This page used to be called "Books and Authors," but I wanted to make it clear that I consider science fiction and fantasy just as important as any other branch of literature, regardless of what the general public or the publishing industry thinks.
The following is a list of articles already uploaded, along with the authors about whom I (or others) will be writing essays. Only a few of those are linked at this time but I will be adding to them as time allows. Unless otherwise stated, all articles are by me, Galen Strickland. I am still very much interested in recruiting other reviewers, so please email me if you would like to contribute something. Please check back frequently for any new updates, which will also be posted on the Templeton Gate Forums.
Here are a few of the main pages I'd like to draw attention to, even though some of them were also linked to further down the page when they were created.
The Hugo & Nebula Awards
All the winners and nominated works
The Winning Novels
The SFWA Grand Masters
The SF Hall of Fame
4/21/18 - Eliot Peper's Bandwidth is the first of a series under the collective title of Analog, with another book due in October. It seems to be set in the same world as his previous Cumulus, since that company gets a very brief mention, but it's many years later. Tech has advanced quite a bit from the earlier book, and climate change has also wreaked havoc on the world. The main character has had a hand in that, but slowly but surely he develops a conscience that leads him in another direction.
4/17/18 - R. F. (Rebecca) Kuang's debut novel, The Poppy War, is the best new book I've read this year. It's complex and unpredictable, frequently unpleasant, with characters you can love and hate at the same time. Highly recommended.
4/15/18 - Sylvain Neuvel brings his Themis Files trilogy to a close with Only Human. In spite of the fact I felt the narrative technique was an affected conceit, that every single thing was a recorded dialog, or a written log or letter, with no other exposition or description, the story is still compelling, with a satisfactory conclusion. I recommend the entire series. The link goes to the new comments; if you haven't read any of the previous review, just scroll up to the top of the page.
4/13/18 - I needed to read and review Robert Sawyer's The Terminal Experiment as part of my project of covering all past award winners. It won the Nebula for 1995, and was nominated for a Hugo and others. Unfortunately, I can't recommend it.
4/10/18 - I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land is a novella by Connie Willis. When I requested it from Net Galley I only knew it was by her, but thought it was a novel. I wasn't aware it had already appeared in Asimov's late last year, which I found out when I borrowed those from my brother-in-law to read for Hugo consideration. I thought maybe the e-book, a promotion for an special edition hardcover, would be an expanded version of the story, but it's not, or at least the e-book wasn't. It's okay, but I don't recommend it, certainly not for the $40 Subterranean Press will be asking.
4/9/18 - Emma Newman's Before Mars is the third novel in a future history sequence, although each can be read and enjoyed as individual stories. In spite of some heavy-handed expostion toward the end, I liked this just as much as the other two. Ms. Newman is good at creating characters you can care about even if they aren't the most noble and sympathetic.
4/7/18 - Bryan Camp's debut novel, The City of Lost Fortunes, is a magical journey through a magical city, New Orleans. Set six years after Katrina, neither the city or its people, not even the demigods that control its fortunes, have fully recovered from the devastating storm.
4/4/18 - Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction is a collaborative effort between editors Bill Campbell of Rosarium Publishing in the US, and Francesco Verso of Italy's Future Fiction. Twelve stories from around the world, mostly SF about advanced tech, in both positive and negative situations, as well as one fantasy. One is new, the others are reprints whose original publications range from 2003-2016. The quality ranges from good to excellent, with two of them I would have on a tentative list for next year's Hugos if they weren't already several years old. Recommended, and hopefully just the first of many future volumes.
3/27/18 - Michael Bishop won a Nebula for 1982's No Enemy But Time, a thoughtful, introspective look at a man who feels he doesn't belong in the modern world. Maybe he really belongs in Pleistocene era Africa, which he is able to visit as participant in a time-travel experiment. Highly recommended.
3/20/18 - Another Net Galley title, one offered in an email rather than me searching for it or selecting it off one of their lists. I do not recommend School For Psychics. The only reason I finished it and am reviewing is because I did download it, and I feel obligated so that I don't lose free e-book privileges. I'll now let this book and the name K. C. Archer fade from memory.
