Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 284)

FAIR PERIL by Nancy Springer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Witty, whimsical, and enormously appealing, if lacking the thoughtful underpinning that made Larque on the Wing (1994) such a delight."
While walking beside a Pennsylvania pond, storyteller Buffy Murphy—flabby, dowdy, fortysomething—encounters a talking frog: Prince Adamus d`Aurca, who was ensorcelled (``trans-frogrified'') a thousand years ago by the coldhearted Queen of Fair Peril (Faerie) for refusing to become her lover. Read full book review >
BLOOD BROTHERS by Steven Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Despite a few wobbles—and bad guys, for all their longevity, aren't too bright—an absorbing, ironic, and sometimes genuinely wrenching tale."
Contemporary supernatural/horror yarn, though billed as fantasy, from the author of Firedance (1993) and collaborations with Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (Beowulf's Children, 1995, etc.). Read full book review >

SILICON EMBRACE by John Shirley
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"The drawback is that Shirley's more concerned with putting across his own private theology than getting the narrative details to mesh."
A sort of companion volume to Shirley's fine alien-contact yarn, A Splendid Chaos (1988), with many of the ideas recurring or undergoing redevelopment. Read full book review >
STARSHIELD: SENTINELS by Margaret Weis
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Ambitious hogwash, guaranteed to become a huge success. (150,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
Kicking off a new series from the bestselling duo (the Death Gate cycle, most recently The Seventh Gate, 1994, etc.), Galactic affairs—involving dozens of contending empires, both human and alien—are coordinated by the Omnet, an organization dedicated to gathering and disseminating information and to recovering the Nine Oracles, a set of omniscient synthetic intelligences (``synths''), missing since the fall of an ancient empire. Read full book review >
BLOOD OF THE FOLD by Terry Goodkind
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"And so on."
Flood of the Bold somehow seems more appropriate; still, here's another adventure (Stone of Tears, 1995, etc.) for reluctant wizard Richard Cypher and his eponymous sword. Read full book review >

THE WARDING OF WITCH WORLD by Andre Norton
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 24, 1996

"A vast, rather amorphous panorama framing numerous plotlets, and set forth in the usual stilted, sometimes outlandish prose, Still, a major effort from Norton that should satisfy Witch World fans."
It's been a long time since Norton, who invented the Witch World, published a solo novel set there (The Gate of the Cat, 1987), though yarns with various collaborators have appeared with some frequency (On Wings of Magic, 1994, with Patricia Mathews and Sasha Miller, etc.). Read full book review >
NO ONE NOTICED THE CAT by Anne McCaffrey
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Thin and brief but quite appealing; McCaffrey is, as always, pleasant company."
Romantic fantasy from the author of Freedom's Landing (1995), etc. When wise old Mangan, the Regent of Esphania, dies, many of his skills and qualities seem to have been transferred to his beautiful and intelligent cat, Niffy, who at once attaches herself to the new ruler, Prince Jamas. Read full book review >
A WIZARD IN PEACE by Christopher Stasheff
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Stasheff more and more resembles Piers Anthony, both in style and prolificness."
Fourth in a series (A Wizard in Mind, 1995, etc.) about the ``wizard''—actually esp-powered—Magnus d'Armand, who now calls himself Gar Pike. Read full book review >
AUTOMATED ALICE by Jeff Noon
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Charming."
The author of the Arthur C. Clarke Award winner for 1994, Vurt, and its sequel, Pollen (published earlier this year), transports Lewis Carroll's Alice into 1998 and an altogether postmodern, alternative Manchester. Read full book review >
MOTHER OF WINTER by Barbara Hambly
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Frustrating."
A direct sequel to Hambly's earlier Darwath trilogy (The Time of the Dark, 1984, paperback original), about a fantasy world beset by evil forces (but what fantasy world isn't?) and featuring two transplanted Californians, the mage Rudy Solis and the warrior Gil Patterson. Read full book review >
REQUIEM by Graham Joyce
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"A sharp, bleak novel of psychological disintegration combined with intriguing speculations on the origins of Christianity—but possibly deflating for readers expecting a fantasy, which this, mostly, isn't."
Complex, deftly structured quasi-fantasy, established British fantasist Joyce's US debut. Read full book review >
ADIAMANTE by Jr. Modesitt
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Though the cybs and their lifestyle remain somewhat diffuse, this is thoughtful, persuasive, challenging, absorbing work: Modesitt's best so far."
Far-future clash-of-empires yarn from the author of the Recluce fantasy series (most recently, Fall of Angels, p. 496) and The Parafaith War (1995), etc. Thousands of years ago, three types of humans lived on Old Earth: the draffs, or common people; cybs with their machine-enhanced bodies and senses; and the demis, whose godlike mental powers derived from various computer and energy nets. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 6, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >