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Reviews in Project: Big Hair, Big Guns! (21)

Saturday Night Dark Masquerade

The Taking of Satcon Station  (Asher Bockhorn, book 1)

By Jim Baen & Barney Cohen 

31 Oct, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

5 comments

Barney Cohen and Jim Baen’s The Taking of Satcon Station is an SF mystery. It is also the sole Jim Baen novel of which I am aware. This is not entirely a bad thing. 

Despite the best efforts of UN red tape to impede space enterprise, a century of development has seen the building of space facilities spanning Earth orbit to the Asteroid Belt. Once the US Space Command enforced the rules. Now that is the domain of Fleet Agents like Bockhorn, working for space concerns like MexAmerican & Pacific. 

As the book opens, Bockhorn is stubbing out his cigarette before disembarking at Satcon Station. In its day, Satcon was a hotbed of cutting-edge research. Most people would say those days are long behind the eighty-eight-year-old station. Most people would be wrong: there’s a very bold project underway on Satcon. Bockhorn is going to find himself up to his … let’s say eyebrows… in it.

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Just a Soul That’s Changing Its Shape

The Shattered Stars

By Richard S. McEnroe 

22 Aug, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

4 comments

Richard S. McEnroe’s 1984 The Shattered Stars is a standalone (ish) SF novel which takes place in McEnroe’s Far Stars and Future Times setting.

Moses Callahan is the proud owner of the independent trader Wild Goose, which is another way of saying he is a cash-short, desperate man pushed into an economic corner by larger, richer concerns who can afford ships with up-to-date tech. Just the sort of captain who might be greedy enough that he wouldn’t examine closely a chance to earn some quick cash. 

Might.


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Mr. Lonely

The Quiet Earth

By Sam Pillsbury 

29 Jun, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

5 comments

1985’s The Quiet Earth was written by Bill Baer, Bruno Lawrence, and Sam Pillsbury; it was directed by Geoff Murphy. It is (loosely) based on the novel of the same name by Craig Harrison. It stars Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, and Peter Smith. 

Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence), a scientist working on Project Flashlight, isn’t there at the New Zealand Flashlight facility on the morning of July 5th. That’s when the project will be tested. The effects of the test are obvious. To quote Zac: 

[quote] Zac Hobson, July 5th. One: there has been a malfunction in Project Flashlight with devastating results. Two: it seems I am the only person left on Earth.” [quote]


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Catch Me As I Fall

The Falling Woman

By Pat Murphy 

14 Jun, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

3 comments

1986’s The Falling Woman is a standalone Nebula-Award-winning fantasy by Pat Murphy. 

Elizabeth Waters has escaped unwanted motherhood and a stultifying marriage at great cost to herself. Her reward: a career as a field archaeologist. Elizabeth is a valuable colleague at any dig because she seems to have a sixth sense for promising sites. 

This is because she has a literal sixth sense. She sees the shades of the dead. The ghosts of the past guide her. 


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To Get What I Want

Crisis on Infinite Earths

By George Pérez 

4 Jun, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

3 comments

Crisis on Infinite Earths was a twelve-issue miniseries from DC Comics1 published from 1985 to 1986. It was written by Marv Wolfman, and pencilled by George Pérez2.

There are many versions of the Earth, each with their own histories. The superheroes of Earth One made contact with their counterparts on Earth Two an indeterminate time ago. In what almost seemed to have become an annual tradition, Earth One’s Justice League periodically teamed up with Earth Two’s Justice Society to deal with crises affecting both worlds. 

Now there is a crisis affecting not just Earth One, and Earth Two, but all the worlds. 

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You Say You Got A Real Solution

Schismatrix

By Bruce Sterling 

27 Apr, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

2 comments

Bruce Sterling’s 1985 hard SF novel Schismatrix is the sole novel set in his Shaper/Mechanist universe, a setting also featured in handful of short pieces1.

The human colonies of the Solar System are divided into two factions: the Shapers, who want to enlist biology in reshaping humanity, and the Mechanists, who rely on technology. The two sides loath each other and are engaged in an increasingly tense cold war. It isn’t clear which camp will shape humanity’s future. 

Abelard Lyndsay, born to a high-ranked family in the Mare Serenitatis Circumlunar Corporate Republic, was sent as envoy to the Shaper city-states in the Rings of Saturn. This was during a brief period when the Republic was flirting with a Shaper alliance. Once the lunar aristocrats allied with the Mechanists, Abelard found himself an embarrassing relic of a failed policy. 

Already radicalized by the Shapers, Abelard turned to extreme political gestures. Upshot: Abelard’s lover Vera dead, and Abelard an exile from his former home. 


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Wounds Are All I’m Made Of

Akira

By Katsuhiro Otomo 

22 Apr, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

0 comments

Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga Akira was serialized in Young Magazine from 1982 to 1990. The first English translation was published by Marvel Comics’ Epic line from 1988 to 19951. The US edition pioneered the use of computer colourization, courtesy Steve Oliff. For many North Americans this was their introduction to manga. 

Viktor Haag was kind enough to lend me his Epic collection. 


Since I am not sure how the Epic volumes map onto the current version from Dark Horse, I decided to review the entire, 2000+ page work as a whole. 

All together now: 

TETSUOOOO!”


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