Bunch, Chris. The Last Battle.

London: Orbit, 2004.

This concluding volume of the “Dragonmaster” trilogy is rather different from the first two, and I don’t think it’s quite as successful. The great war between the nation of Deraine and its junior ally, Sagene, on one side and the loathsome enemy of Roche on the other, a widespread and exhausting conflict that filled the previous two books, is over now, and Hal Kailas, the Dragonmaster of Deraine, is at loose ends.

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Pratchett, Terry & Baxter, Stephen. The Long Earth.

NY: Doubleday, 2012.

It might be an interesting experiment to hand this book without the cover or title page to an experienced SF fan and ask them to identify the author. Except for a rather weak joke here and there, I personally would never have guessed that Sir Terry had anything to do with it. And, as an unshakeable Pratchett fan, I’m inclined to put the blame on Baxter, who has built one corner of his career on partnering with (or leeching off) Arthur C. Clarke, another elderly author with a far greater reputation than his own.

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