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Reviews from January 2017 (23)

Seven Times I Pierce My Heart

The Stars Are Legion

By Kameron Hurley 

3 Jan, 2017

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Kameron Hurley’s 2017’s The Star Are Legion is a standalone space opera.

In a distant future, a flock of huge world-ships orbit an unnamed star. Within the ships, there are life forms of all kinds, including humans. But every living thing has its allotted span and the world-ships are no exception. They are dying and when they do die, so too will all the humans who live within them.

Zan and Jayd have a cunning plan to escape the coming mass extinction. The cost of the plan will be much greater than they expect. 

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Trying to Catch Your Eye

Up The Line

By Robert Silverberg 

1 Jan, 2017

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Robert Silverberg is a fascinating figure. His career as a science fiction writer spans over six decades and comprises at least three distinct periods: 

  • his early, prolific pulp phase, during which he put more emphasis on speed1 than polish;
  • a middle period, when he reinvented himself as an ambitious literary SF author;
  • the most recent period, more polished than the first and more commercial than the second. 

I discovered him while he was writing classics like Dying Inside, To Live Again, and Downward to Earth. To me, it’s the serious, ambitious work from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s that is ineluctably Silverberg.

Of course the first book of his I am going to review is his 1969 time-travel sex comedy, Up the Line. That’s because if There Will Be Time wasn’t the SF novel that revealed to me that Byzantium existed, Up The Line very definitely was. Paired review, remember?

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Too Soon Out of Sight

There Will Be Time

By Poul Anderson 

1 Jan, 2017

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Today’s Because My Tears Are Delicious to You Review is a very special double review! And not because I want to bump up my stats. The two books I have selected are a pair of thematically related but very different novels that I will re-read back to back. Because There Will Be Time was on the top of the stack Anderson” comes before Silverberg,” I will start the re-read with Mr. Anderson’s novel. 

1972’s Hugo-nominated There Will Be Time is the book that convinced teenage me that I liked his fiction. It is part of Poul Anderson’s Maurai series, which included three novelettes (1959’s The Sky People , 1962’s Progress and 1973’s Windmill) as well as a second novel, 1983’s Orion Shall Rise. 

Centuries after the Judgment War, the Maurai dominated the Earth, guiding other nations away from destructive machine culture and towards more sustainable ways of life. There Will Be Time begins some time before this golden age, in 1933, with the birth of Jack Havig, an American who will play a very curious role in the history of the Maurai. 

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