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1999 Archive

Linked titles can be browsed (or ordered) from Books.





Reviews and Articles in General Publications

Mon 28 Feb 2000
Weekend Reviews

§ Washington Post Book World, February 27, 2000
Elizabeth Hand reviews Sean Stewart's Galveston (Ace, March).

Josh is the most unpleasant protagonist since since Brom Hellstrom, the almost pathologically unlikeable anti-hero of Samuel R. Delany's classic Triton (and I mean that as a compliment). The real triumph of Galveston lies in Stewart's nuanced and lovely depiction of Josh's gradual coming to terms with his own, very human failings. Within this delicate framework, an understated admission of the possibility of love is as powerful as the most overheated exchange of sentiments or the magical healing of any number of Fisher Kings: Fantasy novels don't get much better than Galveston.

§ New York Times Book Review, February 27, 2000
Gerald Jonas's science fiction column reviews Gregory Benford's The Martian Race, Sarah Zettel's The Quiet Invasion, Kathleen Ann Goonan's Crescent City Rhapsody, and Iain M. Banks's Inversions. He's less than enthusiastic for Goonan (''overheated'') but moderately approving of the others.

Also: James Shapiro reviews Beowulf. (Here's the first chapter.)

§ San Francisco Chronicle, February 27, 2000
Christopher Hawthorne reviews Donald Antrim's The Verificationist.

Thu 24 Feb 2000

• Bulgarian SF writer Borislav Belovarski will see a novel he wrote 20 years ago finally published this year as Timeship Trilogy. It was confiscated in 1985 by the Bulgarian Communist Secret Services as ''propaganda of the anticommunist idea of Globalism''; indeed, it's about the construction of an international space station.

• Several reviews of Donald Antrim's The Verificationist (Knopf), a surrealistic novel about a group of psychoanalysts at a pancake house whose imminent food fight triggers an out-of-body experience. Says Dwight Garner in the New York Times Book Review,

If you could actually yank the control box from one of Antrim's busily cerebral novels, God knows what you'd find in there. Bats, maybe. An audiocassette edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, recited by Monty Python. And probably the shrunken heads of Thomas Pynchon, Nicholson Baker, Edgar Allan Poe and Donald Barthelme, writers whose DNA seems to have bled into Antrim's own.

Mon 21 Feb 2000

The new translation by Seamus Heaney (Farrar Straus & Giroux) -- this is the book that won Britain's Whitbread Award a couple weeks ago, by one vote over Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban -- has been released in the US and is reviewed by Michael Dirda in the Washington Post (20 Feb), who opens with quotations from J.R.R. Tolkien; and by Edward Hirsch in the Los Angeles Times.

• Robert Olen Butler's Mr. Spaceman (Grove Press) is reviewed by Geoff Nicholson, who generally likes it.

''Mr. Spaceman'' is not exactly a satire, and some of its jokes have been done better in Vonnegut or in Halloween episodes of ''The Simpsons.'' But it works because Butler has created a central character who is warm, memorable and fully drawn. Desi is the most likable, engaging and human of aliens.
New York Times 20 Feb

• The fourth Harry Potter book is a big success, months before publication.
USA Today

Fri 18 Feb 2000

§ Salon, Feb. 18, 2000
Polly Shulman's science fiction column covers the ''deliciously paranoid vision'' of Iain Banks, with discussions of Inversions, The Wasp Factory, and Excession.

Wed 16 Feb 2000

§ January Magazine, February 2000
Claude Lalumière reviews Gregory Maguire's Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (Regan Books/HarperCollins), ''a fantasy novel with no trace of the supernatural''.

§ New York Times Book Review, February 16, 2000
Richard Bernstein reviews Peter Ackroyd's The Plato Papers.

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