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Raymond's Reviews #191

%T Rehearsal for a Renaissance
%A Douglas W. Clark
%I Avon
%D March 1992
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 339
%G ISBN 0--380-76310-9

I described Douglas W. Clark's first fantasy, Alchemy Unlimited (RR#80) as "Bizarre. But interesting." I wish I could say as much for this one, but it's a sequel that should have stayed unwritten. The cuteness is cloying this time around, the characters' foibles irritating rather than funny, and the whole so mushy and boring that I couldn't make myself finish it.

%T Lords of Creation
%A Tim Sullivan
%I Avon
%D April 1992
%O paperback, US$3.99
%P 242
%G ISBN 0-380-76284

I didn't really like Tim Sullivan's previous novel A Martian Viking, but it had some moments of warped originality that were hard to forget. This novel has the opposite problem; it's likeable enough but predictable straight through. From the moment amateur paleontologist David Albee finds a clutch of live dinosaur eggs inside an alien stasis box buried in Montana's Cretaceous shales, most of the the rest of the novel proceeds with disappointing obviousness, clear up to the point where people start getting munched on and the aliens finally land (thank Ghod it wasn't the other way around, that would've been even more cliched). Hah. Pass on this one.

%T California Voodoo Game
%A Larry Niven
%A Steve Barnes
%I Del Rey
%D February 1992
%O clothbound, US$20.00
%P 354
%G ISBN 0-345-36598-4

This may be the best Dream Park novel yet. Several of the characters from Dream Park and The Barsoom Project reappear together with a bunch of new and equally interesting ones. They're assembled at a ruined ecology in the Nevada Desert to play and/or run the biggest, most spectacular simulation yet; the California Voodoo Game. And one of them is a murderer...Niven and Barnes are in top form here together. Enjoy!

%T Darktraders
%S Hellflower
%V #2
%A Eluki besShahar
%D March 1992
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 254
%G ISBN 0--88677-507-8

A very tasty sequel to Hellflower (RR#128). Everything St. Cyr does seems to get her in deeper trouble as she and Valijon Starbringer race to head off a galaxy-destroying war. Recommended.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Wed Mar 18 14:05:52 EST 1992

Eric S. Raymond <esr@snark.thyrsus.com>