Sometimes reading these humus authors delivers a certain kind of modest, unique pleasure otherwise unobtainable. With them, you don’t confront the pressure of being worthy of their masterpieces. They labored in quiet and without expectations or constraints, rewarded so long as they delivered on time. … By any standard, the forgotten Robert Moore Williams was one such figure.
Archive for 'Books'
DeNiro never over-explains, and we rarely learn more about the strange worlds he shows us than what the viewpoint characters know or bother to speculate about, and since angels with flying guns, telepathic aliens, and immense monsters that eat mountains are all everyday occurrences for those characters, there’s plenty of ambiguity and unexplained strangeness.
What Schroeder capitalizes on is the shared emotional underpinnings of the classics. We don’t want our new SF to blindly replicate the dead furniture of the past, but rather to deliver the same classic sense of wonder in new clothing. Mission accomplished here!
Allen Steele’s V-S Day fiddles with time in a more familiar manner. This is (if I’m counting correctly) Steele’s fifth take on his ‘‘Alternate-Space’’ story-family, in which the space race begins a couple decades early thanks to a German decision to abandon the V-1 in favor of the Silbervögel, a suborbital transcontinental bomber, which sets [...]
It takes a bit of triangulation to arrive at the core of Christopher Priest’s endlessly tantalizing and ultimately very satisfying The Adjacent, and some of that triangulation is quite literal: characters, events, and places are doubled and tripled, and the central apocalyptic images are areas of land in which everything has been obliterated, leaving only [...]
Lansdale’s latest collection, Bleeding Shadows, features 21 stories and nine poems. It’s the biggest collection of his work produced to date and his most creatively varied. Only about half of its selections are weird or fantastic in nature, but anyone who likes that side of Lansdale’s writing will enjoy the others.
Eileen Gunn’s wry, droll intelligence and cockeyed storytelling magic shine forth like some kind of quasar beacon from every one of these surprising, irreplaceable stories—two of which have never before seen print. She’s the Polaris of fabulism, a goal to steer by. And as if her stellar talents were not sufficient to induce you to [...]
Roberts’s latest, Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea, is a return to such an eye-popping and mind-blowing extrapolative technique, and our author outdoes himself, by creating a book that is so allusive and multivalent in its clean-limbed premise that the reader hardly knows how to parse it.
The Bread We Eat in Dreams proved challenging to review. Though the contents range from offbeat poetry to an award-winning novella, in a multitude of styles and voices, this isn’t just a random gathering of her shorter stuff. The more I read, the more these pieces seemed to resonate both intellectually and emotionally like the interplay of themes and movements in a symphony for a final impact greater than the sum of its parts.