Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sat Jul 20 22:24:07 EDT 1991

Raymond's Reviews #125

June 1991 catchup, part 2

%T The Kalif's War
%A John Dalmas
%I Baen
%D June 1991
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 392
%G 0-671-72067-7

At the end of The White Regiment (RR#66), the Karghanik Empire was all set to follow up its invasion of Terfreya. In this book, we see what follows -- from the Karghanik side. This switcheroo lends flavor to what might otherwise be a relatively dull dish of palace politics, intrigue, and one coup d'etat. The result probably won't win Dalmas any new fans but should please his present ones.

%T Event Horizon
%A Jack McKinney
%I DelRey
%D June 1991
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 310
%G 0-345-370753-8

This book, which might otherwise be just another plucky-Earthman-makes- good-in-the-big-bad-galaxy yarn, is saved from mediocrity by the author's dry wit and keen ear for the tropes of pop culture. McKinney's future is a funhouse mirror reflecting our present to satirical effect that you'll miss if you read this as straight adventure (the scenes in which McKinney dissects the life cycle of a junk SF series suspiciously resembling some he's had a hand in are particularly funny). Be warned that this book is itself #1 of a projected series...but read it anyhow.

%T The Singers of Time
%A Frederik Pohl
%A Jack Williamson
%I Doubleday
%D February 1991
%O paperback, US$10.95
%P 358
%G 0-385-41526-5

As usual, the Pohl/Williamson team has given us a big-screen space opera, chrome and tailfins and all. This one is maybe a little better written and quieter than Wall Around A Star and other predecessors. And there are some truly neat ideas in it (the nature of the omniscient narrators called the aiodoi will come as an interesting surprise). All the same, there are too many McGuffins floating around loose. Humans as clients of a race of super-technologists, OK -- but how the fleepin' hell did the Turtles get lightspeed drives and all their other neat stuff without quantum mechanics? No plans for sequel are indicated, but I hope there'll be one just to explain some of the mysteries still left hanging out at tale's end.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sat Jul 20 22:24:07 EDT 1991

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