Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 423)

BEYOND THE FALL OF NIGHT by Arthur C. Clarke
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 17, 1990

"So, Clarke's near-best has brought out the usually brilliant Benford's absolute worst—and the upshot is a project ill-conceived, ill-wrought, and irrelevant."
In Benford's case, beyond anything remotely in harmony with Clarke's far-future saga Against the Fall of Night (later reworked as the better 1956 novel, The City and the Stars). Read full book review >
TALES FROM PLANET EARTH by Arthur C. Clarke
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1990

"Dated in some respects, startlingly predictive in others: Clarke is never at the cutting edge here, but he is good company, and the rarities will make it a useful addition to collections and libraries."
A major retrospective, 1949-65, featuring 13 stories, several rarely if ever reprinted, and a 1987 fictional essay ("On Golden Seas") amusingly setting forth Clarke's disapproving views on Star Wars. Read full book review >

THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE by William Gibson
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 4, 1990

In their first major collaboration, sf heavyweights Gibson and Sterling spin an exquisitely clever filigree of Victorian alternate history, sparkling densely with ideas, moored by a challenging subtext of chaos theory and the lessons of recent paleontology. Read full book review >
THE LAST VOYAGE OF SOMEBODY THE SAILOR by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 11, 1990

"A thin story in a very fat book."
Barth is back with another big (544-page), bawdy, and "postmodernist" book, replete with the usual metafictional conceits, in which the "New Journalist" hero, a contemporary Scheherazade of sorts, likes to swap tales with the legendary Sinbad the Sailor, while trying to get his bearings, both metaphorically and literally. Read full book review >
THE LAST VOYAGE OF SOMEBODY THE SAILOR by John Barth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 11, 1990

"A thin story in a very fat book."
Barth is back with another big (544-page), bawdy, and "postmodernist" book, replete with the usual metafictional conceits, in which the "New Journalist" hero, a contemporary Scheherazade of sorts, likes to swap tales with the legendary Sinbad the Sailor, while trying to get his bearings, both metaphorically and literally. Read full book review >

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert A. Heinlein
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 3, 1990

"Of interest to Heinlein completists and scholars, but, in cutting this version by those 50,000 words to produce the 1961 edition, the author made a good book into a great one."
If any sf novel deserves to be called a "classic," it is Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Read full book review >
NEMESIS by Isaac Asimov
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1989

"A low-key, oddly likable performance considering that, despite all the complicated maneuvering, nothing much happens: the old Asimov charm keeps the pages turning."
From the author who needs no introduction: a medium-future space drama, often quite absorbing despite the absence of a theme or even much of a plot. Read full book review >
EDEN by Stanislaw Lem
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1989

"Like Lem's most recent, the brilliant Fiasco (1987), a terrifyingly plausible picture of a world gone mad."
The inimitable Lem continues his penetrating, profound social criticism by dramatizing—in the form of an alien-contact yarn—what can go wrong with society even when ideology is absent. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1989

"Generously proportioned, agreeably priced, and most certainly worthwhile."
Another "Mammoth Book of. . ." Read full book review >
THE DRAWING OF THE THREE (THE DARK TOWER, BOOK 2) by Stephen King
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1989

"In an afterword, King previews volumes 3 and 4: an epic in the making, and, if the quality of this one sustains, a series to be savored as it grows."
Hot on the heels of The Gunslinger (1988) comes the second volume of King's gargantuan alternate-universe omnibus. Read full book review >
THE PLAYER OF GAMES by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 22, 1989

"Predictable, certainly, and less imaginative than Phlebas, but technically much more solid: honorably crafted work, often engrossing despite some sluggish patches."
Following Consider Phlebas (1988), another distant-future yarn featuring the Culture—a tolerant, relaxed, moneyless civilization unobtrusively directed by superintelligent machine Minds. Read full book review >
THE PLAYER OF GAMES by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 22, 1989

"Predictable, certainly, and less imaginative than Phlebas, but technically much more solid: honorably crafted work, often engrossing despite some sluggish patches."
Following Consider Phlebas (1988), another distant-future yarn featuring the Culture—a tolerant, relaxed, moneyless civilization unobtrusively directed by superintelligent machine Minds. 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 >