Category Archives: Books

Edward Weston’s The Daybooks of Edward Weston

Edward Weston shares a place in American photography with a very select group of artists: Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Imogene Cunningham, Charles Sheeler. These are the people who took photography out of the realm of imitation and, working … Continue reading

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Philip A. Schreffler’s Sherlock Holmes by Gas-Lamp

A difficulty for most Sherlockian scholars is getting their hands on much of the wealth of older material. One reprint anthology that aids in this a great deal is Philip A. Schreffler’s Sherlock Holmes by Gas-Lamp, which contains a variety … Continue reading

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Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Fionavar Tapestry

This review was written by Matthew Scott Winslow. It takes a lot to bring me to tears. I don’t cry often, but there are certain books that are written so wonderfully that they leave me an emotional mess for a … Continue reading

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Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana

Rachel Manija Brown penned this review.  Much of the best fantasy is concerned with names. In Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea novels, to know the true name of a man or a woman or a dragon is to hold their life … Continue reading

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Guy Gavriel Kay’s Ysabel

Like in Jane Yolen’s The Wild Hunt, in Ysabel we have a Summer Queen, similar to but not the same as Yolen’s Summer Queen. And both works have what can loosely be considered Champions vying over and over again for … Continue reading

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Pat Murphy’s The City, Not Long After; A Flock of Lawn Flamingos; The Shadow Hunter

I am having an immense amount of fun discovering the work of Pat Murphy. Aside from laudatory comments picked up from other writers, I first ran across Murphy as one of the editors of the James Tiptree Award Anthologies, the … Continue reading

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Roger Zelazny’s Isle of The Dead

Roger Zelazny’s Isle of The Dead is a prequel of sorts to To Die in Italbar, though you don’t really need to read it first. It amuses me that, as I noted in reviewing thItalbar, Zelazny considers it be his … Continue reading

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Daniel Pinkwater’s Adventures of a Dwergish Girl

Longtime fan of Daniel Pinkwater here: I’ve read much of his work, including The Afterlife Diet, which as far as I know is his only novel for adults to date, and some of his radio bits. Never cruel or angry, … Continue reading

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Ellen Alderman and Caroline Kennedy’s In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action

In light of the increasing number of assaults on our basic freedoms in recent years, including attempts to mandate the teaching of religious doctrine in public school classrooms, attempts by the federal government to strip away basic rights of American … Continue reading

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Victoria Thompson’s Murder on Pleasant Avenue

A late Victorian murder is a classic framing for a mystery novel, and Victoria Thompson has made a career of providing interesting variations on the formula. Her Murder on Pleasant Avenue is the latest in the author’s “A Gaslight Mystery” … Continue reading

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Poul Anderson’s Orion Shall Rise

But only poets recognize myths for what they are, and who really listens to poets? — Poul Anderson in Orion Shall Rise As a general rule, I find Poul Anderson’s writing to be stilted and not very fluent, so that … Continue reading

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Roger Zelazny’s To Die in Italbar

What if you could cure any disease with but a touch? And what if that same touch could turn an entire city into a charnel house? Mr. H, who needs only to touch someone to heal or kill them, is … Continue reading

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Nevin Martell’s Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip

Faith Cormier penned this review. Before starting this review I want to set some parameters. I have never been a Calvin and Hobbes fangirl. I’ve never lived anywhere that the paper carried the strip, so I have only very rarely … Continue reading

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Jack Williamson’s Wonder’s Child

Reading Jack Williamson’s autobiography, Wonder’s Child, is in many ways like a walk through my own childhood — not that my life has had that much in common with Williamson’s, but that his friends and colleagues were in many cases … Continue reading

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Martin Edwards’ Settling Scores: Sporting Mysteries

Settling Scores: Sporting Mysteries is editor Martin Edwards’ look at the myriad different crime and mystery short stories in which one sport or another serves as a major story element. The book collects 15 stories from several decades, each by … Continue reading

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James Gunn’s Inside Science Fiction

It’s interesting to see the history of something as told by some of the people who made it. In the case of James Gunn’s Inside Science Fiction, the “something” is, indeed, science fiction, and Gunn was one of the history … Continue reading

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Samuel R. Delany’s They Fly at Ciron

