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Raymond's Reviews #169

%T Earthgrip: Tales from the Trader's World
%A Harry Turtledove
%I Ballantine/Del Rey
%D December 1991
%O paperback, US$
%P 264
%G ISBN 0-345-37239-5

This fix-up novel collects all of Harry's "Trader" stories from Analog in one volume. They center on Jennifer Logan, a future academic who studies the English of our time with a specialty in early speculative fiction. That's right, she's an SF specialist -- which comes in handy when she takes a bear on an exploration and trading vessel venturing into the far reaches of the galactic beyond. Turtledove has a lot of fun with this frame, including numerous sly references and anagrammatic gotchas for the serious fan. The whole is supported by his usual quiet craftsmanship, so you'll have fun, too. Recommended.

%T The Crafters
%A Christopher Stasheff & Bill Fawcett, eds.
%I Ace 
%D December 1991
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 246
%G 0-441-12130-6

Back in seventeenth-century Salem, alchemist Amer Crafter and a witch named Samona cheat Death, fall in love, and marry. The fruit of this unlikely union is a line of magic-using descendants -- and ten upbeat, competently written stories by established fantasy authors tracing their influence upon history through the generations. Something (possibly the slogan "The Bewitching New Series!" gracing the cover in prominent white letters) tells me that this fundamentally light-hearted volume is destined to spawn a new shared-world series. [CCO]

%T Servant of the Empire
%A Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts
%I Bantam
%D December 1991
%O paperback, 691 pp, US$5.99
%G 0-553-29245-5

Do you remember Tekumel, the exotic world that was the playing ground in the game "Empire of the Petal Throne"? The Tsurani empire Feist and Wurts depict in "Servant of the Empire" feels a lot like Tekumel (it even includes a sentient insect species resembling the Pe Choi). But Feist and Wurts choose to focus, not on demons and sorcerors, but on one Ruling Lady, of a minor house, whose courage, wit, and willingness to listen to strange barbarian ideas enable her to unravel the web of intrigues against her. If you love to lose yourself in tales of exotic, quasi-Oriental empires, you'd find "Servant" marvelous airplane reading. [CCO]


The Elvenbane by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey (TOR). YA quest fantasy with cute dragons.

Orc's Opal by Piers Anthony (TOR). Yet another fantasy sequel...

Under Alien Stars by Pamela F. Service (Fawcett). Harmless juvie.

The Changes by Peter Dickinson (Dell). Reissue from 1975.

The Silent Warrior L.E.Modesitt (TOR). Reissue from 1987.

The Ruby Knight by David Eddings (Del Rey)

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Thu Feb 06 16:30:48 EST 1992

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