Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 288)

CHOOSERS OF THE SLAIN by James H. Cobb
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 6, 1996

"First- rate military suspense."
A genuinely exciting debut yarn detailing how America's blue- water Navy might do battle with an unlikely foe a decade hence. Read full book review >
CLOUDS END by Sean Stewart
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"While originality is always welcome, this sort of unquantifiable froth—vague, flimsy plot, indistinguishable characters, elusive backdrop and all—will satisfy few readers."
Peculiar, nebulous otherworld fantasy from the author of Resurrection Man (1995), etc. The island Clouds End is the most recent to have emerged from the Mist. Read full book review >

THE GALACTIC GOURMET by James White
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Humorous, lighthearted, inventive: a treat for series faithful and newcomers alike."
White's Sector General yarns—about a colossal space hospital designed to cater to the needs of humans as well as to the most numerous and staggeringly diverse bunch of aliens in science fiction—have been appearing intermittently since Hospital Station (1962). Read full book review >
GOA by Kara Dalkey
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Splendid characters, intriguing historical details, fascinating cultures, and agreeably restrained sorceries: a highly auspicious launch."
Hardcover debut and first of a projected historical fantasy trilogy, from the author of The Nightingale, etc. In 1597, young English apothecary's apprentice Thomas Chinnery voyages toward China in search of rare herbs and curatives. Read full book review >
MINDSTAR RISING by Peter F. Hamilton
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Believable characters and a solid plot set against a carefully worked-out backdrop: an assured, effective debut from a writer to watch."
British author Hamilton's debut is the first of a cyberthriller trilogy set in a near-future England where global warming has wrought vast changes in the geographic, environmental, political, and economic landscape. Read full book review >

THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY by Thomas Ligotti
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"The Red Tower,'' about an abandoned factory whose unspeakable products are surreptitiously still being sent out into the unsuspecting world, show Ligotti doing what he does best: Turning the abstract matter of our unguarded dreaming moments into vivid and compelling nightmares."
A large and generally very impressive gathering of imaginative and stylish horror fiction, adding several new stories to those culled from Ligotti's previous collections Songs of a Dead Dreamer (1990), Grimscribe (1991), and Noctuary (1993). Read full book review >
AT THE CITY LIMITS OF FATE by Michael Bishop
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Chilly, intellectual, extended metaphorical ruminations for the most part, with the emotions only rarely engaged: for minority tastes only."
Bishop's latest collection (One Winter in Eden, 1984, etc.) brings together 15 tales, 198696, drawn from a wide variety of periodicals and anthologies, many with a strong mainstream/experimental flavor. Read full book review >
THE INFINITE SEA by Jeffrey A. Carver
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Another splendid adventure, with intriguing puzzles, first- rate problem-solving, and an impressive array of alien characters, motives, and methods."
The third exercise in alien science and diplomacy for former planetary surveyor John Bandicut (Strange Attractors, 1995; Neptune Crossing, 1994), his embedded translator stones, his cranial lodger (the serially immortal quarx—this latest version is female), his alien allies Ik, Li-Jared, and Antares, and the intelligent robots Napoleon and Copernicus. Read full book review >
NIGHT SKY MINE by Melissa Scott
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Mature, balanced, absorbing work, with a richly detailed, enchanting backdrop: something of a breakthrough in overall technique, and Scott's best so far."
Scott's Shadow Man (1995) seriously probed the basis of sexual identity and politics, to the relative neglect of character and plot; the author's new venture, a solidly crafted far-future cyberspace yarn, begins on planet Bestla, where cops (and lovers) Justin Rangsey of External Affairs and Sein Tarasov of the Technical Squad, are assigned by Devora Macbeth of the elite Patrol to investigate why an orbiting mine complex was abandoned, puzzlingly, by its crew. Read full book review >
THE SHIMMERING DOOR by Katharine Kerr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Not flawless, but nearly so."
A veteran fantasy writer's (Freeze Frames, 1995, etc.) anthology of 32 contemporary, original, mostly American stories. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Indispensable."
From 1995, another bumper crop of 35 stories, 11 poems, and the usual nonfiction roundups (``Summation 1995: Fantasy''; ``Summation 1995: Horror''; ``Horror and Fantasy in the Media: 1995''; and ``Obituaries''—none seen). Read full book review >
CHILDREN OF THE MIND by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"A bizarre and poorly planned mixture of dazzling ideas and preachy philosophizing: At present Card simply is juggling too many projects at once, and here he's just overextended himself."
Fourth in the series about former child warrior Ender Wiggin (Xenocide, 1991, etc.) and his long search for redemption. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >