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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Lists courtesy of Andrew Wheeler.

Contents for anthologies and omnibuses from the Locus Index
to Science Fiction www.locusmag.com/index/


JANUARY

INFINITY'S SHORE by David Brin

A post-brain eater Brin novel. Avoid avoid avoid.


FEET OF CLAY by Terry Pratchett

Another entry into the ongoing saga of Anhk-Moorpork and its rapidly diversifying ethnic make-up. In this case, the group Pratchett focuses on is the golems, artificial entities made of clay and motivated by magic.

I have fond memories of this and yet have never reread it.


STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT by J.M. Dillard (Alternate)

I missed this.


STARSHIELD: SENTINELS by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman (Alternate)

And this.


THE DRAGON KING by R.A. Salvatore (Alternate)

And this.


BARLOWE'S GUIDE TO FANTASY by Wayne Douglas Barlowe (Alternate)

And this. Not a big fan of Barlowe's art.


FEBRUARY


CHILDREN OF THE MIND by Orson Scott Card

I believe this is one more wack at the expired pony of the Enderverse.

[And the Ender books just keep coming]

ENDER'S WAR [2-in-1 of ENDER'S GAME and SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD] by Orson Scott Card (Reactivation)

Once there was a ripping novella about a boy who was trained and used by a future world government engaged in a lethal conflict with aliens. Then it was expanded to a less interesting novel. That's Ender's Game.
A sequel, set on the planet of the plot-motivating stupid-heads, soon followed. That's Speaker for the Dead.


XENOCIDE by Orson Scott Card (Reactivation)

This includes one beautiful nugget ("Gloriously Bright") surrounded by rotting tripe. Not only does this end with

SPOILER
The sudden plot-convenient development of an FTL drive after millennia of star flight without it, but it is a Wishing Makes It So FTL drive.

[Does the nature of the FTL drive tie into the author's religion somehow?]


ISAAC ASIMOV'S UTOPIA by Roger MacBride Allen

I missed this.


SPIDER-MAN: THE OCTOPUS AGENDA by Diane Duane (Alternate)

And this.


EPIPHANY OF THE LONG SUN [2-in-1 of CALDE OF THE LONG SUN & EXODUS FROM THE LONG SUN] BY Gene Wolfe (Alternate)

I am too stupid to properly appreciate Wolfe, so I don't even bother to pick up the books.

[And then he started writing horrible, horrible books where the female lead's redeeming feature was her endearing idiocy, and those of course I got sent to review]


BEGGARS RIDE by Nancy Kress (Alternate)

I avoided this.


MAGIC: THE GATHERING(tm) OFFICIAL ENCYCLOPEDIA by Kathryn Haynes (Alternate)

And this.


DRAGON BURNING by Craig Shaw Gardner (Alternate)

And this.


FAIR PERIL by Nancy Springer (Alternate)

And as far as I know I have never read a Springer, although I think I have an SFBC selection by her from the 1970s.


GRENDEL TALES: FOUR DEVILS, ONE HELL by James Robinson & Teddy Kristiansen (Flyer)

Collection of issues from the Grendel comic book? I am monumentally underwhelmed by this title's violent nihilism.


COLLECTOR'S # 2

Modern Classics of Fantasy ed. Gardner Dozois (St. Martin's
0-312-15173-X, Jan '97 [Dec '96], $35.00, 647pp, hc, cover by
James Gurney);

+ xi o Introduction o Gardner Dozois o in
+ 1 o Trouble with Water o Horace L. Gold o ss Unknown Mar '39
+ 18 o The Gnarly Man o L. Sprague de Camp o nv Unknown Jun '39

This is a short about an immortal Neanderthal who has the misfortune to come to the attention of then-modern science. Made the LSdC Best Of collection in the 1970s.

+ 38 o The Golem o Avram Davidson o ss F&SF Mar '55
+ 44 o Walk Like a Mountain [John] o Manly Wade Wellman o ss
F&SF Jun '55
+ 58 o Extempore ["The Beach Where Time Began"] o Damon Knight
o ss Infinity Science Fiction Aug '56
+ 69 o Space-Time for Springers [Gummitch] o Fritz Leiber o ss
Star Science Fiction Stories #4, ed. Frederik Pohl,
Ballantine, 1958
+ 80 o Scylla's Daughter [Fafhrd & Gray Mouser] o Fritz Leiber
o na Fantastic May '61
+ 131 o The Overworld [Cugel; Dying Earth] o Jack Vance o nv
F&SF Dec '65
+ 155 o The Signaller [Pavane] o Keith Roberts o nv Impulse Mar
'66
+ 182 o The Manor of Roses [John & Stephen] o Thomas Burnett
Swann o na F&SF Nov '66
+ 232 o Death and the Executioner [from Lord of Light] o Roger
Zelazny o ex Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967
+ 266 o Configuration of the North Shore o R. A. Lafferty o ss
Orbit 5, ed. Damon Knight, G.P. Putnam's, 1969
+ 278 o Two Sadnesses o George Alec Effinger o ss Bad Moon
Rising, ed. Thomas M. Disch, Harper & Row, 1973
+ 291 o The Tale of Hauk o Poul Anderson o nv Swords Against
Darkness #1, ed. Andrew J. Offutt, Zebra, 1977
+ 309 o Manatee Gal Ain't You Coming Out Tonight [Jack
Limekiller] o Avram Davidson o nv F&SF Apr '77
+ 339 o The Troll o T. H. White o ss Gone To Ground, 1935
+ 349 o The Sleep of Trees o Jane Yolen o ss F&SF Sep '80
+ 359 o God's Hooks! o Howard Waldrop o ss Universe 12, ed.
Terry Carr, Doubleday, 1982
+ 377 o The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule [Griaule] o
Lucius Shepard o nv F&SF Dec '84
+ 401 o A Cabin on the Coast o Gene Wolfe o ss F&SF Feb '84;
first published in German in Zu den Sternen ed. Peter Wilfert
(Munich: Goldmann Verlag, 1981).
+ 412 o Paper Dragons [Paper Dragons] o James P. Blaylock o nv
Imaginary Lands, ed. Robin McKinley, Ace, 1985
+ 427 o Into Gold o Tanith Lee o nv IASFM Mar '86
+ 451 o Flowers of Edo o Bruce Sterling o nv IASFM May '87;
first published in Japanese in Hayakawa's Science Fiction
Magazine.
+ 472 o Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight o Ursula K. Le
Guin o nv Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences, Capra
Press, 1987
+ 497 o A Gift of the People o Robert Sampson o ss Full
Spectrum, ed. Lou Aronica & Shawna McCarthy, Bantam, 1988
+ 513 o Missolonghi 1824 o John Crowley o ss IASFM Mar '90
+ 522 o Bears Discover Fire o Terry Bisson o ss IASFM Aug '90
+ 531 o Blunderbore o Esther M. Friesner o ss IASFM Sep '90
+ 540 o Death and the Lady o Judith Tarr o nv After the King,
ed. Martin H. Greenberg, Tor, 1992
+ 569 o The Changeling's Tale o Michael Swanwick o ss Asimov's
Jan '94
+ 584 o Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros o Peter
S. Beagle o nv Peter S. Beagle's Immortal Unicorn, ed. Peter
S. Beagle, Janet Berliner & Martin H. Greenberg, HarperPrism,
1995
+ 602 o Beauty and the Opéra or the Phantom Beast o Suzy McKee
Charnas o nv Asimov's Mar '96
+ 643 o Recommended Reading o Misc. Material o bi

Apparently I am and always have been out of touch with short fiction.


THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert A. Heinlein

Reprint of the tale of a Lunar revolt, told from the POV of one of the core revolutionaries. Although some of the elements that later made RAH unreadable for me are present in rudimentary form, this was still one of my favourite RAHs.


TAU ZERO by Poul Anderson (Alternate)

A Bussard Ramjet (1) en route to another star suffers an accident that renders it stuck in accelerate mode. Since even a one gee acceleration will let you cross the universe in a life time and this ship has a handwavium way of accelerating far faster than that, a few ship years can add up to an extraordinarily long time in a rest frame.

I don't think it is standing up especially well but was one of my favourite Andersons when I was young.

