James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Date

Reviews from January 2023 (22)

Nice Sharp Quillets

Sword of Fire  (Justice War, volume 1)

By Katharine Kerr  

3 Jan, 2023

Special Requests


2020’s Sword of Fire is the first volume in Katharine Kerr’s Justice War series. Justice War is the fifth series set in Kerr’s Deverry secondary-universe fantasy setting.

Centuries after the events of the Deverry, Westlands, Dragon Mage, and Silver Wyrm arcs, Aberwyn’s ruler, the Gwerbret Ladoic, faces a most unwanted development: widespread cries for a rule of law that is based on something more than a Gwerbret’s whim.

When Cradoc the Bard launches a hunger strike to protest the lack of reform, Ladoic ignores the Bard. Surely, Cradoc will give in before Ladoic does. Cradoc does not. Cradoc starves himself to death. Ladoic’s political problems are now much worse.

Read more ➤

One Hand on The Bible

Space War Blues

By Richard A. Lupoff  

1 Jan, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Richard A. Lupoff’s 1978 Space War Blues is a military science fiction novel (more on that later). A fix-up, it incorporates material previously published in Again, Dangerous Visions (more on that later), and various volumes of New Dimensions, Amazing Magazine, and Heavy Metal. The Dell edition includes introductions from Harlan-Ellison-superfan Harlan Ellison and Richard A. Lupoff (and oh yes, more on that later).

Fast interstellar ships allowed the people of Earth to spread out to a plethora of habitable worlds. Every community could have a planet of its own!

Now, one might think this would mean an end to war. That sunny view fails to take into account that the core value that defines N’Alabama is white supremacy. Confident in their inherent superiority over black people, N’Alabama resolves to defeat and conquer N’Haiti.

Read more ➤