Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Fri Feb 23 12:12:15 EST 1990

Raymond's Reviews #22

%T Cat's Gambit
%A Leslie Gadallah
%I Del Rey/Ballantine
%D March 1990
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 247
%G 0-345-36478-3

This book is a competent sequel to Gadallah's earlier Cat's Pawn. The insectoid Kazi have triumphed, subjugating humanity and nearly exterminating the catlike Oriani. Talan's daughter, grief-stricken over her stillborn cubs, links up with the raffish human smuggler MacDonald for a final strike at the heart of the Kazi empire. For all the melodramatic plot, the style is quiet, well textured and often wryly humorous, and the characters made quite believable. Gadallah is a writer to watch; I think, with a little more maturity, she might produce excellent work.

%T The Hand of Zei
%A L. Sprague deCamp
%I Baen Books
%D March 1990
%O paperback, US$3.50
%P 276
%G 0-671-69865-6

There aren't too many reissues from 1950 that wear their age as well as this one. De Camp's lusty, funny tale of the reluctant hero Dirk Barnevelt's adven- tures on primitive Krishna is a delight, whether read as straight adventure or as wry parody of a subgenre that was foundering under the weight of its own cliches even forty years ago. For an extra treat, this edition even includes the serial's original interior illos in-line with the text. It's a bit of a mystery why Baen labelled this `Fantasy', but what the heck. Recommended.

%T The Scions of Shannara
%A Terry Brooks
%I Ballantine/Del Rey
%D March 1990
%O hardcover, price missing
%P 465
%G 0-345-35695-0

If you liked the previous Shannara books, you'll probably like this one. I think they're mind-numbingly stupid and derivative myself and couldn't force myself to more than dip into this one, but I'm just a reviewer. Chacun a son gout.

%T Carmen Miranda's Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three
%A Don Sakers (editor)
%I Baen Books
%D March 1990
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 306
%G 0-671-69864-8

This mere blurb on this theme anthology reduced me to a state of uncontrollable gigglement. Leslie Fish started it all with an extremely silly filk song. Don Sakers became obsessed with the idea, Toni Weisskopf at Baen was crazed enough to get it bought, many writers contributed while still in a state of amazement that the idea was being done at all, and the results are a collective masterpiece of loony camp inventiveness. For one book like this I'll cheerfully forgive a couple of Sassinaks (see RR #21).


Toni Weisskopf at Baen informs me that Elizabeth Moon has a prequel to the Paksenarrion books in the pipeline -- the life of the warrior-saint Gird, founder of the Order of Paladins.

One of the GEnie SFRT people informs me that the Collier Traveller In Black I reviewed in RR#11 is a essentially a reprint of a mid-80s edition by Bluejay Books.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Fri Feb 23 12:12:15 EST 1990

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