Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 408)

FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"Eclectic, well crafted, with authentic thrills and chills: a solid addition to the series."
Another huge, 51-piece compilation of 44 stories, an essay, and six poems, ranging in tone from light humor through splatterpunk to dark horror. Read full book review >
THE CULT OF LOVING KINDNESS by Paul Park
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 24, 1991

"Clever, certainly, sometimes admirable, but what it all adds up to is anybody's guess."
Third in Park's Starbridge Chronicles, a fantasy series with literary ambitions, following Sugar Rain (1989). Mr. Sarnath, a nonhuman Treganu exile working as a customs official, observes a mystical sign and resolves to return to his home village, where the Master, a sage whose vapid, trite teachings inspire the Treganu to peace and cooperation, lies dying. Read full book review >

THE DARK BEYOND THE STARS by Frank M. Robinson
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 22, 1991

"Amid all the trappings of large- scale sf, Sparrow's inner turmoil, along with the characters of the other crew members, is consistently presented with insight and compassion."
Robinson's latest (The Great Divide, 1982, etc.) is a work of wholehearted sf that, while never expanding on the traditional elements of the genre, does a commendable job of using its strengths in an engaging story laced with genuine scientific and philosophical speculations. Read full book review >
XENOCIDE by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 15, 1991

"Card's true purpose here is to preach rather than simply tell a story."
Sequel to Ender's Game (1984) and Speaker for the Dead (1986), exploring the problems of alien contact and coexistence on planet Lusitania, where now three intelligent species dwell: human colonists; "buggers" (an arachnoid Hive Queen reasserts herself after the near extinction of her species in the human-bugger war); and the indigenous "piggies," who, after a horrid flaying-alive ceremony, metamorphose into sapient trees. Read full book review >
STREET MAGIC by Michael Reaves
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 1, 1991

"With a fast pace and references to a wide range of popular fantasy books, movies, and comics, this is likely to appeal to an undiscerning readership."
Reaves (The Shattered World) has done some respectable work in fantasy and other genres, but his latest novel is a lifeless, by- the-numbers urban fantasy that goes through the prescribed motions with little innovation or depth. Read full book review >

ONE SIDE LAUGHING by Damon Knight
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 26, 1991

"Knight's novels, paradoxically, have an irritatingly juvenile feel, with disappointingly vacuous contents; whereas his stories are almost always charming, vivid, subtle and—as, emphatically, here—a pleasure to read."
Seventeen variations, 1965-86, from respected editor-writer- critic Knight (most recently the CV trilogy), each a delightful fusion of craft and ideas. Read full book review >
MAIRELON THE MAGICIAN by Patricia C. Wrede
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 19, 1991

"Peopled by an instantly forgettable cast of thousands, and with a backdrop that makes no historical or fantastical impression or even sense: a dreary, juvenile nonentity."
Period English fantasy from the author of Snow White and Rose Red (1989), wherein young street waif Kim, a girl disguised as a boy, takes up with traveling magician Mairelon and his lugubrious coachman Hunch after she is paid by a toff to search Mairelon's wagon and is caught in the act. Read full book review >
FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE by Stephen R. Donaldson
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 15, 1991

"The characters are too busy seething with barely containable emotions to need personalities, but, boy, do they suffer; still, with the well-realized backdrop and a plot that meanders in a developmental fog, this is the formula that Donaldson fans find so beguiling."
Second of Donaldson's projected five-book science-fiction series following The Real Story, in which the beautiful Morn Hyland, former police officer and victim of "gap sickness" that caused her to destroy her father's spaceship, traded slavery at the hands of pirate Angus Thermopyle for the dubious protection of interstellar gangster Nick Succorso. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF THE BEAST by Tanith Lee
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 14, 1991

"Enthralling."
Second of Lee's projected four-book fantasy series (The Book of the Damned, 1990), set in the forgotten French city Paradys: nine linked stories that add up to a well-rounded, satisfying whole. Read full book review >
A TIME OF EXILE by Katharine Kerr
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1991

"Standard, undemanding fare for series fans."
From a tangled tale of magic, reincarnation, predestination, and vengeance (Daggerspell), Kerr's saga has mutated into fairly straightforward Celtic fantasy (cf. Read full book review >
MARTIAN RAINBOW by Robert L. Forward
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1991

"A sophomoric rehash of standard notions, with cartoon characters and strained plotting, though the accurate, informative Marsology helps."
Simple-minded, Heinlein-esque, medium-future interplanetary power-struggle from the author of Dragon's Egg and Starquake. Read full book review >
THE PARADISE WAR by Stephen Lawhead
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1991

"Lawhead treats his Celtic lore with respect; the upshot is well handled and pleasingly restrained, a solid and readable opener for the series."
Celtic fantasy and first of a series from the author of the recent Pendragon Cycle Trilogy, In the Hall of the Dragon King, etc. The aristocratic Simon Rawnson and his American friend, narrator Lewis Gillies, are postgraduate students at Oxford, free to go chasing impetuously off to the far north of Scotland in pursuit of an extinct beast supposedly sighted by a farmer. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >