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Archive for May, 2017

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Claire North

From Locus Magazine’s April 2017 issue

With its fragmented structure and occasionally self-consciously meditative prose, The End of the Day might puzzle some who enjoyed the thriller plotting of The Sudden Appearance of Hope, but at its best it reaffirms the passion and ambition that have made North such a consistently intriguing writer.

Adrienne Martini reviews Robert Charles Wilson

From Locus Magazine’s April 2017 issue

The past, it has been said, is another country. If you’re August Kemp in Robert Charles Wilson’s Last Year, that other country is one you can monetize.

Stefan Dziemianowicz reviews Powers of Darkness

From Locus Magazine’s April 2017 issue

Question: When is Bram Stoker’s Dracula not Bram Stoker’s Dracula?

Answer: When it’s Makt Myrkranna, a book whose title translates from the IcelanĀ­dic as Powers of Darkness and which, in the early twentieth century, was published as the Icelandic-language edition of Stoker’s vampire classic.

Contractual Obligations: A Review of Alien: Covenant

Special to Locus Online

Unquestionably, Alien: Covenant fulfills its contractual obligations: so, if you have been longing to watch scene after scene of lunging aliens latching on the faces of intended victims and gruesomely slaughtering every one of them, this film represents the answer to your prayers. The very open question is whether anyone without that fervent yearning will want to sit through two hours and three minutes of this otherwise lamentable movie.

Faren Miller reviews Brian Staveley

From Locus Magazine’s April 2017 issue

Over the course of killings and adventures, Skullsworn explores deeper issues — love and death, humanity and Other — without becoming ponderously profound… Stavely pulls it all off with style.

Gary K. Wolfe reviews John Kessel

From Locus Magazine’s April 2017 issue

The Moon and the Other brilliantly balances character, social commentary, and hard SF in a novel of surprising density and depth of feeling.

Paul Di Filippo reviews Robert Jackson Bennett

Special to Locus Online

The rest of the book is a hurdle across many venues, a cat-and-mouse game in which Sigrud and his allies have to stay one step ahead of Nokov to frustrate his plans for world domination. Finished pretty much with any fresh worldbuilding — that activity was executed sufficiently in the first two books — Bennett can now use his well-established venues and cultures as stagesets for incredible action.

Paul Di Filippo reviews Bud Sparhawk

Special to Locus Online

Sparhawk offers us unflashy, solid tales which nonetheless often extend SF’s remit. He never neglects either real technological novums nor humanistic story-telling values. He does not privilege message over entertainment, nor vice versa, but rather tries to keep both in balance. And in the end, he’s all about the art and the history and traditions of the genre, not self-aggrandizing grandstanding.

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Elizabeth Hand

From Locus Magazine’s March 2017 issue

PM Press’s ongoing series of chapbook misĀ­cellanies of “outspoken authors” — basically appetizer-size collections of fiction, non-fiction, and interviews — can at their best convey a sense of meeting an old radical friend in a bar, sharing a few memories, and catching up on things. Elizabeth Hand’s Fire, the series’ 18th volume, offers a cross-section of Hand’s work as both author and critic.

Paul Di Filippo reviews Eric Flint & Mike Resnick

Special to Locus Online

Flint and Resnick deliver an outstanding, madcap, goofball adventure, with plenty of surprises and not a dull moment. If you want some points of comparison, I would adduce Ron Goulart, Keith Laumer, James Schmitz and — a fellow who has unfortunately dropped off the publishing map — that master of surreal japes, Philip Palmer.

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