3/20/18 - I got a free e-book of Julia Whicker's debut novel, Wonderblood, from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, the prose is impeccable in places, evocative of place and mood, but the plot and character development left me cold. Yet another start of a multi-book saga, one I'll likely not want to continue with. YMMV.
3/16/18 - Another great debut novel, Jeannette Ng's Under the Pendulum Sun, a story of the fae and a couple of humans(?) who try to understand them. About six hours left until Hugo nomination deadline, and I already had a solid five titles on my list, but now have to decide whether this one bumps another off the ballot. I might not finalize that until the bitter end. This is very good, but so are the other five.
3/12/18 - Nalo Hopkinson's debut novel was Brown Girl in the Ring. It won a Locus award as Best 1st Novel, and also helped her get the John W. Campbell Award as Best New Writer in 1999. Both were well deserved.
2/18/18 - I've been reading shorter stories the past couple of weeks, and some were novellas that are in print (and Kindle) editions. I have a strong hunch that one or the other, if not both, of the Tensorate Duology by JY Yang will get a lot of Hugo nominations.
2/5/18 - Roger Zelazny won his first Hugo for This Immortal, which was originally titled "...And Call Me Conrad" when it was serialized in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1965. It actually tied with Dune, which is a much better book.
2/2/18 - The Philosopher's Flight is the debut novel by Tom Miller. It's an alt-history with a magical touch. Highly recommended.
1/29/18 - I've added to an existing page, since Blood Binds the Pack is a sequel to Alex Wells' Hunger Makes the Wolf. That link goes to the new comments. If you haven't read the review of the previous book, just scroll up to the top of that page. I think there will be at least one more book in the sequence, although it has not been announced yet.
1/24/18 - The Only Harmless Great Thing is a novella by Brooke Bolander. It's well written, but emotionally devastating. I rate it highly in a literary sense, but it's difficult to know if I should recommend it. It may be too intense for some readers.
1/23/18 - The Best of All Possible Worlds is Karen Lord's second novel. Quite different than her first, this is science fiction on a grand scale, highly sociological and psychological in nature. It's also a love story, although very different in that regard too. Recommended.
1/17/18 - Nnedi Okorafor says The Night Masquerade completes the Binti trilogy, but I hope that doesn't mean she won't evenually write more about this exraordinary character.
1/15/18 - Karen Lord's first novel, Redemption in Indigo, won the Mythopeoic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award. It's one of the best I've read in quite a while. Highly recommended.
1/14/18 - Robert Silverberg's A Time of Changes won the 1971 Nebula Award. It is good, interesting characters and intricate worldbuilding, but it has a few flaws. Not my favorite from that year, but still recommended for his fluid prose style.
1/10/18 - Shadowhouse Fall is a continuation of Daniel José Older's Shadowshaper Cypher. Lots of action, hardly any of it repetitive, plenty of surprises along the way. Recommended, as is the entire saga so far.
1/1/18 - My first review of the year is for Silvia Moreno-Garcia's novella, Prime Meridian. She self-published with funds gained through an Indiegogo campaign, and even though it is copyright 2017 and eligible for current award consideration, its conventional publication date is not until July 10.
12/22/17 - Another review for a book I can't recommend, Humans, Bow Down, by James Patterson, Emily Raymond & Jill Dembowski, although I have no way of knowing how much each contributed to the story.
12/16/17 - Martha Wells' All Systems Red is the first in a series known as The Murderbot Diaries. It is another release from the Tor.com novella program, much better than the previous one I read. I am interested in continuing with the story, but I'm not sure I will, the reasons for which I give in the last paragraph of the review.
12/14/17 - My latest review is for something I can't recommend, Sarah Gailey's novella, River of Teeth.
12/12/17 - Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140 looks at how the city has managed to survive after fifty feet of rising seas transformed the landscape, transformed its citizens, how the mundane and the miraculous blend to keep the city as lively as it has always been. It's as much a character showcase as it is one of physical change, and it's the main reason it's recommended.
12/7/17 - The seventh novel in the Expanse book series is Persepolis Rising. I could nit-pick a couple of plot points, but they don't hinder this from being one of the better entries of the series. I'm still a big fan, on board for the ride as long as it lasts.
