-crushing emptiness of deep space travel, there was Smith and his Scanners.  This is one of the first stories that combine Lovecraftian horror with space travel.  It uses very vivid … Continue reading

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Flash Review: Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon

A few years ago, I got to meet George R. R. Martin at a convention.  My “meeting” was absolutely forgettable for him.  I was one of hundreds of people queuing to get his autograph.  Still, I was one of the … Continue reading

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Flash review: A Martian Odyssey by Stanley G. Weinbaum

87 years ago, a remarkably modern short story was published in Weird Stories.  Although sometimes overshadowed by the works of Olaf Stapledon, which were published at around the same time frame, this work has been immensely influential to science fiction, … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi

Scalzi’s second published science fiction novel already features his signature humor and themes, which would permeate many of his more mature works.  Even though it lacks polish and changes directions rather unexpectedly, it is still a fun short read for … Continue reading

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Book review: The Luna Missile Crisis by Jaime Castle and Rhett C. Bruno

Imagine a situation where the first manned space flight crashes into an alien spaceship nobody knew was there.  Follow this up with a nuclear strike gone wrong. Top it up with a reconciliation with the aliens who decided to stay, … Continue reading

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Mini review: Berlin Is Never Berlin by Marko Kloos

In all honesty, the Wild Cards universe is not my favorite urban fantasy setting.  It is a distant second to Larry Correia’s Grimnoir Chronicles, but it does have its charm.  The different writers add variety, and in particular the early … Continue reading

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Book review: Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter

Stop me if you heard this before: a gruff, alcoholic detective is roped into a routine homicide investigation, where he is pressured to come to a clean, politically expedient but ultimately wrong conclusion and frame an innocent man.  Instead, his … Continue reading

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Book review: To Be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Becky Chambers has quickly become one of my favorite new authors, with her unconventional, humane view of science fiction settings.  Her characters are almost always likable, conflict is kept at a minimum, and the resolution is usually peaceful.  She looks … Continue reading

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