Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Fri Mar 13 10:09:32 EST 1992

Raymond's Reviews #178

%T The Gateway Trip
%A Frederik Pohl
%I Del Rey
%D January 1992
%O paperback, US$4.99
%P 244
%G ISBN 0-345-37544-0

This book looks as though Fred Pohl cleaned out his notebooks into it; it's a sort of Heechee-universe closeout sale. It consists of one new novelette with nine pseudo-nonfiction pieces attached to it, each giving us background on some pieces of Heechee-human history. The whole is decorated with a cover and interior illos by Kelly Freas. If you enjoyed Gateway, Beyond The Blue Event Horizon, and their sequels, then be sure to pick up a copy of this, if only to get a better look at the worldbuilding that went into the series.

%T The New Hugo Winners: Volume II
%E Isaac Asimov
%I Baen
%D January 1992
%O paperback, US$4.99
%P 368
%G ISBN 0-671-72103-8

This anthology collects all the Hugo-Winning novella-length-and-below fiction from the years 1986-1988. High points include Roger Zelazny's stunning 24 Views Of Mt. Fuji by Hokusai, Greg Bear's Tangents, and Lawrence Watt-Evans's Why I Left Harry's All Night Hamburgers.

%T Days of Atonement
%A Walter Jon Williams
%D January 1992
%O paperback, US$4.99
%P 437
%G ISBN 0-812-50180-2

This blend of SF and police-procedural works much better than the last I reviewed (RR#174). Most of the appeal comes from the unusual viewpoint character --- a redneck cop, a religious fundamentalist fiercely determined to keep order in his town. A mishap with a sort of inadvertent time machine threatens to destroy everything police chief Loren Hawn values. The results take on almost the flavor of Greek tragedy, as external events combine with his flaws in his own character to produce an escalating series of blunders and tragedies. Although the ending is weak (one could describe it as both a literal and figurative cop-out) the book works tremendously well as SF speculation, moral inquiry, and psychological study. Recommended.

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