News Ticker

EW Reviews SF/F

Issue #949/#950 (August 24, 2007) of Entertainment Weekly offers some brief reviews of science fiction and fantasy books. Here’s a snippet…

Sandworms of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

For Fans of… The original Dune novels by Herbert’s late father, Frank.

Bottom Line: After slogging through a desert’s worth of rote Star Warsisms and Sahrara-dry prose, you’ll wish Frank had been at the helm.

Grade: C+

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

For Fans of… Robin Hood; Oceans Eleven; Pirates of the Caribbean.

Bottom Line: In the second installment of the Gentlemen Bastards series, Lynch’s fast-paced storytelling is slightly stalled by a propensity for clumsy romance and action-flick banter.

Grade: B-

Spaceman Blues by Brian Francis Slattery

For Fans of… The surreal urban odyssey of Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man; Plan Nine From Outer Space.

Bottom Line: For all its colorful characters and gonzo thrills, Slattery’s debut is first and foremost a moving portrait of Wendell’s grief.

Grade: A-

The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman

For Fans of… Time travel, “hard SF,” and slacker antiheroes.

Bottom Line: The comparisons may be unfair, but this smart, brisk, and even charming tale has none of the emotional or philosophical heft of Haldeman’s Forever books.

Grade: B

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

4 Comments on EW Reviews SF/F

  1. Matte Lozenge // August 19, 2007 at 12:27 pm //

    You know, I think a lot of reviewers are underestimating The Accidental Time Machine. True, it’s a more fun book than The Forever War, with a more accessible, even lovable, “geek next door” hero. Where Haldeman’s other recent books have been saturated with regret, decay, nostalgia and perhaps a slight excess of sentimentality, Time Machine has a lightness and sweetness of tone.

    There’s actually plenty that’s horrific and pessimistic in the futures Haldeman explores, but it’s couched in sparkly, upbeat pulp tropes so as to keep the pessimism under the hood (of the vehicle). It’s an appealing presentation made possible by long practice and mastery of craft. In other words, Haldeman makes it look easy.

  2. joshua corning // August 19, 2007 at 2:13 pm //

    The comparisons may be unfair, but this smart, brisk, and even charming tale has none of the emotional or philosophical heft of Haldeman’s Forever books.

    I sure hope Forever Free is not included in the Forever books….that book had about as much philosophical heft as sucking off the udder of a cash cow.

    “Hmm Thinks Haldeman “This book really sucks and I see no end to it, I know i will have an out of context god appear at the end of it and wrap everything up in a neat little bow”

  3. Matte Lozenge // August 19, 2007 at 8:21 pm //

    Hmm, yeah, Time Machine also has a bit of that deus ex machina thing going, but somehow it didn’t interfere much with my enjoyment of the book. It may not have great “heft,” but some of its scenes and ideas are memorable.

  4. I myself was underwhelmed by Forever Peace. Nowhere near as good as The Forever War.

    I haven’t touched Forever Free

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: