Reviews Logo
HomePreviousSite MapNextSearch

The reviews are sorted alphabetically by authors' last name -- one or more pages for each letter (plus one for Mc). All but some recent reviews are listed here. Links to those reviews appear on the Recent Feature Review Page.

Author & Fan Tribute Sites    Feature Reviews     An Interview with...
A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   Mc   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z
Page  1  2  3  4  5  6

The Alchemist The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
If Scheherezade, Sleeping Beauty, and a committee of Middle Eastern and possibly Russian supernatural creatures had got together to tell a tale, this tale would probably be the one they came up with. Evocative and atmospheric, with an underlay of alchemy and wild magic and Machiavellian politics, it's a slim volume which packs a world-building punch to it.

The Windup Girl The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
an audiobook review by Sarah Trowbridge
In the city of Bangkok, in the kingdom of Thailand, sometime in the future, a dizzying array of characters serving a most unlovely tangle of masters and agendas seethe and simmer in a stinking, humid cesspool of misery and failure. This seems to be the final, decaying remnant of human history on planet Earth.

The Windup Girl The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
reviewed by Dan Shade
The Windup Girl takes place in Thailand, in and about Bangkok. Huge retaining walls have been built to keep the sea out. Water is pumped back into the sea with coal driven machines. Petroleum is non-existent. People are starving the world over. The population of the world has been greatly reduced by a virus called cibiscosis which continues to mutate and cause more death. Crops suffer from attack by mutant viruses. In the midst of all this, the Thai people seem to be sitting on a seed bank.

Pump Six and Other Stories Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi
reviewed by Rich Horton
Paolo Bacigalupi is a new writer who has made a profound impression on the SF field with just a few stories. He is generally a hard SF writer, and his central theme, by far, is the environment. While the bulk of his stories are certainly set in depressing, environmentally ruined futures, they are also packed with plausible and fascinating SFnal furniture -- he's truly a science fiction writer, one who scratches the same itch John Campbell wanted his writers to scratch.

Back to the Future: the Game Back to the Future: the Game
a game review by David Maddox
"Your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. So make it a good one!" Wise words from the enigmatic Doctor Emmett Lathrup Brown that drew to a conclusion the phenomenal Back to the Future trilogy. Since that moment when Doc and his family left Marty and Jennifer by the remains of the wrecked DeLorean and flew off into the unknown in the time traveling train, fans have wondered just what adventures (if any) existed in that unknown future. The deceptive "The End" that wrapped up the films seems to have closed things up... or did it?

Apprentice Cruise Apprentice Cruise by Jack Bagley
reviewed by A.L. Sirois
The story begins at an unspecified future time with the graduating class of cadets from the Forces Command Interstellar Fleet Academy. The focus is on Midshipman Ryan Lee and his classmates Joe Carfaro, Everett "Jeff" Jefferson, and Michelle Mayorga. Prior to their first commissions, graduating cadets must take active positions for a yearlong "apprentice cruise" aboard Fleet ships. Ryan finds himself assigned to the FCSS Lovell, a scout vessel, as a gunnery trainee. He soon learns that Joe, Jeff and Michelle will also be shipping out aboard the Lovell.

The Resurrection Man's Legacy and Other Stories The Resurrection Man's Legacy and Other Stories by Dale Bailey
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
It's quite possible that Dale Bailey's name won't ring any more bells in your brain, at first. The credits on the copyright page list nearly everything here as having previously appeared The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, most during the editorship of Kristine Kathryn Rusch. If that still doesn't strike a chord in your memory, all the better, because then you've got some interesting reading ahead.

The Hidden World The Hidden World by Alison Baird
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Maeve O'Connor is 15, wants to be an actress, is not particularly pretty, and is a perennial outsider at her school near Toronto. To make matters worse her parents have sent her off to rural Newfoundland to spend the summer with her aunt and uncle. Through a talisman and her own fey nature she begins shifting back and forth between Newfoundland and a parallel universe of Celtic myth, Annwn.

Kage Baker

My Favorite Horror Story My Favorite Horror Story edited by Mike Baker & Martin H. Greenberg
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
This book follows similarly titled anthologies for SF and fantasy by the same editor. Popular writers in these fields were asked to select and introduce a favourite story. Not only does it pull together classic and influential stories, but stories that have had particular influences on important writers, with comments that help define the nature of the influence.

Lives of the Monster Dogs Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Canine cyborgs with human-level intelligence are created by a mad scientist and his minions. Equipped with voice boxes and prosthetic hands, they revolt and slaughter their masters before making a splashy arrival in New York. A young NYU student writes an article about them and is hired as the PR voice of the dogs.

City of Towers City of Towers by Keith Baker
reviewed by Craig Shackleton
The novel lends a new grittier edge to the setting. It's refreshing to see a fantasy world in which the impoverished underclass is truly downtrodden and living in filth and misery. Racism, class conflict and post-war tension abound, right alongside vice and corruption. The stark contrast of the opulence of the wealthy and their blind indifference to those (literally) beneath them serves to reinforce this picture.

Plastic Man #1 Plastic Man #1 by Kyle Baker
reviewed by David Maddox
Who's the stretchy super-hero who's almost indestructible and has a sense of humor more outlandish than Robin Williams? Plas! Damn straight. Plastic Man, the pliable prankster of the comic book scene, has been around for over 60 years and now takes the forefront in his own ongoing series published monthly by DC Comics.

The Warrior-Prophet The Warrior-Prophet by R. Scott Bakker
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Drusas Achamian, Mandate sorcerer and spy, has been joyfully reunited with his lover, the prostitute Esmenet. They travel with the mysterious Prince Anasûrimbor Kellhus of Atrithau, who has asked Achamian to be his teacher. Achamian can no longer escape his certainty that Kellhus is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, according to which the return of a descendent of the lost royal line of Anasûrimbor heralds the imminence of the Second Apocalypse. He can't share this knowledge with his companions, for they would not believe him.

The Darkness That Comes Before The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In a world two millennia beyond an Apocalypse precipitated by the followers of the No-God, Mog, the high prelate of the Inrithi church calls a Holy War against the Fanim -- a people who follow a heretical variant of Inrithism, and whose mages practice a deadly magic the sorcerer Schoolmen of the Inrithi kingdoms don't understand. For centuries the Fanim have held Shimeh, the Holy City of Inri Sejenus, Latter Prophet of Inrithism; it is time now to take it back.

The Roses of Roazon The Roses of Roazon by Cherith Baldry
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Since time immemorial, a single bloodline has ruled the land of Arvorig from the capital city of Roazon -- the holiest city in the world, for it was there that God first manifested himself to humankind. According to a legend that only the common people still believe, the first Duke of Roazon won his rule by vanquishing the dark city of Autrys, home of demons and evil powers, and sinking it beneath the waves. It's said that as long as a lord of the true bloodline rules in Roazon, Autrys can never return.

The Reliquary Ring The Reliquary Ring by Cherith Baldry
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
The book is set in an alternate-world Venice (the city is never named, but all the Venetian landmarks are there) where an 18th-century-style social setting combines with the products of high technology. These scientific advances don't come from the city, however, where the laws of the Holy Church of Christos hold sway, but from the Empire to the north, whose scientists and craftsmen have perfected arts unknown elsewhere. Imperial merchants broker strange and wondrous machines to the people of the city, along with living creations: genics, genetically engineered humans designed to fill specific purposes and tasks.

Exiled from Camelot Exiled from Camelot by Cherith Baldry
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
In this novel, the author departs from the standard Arthurian romance of the Chrétien de Troyes and Sir Thomas Malory mold, to bring us a finely crafted tale that focuses on the trials of Kay, a knight usually depicted as a curmudgeonly bureaucrat, but whom this author puts in a position where he must save Arthur, who has renounced him, from the scheming enchantress Brisane.

The Forge of Mars The Forge of Mars by Bruce Balfour
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Tau Wolfsinger's life-long project, was developing artificially intelligent robots with the ability to build cities. He invested much of himself in it, but because he is an outsider, his plans are rejected. Kate, the woman he was about to propose to has just been assigned to Mars, where she will use her archeological skills and Egyptology fieldwork experience to unearth and study alien relics discovered on the planet. Soon, he too accepts a mission to Mars, to use his AI technology to build the cities needed on the planet's surface.

Dream London Dream London by Tony Ballantyne
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is the story of Captain James Wedderburn, adored by women, respected by men and feared by his enemies. Wedderburn's mission is to discover who or what has twisted his home into another world. In Dream London, the city changes a little every night, and the people change a little every day. The towers are growing taller, the parks have hidden themselves away, and the streets are forming strange new patterns. There are people sailing in from new lands down the river, strange inhuman criminals emerging, and a path that spirals down into another world. But, does it lead to anywhere interesting?

Capacity Capacity by Tony Ballantyne
reviewed by Rich Horton
The Earth, the Solar System, and local star systems, are inhabited by a mix of humans and AI's. Many of the AI's are uploaded copies of humans. All is under the control of the Environmental Agency, and its arm Social Care, which keeps an eye on the psychological health of everyone. There is a persistent belief that the real power in the entire system is a super-intelligent AI called The Watcher, which may be of alien origin. All this leads to asking what is the difference (if any) between "natural" and "artificial" intelligence?

Recursion Recursion by Tony Ballantyne
reviewed by Rich Horton
This book opens with Herb, a spoiled rich kid from the 23rd Century, planting an illegal Von Neumann Machine (VNM) on an unspoiled planet, hoping to turn it into a private resort. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and he ends up with the VNM version of nanotech's "grey goo" -- that is, the VNMs keep replicating and eat up the whole planet. Soon Herb is arrested by an representative of the Environmental Agency, and he is offered a choice.

Millennium People Millennium People by J.G. Ballard
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Less than a decade after the book's first appearance, it seems, if anything, even more science fictional, because a story about middle class revolt appears not just prescient, it is eerily predictive. Everywhere we look around us, from the Tea Party to the Occupy movement, from clashes over tuition fees to the sight of doctors and teachers and top civil servants on strike, we see the middle classes in revolt. Surely that is exactly what Ballard was writing about in this novel?

The Drowned World The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
This is a fascinating read, for it prefigures many of the themes that pervade the author's subsequent books: planetary/ecological disaster, entropy, the devolution of human nature, a preoccupation with the roots of violence. For those unfamiliar with Ballard, it's a good introduction -- more accessible and less transgressive than some of his later work, yet full of the arresting surrealism and hallucinatory brilliance of language that are hallmarks of his writing.

A User's Guide to the Millennium A User's Guide to the Millennium by J.G. Ballard
reviewed by Thomas Myer
Thomas Myer looks at J. G. Ballard's new collection of (nay, a veritable seraglio) of essays, reflections, and reviews marking him as the intellectual godfather of Gibson, Sterling, and Stephenson.

Maya Running Maya Running by Anjali Banerjee
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Nothing is going right for poor Maya. All she wants is to fit in, win the heart of the cutest boy in her school, and become a great beauty. That's no more than any young girl dreams of and wonders why she can't have. When it gets to be too much for Maya to bear she hits upon an unusual course of action: appeal to the great god Ganesh to make all her wishes come true. Ganesh, a genial if gluttonous god, warns her that she might not really want all obstacles in her path removed.

The Prince of Ayodhya The Prince of Ayodhya by Ashok K. Banker
reviewed by William Thompson
One has to admire the author's ambition -- one might say hubris. A well-known and respected writer in his native country, noted, according to the publisher's promotional flyer, for authoring the first Indian crime novel in English, as well as the first Indian television series in the same language, he intends in this opening novel to a forthcoming trilogy to recreate and retell the Ramayana of Valmiki which, along with Mahabhrata, are the two greatest works of epic Vedic mythic literature, on par with the Homeric epics, Plato and the Christian gospels, and predating all three.

Iain M. Banks

Shadows Bend Shadows Bend by David Barbour and Richard Raleigh
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
What if Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft had met? And what if the impetus for their meeting had been a series of events eerily resembling Lovecraft's own weird fiction? That's the premise which propels Howard and Lovecraft on a supernatural road trip, with nothing less than the future of the world at stake.

Ravensoul Ravensoul by James Barclay
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
James Barclay has created two series of books thus far, The Chronicles of the Raven and The Legends of the Raven, but essentially "The Raven" books are one long series of overlapping stand-alone adventures. Of course, there is some carry-over between books, but in a pinch you can probably pick any one of them up and not be lost in the storyline at all.

Shadowheart Shadowheart by James Barclay
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The novel sees The Raven having to survive a war that rages over their land as the mages of Balaia wage war on them in order to take their world for them by force. Ry Darrick has come back to his homeland to answer the charges laid against him for his past mistakes; treason, desertion and cowardice; accusations that are not normally associated with the warrior.

Once Walked with Gods Once Walked with Gods by James Barclay
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
For most of the last thousand years, the different threads or clans of elves have lived in harmony and equality under the guidance of Takaar. But ten years ago, Takaar fled to Calaius from a battle with the demonic Garonin (humans), saving the lives of many elves, but leaving thousands to be slaughtered. The past ten years have brought strife among the threads, and Sildaan, of the Ynissul thread, has aligned herself with humans to bring back the old ways.

Elfsorrow Elfsorrow by James Barclay
reviewed by William Thompson
This novel takes place 6 months after the events recounted in Nightchild. The Unknown Warrior has rescued his family from the privations and unrest in Balaia left in the wake of Lyanna's destruction, and returned to Herendeneth, unfortunately with uninvited Xeteskian mages and Protectors in tow. Erienne continues to grieve for the loss of her daughter, while refusing to accept the One Magic the Al-Drechar have tragically forced upon her. The exiled Kaan are slowly dying, awaiting rescue and return to their own dimensional space, and new members have been added to The Raven's roster.

Nightchild Nightchild by James Barclay
reviewed by John Berlyne
5 years have passed since the events in Noonshade, and The Raven have gone their separate ways. War-ravaged Balia is slowly healing, but this process is being hampered by freak weather conditions that are battering the land, conditions attributed to disturbances in the mana field that runs through all things. It becomes clear that Lyanna is the cause of all this, the product of a union between two of the great colleges and the likely focus of a daunting prophesy that will bring about the end of the collegiate system that has been in place for hundreds of years.

Noonshade Noonshade by James Barclay
reviewed by Wayne MacLaurin
Truly excellent fantasy is rare. Truly excellent heroic fantasy is rarer still. Discovering a new author who writes truly excellent heroic fantasy is perhaps the rarest gem of all. This author, with his Chronicles of the Raven, is such a find. Sequel to Dawnthief, this is a tale of the Raven, a band of near legendary (and aging) mercenaries -- a diverse assortment of fighters, mages and rogues -- in their encounters with dragons, barbarian hordes, sorcerers, demonic summonings, shape-shifters, and the threat of worldwide devastation.

Mister B. Gone Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker
reviewed by Sandy Auden
Once you've opened the book you'll be mesmerized by the adventures of Jakabok Botch, a demon from the Ninth Circle of Hell. Botch lives next to one of the rubbish tips that his father patrols to keep the trouble-makers out, when he's not beating Botch or his mother to a bleeding pulp in a drunken frenzy. When Botch is hideously burned, it sets off a series of events that sees the young demon on a century-long journey, chasing across the face of our earth with a companion older than time.

Abarat Abarat by Clive Barker
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
Sometimes the best things come in unassuming packages, at least to those of us who assume something marketed as "young adult" isn't worth our time. This novel is in many unintended ways a response to the J.K. Rowling books which, in spite of their trivial thematic regurgitations and archetypal clichés, still manage to incite millions of bedazzled readers to read them and then, zinged, reach for something more. But where Rowling's books are meant to go down easy, like ice cream and cake, the author's second venture into "writing without sex or naughty words" is a dizzy flight into happy madness, a menagerie of exuberance and pastiche that charms without flinching from tangles of darkness and the disturbing.

What I Found at Hoole What I Found at Hoole by Jeffrey Barlough
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
It's tough to classify the Western Lights novels, which take place in a mysteriously sundered world where an ice-locked Victorian society coexists with a host of prehistoric beasts. The series wonderfully mixes horrific, fantastic and supernatural elements -- with a dash of Science Fiction thrown in -- cooked up into a string of stand-alone Victorian-esque potboilers. The author calls his books fantasy mysteries.

A Tangle in Slops A Tangle in Slops by Jeffrey E. Barlough
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
It's a dark time for the denizens of Orkney Farm, where a rogue mylodon has snatched the venerable Foud, Mr. Magnus Trefoil, out of his study. Now the giant beast has returned, sniffing around the bedroom windows of the late Foud's little daughter Mary. Telltales in the coffee room of the Hop Toad attribute this ill fortune to Trefoil's recent unearthing of a cache of mystical items belonging to his late ancestress Tronda Quickensbog, a sorceress of legendary repute.

Bertram of Butter Cross Bertram of Butter Cross by Jeffrey Barlough
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
The village of Market Snailsby nestles amid the bogs, marshes, and rivers of Fenshire, at the edge of dark and ancient Marley Wood. Savage predators stalk the brooding precincts of the Wood. In the olden days, when men and women were bolder and more carefree, the courageous but eccentric Godfrey de Clinkers built a lodge deep at the forest's heart and held fabled hunting parties there. The descendants of those brave adventurers are more cautious, and in modern times the people of Fenshire avoid the Wood. But the march of progress may soon change that.

The House in the High Wood The House in the High Wood by Jeffrey Barlough
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
The village of Shilston Upcot, prosperous but remote, sits on the shores of a black glacial lake whose depth has never been measured. On the forested cliffs above it lie the ruins of a monastery, an abode of mad friars who, according to village lore, vanished one day without a trace. Nearby stands the sinister, brooding hulk of Skylingden Hall, its great round rose window gazing down like a baleful eye upon the village. For years Skylingden Hall has stood empty, its owners the subject of a scandal so shocking no one in Shilston Upcot will speak of it. Now, suddenly, it's inhabited again...

Dark Sleeper Dark Sleeper by Jeffrey E. Barlough
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
This novel is set on an alternate earth, where a catastrophic event known as the sundering (possibly a comet-strike) has wiped out most of the population and plunged the world into a second Ice Age. Only a narrow band of land along the west coast of North America, home to the ancient, fog-wreathed city of Salthead, was spared. For this tiny remnant of human civilization, life goes on much as always -- though icy winds blow down from the heights, and the wilderness beyond the inhabited areas is ruled by mastodon, saber-cats, and other prehistoric beasts.

John Barnes

Steven Barnes

Domino Falls Domino Falls by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due
reviewed by Trent Walters
In this sequel to the post-apocalyptic zombie novel, The Devil's Wake, Domino Falls becomes the destination for a band of hardened, largely young adults aboard a bullet-riddled bus called the Blue Beauty. They seek civilization, sanctuary away from zombies (or freaks) and pirates. The characters: Native American "twin" cousins Dean and Darius, militaristic Ursalina, myopic Piranha and Kendra, the youngest at 16, who is in love with Terry, and Sonia.

Inanimae: The Secret Way Inanimae: The Secret Way by Rob Barret, Roger Gaudreau, Stephan Herman, R.S. Martin and Angel McCoy
a gaming module review by Don Bassingthwaite
This is one of the most all around satisfying sourcebook products. It's complete in every way, from base concept to fine details to integration with the parent game setting. It's well-illustrated, very well-written, and the incredible sense of wonder, enchantment and imagination could add a rich dimension to your chronicle.

Through Darkest America Dawn's Uncertain Light Through Darkest America and Dawn's Uncertain Light by Neal Barrett, Jr.
reviewed by David Maddox
Over one hundred and fifty years ago there was the Great War, which wiped out most of humanity, brought down all the old cities and technology, and eliminated just about all animal life. But humanity has struggled its way back to reclaim the land. In Middle America, life continues, farmers grow their crops and raise their stock, and try to make an honest living in the world. But there's a much darker side to all of it, beyond the new war between the Loyalists and the Rebels brewing in the West. This darkness goes to the root of all society and no one wants it uncovered.

Prince of Christler-Coke Prince of Christler-Coke by Neal Barrett, Jr.
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
Pity poor Asel Iacola, who only gets to be Prince of Christler-Coke for an hour and a half before Ducky Du Pontiac Heinz kills his family, steals his new bride, and sends Asel off to the National Executive Rehabilitation Facility. No-one of such fine breeding as Asel should suffer the deprivations of tacky clothes and honest work. By the end of the novel, though, Asel will have experienced far worse.

Prince of Christler-Coke Prince of Christler-Coke by Neal Barrett, Jr.
reviewed by Rich Horton
Asel Iacola is the newly come-of-age Prince of Christler-Coke, one of the corporations that dominates America East. The book opens with his arranged wedding to the rather dim Loreli, from the family of Pepsicoma-Dodge. But almost at this hour his family is attacked, a scheme of Asel's hated rival Ducky Du Pontiac-Heinz as well as a power from the West, Califoggy State's Peter Cee, of Disney-Dow. Asel's family is obliterated, and Asel is sent to prison in Oklahomer, forced to wear tacky middle class clothing and feed himself.

Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories by Neil Barrett, Jr.
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This collection is full of stories the best of which feature a familiar landscape full of diners, Wal-Marts, semis, and the quirky, usually good, sometimes malevolent people who inhabit them. It's also a world full of humour, poetry, dirt, magic, hope, despair, and the occasional alien.

Page  1  2  3  4  5  6
A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   Mc   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

HomePreviousSite MapNextSearch

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide