Book Reviews

The Portable Door by Tom Holt, A Review.

Pros: Very funny, priceless witticisms. Possible Cons:  Only for those ready to suspend disbelief from a flagpole. Valuable Lesson: Don’t stress too much over cover art. Finding comparable works to Harmony Lost was no easy task; the tale is a mixture: a dash of Sci Fi, alternate reality, an atypical romance, a struggle to the […]

Grass by Sheri Tepper, a Review

(You can’t melt a frozen heart with anger) Pros: Lovely prose. Fabulous world building. Engaging plot with mystery, peril and hope. Deep themes including population control, religious hypocrisy and societal constraints, the human-animal connection. Fine characterizations including a portrayal of a failed marriage, and an intriguing protagonist. Characters act from in response to well-depicted psychological

Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCullen, a Review

(Marginalized humans undermine the dominance of machines with the help of a sentient breadmaker and a hair salon.) Pros: Clever set up, an interesting character, brilliant machine-world psychology. Possible Cons: Probably not the book for those unable to suspend disbelief or those who like their dystopias grim and sincere. Battlestar Suburbia begins as the story

Seeds of Change by Willow Thomson, A Review

Pros:  Highly convincing portrayal of a particular personality. Potential cons: Extensive telling of emotional states, low tension plot. In Willow Thomson’s debut novel, Seeds of Change, plague and catastrophic climate change leave Earth uninhabitable. A wealthy leader gathers a group of space colonists, and they depart for an unexplored planet.

Sensors and Intuitives in Neal Stephenson’s Novel, Anathem

A successful character reads like a complete person with particular thought patterns and reactions, habits and tics. The best characters are consistent and believable, a person one might encounter in real life, for better or worse. How does an author fashion the mental world of diverse but credible characters?

A Review of The Echo Chamber by Rhett J. Evans

Pros: Clever set up, interesting characters, timely topicsPossible Cons: Video game style climax and villain-tells-all scene. Roving point of view and a fair bit of “tell.” The Echo Chamber is in part a tale of tech-corporate malfeasance, involving a rogue AI, a blender and ruthless Silicon Valley executives who build a social media “echo chamber.”

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