Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 283)

TRAITOR'S SUN by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"One unexpected detail: Adrienne Martine-Barnes (Master of Earth and Water, with Diana L. Paxson) appears in the copyright notice but is mentioned neither on the cover nor on the title page."
A new novel of Darkover, the actions occurring 15 years after those described in Exile's Song (1996). Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 20, 1998

"Concerns that in Barnes's fine novels may be assets, or minor flaws—density; limited originality; pedestrian writing—become problems in the shorter format; annoying, too, is the presumption of a largely teenaged audience."
Barnes's first collection, comprising 13 stories, including four previously unpublished, and eight essays, is divided, obscurely, into sections headed "While you Wait," "For the End," "Let Us Spend some Time," and "Talking to People Who Aren't There." Read full book review >

THE RADIANT SEAS by Catherine Asaro
Released: Dec. 7, 1998

"Despite the spectacular science, the milieu is Star Wars space fantasy, and should find its natural audience thereabouts."
More romancing and high-tech saber-rattling in the far future: a sequel to Primary Inversion (1995), as the Skolian Empire again squares off against the feudal Traders and their sadistic Aristo leaders. Read full book review >
THE IRON LANCE by Stephen R. Lawhead
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

"Familiar fare for Lawhead fans, watery gruel for outsiders or newcomers."
Historical fantasy and first of a "generational epic," so the publisher informs us, from Lawhead (Byzantium,1996, etc.), etc. Things get off to a poor start as Lawhead employs a trite, clumsy framing device. Read full book review >
THE LADY IN THE LOCH by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

"Sadly, the homicidally forlorn lover is so industrious in his scarifying work that fantasist Scarborough (The Godmother's Apprentice, 1995, etc.) has little time to spare for the puir wee lady in the loch."
Hardly has aspiring author Walter Scott (yes, that Walter Scott) assumed the post of Edinburgh's sheriff than the city is rocked by a crime spree out of The Silence of the Lambs. Read full book review >

DARKEST DESIRE by Anthony Schmitz
Released: Nov. 26, 1998

"An artful, ironic updating of venerable material, done with zest and great originality."
A mordantly witty, slyly intelligent take on the Brothers Grimm and their folktales, as seen from the viewpoint of a man-eating (or, more precisely, child-eating) wolf that they attempt to subdue. Read full book review >
STARFARERS by Poul Anderson
Released: Nov. 24, 1998

"An episodic, disconcerting mix of mind-boggling ideas, thrilling storytelling, dull padding, and characters-by-numbers, set forth in Anderson's patented outlandish, antique prose: probably his best-ever full-length outing."
Far-future cosmic epic from the veteran author of The Fleet of Stars (1997), etc. Early in the next century, speed-of-light starships become feasible, while astronomers discover that, 5,000 light-years distant, another race is already using starships. Read full book review >
PLAYING GOD by Sarah Zettel
Released: Nov. 17, 1998

"A taut, thoroughly captivating yarn, with splendid characters, a gratifyingly substantial sociobiological base, and one intractable problem: Armed with nukes and missiles, how did the Dedelphi avoid exterminating themselves long before humans showed up?"
Hardcover debut for the author of a couple of well-received science fiction paperbacks (Fool's War, etc.). Read full book review >
THE CLEFT by Gahan Wilson
Released: Nov. 13, 1998

"Read at your own peril."
Wilson (Everybody's Favorite Duck, 1988, etc.), the master cartoonist of the macabre, returns with 23 chuckles in the dark, plucked from Playboy, Omni, and elsewhere, covering the last 35 years or so. Read full book review >
DRAGON by Steven Brust
Released: Nov. 12, 1998

"Structured on several interlocking levels so as to keep the reader both fascinated and off-balance, full of wit and wisecracks, with a self-deprecating hero who manages to come out on top: a splendid caper that welcomes newcomers, while existing fans will pounce."
First hardcover appearance for Brust's established paperback fantasy series featuring the assassin Vlad Taltos, although several of his other yarns are set in the same fantasy world (Five Hundred Years After, 1994, etc.). Read full book review >
THE GOOD OLD STUFF by Gardner Dozois
Released: Nov. 11, 1998

"Don't let these Golden Oldies disappear into limbo: adopt some today."
A substantial collection of 16 grand old adventure yarns'space operas, more or less—written between 1948 and —71 and compiled by editor Dozois (the annual Year's Best Science Fiction anthology, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 10, 1998

"But still, unfortunately, there's not much here to snag a reader's beyond an assembly-line sleuth and humdrum story."
In a fourth outing, Tony Lowell, photographer/p.i. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kathleen Kent
author of THE DIME
February 20, 2017

Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart. Good thing for Betty Rhyzyk she's from a family of take-no-prisoners Brooklyn police detectives. But in Kathleen Kent’s new novel The Dime, her Big Apple wisdom will only get her so far when she relocates to The Big D, where Mexican drug cartels and cult leaders, deadbeat skells and society wives all battle for sunbaked turf. Betty is as tough as the best of them, but she's deeply shaken when her first investigation goes sideways. Battling a group of unruly subordinates, a persistent stalker, a formidable criminal organization, and an unsupportive girlfriend, the unbreakable Detective Betty Rhyzyk may be reaching her limit. “Violent, sexy, and completely absorbing,” our critic writes in a starred review. “Kent's detective is Sam Spade reincarnated—as a brilliant, modern woman.” View video >