Samuel R. Delany is one of the most challenging writers of speculative fiction, ever. (I say “speculative fiction” because he has written major works of both science fiction and fantasy.) And so, faced with They Fly at Ciron, I have … Continue reading

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C.S. Harris’ Who Speaks For the Damned

C.S Harris’ latest mystery Who Speaks for the Damned is another fascinating tale of the early Victorian period. As part of a long running series the reader may see a returning character or two, or fear that as a new … Continue reading

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Tanya Huff’s Long Hot Summoning

It is summer in Ontario. To be exact, it is June 23rd, the last day of school for Diana Hansen – ever. She is, at long last, graduating from high school, and not a moment too soon: she has long … Continue reading

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Alexander C. Irvine’s The Narrows

There are too many authors in the world. Too many, at least, for me to keep up with. So it is that I treasure being able to write reviews, because I have the chance to encounter those whom I might … Continue reading

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Alexander C. Irvine’s The Life of Riley

Take Escape from New York, mix in an echo of A Mirror for Observers and a generous helping of The Book of Revelations as interpreted by your worst nightmare, and focus very tightly on the crisis point. You’re coming close … Continue reading

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Tanya Huff’s Blood Price

Tanya Huff has developed at least two ways to approach the genre of horror/dark fantasy. One, as evidenced in The Keeper’s Chronicles, is smart, topical, zany, and – well, smart-alecky. The other, which begins with Blood Price, is equally smart, … Continue reading

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Naomi Kritzer’s Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories

I don’t normally purchase a collection for just one story but the community over at File 770 was saying in a discussion of AIs that the Hugo Award-winning ’Cat Pictures Please’ was a story that the folks there who hadn’t … Continue reading

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Simon R. Green’s The Dark Side of the Road

The first thing you need to know is that all of the fiction that Green has done over the past several decades is interconnected, with shared characters and settings. Some of the series are deeply interwoven, some connected just enough … Continue reading

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Kylie Logan’s Secrets of Bones

Secrets of Bones by Kylie Logan is an example of the pet or animal related subgenre of cozy mystery. While the presence of a cute dog in the book or on the cover is appreciated, it is the authors’ style … Continue reading

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The Last Tsar’s Dragons (first several chapters)

Written by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple. ### Your revolution is a lie. There were no heroes, no great causes. Just slaughter, suffering, death. And dragons. Oh, you thought those a myth? Tales your grandfather told you? No, the dragons … Continue reading

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Rebecca James’ Woman in the Mirror

Rebecca James’ Woman in the Mirror represents a return to classic gothic fiction in many ways, and a proof that that storytelling style still has some vitality to it. The book is filled with classic mysteries, questionable supernatural occurrences, loves … Continue reading

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Muriel Jaeger’s The Man with Six Senses

Muriel Jaeger’s The Man with Six Senses is a mostly forgotten piece of fascinating early 20th century science fiction recently brought back to the fore by the British Library. A first person narrative looking back at a set of events surrounding … Continue reading

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Kathleen O’Neal Gear’s Cries From The Lost Island

The Egyptian adventure story is a very old tradition, going back centuries. Cries From the Lost Island by Kathleen O’Neal Gear is a contemporary example of such storytelling. It is also a tale that manages for much of the text … Continue reading

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Jack Spicer’s The Collected Books of Jack Spicer

It’s very hard to get a handle on how to describe Jack Spicer’s poetry. On a continuum of twentieth-century poets from serious and sometimes playful (Auden, Ashberry, Duncan) to serious and downright raucous (Frank O’Hara), he is closer to O’Hara, … Continue reading

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Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men In a Boat

I ran across Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men In a Boat as a reference and a borrowed plot (or part of one) in Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing Of the Dog (which itself is a quote from Jerome’s book). I … Continue reading

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E.F. Benson’s The Outcast and Other Dark Tales

The Outcast and Other Dark Tales is editor Mike Ashley’s latest collection of dark fiction by E.F. Benson. Containing a number of short works, this collection attempts to give a survey of the disturbing genre fiction Benson produced over the … Continue reading

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Robert Charles Wilson’s Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd Century America

When I reviewed Robert Charles Wilson’s Julian, I remarked that it felt “truncated, as though it were the beginning of a much longer and more complex narrative.” It was. The novella has reappeared as the first part of Wilson’s Julian … Continue reading

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Robert Charles Wilson’s Julian

