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1999 Archive

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






Reviews and Articles in General Publications

Fri 31 Mar 2000

§ Salon, March 31, 2000
SF columnist Polly Shulman reviews Sean Stewart's Galveston (Ace), a ''beautifully written and muscular double coming-of-age fantasy.''

Thu 30 Mar 2000

§ New York Times Book Review, March 26, 2000
Robert Kelly reviews Mark Z. Danielewski's postmodern horror novel House of Leaves (Pantheon), a

wonderful first novel ... a vast exploration and meditation on the paradoxical spaces that open out from -- or as -- our awareness. To make sure the word ''meditation'' doesn't daunt you into a coma of respectful abstention, let me say right off that his book is funny, moving, sexy, beautifully told, an elaborate engagement with the shape and meaning of narrative. For all its modernist maneuvers, postmodernist airs and post-postmodernist critical parodies, ''House of Leaves'' is, when you get down to it, an adventure story: a man starts traveling inside a house that keeps getting larger from within, even as its outside dimensions remain the same.
The book is available online at, and it has its own mysterious website here.

§ Denver Post, March 26, 2000
Fred Cleaver reviews Guy Gavriel Kay's Lord of Emperors (HarperPrism), Sean Stewart's Galveston (Ace), and Dennis Danvers' The Fourth World (Avon).

§ January Magazine, March 2000
And Claude Lalumière reviews Scott Westerfeld's Evolution's Darling (Four Walls Eight Windows).

Mon 20 Mar 2000

§ New York Times Book Review, March 19, 2000
For the second weekend in a row, there are virtually no SFFH genre reviews in the general book reviews; the closest this weekend is this short review by Ray Sawhill of Douglas E. Winter's thriller Run (Knopf).

It's a condemnation of what Winter clearly sees as America's insanely permissive laws concerning firearms. ... Has there ever been a person who, when in the mood for a video-game-style nerve jangling, has reached for a novel instead? If there is such a person, this is the book for him.

§ Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2000
Also recently there is this rather negative review [link may expire soon] by Michael Harris of Poul Anderson's Genesis (Tor).

§ January Magazine, February 2000
And Claude Lalumière reviews Robert Charles Wilson's Bios (Tor) with less than enthusiasm: ''Bios is a book that meanders in carelessly written tangential trivia that obscures the author's otherwise fertile imagination.''

Fri 10 Mar 2000

§ New York Times, March 10, 2000
Michiko Kakutani reviews Robert Olen Butler's Mr. Spaceman: ''It is a testament to Butler's gifts as a writer that he has fashioned from such cartoonish materials a novel of surprising poignance.''

§ Washington Post, March 8, 2000
Walter Effross reviews Neal Stephenson's short nonfiction book about operating systems, In the Beginning...Was the Command Line (Avon): ''a new generation's 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' ''.

Tue 7 Mar 2000

§ Salon, March 7, 2000
A Brilliant Careers feature by Frank Houston profiles Arthur C. Clarke.

Mon 6 Mar 2000

§ San Francisco Chronicle, March 5, 2000
Michael Berry's SF column covers four books — Kage Baker's Mendoza in Hollywood (Harcourt Brace), Joe Haldeman's Forever Free (Ace), F. Paul Wilson's Conspiracies (Forge), and Graham Joyce's Indigo (Pocket) — with special consideration to how well their endings work.

§ Washington Post, March 5, 2000
Michael Dirda reviews Peter Ackroyd's The Plato Papers.

As with other poetic fables and visions, The Plato Papers works by tantalizing, rather than asserting. Much is left to the reader's imagination or to shrewd guesswork: What is the meaning of the light that shines out of the bodies of the citizens of the future? Are these strangely tall, white-eyed people living outside of time? Who or what are the angels? And what is the message that Ackroyd intends by calling this a prophesy? At moments his little book seems nothing more abstruse than a defense of free thought, a reminder of the inherent limits of human understanding, and a warning against the worship of technology and the neglect of the earth. That's quite a bit for a novel of less than 200 pages. But it's saying something of Ackroyd's mastery to suspect that he has packed even more into these 55 one- to three-page chapters.

Fri 3 Mar 2000

§ Salon, March 3, 2000
Chris Gregory takes to task the Harry Potter critics, including the religious on the right and the feminists on the left. ''[I]n today's hypersensitive cultural climate, anything can be found to have some offensive elements -- you just have to look hard enough.''

Tue 1 Mar 2000

§ Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2000
Michael Harris reviews Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter's The Light of Other Days (Tor). ''Though it is only middlingly successful as a novel, it's extraordinarily rich in ideas.''

§ January Magazine, February 2000
Claude Lalumière reviews Gilliam on Gilliam (Faber & Faber), by Terry Gilliam and Ian Christie. (The US edition will be published in June.) Also, Lalumière reviews Iain Sinclair's small book (part of the British Film Institute series) Crash, about David Cronenberg's film of J.G. Ballard's novel. (Martin Scorcese recently named the film one of the best of the 1990s.) Sinclair doesn't actually care for the film...

It treats as a "Modern Classic" not Cronenberg's film but Ballard's text, its place in our modern media culture and Ballard himself. Sinclair is unabashedly critical of the film and even of Ballard's endorsement of it. ...[I]t is this very shift in focus from Cronenberg's superficial film to Ballard himself that makes this book engaging.

§ Civilization, February 2000
A Nicholas von Hoffman essay examines a wizard who held thrall long before Harry Potter -- the wizard of Oz.

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