Warp – Lev Grossman

A young man wanders around Boston over the course of a day and a half, worrying vaguely about an ex-girlfriend. I’ve been hearing about Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, but it didn’t hold much appeal for me. When I saw this book available and listed as a prequel (it doesn’t seem to be), I thought I’d give it a shot. The book is easily summed up – it’s a sequel to Catcher in the Rye, with…

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The Long Tomorrow – Leigh Brackett

Generations after global war, the United States has banned cities, and people live in small, self-sustaining communities with limited trade. Len Colter and his cousin Esau feel constrained by the strict rules of their New Mennonite community, and eventually break away, looking for the legendary Bartorstown, said to retain knowledge of science and technology. I haven’t read a lot of Leigh Brackett – an adventure novel or two. I think of her as a solid,…

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“Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman – Harlan Ellison

An essay by Harlan Ellison followed by his short story about totalitarianism and independence. Had I realized this book contained only two short pieces, I’d have passed it by. It’s a good sampler size, but I’d already decided to dig further into Harlan Ellison’s work, so this was frustratingly little. Not only that, but I wasn’t highly impressed, and if I really had been sampling, I might have stopped here. The book contains a brief…

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Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle #1 Sophie is the eldest of three daughters, and therefore destined to fail first and worst. Soon enough, her stepmother sends her sisters off to safe places, and Sophie has been cursed by a witch. She takes refuge in the castle of an infamous wizard, and things get stranger from there. I’d only heard of Howl’s Moving Castle in recent years, but I’d heard only good of it. So much so, in…

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Wings of Sorrow and Bone – Beth Cato

Clockwork Dagger #2.5 Rivka Stout, a recent transplant to Tamarania, is adjusting to life in her grandmother’s house, and its strict social requirements. When she encounters a cruel laboratory run by a cold-hearted businessman, she vows to set its tortured captives free with the help of her chance companion the self-centered Tatiana. A close tie-in to the Clockwork Dagger series. I’m a strong believer that artists should be judged on merit – on product, not…

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Good Night, Mr. James – Clifford D. Simak

Simak Complete Stories #8 A collection of mostly science fiction stories by Clifford Simak. The logic behind the arrangement of most anthologies is a mystery to anyone but their editors, and that’s true here. While the last volume (#3) in this series I reviewed had some of Simak’s strongest work, this (#8) has a fair amount of filler – decent, but uninspiring, and not mostly at the level I look for from Simak. Happily, there…

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