12/4/17 - In spite of what the title might suggest, Rivers Solomon's debut novel, An Unkindness of Ghosts, is not horror, although horrific events do occur. It transports a society much like the antebellum South onto a generational starship. It is not clear whether the society of a dying Earth was an alternate world in which segregation and slavery still existed (or existed again), or if the society on the ship changed after an accident some 250 years prior to the main action. Based on current political trends, including racial strife, I don't think it matters, either scenario is believable. Recommended.
11/30/17 - Jeff VanderMeer's Borne was one of my most anticipated books ever since it was announced, seeing as how I loved the Southern Reach Trilogy. Unfortunately, I didn't like it as much as I expected, although I can't say I'm sorry I read it. The Strange Bird is a companion novella, which I liked more.
11/22/17 - Hunger Makes the Wolf is the debut novel from Alex Wells. Characters and situations might remind you of other stories, but the exciting action makes up for it. Get ready for biker gang witches fighting an evil corporation on a desert mining planet. Hob Ravani ROCKS!
11/18/17 - Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova is the first book in a new series, Brooklyn Brujas. It's very good, great characters under duress, growing into their magical powers. Recommended.
11/12/17 - Originally published separately in paperback, Ursula Le Guin's first long fiction was first collected in an omnibus titled Three Hainish Novels, but later editions changed that to Worlds of Exile and Illusion.
10/24/17 - Nearly a year ago I posted a review of Ursula K. Le Guin's Powers, which was so good I knew I'd eventually get around to reading the first two books of that series. Now I have - The Annals of the Western Shore.
10/20/17 - The Hidden Face is S. C. Flynn's second novel. Sadly, I didn't like it that much.
10/14/17 - Autonomous is the first novel from Annalee Newitz, co-founder of the genre/tech blog site io9, and currently an editor at ArsTechnica.com. It involves robotics and bio-tech in the mid-22nd Century. It's very good.
10/4/17 - Andy Weir's second novel, Artemis, is not as good as The Martian, but I suspect it will be successful just from name recognition alone. I don't recommend it though.
10/1/17 - Joan Vinge's The Snow Queen won Hugo and Locus awards, and was a Nebula finalist. I did not enjoy it as much as I'd hoped, and it didn't generate much interest in reading any of the sequels, two of which I already have. Maybe someday, but not soon.
9/21/17 - Null States is the second book in Malka Older's Centenal Cycle, which began last year with Infomocracy. I kept the URL on that page the same, giving the new book a sub-header. If you haven't read the review of the first book just scroll to the top of that page, or even if you have, since I've edited it several times.
9/14/17 - My latest review is for another Nebula winner, 2003's The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. It's a compelling character study of an autistic adult in a near future society. Very good, but with points deducted for a rushed ending.
9/9/17 - Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's The Healer's War is a harrowing look at the Vietnam War, with a slight fantasy element. It won the Nebula in 1989, and is highly recommended.
9/4/17 - Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book won a Hugo in 2009. It's okay, but I can't really recommend it. Not as serious as the subject deserved.
9/1/17 - Silvia Moreno-Garcia's The Beautiful Ones is a romance, a novel of manners, but with a twist. The two main characters are telekinetics, although that bit of fantasy only affects the plot toward the very end. I liked it much more than I expected.
8/29/17 - I've again edited my comments on The Fifth Season, then added thoughts on The Obelisk Gate, the second book of N. K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy.
8/24/17 - I've just finished a second read of N. K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, which won the Hugo last year. I liked it a lot more this time around, and have revised the review, and will be getting to the second book, The Obelisk Gate, soon. It won the Hugo this year.
8/19/17 - Nicola Griffith's Slow River, the Nebula winner for 1996, is good and recommended, but with a caveat. It could be traumatic for anyone who has suffered mental or physical abuse themselves.
8/10/17 - I recall liking Stand on Zanzibar the first time I read it. This time...not so much. A lot of potential, so little of it realized.
8/4/17 - Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore is another title I got free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It's a mixed bag, lots of humor, but also deep insight into the value of a good life, what perfection might mean. It's best quality is its unpredictability.
7/30/17 - I think this marks the third time I've read Stephen King's The Gunslinger, the first of his long-running Dark Tower series. I have most of the others, not sure why I haven't gotten to them yet, but one day...?
7/25/17 - Gregory Benford won a Nebula for 1980's Timescape. Maybe not the best that year, but still a strong novel in spite of a few flaws.
