Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sat Jul 20 22:32:36 EDT 1991

Raymond's Reviews #129

%T Mind Blast
%S Space Cops
%V Book 1
%A Diane Duane
%A Peter Morwood
%I Avon
%D July 1991
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 250
%G 0-380-75852-0

Diane Duane's talent for making silk purses out of the deadliest sow's-ear cliches in SF and Fantasy has been well demonstrated before (notably in several of the best Star Trek novels; see RR#58). She and partner Morwood do it again with this novel, elevating what ought to have been a piece of repellent hack-work into the Good Stuff category by sheer force of good writing. The two tough-cop viewpoint characters the authors send chasing an orbital drug ring become three-dimensional and real; some minor characters pull surprises that work; and the world, while unsurprising, has the little touches of detail that keep you persuaded. Ignore the sleazy cover and enjoy.

%T Fallen Angels
%A Larry Niven
%A Jerry Pournelle
%A Michael Flynn
%I Baen
%D July 1990
%O paperback, US$5.95
%P 394
%G 0-671-72052-X

In a future America overrun by fanatical anti-technologists and menaced by rapidly advancing glaciers, who will come to the rescue of two astronauts from a space habitat, downed on the Ice by a missile? Why...science-fiction fandom, of course --- or, what's left of it. This book is a tissue of in-jokes, puns, and characters based on real people instantly recognizable to any long-time fan. The goings-on get a bit too cute to justify the Hugo it's been nominated for, but this is good clean fun --- and a don't-miss for anyone who's ever enjoyed an SF convention.

%T The Clouds of Saturn
%A Michael McCollum
%I Del Rey
%D July 1991
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 311
%G 0-345-36412-0

Larson Sands is a privateer in the clouds of Saturn's upper atmosphere, humanity's refuge ever since a jump in the Sun's activity made Earth uninhabitable. Despite the risks, he enjoys life as a mercenary in the limited wars among the fragile cloud cities --- until one of them murders his brother. His quest for revenge eventually sends him after a secret buried on dead Earth. This is competent adventure SF in an unlikely and interesting setting, a fun read-once.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sat Jul 20 22:32:36 EDT 1991

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