9/29/16 - Two reviews today, both for Tor.com novellas that are alternate takes on Lovecraft stories. Victor LaValle's The Ballad of Black Tom and The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson.
9/25/16 - Seanan McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway is one of the first novellas Tor.com released in print form. Part fairy tale, part gothic horror. Recommended for those who prefer fantasy laced with metaphorical connections to real life.
9/24/16 - After Atlas is Emma Newman's follow up to last year's Planetfall, although I wouldn't call it a direct sequel. It won't be published until Nov. 8, but I got an advance copy from NetGalley. I inquired of the author on Twitter if it was too soon to post a review, she didn't think so, but tagged her editor in her reply. If they ask me to take it down I will, but I'm very enthusiastic about it and didn't want to wait.
9/22/16 - Connie Willis' latest novel is Crosstalk. Enjoyable enough, but more like a rom-com novel, lightweight in comparison to some of her other work.
9/18/16 - It has been a long time since I've read Peter Beagle, so it's hard to compare his latest with his other fantasies. While Summerlong might be different in style and tone, it's still very good.
9/7/16 - Everfair is the first novel from Nisi Shawl. It's been described as a steampunk alternate history, and it is that, but so much more. It details the efforts to create a utopian society in the heart of early 20th Century Africa. Did they succeed? Maybe, but you know what they say about utopia?
8/31/16 - Charlie Jane Anders' first SF novel, All the Birds in the Sky, is both a whimsical fantasy and a profoundly philosophical investigation of man and his trust in science. Recommended.
8/28/16 - Silvia Moreno-Garcia's second novel, Certain Dark Things, doesn't come out until Oct. 25, and I might be too early with this review. But I don't care. It's great, and highly recommended.
8/15/16 - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm was the Hugo winner in 1977. Beautifully written, strong character drama, but light on the scientific end of things.
8/10/16 - C. J. Cherryh's Hugo-winning Downbelow Station is not as good as I remembered, but I'm sure my tastes have changed somewhat. Ambitious, but not a tight narrative.
8/2/16 - Stuart Charles Flynn's debut novel is Children of the Different. Recommended, with minor reservations.
7/30/16 - I continue my exploration of Earthsea with Tehanu, winner of a Nebula as best novel of 1990. At the time of its publication it was subtitled The Last Book of Earthsea. That would have to be dropped on later reprints when another novel came out in 2001.
7/24/16 - I return to Le Guin's Earthsea with a few comments on the third book of the original trilogy, The Farthest Shore.
7/17/16 - Supernova is the follow-up to last year's Lightless by C. A. Higgins. It's not much of an improvement.
6/29/16 - Once again it seems my opinion doesn't correspond with the majority. N. K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season is the start of a new trilogy. It was nominated for a Nebula and Locus (didn't win either), but also up for a Hugo, so I needed to read it before voting. Not sure if I'll read the follow-ups, unless they are also nominated or win an award.
6/10/16 - Jim Butcher's The Aeronaut's Windlass is the first book in a series called The Cinder Spires. It has been nominated for a Hugo. It's entertaining, but not what I would call award-worthy. YMMV.
6/4/16 - Updates on two book series reviews today. It's been a while since I finished Nemesis Games, the fifth book of the Expanse series by James S. A. Corey, but I finally got around to writing about it. I had thought I would edit out some spoilers from previous sections of the review, instead I just added more spoiler warnings. Read at your own risk. The other update is for the second book in Le Guin's Earthsea saga, The Tombs of Atuan. I liked it a lot more than the first one.
5/26/16 - The first novel from the Tor.com imprint is also the first novel from Malka Older. Infomocracy is a taut political thriller set about fifty years in the future, in a world transformed by micro-democracy and the advanced technologies of Information. Recommended.
5/22/16 - A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin is highly regarded by most critics and readers. I rate it a little lower than the SF books I've read from her, but I'm hoping the later books change my mind.
5/15/16 - The latest Nebula winning novel is Uprooted by Naomi Novik. On the surface it's a fairly typical fairy tale, but it is surprisingly also a compelling and unpredictable story. Recommended.
3/16/16 - Ken Liu's The Grace of Kings has received generally positive reviews as well as a Nebula nomination for Best Novel. It's apparent others liked it more than me.
3/11/16 - 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.
