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Raymond's Reviews #099

I've been busy with my own book for months now, but I'm finally out from under and Raymond's Reviews will start appearing regularly once again -- but mostly short takes until I catch up. This is December releases #1.

%T Voyage of the Star Wolf
%A David Gerrold
%I Bantam Spectra
%D November 1991
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 276
%G 0-553-26466-4

You won't believe this novel for a second, but you may enjoy it anyhow. Gerrold mixes old-fashioned space opera with New Age psychobabble, adds a healthy dose of SFnal in-jokes and punning references, and the result is a bizarre but zesty concoction that's either the stupidest novel of his career or a colossal joke. You be the judge...

%T Christmas on Ganymede
%A Martin H. Greenberg (ed.)
%I Avon
%D December 1990
%O paperback, US$3.50
%P 243
%G 0-380-76203-X

This theme anthology of Christmas stories is decidedly uneven. There's good new stuff by Michael Swanwick and Gene Wolfe and good old stuff by Poul Anderson and Gordon Dickson, but also a couple of items of new-Wavish unpleasantness by Jack McDevitt and Connie Willis and Barry Malzberg, and a lot of so-so older material from the magazines. Overall I wouldn't recommend paying cover price for it, but if you're curious about the variety of approaches SF has taken to a mythos that doesn't connect to it very well you might want to pick it up used.

%T Chronosequence
%A Hilbert Schenk
%D December 1990
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 314
%G 0-812-50320-1

Hilbert Schenk is a strange but gifted writer, a sort of SFnal Herman Mellvile who continually reworks the matter of his obsessions into weird but gripping narratives. His obsessions? The sea, as seen by the seafarers of New England. Sacred places. The power of memory. Mysticism. Sex. Transcendence. And here they are again in a tale of contact with an alien Visitor awaiting an unguessable destiny beneath the wave-wracked sand of Muskeget Island. The result is like new changes rung on a familiar carillon -- never greatly surprising, but rewarding in its own weird way.

%T Crystal Express
%A Bruce Sterling
%I Berkeley/Ace
%D December 1990
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 278
%G 0-441-12423-2

This is an anthology of short stories first published in the magazines between '84 and '87. Seriously good and brain-bending stuff by the high priest and propagandist of cyberpunk. Enjoy.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sun Jun 09 23:00:10 EDT 1991

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