James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Contributor

Reviews by Contributor: McCaffrey, Anne (4)

Strange Alchemy

Alchemy and Academe

 Edited by Anne McCaffrey 

26 May, 2024

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Anne McCaffrey’s 1970 Alchemy and Academe is (to quote an inside page) A Collection of Original Stories Concerning Themselves with Transmutations, Mental and Elemental, Alchemical and Academic.”

Or rather, it’s an anthology etc. Ah, well, still less misleading than the cover, which claims that Alchemy and Academe is Enchanting tales of some sorcerers and their apprentices,” which it isn’t, not really. As far as I can tell, Alchemy and Academe is one of two anthologies edited by McCaffrey.

Of all the editors I would have expected to compare McCaffrey to, it would not have been…

Read more ➤

Not So Little Boys

The Ship Who Sang  (Brainships, volume 1)

By Anne McCaffrey  

30 Dec, 2018

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Anne McCaffrey’s 1969’s The Ship Who Sang is a fix-up of SF stories published 1961 – 1969.

Hideously disfigured Helva might have been humanely euthanized, as was routinely done to those outside the norm for her time and place. But she had a brain worth salvaging. Helva survived the conversion process and was reborn as … the brain of interstellar ship XH 834

Read more ➤

Will A Pretty Face Make It Better?


By Anne McCaffrey  

10 Sep, 2017

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Anne McCaffrey’s standalone SF novel Restoree was her debut novel.

Snatched by monstrous aliens, embittered spinster Sara wakes from nightmares to find herself transformed from an all-too-Semitic-looking woman whom nobody could possibly love to a beauty. Her current captors are using her as grunt labor in a mental institution. They regard her as semi-intelligent and unthreatening.

Her masters’ underestimation of Sara’s cognitive abilities will prove their undoing.

Read more ➤

Acknowledging McCaffrey

Decision at Doona  (Doona, volume 1)

By Anne McCaffrey  

26 Jun, 2016

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


On the one hand, I am not a fan of Anne McCaffrey’s fiction. On the other, she was a significant figure in the field, one of just five women named Grand Master of Science Fiction; at some point I need to acknowledge her. I find that I do have some of her books1. One of those books is the initially standalone2 1969 novel Decision at Doona.

Read more ➤