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Reviews from November 2017 (22)

The Flame Still Burns

The City of Brass  (Daevabad Trilogy, book 1)

By S.A. Chakraborty 

30 Nov, 2017

3 comments

2017’s historical fantasy The City of Brass is S.A. Chakraborty’s debut novel, the first in the Daevabad Trilogy.

Napoleon’s French and the Turks agree on one thing; Cairo cannot rule itself. Their only disagreement is over which of them is best suited to own Egypt. Nahri sees little distinction between the foreign occupiers, although the Franks” are less likely to kill her for being a witch.

Not that Nahri admits to being an actual witch. As far as she is concerned, magic and religion are con games designed to separate gullible marks from their money. Her ability to heal with a touch is merely a minor quirk, one she accepts without wanting to explain it. She is greatly surprised, and therefore, when her improvised flourish during an exorcism summons Dara, an actual djinn.

A very angry, extraordinarily powerful djinn who takes being summoned by a mere human as a personal affront.

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The Cat Came Back

Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat!

By Brittney Williams 

28 Nov, 2017

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

Hooked on a Feline, Don’t Stop Me-ow, and Careless Whisker(s) collect all seventeen issues of Kate Leth and Brittney Williams’ comic Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat! 

Granted an open-ended, unpaid leave from her duties as an investigator, unwilling to go back to life as a costumed adventurer, Patsy Hellcat” Walker boldly embraces a new career: 

Temping!

With a side-order of retail.

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Within the Sound of Silence

Children of the Divide  (Children of a Dead Earth, book 3)

By Patrick S. Tomlinson 

27 Nov, 2017

Miscellaneous Reviews

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2017’s Children of the Divide is the third but probably not final volume in Patrick S. Tomlinson’s Children of a Dead Earth series.

A generation after their ark parked in orbit around Gaea (one of Tau Ceti’s life-bearing worlds), the refugees are well on their way to building a new civilization to replace the one they lost. There are just two problems: 

  1. Tensions between humans and Gaean natives could result in civil war. 

  2. The aliens who destroyed Earth may have once lived in the Tau Ceti system — and may return.


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Writing in the Garden

Titan  (Gaea, book 1)

By John Varley 

26 Nov, 2017

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

3 comments

1979’s Titan is the first novel in John Varley’s Gaea trilogy.

Ringmaster is the first crewed spacecraft to visit distant Saturn. The crew discovers a twelfth moon of Saturn, the first discovered in the six decades since Janus and Epimethius were detected in the 1960s1. What at first appears to be a small object turns out to be huge, over 1300 kilometres in diameter2. By rights, any moon that large should be spherical and comparable in mass to our Moon. This object, which the astronauts initially call Themis, is a torus of low mass which is spinning rapidly enough that any object on its surface would be flicked off into space. The obvious conclusion is that the object is artificial, possibly an alien generation ship. 

When Ringmaster approaches the object, they discover something else about Themis. It knows that Ringmaster is nearby and is able to reach out and tear the spacecraft apart. The crew — Cirocco Jones, Bill NLN, April and August Polo, Gaby Plauget, Calvin Greene, and Gene Springfield — are grabbed by immense tentacles and borne off into the depths of the vast moon.

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Something in the Wind

Radiant  (League of Peoples, book 7)

By James Alan Gardner 

25 Nov, 2017

A Year of Waterloo Region Speculative Fiction

2 comments

To quote Wikipedia:

James Alan Gardner (born January 10, 1955) is a Canadian science fiction author. Raised in Simcoe and Bradford, Ontario, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Waterloo.
Gardner has published science fiction short stories in a range of periodicals, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Amazing Stories. In 1989, his short story The Children of Creche” was awarded the Grand Prize in the Writers of the Future contest. Two years later his story Muffin Explains Teleology to the World at Large” won a Prix Aurora Award; another story, Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream,” won an Aurora and was nominated for both the Nebula and Hugo Awards.

Radiant is the seventh and thus far final volume in James Alan Gardner’s League of Peoples series. Readers who want more books should make that known to publishers.

Youn Suu’s mother wanted the genetic engineers to ensure that her daughter would be a beauty who would satisfy her mother’s very demanding standards. Instead, Youn was born with a face that was, shall we say, less than conventionally beautiful. How inconsiderate of her! 

The Technocracy has a use for people like Youn. The Explorer Corps is always looking for new recruits, particularly unsightly or unpopular people whose demise will be regretted by nobody. That’s because the hazards of exploration are matched only by the brevity of Explorer lifespans. Youn was fated from birth to become an Explorer or as they are better known, an Expendable.

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A Maid Both Brave And Brawn

Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace

By Saito Tatsuo 

22 Nov, 2017

Translation

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2014’s Mōretsu uchū kaizoku — Akū no shin’en (Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace) is the feature-length animated movie follow-up to the anime television adaptation of Saito Tatsuo’s Mōretsu Pairētsu (Bodacious Space Pirates) light novel series. Saito Tatsuo was the film’s writer/director.

Sole heir of the notorious space pirate Gonzaemon Kato, Marika Kato assumed her father’s role as captain of the Bentenmaru upon Gonzaemon’s death. The Bentenmaru isn’t the only pirate vessel in the Tau Ceti system, but it may be the only one whose captain has a curfew. Marika is, after all, only seventeen, still in high school, and she needs to maintain her grade point average.

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Stand a Little Taller

Prime Meridian

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia 

20 Nov, 2017

Miscellaneous Reviews

3 comments

2017’s Prime Meridian is a standalone science fiction novella by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

In the glorious world of tomorrow, anyone with enough money can buy a ticket to the Martian settlements. Anyone with the right credentials can indenture themself to buy that precious ticket.

Thanks to her decision to drop out of college to care for her dying mother, Amelia doesn’t have money or credentials. Instead, she is one of Mexico City’s precariate. A new life on Mars can only be a dream.

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Proserpina! Proserpina!

Worlds  (Worlds, book 1)

By Joe Haldeman 

19 Nov, 2017

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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1981’s Worlds is the first volume in Joe Haldeman’s Worlds trilogy.

By 2084, half a million people live in forty-one orbital habitats circling the Earth; they are the so-called Worlds. New New York is largest of the Worlds. It is the only home our protagonist Marianne O’Hara has ever known. University in Old New York will be an entirely new experience for her. If she plays her cards wrong, possibly her last experience ever.

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