1: A rocket that uses the interstellar medium for energy and reaction mass. An interesting idea that apparently can't work. Pity.


THE TERMINAL EXPERIMENT by Robert J. Sawyer (Alternate)

Various ways of replicating minds leads to a trite murder mystery. I think this is about the point in his career where Sawyer decided to set his work in the near future, for marketing reasons.

[As I understood it, the logic went like this:

Near future removes barriers for comprehension, thus + to sales. Near future also goes obsolete faster but since most of the sales of books occur soon after it is published, this matters less than you'd think]


THE FACES OF FANTASY by Patti Perret (Alternate)

I missed this.


JIREL OF JOIRY by C.L. Moore (Alternate)

I also missed this. I know, it's a classic and I have no good excuse. As I recall, it's Planet Stories style swashbuckling, with a *girl* protagonist, written when women were to most SF writers and readers merely a theoretical possibility.

[Happily I was sent omnibuses of both the Jirel and Northwest Smith stories. Jirel carves her way through a world she thinks as fantastic - it's clearly overrun with ancient aliens - and proves remarkably resistant to Smith's charms when their paths cross. Since Northwest is a sad gigolo-adventurer who survives on the sacrifices of women unfortunate enough to fall for him, this is just as well]


THE DISCOVERY OF DRAGONS by Graeme Base (Flyer)

No idea.


SOMETHING IN MY EYE by Michael Whelan (Flyer)

Also missed this. Art folio, perhaps?


A DOZEN BLACK ROSES by Nancy A. Collins (Flyer)

Missed this (Bounced off the one Collins I tried).


THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER by Harlan Ellison (Reply Envelope)

I saw the TV episode but didn't read this and will not comment. It's Star Trek related.


MARCH

DRAGONSEYE by Anne McCaffrey

Missed this.


FIREBIRD by Mercedes Lackey

And this.


MORDRED'S CURSE by Ian McDowell

And this, since I had a terrible allergy to Arthur after 1996.


STAR WARS: THE BLACK FLEET CRISIS [3-in-1 of BEFORE THE STORM, SHIELD OF LIES and TYRANT'S TEST) by Michael P. Kube-McDowell
(Alternate)

I never read this but I have heard it was competently done.


WORLDWAR: STRIKING THE BALANCE by Harry Turtledove (Alternate)

More bloatware from Turtledove, in this case more Aliens vs the Allies vs the Axis in an aborted WWII. It's both bad and stupid.


THE WOOD WIFE by Terri Windling (Alternate)

This is in the To Be Read Room.

[still is]


LORD OF THE VAMPIRES by Jeanne Kalogridis (Alternate)

I missed this.


THE SANDMAN: THE WAKE by Neil Gaiman et al (Flyer)

And I had burned out on Sandman by the time this came out.

Date: 2013-11-19 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] oh6
Children of the Mind was so unreasonable in terms of its demands on my suspension of disbelief that I gave up on Card's books after that.

I don't know that one needs to be terribly smart to enjoy the Long Sun books, even if it isn't proper. The oligarchy opposing the protagonist are so exceedingly nasty that it's a somewhat unpleasant read for me, though.

I thought Beggars Ride was a bit of a step up from Beggars and Choosers in so far as there is some convincing character development. The author rather re-used many of the same character types in Maximum Light, to the point that I found it more noticeable than the actual plot.

I may have read "The Overworld" in some friend's Vance books, but if so I've forgotten it.

I described "Manatee Gal Ain't You Coming Out Tonight" in my reading log as: first the violent unknown event, then the long, cumulatively creepy exegesis.

I mostly recall "The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule" as the set-up for "The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter".

"A Cabin on the Coast" is a pretty typical fairy story with the usual time distortion going on.

I could never figure out if "Flowers of Edo" was satire or a serious stab at historical fiction. I wonder what Japanese readers thought of it.

"The Changeling's Tale" features elves that are significantly more doomed than the ones in The Silmarillion.

