ALL NEW AND UPDATED
SF and Fantasy REVIEWS, listed alphabetically by author:
Feedback: See comments by Spider Robinson and Barry Malzberg
* Warning: A total dud! May cause mental anguish and cerebral
inflammation. This is a tale we wish, for whatever reason, we
had never read.
** An “average” story, containing few original and
interesting elements. This story would be unlikely to motivate
a reader to seek additional works by this author. Since it’s
science fiction, it can’t be all bad—it just isn’t
all that good. Not recommended.
**1/2 A story that is worth reading, contains some good, interesting
and/or original elements, but may not merit re-reading and may
have problems which distract or irritate. The writing is pleasing
enough to encourage a reader to seek out additional works by the
same author, but not quite worthy of being recommended to friends.
*** A very good, memorable story which warrants re-reading at
least once. In this category are the solid “keepers”—stories
you might have read years ago and would recommend to family members
and acquaintances with little hesitation—or might pick up
to read again on a rainy day.
***1/2 An excellent-to-outstanding original fictional work which
warrants multiple readings. If you have a “favorite”
list, these books and stories are unquestionably on it. Highly
**** A superior story that evoked a profound emotional response
the first time you read it, and continues to provide deep enjoyment
on later re-readings. A work you would choose to pick up if a
doctor revealed you only had one year to live. A treasure.
Forrest J. Ackerman, Gregory Benford, Alfred Bester, Michael Bishop,
James Blish, Henry Bott, Anthony Boucher, Charles N. Brown, Algis
Budrys, Orson Scott Card, John Clute, Sidney Coleman, Groff Conklin,
S. E. Cotts, Avram Davidson, L. Sprague de Camp, Richard Delap,
Charles de Lint, Lester Del Rey, Sonya Dorman, Tom Easton, Janice
M. Eisen, Harlan Ellison, Moshe Feder, Paul Di Filippo, Leslie
Flood, Robert Frazier, Floyd C. Gale, Richard E. Geis, Villiers
Gerson, Ron Goulart, Peter Heck, John Kessel, Robert K. J. Killheffer,
Murray King, Damon Knight, Fritz Leiber, Anthony R. Lewis, Robert
W. Lowndes, Barry Malzberg, Judith Merril, P. Schuyler Miller,
Thomas F. Monteleone, Christopher Priest, Mark Reinsberg, Spider
Robinson, Joanna Russ, Hans Stefan Santesson, Darrell Schweitzer,
Baird Searles, Robert Silverberg, George O. Smith, Norman Spinrad,
Tom Staicar, Paul Walker, Michelle West, Ted White, Gahan Wilson,
Edward Wood, Weaver Wright, George Zebrowski, and others.
Art work courtesy of Astounding
Science Fiction from the
August 1950 issue of that magazine, illustrated by Miller
An example below of a typical entry, this one for
author Edgar Allen Poe, including:
1) a brief summary of biographical data and literary
achievements, including a list of critically-acclaimed short science
fictional works, 2) selected quotes, 3) alphabetical listing of
the author’s novels and story collections, 4) reviews and
rankings (bold font) by the editor, 5) excerpted reviews of other
critics, including the editor’s estimates of the latter’s
ratings—it should be point out that these are not the reviewers’
ratings, but this editor’s estimates of their ratings based
on a reading of the entirety of the reviews—and 6) reviews
of short fictional works.