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Raymond's Reviews #193

%T Meri
%A Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
%I Baen
%D April 1992
%O paperback, 268 pp, US$4.99
%G ISBN 0-671-72115-1

"Meri" is a charming, Welsh-flavored fantasy about the struggles of a young girl who is striving to become her community's first female Osraed--a kind of magic-using Druid. Although the experienced fantasy reader will be able to predict the outcome of all the plot complications and riddles many pages (or chapters) away, the main characters are very likeable, and it's not unpleasant to follow their lives for a scant 268 pages, even if you have already guessed the outcome. [CCO]

%T Sheltered Lives
%A Charles Oberndorf
%I Bantam/Spectra
%D March 1992
%O paperback, 450 pp, US$4.99
%G ISBN 0-553-29248-X

Oberndorf's near-future America fights crime with 24- hour monitoring of (most) citizens. It fights the spread of AIDS by sending infected persons to concentration camps while providing government-trained prostitutes for the healthy. Fertile ground for ethical speculation about important social issues? Maybe, but Oberndorf doesn't play it that way. What he gives us is a prosaically-drawn thriller set in an America that would have shocked George Orwell. In best modern novelist fashion, Oberndorf even refuses to wrap up most of the plot twists, leaving the reader to speculate about how protagonist, "servicer" Rod Lawrence, can pick up the remains of his shattered life. Fascinating reading for those who don't detest stories that lack a definite ending. [CCO]

%T The Remarkables
%A Robert Reed
%I Bantam Spectra
%D March 1992
%O paperback, US$4.99
%P 344
%G ISBN 0-553-29362-1

The author of Down The Bright Way (RR#199) delivers a solid, well-textured novel of wilderness adventure in an alien ecology. As in the classic stories of this type, the mutual strangers on a trek across the wilderness of Pitcairn have secrets which explode into shocking relevance as the quest isolates them from civilization. The really fun thing about this novel is how carefully Reed confounds all one's expectations about the interactions between the human Pitcairns and their treelike alien symbionts, and the nature of the aliens themselves. The result is perhaps a tad too overwritten and introspective for its own good, but displays a fine strong SF talent from which we can expect more original work.


Chains Of Command by Bill McCay and Eloise Flood. Trekfic.

Unicorn Highway by David Lee Jones. Looks sweet enough to kill.

Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper (the pb edition). Hardback reviewed in RR#132.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Mar 30 18:53:39 EST 1992

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