James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Project

Reviews in Project: Big Hair, Big Guns! (70)

Wanderin’ Worker

Being Alien  (Becoming Alien, volume 2)

By Rebecca Ore  

22 Aug, 2023

Big Hair, Big Guns!

2 comments

1989’s Being Alien is the second volume in Rebecca Ore’s Becoming Alien trilogy. The first volume, Becoming Alien, was reviewed here.

Tom Gentry has been recruited to serve the galactic polity, the Federation. He has been given a new name, training, and employment in the Federation’s monitoring and first contact bureaucracy.

For the most part, Tom has adjusted well. 

Read more ➤

Spin On To Yesterday

Anubis Gates  (Anubis Gates, volume 1)

By Tim Powers  

17 Aug, 2023

Big Hair, Big Guns!

1 comment

1983’s The Anubis Gates is the first of Tim Powers’ Anubis Gates series1.

1801: Determined to make Egypt great again, magicians Doctor Romany and Amenophis Fikee travel to England to conduct a ceremony which, if successful, will sweep the British Empire and its loathsome peers from the face of the Earth, then restore the old Egyptian gods in their full glory. The result is a catastrophe whose effects are felt across time.

Having failed again to sabotage the British Empire, the surviving schemers turn to other plots.

Read more ➤

Dirt and Worm

Buying Time

By Joe Haldeman  

22 Jun, 2023

Big Hair, Big Guns!

1 comment

Joe Haldeman’s 1989 Buying Time (also published as The Long Habit of Living) is a stand-alone science fiction novel.

The Stileman Process delivers immortality on the installment plan. In exchange for a million dollars (or all of a person’s wealth, whichever is more) the Stileman Foundation restores youth and vitality … for about ten years. Without another round of the Process, death swiftly ensues. It’s strong motivation for would-be immortals to keep earning fortunes.

Dallas1 Barr is adept at making money. What he needs now is a talent for running away.

Read more ➤

Visions Of The Things To Be

Toolmaker Koan

By John C. McLoughlin  

1 Jun, 2023

Big Hair, Big Guns!

5 comments

John C. McLoughlin’s 1987 Toolmaker Koan is a stand-alone science fiction novel.

Only a few million people died during the One-Day War and the Disturbance that followed. To preclude further hostilities, the overcrowded, poisoned Earth was divided between the Greater Columbian Alliance (essentially North and South America) and the United People’s Democratic Republics of Africa and Eurasia (everyone else). Both sides are mutually hostile, vigilant, and heavily armed — but peace is ensured. The alternative, after all, is total species extinction.

Far out towards the Oort Cloud, a Democratic Republics’ space probe discovers a curious object. A third party has entered the game. This new faction is alien.

Read more ➤

Some Underworld Spy

Tool of the Trade

By Joe Haldeman  

9 Feb, 2023

Big Hair, Big Guns!

3 comments

Joe Haldeman’s 1987’s Tool of the Trade is a stand-alone science fiction espionage novel.

MIT psychology Nicholas Foley is a seemingly unremarkable academic. In fact, Foley is remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that he is a Soviet sleeper agent. Leningrad-born Nikola Ulinov was infiltrated into the US as a young man. Ulinov, now Foley, has invested decades establishing himself within American academia.

Foley’s casual hobby of lethal vigilantism is less remarkable than how the sleeper agent manages to kill miscreant after miscreant. Foley has the power to compel obedience.

Read more ➤

Lie For You

The Alchemists  (The Alchemists, volume 1)

By Geary Gravel  

8 Dec, 2022

Big Hair, Big Guns!

3 comments

1984’s The Alchemists is the first of two volumes in Geary Gravel’s The Alchemists series.

Jonathan Emerson Emrys” Tate summons experts to Belthannis Autumnworld. There they will assess the native people, the kin, to establish whether or not the kin should be deemed human under Commonwealth law1.

Or so Emrys claims. In fact, he has a different purpose in mind for his team. They will contrive some way to get the kin classified as human despite the fact they very clearly do not qualify.

Read more ➤

Tower to the Sky

2300 AD

By Marc Miller, Frank Chadwick, Timothy B. Brown & Lester W. Smith  

4 Oct, 2022

Big Hair, Big Guns!

9 comments


Marc W. Miller, Frank Chadwick, Timothy B. Brown, and Lester W. Smith’s1988 RPG 2300 AD1 is the second edition of a 1986 near-future hard-SF roleplaying game originally titled Traveller: 2300, put out by Game Designer Workshop. In addition to the rebranding, GDW substantially expanded second edition 2300 AD: whereas Traveller: 2300s various manuals totaled 129 pages, 2300 ADs manuals totaled 232. To sweeten the deal even more, GDW was willing to swap copies of Traveller: 2300 for copies of 2300 AD.

Inside the hefty and durable box2, gamers found:

Read more ➤