Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Jun 10 09:47:02 EDT 1991

Raymond's Reviews #107

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. Some old business:

%T Press Enter/Hawksbill Station (Tor SF Double #26)
%A John Varley/Hawksbill Station
%D October 1990
%O paperback, US$3.50
%P 96/88
%G 0-812-55948-7

Here's another odd coupling of two minor classics. Press Enter, is ruined for me by the extremely heavy-handed use of hacker jargon, but for anyone who keeps in mind that Lisa Foo is almost a caricature of what hackers are really like, it'll still have the usual rewards of Varley's lucid and powerful writing. Hawksbill Station is still one of the best psychological pieces to have come out of the New Wave period -- and the moribundity of Marxism only renders some of its ironies more poignant.

%T Soldier of Arete
%A Gene Wolfe
%I Tor
%D November 1990
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 354
%G 0-812-51155-7

Like its predecessor, "Soldier of the Mist," Wolfe does a capital job in "Soldier of Arete" in taking us inside the life of Latro, a mercenary of the 5th B.C.E. who has no long-term memory due to a battlefield head injury. Though these books provide a fascinating extrapolation of ancient Greece as it might have been, Wolfe tells the story from Latro's point of view, and the disconnectedness this approach necessarily produces can be frustrating for the reader. [Guest reviewer: Cathy Olanich]

%T The Coachman Rat
%A David Henry Wilson
%I Baen
%D December 1990
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 218
%G 0-671-72030-9

Consider the rat in the Cinderella story who was changed into a coachman by the fairy godmother to drive Cinderella to the ball. What would become of that rat if he still spoke and understood the language of men after the stroke of midnight returned him to his rat form? This is the premise of Wilson's book, "The Coachman Rat." Wilson's answer is a short, gripping fable about love, revenge, and ethical choices between divided loyalties. Elegantly plotted and cleanly written, this book deserves to become a classic of its kind.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Jun 10 09:47:02 EDT 1991

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