Review copies

I'm never going to get caught up on all my reading, am I?

I’m never going to get caught up on all my reading, am I?

So, courtesy of Tor Books, Peter Orullian’s THE UNREMEMBERED, Melanie Rawn’s WINDOW WALL, and Daryl Gregory’s HARRISON SQUARED. Courtesy of DAW Books, Margaret Fortune’s NOVA.


Brief books anecdote: remember those Carrie Bebris Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mysteries that showed up here last week? So I was reading the first one, halfway through. I put it down for a while, and my mother wanders past – “Oh, a new mystery series! You don’t mind if I borrow it?”

“I’m sort of in the middle of it…”

I go looking for the book later, only to discover that it has been abducted. And that, dear friends, is why I probably won’t be finishing it anytime soon…

Review copies since last we spoke

Tor Books’ publicity department has sent me unexpected bounty – half of which I already have in ARC, and at least one of which I have no desire to read at all. (Benford and Niven’s Shipstar.)

Supervised by an interested Vladimir...

Supervised by an interested Vladimir…

So that’s Elizabeth Bear’s excellent STELES OF THE SKY; Rjurik Davidson’s certainly-not-to-my-taste UNWRAPPED SKY; Melanie Rawn’s THORNLOST, third book in a series; Tom Doyle’s military fantasy AMERICAN CRAFTSMEN; Sharon Lynn Fisher’s science fiction romance THE OPHELIA PROPHECY; and Benford and Niven’s SHIPSTAR.

Reviews elseweb

Deb Taber’s Necessary Ill, at

Necessary Ill, Deb Taber’s debut novel (out of Aqueduct Press) is a difficult read, but a worthy one. Difficult, because it asks hard questions and refuses easy answers; and because it demands you extend your sympathy to all sides: mass-murderers, liars, haters, the wounded and the bereaved and the betrayed.

M.C. Planck’s The Kassa Gambit, in this quarter’s

Planck seems like an auspicious name for a science fiction novelist. With The Kassa Gambit, his debut, Australian-based M.C. Planck presents an auspicious if flawed start to his career.

Felix Gilman’s The Rise of Ransom City, also in

It’s always interesting to read a novel written in the style and manner of a memoir. Such a book (fictional or not) succeeds or fails, rises or falls, on the vividness of the memoirist’s personality and the observed details of the surrounding world. The reader who enjoys the memoirist’s company and tone will find digressions and side-roads diverting: the reader who finds it tolerably entertaining will have less patience, and require more in the way of narrative coherence and identifiable character growth, to maintain a feeling of investment in the ultimate outcome.

Melanie Rawn’s Touchstone, also in

It’s been over a decade – fifteen years, if we’re counting each and every one – since Melanie Rawn last published a solo work of second-world fantasy, The Mageborn Traitor. Before the long hiatus in her career, Rawn’s track record leaned to the sprawling family-saga, with a knack for believable interpersonal relationships and narratives that take years to come to ultimate fruition. Touchstone, the first in a new series and a new milieu, could not possibly live up to the weight of expectation this reviewer placed upon it. To its credit, it is a book that disappoints far less than it could have.

Yes, I’m the only review-writer for Ideo’s Spring 2013 issue. Fortunately there’s a bit more variety in the stories and poems. I recommend you take a look, and if the spirit moves you, donate. (Donations help pay for short fiction and poetry. I am not working there for pay.)