Robert Charles Wilson is another of those writers I have only recently discovered, this time through the engaging and provocative novella Julian. Suppose that the bulk of North America, now one nation, were effectively (and quite openly) “under God,” a … Continue reading

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Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

There are innumerable editions of classic works of literature available, and it would be presumptuous in the extreme for me to offer a “review” of something like Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is, after all, somewhat beyond … Continue reading

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Midori Snyder’s The Oran Trilogy

Take a milieu with great possibilities for magic, heroism, and romance: a realm once ruled by four magical queens who combine the powers of the elements, now dominated by the Fire Queen, who is quite mad by any normal standard, … Continue reading

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Brian Panowich’s Hard Cash Valley

Brian Panowich’s Hard Cash Valley presents a detailed look at a number of connected incidents involving the life of one middle-aged lawman and those around him as an underground activity intersects with his own areas of expertise and leads quickly … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Bear’s Hammered

Moira Russell penned this review.  Elizabeth Bear’s first novel, Hammered — the first novel in a trilogy — literally starts off with a bang: a gangster (“Razorface. Gets his name from a triple row of stainless steel choppers”) is nearly … Continue reading

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Jane Yolen’s Take Joy: A Book for Writers

Confession time: as a working writer, albeit one who is as yet unpublished in the fiction realm, I have a weakness for books about writing by successful writers. I have quite the collection of them, sitting atop my desk — … Continue reading

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Roger Zelazny’s The Dead Man’s Brother

This long-lost little gem of a thriller from the great Roger Zelazny starts with a bang. Er, well, with a body on the kitchen floor. With a rather substantial knife sticking out of it. The kitchen floor (and knife) belong … Continue reading

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James Gunn’s Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction

Faith J. Cormier penned this review. My interest in this book was twofold. First, I think the first science fiction novel I ever read was Isaac Asimov’s Fantastic Voyage. In the 35 or so years since, I’ve read quite a … Continue reading

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Nalo Hopkinson’s The Salt Roads

Lenora Rose penned this review. I fell utterly and blindly in love with Nalo Hopinson’s first book, Brown Girl in the Ring, and I thought that love affair with her prose would continue without any blemish. It lasted through her … Continue reading

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Scott Hancock’s The Confessions of Dorian Gray “Isolation”

The Confessions of Dorian Gray is a longstanding series of audio dramas from Big Finish Productions. The latest episode, “Isolation”, was conceived, written, recorded, mixed, produced and released in less than 5 days. It was written by Scott Hancock and stars … Continue reading

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Jane Frank’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary

Jane Frank’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists of the Twentieth Century is a successor volume to Robert Weinberg’s Biographical Dictionary of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, published in 1988. Given the labor-intensive quality of a project such as this one, … Continue reading

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Simon R. Green’s ‘Some of These Cons Go Way Back’

Next up was Harry Fabulous; handsome, charming, deeply fashionable, and all of it as fake as his constant smile. Harry showed no interest at all in the stalls, moving instead from one potential customer to another like a shark in … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury’s They Have Not Seen The Stars: The Collected Poetry of Ray Bradbury

John Lynch penned this review. Ray Bradbury has explored mankind’s present through its future in his science-fiction novels Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. With his poetry collection, They Have Not Seen The Stars, Bradbury relaxes a bit, writing on … Continue reading

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Charles Finch’s The Last Passenger

The idea of writing a prequel is less than adored in many circles and fandoms, and there are a wide assortment of generally disliked examples. With The Last Passenger Charles Finch proves that one can write a good end to … Continue reading

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Max Barry’s Providence

Often, a really good book manages to just straddle the line between genres. Providence by Max Barry represents such a book. While it contains elements of science fiction, and the trappings and narrative also quickly point to horror, the story … Continue reading

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N. J. Dawood’s translation of Tales from the Thousand and One Nights

Brendan Foreman penned this review. As popular as they have been in the Western world, The Thousand and One Nights as a piece of literature has never been regarded very well in the Arab world. Written in its highly colloquial, … Continue reading

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Theodore Roethke’s The Far Field

American poetry has given us a host of names that everyone knows – the household words, the people we all studied in high school: Frost, Sandburg, Dickinson, Whitman, Plath. There are others known to more than aficionados, if not to … Continue reading

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