Haldeman, Joe. The Forever War.

NY: St. Martin, 1975.

There’s sort of a tendency to call any book more than a decade old, and which has been reprinted a dozen times, a “classic.” But this one, Haldeman’s second book and first science fiction novel, actually qualifies for that label.

(more…)

James, P. D. Death in Holy Orders.

NY: Knopf, 2001.

In the earlier books in this series featuring Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh, he tends to be a loner, investigating a mystery by himself, either by preference or because circumstances force it on him.

(more…)

Published in: on 29 July 2013 at 5:43 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Lutz, Lisa. The Spellman Files.

NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007.

It’s always nice to discover a new private detective series, but this one is unusual in that investigation-for-hire is the family business. Isabel Spellman of San Francisco is in her late 20s now, and has been working for her mom and dad for sixteen years, surveiling people, doing background checks, tracing skips, and otherwise leading an unusual life for a young lady.

(more…)

James, P. D. The Black Tower.

NY: Simon & Schuster, 1975.

This was the fifth of James’s novels featuring Commander Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard and even though there’s a thirteen-year gap between the first novel and this one (a pretty slow rate for a popular author), it has more in common with the beginning of the series than with the later efforts.

(more…)

Published in: on 25 July 2013 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Powers, Tim. Salvage and Demolition.

Burton, MI: Subterranean Press, 2013.

Powers is one of my “automatic” authors; anything he writes, I want to read. He’s published several novellas recently (this one is 155 pages) and this complex time-travel yarn is one of the best he’s written.

(more…)

James, P. D. Original Sin.

NY: Knopf, 1994.

James’s highly popular detective series featuring Commander Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard and his specialist homicide team has evolved over time and has improved with each novel she’s written. This is about the thirteenth offering and it’s first-rate.

(more…)

Le Carré, John. The Tailor of Panama.

NY: Knopf, 1996.

For many years now, Le Carré has been one of my favorite writers. In fact, in terms of his storytelling abilities alone, I consider him one of the best authors of any variety of the past sixty years. I own all his books and I reread all of them every few years.

(more…)

Silverberg, Robert (ed). Strange Gifts: Eight Stories of Science Fiction.

Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1975.

This is one of the more successful of the eight or ten thematic SF anthologies Silverberg produced for Nelson in the ’70s, each of them concentrating on stories from an earlier time. In this case, the theme is unusual gifts and talents and the publication dates range from 1948 to 1961.

(more…)

Published in: on 17 July 2013 at 5:56 pm  Comments (4)  

Harrison, Harry. Bill, the Galactic Hero.

Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965.

The late Harry Harrison was a master of the tongue-in-cheek adventure-parody and this is one of his best, a wolfishly cynical satire of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, which had appeared a few years before. (It was popular among disaffected Vietnam veterans for just that reason.)

(more…)

Published in: on 15 July 2013 at 5:32 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Sawyer, Robert J. Flashforward.

NY: Tor, 1999.

Sawyer is Canada’s biggest-deal science fiction author and much of his stuff isn’t half bad, though his earlier books aren’t overwritten the way much of his more recent work seems to be, especially the WWW trilogy. (He’s an interminable “explainer.”)

(more…)

Published in: on 13 July 2013 at 3:46 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,