Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Thu Feb 08 12:32:20 EST 1990

Raymond's Reviews #17

More capsule reviews...

%T A Small Colonial War
%A Robert Frezza
%I Del Rey/Ballantine
%D Feb 1990
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 289
%G 0-345-36200-4

The Empire of Greater Nippon leaves Colonel Anton Vereschagin's rough, tough Finno-Russian soldier boys holding the can on a planetful of angry Boers. Will they survive? What's the native body count going to look like? How many kinds of fancy killing hardware can the author dream up? This is generic military SF -- better than Pournelle or Drake, not as good as Heinlein or Bujold or the Sten novels. Fun if you like that sort of thing.

%T The Water-King's Laughter
%A Esther M. Friesner
%I Avon
%D Oct 89
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 283
%G 0-380-75410-X

Another installment in Friesner's Chronicles Of The Twelve Kingdoms. These books are wise, funny, a touch bawdy, and thoroughly enjoyable. Not terribly original, but Friesner has proved that she's capable of that elsewhere (see the loopily inventive Druid's Blood, for example). The Chronicles get the Raymond's Review Rubber Ducky award for wonderful bathtub or bedtime reading, and if you've got kids they'll enjoy them too.

%T Carpe Diem
%A Steve Miller and Sharon Lee
%I Del Rey/Ballantine
%D Oct 89
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 292
%G 0-345-36310-8

This romantic space opera is the direct sequel to Agent of Change and closely linked to the sort-of followup A Conflict Of Honors. Like the others, this one is good lightweight fun (a definite Rubber Ducky Award contender).

%T The Story of the Stone
%A Barry Hughart
%I Bantam/Spectra
%D Nov 1989
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 290
%G 0-553-28278-6

1985's astonishingly good debut Bridge Of Birds made Barry Hughart a reputation tough to live up to, but this sequel doesn't disappoint. The further adventures of the sage Li Kao and his faithful assistant Number Ten Ox make a book far too funny and brilliant for the Rubber Ducky award; you'll want to pay close attention to the fireworks to see if you can solve the murder mystery before our doughty protagonists do. Earns an official Raymond's Review Rave -- fantasy very seldom gets any better than this.

CORRECTIONS AND ERRATA: (the `I goofed' department)

One correspondent has informed me that RAH did in fact have a couple kids by his first marriage; however, he agrees that they are not likely the "Heinlein's Children" of the dedication penned by Virginia Heinlein.
Another correspondent claims that The Cage is actually a sequel to an earlier novel called The Sharpest Edge. I'm looking for it.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Thu Feb 08 12:32:20 EST 1990

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