Date: 2013-11-19 11:38 pm (UTC)
eagle: Me at the Adobe in Yachats, Oregon (Default)
From: [personal profile] eagle
If you ever feel like trying Springer, I can wholeheartedly recommend _Larque on the Wing_, which won the Tiptree. A really interesting fantasy novel that deals with various themes that are sadly uncommon in fantasy, such as a woman's mid-life crisis.

Date: 2013-11-19 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carloshasanax.livejournal.com
[Does the nature of the FTL drive tie into the author's religion somehow?]

I think it's based on a science-fictionalized version of LDS theology, yeah, but you'd have to pay me to read it again to figure out why.

Date: 2013-11-19 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] james-nicoll.livejournal.com
LDS seems to be similar in some ways to Avalon Hill's Lords of Creation, which makes me wonder if LOC designer Tom Moldvay (1948 - 2007) was a Mormon.

Date: 2013-11-20 12:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carloshasanax.livejournal.com
The background to a lot of Sanderson's fantasies seems to use an LDS-derived cosmology. Which makes sense, of course. But I never want to whack Sanderson's head with a two-by-four over it. (Maybe once I groaned, over the term "Adonalsium".)

Date: 2013-11-19 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"I am too stupid to properly appreciate Wolfe, so I don't even bother to pick up the books."

"Properly" is a word that bothers me there.

I have an unparalleled record of missing foreshadowing, zeugma, poetic irony, poetic anything, references to the Aeneid, themes, motifs, rats-in-the-sewers. I pretty much read for story, ideas, character, and once in a while good prose.

But I must repeat that I liked these books. Good story, interesting characters, good background, and Wolfe's sentences work for me.

For a long time I enjoyed music on a purely naive basis. Brahms might be playing very tricky games with rhythm, Franck running through a set of unorthodox key changes, Shostakovitch satirizing the manifesto of the sixteenth party congress - I didn't care as long as I enjoyed the result.

I couldn't read "Ulysses" when it was an Icon of Western Literature. But then Anthony Burgess told me that it was comic, and intended to be comic. Joyce wanted his readers enjoying themselves, not making marginal notes every couple of lines. Reading it as a book, without preconceptions, I found it to be readable, very funny (and not always subtly, KMRIA, indeed), confusing in parts but enjoyable.

I read Wolfe in the same way. There's a clever reference to Stendhal? I missed it. This faction is based on the Old Catholics? Didn't notice. That character is based on St Axamagorus. Who? I think it's possible to enjoy a good writer without paying attention to these things - they're there if you want them, but you're not really required to eat until it gets painful at an "all you can eat" buffet, despite what the sign says.

Now there's an idea for Pohl's "Midas Plague".

William Hyde

Date: 2013-11-19 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nathan helfinstine (from livejournal.com)
If it makes you feel better, I had to look up "zeugma" just now.

Date: 2013-11-20 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's a word I learned at NASA. I'm surprised that I spelled it correctly.

William Hyde

Date: 2013-11-19 10:28 pm (UTC)
ext_63737: Posing at Zeusaphone concert, 2008 (Default)
From: [identity profile] beamjockey.livejournal.com
ISAAC ASIMOV'S UTOPIA by Roger MacBride Allen

Is this the one about the planet where everyone inhabits small apartments, each equipped with a Selectric and a bookcase of reference works, and happily churns out book after book?

Presumably there are lumberjacks and paper mills somewhere, to feed the Selectrics, but they never appear onstage in this novel.

Date: 2013-11-20 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] awesomeaud.livejournal.com
Now I want to read this....

Date: 2013-11-20 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chrysostom476.livejournal.com
It was reprinted in One Hundred Great Science Fiction Short-short Stories which...can be found online. There was a Fantasy volume, too.

Date: 2013-11-21 05:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scott-sanford.livejournal.com
Not only paper mills, but a well established industrial economy for producing typewriter parts.

Date: 2013-11-21 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seth ellis (from livejournal.com)
I thought The Wood Wife was pretty good, but I know a couple of people who loved it with all their hearts. It's part of the DNA of contemporary urban fantasy, though it's the opposite of urban itself. In fact it's desert pastoral, really.

Date: 2013-12-05 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dbdatvic.livejournal.com
... I got nuttin' here. The Lackey is apparently not part of her later Elemental Masters series.

--Dave

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