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Reviews from January 2015 (25)

The Apocalypse Will Be Unevenly Distributed

Coyote  (After the Fires Went Out, volume 1)

By Regan Wolfrom  

20 Jan, 2015

Special Requests

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2012’s After the Fires Went Out: Coyote (Book One), Regan Wolfrom, is one of those rare Canadian post-apocalyptic novels, to be shelved with such works as The Last Canadian1 and Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse. The comet came, the effort to divert it failed, a lot of people died, and now that the dust has settled, visionaries like Ryan Stems have a grand ambition: to give the people of the Mushkegowuk Nation a place safe from the marauders and biker gangs that have overrun much of what was once Northern Ontario. 

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Panicky teenyboppers stampeded in tight circles, shrieking, Dig it! Dig it! Dig it!” and knocking unwary tourists off their feet.

The Butterfly Kid  (Greenwich Village Trilogy, volume 1)

By Chester Anderson  

18 Jan, 2015

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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1967’s The Butterfly Kid, first volume in the Greenwich Village Trilogy, is perhaps the finest science fiction thriller in which a ragtag group of hippies and hipsters (based on real people) save the world from blue meanies. While that’s not a huge field, it’s one with surprising stiff competition.

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A lesser-known classic from the 1970s

The Gameplayers of Zan  (Ler, volume 2)

By M. A. Foster  

14 Jan, 2015

Rediscovery Tuesday

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M. A. Foster published seven novels and a collection of short stories between 1975 and 1985. Despite having been intermittently out of print since first publication, his work still has its fans1. The Gameplayers of Zan was only the second of his seven novels, but, if you find someone who still remembers Foster’s work, it’s very likely that the book they will mention first is Gameplayers. It’s one of those curious gems the mid-1970s2 produced, a science-fictional anthropological exploration slash Kafkaesque political thriller that probably wouldn’t see print in today’s market.

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Crosstime Adventure

Crossroads of Time  (Crosstime, volume 1)

By Andre Norton  

10 Jan, 2015

50 Nortons in 50 Weeks

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1956’s Crossroads of Time is in many respects another straightforward, serviceable little adventure novel that I would have found unremarkable except for an interesting choice of protagonist and a date of publication that makes the previous even more interesting. These two points cause me to stroke my beard in a thoughtful manner, which I believe makes me look intellectual rather than itchy.

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Different is dead”

Ingathering: The Complete People Stories

By Zenna Henderson  

9 Jan, 2015

Special Requests

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Zenna Henderson’s 1995 single-author collection, Ingathering: The Complete People Stories, assembles, I think for the first time, all of her stories about the People. The People are aliens forced to flee the only Home they knew when it decided to pull a Krypton. Although I’ve owned this volume for twenty years (when did 1995 get to be so twenty years ago?) I’ve never actually read it or any Henderson at all1, so this was a welcome chance to sample the works of a noteworthy author hitherto unfamiliar to me. 

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