7/18/17 - Another update to the Expanse book reviews, concerning the latest novella, Strange Dogs.
7/11/17 - Two new pages today. The better of the books I've read lately is Daniel José Older's Shadowshaper, with so far that novel and two novellas in the sequence, and another novel due in September. The other is not quite as good, but still worthwhile, and it checks one more award winner off the list of that project: Pat Murphy's The Falling Woman, the Nebula winner in 1987.
6/13/17 - The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter is the debut novel by Theodora Goss. It is strange indeed, but it's debatable as to which character the title refers. Perhaps it's the first we meet, Mary, who happens to be the daughter of Dr. Henry Jekyll, but there are many other candidates. Highly recommended, and I hope we get more adventures concerning these remarkable women.
6/6/17 - Victor LaValle's The Changeling is a fantastical horror story, continually surprising and unpredictable. Recommended.
5/26/17 - One of this year's Hugo finalists is Becky Chambers' A Closed and Common Orbit, which is a sequel to her first novel, but luckily enough of a stand-alone story to appreciate on its own.
5/22/17 - Radiate is the third book in C. A. Higgins' Lightless series. It's not any better than the first two, and I'm sorry I wasted so much time on them. Not recommended.
4/30/17 - Kai Ashante Wilson has several well reviewed stories over the past few years. His latest novella, A Taste of Honey, is a finalist for both the Nebula and Hugo this year. I review it along with another connected story, "The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps."
4/26/17 - Robert Jackson Bennett's conclusion to the Divine Cities trilogy is City of Miracles. As good as the previous in many respects, better in several particulars, it raises my opinon of the series up to a near perfect 5/5 stars. Exciting and continually unpredictable, profound and moving, it does not disappoint.
4/19/17 - Margaret Atwood's cautionary The Handmaid's Tale remains as relevant today as when it was written in 1985. Very powerful and disturbing, but well worth your time.
4/16/17 - 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. That "?" 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.
4/9/17 - 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.
3/27/17 - Sylvain Neuvel's Themis Files continues with the second book, Waking Gods. It still follows the same style, recorded conversations, personal journals, military logs, with no other narrative expostion. The story is still intriguing, but it gets a bit tiresome at times.
3/22/17 - I've updated the Earthseed review with thoughts on the second book, Parable of the Talents. Both are near perfect, with my only complaint being there probably should have been at least one more in the series to fully explore the Earthseed philosophy. I did make a few edits to the first part, so if you're interested, or if you haven't read it yet, just scroll up to the top of that page.
3/18/17 - Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler is the first book of Earthseed. It's a chilling look at an all too probable post-apocalyptic America, although it is also hopeful and optimistic. I'll continue that page with thoughts on the second book as soon as possible.
2/9/17 - George Saunders has won several awards for short stories and non-fiction essays, and has also written children's books. The first thing of his I've read is his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, which is borderline fantasy, but based on his previous work is likely to be embraced more by mainstream critics and readers. It's damn good, and I highly recommend it.
2/7/17 - Peter Beagle returns with another tale of unicorns, but unfortunately In Calabria is not as good as his most iconic book.
2/6/17 - The Voices of Martyrs is a story collection from Maurice Broaddus, which covers a wide range of plots central to the Black experience, and should appeal to anyone who appreciates intriguing characters and situations. Recommended.
2/1/17 - Last year's Hugo & Nebula winner for best novella was Nnedi Okorafor's Binti. Yesterday saw the release of the continuation of the story, Binti: Home. I review them both.
1/30/17 - Another debut novel, and the start of another series. Sylvain Neuvel's Sleeping Gods is the first part of the Themis Files. A second book will be out in April, but I'm not sure yet if there will be more than that.
1/28/17 - After spending most of the month reading short stories in preparation for the Hugos, I finally finished Ada Palmer's first novel, Too Like the Lightning, which is the first of a two book series known as Terra Ignota. That's Latin for Unknown Earth, and it is similar to how utopia means "no place." It's good, very ambitious, but it does have its flaws.
12/17/16 - Latest review is of United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas. A few negatives concerning narrative structure and technique, but still an enjoyable read.
12/14/16 - Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad recently won the National Book Award. It is historical fiction with a speculative twist. Actual trains, traveling under the soil of Southern states, carry escaped slaves to freedom, even if that freedom is short-lived, or in some cases just as dangerous as what they were fleeing. A powerful story of events that should never be forgotten.
12/9/16 - I've reviewed all of the books and stories in The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey so far, but that page was getting very long, so I've started a new page. Book 6 is Babylon's Ashes, and there are at least three more novels that will follow in years to come.
12/6/16 - The Devourers by Indra Das can be read as a horror/fantasy set in India, or a dark, psychological tale of a confused man. Either way, it's very good.
11/13/16 - Powers, by Ursula K. Le Guin, won a Nebula in 2008. It's the third volume in a trilogy known as the Annals of the Western Shore. I don't have the first two in the sequence, but luckily this one was mostly a stand-alone story. It's very good.
10/20/16 - The latest release from the Tor.com novella program is Laurie Penny's Everything Belongs to the Future. It's her first fiction story I believe, and is flawed, but it's an interesting premise.
10/14/16 - I've finished a second reading of Malka Older's Infomocracy, and I liked it even more this time. I've edited a few lines and added some other comments. This is the best book I've read from 2016 so far, it's on the top of my list for a Hugo nomination.
10/5/16 - Cumulus by Eliot Peper is a near future techno-thriller. Fast-paced, action-filled, but points deducted for minimal plot background and character development. Not a waste of time, and I'll probably read more from him in the future.
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.
7/14/14 - Ancillary Justice is Ann Leckie's first novel. It won the Nebula this year and is also nominated for a Hugo. It's very good.
6/17/14 - The Jewels of Aptor was the first of Samuel R. Delany's stories to be published. It does exhibit some of the strengths we would later see him develop more fully, but it is ultimately unsatisfying.
5/14/14 - The Einstein Intersection, the second Nebula winner from Samuel R. Delany.
4/14/14 - Samuel R. Delany's Babel-17 earned him his first Nebula award, and in the current print edition is joined by a connected story, "Empire Star."
4/6/14 - Siege of Stars, the first book of the Sigil Trilogy by Henry Gee.
2/15/14 - Two reviews today, both Heinlein novels that won a Hugo. Double Star got him his first award, and his last was a posthumous Retro for Farmer in the Sky.
2/3/14 - Bring the Jubilee, Ward Moore's alternate history tale from 1953.
1/31/14 - Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin, from 1983.
1/19/14 - 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson, winner of the 2012 Nebula.
1/5/14 - Redshirts by John Scalzi, last year's Hugo winner.
1/1/14 - The first book review of the year is for Costigan's Needle by Jerry Sohl, which I got as an e-book from ReAnimus Press.
12/8/13 - Walter M. Miller's A Canticle For Leibowitz is just as powerful a novel now as when it won the Hugo in 1961. Highly recommended.
11/25/13 - 11/22/63 by Stephen King.
11/10/13 - The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham.
11/3/13 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, winner of the Hugo & Nebula awards.
7/6/13 - The Chrysalids by John Wyndham.
2/24/13 - The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham.
2/12/13 - Phoenix Without Ashes, a look at the novel by Edward Bryant and the graphic novel by Harlan Ellison, both based on Ellison's award-winning pilot script for the ill-fated television series The Starlost.
10/31/12 - Bug Jack Barron, Norman Spinrad's controversial 1969 novel.
10/17/12 - Leviathan Wakes is the first novel in a series collectively called The Expanse. A second novel (Caliban's War) and a couple of related short stories have already been published with a third novel on the way. They are credited to James S. A. Corey, which is a pen name used by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. It was nominated as Best Novel this year for both a Hugo and the Locus Readers' Poll. It's pretty good, and I look forward to more from these guys. I'll update this review when I get around to them.
10/3/12 - Jo Walton's Among Others, winner of both the Hugo & Nebula this year, as well as being nominated for the World Fantasy Award.
9/8/12 - John Varley's latest novel is Slow Apocalypse. Quite a bit different that anything else he's done.
9/3/12 - I've just updated the Hugo/Nebula page to reflect the winners of the 2012 Hugos announced this weekend in Chicago. I also added Jo Walton's Among Others to the Novel Winners and Dual Awards pages, since it also won the Nebula earlier this year, and I hope to read and review it soon.
