Out of Here – Patty Jansen

A collection of fantasy and science fiction stories with a slight tilt towards Australia. There were a variety of interesting ideas here, from enchanted highways to novel dead-end careers. The stories tend, on average, toward the pessimistic, but there are upbeat tales as well – mostly in the form of light gags. Unfortunately, the prose in which the stories and ideas are presented, is often not up to the task. That’s not to say the…

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Coming Home – Jack McDevitt

Alex Benedict #7 Antiquarians Chase Kolpath and Alex Benedict search out lost space-age artifacts and participate in an attempted rescue of a spaceliner trapped in a spacetime warp. In reviewing the prequel to this book, I said I feared the series was growing tired. Coming Home is unfortunate proof of that suggestion. The prose is good in some places, clumsy and repetitive in others. The series has never been based on action and adventure, but…

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Mindbridge – Joe Haldeman

Jacque Lefavre is a bit of a wild man, but he manages to hold himself together long enough to accepted as a Tamer – a matter transmission scout. He makes close connections with other Tamers, and when one team makes a startling discovery, Jacque and his crew are pushed into a central role. Joe Haldeman is deservedly famous for The Forever War. Until recently, that and its sequels were most of what I knew about…

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The Woman Who Married a Cloud – Jonathan Carroll

A large and dense collection of Jonathan Carroll’s short stories. If you’ve ever complained about rising book prices, this book (like (Jack McDevitt’s Cryptic) is a value for money response. At over 400 pages of short stories, this is a lot of Jonathan Carroll. If you’re a fan of Carroll’s unembellished prose and slightly off kilter happenings, there’s a lot here for you. If you’re only an occasional visitor to Carroll’s realities, this may not…

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The God Box – Barry Longyear

Rug merchant and con artist, Korvas has had a hard life. It gets no easier when he finds himself suddenly on the wrong side of the infamous Captain Shadows of the King’s Guard, nor when a priestess and her cohort attach themselves to him. Least helpful of all is a mysterious and powerful box that never seems to give him what he wants. Sometime around 1985, I was sitting in the Railroad Square theater, listening…

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Worlds – Joe Haldeman

Worlds #1 Marianne O’Hara, highly talented scion of a family in the orbital Worlds, comes down to Earth to study politics and Earth itself. In New York, she meets several men who shape not only her future, but that of the planet and the orbitals themselves. I read Worlds at the same time as Orson Scott Card’s The Lost Gate. I had worried about Card’s possible inclusion of politics, but it didn’t happen. Haldeman’s book,…

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