The Gypsy by Steven Brust and Megan Lindholm
Experienced police man Mike Stepovich anf his green partner Durand apprehend a gypsy suspected of murdering a shopkeeper. Stepovich immediately notices something strange about the gypsy and does something he's never done in his long career. He fails to turn in the knife the gypsy is carrying. Somehow he knows the gypsy is not the murderer and the knife is special. Later that night, the gypsy disappears without a trace from the police cell they are holding him in. Murder investigations are not the territory of an ordinary patrol cop but this case does not let him go, especially when the body of an old gypsy woman turns up. Again, the suspect Stepovich and his partner arrested seems to be involved and Stepovich is determined to find him. His search will lead him into a supernatural power struggle the existence of which he never suspected.
The Gypsy (1992) is an u... Read More
The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Four edited by Ellen Datlow Anything Ellen Datlow edits automatically finds a place on my list of books to read. For many years, this included...Read More
The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below by Patrick Rothfuss (story) and Nate Taylor (art) Author Patrick Rothfuss and artist Nate Taylor have teamed...Read More
The Gypsy by Steven Brust and Megan Lindholm
On this day in 1992, Super Mario Kart was released in Japan, launching the entire Mario Kart series.
Fairy Ring by Arthur Rackham
Writing, Editing, and Publishing:
The nominees for the 2014 Endeavor Awards, for a distinguished SF/F novel published by an author from the Pacific Northwest, have been announced; the winner will be announced at the next OryCon, held in Portland, OR.
The European Science Fiction Society presented awards this past weekend at the 36th Eurocon, Shamrokon in Dublin.
Finally, the Sidewise Awards (for best alternate history) and the Chesley Awards (for best science fiction or fantasy art) were awarde... Read More
A Fall of Princes by Judith Tarr
In this third novel of Judith Tarr’s AVARYAN RISING trilogy (which probably could stand alone), it’s been 15 years since the events of the previous book, The Lady of Han-Gilen. Mirain and Elian now have a teenage son named Saraven who is heir to the throne of his country. One day Saraven saves the life of Hirel, the son of the king of a neighboring kingdom. At first they have nothing in common and even despise each other, but after enduring a series of accidental adventures which include being captured and escaping a few times, the boys eventually overcome their prejudices and become friends. When they make several unsuccessful attempts to stop their fathers from destroying each others’ kingdoms, they end up resorting to a bizarre solution that shocks everybody (including me). As young leaders, they make a sacrifice to save their people, but the path they choose tu... Read More
Under a Graveyard Sky by John Ringo
I have friends who are “preppers”: people who stockpile supplies and make solid plans for what to do in the event of a natural disaster or complete collapse of society. Under a Graveyard Sky tells the story of the kind of scenario my friends have planned for, and of how the world as we know it could unravel if the Zombie Apocalypse occurred.
Steve Smith and his family are normal people who have taken serious precautions in case the world comes to an end. Some of their preparations make lots of sense, like being able to secure their home against bad weather and other disturbances. So when Steve’s brother, who shares the family outlook on disaster preparedness, alerts them to a potentially world-ending crisis, the family is prepared.
The story of a virus or other plague sweeping across the world and turning people into mindless, savage, flesh-eating... Read More
The Lady of Han-Gilen by Judith Tarr
The Lady of Han-Gilen is the second novel in Judith Tarr’s AVARYAN saga. In the first book, The Hall of the Mountain King, we met Mirain, supposedly the son of the sun god Avaryan and a human princess. Mirain appeared in Ianon, where his grandfather rules, became his heir, and fought for control of the kingdom. The story wasn’t particularly original, but I enjoyed Tarr’s style and Jonathan Davis’s audio performance.
This second installment, which can stand alone fairly well, takes place several years later and focuses on a new character: Princess Elian of Han-Gilen, foster sister of Mirain. Red-haired and independently-minded, Elian has left a trail of spurned suitors in her wake, but now she’s getting older and feeling the pressure to marry. When she finally meets a man who is good enough to match her in wits and ... Read More
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
There are a variety of ways in which a book lingers with the reader after they’ve finished. Emotional impact, imagery, character empathy, the message, and other elements have the opportunity to impress us to the point we may be unable to forget a book despite plot details fading with time. Philip K. Dick’s 1968 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? caused this kind of reaction in me. None of the aforementioned elements, however, are the reason his 37th novel hangs in my mind. It is simply the questions he asks and the myriad implications that follow.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is the story of Rick Deckard, an android bounty hunter who experiences a crisis of faith as the emotional proximity to those he is supposed to be “retiring” becomes clouded. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, man has begun inhabiting ... Read More
The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson by E.F. Benson
I had read E.F. Benson's The Horror Horn to start with (a collection of 13 of his best ghost stories), after seeing that it was considered one of the Top 100 Horror Books of all time in Newman & Jones' excellent overview volume. Each of those 13 stories was so good that I just had to have more, and so picked up this collection — The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson — of every single one of Benson's spooky tales, 54 in all. This collection certainly did not disappoint; I loved every single one of these ghost stories, and was riveted ... Read More
Omens by Kelley Armstrong
I have a confession to make. Sometimes, I cheat on the fantasy genre. That femme fatale Mystery is often the one who lures me away. This year I’ve been feeling particularly… polygenreous… and Kelley Armstrong’s Omens was just what hit the spot when I wanted to have my cake and eat it too.
The CAINSVILLE series is a departure from Armstrong’s previous work in the WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD books. It’s heavier on the mystery, lighter on the fantasy, and the heroine, Olivia Taylor-Jones, is more of a “normal human” than Elena and her fellow otherworldly women.
Olivia is a Chicago department-store heiress whose life seems set in its privileged but dull course, until the day she learns she was adopted. And that her birth parents are convicted serial killers. She finds out the same day the paparazzi do, and in short order, b... Read More
This week, Galadriel deals with one of the many problems of immortality.
Galadriel: That new big noise from the Men of Westernesse turned up again today. He kept bowing and talking, and I had to keep steering him away from anyone I'd have to introduce him to, because I can't remember if he's Arathorn or his son. They all sort of flow into each other after a couple thousand years. I'm almost sure Arathorn is dead, though, which would make this fellow some amusingly similar take on Arathorn, like just calling him Arathorn Junior wouldn't be subtle enough. Uhhh... Araborn? Aramorn? Eh, you know what? Forget it. I'll just call him Elfstone or something and pretend that's his elven nickname. Men his age love that sort of thing... at least, I think they do. How old was he again?
Bill: This week ... Read More
A Taste of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington
I’m pretty done with vampire novels. D-O-N-E. Done. It’s over. I never really liked them, but the whole genre is overblown and I’m finished with it. So why, might you be asking, did I read A Taste of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington? Because it’s Freda Freaking Warrington! I love her writing, and I couldn’t wait to experience it again, vampires or not.
A Taste of Blood Winewas first published in 1992, and is just now being re-released to the masses because we’ve finally discovered the absolute beauty of Warrington’s writing. The interesting bit of this is, Warrington wrote about vampires before they were cool. Anne Rice really broke open the vampire egg, but Warrington tapped into a vein that really hadn’t been tapped into much before then. Before her, vampires weren’t these sexy hunks that make you fall in love and swoon ... Read More