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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       

Tentacles The SF Reviews newsletter, 10th April 2002

As you can see, I ran seriously late on the reviews and newsletter this month (March). This was due entirely, in my view, to Peter F. Hamiltonís inability to write short novels.

Big Science Month

It was an odd collection of reviews this month: Big Science and Space Opera. The Big Science books were Gregory Benfordís "Eater", "Mother Of Storms" by John Barnes and Bruce Sterling's "Heavy Weather", It was very enjoyable reading the latter two books one after the other Ė both are excellent and with very different treatments of similar subject matter. And of course, there was Larry Nivenís wonderful "The Ringworld Engineers" which I guess counts as Big Science if anything does.

Should I Sue The Publisher?

I zombied my way through the last fortnight of the month stuporiously reading "White Mars"; completely exhausted and slowly beginning to resemble a human metronome as I turned the several thousand pages of Peter F Hamiltonís massive trilogy, dangerously close to developing Repetitive Strain Injury (wonder if I could sue the publisher for gross irresponsibility in issuing such large books?). "The Naked God" and its predecessors were somewhat on the extravagant side Ė Honor on Steroids - and so big! Passive but enervating entertainment, like watching a Star Wars all-nighter from the front row.

Only "Happy Policeman" managed to stir me into some sort of intellectual alertness Ė I ended up really enjoying this.

Best Books This Month

There were four great books

"The Ringworld Engineers" was an excellent sequel to the fabulous "Ringworld" and it was a great pleasure to read it again. Peter F. Hamiltonís massive trilogy rated pretty highly and this first part of the first volume is the best of the set. The John Barnes and Bruce Sterling bad weather books were both, in their own distinctive ways, exhilarating.

Patricia Anthonyís "Happy Policeman" was something of a delight, second time around.

This Monthís Bad Books

There were two particularly disappointing books this month:

"Starmind" was disappointing because I always expect much more from Spider Robinson. "Timeshare" was simply juvenile.

The Reviews

Here's the list of reviews uploaded this month.

Technical Awards

The Top Bug Finder and Great Writer of the month award goes to Geoffrey A. Landis (of "Mars Crossing" fame) for identifying a bug that prevented correct displays on UNIX and Mac browsers. Iíve now relearned a basic lesson in achieving software portability: test and test again. Yikes, I could end up doing unit testing at this rate.

Next Monthís Reviews

On the stack for next month are reviews of David L. Howells "VANESSA", a couple of wonderful books by Connie Willis and another John Barnes, amongst others.

That's all for now. As always, tell me what you think about the reviews and the site. Do let me know if there are books you think I should review.

Take care

Max

(max@sfreviews.com)

 


Uploaded on the 10th April 2002
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