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Reviews from May 2017 (22)

I’ve Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway

Not This August

By Cyril Kornbluth

30 May, 2017

Reds Under The Bed

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C. M. Kornbluth’s 1955 Not This August  is a standalone novel of what was then the near future. 

April 17, 1965: the bitter war between the United States and its allies — essentially just Canada by this stage of the war — and the combined forces of People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union ends with a glorious victory! But not for the US. America has been invaded, its armies crushed, its government given no choice but to surrender. 

In the aftermath of unconditional surrender, the United States of America is swept away, replaced by the North American People’s Democratic Republic. What this means for former Americans is not clear. 

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In a World Few Hearts Survive

Sovereign  (Nemesis, book 2)

By April Daniels

27 May, 2017

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2017’s Sovereign is the second novel in April Daniels’ Nemesis series. 

Less than a year after super-powers were thrust on her, Danny Dreadnought” Tozer seems to be finding her feet as a superhero and as a person. She and her lawyer have a cunning scheme to recreate the effectively defunct Legion Pacifica under Danny’s control. Danny is also on the verge of being legally emancipated from her abusive parents. Not bad for someone only barely old enough to drive.

With everything under control, it seems like the perfect time for a working holiday at a global convention for superhumans. This is, of course, exactly when her enemies unite against her.

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For We’re All Agreed That All We Need Is Sitting There In Your Head

The Song of Hadariah  (Dybbuk Scrolls Trilogy, book 1)

By Alisse Lee Goldenberg

26 May, 2017

A Year of Waterloo Region Speculative Fiction

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To quote her online bio :

Alisse Lee Goldenberg is an award-winning author of Horror, Young Adult Paranormal Romance, and Young Adult Fantasy fiction. She is currently working on three series: The Sitnalta Series, The Dybbuk Scrolls, and The Bath Salts Journals (co-authored with An Tran). She has her Bachelors of Education and a Fine Arts degree, and has studied fantasy and folklore since she was a child. Alisse is also a voice actress living in Toronto with her husband Brian, and their triplets Joseph, Phillip, and Hailey. 

2017’s The Song of Hadariah is the first volume in Alisse Lee Goldenberg’s Dybbuk Scrolls Trilogy: Book 1 

Seventeen-year-old Carrie has a lot of important decisions to make; her choices could shape her entire adult life. When she saves a beleaguered fox from her dog, she does not think that she is making one of those Big Decisions. Yet her impulsive act of kindness turns out to be not just Big, but the Biggest. 

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A Time to Kill

Red Girls

By Kazuki Sakuraba

24 May, 2017

Translation

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Kazuki Sakuraba’s Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas was published as Akakuchibaki no Densetsu  in 2006. The 2015 English language edition was translated by Jocelyne Allen. 

No one would have thought that the foundling Manyo was marked for great things. A mysterious mountain-dwelling clan had left the infant in Benimidori, an insignificant rural village. Fostered by a local family, she grew up as just another rustic in a small town notable only for the old Akakuchiba iron works and some recent shipyards. But fate had other plans for Manyo. 

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There’s a Danger A‑Coming and It Plans to Enslave

The Takeover

By C. M. Kotlan

23 May, 2017

Reds Under The Bed

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C. G. Edmondson and C. M. Kotlan’s 1984 novel The Takeover is a near-future thriller, written in those long-forgotten days when Americans were terrified that the Russians might somehow subvert America’s most basic institutions. Of course, these days we can look back and laugh at such ludicrous fears. 

The Russian military adventure codenamed Cassandra was intended to exploit a moment of American vulnerability and win concessions for the Soviet Union. Even Cassandras architect, Undersecretary of Agriculture and Commerce Pikusky, didn’t expect his little project to succeed to the extent it did. The Soviets wanted trade concessions. They got total conquest! 

Or so it seemed. 

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In Liberating Strife

Seven Days in May

By Charles W. Bailey

21 May, 2017

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey’s 1962’s Seven Days in May is a best-selling political thriller set in the early 1970s. 

The struggle over Iran brought the Americans and Soviets to the brink of all-out war. Republican President Edgar Frazier’s decision to accept a divided Iran was reasonable under the circumstances (it averted nuclear war) but it was political suicide for him1.

As his Democratic Party replacement Jordan Lyman discovers, sometimes success is just the opportunity to fail on a more epic scale.

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Free To Fly

Dreadnought  (Nemesis, book 1)

By April Daniels

20 May, 2017

Special Requests

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2017’s Dreadnought is the first novel in April Daniels’ Nemesis series. It’s the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last. 

Fifteen-year-old Danny went shopping. Buying nail polish, which was their coping mechanism for life with a domineering father who would react with rage and abuse if he were to discover that his son Danny is actually his daughter Danny. What Danny got out of the shopping trip was a starring role as vulnerable bystander in a battle between two superhumans,” a bystander cowering as the mighty Dreadnought fights to the death with villain Utopia.

Danny was lucky not to be reduced to a sooty outline on a wall. Their luck does not stop there.

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Not Enough Fun In Kitchener

A Place So Foreign and Eight More

By Corey Doctorow

19 May, 2017

A Year of Waterloo Region Speculative Fiction

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Cory Doctorow probably requires no introduction, but a link to his Wikipedia entry seems prudent. Doctorow’s connection to Waterloo Region is, as is so often the case, via education. He attended the University of Waterloo in the 1990s and again in the 2000s. 

2003’s A Place So Foreign and Eight More is a collection of Doctorow stories. I seem to have misfiled my copy of this but no worry: large portions of it are available online1.

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