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Clowns at Midnight
Clowns at Midnight
by Terry Dowling
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 66.41

1.0 out of 5 stars A horror story without horror. Too dense. Too thick. Boring, Oct. 2 2013
This review is from: Clowns at Midnight (Hardcover)
Didn't really finish. Just gave up on it !

Our protagonist is one David Leeton who has a real problem with clowns, in fact he has coulrophia which is an actual fear of clowns. David's fears are even wider than that in that anything that resembles a scarecrow, statue or mask throws him for a loop as well.

To add insult to injury he also has a compulsion to look at the things that he is afraid of. Sort of a ying and yang with him stuck in the middle.

He refers to the various stress levels he feels as quarter clown, half clown and full clown. In full clown he is basically paralyzed.

That's the good news about this book, an interesting premise. However the execution of the story line is the bad news.

It is a dense read in that the author is constantly going off on details about history and backgrounds on various masks.

The supposed build up of tension, based on what David is observing, is sluggish and non threatening.
The overbearing thickness of the interaction of David and the people he meets just drags the story on and on.

This could have been a good 35 to 50 page novella, instead of a 260 page novel.

I couldn't finish because I felt any more investment of time was not going to be paid off in the end.

Not recommended

Science Fiction and Fantasy Reference Index 1878-1985: Author Entries ; Subject Entries
Science Fiction and Fantasy Reference Index 1878-1985: Author Entries ; Subject Entries
by Halbert W. Hall
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 223.88
7 used & new from CDN$ 48.65

2.0 out of 5 stars A book listing other references. Of very limited use for researching Science Fiction & Fantasy, Oct. 2 2013
Not sure what the purpose of this volume would be.

It's a list by topic and author of published reports related to that topic or author. As a research tool regarding a specific author or topic it is extremely myopic.

I'm sure there are thousand of hours of research been expended to develop this material but I am at a loss to understand what it's purpose is ?

As I continue to look for research books related to Science Fiction Authors and publishers there does not seem to be a large supply to draw from.

This is a concern because there is nothing more frustrating then buying an older science fiction book only to determine later that it is a cheaper book club version or a reprint where the publishing outfit used the original printing format including the First Edition notation.

It would appear that the publication of science fiction material was given scant attention by researchers leaving us fans and collectors on our own.

Not really recommended other than as a source pointing to other sources, which I guess is a usefull somewhat.

The Daedalus Incident
The Daedalus Incident
by Michael J Martinez
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.15
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.42

5.0 out of 5 stars A swash buckelling space opera taking place in 1779 and 2132. MARS. Highly entertaining, Oct. 1 2013
This review is from: The Daedalus Incident (Paperback)
Martinez has managed to blend the swash buckling ways of 1779 and the hard science and action of working on Mars in 2132 that makes both relavent.

And in fact this great mash up of time lines results in the collision of these two time lines in the exciting conclusion to the story.

In 1779 we have the almost "steampunk" like activity of sailing between the stars with a literal sea going ship. This is accomplished through lodestones that have been treated by an Alchemist to support the gravity and air needed by men. And by men, I mean sailors of the Royal Navy no less. Our hero is Tom Weatherby on her majesties ship Daedalus who is on a routine voyage to rout out any French ships.

Tom and the rest of the men on Daedalus are soon on a trip across the known worlds chasing a mad alchemist who is stealing the essence of the known worlds. Why he is doing this is not known. All that is known is that he must be stopped before he gets all the known worlds essences.

In our 2132 timeline on Mars our main characters are US Air Force personnel and scientists exploring Mars along with a group of rough necks mining for precious materials under the surface of Mars.

But something is wrong as there are injuries involved when several earth quakes (oops mars quakes) occur with no apparent reason. Soon both the military staff and scientists are investigating other strange occurrences.

The author is true to the mannerisms, terminology, attitudes and perspectives of each time line as we go back and forth in time. Which is outstanding as you can see the different perspectives of each group.

As you may have guessed the two time lines collide at the end of the book with an epic battle; and both groups of characters being exposed to the other's perspective.

A wonderful romp that combines both science fiction and fantasy attributes that will please both groups.

Highly recommended

Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia
Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia
by John Clute
Edition: Hardcover
11 used & new from CDN$ 0.79

4.0 out of 5 stars A nice cogent overview and snapshot of Science Fiction in all its forms, Sept. 26 2013
This is a great book for someone who has started reading science fiction books or watching science fiction movies to get a background on the genre.

At only 312 pages long it is truly just a snapshot.

It has some great eye candy in the inclusion of some older science fiction books and magazines that you will probably never run into.

It highlights what the author considers the main science fiction authors of their times with a short history of their books.

Movies are covered as well as illustrators , only a few, as well as foreign and Japanese science fiction.

A nice read with lots of great illustrations covering the period from 1818 to 1995.

Reccomended as part of your reference library or just like I said as a great introduction to the Science Fiction genre

Sjp Gde Sci Fict Wrtrs 4
Sjp Gde Sci Fict Wrtrs 4
by St James Press
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from CDN$ 19.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Guide to Sci Fi Writers and their books. INVALUABLE GUIDE, Sept. 24 2013
You have to grab one of these books which are unfortunately long out of print.

For an avid reader of science fiction books like myself; and a collector of both old and new books in the genre I found this guide invaluable.

It lists personal information about each author, their body of work up to 1995, and a synopsis or in some cases multiple pages about the books they wrote, how they were received at the time and how they are looked at now.

While there is some opinions noted, I feel their coverage of the authors is balanced.

My only regret is that there doesn't seem to be a newer version so the past 17 years are a blank.

If they ever bring out a new version with those missing 17 years I'll be the first in line to buy one.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

The Demon's Wife
The Demon's Wife
by Rick Hautala
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.49
20 used & new from CDN$ 11.71

3.0 out of 5 stars Can Demons and humans get along? Can they at least try !!! Lets see., Sept. 22 2013
This review is from: The Demon's Wife (Paperback)
This book was supplied to me at no charge by the publishers for review purposes.

A tale of a man and a women denying who, or what they are, and just carrying on a normal life. Well as normal as it can be when your husband is a demon !

But does that mean he is all bad ? How can that be in that he married you didn't he !

Is there a deeper plot here ? Is the demon really just working a very long and complicated scam or can love prevail, over his ultimate boss the devil ?

At times acerbic and at other times funny the story line flows along very well.

I would point this book to the YA audience, but enjoyed reading it myself, and I am definitely not in the YA group.

Devillishly funny. Demonically delicious. Satanically subtle. "Hades"licious.

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall
After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall
by Nancy Kress
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.36
35 used & new from CDN$ 2.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Three linked stories before during and after Earth experiences a life ending event, Sept. 22 2013
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This is three linked story lines before during and after a natural , or some feel; not natural disaster, decimates Earth resulting in 26 humans existing in a enclosed structure called the Shell. Everything is white in the shell.

In the "Before" story line reveals something ecologically lethal to plant life and mutating on a continuous basis. This is discovered but who or what it is, is not widely distributeds.

The "During" story line is as the disasters heats up and not normal geological events happen the super powers feel that it is an attack and atomic counter attacks are launched which irradiates the Earth and most of it's few remaining inhabitant.

The "After" story covers the 26 human survivors in the "Shell" and their decision to repopulate the world. The main problem is that most of the woman saved have been impacted by the radiation.

The creators of the Shell are identified as the "Tesllies" by the older people in the Shell. After 20 years the Tesslies supply a machine that transports the inhabitants of the Shell back in time; but only for 10 minutes

The only solution to this is to time travel back before the disaster, called a "Grab" and bring back babies and young children who have not been affected by the radiation.

This then closes the loop between the "After" and the "Before".

This is not an intense technical sci fi novel but rather a character driven story.

It's a novella rather than a novel.

Recommended

The Anubis Gates
The Anubis Gates
by Tim Powers
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.72
31 used & new from CDN$ 5.76

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time travel, werewolf and magic. Great villains. Great mythology., Sept. 21 2013
This review is from: The Anubis Gates (Paperback)
This is a great mash up of Fantasy and Science Fiction genres.

To set the stage, imagine time is a fast flowing river under a sheet of ice. You can't get out of time because of the ice and you can't go back in time because the flow of time is too fast. Now what would happen if there are holes in that ice ? You got it, you could jump between the holes, if you knew where and when they were. And some people know about these holes through magic or scientific investigation.

Our protagonist throughout this journey is one Brendan Doyle who is called to England by an eccentric billionaire to investigate activities in the early 1800's. Apparently he , or rather people who work fro him, have found the holes in the ice over the time stream.

While Doyle does go back in time through the hole he si captured while there and does not return with the rest of the time travellers back to their origin in 1983. He is stuck in 1804. He soon meets all sorts of magical and maniacal people and creatures as he fights to find his way back.

Doctors Romany and Romanelli are two key villains, and we even have a body switching werewolf added to the mix.

Can Doyle somehow overcome all the impediments to the return to his real time or will he be stuck in early England.

It's truly an adventure to find out.

A fun and entertaining read about magic and time travel.

Centipede Press is releasing a limited edition high end hard cover version of the book this Fall

Encounters of Sherlock Holmes
Encounters of Sherlock Holmes
by George Mann
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.96
42 used & new from CDN$ 5.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Great selection of Holmes tales told by various authors. Great investment, Sept. 17 2013
This is a great compendium of stories based on Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

Staying true to the language, and process, used by Sherlock the stories range far and wide. We even have Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson solving mysteries. With Sherlock taking the credit of course.

The various authors have also brought into play characters that they have developed and which have appeared in their books, particularly George Mann's great series Newbury and Hobbes (of which I have read all).

Other authors include Mark Hodder; who I have read and enjoyed; Paul Magrs, Eric Brown and several more.

A nice cross section of ideas and mysteries means each page is a delight.

Recommended.

And coming in early 2014; the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror: 1986 : A Comprehensive Bibliography of Books and Short Fiction Published in the English Language
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror: 1986 : A Comprehensive Bibliography of Books and Short Fiction Published in the English Language
by Charles N. Brown
Edition: Hardcover
5 used & new from CDN$ 9.89

1.0 out of 5 stars Literally a detailed guide of books issued in 1986 ! Not much use as a research tool, Sept. 14 2013
I had decided that I needed some reference books as I continue to collect early science fiction stories, and thought this guide would be of assistance.

Turns out the title literaly tells you about this book. It is a comprehensive listing and details of most Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror publications during the year 1986.

Huge disappointment. Not much use as I would have to buy a book fror every year from 1920 to 1985 to use them as research tools.

I will look elsewhere and let you know I future reviews.

Unless you are after some deatil from a 1986 publication, NOT RECOMMENDED

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