Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 284)

BROTHERS by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"An effective mix of science, politics, and family struggle in a novel that should reach a wide audience."
A biotechnical breakthrough throws two brothers into conflict in this high-tech thriller set in a "science court" in the nation's capital. Read full book review >
FIRST KING OF SHANNARA by Terry Brooks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"For those who care."
Brooks wasn't the first writer, and won't be the last, to make a career out of a single idea that captured the fantasy audiences's attention (his Magic Kingdom yarns notwithstanding). Read full book review >

INHERITOR by C.J. Cherryh
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"A familiar yet still impressive and more or less self-contained swirl of political intrigue, filtered though a memorably alien consciousness."
Third in Cherryh's alien-contact—trilogy? series?—about the humanoid alien "atevi" and the human colonists they've permitted to occupy the island of Mospheira (Invader, 1995, etc.). Read full book review >
RAMAR by Darrell T. Hare
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 27, 1996

"Pablum either way, however sellable. (First printing of 50,000; Literary Guild alternate selection)"
A first book and moral fable being compared to Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. Read full book review >
THE SILVER GRYPHON by Mercedes Lackey
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1996

"Standard fare for series regulars."
Third in the Mage Wars trilogy from the wife and husband team. Read full book review >

RICHTER 10 by Arthur C. Clarke
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1996

"Long-windedly un-Clarke-like but engagingly peopled, and, while improbable, never dull."
Collaboration between the veteran Clarke (The Hammer of God, 1993, etc.) and the late McQuay (Puppetmaster, 1991, etc.) about near-future earthquakes, politics, and environmental disaster. Read full book review >
THE TWO GEORGES by Richard Dreyfuss
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1996

"Despite the rather ponderous approach, Dreyfuss and Turtledove's might-have-been world—something like an indefinitely extended Victorian idyll—charms as it intrigues, and the above- average characters help compensate for the movie-ish sleuthing."
Alternate-world yarn from Oscar winner Dreyfuss and Hugo winner Turtledove (Worldwar: Upsetting the Balance, 1995). Read full book review >
WILDSIDE by Steven Gould
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1996

"A splendid adventure from the author of Jumper (1992), solidly plotted and with above-average characters, of particular appeal to the younger sections of the audience."
Eighteen-year-old Charlie Newell has inherited a farm from his uncle Max, and has plenty of ideas how to make money for college from it: In the barn, you see, is a tunnel with a gateway to an alternate world, the wildside, teeming with wildlife and bulging with mineral deposits, where humans never evolved. Read full book review >
THE GATES OF TWILIGHT by Paula Volsky
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1996

Another otherworld fantasy from the author of The Wolf of Winter (1993), etc. The teeming, rather backward folk of subtropical Aveshq are dominated, politically and economically, by the brisk, progressive Vonahrish—the obvious model being the British occupation of India. Read full book review >
WORLD WITHOUT END by Molly Cochran
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1996

"A yarn that begins engagingly enough but grows increasingly gnarled and absurd, with an ending compounded of equal parts hokum and the saccharine: for die-hard Atlanteans only."
Fantasy involving psychic powers, Atlantis, reincarnation, and sinister conspiracies, from the authors of The Forever King (1992). Read full book review >
THE JIGSAW WOMAN by Kim Antieau
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1996

"A powerful and impressive statement, with lots of complicated scenarios, relationships, and symbols, though descriptive rather than prescriptive."
Antieau's amorphous debut, having no truck with orthodox novelistic ambitions, takes the form of an extended feminist polemic. Read full book review >
ECHOES OF ISSEL by Diann Thornley
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1996

"Lots of psychologizing and chat, with precious little action: a sub-par entry in what's shaping up to be a long dull series, of interest chiefly to teenaged armchair warriors."
Sequel to Ganwold's Child (1995), Thornley's second military sf venture. 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 >