Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Wed Oct 09 12:32:27 EDT 1991

Raymond's Reviews #146

%T The Rainbow Abyss
%S Sun-Cross
%V Book One
%A Barbara Hambly
%I Del Rey
%D September 1991
%O paperback, US$5.99
%P 295
%G ISBN 0-345-37101-1

Barbara Hambly is a fine craftswoman of genre fantasy. Perhaps her work rests a little too comfortably within the conventions of the form, but it has a depth and resonance and psychological realism rarely found there. In the The Rainbow Abyss she gives us a coming-of-age tale, a thoughtful re-examination of what life might be like for wizards in a society of mundanes, and the delights of a romantic, intrigue-filled plot that builds to a climax of remarkable power, irony and unexpectedness. This is a better book than I'd expected. I recommend it.

%T Escape From Loki
%A Philip Jose Farmer
%I Bantam
%D August 1991
%O paperback, US$
%P 214
%G ISBN 0-553-29093-3

Philip Jose Farmer is very good at pastiche. This one, billed as the first all-new Doc Savage adventure since 1949, gives us the origin story of the Man Of Bronze --- how, as a downed WWI airman in an "escape-proof" German prison camp, he recruited the nucleus of his crimefighting team and scotched the sinister schemes of a mad Prussian genius. Farmer gives us all the flashy, trashy allure of the pulps through an eye just modern enough to put a subtle, wicked backspin on some of the pulps' cliches. The result can be read either as straight adrenals-rousing fun or as an excercise in devastating ironies. It works either way.

%T The Emanicpator #1: The Pharaoh Contract
%A Ray Aldridge
%I Bantam Spectra
%D September 1991
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 290
%G ISBN 0-553-29118-1 

This is glitter-trash formula SF reminiscent of Christopher Rowley --- the hero is an assassin working for (but secretly against) the galactic slavers' guild. Lots of sex, violence, perversion, decadence, grotesquerie, and picturesque villains. Inventive, though, and better written than such stuff usually is. You might enjoy it.


Reefsong, by Carol Severance. More wimmins' advantures for the ecologically correct. My S.O. found it too boring to finish.

A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! by Harry Harrison. Reissue of an oldy-but-goody from 1972.

Question Quest by Piers Anthony. The very thought makes me vomit.

Conan The Destroyer, by Robert Jordan. Yes, I read it. Same old garbage.

Omega Sub #4: Blood Tide by J.D. Cameron. The title tells you everything you need to know about this industrial-strength turkey.

The Maze In The Heart Of The Castle by Dorothy Gilman. Juvie city. Sweet, well-intentioned, utterly boring.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Wed Oct 09 12:32:27 EDT 1991

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