Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 288)

THE EAGLE AND THE SWORD by A.A. Attanasio
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1997

"The backdrop is original if nothing else; otherwise, flavorsome if eccentric, the story offers many charms despite the present-tense narrative."
Sequel to The Dragon and the Unicorn (1996), Attanasio's outlandish justification for an unconventional new version of the Camelot story. Read full book review >
THE ART OF ARROW CUTTING by Stephen Dedman
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1997

"An agreeable blend of oriental fantasy and noir-ish sleuthing: a polished, well-organized debut, complemented by Dedman's nice light touch on the tiller."
In Australia writer Dedman's first novel, drifter-photographer Michelangelo ``Mage'' Magistrale runs into beautiful blond Amanda Sharmon in a small Canadian town. Read full book review >

DISTRESS by Greg Egan
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1997

"Challenging, well informed, and iconoclastic, but also abstruse and often heavy: admirable rather than enjoyable, but an impressive first hardcover nonetheless."
About 60 years from now, SeeNet journalist and narrator Andrew Worth (he has a camera and computer software hardwired into his body) muscles in on a colleague's assignment to cover a physics convention on the artificial coral island, Stateless, at which Nobel laureate Violet Mosala is expected to announce a watertight Theory of Everything (TOE). Read full book review >
THE DAZZLE OF DAY by Molly Gloss
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1997

"Your move."
Multigenerational starship yarn, a first science fiction venture for the mainstream author of The Jump-Off Creek (1989), etc. After 140 years traveling through space, propelled by its solar sails, Dusty Miller finally draws near a new world. Read full book review >
DESTINY'S ROAD by Larry Niven
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1997

"A fascinating and skillfully detailed alien ecology, along with solid characters and some intriguing problems for them to tackle: Niven in top form."
Hugo and Nebula Awardwinner Niven's latest (The Ringworld Throne, 1996, etc.) is set on planet Destiny, where the mothership Argo vanished into space, leaving the colonists with only two fusion-powered landers. Read full book review >

EINSTEIN'S BRIDGE by John Cramer
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1997

"Cramer splendidly demonstrates just how fascinating and mind- boggling real science can be, and shows exactly how vulnerable basic research is to political whim."
Arriving too late for a full review, physicist-author Cramer's latest hard science fiction yarn (Twistor, 1989) begins in an alternate ``bubble'' universe where the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) project didn't collapse through lack of funding in the 1990s. Read full book review >
FARADAY'S ORPHANS by Lee Wood
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1997

"The fresh, harrowing details and spunky heroine compensate somewhat for the creaky plotting, treacherous, repellent hero, and highly improbably windup."
In Wood's second outing (Looking for the Mahdi, 1996), the Earth's magnetic field declined, vanished, then reversed; with nothing to hold it in place, the ozone layer dispersed, allowing hard ultraviolet radiation to blast the surface, while the icecaps melted and refroze. Read full book review >
EXIT TO REALITY by Edith Forbes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 15, 1997

"Bland, trite, populated by mediocre characters, and painfully unsurprising: a crushing disappointment."
Far-future what-is-reality puzzler, a first venture into science fiction for the author of the mainstream Nowle's Passing (1996), etc. In the year 2874, Earth's population consists of 150 billion immortals, with all other species deliberately eliminated; every scrap of usable land (but not, for some reason, the sea) supports agriculture; and apartments are stacked inside landforms impossible to cultivate, though most folk prefer virtual reality anyway. Read full book review >
SPARES by Michael Marshall Smith
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1997

"If a novel was ever destined to follow Ridley Scott's classic filming of Philip K. Dick's Blade Runner, this is it. (Film rights optioned by DreamWorks SKG; author tour)"
British writer Smith's first US publication, an action fantasy about a future dystopia. Read full book review >
JOVAH'S ANGEL by Sharon Shinn
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1997

"Despite some fairly obvious plotting, Shinn's appealing scenario is carefully worked out and persuasively peopled; fans of Archangel will be gratified."
Sequel to Shinn's Archangel (1996), set on colony planet Samaria—the inhabitants of which are watched over by genetically engineered winged angels who intercede with Jovah (regarded as God by the colonists) to improve Samaria's miserable climate. Read full book review >
THE DEMON PRINCES, VOL. I by Jack Vance
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1997

"Sublime examples of the master storyteller's art."
The first three books (originally published in 196467) of Vance's superb space opera series (the subject of an October 15, 1995, Kirkus editorial), presenting the related yet independent novels The Star King, The Killing Machine, and The Palace of Love. Read full book review >
CONTRABAND by George Foy
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1997

"Gritty and sometimes dark-edged; but, with cardboard eccentrics instead of characters and no plot worth mentioning, the story merely sprawls in an indifferent heap."
A slog through heavy near-future grunge, from the author of the much better The Shift (1996). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >