Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 283)

ARCHANGEL by Sharon Shinn
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1996

"Highly encouraging work overall."
An odd, science fiction/fantasy hybrid from the author of the 1995 paperback The Shape-Changer's Wife. Read full book review >
MAN O' WAR by William Shatner
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 16, 1996

"As for the rest, Shatner will have to do better than stock situations, hackneyed plotting, and such ludicrous Trekkisms as spaceships with built-in gravity and instantaneous communications between Mars and Earth."
First of a new cycle from the author of the interminable Tek series, this set in the mid-21st century and featuring grumpy fiftysomething career diplomat Benton Hawkes. Read full book review >

I WAS AMELIA EARHART by Jane Mendelsohn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 1996

"Strange, slight, but wonderful: a modest portrait that manages to create some moments of exceptional intensity and power of feeling."
First-novelist Mendelsohn gives us Amelia Earhart's fictive autobiography, written as a message in a bottle from the desert island on which she spent her last days. Read full book review >
THIS DAY ALL GODS DIE by Stephen R. Donaldson
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 15, 1996

"Not quite as apocalyptic as the title suggests, though there's more than enough anguish, woe, and screeching metal to keep addicts hooked; for Donaldson, it's almost an upbeat conclusion."
Fifth and final part—maybe—of Donaldson's hypercomplicated galactic Gap saga (Chaos and Order, 1994, etc.). Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 5, 1996

"Excellent in all departments."
Nebula Award winners for 1994, as voted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America: eleven stories, three poems, seven essays examining the year's fiction, Frank M. Robinson's tribute to the late Robert Bloch (Psycho, etc.), and Kathi Maio's look at the year's movies. Read full book review >

THE WARRIOR RETURNS by Allan Cole
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"Stands alone, more or less, but series fans are the intended, and most likely, recipients."
The fourth and last book in the Far Kingdoms series—former co-author Chris Bunch having taken his business elsewhere—is a sequel to The Warrior's Tale (1994) and features the same protagonist and narrator—the warrior and sorceress Rali Emilie Antero. Read full book review >
RIDING SHOTGUN by Rita Mae Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"Brown's meticulously researched descriptions of Virginia's colonial life, as well as her dead-on ridicule of modern-day bad behavior, bring vigor to a tale that's otherwise not a coherent whole."
The prolific Brown (Pay Dirt, 1995, etc.) takes a high-risk plot device—time travel—and attempts to meld it with reincarnation, romance, and contemporary satire. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

Alternate-world yarns exert an endless fascination: for one, because other worlds are scientifically respectable (modern particle theory admits the possibility); for another, the godlike power offered by historical what-ifs (for instance, what-if the Nazis had won WW II? Read full book review >
A MAN BETRAYED by J.V. Jones
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"Better than volume one, with some feminist teeth showing; but what a pity that Jones didn't make the effort to render each entry independently intelligible."
Second part of Jones's sprawling, hardworking fantasy (The Baker's Boy, 1995). Read full book review >
CRADLE OF SPLENDOR by Patricia Anthony
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"Mesmerizing, full of terrible insights, deeply disturbing, and quite unforgettable, confirming Anthony as the powerhouse of 1990s science fiction."
Anthony's new venture (Happy Policeman, 1994, etc.) is set in a near-future Brazil whose president, Ana Maria Bonfim, has engineered a social and economic miracle. Read full book review >
ONE FOR THE MORNING GLORY by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"Not as compelling as Barnes's superior sf, but his fans shouldn't be too disappointed."
Following a streak of science fiction successes (Kaleidoscope Century, 1995, etc.), Barnes takes a stab at light fantasy. Read full book review >
BLEAK SEASONS by Glen Cook
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"Some good ideas, and intriguingly structured, but theatrical and with far too little action to attract readers unfamiliar with the series."
From the author of Tower of Fear (1989), the first hardcover appearance for an established paperback military fantasy series about the Black Company, a sort of extended family of mercenary warriors. 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 >