Category 2 star

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 1

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 1 I picked up volume 2, volume 3, volume 4, and volume 5 during a sale, so I decided to complete the series by going back for volume 1. There are three stories in this volume that fit with the rest of the series:  they are by well-known authors, and were mostly published in the […]

Review: Armada

Armada Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) I read Armada as part of my search for a 2015-published novel worthy of a Planetary Awards nomination. I place it third out of the five traditionally-published novels I read. If Armada had been indie-published, I also would have placed it squarely in the middle of […]

Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) The good news: this novel has a great story. The bad news: most of that story is in the last third of the book. MINOR SPOILERS BELOW – ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK The book gets off to a promising start, as […]

Review: Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain

Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) The recent 4th of July holiday here in the USA brought this book to my mind. The story isn’t set during the Revolutionary War, but in the audiobook, Emperor Mollusk has a British accent, and he fights against The Sinister Brain, […]

Review: The Might of Fortitude

The Might of Fortitude Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) This military science fiction story follows an officer as he moves from ground combat to command of one of his space navy’s most specialized high-tech warships.  I think I need to follow the good, bad, and ugly format: The good: The author paints a picture […]

Review: A World Out of Time

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) When you read a Larry Niven novel, you shouldn’t expect memorable characters. You should expect big-picture science fiction concepts, with characters who serve as vehicles to carry you through the sci-fi landscape. I’m OK with that; I think there’s a place for stories focused on ideas and […]

Review: Moment of Extinction

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) I can’t say anything about this story without spoilers, so here’s the dragon: MINOR SPOILERS BELOW – ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK There are two types of characters here: workers for a relief agency which rescues people from alternate universes / parallel dimensions, and the refugees. (The […]

Review: The Mighty Peculiar Incident at Muddy Creek

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) This story throws a science fiction twist into a western setting. The story is written well, and the western setting will seem familiar to anyone who has watched western movies, but I didn’t feel that the science fiction element was taken far enough. The author has a […]

Review: Toy Planets

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) The concept and main character of this story are outstanding, worthy of inclusion in any collection. Unfortunately, the writing and editing don’t rise to the same level, dragging the Asimov/Clarke class concept down to produce a story which is just average. The story also goes on a […]

Review: Redtooth

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) This story is written well, has a distinctive main character, and makes good use of humor; I wouldn’t hesitate to read another story by the author. So, why didn’t I give it one of my top ratings? I would have preferred slightly more development of the plot, […]

Review: Empty Sea

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) This story begins with several tourists hiding in a resort on an out-of-the-way planet. They are hiding because some sort of armed conflict is taking place / has taken place outside. The early part of the story is written well; if you’ve ever been holed up in […]

Review: The Dragon in the Sea

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) This is my second discount audiobook by Frank Herbert, the author of Dune. In this story, the western hemisphere is at war with a not-quite-specified coalition of Asian powers that includes Russia. Britain is a nuclear wasteland. The westerners need more fossil fuel, so they’ve been drilling […]

Review: Merry Christmas, Mr. Babbers!

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) To me, this story breaks into two very different halves. I interpreted the first half as social commentary about technology and human relationships; since it’s fairly depressing, you might even call it “literature”. The second half of the story takes a left turn into la-la land; the […]

Ranking System

Most websites that rank things use a 1 star (awful) to 5 star (great) system, but I decided to do something a little different here.  I use 4 ranks, because otherwise it’s just too easy for me to call something “average” and give it 3 stars out of 5. I won’t be using stars, because […]