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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.

Captain America:
Civil War

In Theaters Now

by Naomi Novik
Nebula winner
Hugo nominee

The Expanse
(Updated Review)
On DVD & Blu-Ray

by Neal Stephenson
Hugo nominee

Star Wars:
The Force Awakens

On DVD & Blu-Ray

A Wizard
of Earthsea

by Ursula K. Le Guin

The X-Files
On DVD & Blu-Ray

Featured title from

by Edward Bryant

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A Wizard of Earthsea
Posted by Galen
May 22, 2016
6:00pm CDT

This fantasy series from Le Guin is very highly regarded by most critics and readers, but I have to rate A Wizard of Earthsea below the SF books that I have read by her. I'm hoping the rest of the series helps to change my mind, and I'll get back to it soon, but another book from another author will come before that.


Captain America: Civil War
5/15/16; 7:00pm CST - Galen
My opinion is once again different from a lot of others. No, this is not the best of the MCU. Of course that opinion is based on absolutely no knowledge of the storyline from the comics. I just didn't care for how our "heroes" acted in this one.


5/15/16; 4:15pm CDT - Galen
The latest Nebula winning novel is Uprooted by Naomi Novik. On the surface it seems a typical enough fairy tale, but it's really compelling and unpredictable.


2015 Nebulas
5/15/16; 10:30am CDT - Galen
I've just updated the Awards Page with the winners of this year's Nebulas, as well as the nominees for the Hugos (to be presented mid-August), plus added links to all the appropriate Amazon pages. I finished reading the Nebula winner last night, and will follow up with a review as soon as possible.


The Grace of Kings
3/16/16; 9:30pm CDT - Galen
Ken Liu's The Grace of Kings has received generally positive reviews and has been nominated for a Nebula. I obviously didn't like it as much as others.


3/11/16; 8:15pm CST - Galen
In spite of a few minor faults, Neal Stephenson's Seveneves is one of the best books I've read in a while, a real mind-blower. Definitely on my Hugo nomination list.


Three Book Reviews
2/29/16; 1:15pm CST - Galen
I've read four novels since uploading the last review, and had previously thought I would continue reading as many Hugo eligible titles as possible before doing any more reviews. But I am taking advantage of Leap Day to post some comments about three of them. I'll get to the fourth one as soon as possible, but since it is a continuation of an on-going series I need to take a fresh look at that page to see if I should do some edits of previous comments first. At this time, at least one of the following is in my Top 5 picks for a Hugo nomination.

The Mechanical, Book 1 of The Alchemy War by Ian Tregillis
Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi


2015 Nebulas
2/21/16; 1:15pm CST - Galen
The SFWA has announced the nominees for the 2015 Nebulas, and I've just finished revising the Awards Page, as well as the Amazon Books & Amazon Films pages to include links for available books and films. This is the first year I've included links for any of the novellas, but several of those are in print or on Kindle. As soon as I get the chance, I'll review previous years to see if any of the shorter works are in book form, but of course a lot of those would also have been included in 'Best Of' collections too. The Nebula winners will be announced on May 14.


The Wind's Twelve Quarters
2/18/16; 6:35pm CST - Galen
Le Guin's first short story collection, The Wind's Twelve Quarters, boasts four award winners along with nine other nominations, and the book itself won a Locus Award for Best Single Author Collection for 1975.


The Word For World Is Forest
2/13/16; 8:10pm CST - Galen
The Word For World Is Forest won a Hugo as best novella in 1973. It originally appeared in the 1972 anthology Again, Dangerous Visions, but has also been printed on its own in several editions over the years.


The Dispossessed
2/9/16; 5:45pm CST - Galen
Ursula Le Guin also won a Hugo and Nebula (among others) for 1974's The Dispossessed, both a personal and a political story. One of the best there has ever been.


The Expanse TV (Revised)
2/9/16; 5:45pm CST - Galen
Now that the first short season is complete, I edited my review a bit.


The Left Hand of Darkness
2/3/16; 9:45pm CST - Galen
Ursula K. Le Guin won her first Hugo, and Nebula, with 1969's The Left Hand of Darkness. It's just as good now and it was then, a testament to a true classic. If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?


Signal To Noise
1/31/16; 2:20pm CST - Galen
Silvia Moreno Garcia's first novel, Signal To Noise, is a vivid tale of teenage angst mixed with music and magic in Mexico City in the late 1980s, with later reflections in 2009. Recommended.


City of Blades
1/27/15; 5:10pm CST - Galen
The second novel of The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett is City of Blades. It's actually better than the first, and I expect it to show up on quite a few award ballots next year. If you haven't yet read my review of the first book of the series just scroll up to the top of that page.


The X-Files
1/23/15; 10:00pm CST - Galen
In anticipation of the new mini-series starting tomorrow on FOX, I recently completed a re-watch of all nine seasons of The X-Files, quite a bit of which I had not seen the first time around. My review page also includes comments on the two movies, and I'll update with comments on the new episodes soon, although I may wait until all six have been broadcast.


City of Stairs
1/18/15; 1:00pm CST - Galen
Robert Jackson Bennett's City of Stairs is the first of a trilogy called The Divine Cities. Great world-building, interesting characters, a compelling mystery. Recommended. The second book will be out a week from tomorrow, but I have an advance copy, so I'll be updating the review soon.


1/7/15; 3:15pm CST - Galen
Planetfall by Emma Newman is both a taut mystery about colonizing an alien planet, as well as an intense portrait of an interesting, but disturbed, woman. Recommended.


Harlan Ellison is CanTankerous
1/2/15; 7:00pm CST - Galen
Harlan's latest book contains previously uncollected stories, some very old, but rewritten for this publication. Unfortunately, Can & Can'Tankerous is only for the die-hard fans.


Hello 2016!
1/1/15; 8:30am CST - Galen
Happy New Year! All of last year's updates have been moved to the Archives page. Can't say yet when a new one for this year will be uploaded, but maybe this weekend. I reviewed a total of thirty-two books in 2015, while also re-reading a few previously reviewed ones. That's an increase of ten over 2014, but I will endeavor to do even more this year, with my goal being at least fifty. There were also ten movie reviews, three for TV shows, one author profile, plus other miscellaneous additions to existing pages. All in all, an improvement over 2014, but not as much as I would have liked.





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