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Raymond's Reviews #189

%T The Dark Beyond The Stars
%A Frank M. Robinson
%D March 1992
%O paperback, US$4.99
%P 408
%G ISBN 0-812-51383-5

Frank Robinson is one of those writers, like T. L. Sherred and Sterling Lanier, who've escaped being feted as a master of SF only because they publish so infrequently. This time around he gives us a rather original spin on the interstellar-generation-ship premise; a psychological thriller set on a decaying starship. Sparrow, the amnesiac protagonist, quests to recover his lost memories, and the things he learns propel him into conflict with the vessel's mad, immortal captain. A dark, gripping tale; recommended.

%T Crisis on Doona
%A Anne McCaffrey
%A Jody Lynne Nye
%I Ace
%D March 1992
%O paperback, US$5.99
%P 327
%G ISBN 0-441-23194-2

The cover tells you most of what you need to know about this book; it juxtaposes a fetching strawberry-blonde and a cat-man who's been not so subtly detailed to look like Vincent from the Beauty And The Beast TV series. Yes, it's yet another stone-boring romance for female adolescents of all ages. The only surprise is that they aren't hot for each other but both friends of the annoying, gung-ho Tom Corbett clone who's the book's actual protagonist. Between the covers, a strictly business-as-usual plot. And it's a sequel, too. Feh.

%T PartnerShip
%A Anne McCaffrey
%A Margaret Ball
%I Baen
%D March 1992
%O paperback, US$5.99
%P 323
%G ISBN 0-671-72109-7

Maybe there's hope for Anne McCaffrey yet. Or maybe Margaret Ball (author of Flameweaver, RR166) is a good influence. Whatever; this book is no masterpiece, but it's a big improvement on the fluffy wish-fulfillment romances and poor-grade carno McCaffrey's stamped her name on recently (RR#21, RR#75, RR#140, RR#164). This is historically appropriate, because it's a sequel to The Ship Who Sang, McCaffrey's last groundbreaking SF novel. It's two hundred years after Helva's time, and the shellperson Nancia is beginning her career as a courier ship. The technical challenges are nothing compared to the perplexities of dealing with her passengers and the system that produced them...


Spell Of Fate (Dance Of Gods #3) by Mayer Alan Brenner

Fire Sea (The Death Gate Cycle #3) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

The Elf Queen Of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Fri Mar 13 11:33:54 EST 1992

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