Recent Reviews

Picnic

by Scott Carpenter

A spoiled teenager has his dad's starship for the weekend, and he manages to get himself stranded on an out-of-the-way planet with his girlfriend.
A comical, old-fashioned type of sci-fi story updated to modern times (software trial periods, females who know math, etc.) Nothing profound or wondrous, just an entertainment.

Reviewed on 2014.10.15
by Paulo Respighi

The Crimson Blind

by Fred M. White

The plot does twist and turn but it is enjoyable.Not confusing,interesting.Nicely written.

Reviewed on 2014.10.14
by cindy

Valley of the Croen

by Lee Tarbell

A story that starts out well, as a treasure hunt for gold into the forests of Korea with three disreputable partners. Then the mysterious (and never explained) golden statue comes into effect, and three or four alien races show up to fight.
In the old pulp style, the author simply added anything he needed to have the story come out. The characters are stereotypes and the skin-of-the-teeth escapes got tiresome.
No, Croen is not an alternative spelling of Korean.

Reviewed on 2014.10.14
by Lisa Carr

Mountain Man

by Robert E. Howard

Weell, the story's writ in hillbilly talk, an' if ya'll aint averse ta such truck, y'moght injoy it.
A youngster from the hills is sent to town to get a letter for his dad. The trip does not go well. There's an Indian, desperados, a bare-knuckle boxing match, and a lot of shooting to no effect.
It should be read as entertainment, not a historical account. It's a man's story, there ain't a woman to be seen, and rightly so.

Reviewed on 2014.10.13
by Lisa Carr

The Machine That Saved The World

by Murray Leinster

Clever story set in the future (1972) when any machine could be made to run constantly and learn its job, gaining experience the longer it operates. Into this world come broadcasts from noplace that, when deciphered, claim to be from the future and warn of a mutating virus that will wipe out humanity unless their instructions are followed. Everything is kept secret, and it's up to a repair shop sergeant and three civilian scientists to figure out what's going on and why.
The sergeant is a great character, his name is Bellews, but it might as well be Lebowski.

Reviewed on 2014.10.13
by Lisa Carr

Mornings at Bow Street

by John Wight

Utterly funny, actual newspaper accounts of petty disputes brought up before the majesty of law at Bow Street. The writing is funny, the justice dispensed mostly full of common sense and many laugh out loud moments.
There is an underlying pathos when ones reflects these were real people and real incidents from more than a century ago.

Reviewed on 2014.10.12
by Kieran Khote

A Princess of Mars

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

An epic eye rolling adventure.
It should be pointed out that this is not a sci-fi but a pure fantasy novel.

Reviewed on 2014.10.11
by Tmack

The Lame Priest

by Susan Morrow Jones

A settler living by himself in a shack in the forest encounters a limping priest on his way back home during the first snowfall of the season. When he reaches home, Andrew, a local Indian, is waiting for him to tell him to move away, as the Indians are doing, because the wolves are coming down from the North. And they do. Children from the settlement are dragged off by wolves throughout the winter, and the priest pops up now and then.
The author draws good characters, and the plot slowly creeps the reader out.

Reviewed on 2014.10.11
by Paulo Respighi

The Big Time

by Fritz Reuter Leiber, Jr.

A mildly interesting idea of wars across time and space, constantly changing history. The wars are fought by demons against zombies--the names given to resurrected people and aliens used as pawns by the unseen controllers: the Snakes and Spiders.
Stuck inside the time winds are bubbles: hospitals and entertainment areas free from space and time. At such a rest area three soldiers show up. One carrying a nuclear bomb.
The story is a bit claustrophobic, in that it all takes place in the R&R area. Several of the characters are distinctive, including the narrator, the Nazi, the poet, the Lunarian, and the proprietor, but the story does drag in places.

Reviewed on 2014.10.10
by Lisa Carr

Jon and Celenda

by Michael E. Shea

A good story of royalty and slaves, spying and treachery, set on a world of swords, horses and citadels. The decadent daughter of a disgraced traitor is recruited by an ambassador from the North to determine from her old lover whether the god-king intends to invade the North.
The characters are clear and likable, and the plot is reasonable enough. The story needs and editor. There are misused words and awkward syntax that distract from the flow of the story.

Reviewed on 2014.10.10
by Lisa Carr

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