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Raymond's Reviews #29

It's Night of the Living Reissues...

%T Treason
%A Orson Scott Card
%I St. Martin's Press
%D April 1990
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 309
%G 0-312-92109-8

This is the author's reworking of his gripping, mythic and bizarre second novel from 1979, A Planet Called Treason. The story of Lanik Mueller's transformative odyssey through a world of experiments in transhumanity has lost none of its eerie power in this retelling, which (according to Card's explanatory introduction) adds about 10% new material through small changes everywhere. Unless you've seen the earlier version, you've never read anything quite like this. Strongly recommended.

%T Empire of the East
%A Fred Saberhagen
%I Baen Books
%D April 1990
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 558
%G 0-671-69871-0

Jim Baen continues to display excellent taste in his choice of older stuff to reissue. This novel, originally issued in three volumes between '68 and '73 and maintained in print by an Ace 1979 edition, is arguably Saberhagen's best work. It's also one of the books that makes the SF/Fantasy distinction toughest to draw. Is this post-holocaust technology-of-magic SF, or heroic fantasy with rivets for flavor? Either way it's powerful stuff, a grabber from page one. Enjoy!

%T The Last Castle / Nightwings
%A Jack Vance / Robert Silverberg
%I TOR Books
%D Dec 1989
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 101/81
%G 0-812-50194-2

This is Tor Double #15, repackaging two award-winning classics from the late 1960s. Both are SF with the baroque, lush feel of good fantasy. Time has been a bit kinder to The Last Castle, and TOR's editors wisely put it up front. This is Vance at the top of his form; if you've never read it, by all means buy this double and consider Nightwings a tasty extra.

%T Ill Met in Lankhmar / The Fair at Emain Macha
%A Fritz Leiber / Charles DeLint
%I TOR Books
%D March 1990
%O paperback, US$3.50
%G 0-812-50821-1

Tor Double #19 is an old-and-new contrast -- the very first of Leiber's tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and an early work by one of today's best young fantasists (the author of Yarrow, Moonheart, and Svaha). Both are excellent of their kind, Leiber's particularly so. Lankhmar has spawned so many imitators in the decades since Leiber first chronicled the skulduggery in its dark streets that it is easy to forget how good the original stories were. Rediscover, and enjoy!

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Thu Mar 29 10:58:33 EST 1990

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