Book Review Archive

Dark Doses is, as the title suggests, a series of glimpses into the dark imaginings of author Todd Thorne’s mind. If the title and stories themselves aren’t sufficient indicators, the author makes a point of proudly espousing his love for dark and twisted tales. True to his word, in Dark Doses Thorne delivers seven stories set in bleak futures, featuring sometimes torturous circumstances, characters with darkened hearts, and occasional twists of fate or consequence reminiscent of The Twilight Zone... 






John Scalzi’s Redshirts explores the reliable trope of expendable extras prevalent in the realm of classic sci-fi television. Though clearly a comedic look through the eyes of these hapless, perpetual victims, Redshirts is remarkable for its excursions into existentialism and postmodernism. What’s more, owing in part to the three codas tacked on to the story’s end, much like bonus features on a DVD, there’s an unmistakable degree of tenderness underlying the overall narrative. These elements, interwoven with fast-paced and endlessly amusing dialogue, combine to create a story told with terrific depth and nuance, one which leaves the reader not only entertained, but thoroughly satisfied...





The Man in the Seventh Row, film journalist Brian Pendreigh’s debut novel, is not particularly easy to summarize. Part surrealism in the vein of The Twilight Zone, part bittersweet, nostalgic narrative reminiscent of Jean Shepherd’s In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, part romance rife with loss and redemption, The Man in the Seventh Row is many things, converging around the central theme of escapism by way of the cinema...









David Brin's Existence is, from the outset, quite challenging to summarize, at least if any semblance of brevity is to be maintained. A wealth of future history, countless, fully-developed characters, and a span of decades that only hint at eons to come all combine within the boundaries of this single volume. In this subgenre-bending work of hard social science fiction Brin delivers far more than a story, crafting for the reader an expert analysis of not only our present situation as a people, but the possible futures of civilization itself...








Ben Bova is a unique figure in the world of science fiction. Though he has authored well over a hundred titles, Bova is perhaps best known to fans of the genre for having helmed Analog magazine following the sudden death of founder John W. Campbell in 1971. Bova garnered six Hugo Awards during his time at Analog, but more than these he also acquired a wealth of experience with science fiction’s roots in the pulp stories of the Golden Age. The essence of the pulp era is on prominent display, shining brightly throughout his latest work, Orion and King Arthur...







In simplest terms, speculative fiction—of which science fiction is but one sub-category—can be defined as a genre intent on conjuring answers to “what if” questions. In Energized, physicist and computer scientist Edward M. Lerner employs his technological acumen in weaving a host of such questions into a richly thrilling fictional fabric...









Absurdly surreal, and surreally absurd, The Rapture of the Nerds: A Tale of the Singularity, Posthumanity, and Awkward Social Situations is a challenging book to summarize. A collaborative effort between digital-era demigod Cory Doctorow and science fiction juggernaut Charles Stross, the novel is, at times, humorously poignant; at others, more humorously profane. It is a farcical caricature of an impossible future, populated by the warped result of modern humankind's metaphysical spaghettification after passing through the pinpoint opening of the Technological Singularity...






At first glance, Falling Under—the debut novel of Canadian stage actress and playwright Danielle Younge-Ullman—appears to be a rather simple tale, recounting the interpersonal struggles of a troubled young woman attempting to recover from a challenging past. However, just beneath the veneer of the title’s basic description lies a multifaceted story every bit as nuanced as human nature itself. 





Author James L. Cambias has been writing for decades, in the form of support material for role-playing games and a number of award-nominated short stories. With A Darkling Sea, his first full novel, he presents a mixed bag of the best sort.
                            
The novel is set in a future that sees humankind traveling through “gimelspace”—which reads as a less-generic moniker for “hyperspace”—to reach distant, alien worlds. Their first encounter, with the ancient Sholen, is well behind them by the time A Darkling Sea has begun. The Sholen, a race that has witnessed the potential dangers of interplanetary travel first-hand, act as a policing organization, putting in place guidelines that dictate the behavior of Earth’s space-faring explorers. So it is that while exploring Ilmatar, the icy oceanic moon of the planet Ukko, the crew of the underwater station Hitode must research the indigenous life in secret. Contact is strictly forbidden...

Click here to read the complete review @ A Reader's Respite

No comments:

Post a Comment