Book Review: Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany

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Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Babel-17Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I waited eagerly for this to arrive from Amazon, since this was going to be the book for January for my SF Masterworks book club, and it seemed like it would never arrive. However, that’s because it was shipped from the UK. It got here on the fourth and I started reading it right away. I chewed through it pretty quickly, partly because it was an excellent book and partly because I was really sick with the flu and thus I had the time.

Delany apparently wrote this book at the age of 23 in the 1960s, and because of that, a lot of people are quick to judge him as being “in love with his own cleverness.” I think that’s a characterization that wouldn’t have been made were people not aware of that tidbit of information. I will…

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Book Review: Changer of Worlds by David Weber and Eric Flint

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Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Changer of Worlds (Worlds of Honor, #3)Changer of Worlds by David Weber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, to be fair I started this book a fair bit of time ago, read about two and a half of the four novellas in it, and then my partner decided to read it and hid it on me. I found it again a month ago or so but wanted to finish reading the book I was on before I went back to this one.

These are some very well-written stories, and because they lack the usual Weber info-dumps, they’re among the best written Honor Harrington stories I have yet to read. And I have to warn you, unlike many short stories that center around an ongoing novel series, you kind of have to read these or some things will make no sense to you in the later books.

Fortunately this will almost universally be a pleasure. The…

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Book Review: War of Honor by David Weber

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Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

War of Honor (Honor Harrington, #10)War of Honor by David Weber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There’s nothing like being sick to make you finish the reading you’ve been wanting to get done, especially when you just aren’t up to doing much else. So I finally powered through War of Honor.

The books in this series come in two types; really action-oriented, and really political. This was one of the political ones. And yet this wasn’t nearly as dry as most of the political ones. At the start of the book, a coalition government forced upon the Queen of Manticore by an unholy alliance of the Conservative and Liberal Parties has been in power for four years. At the end of the last book they had just accepted a ceasefire from their long-standing enemies, the People’s Republic of Haven, despite the fact that the Manticoran Navy had them on the ropes and could have…

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Book Review: A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

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Sable Aradia, Priestess & Witch

Sable reviews “A Companion to Wolves” as part of her LGBTQ Reading Challenge; which, in this case, may also be of interest to Norse Pagans.

Source: Book Review: A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

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Book Reviews: The Last Herald-Mage of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

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Sable Aradia, Priestess & Witch

Sable reviews “The Last Herald-Mage of Valdemar” series, which she named among her list of 22 Novels that Influenced (and Popularized) Modern Paganism.

Source: Book Reviews: The Last Herald-Mage of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

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Book Review: The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

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Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

The Stars My DestinationThe Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! What an intense book!

I started this book for the Science Fiction Masterworks book club I’ve organized, and I waited patiently until the very end of 2015 to start it, especially since I was also working on a reading challenge I wanted to finish by the end of 2015. But once I picked it up, I simply could not put it down. The writing is electric, even pyrotechnic. It starts out with awesome and it just keeps adding more awesome onto awesome.

The book starts with a prologue that explains that someone discovered that when threatened with imminent death people have the ability to “jaunte”; that is to say, to teleport over short distances. Eventually the trick of the ability becomes something that everyone can do and so culture and society must adapt.

Cue our opening…

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