Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Jun 11 16:25:52 EDT 1990

Raymond's Reviews #74

%T Mazeway
%A Jack Williamson
%I Ballantine/Del Rey
%D April 1990
%O hardcover, US$17.95
%P 290
%G 0-345-34032-9

There's an old joke that ends "The wonder is that it dances at all!". That's sort of the way I feel about this book, the sequel to Lifeburst by a man who's been selling SF since 1928. It has the pulpy, overblown, space-operatic feel Williamson has never quite outgrown. I found it hard to plow through. And yet there's a certain dizzy satisfaction in discovering that he can still write at all, and even plot around up-to-the-decade concepts like computer virii. I wouldn't recommend it at hardback prices, but the paperback should be worth picking up if you've enjoyed any of his previous work or have (as I do) a historian's interest in what it reveals about the genre's past and present.

%T Wyrd Sisters
%A Terry Pratchett
%D June 1990
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 319
%G 0-451-45012-4

This sixth Discworld novel doesn't quite match the inspired comic madness of the first 2 (The Colour Of Magic, The Light Fantastic) but Pratchett is still by far the funniest writer in contemporary fantasy. In this one, Granny Weatherwax and her coven sisters take on an evil usurping duke amidst flurries of misfired magic and Shakespearian allusions -- sort of Macbeth as if scripted by Monty Python. Enjoy!

%T The Bristling Wood
%A Katharine Kerr
%I Bantam Spectra
%D May 1990
%O paperback, US$4.50.
%P 357
%G 0-553-28581-5

This is Kerr's third book about the Celtic land of Deverry, in which assorted alliances of nobles and sorcerers scheme to put their candidates on the throne. Though the concept is as old as the hills, Kerr's attention to character and setting raise this version above the fantasy-bin average. Other distinguishing factors include a theory of magic that's physically and psychologically plausible and the convoluted, generation-spanning, knotwork-like plot. Unfortunately, the nature of the series plot means that this book is not independent of the other Deverry books. If this one sounds interesting, you'd be well advised to read the prequels Daggerspell and Darkspell first. [This short take contributed by guest reviewer Cathy Olanich --ESR]


The Moonbane Mage by Laurie J. Marks.

Flight Of The Raven, Jennifer Roberson.

Throne Of Fools, Adrian Cole.

If I read all the ho-hum series fantasy that floated by I wouldn't bloody have time for anything else!

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Jun 11 16:25:52 EDT 1990

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