Tom Whitmore Reviews Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden

Escaping Exodus, Nicky Drayden (Harper Voy­ager 978-0-06-286773-5, $15.99, 300pp, tp) Oc­tober 2019.

On a generation ship, two young people from different classes meet and fall in love. One rises, one falls, and their complex and forbidden rela­tionship causes a major rupture in the society. This is a classic SF trope: Drayden takes it to new places.

In Escaping Exodus, people use a pod of space whales as generation ...Read More

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Tom Whitmore Reviews The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey

The Grand Dark, Richard Kadrey (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-267249-0 $26.99, 419 pp, hc) June 2019.

Richard Kadrey’s new novel is a depar­ture from his usual contemporary-setting dark fantasies, or maybe not. Set in a SF version of a middle-European city (Lower Proszawa) after one war has finished, where ev­eryone knows that a new one is on the way, it has the feeling of an alternate world that is very close ...Read More

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Tom Whitmore Reviews The War Within by Stephen R. Donaldson

The War Within, Stephen R. Donaldson (Berkley 978-0-399-58616-3, $28.00, 564pp, hc) April 2019.

Steven R. Donaldson has been putting his characters through hell for decades. The War Within, the second volume of The Great God’s War, does not provide any relief.

This book is set 20 years after the first volume. Prince Bifalt married Princess Estie, and they’ve become the rulers of their respective kingdoms, Belleger and Amika, ...Read More

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Tom Whitmore Reviews Trial by Treason by Dave Duncan

Trial by Treason, Dave Duncan (Night Shade Books 978-1-59780-954-2, $24.99, 285 pp, hc) October 2018. Cover by Steven Youll.

Trial by Treason is the second in a series of historical fantasy novels. Duncan, who died last year, was a steady, reliable writer: his stories filled a comfortable niche, and this book is no exception. He completed the third volume, Merlin Redux, before his death, and it’s expected this ...Read More

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Tom Whitmore Reviews The Widening Gyre by Michael R. Johnston

The Widening Gyre, Michael R. Johnston (Flame Tree Press, 978-1-78758-145-6, $24.95, 256pp, hc) August 2018. Cover by Flame Tree Studio.

The Widening Gyre is Michael R. Johnston’s first book, and he’s off to a good start. The book is a set of classic space-opera tropes: humans have been almost wiped out a few centuries ago; the rem­nants of a colony ship were picked up by the Zhen Empire, a ...Read More

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Tom Whitmore Reviews Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

Kingdom of Needle and Bone, Mira Grant (Subterranean Press 978-1-59606-8711, $40, 125pp, hc) December 2018. Cover by Julie Dillon.

In Kingdom of Needle and Bone, Mira Grant has written a classic SF tale: it would have been right at home in Gernsback’s Amazing Stories. It’s a medical thriller with some twists, about a variant strain of measles that affects people’s immune response system so that vac­cines no longer ...Read More

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Tom Whitmore Reviews Temper by Nicky Drayden

Temper, Nicky Drayden (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-249305-7, $15.99, 400pp, tp) August 2018.

I didn’t feel connected enough to the world of Temper for much of the book: it was far enough outside my experience, and there were few clues to help me get into it. There was enough going on to keep me going, and I’m glad I found that, because in the end, it really made me think about ...Read More

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2017 Year-in-Review by Adrienne Martini and Tom Whitmore

2017 by Adrienne Martini

Speaking only as myself (rather than for Locus as an entity), 2017 has been the year when reading anything too full of conflict or featur­ing dark and complicated conspiracies hit far too close to home. When the non-fictional world starts to read like fiction, it’s hard to have much resilience left for the same in a made-up world. Again, I’m speaking for a sample size of ...Read More

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Tom Whitmore Reviews March of War by Bennett R. Coles

March of War, Bennett R. Coles (Titan 978-1-78329-427-5, $14.95, 336pp, pb) October 2017.

If more military SF books were like the Virtues of War trilogy by Bennett R. Coles, I’d read much more of this subgenre. March of War has grip­ping, suspenseful writing with excellent charac­ters and very believable conflicts within and be­tween individuals, and a firm grasp of the idea that, in any war, there are good and ...Read More

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