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"About the best bio you'll find of [Poul Anderson] is at The Templeton Gate. Galen Strickland, the webmaster of Templeton Gate, is in the process of building a useful, critical site." - James Patrick Kelly, On the Net: Mastery,, Issue 0511

Dedicated to the memory of my friend
David Wallingsford

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Here are a few recently reviewed books and movies to choose from.
Click on the title to read the review and the image to link to the affiliate site.

On DVD & Blu-Ray

City of Miracles
Divine Cities #3
by Robert Jackson Bennett

The Expanse
On DVD & Blu-Ray

The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood

Marvel on Netflix
Jessica Jones
Luke Cage

Grunt Hero
Task Force OMBRA #3
by Weston Ochse

Rogue One:
a Star Wars Story

On DVD & Blu-Ray
April 4

Featured title from

by Edward Bryant

-Site Search

City of Miracles
Posted by Galen
April 26, 2017
11:30am CDT

Robert Jackson Bennett's Divine Cities trilogy comes to a grand conclusion with City of Miracles. Just as exciting and unpredictable as before, with lots of action and great characters. I honestly can't say it is better than the previous two, since in retrospect I have to upgrade my rating for them and give the entire trilogy a near perfect 5/5 stars.


The Handmaid's Tale
4/19/17; 7:45pm CDT - Galen
Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is likely as relevant now as when it was written in 1985. Perhaps it will always be relevant. Let's hope is remains a cautionary tale for us, although I know there are some countries where it has already come to pass.


Grunt Hero
4/16/17; 2:30pm CDT - Galen
Weston Ochse's military SF/alien invasion series, Task Force OMBRA, comes to a conclusion (?) with the third book, Grunt Hero. The whole trilogy is recommended. The "?" reflects the fact that the story's hero, Ben Mason, is alive (and mostly well) at the end, with probably many more adventures ahead of him. Not sure if we'll ever read any of that, or if Ochse has other things in mind for the future.


Who Fears Death + The Book of Phoenix
4/9/17; 9:30pm CDT - Galen
Some books are fascinating to read but difficult to review, for me at least. I know I didn't do these justice, but I know I'll re-read them eventually, maybe I'll understand them better the next time. For now, I highly recommend Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death and its prequel, The Book of Phoenix.


Hugo & Nebula Finalists
4/5/17; 12:30pm CDT - Galen
I've just edited the Hugo & Nebula Awards page, listing the finalists for this year, along with links to Amazon for all available titles. The 2016 Nebulas will be announced May 20 in Pittsburgh, with the Hugos being presented August 12 in Helsinki, Finland. Please note the use of the term "finalists" this year. There have been problems with some writers promoting themselves as award nominees just because someone had listed them on their nominating ballot, they had never actually been on one of the final ballots, so hopefully this will clear up any confusion in the future.


Waking Gods
3/27/17; 1:30pm CDT - Galen
The second book in Sylvain Neuvel's Themis Files, Waking Gods, continues in the same style. Mostly all dialog from recorded interviews, military and personal logs, etc, with no other narrative exposition. It gets a bit tiresome at times, but the story is still intriguing, and if sales are good there will be at least one more book, although not announced yet.


Parable of the Talents
3/22/17; 8:20pm CDT - Galen
I've added to the Earthseed review with thoughts on the second book, Parable of the Talents. I did make a few edits to previous comments, so if interested, or if you haven't read that part yet, scroll to the top of that page.


Parable of the Sower
3/18/17; 9:30pm CDT - Galen
This is the first book of Earthseed by Octavia E. Butler. It was nominated for a Nebula in 1994. A chilling look at a post-apocalyptic America, but surprisingly it is also hopeful and optimistic. I'll follow up with thoughts on the second book as soon as I can.


Lincoln in the Bardo
2/9/17; 6:00pm CST - Galen
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders will likely be embraced more by mainstream critics, simply based on his previous work, but it is borderline fantasy no matter what anyone else says. It's also damn good, highly recommended.


In Calabria
2/7/17; 7:20pm CST - Galen
The latest book I got from NetGalley is not as good as the previous one, although for a lot of people I think it might be a pleasurable enough read. In Calabria is the latest fantasy from Peter S. Beagle. It is about unicorns, but not as good as The Last Unicorn in my opinion.


The Voices of Martyrs
2/6/17; 9:10pm CST - Galen
The Voices of Martyrs is a story collection from Maurice Broaddus, which covers a wide range of the Black experience, in Africa, America, and elsewhere, and should appeal to anyone who loves intriguing characters and plots. Recommended.


2/1/17; 6:50pm CST - Galen
Last year, Nnedi Okorafor won a Hugo and Nebula in the novella category for Binti. I read it as part of the voting packet provided by MidAmeriCon2. I liked it a lot, and was satisfied with the win, even though it had just been my #2 pick. I recently re-read it, and yesterday the second part of the sequence, Binti: Home, was released, and I review both. Highly recommended.


Sleeping Giants
1/30/17; 7:40pm CST - Galen
Another debut novel, and the start of another series. Sylvain Neuvel's Sleeping Giants is the first book of the Themis Files. It's pretty good, and I'm looking forward to the second book.


Too Like the Lightning
1/28/17; 1:30pm CST - Galen
This is the first novel by Ada Palmer, in a two book series known as Terra Ignota, which means Unknown Earth. Similar to a utopia, which means "no place." It is good, very ambitious, but it does have its flaws. The second book is out in March.


Another trip 'round the sun
1/1/17; 10:30am CST - Galen
Happy New Year, everyone! Starting a new home page, with all of 2016's updates moved to the Archives. It might be a while before I upload the next book review, since I am currently reading as many shorter stories as possible, from the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction on my Kindle, print copies of Asimov's borrowed from my brother-in-law, and scores more bookmarked online. The next review might actually be an update of a previous TV show page. We'll see.






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