Here are the latest passel of reviews, of titles new and classic.
Nell Gwynne's On Land and At Sea (Kage Baker and Kathleen Bartholomew): “Even a month-long seaside holiday can’t keep the spy-mistresses of the exclusive Nell Gwynne brothel away from trouble in this comic steampunk novella…the mildly naughty nautical double entendres and period-style illustrations by J.K. Potter will entertain readers who appreciate Victoriana.” (Publishers Weekly)
The Best of Robert Silverberg (Robert Silverberg): “In 26 elegantly conceived and written stories, protagonists travel through time, philosophize, question their morals and faith, and pursue unknowable, elusive women… Thanks to Silverberg’s commentary on each decade and story—wry, candid, and unencumbered by false modesty—the anthology also functions as a memoir of a great career in genre literature.” (Publishers Weekly)
The Dragon Griaule (Lucius Shepard): “This collection brings together six short stories and novellas about this enormous dragon, giving different perspectives on his life and influence… ‘The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule’ tells the story of Meric Cattanay, a man who in 1853 proposes to kill the great dragon by painting an enormous mural on its side and thus slowly poisoning him with the toxic compounds in the paint. In ‘The Scalehunter’s Beautiful Daughter’, we get a glimpse of the inner workings of the dragon as we journey with Catherine inside his vast body. ‘The Father Of Stones’ takes us to the nearby town of Port Chantay, where a man accused of murder is pleading innocence because it was the dragon’s malevolent influence that caused him to commit the atrocious act. ‘Liar’s House’ is Hota’s tale of the beautiful woman he met on the dragon’s back and their unusual relationship. ‘The Taborin Scale’ is the story of George and Sylvia, mysteriously transported to another time at the whim of the dragon Griaule, but for what purpose they do not know. Finally, ‘The Skull’ brings us to a modern-day story set in a deeply political South America, where a young woman is leading a cult obsessed with the large dragon skull hidden in the jungle.” (SF Crowsnest)
- Palimpsest (Charles Stross): “As a novella, Palimpsest is densely packed with extraordinary ideas, facts and speculation. It also manages to pack in an absorbing story to wrap all this around… Woven through the personal this amazing story is powerful and poetic, making us realise how small and finite we really are. Pierce’s sense of self, affected by his time travel, is also part of this journey in which we are allowed glimpses into the heart of the cosmos.” (SF Crowsnest)