Monthly Archives: September 2011

Excession, Iain M. Banks (Orion, 1996)

Excession is Iain M. Banks’ fourth definitively set in the Culture universe. It is an innovative tale told primarily from the point-of-view of the culture Minds (Hyper AI’s that govern the Culture and most of its various sub-groups), and stands out as one of his best books. Though like all of his books it is a stand-alone novel, it is probably not the best book to start with if you haven’t read a Culture novel before. If you are familiar with his Culture books, however, Excession is a wonderful insight to the inner workings of the most fascinating of Banks’ creations. Continue reading

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Posted in Chronicle, Cycle, Espionage, Identity, New Space Opera, Post Modern, Ripping Yarn, Science Fiction, Series, Space Exploration, Stand Alone Novel, Thoughtful, Ultratech, Uncategorized, Unique or Imaginative World, World | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

S.M. Stirling Responds to my Review of “Island in the Sea of Time.”

What happens when you give an overly harsh review of a book? The author responds! In this case, S. M. Stirling, the author of the place-out-of-time novel “Island in the Sea of Time” responds to my criticisms and I respond back. The following is the text from the Comment section of the article I wrote a few weeks back that I am posting here to allow Stirling to have equal say (who reads comments on three week old posts) which also meanders through discussions of archaeology. Continue reading

Posted in Alternate History, Chronicle, Identity, Opinion Piece, Place-Out-Of-Time, Saga, Science Fiction, Series, Stand Alone Novel, Time Travel Story, Uncategorized, World | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco (Ballantine Books, 1990 (First published Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri Bompiani, 1988) {Translated from Italian by William Weaver}

Foucault’s Pendulum is the thinking man’s answer to Dan Brown’s Divinci Code. It is the ultimate conspiracy novel and one of my favorite books of all time. Densely packed with history and well crafted pseudo-history, the reader must remember that one need not remember every fact or plot-based hypothesis thrown in there in order to enjoy it. Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy, Identity, Mystery, Post Modern, Stand Alone Novel, Strong Characters, Thoughtful, Uncategorized, Unique or Imaginative World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Redemption Ark, Alistair Reynolds (Gollancz, 2002)

Redemption Ark is Alistair Reynolds’ third book, and the second volume of his Inhibitor Trilogy. It’s a highly enjoyable read, but in suffers a bit from “middle book of a trilogy” syndrome. Even so, it almost reads as a stand alone, and continues the central saga of one of the most imaginative worlds I have seen in Science Fiction. I cannot imagine many people who like Science Fiction being able to resist this series. Continue reading

Posted in Chronicle, Cycle, Hard SciFi, Identity, New Space Opera, Post Modern, Ripping Yarn, Saga, Science Fiction, Series, Strong Characters, Thoughtful, Trilogy, Ultratech, Uncategorized, Unique or Imaginative World, World | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Fire and Ice Book Five, George R.R. Martin (Bantam Books, 2011). FULL REVIEW

When I posted my Page 419 pre-review review of A Dance with Dragons I had really had hoped that the remaining 600 pages of the book would redeem this volume. Sadly, it did not. Things do happen in this book, but it not enough to justify 1100 pages. At this stage, I would highly recommend that one waits for the series to be complete before picking up any additional volumes. For full review go to: https://sophyanempire.wordpress.com

Continue reading

Posted in Fantasy, High Fantasy, Identity, Political Drama, Post Modern, Serial, Series, Strong Characters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments