Steven Brust brings us another tale of our hero Vlad Talos as he goes to the East to learn about his family in the town of Burz. Being the outgoing chap that he is, Vlad starts asking about the family Merss (his mother’s side of the family) in this industrial town that makes paper, and then all hell breaks loose in this three-sided conflict.
ASH – A Secret History can in many respects be regarded as Mary Gentle’s magnum opus, both in terms of volume (a whopping 1100 pages) and in terms of its ambition and scope. It is also a work of literature that is very difficult, if not impossible, to categorize. It is simultaneously historical fiction, alternate […]
Recently, I received a splashy invitation to the kind of event that a genre-bender like me can’t refuse. The location of the festivities was the Explorers Club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. I couldn’t wait to see the headquarters of the organization “promoting exploration and field sciences since 1904.” The facilities are gloriously appointed, outfitted […]
Readercon 18 was held July 5th through the 8th, 2007, in Burlington, MA, USA. Readercon is known as a very focused convention: there are none of the art shows, music, gaming, costumes, etc. that one often sees at conventions of the fantastic. Instead the attention is lavished on the convention program — the panels, talks, […]
Awhile ago here at BSC we had a contest to win a copy of The Blonde. And when the person who won the contest finished reading it he placed his thoughts in the review comments thread.
Ekaterina Sedia’s second novel, The Secret History of Moscow, has made her a new author to watch. It has garnered critical praise, from no less than Neil Gaiman and is selling quite well. The novel is set in Post-Communist Russia, where everyone is suffering under the growing pains of capitalism gone amuck. Thugs and gangs […]
China Mieville is the premiere iconoclast of the fantasy genre. Before (or at the same time) that “punk” (as in cyberpunk, splatterpunk and mythpunk) became a common subgenre suffix, Mieville laid out the manifesto of the New Weird movement, a literary movement about subverting fantasy and horror tropes. His work is gritty, urban, political, subversive, […]
Tem’s fantastical memoir The Man on the Ceiling, about his wife Melanie. And Melanie’s character, in one of her narrative turns, tells us how a strange and lost man did one night climb through her bedroom window, only to flee when she awoke. The Tems describe their book as “loosely autobiographical” (the book’s jacket adds […]
I almost feel like this doesn’t need to be said but I’ll say it anyway. This isn’t a review; it’s a critical piece that deals with text specific examples. In other words there WILL be spoilers. “An artist speaks from personal experiences, knowledge and beliefs, and rarely gets to see the finished piece. The work […]
Maledicte marks Lane Robins’ first effort as a novelist, and a glance at the cover – which depicts and androgynous face in profile, eyes covered with an ornate Venetian-style domino, the title written with gothic type and the tagline: “A novel of love, betrayal, and vengeance” – it quickly becomes clear that Robins is aiming […]
Deepsix is the second novel in Jack McDevitt’s “Academy” series, which can be described as mostly-hard science fiction with a few exceptions like faster-than-light travel included out of narrative necessity. However, while it has the same main character as the first Academy book, The Engines of God, it is a fully self-contained story and can […]
Barth Anderson’s second novel, The Magician and The Fool, is marketed as a thriller in the DaVinci Code mode, with the hidden history behind the Tarot being the focus. Indeed, the novel is fast-paced and full of spectacular deaths, chases, and secret societies. But Anderson flips the script of the traditional thriller, and creates something […]
Seneschal Zhu Irzh, demonic scion and star of the first Detective Inspector Chen Novel, is now officially, if grudgingly, a member of the Singapore 3 police force while Chen is on his honeymoon. An investigation lands in his lap, when a socialite ends up missing. He takes on the investigation, getting a whiff of his […]
In Last Dragon, J.M. McDermott strips the fat from the bones of epic quest-driven fantasy, then dresses up the resulting skeleton of story in layer upon layer of fragmented and elliptical narrative. The fit of this literary garb on the somewhat typical fantasy understory isn’t perfect; indeed, when the reading is done we may feel […]
“One night, I dreamt that trapped cries of ecstasy were turning to water between the floors, staining my ceiling with the shape of a naked woman. I woke and turned on the light, but couldn’t make out anything from the scattered bruises of damp and the cracks in the wood-chip wallpaper. As I was a […]
Hell is a setting but never quite a theme in Wayne Barlowe’s debut novel God’s Demon; this explains both the book’s successes and its disappointments. At its best Barlowe’s novel provides a fairly typical, quasi-medieval fantasy story — in an infernal setting that evokes the primal otherness of games like Doom and Diablo.
This is the first of a new monthly feature we are calling Synergy. Basically, one of our contributors offers a single question for our other contributors to give answer to. Beyond that, we go out and get talented outsiders who choose to become extended family to participate. So what we have is a combining our […]
What makes certain writings “interstitial” is largely a matter of expectations, say Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss, editors of Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing. How, then, to set expectations for the anthology itself? For reader expectations may either highlight or camouflage that this is a good if somewhat homogeneous assemblage of literate, fantastic short […]
“Fleet of Worlds” is part of Larry Niven’s Known Space future history best known as the setting of the Ringworld books. However, while it utilizes characters and settings from other Known Space books, extensive knowledge of Known Space isn’t essential to understanding the book. The book does contain a number of other nods to other […]
Some reviewers have been comparing The Raw Shark Texts to the movie Memento. It’s a largely uninspired comparison based solely on the fact that both protagonists share some form of memory loss. But it’s a superficial comparison at best and probably only lasts for the first 30 pages or so. Since the Raw Shark Texts […]