Category Archives: Reviews

The two of them

Being a Review of My Real Children by Jo Walton. [Note: A version of this review appears in the June 2016 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction, #334.  Many thanks to them for their kind support of my writing.] Snakes in the Garden The snake of Uncertainty starts to take up residence …

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Science Fiction That Can Change Our Future

This link on Slate caught my eye because I recognized the Oryx and Crake cover art (so, yes, I am reading the book). As part of their “Can We Imagine Our Way to a Better Future?” event, The New America Foundation asked some sci-fi writers to recommend some reading for 2016 presidential candidate. The list …

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Save vs. existential angst

On Boing Boing, Ethan Gilsdorf is reporting on the publication of the latest volume in Wiley’s popular culture and philosophy series: Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy.  Edited by Christopher Robichaud, a lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, this volume investigates the uses (and abuses) of philosophical concepts like free …

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A literary paean to Leibowitz

Jon Michaud in The New Yorker is offering up an insightful look at Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz.  In addition to name-checking some of the Usual Suspects (Orwell’s 1984, Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, Wells’s War of the Worlds), he also places Miller’s work in context with current examples of apocalyptic literature, such as Colson Whitehead’s …

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By the beating of my mechanical heart …

Being a Review of Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution, edited by Ann VanderMeer. [Note: A version of this review appears in the August 2014 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction, #312.  Many thanks for their kind support of my writing.] It starts, for me, with Jules Verne. The images of steampunk are all …

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The Shadow Thieves Review

The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu is the tale of young girl Charlotte and her cousin Zachary (aka Zee) who become embroiled in a plot to take over the realm of Hades.  Set in the modern day US and England (the US city is never mentioned, but it is clearly Minneapolis, for those who care), …

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Down, down to the Hudson Sea

Edgar Pangborn wrote science fiction intermittently during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s.  He is most remembered for his philosophical debate about human nature and our propensity to either excel or incinerate ourselves, A Mirror for Observers.  Being remembered is not one of his best characteristics, alas, as he was the 3rd winner of the Cordwainer …

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The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination

A collection of short stories using Mad Science! as a collective theme.  As a big fan of mad science, I couldn’t resist.  Overall, I liked the book, with a couple of stories standing out.  Individual capsules follow. Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List – Austin Grossman I enjoyed this tale, more for the monologuing than …

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Where on Earth are Outer Space and the Inner Lands?

Being a Long(ish) Review of The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin. [Note: A version of this review appeared in the August 2013 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction, #300 (available for free download at Weightless Books).  Many thanks for their kind support of my writing.] Morality …

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A Natural History of Dragons

Being a reblog of the Little Red Reviewer‘s review of A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. In early 2012 I found my favorite book of 2012. I figured it was a fluke, as how can you read something and know nothing else could compare? it’s only March of 2013, and yet again, I …

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