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Reviews in Project: Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials (11)

Poor Pitiful Me

Black Snow Days

By Claudia O'Keefe  

10 Jan, 2023

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

1 comment

Claudia O’Keefe’s 1990 Black Snow Days is a stand-alone post-apocalypse novel. Black Snow Days was the eleventh debut novel published in the Third Ace Science Fiction Specials. Editorship of the series was assumed by Damon Knight following the untimely death of editor Terry Carr.

Eric Pope was cognitively enhanced by his mother (whom Eric unsurprisingly thinks of as Mother); she feared that her son might other languish with a merely average intelligence. Eric Pope didn’t choose to be who he is and expresses his discontent by behaving badly. His story comes to an abrupt and violent end as an ill-considered car race ends in a catastrophic crash.

Cut to 2058.… 

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Twas Grace That Taught My Heart To Fear

Tides of God

By Ted Reynolds  

13 Dec, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

6 comments

Ted Reynold’s Tides of God is a science fiction combat-theology novel. Reynold’s debut novel, it is to date his sole work at novel length (at least so far as I am aware). Tides of God was the tenth novel featured in the Third Ace Specials and the first of those to appear after Damon Knight took over editorial duties following Terry Carr’s death in 1987.

3228: freed of the tyranny of irrational religion, the Earth enjoys an era of rationality, free love, and general prosperity. The hard work of restoring damage done to the Earth during the post-21st century dark age is under way.

Thanks to their alien Krocerian trading partners, humanity has its first relativistic starship, Hound of Heaven. There is, however, a price to be paid. Hound of Heavens first voyage will be to intercept and kill God.

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Friends of Mr. Cairo

Metrophage

By Richard Kadrey  

8 Nov, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

2 comments

Richard Kadrey’s 1988 Metrophage is a stand-alone cyberpunk dystopia. Metrophage was the ninth book in Terry Carr’s Third Ace Science Fiction Specials. Like the other Third Ace Science Fiction Specials novels1, Metrophage was Kadrey’s novel-length debut.

Jonny Qabbala sets out on a simple errand: locate fellow reprobate Easy Money at HoloWhores, Easy Money’s place of work, and shoot him in the head. This will be retribution for Easy Money’s murder of Jonny’s quasi-friend and drug source, Raquin.

Johnny will never realize most of his goals, including this one.

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Ride To the End of The Road

The Net

By Loren J. MacGregor  

11 Oct, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

2 comments

Loren J. MacGregor’s 1987 The Net is a stand-alone science fiction novel. The Net was the eighth book in Terry Carr’s Third Ace Science Fiction Specials.

Jason Horiuchi, chief executive officer of Horiuchi, Pte., could control the family trust from the comfort of a lavish office. She prefers to ensconce herself in the well-appointed but diminutive starship Argo, cosplaying a tramp freighter captain. Jason claims that her mobility gives her better insight into the trust’s far-flung holdings. Her success in reversing the trust’s decline would seem to support this. 

There is, however, a second, more compelling reason why Jason has adopted her current lifestyle.

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In The Dark of Night

The Hercules Text

By Jack McDevitt  

13 Sep, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

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Jack McDevitt’s 1986 debut novel The Hercules Text is a (then) near-future First Contact story. The Hercules Text was the seventh novel in the Third Ace Science Fiction Specials series, edited by Terry Carr.

Personnel functionary Harry Carmichael has neither the love of his soon to be ex-wife, nor the respect of the scientists he provides with invaluable administrative services. He can at least look forward to distraction from his personal problems. Humanity is about to be contacted by extra-terrestrial intelligence. 

Humanity may be about to go extinct.

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Your Heart Will Glow

In the Drift

By Michael Swanwick  

9 Aug, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

2 comments

Michael Swanwick’s 1985 In the Drift is a stand-alone near-future alternate-history novel. In the Drift was the sixth1 novel in the Third Ace Science Fiction Specials series, edited by Terry Carr.

1979: in a spectacular exhibition of American nuclear industry know-how, Three Mile Island suffered a catastrophic melt-down. A vast swath of land downwind of the reactor was contaminated with radioactive debris. This is the so-called Drift. Millions fled, only to be violently murdered by their fearful fellow Americans. The USA splintered.

Almost a century later, the east coast is still a shambles but only some of it glows in the dark.

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Time in a Bottle

Palimpsests

By Carter Scholz & Glenn Harcourt  

12 Jul, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

1 comment

Carter Scholz and Glenn Harcourt’s 1984 Palimpsests is a stand-alone science fiction novel. It was the fourth novel in the Third Ace Specials series, which was edited by Terry Carr. 

Professor Frederick Warner’s dig in the Neander Valley should have turned up a few ancient hominin bones (if they were lucky), bones filling in a few of the empty spaces in humanity’s pre-history. Indeed, particularly fine bones were discovered. However, sharp-eyed anthropologist Hans Camus spotted something else in the dirt, something that would up-end his career.

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Real Tough Cookie

Neuromancer  (Sprawl, volume 1)

By William Gibson  

14 Jun, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

5 comments

1984’s Neuromanceris the first volume in William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy. It was the third book published in the Terry Carr-edited series, the Third Ace Science Fiction Specials. Neuromancer was Gibson’s novel-length debut, debut novels being the unifying theme of the series.

Master-hacker Case made the mistake so many criminals have made before him. He stole from his bosses. Rather than settle for killing Case, his former employers crippled him with neurotoxins, cutting him off from his beloved matrix (cyberspace). Unable to work, and his stolen wealth rapidly evaporating, Case faces certain poverty and probable murder as soon as he sufficiently inconveniences some fellow Chiba City inhabitant. 

The mysterious Armitage offers salvation… at a price.

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Sparks Fly

Green Eyes

By Lucius Shepard  

10 May, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

4 comments

Lucius Shepard’s 1984 Green Eyes is a stand-alone science fiction novel. It was the second book to be released in Terry Carr’s Third Ace Science Fiction Specials series.

Thanks to the scientific miracle of a bacterium retrieved from Louisiana gravesites, the dead can be restored to life. New processes always have a catch. In this case, there are two problems: revivification is temporary and the minds that manifest in the former corpses are not the minds those bodies once hosted. In many cases, the new inhabitants are far more brilliant than their predecessors, which makes them a valuable resource. 

Jocundra Verret is a therapist whose task it is to guide the zombies to productive use of their brief lives. Unfortunately for her employers, she will go very seriously off-mission.

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Plant a Little Garden

The Wild Shore  (California triptych, volume 1)

By Kim Stanley Robinson  

12 Apr, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

9 comments

1984’s The Wild Shore is the first volume in Kim Stanley Robinson’s California triptych. The Wild Shore was also the first volume published in the Third Ace Science Fiction Specials series. 

In the America of tomorrow, traffic jams, the military-industrial complex, and taxes are all things of the past. Lifelong friends Steve, Gabby, Kristen and Mando, Del and protagonist Henry need not concern themselves with such matters. This is because about fifty years earlier, someone unknown detonated neutron bombs in the centers of the United States’ two to three thousand largest cities. Fifty years after America’s annihilation, the quintet’s home town (San) Onofre is doing well to have assembled a functional village and regional market.

Nevertheless, there are common elements that run through American societies of all varieties. In particular, young people are quite creative about finding stupid ways to waste time and risk their lives.

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