Re: Odyssey

Considering my resistance to children in stories, I was beginning to worry I was being too much of a curmudgeon. But I can see I have some learning to do if I want to be nearly as grumpy as Gregory McAllister. The dominant voice in Odyssey, by Jack McDevitt, Mac is an editor with a […]

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Re: In The New Moon’s Arms

After all this space opera and time travel and scifi, I was ready to read something truly human as I cracked open In the New Moon’s Arms, by Nalo Hopkinson. The book opens with the funeral of Calamity’s father, and Calamity is trying to hide her laughter over Mrs. Winter losing her drawers. Calamity herself […]

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Re: Ragamuffin

Back at Boskone 44, I heard Tobias S. Buckell explain how he pulled together a list of all the cool stuff he wanted to see in a book–and then he wrote the book. And another one. Lots of cool stuff and great action. The hero of Ragamuffin is Nashara, a superhuman warrior woman, the last […]

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Re: Memorare

In “Memorare,” by Gene Wolfe, March Wildspring is a producer, filming a documentary about memorials orbiting Jupiter near the places where people died trying to colonize the solar system. Like the pyramids, they are booby-trapped. The narrator of his films, his beloved Kit, brings along an assistant, a woman who hides until she’s forced to […]

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Re: Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse

In “Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse,” by Andy Duncan, Father Leggett, a priest in Savannah of the early 30s, receives a peculiar phone message taken by the church secretary. OCONNORS MARY PRIEST? CHICKEN! He meets Mary O’Connors, a little girl with a frizzled chicken she calls Jesus Christ. It’s the best name, you know. As […]

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Re: Awakening

In “Awakening,” by Judith Berman, Aleya awakes among the dead, escapes, and explores a world that has changed since she last lived. She too has changed, but she refuses to believe that she is a revenant cloaking her unholy passions with memories of life. Buffeted by the magics of a witchwoman, shaman, and the sorcerer […]

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Re: The Accidental Time Machine

If you’d like a taste of The Accidental Time Machine, by Joe Haldeman, it’s worth listening to this interview from November 2006. He gives a great reading from the first chapters, in which Matt Fuller, lab assistant and sometime grad student at MIT, stumbles on a calibrator that’s taking tiny little jumps into the future. […]

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Re: The Story of Love

“The Story of Love”, by Vera Nazarian, opens with an interesting passage offering the thesis that love unifies two opposites into something like steel. Then we meet Crea, who has just been beaten by her father, carefully, so as not to spoil her beauty. We learn that her father, Nahad, grieves for her mother, as […]

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Re: The Helper and His Hero

“The Helper and His Hero,” by Matthew Hughes is the latest installment of Guth Bandar’s adventures in the noösphere, a shared dreamspace. In the waking world, Guth Bandar is on a journey into the Swept, to investigate whether the gravitional anomalies there can affect the noösphere. The story is filled with picaresque inventions: the Swept […]

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Re: Stars Seen Through Stone

Vernon is a small-time regional music producer who landed in Black William, Pennsylvania with his (now) ex-wife, Andrea, when their car broke down. Perhaps because he’s recounting events that happened ten years before the main action of the story, the opening passage of “Stars Seen Through Stone,” by Lucius Shephard, sounds stiff in its formality […]

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