2/29/16 - Three book reviews today, one good, one very good, one disappointing. In that order, they are The Mechanical, the first book in the Alchemy War series by Ian Tregills; The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi; and Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen.
2/18/16 - Le Guin's first story collection, The Wind's Twelve Quarters, won a Locus Award as Best Single Author Collection. The individual stories boast four award winners, along with nine other nominations. Yeah, most are that good.
2/13/16 - Le Guin again, this time her Hugo-winning novella from 1972, The Word For World As Forest. Definitely not as good as the two previously reviewed, and not even the best novella from that year.
2/9/16 - Le Guin also won a Hugo and Nebula (among other awards) for 1974's The Dispossessed. A strong contender for one of the best novels SF has ever seen.
2/3/16 - Ursula K. Le Guin won her first Hugo, and Nebula, with 1969's The Left Hand of Darkness. It's another classic that is just as good today as when it was published.
1/31/16 - 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.
1/27/16 - City of Blades is the second book in The Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett. It's even better than the first. If you haven't yet read my review of the first book just scroll up to the top of that page.
1/18/16 - City of Stairs is the first of a trilogy from Robert Jackson Bennett, under the collective title of The Divine Cities. The second book is out next week, but I already have an advance copy, so I'll update as soon as possible.
1/7/16 - Emma Newman's Planetfall is recommended.
1/2/16 - Harlan Ellison's latest book contains previously uncollected stories, quite a few of them old ones, but rewritten for this publication. Unfortunately, Can & Can'Tankerous is only for the die-hard fans.
11/19/15 - At this time I'd say that Cibola Burn is tied with Leviathan Wakes as the best of The Expanse series.
11/13/15 - Leiber won his second novel Hugo with The Wanderer. It's only a little bit better than the previous one.
11/5/15 - Fritz Leiber's The Big Time was a big letdown. Just because it won a Hugo doesn't mean it's any good.
10/27/15 - Gene Wolfe's latest book is A Borrowed Man. I suppose I'll reread it one of these days, since there is usually a need to read between (and over and under) his lines. On the surface it's a fairly simple mystery story, but with multiple SF elements. A reread might make it more satisfying, but right now I have to say it's not.
10/24/15 - The third novel in James S. A. Corey's Expanse series is Abaddon's Gate. It's good, introducing several more interesting characters, but it's really a transitional tale leading up to what I expect will be even more action in the subsequent books.
10/19/15 - Edward Bryant wrote only one novel, the previously reviewed Phoenix Without Ashes, but he was a master of the short story. His second collection, published in 1976, was Cinnabar.
10/14/15 - Kim Stanley Robinson's latest Hard-SF tale is Aurora. Recommended, but with reservations.
10/8/15 - Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy concludes with Ancillary Mercy.
9/26/15 - I just finished the second book in Weston Ochse's Task Force OMBRA series, Grunt Traitor. If you didn't read what I posted about the first book three weeks ago, just scroll up to the top of that page.
9/14/15 - Two new reviews today, both from advance e-books I received from Net Galley. The better of the two is Nalo Hopkinson's short story collection, Falling In Love With Hominids. The other one had potential but didn't come through. Lightless is the first novel from C. A. Higgins. If she had concentrated on just a couple of the plot threads she could have fashioned a tight thriller, but the four she tried to combine were too much for her talent at this time.
9/5/15 - Weston Ochse's Grunt Life is the first book in a series about alien invasion. It's good and recommended.
9/2/15 - Kameron Hurley's Worldbreaker Saga has been getting a lot of positive buzz, but since I'm not as fond of fantasy I was not as impressed. It's good, just not what interests me. YMMV.
8/18/15 - On his 90th birthday, I review Brian Aldiss' most recent (and maybe his last) novel, Finches of Mars. No one is more disappointed than me when I say it is not very good.
8/9/15 - Stories For Chip, an anthology in tribute to Samuel R. Delany, edited by Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell.
7/20/15 - Scott Hawkins' The Library at Mount Char is not the sort of story I'm normally drawn to, being more fantasy than science fiction, but it has been getting rave reviews by many I have been following on Twitter and Facebook. They were right. It is fantastic.
7/8/15 - I've finished, for now, my review on Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, although I'm still thinking about it and might edit that page in the future. The first novel, Acceptance won the Nebula this year, and the entire trilogy was nominated for a Locus Award (didn't win), and most recently for the World Fantasy Award to be announced in November. I do need to move on to another book, yet I feel I might be stuck in Area X for a long time.
6/29/15 - Made some minor edits to original review, then added comments on Authority, the second book in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy. I've already started on the third book and will update soon.
6/23/15 - Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 started out as a novella, "The Fireman," in Galaxy magazine, then expanded two years later. Fifty years after that it received a Retro Hugo award.
6/21/15 - It has been nearly three years since I reviewed James S. A. Corey's Leviathan Wakes. I've finally gotten around to the second book, Caliban's War, and decided to combine the reviews to one page, so I had to change the URL for that page, plus I edited it a bit and added some comments about two prequel short stories. So even if you had read that review, take a look at the revised page for The Expanse.
6/15/15 - Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation won this year's Nebula for Best Novel. It is the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy. It was very good, should have also been nominated for a Hugo. I've ordered the other books and will add to this review as soon as possible.
6/13/15 - The 2015 inductees to the SF Hall of Fame have been announced. Click through to see the latest additions to this elite group.
6/1/15 - I just read Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End for what I think was the third time. It's still just as good as I remembered, although more mystical and less scientific than the majority of his other books.
5/23/15 - The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison is another novel nominated for awards, including the Nebula, Hugo and Locus. Sorry, but I can't recommend it.
5/16/15 - The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu is being promoted as the most popular and best selling SF book in China. The English translation has been nominated for just about every award imaginable. I'm wondering why.
5/7/15 - Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie is a sequel to last year's multiple award-winning Ancillary Justice. It has already won this year's BSFA for Best Novel, and is also nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, and Locus awards.
4/12/15 - Michael Swanwick won a Nebula for Stations of the Tide in 1992. It was also nominated for the Hugo, Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Memorial awards.
4/12/15 - I've edited my Hugogate article with a few more thoughts and clarifications.
4/7/15 - My thoughts on the Hugo nomination controversy, which I'm calling Hugogate, although I'm not sure if anyone else named it that before me.
4/4/15 - I just updated the Hugo/Nebula pages, reflecting the nominees for this years' awards. Nebula winners will be announced in June, the Hugos in August.
4/1/15 - No, this is not a joke. I finally finished my profile article on Samuel R. Delany, and I also created another main page for him with links to the various reviews I've done, and there will be more to come, but I'll move on to something else first. Also created a new page with a list of all the SFWA Grand Masters, which includes a list at the bottom of the page of other writers I feel are deserving of the award in the future.
3/26/15 - Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand by Samuel R. Delany.
3/15/15 - Stanislaw Lem's The Futurological Congress.
1/18/15 - Andy Weir's first novel, The Martian is recommended.
1/11/15 - Neuromancer was William Gibson's first novel. It won the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick awards. It deserved them.
1/4/15 - Samuel R. Delany's Triton, later retitled Trouble on Triton, meanders around a bit looking for its focus, and I did set it aside several times because of that, but in the end the effort was worth it for the insightful thoughts on individuality, freedom and societal mores.
11/25/14 - Getting back to an award winner, I take a look at Flowers for Algernon, which tied for a Nebula with the previously reviewed Babel-17 by Samuel Delany. An earlier short story version also won a Hugo.
11/16/14 - And now the Sigil Trilogy review is complete, although I won't rule out editing it later in case I think of something else to say.
11/13/14 - Way back in April I posted a review of the first book in The Sigil Trilogy by Henry Gee. I wish I hadn't waited so long for the second one, Scourge of Stars, because it's very good and I'll be finishing up on the third one as soon as possible.
10/22/14 - Dark Lightning by John Varley.
10/15/14 - The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold.
10/13/14 - Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin, the Nebula Winner in 1968.
9/10/14 - John Christopher's juvenile novel, The Lotus Caves from 1969.
9/10/14 - Delany again. This time it's his Nebula-nominated Dhalgren from 1975. Long, complex and confusing, but still his best book as far as I'm concerned.
9/2/14 - Continuing with the work of Grand Master Samuel R. Delany, I now take a look at his 1968 novel Nova.
8/26/14 - Gregg Macklin, aka Starflight, has just published his first novel. In spite of a few stumbles by a beginning writer, Time's Crossroads is an entertaining read.
8/18/14 - I just updated the Hugo/Nebula pages to reflect the winners of the 2014 Hugos announced last night at LonCon3.