Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 277)

THE WOOD WIFE by Terri  Windling
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"A splendid desert enchantment that flows with its own eerie logic—arresting, evocative, and well worked out despite the entirely superfluous last couple of chapters."
Distinctive contemporary fantasy set in the Arizona desert, from the well-known editor (the annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, with Ellen Datlow, etc.). Read full book review >
YON ILL WIND by Piers Anthony
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Fluff, just the thing for pun-happy funsters."
Another Xanth yarn from Anthony (Geis of the Gargoyle, 1995, etc.), again structured like an interactive computer game to capture the attention of today's youth. Read full book review >

EMBER FROM THE SUN by Mark Canter
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"An effective blend of scientific fact and shamanistic fancy, one that weaves a genuinely magic spell. (First printing of 100,000; Literary Guild selection; author tour)"
Neanderthals (who disappeared from the world 40,000 years ago) get a new lease on life in this impressive, engrossing debut novel. Read full book review >
THE SPARROW by Mary Doria Russell
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Shades of Wells, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Arthur C. Clarke, with just a dash of Edgar Rice Burroughs—and yet strikingly original, even so. (Book- of-the-Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club selection)"
Brilliant first novel about the discovery of extraterrestrial life and the voyage of a party of Jesuit missionaries to Alpha Centauri. Read full book review >
THE THIRD PANDEMIC by Pierre Ouellette
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Very scary, a fabulously grisly amusement not to be read in bed. (Author tour)"
A plague novel, chockablock with microbiological weirdness and humans who behave at times with about as much conscience as microbes: a story as absorbingly ambitious as Ouellette's debut fiction (The Deus Machine, 1994). Read full book review >

WITCHLIGHT by Marion Zimmer Bradley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Less than fully beguiling—the ending is notably weak and anticlimactic—but much improved over Ghostlight, with better characters, a believable plot, some gripping incidents, and a minimum of dangling threads."
Another psychic/occult case for Truth Jourdemayne (Ghostlight, 1995), though here the main character is former Wall Street high- flyer Winter Musgrave, who, though she's discharged herself from a psychiatric clinic, can remember little of her past and seems to be haunted by a destructive poltergeist with an affinity for electrical power. Read full book review >
THE WALL OF THE SKY, THE WALL OF THE EYE by Jonathan Lethem
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Frown, shrug, pass on."
Seven long stories—five reprints, two originals—from the author of Amnesia Moon (1995), etc. In ``The Happy Man,'' a dead man is brought back to life so he can support his family. Read full book review >
DARKENHEIGHT by Douglas Niles
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Again, bristly and energetic, and commendably self-contained, but with neither the craft nor the originality to stand out in a cluttered and overblown field."
Second volume of the Watershed trilogy (A Breach in the Watershed, 1995), set in a world divided by lofty mountains into three provinces: mundane Dalethica; Faerine, realm of the good- magic Aura; and Duloth-Trol, source of the evil-magic Darkblood. Read full book review >
STARLIGHT 1 by Patrick Nielsen Hayden
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

First of a new series of original anthologies, with the next volume to appear in 1998. Read full book review >
HUMPTY DUMPTY by Damon Knight
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Weird, amusing, confusing, arresting, and yet the whole is disappointingly less that the sum of the myriad, often wonderful, parts."
Distinguished editor, writer, and critic Knight's new novel (after A Reasonable World, 1993, etc.) opens in Milan, where Wellington ``Bill'' Stout—he ``travels in ladies' underwear''—is shot in the head while dining in a restaurant. Read full book review >
THE PRICE OF BLOOD AND HONOR by Elizabeth Willey
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Bloated and ordinary, then, and largely unsatisfying."
Direct sequel to A Sorcerer and a Gentleman (1995), as the latter title wasn't to The Well-Favored Man (1993), though it was confusingly similar. Read full book review >
THE GOLDEN KEY by Melanie Rawn
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"In overall effect, this resembles nothing so much as a fantasy soap opera on a grand scale—exactly as might be expected from the authors' previous work."
A ``shared world'' trilogy in one volume, offering connected novels by three of this publisher's most popular authors (the credits page lists over two dozen of their previous works), collaborating for the first time. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >