Re: Act One

After being disappointed by her recent runs at the Hugo, I was pleasantly surprised that I liked “Act One,” by Nancy Kress. The story asks interesting questions, raises intriguing ideas, and involves you in a world where real people might live. The characters are all grumpy in one way or another but they care about […]

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Re: The God Engines

I really didn’t expect to like “The God Engines,” by John Scalzi as much as I did. For one thing, most of his work makes me crazy. For another, the story is written in a clunky fantasy style that makes you wonder if he’s practicing for next year’s Kirk Poland. I mean, what else can […]

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Re: The City & The City

While I found The Windup Girl absorbing but unpleasant, I found The City & The City, by China Mieville more pleasant, but — up until the last third — soporific. Much of the pleasure comes from the language, not just in the prose, but in the invented languages, Besz and Illitan, and the invented cities, […]

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Re: Shambling Towards Hiroshima

Appropriately enough, I read James Morrow’s “Shambling Towards Hiroshima” all in one go while  Gamera The Invincible played on Wolfman Mac’s Chiller Drive-In. It’s 1984, and Syms J. Thorley has just won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Baltimore Imagi-Movie Society. Known as the Monogram Shambler, his real name is Isaac Margolis. His most famous […]

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Re: Boneshaker

The prologue is the most exciting part of Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest. In 1863, the Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine went on a rampage. In Seattle, there was a boom when the failed 49ers passed through to strike out for the Yukon. Angling for a commission from the Russians to drill for gold, a mad scientist, […]

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Re: Non-Zero Probabilities

Just because a story is nominated for both the Nebula and the Hugo doesn’t mean I’ll like it. And if I don’t, who cares? But if such a story was also written by someone I have known, however glancingly (she was the previous organizer of my SF Meetup), I do care.  So I put off […]

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Re: Bridesicle

Mira awakens in a cryonic drawer to a hideous situation: Men can pay to have the woman of their choice fully revived, if the woman will agree to marry them. This idea just sickens me. And yet the vivid opening of “Bridesicle,” by Will McIntosh sucked me right in.

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