Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 284)

ARCHANGEL by Mike Conner
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Still, despite some problems with plot credibility, an intriguing and inventive hardcover debut."
In Conner's alternate 1930, a lethal hemorrhagic fever (known as Hun for its supposed origins in the German trenches of 1918) has repeatedly swept the world, leaving few white survivors; oddly, black Africans are wholly immune. Read full book review >
THE ROAD HOME by Joel Rosenberg
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Add on the nonexistent plot and absence of action—and this entry will certainly try the patience of even the most devoted series fans."
The seventh part of Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame series (The Road to Ehvenor, 1991, etc.), wherein various exiles from Earth struggle to eradicate slavery from, and introduce technology to, a world where magic works and telepathic dragons are real. Read full book review >

GEIS OF THE GARGOYLE by Piers Anthony
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Ephemeral amusement for pun-struck Xanthonauts."
Another addition to Anthony's already voluminous Xanth fantasy series (Happy Thyme, 1993, etc.). Read full book review >
EARTHFALL by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Nevertheless, it continues to impress."
Fourth in Card's series (The Ships of Earth, 1993, etc.) about the inhabitants of planet Harmony, whose ruling computer, the 40-million-year-old Oversoul, is breaking down. Read full book review >
THE DIAMOND AGE by Neal Stephenson
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 16, 1995

"All of this is staggeringly inventive and meticulously detailed, but, lacking a coherent plot and set forth in an irritatingly vainglorious style, it's ultimately soulless and uncompelling."
Stephenson (Snow Crash, 1992) imagines a 21st century in which molecular machines (nanotechnology) can create any desired object or structure. Read full book review >

THE ORDER WAR by Jr. Modesitt
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

"After a plodding start, things soon pick up, and there's one major improvement: Modesitt has—finally- -ditched his auto-destructive present-tense narrative."
Another of Modesitt's yarns about the continuing struggle between black-magic Order and white-magic Chaos (The Magic Engineer, p. 104, etc.). Read full book review >
SOUL MUSIC by Terry Pratchett
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

"This one, unfailingly amusing and sometimes hysterically funny, is recommended for anyone with the slightest trace of a sense of humor."
Perhaps best considered as parody, with strong infusions of farce and satire, Pratchett's Discworld fantasies (The Light Fantastic, 1987, etc.) consist of elliptical jokes and mad puns delivered in an unobtrusive English accent, and move to their own inimitable logic. Read full book review >
THE COMING OF VERTUMNUS by Ian Watson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 15, 1994

"A stimulating array of fervid imaginings and weird perspectives from one of England's leading purveyors of the art."
Another agreeably eclectic collection of 11 stories from Watson (Stalin's Teardrops, 1991, etc.). Read full book review >
A TIME FOR THE DEATH OF A KING by Ann Dukthas
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 9, 1994

"And the fanciful conceit of Segalla's multiple incarnations seems pointless, except presumably as motivation for sequels in other historical periods."
Following her Oxford lecture on the unsolved murder of Henry Darnley, husband of Mary Stuart, historian Ann Dukthas (yes, the character shares the pseudonymous author's name) learns from Dr. Nicholas Segalla, an appreciative member of her audience, that he has information that will clear Mary of the long-standing suspicion that she connived in Darnley's death in order to marry the Earl of Bothwell, her alleged accomplice. Read full book review >
ABOVE THE LOWER SKY by Tom Deitz
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Some readers—the younger and more credulous section of the audience—may find the snappy, briny antics here exhilarating; the far-fetched multiplicity of were-things will strike many others as just plain daft."
A hardcover debut from the author of numerous fantasy paperbacks (The Soulsmith trilogy, etc.). Read full book review >
TRAVELLERS IN MAGIC by Lisa Goldstein
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"The backdrops never appear vivid or distinctive enough to enable the reader to distinguish among the often adroit plot twists and carefully limned characters; the upshot is an agreeable but blandly amorphous blur."
Fifteen tales, including one unpublished entry, from 198494, by fantasist Goldstein (Summer King, Winter Fool, p. 349, etc.). Read full book review >
A MIRACLE OF RARE DESIGN by Mike Resnick
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Another low-key, thoughtful, absorbing entry from Resnick (Inferno, 1993, etc.)."
Xavier William Lennox, daredevil writer and scholar, is fascinated by alien peoples and cultures. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >