Category 4 star

Vacation Reading

On Sunday, I returned from a two-week vacation (My last couple of posts were set up to run automatically while I was away).  I’ll eventually do an off-topic post with vacation pics, but I’m a bit weak thanks to catching a virus or something on the flight home, plus some pre-vacation injuries, so I’m doing […]

Review: Children of the Different

Children of the Different     Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Fellow blogger SC Flynn gave me a copy of the audiobook version of his first self-published novel, Children of the Different. I enjoyed listening to an Australian-authored audiobook with an Australian narrator — most Aussie audiobooks I’ve run across are read […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 5

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 5 I didn’t enjoy this volume as much as Volume 3 or Volume 4. The Wall by Howard Graham (1934) — A scientist puts a super-special lacquer on a square of material, causing a 200 mile long force field to bisect Manhattan. He and another scientist spend the rest of the […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 4

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 4 This collection is at least as good as volume 3, probably even better. WARNING: SPOILER DRAGONS AHEAD WE CAN SPOIL SEVENTY-YEAR-OLD STORIES The Dwindling Sphere by Willard Hawkins (1940) — A scientist develops a process which converts matter to other elements, with a 95% loss in mass. (The extra mass […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 3

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 3 I enjoyed this collection far more than Volume 2, even though both collections are from roughly the same time period, and each has a story about insects and a story about the Sun. WARNING: SPOILER DRAGONS AHEAD WE CAN EVEN SPOIL SEVENTY-YEAR-OLD STORIES N Day by Philip Latham (1946) — […]

Son of the Black Sword

Son of the Black Sword I’ve made my short story and self-published novel nominations for the Planetary Awards, and now I’m nominating Son of the Black Sword for best traditionally-published novel of 2015. This post will discuss the book, but won’t really be a review. I’m going to talk about the author’s previous work, my […]

Review: The Worms of Heaven

The Worms Of Heaven Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) The Worms of Heaven is the third book in Misha Burnett‘s “Book of Lost Doors” series. I’ve previously reviewed the first two books, Catskinner’s Book and Cannibal Hearts. The stories focus on James, a young man who shares his head with Catskinner, who […]

Review: Cannibal Hearts

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Cannibal Hearts is the sequel to Catskinner’s Book, which I reviewed last year. Although paranormal/urban fantasy isn’t my favorite sub-genre, I enjoyed Catskinner’s book. To me, the best aspects of the story were a world where it felt like anything could happen, and the dual nature of […]

Review: The Fallen Race

  Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Fellow blogger Kal Spriggs responded to my last call for authors, and provided an audiobook version of The Fallen Race. In doing so, he’s given me a bit of a puzzle: I don’t think I can write a one-size-fits-all review; whether you’ll enjoy this story or […]

Review: The Power of Six

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) I’ve been wanting to read something by Nicholas Rossis for a while, as he’s a frequent visitor to this blog and seems like a really nice guy. I had planned to write about The Power of Six, his short story collection, as the first post of a […]

Review: Adam

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Fellow blogger Justine Allen has been a frequent visitor here, so I made sure to include some of her work in my latest reading binge. I’m glad I did so; I was reading a long string of stories which didn’t really go anywhere (not bad enough to […]

Review: The Energy Scavengers

  Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) This is an ambitious story, as every character is a robot; there are no humans or bugs or squids, only metal parts and circuitry. Two human-built robots (a lander and a rover) touch down on what was once an alien mining colony, and interact with the […]

Review: Catskinner’s Book

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) The author of Catskinner’s Book, Misha Burnett, gave me a copy of the audiobook version and asked me to review it. I’ve decided to try something a little bit different with this review, dividing it into the good, the bad, and the ugly. Fortunately, the story pulled […]

Review: Steadfast

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) This will be a brief review, as I recently posted about things I liked in Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series. As the Lost Fleet is one of my favorite science fiction series, why didn’t the latest book receive my top rating? My problem is with the structure […]

Review: Steelheart

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) I’m not normally into superheroes, but I almost gave this story my very top rating. I’ll discuss why I didn’t at the end of the review (below the triple spoiler dragons), but basically the story just went a chapter too far. If it had ended right at […]

Review: Delirium (Debt Collector)

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Although I didn’t give this story my highest rating, I don’t have anything negative to say about it. It is well written and has interesting characters; I wish I could produce something of this quality. My only problem is with the category/placement; I need more “sci” in […]

Review: The Last Manned Fighter

  Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) This story begins with a preface (about 5% of the work’s length) about how science fiction could influence military planning, but my comments will be limited to the fictional portion of the work. I’ve tried to avoid writing anything specific enough to be a spoiler, although […]

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 […]