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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Book Reviews

The Eye of the World Looks Down Upon a Fantastic Universe

by Ken Newquist / August 1, 2000

Fantasy addicts looking for their next fix of sword and sorcery should check out Robert Jordon's modern classic The Eye of the World.

Published in 1990, the novel is the first in a saga called The Wheel of Time. It opens in the tiny village of Edmond's Field, where stubborn shepherds raise sheep and equally strong-willed farmers wrestle with their crops. It's been a hard year for the Edmond's Fielders -- the winter was long and grueling, and spring couldn't kill it.

Re-Discover the Rabbits of Watership Down

by Ken Newquist / April 1, 1999

There are a few books that I'll be reading to my kids from the first day they open their eyes. One is The Hobbit. Another is Wind in the Willows. But first among these books will be the modern fairy tale of Watership Down.

The book opens with two rabbits, Hazel and his younger brother Fiver, looking for a patch of clover outside of their warren. After being chased away from the good feeding grounds by the larger, older rabbits, the two wander near a field. There Fiver has a powerful premonition that the entire warren is going to be destroyed.

Wash Up On Infinity's Shore

by Ken Newquist / September 1, 1998

In Startide Rising, David Brin began the epic adventure of a crew of neo-dolphins, their starship Streaker, and a terrible, war-inspiring secret. He won the Hugo and Nebula awards for the novel, the story of which remained unfinished for years.

Now, with the Uplift Storm trilogy, Brin is continuing - but probably not concluding - the story.

The first novel, Brightness Reef, returned us to Brin's universe where the "Six Galaxies" are ruled by an eons-old code of Uplift. According to this code, one race of advanced aliens finds a promising, pre-sentient and then grants it the gift of intelligence through the power of genetic engineering. Then, after a time of servitude, their client race can become patrons themselves.

Waging Forever Peace

by Dan Sobzack / July 1, 1998

Take the horrors of the Vietnam War, combine them with an advanced state of virtual reality where human soldiers control their soldier boys -- or mechanical soldiers -- remotely, and throw in a new hi-tech weapon that threatens to end life as we know it, and you have Joe Haldeman's latest creation, Forever Peace.

As Haldeman himself explains before beginning this novel, Forever Peace is not a continuation of his 1975 book, The Forever War (which won the Hugo, Nebula and Ditmar Awards). Rather, it is an extended look at some of that novel's problems that did not exist (mainly due to technological advances of the last two decades) at the time it was written.

Look to Pern's Past With Dragonseye

by Ken Newquist / April 1, 1998

The end story of the dragonriders of Pern, who guide their magnificent beasts into battle against the menacing, life-devouring Thread, has been told.

The saga that began with the first novel, Dragonflight, ended in epic fashion in All the Weyrs of Pern. But while we may know how the story ends, we're just learning how it began.

We've known the story of this science fiction/fantasy classic for years. The first settlers of Pern found it to be a remarkable, remote planet with few mineral resources that seemed custom made for their planned agricultural, low-tech lifestyle.

A Brutal Future Awaits the Survivors of Ender's Game

by Ken Newquist / January 1, 1998

Ender's Game Book Cover In the last bugger war, humanity was nearly wiped out by their insectoid enemies. They were stopped by humanity's greatest military mind. Decades later, that mind is dead and the leaders of the Earth need to find someone to match his prowess.To that end they have built a massive space station called the ‘Battle School.'