Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sun Jun 09 23:03:57 EDT 1991

Raymond's Reviews #100

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 #2.

%T Secrets of Power I: Never Deal with a Dragon
%A Robert M. Charrette
%D December 1990
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 377
%G 0-451-45078-7

This novelization set in the universe of FASA's `Shadowrun' role-playing game ought to have been complete and irredeemable crap, as such spinoffs usually are. It isn't, which is both a pleasant surprise and no small comment on Robert Charrette's ability as a writer. The characters are well enough drawn and the world sufficiently interesting to raise it at least to the level of decent pulp fiction. Kick back with a tall cool one and enjoy.

%T A Man of his Word part I: The Magic Casement
%A Dave Duncan
%I DelRey
%D December 1990
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 307
%G 0-345-36628-X

Dave Duncan proves yet again that, yes, a retired petroleum geologist in his 50s can write rings around most of the earnest young humanities majors who think they've got Life As A Writer planned before they've seen any of it. This book is original, affecting, and wise. Buy it and enjoy.

%T Clarke County, Space
%A Allen Steele
%I Berkeley/Ace
%D December 1990
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 231
%G 0-441-11044-4

This book has some good moments, but not nearly enough of them. The predictable intrigue-and-terrorism-on-the-High-Frontier plot isn't quite redeemed by the writing (competent) the characters (including one marvelous study of an obsessive Jewish assassin who calls himself The Golem) or the jokes (there are some decent bits about the "Church of Elvis"). Oh well, maybe he'll do better next time.

%T Zone Yellow
%A Keith Laumer
%I Baen Books
%D December 1990
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 247
%G 0-671-72028-7

Keith Laumer has produced some good work in the past, but this book is wretched, boring crap. Time Agent Brion Bayard takes on a race of sentient but conveniently stupid rat-men. Ooo. They eat people. Ooo. Can he save the Multiverse? Ooo. How hard can I bounce this off the wall?

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sun Jun 09 23:03:57 EDT 1991

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