I should probably cop to this: I’m fascinated by military history, but I’ve never been much taken by what I think of as genre military SF, by which I mean adventure stories set in the military establishment and emphasizing weaponry, comradeship, chains of command, career progress, and (of course) combat….
Archive for 'Books'
Radiance, by Catherynne M. Valente (Tor 978-0-7653-3529-6, $24.99, 432pp, hardcover) October 2015 Only with the passage of time can certain literary trends, personalities, influences, movements and scenes be evaluated. While we are in the midst of such happenings, objectivity is clouded and patterns are often indiscernible. Perhaps it is merely a case that not enough […]
Precisely by having this unassuming nature, in both his personality and on the page, Simak did not generate as many headlines or partisans as did Heinlein. And since his death, it seems to me that his star has unjustifiably faded a bit. Now comes Open Road Media with the stated intention of issuing all of his short fiction in fourteen books. Hooray! Maybe the Simak Renaissance is finally here!
The Weave, a first novel by Nancy Jane Moore, is science fiction that thoroughly deserves its advance praise by Vonda N. McIntyre and Michael Bishop. Rather than simply chronicle the first human expedition to a solar system beyond our own, First Contact with sentient aliens, and the ensuing war, Moore shows a future Earth and that alien world as experienced by two protagonists – one human, one alien – in plotlines that intertwine throughout the book…
This is the kind of post-apocalypse, after-it-all-changed novel with clever codicils that the Brits do with so much more classy, idiosyncratic style than anyone else. It is full of magisterial weirdness, logical surrealism, melancholy joy and hopeful terror. If I begin to toss out names like Adam Roberts, Brian Aldiss, Keith Roberts, and J. G. Ballard, I will not be lavishing undue praise.
While the titles in Ken Scholes’s Psalms of Isaak sequence for Tor seem as monumental as Bach oratorios (Lamentation, Canticle, Antiphon, Requiem and the forthcoming Hymn), his collections have longer, more offbeat yet deliberately chosen names. In November 2008 (issue #574) I reviewed Long Walks, Last Flights, and Other Strange Journeys. Though I missed the sequel, I’m back for his third collection, Blue Yonders, Grateful Pies and Other Fanciful Feasts.