Friday, December 28, 2018

Review_THE BOOKING by Ramsey Campbell

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="The Booking" src="" /></a><a href="">The Booking</a> by <a href="">Ramsey Campbell</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
I took some extra time before writing my review of this very special novella, because it is not straight-out horror nor fantasy. Instead, it is a metaphysical blend, even an extension, of both horror and fantasy. There aren't really any "monsters" or "terrors" here, other than those hiding in the hearts and minds of humans. Ostensibly, a young man, Kiefer by name (that is all he chooses as his identity), a former librarian and university graduate, seeks employment. As is common in the latter 20th and early 21st century, he is often deemed "overqualified," and so is nearly at his wits' end when he discovers a simple online notice: Bookshop, Technician Wanted. He calls and then visits the shop, discovering an odd owner and a plethora of books, many rather old. Then he can't find one of the keys to his girlfriend's flat, offered to him while she is away in Tuscany caring for her folks; and the owner offers him a room upstairs of the shop, in an upstairs that seems to go on forever, always laden with books.<br /><br />Mr. Campbell unfolds a story that is so imaginative in breadth and depth that I cannot do it justice, other than to say, for Mr. Campbell's fans, and for any thinking person, THE BOOKING is an absolute must-read. It is part of the Black Labyrinth series, with incredible illustrations by gifted artist Santiago Caruso.
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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Review_NANOMORPHOSIS by Marla Anderson

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="NanoMorphosis" src="" /></a><a href="">NanoMorphosis</a> by <a href="">Marla L. Anderson</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Exciting science fiction with riffs on politics and government, free will and fear, religion and faith, NANOMORPHOSIS will keep science fiction aficionados turning pages with awed wonder and intrigue. This compelling novel introduces a new breed of aliens, very scary; but what is the most scary aspect is, as the Protagonist intelligently points out, that government and religion in combination have convinced humanity that to venture into outer space is to result in extinction of the species, that space has no place for us, and basically, that aliens are waiting around every planetary corner to destroy us. Although very up to date, I am still reminded of the classic age of Science Fiction, particularly the 1950's.
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<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Map of Shadows (Mapwalker, #1)" src="" /></a><a href="">Map of Shadows</a> by <a href="">J.F. Penn</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
I confess: this is Fantasy the way I like it best, filled with Magic and Lovecraftian overtones of Shadow and Ritual and Ley Lines; and here, Cartography. Purely delightful. Good guards the Gate against Evil with Ritual Cartography; but Evil will not be denied and is determined to break through and overrun the entire Earth, starting at Bath, England. Can the Shadow Cartographers be halted, let alone turned back? If not, humanity is surely doomed
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Friday, December 7, 2018


<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil (Flynn Nightsider, #1)" src="" /></a><a href="">Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil</a> by <a href="">Mary Fan</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
"Just because they're in charge doesn't mean they're right," reiterates a character in this sci fantasy. I think that statement serves as the perfect epigram--and introduction--to this engrossing story. Massively creative world-building provides the solidest foundation for this novel, and non-stop action, excitement, and suspenseful tension keep the reader on track throughout. In the Dystopia subsequent to the magical apocalypse, supposedly the "new world" is perfect and perfectly governed. Not so. As in most Dystopias, both facts and perceptions are false. Nothing and nobody is what you expect, and certainly not what they say they are.<br /><br />"Just because they're in charge doesn't mean they're right." Right on.<br />
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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Review_COLONIES LOST by Ian J. Malone

Colonies LostColonies Lost by Ian J. Malone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A reader starts out thinking this novel is one thing; then it becomes another thing, and another and another. Thankfully, it's all good: engrossing and entertaining and thought-provoking. Trip Hackett, native son of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, is a U.S. Deputy Marshal and dedicated to it. Until he participates in a righteous shooting and discovers that sometimes law enforcement is all about politics and whose side you're really on (and who is really on your side or not), and loses his position and pension. Fortunately, a new offer comes in immediately: to solve a missing persons case, the sooner the better. Oh boy: Trip is off and running, straight into the unbelievable but true. What a ride! What a Trip!

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Review_MORE WALLS BROKEN by Tim Powers

Release date: 28 February 2019

In every single story by this illustrious and utterly imaginative author is contained a core that is magical. Mr. Powers surpasses telekinesis and "Scotty's" "Beam me up" transporter from Star Trek. If there is anyone who can "magically" (or "quantumly") effect travel through dimensions, that person is this author. There is no need for suspension of disbelief. Belief is intrinsic. There is no need to parse the reader's feelings for the character; we know intrinsically who is good and who is not, and we line up with them accordingly. Tim Powers possesses an illimitable imagination, and for the duration of reading his work, so do we. The wonderful aspect is that this expansion of imagination does not end when we close the book: it lasts forever, and we are different individuals after than when we came in.

I only wish that MORE WALLS BROKEN had been a novel, not a novella; it has a terrifically cliffhanging ending, and this inquiring mind needs to know: "What happened? And in which world? Are the "good characters" all right, in the end? Did the "bad guys" get their just desserts?"

To the final question, I already know the answer.

"Can I believe?"

"Yes, I can."