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Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era
Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era
by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 47.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Insiders look at Science Fiction in the 40's and 50's. Great information resource on these times, Oct. 30 2013
If you are a fan of science fiction you will recognize the authors name as a contributor to this field not only through his books but also the fact that he owned Fantasy Press.

Fantasy Press published Science Fiction and some Fantasy books between 1947 and 1961.

This is the story of Lloyd Arthur Eshbach from his own mouth.

As well it is the story of the founding and floundering of a large group of small publishers in the 1940's to 1970's. How they got started;and Eshbach's opinion as to why they eventually closed their doors.

Eshbach got to rub shoulders with all sorts of Science Fiction masters including Heinlein, Doc Smith and many others. There are some funny stories included about some of these people

As a biography it is great, as a source of information on this period it is spectacular.

The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes
The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes
by George Mann
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.79
39 used & new from CDN$ 5.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anthology of short stories within the Steampunk world of Newbury & Hobbes, Oct. 28 2013
This is a collection of short stories within the Newbury and Hobbes world of England in the early 1900's.

There are stories of apparitions, stories of marvellous machinery, ancient treasure and a run in with someone who bested Newbury several times.

If you have read the novels in this series by George Mann, namely "The Affinity Bridge", "The Osiris Ritual", "The Immorality Engine", and "The Executioners Heart" you will be right at home.

Even if you haven't read any of the novels these short stories will allow you a peak into the world that George Mann has created for his characters.

Much like Sherlock Holmes Newbury likes to logic his way to a problems solution but sometimes he just goes charging in.

Entertaining

It should be noted that the story entitled "The case of the Nightcrawler" also appears in the book "Encounters of Sherlock Holmes" which was edited by George Mann. As I have also read this fine book I guess it's only fair that he have his story in this anthology.

Marionettes, Inc.
Marionettes, Inc.
by Ray Bradbury
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 38.96
13 used & new from CDN$ 28.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Can we use alternate mechanical people to fufill our desires - good and evil ?, Oct. 28 2013
This review is from: Marionettes, Inc. (Hardcover)
Ray Bradbury has a way with words. He approaches the issue from an oblique almost poteical fashion that is attractive to the reader.

In this anthology of 6 short stories we see the positives and the negatives associated with the hubris of creating copies of humans that are machines.

There is the grandmother that looks after three children with diferent needs and adapts to thsoe needs on the run.

We have man intent on killing his cheating wife by doing the act to her duplicate.

Each story asks the question are we as good or bad as we are because we are human or because we can use Marionettes , Inc product to realize our expectations.

Interesting read from a master at his craft

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Guardian
The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Guardian
by Jack Campbell
Edition: Hardcover
32 used & new from CDN$ 4.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Just trying to get home. Epic Space Opera. Bad guys just won't give up. Recommended, Oct. 27 2013
This is the third book in the "The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontiers" series which also includes "Dreadnaught" and "Invincible".

Admiral "Black Jack" Geary has taken the Alliance Fleet farther than any other human fleet and defeated three races (one human and 2 Alien) that had threatened humanity, now he just wants to get his fleet home.

While the alien Enigma and Kicks (also called Bear-Cows) are behind him, the Syndics who are allegedly at peace with the Alliance, after getting their butts kicked by Black Jack, keep putting impediments in the way of Black Jack's fleet.

The most recent is apparently their ability to shut down the hypernet gates and force Black Jack to take a convoluted route home. This is something new to the Alliance fleet but what can he do ?

Lots of space battles and once you add in some political interference you get a fast paced and vivid adventure.

Will the fleet survive the surprises the Syndics apparently planted along his return route ?

What are the real motives of the "Dancers"; another alien race who have attached themselves to his fleet ?

Highly recommended.

Bloodstar: Star Corpsman: Book One
Bloodstar: Star Corpsman: Book One
by Ian Douglas
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.02
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start of an interesting new space opera from an expert in the field. Recommended, Oct. 24 2013
This is the first book in what will probably be a trilogy based on the authors other trilogy series - The Heritage Trilogy The Legacy Trilogy The Inheritance Trilogy and The Star Carrier Trilogy. All of which I have read, and all of which I highly recommend.

The Author Ian Douglas (actually a pseudonym of William H. Keith Jr.) excels at space opera and particularly military science fiction dealing with marines.

In this series the author dips his toe into a perspective that I am surprised he hasn't entered before. Namely the main character is a Corpsman , or medic, Elliot Carlyle, or eCar as he is referred to by the other members of Bravo Company's Black Wizards. The reason I say that is because the author is a former naval Corpsman.

The view from the Corpsman's perspective is different then that of the fighting members of his company but is none the less engaging.

Yes there is lot's of action on the planet Bloodworld and we get to peak behind the thinking process of a Corpsman in the future. The story arc flows smoothly and we are quickly attached to the characters

Still lots of aliens, politics, battles and heroism; plus a little medical knowledge..

Highly recommended.

The Unincorporated Future
The Unincorporated Future
by Dani Kollin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.71
27 used & new from CDN$ 3.95

5.0 out of 5 stars The Stunning Conclusion to this epic space opera. Recommended, Oct. 17 2013
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This is the fourth and final book in the Unincorporated series which also includes "The Unincorporated War" "The Unincorporated Man" "The Unincorporated Woman"

In this stunning conclusion we have the Incorporated World and the Alliance still killing as many of the others as they can. The war has been going on for 7 years and the loss of life is in the billions.

On the Incorporated side we have Hektor Sambianco, President of the United Human Federation and his "Champion" Admiral Trang who would wnd will do anything that the President tells him to do. Even though it is obvious that President Sambianco is a sociopath (as are most serial killers).

On the Alliance side we have President Sandra O'Toole and her "Champion" Admiral J.D. Black. Black may not be as brutal as Trang, but she has none the less spilled her share of blood.

And the third party in the war is the avatars who have avoided being found out by humanity up to this point but in fact have been found out. Just like humanity the avatars are fighting their own battle against a rogue avatar who wants to kill any avatar who does not do what he wants done.

There is of course a good side to the avatars and they are not only trying to he;p the alliance but also limit damage to them by the rogue avatar.

Both sides prepare for what is expected to be a final battle for supremacy in their part of the galaxy.

Will a decisive battle really end the war ?

What will the losing side do in response ?

Are the avatars really on the Alliances side ?

What about their own internal war ?

With a wicked twist in the plot at the end, this along with the other 3 books in the series, this book will keep you up wanting to read more to see what happens.

One minor complaint is that editing was sloppy in the first quarter of the book with grammatical errors and the wrong words added or being used. After that, the rest of the book was flawless.

Highly recommended book.

Highly recommended series.
.

Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
by James Lee Burke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.55
76 used & new from CDN$ 3.30

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Multiple Murders and a Detective on vacation investigating. This time it's personal !, Oct. 8 2013
This is book 20 in the Dave Robicheaux Novel series and although I haven't read any of the previous 19 I can see why readers would fall in love with this series. Just do a search for James Lee Burke on any book site and they will all pop up. This book stands on its own.

In this edition of the Dave Robicheaux Novel series we find Dave taking a much needed vacation in Montana when a couple of events attracts Dave's attention and he is into full investigation mode in a child murder; so much for that relaxing vacation. The cast and crew are as follows:

Dave Robicheaux - Louisiana Detective

Clete - ex Louisiana detective now a private investigator

Alafair - Dave's daughter

Gretchen - Clete's daughter and ex mob hit woman

Mystery Killer - may or may not be serial killer

Other characters: FBI agent and local police officers plus a Billionaire and his family

Soon these characters are shaken and stirred and there seems to be circumstantial evidence that the serial killer everyone thought dead in a prison transfer accident may still be alive.

James Lee Burke writes almost poetically as his characters stop to observe their surroundings which brings us closer to them by understanding the environment they are operating in.

The main character Dave does not have an easy time convincing the local peace officers that something is going on and that something is getting too close to his daughter and his friends.

The characters are all rough and tough and don't mind letting you know in a physical way if you are making them mad.

A hard knock, take no guff, kind of group dealing with a gruesome murder.

Compelling reading

Highly Recommended

Clowns at Midnight
Clowns at Midnight
by Terry Dowling
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 74.41

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
7 used & new from CDN$ 56.77

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
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.61

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

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