STE5EN'S SCIENCE FICTION and HORROR BOOK REVIEWS
To visit elsewhere at this site use this Navigation Bar
A
B
B2
B3
C
C2
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
M2
New
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
Home
Links

 
  To read a review either scroll down or click on author's name
NAGATA, LINDA 
     Vast 
 
 
NEWMAN, KIM 
     Bad Dreams 
     Anno Dracula 
 
NIVEN, LARRY and  POURNELLE, JERRY 
     The Mote In God's Eye 
     The Moat Around Murcheson's Eye 
 
NIFFENEGGER, AUDREY 
     The Time Traveler's Wife
    
    
NIVEN, LARRY 
     Protector 
     Destiny's Road 
     Ringworld 
NIVEN, POURNELLE and BARNES 
     The Legacy Of Heorot 
 
 

NAGATA, LINDA


VAST

A small group of human/semi-human survivors escape the destruction wrought by the alien Chenzeme in the ship Null Boundary. Instead of fleeing however, they intend travelling into the heart of Chenzeme territory in order to discover the why and who of their persecution. Their journey is a very long one, centuries in fact, but they are able to survive due to the use of cold sleep or ghosting. Most of the crew is able to download copies of themselves, ghosts, which can be left as free floating 'consciences' or made into new flesh if required.

This book interested me so much at the start that I had made my mind up to read the first few books leading up to this one (The Bohr Maker, Tech-Heaven and Deception Well). By books end I thought differently. Not that the story wasn't enjoyable, it just took a little too long to deliver.

There were a lot of interesting developments within the story and I was constantly entertained, but it lacked that certain something to give it the punch needed. Certain references to previous goings on left me in the dark. I had trouble with the idea of crewmembers talking via each others atrium and storing ghosts there.

Good (7.5)
 

Author site www.maui.net/~nagata/
 

NEWMAN, KIM


BAD DREAMS

The Nielson family has caught the attention of a Monster capable of absorbing the essence/life force of its victims via their dreams. The patriarch of the family, Cameron, was a successful playwright whose life was ruined as a result of the McCarthy witch-hunts. Second daughter, Judi, becomes involved in prostitution and sado-masochism. Son, Cam Jr., is a successful composer and daughter Anne, a journalist on the rise.

After the death of Judi (which police believe is a result of a drug overdose), Anne decides to discover the truth behind her death. She ends up in the grips of the Monster and they wage a battle to the death.

This is the first Newman book I've read and I shall be reading more. The language is quite graphic, but not overly so. The story is set around London in the 1980's with visits to X-rated bars, exclusive parties and the London Underground.

Very Good    (9)
 

NEWMAN, KIM


ANNO DRACULA (1992)

It is the late 1800ís and Count Dracula has married Queen Victoria. Together they rule over a nation consisting of the un-dead and the Ďwarmí. Vampires are everywhere; in the Government, the police force, even whoring on the streets of London. Not all are happy with this arrangement. One person in particular, Jack the Ripper, has begun murdering vampire whores.

Charles Beauregard works for a secret society performing many clandestine activities. He has been assigned the job of investigating these murders. Along the way he teams up with Genevieve, a vampire elder whose bloodline differs from that of Draculaís. 

This is a unique look at the vampire theme. Rather than hiding from mortals, the vampires in this story have Ďcome outí with the help of Dracula and his presence in the Royal Family. The story contains many of the famous characters of the time, both fictional and not, for example, Dr. Jekyll and Oscar Wilde. The focus of the book is not on Dracula, he does appear briefly in the exciting climax. An understanding of the original Dracula story by Bram Stoker, while not essential, is helpful as this story follows on from it and some of the characters appear or are referred to.

Newmanís alternative history was very entertaining. I have the sequel, THE BLOODY RED BARON, on my bookshelf and I look forward to reading it.
 

Very Good  (9)
 

NIVEN, LARRY and  POURNELLE, JERRY


THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE

Story of first contact. The aliens in this story I rate as one of the most interesting. Non-stop entertainment and excitement. A pity the sequel was not as good.

Excellent and highly recommended (10)
 

NIVEN, LARRY


THE MOAT AROUND MURCHESON'S EYE  ( aka  The Gripping Hand )

Disappointing sequel to THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE. The Moties pose a renewed threat to the empire of man and war breaks out. The story moved along as fast as the original Motie light ship in the first story.

Average  (5)
 

NIFFENEGGER, AUDREY


THE TIME TRAVELERíS WIFE  (2004)

This is the story of Henry and his wife Clare who meet when he is 30 and she 6 years of age. Henry is a time traveler, but he canít control when and where he travels. His travels do seem to be centred around his own life and he is able to visit his life and himself at various stages. We follow their relationship over the years from each characters point of view.

I didnít finish this story as the science fiction took backstage to the romance and while the book was entertaining, I couldnít see it becoming the type of story Iíd like to finish.

Good  (6)

November 2005
 

NIVEN, LARRY


PROTECTOR

Began extremely well. An alien travels to our solar system in search of long lost descendants.

Excellent first half / Very good second half (8)
 
 
 
 

NIVEN, LARRY


DESTINY'S ROAD

Mankind has landed on the planet Destiny which orbits a red sun. For almost 200 years the descendants of the original colonists cope with the hardships of life on a new planet. One of the original landing craft, the Cavorite, created a road by hovering meters above the surface and burning a path across the landscape. It began in Spiral Town and headed to parts unknown, never to be seen again by the inhabitants of Spiral Town.

Jemmy Bloocher has always wondered where the road led. It is known that life exits beyond Spiral Town as caravans trading goods visit 3 times each year. Due to circumstance, he gets his chance to find out. We follow Jemmy on his journey over a period of about 27 years.

Not one of the best efforts I've read by Niven. The story had its moments, but overall there wasn't enough intrigue or excitement. I was interested in finding out what happened to the central character and his journey was interesting.

Good (6)
 

NIVEN, LARRY


RINGWORLD   (1970)

Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Award.

This novel takes place in the known space series of Niven's work. The puppeteers are an alien race fleeing the destruction of the galactic core that is due to impact Earth in twenty thousand years. They are cowards who fear faster-than-light travel and so have given themselves plenty of time to escape. During their travels they have sighted a strange artefact, the Ringworld, which fills them with dread as the technology involved far surpasses the fantastic achievements of the puppeteers.

One 'insane' puppeteer, Nessus, gathers together a team of four consisting of himself, two humans and a viscous kzin, to travel to the Ringworld to make contact with its builders.

Much of the story deals with the exploration of the Ringworld and the adventures of the crew. It reminded me of Arthur C. Clarke's RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA and also Hal Clement's MISSION OF GRAVITY, both of which I enjoyed more than this offering. This is still a very entertaining story and perhaps if I had read it 30 years ago (I don't think so!) then perhaps I would have seen why it received the high honours it did.

Very Good  (8.5)

February 2000
 

NIVEN, POURNELLE and BARNES


THE LEGACY OF HEOROT

Man's first colony in space has established itself on an island on the fourth planet of Tau Ceti. The colonists are puzzled by the lack of animal species they encounter. During the short time they have been on the planet surface life has been close to idyllic. The chief of security, Weyland Cadmann, is concerned about the colonies lack of defences.

Things start to go horribly wrong as a previously unseen native of the island begins to make its presence felt. The puzzle of the strange island ecology is gradually unravelled, but the human presence on the island may have disastrous ecological consequences. By the end of the book the colonists are fighting for their survival against a viscous foe.

The intensity of the fight scenes reminds me of the movie Aliens and the enemy is not unlike those same creatures. A very exciting story that maintains interest until the end.

Very Good  (9)
 
  To visit elsewhere at this site use this Navigation Bar

A
B
B2
B3
C
C2
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
M2
New
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
Home
Links