8/5/12 - Larry Niven's Ringworld, another dual winner.
7/8/12 - The Yiddish Policemen's Union, the Hugo and Nebula winner from 2007.
6/11/12 - The Templeton Gate is now an affiliate of ReAnimusPress, which is bringing back older SF titles in e-book formats (not printed books). My first review of one of their titles is of Jerry Sohl's Night Slaves from 1965.
3/11/12 - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
1/2/12 - The first review of the new year is for Robert Charles Wilson's Spin, winner of the 2006 Hugo.
12/4/11 - I finally finished Blue Mars and have completed my review, although I reserve the right to go back and edit if I think of something else to say. I think I will work on a profile page for Robinson next.
11/26/11 - I'm still reading Blue Mars, but I decided to go ahead and upload the start of my review of the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. I'll add to the review later, and might even edit some things I've already said.
10/23/11 - I've been lazy again, but I just uploaded my profile article on Connie Willis' career to date, as well as creating a "main" page to list that article plus the individual book reviews already done.
9/25/11 - Now I take a look at Willis' Nebula winner To Say Nothing of the Dog.
8/18/11 - I review Connie Willis' Blackout & All Clear, this year's winner of both the Hugo and Nebula award for best novel.
6/19/11 - Here's my profile of Philip José Farmer.
6/12/11 - I believe Night Music is the first published story from Tobias Cabral. If so, it is a very impressive debut, and I look forward to more from him.
5/30/11 - A look at the first two books in the Riverworld series by Philip José Farmer, along with mention of an earlier version of the story. A profile page on Farmer will follow soon.
4/2/11 - I continue with my reviews of award winning books with Clifford D. Simak's Way Station.
3/13/11 - Robert Silverberg's latest book, The Last Song of Orpheus, is very short, but worth your time.
3/6/11 - The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick's only Hugo winner.
2/26/11 - The City & the City by China Miéville, co-winner of the 2010 Hugo.
1/23/11 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8 Graphic Novels.
1/2/11 - Hyperion by Dan Simmons, winner of the 1990 Hugo.
12/5/10 - The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi won a ton of awards this past year, but until I read all the other nominees I can't be sure it was really all that. It has its good points to be sure, but I was not as impressed as everyone else seems to be. Maybe it's just me.
11/14/10 - The Forever Machine (aka "They'd Rather Be Right") by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley was the second novel to win a Hugo. It did not deserve it, and if I hadn't already promised myself I would review all the winners I would not have finished it.
10/31/10 - Alfred Bester was among the first of the authors profiled when the site was created back in 2000. I should have gotten around to reviewing The Demolished Man long ago, considering its historic importance as the first Hugo winner, but it took a commitment of reviewing all of the Hugo and Nebula winners to remedy that situation.
9/18/10 - I've just uploaded three new pages. One is a profile page on James Blish, another is a review of his Hugo-winning novel A Case of Conscience. Third, I've created a "main" page for him considering there are now several pages devoted to his work, with some others to come in the (hopefully) near future.
6/21/09 - A review that combines the author and film categories, Harlan Ellison: Dreams With Sharp Teeth.
5/17/09 - Crap! A year has gone by without a book review. Someone needs to reprimand me about that. :-) This time I take a look at Robert J. Sawyer's Flashforward from 1999, which happens to be the basis of a new ABC series due to premiere this fall.
5/19/08 - Damn, it's been a long time. Finally a new book review, John Varley's Rolling Thunder.
9/9/07 - I've just uploaded a short review of the sixth book in E. E. Knight's Vampire Earth series, Valentine's Resolve.
5/27/07 - More shiny Firefly goodness! Here's my review of Titan Books new publication, Firefly Companion: Volume Two.
4/4/07 - I continue my review of E. E. Knight's Vampire Earth series, the latest title of which is Valentine's Exile.
10/13/06 - My review of Variable Star, a new novel by Spider Robinson, based on an outline and notes from Robert Heinlein.
10/3/06 - My review of Titan Books' Firefly: The Official Companion, Volume One.
7/16/06 - My review of John Varley's Red Lightning.
6/11/06 - ekt give us his thoughts on the Time Quartet series of books by Madeleine L'Engle.
5/14/06 - Michael Woodard now takes a look at Building Harlequin's Moon, a collaborative novel from Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper.
5/2/06 - Michael Woodard agains adds to existing reviews, with thoughts on Eyes of the Calculor, the concluding book in Sean McMullen's Greatwinter Trilogy, as well as a look at the second book in Peter Watts' Rifter's Trilogy, Maelstrom.
4/23/06 - It has been one year and three days since I last posted a book review. A bit discouraging of course, but I will endeavor to do better in the future. As with the last one, the new review is also a continuation of my look at E. E. Knight's Vampire Earth series. If you have not read any of that review (or any of the books) click on that link, or if you would like to jump directly to the latest update, click on this title - Valentine's Rising.
3/27/06 - Michael Woodard has some very good things to say about Starfish, the first book in Peter Watts' Rifters Trilogy.
3/5/06 - Michael Woodard's on a roll! He has added to his review of Sean McMullen's Greatwinter Trilogy with his thoughts on the second book - The Miocene Arrow.
3/1/06 - Two new reviews by Michael Woodard - the first book in Sean McMullen's Greatwinter Trilogy, Souls in the Great Machine and Gary Tigerman's The Orion Protocol.
2/16/06 - The Dread Empire's Fall series reviewed by Michael Woodard.
3/20/05 - At long last, another book review, a continuation of my look at E. E. Knight's Vampire Earth series with the latest installment, Tale of the Thunderbolt.
7/25/04 - I am pleased to present a new author profile page on Bob Shaw from a new contributor, and hopefully we will see more pages from him in the future. David Longhorn is from the UK and edits a periodical called Supernatural Tales. He found Templeton Gate through a search for info on Olaf Stapledon, then contacted me with compliments on the site and an inquiry of whether he could submit some things. I may have read something by Shaw, but darned if I can recall anything right now, although several of the titles I am familiar with. But from what David has to say about him I think I need to be on the lookout for some of his books.
6/20/04 - My review of Neil Gaiman's Hugo and Nebula winning novel, American Gods.
6/13/04 - A continuation of my review of E. E. Knight's Vampire Earth series, with my thoughts on the second novel, Choice of the Cat.
5/21/04 - My review of E. E. Knight's first novel, Way of the Wolf, which is the first in his Vampire Earth series.
3/2/04 - I've just uploaded my review of David Brin's Hugo Award nominated Kiln People.
1/25/04 - ekt reviews Connie Willis' Hugo and Nebula award-winning Doomsday Book.
1/17/04 - My review of Gene Wolfe's The Knight, part one of The Wizard Knight.
12/12/03 - My review of Heinlein's new/old novel, For Us, the Living, has just been uploaded.
11/30/03 - SFExplorer now takes a look at the graphic novel Orbiter by Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran.
11/29/03 - SFExplorer's first review, of Robert J. Sawyer's 2003 Hugo-winning novel Hominids.
11/18/03 - Raedom returns with two different book reviews: James P. Hogan's The Mirror Maze and Theodore Sturgeon's Case and the Dreamer.
(9/8/03) - My review of John Varley's Red Thunder.
(9/7/03) - Padre Mellyrn reviews Orson Scott Card's Ender & Homecoming Series.
(9/1/03) - My review of Spider Robinson's The Free Lunch
(8/24/03) - My review of Roger MacBride Allen's Orphan of Creation
(8/17/03) - My profile of author David Gerrold
(8/3/03) - Raedom's newest review concerns two books by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth - The Space Merchants/The Merchants' War.
(7/24/03) - Raedom reviews James Blish's Cities In Flight.
(7/9/03) - My review of David Gerrold's four book series of the War Against the Chtorr.
(5/24/03) - My review of Charles Douglas Hayes' Portals in a Northern Sky.
(5/10/03) -wracked presents his second book review, of Mike Resnick's 1986 novel Santiago.
(3/23/03) - I am very pleased to present Raedom's first review, of David Gerrold's classic novel When Harlie Was One.
My review of Hyperthought, the debut novel from M. M. Buckner.
A new book review by tenavari
Chris Exner (tenavari on the forums) review's Slave Ship by Frederik Pohl.
Yet another recruit signs on!
A new poster at the forums, tenavari (Chris Exner) has sent me a very good article concerning "In Search of the Rare and Out of Print on the Internet." He has also promised other book reviews in the near future.
Another new reviewer at Templeton Gate!
wracked has written a review of a book he has mentioned several times (and which I have recently read, thanks to him) - Glen Cook's The Dragon Never Sleeps. Hope you enjoy it.
ekt favors us with a new article, on the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.
My review of an early Heinlein novel, Beyond This Horizon.
My review of David Gerrold's recent trilogy, The Dingilliad.
Starflight's first review is of Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Voyage 2.
Ogre3000's second comic review is about Joe's Comics, creations of J. Michael Straczynski.
Padre Mellyrn reviews Beowulf's Children by Niven, Pournelle & Barnes.
A confused review of some confusing books, Gene Wolfe's "Sun" Sagas (The Books of the New Sun, Long Sun, and Short Sun).
Ogre3000 reviews the comic compilation of Manhunter.
ekt's review of Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series.
A review of Allies and Aliens by Roger MacBride Allen
Asimov's Robot & Foundation Chronology
Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy
Isaac Asimov's I, Robot
Harlan Ellison's Screenplay for I, Robot
The SF&F Hall of Fame Inductees
Dual Award Winners
My Hugo/Nebula Awards Rant
Heinlein's Future History
The Heinlein Juveniles
I have also provided the contents pages from:
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 1 (short stories)
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 2 (novellas/novelletes)
The Fantasy Hall of Fame (short stories)
General Information Articles
Science Fiction: A Primer
Science Fiction: Where to Start
Science Fiction References
Science Fiction vs Fantasy
My 1st Rant - Out of Print Books
My 2nd - Hugo/Nebula Awards Rant
And 3rd - Hugogate (or Puppygate if you prefer)
My Worldcon Experience - MidAmericon2
A Selection of Author Essays & Reviews (not a complete list, see above)
Brian W. Aldiss
Roger MacBride Allen
J. G. Ballard
David Brin - profiled by Eliza DoLots
Kiln People - reviewed by Galen
Orson Scott Card - Ender & Homecoming series reviewed by Padre Mellyrn
C. J. Cherryh - Downbelow Station reviewed by Galen
Arthur C. Clarke
Glen Cook - The Dragon Never Sleeps reviewed by wracked
Samuel R. Delany
Philip K. Dick
Philip Jose Farmer
Lynn Flewelling - the Nightrunner series reviewed by ekt
Neil Gaiman - American Gods and The Graveyard Book reviewed by Galen
Robert A. Heinlein
James P. Hogan - The Mirror Maze reviewed by Raedom
Daniel Keyes - Flowers for Algernon reviewed by Galen
Ursula K. LeGuin
Fritz Leiber - The Big Time and The Wanderer reviewed by Galen
Stanislaw Lem - The Futurological Congress reviewed by Galen
Sean McMullen - Souls in the Great Machine reviewed by Michael Woodard
Walter M. Miller, Jr. - A Canticle for Leibowitz reviewed by Galen
Ward Moore - Bring the Jubilee reviewed by Galen
Larry Niven - Ringworld reviewed by Galen
Alexei Panshin - Rite of Passage reviewed by Galen
Edgar Allan Poe
Philip Pullman - His Dark Materials reviewed by ekt
Mike Resnick - Santiago reviewed by wracked
Kim Stanley Robinson - Mars Trilogy, 2312 and Aurora reviewed by Galen
Spider Robinson - The Free Lunch reviewed by Galen
Variable Star (w/Heinlein) - reviewed by Galen
Robert J. Sawyer - Hominids reviewed by SFExplorer
Flashforward reviewed by Galen
Bob Shaw - profiled by David Longhorn
Clifford D. Simak
Dan Simmons - Hyperion reviewed by Galen
Neal Stephenson - Seveneves reviewed by Galen
Theodore Sturgeon - Case and the Dreamer reviewed by Raedom
Michael Swanwick - Stations of the Tide reviewed by Galen
Gary Tigerman - The Orion Protocol reviewed by Michael Woodard
James Tiptree, Jr.
Kate Wilhelm - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang reviewed by Galen
Walter Jon Williams - Dread Empire's Fall reviewed by Michael Woodard
Robert Charles Wilson - Spin reviewed by Galen
John Wyndham - The Midwich Cuckoos and Day of the Triffids reviewed by Galen
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