Book Review: “Inkling” by John D. Waterman
Book Reviews / February 4, 2018

This is a lean, fast-paced book with some sharply defined characters, interesting social dynamics, fascinating science concepts, humor, suspense, irony, and now and then a burst of shocking violence. Underneath all the details, it’s a very simple story about a high-stakes engineering problem.

Book Review: “Doughnut” by Tom Holt
Book Reviews / January 13, 2018

From a grand design that challenges you to reconsider the order of cause and effect, to sentences like “If Time is a piece of cheese, the two seconds that followed were fondue,” this book makes you think, then laugh, then grip your armrests with concern and excitement, over and over until its cleverly satisfying ending.

Book Review: “The Martian” by Andy Weir
Book Reviews / January 9, 2018

This might turn out to be a historically important book, lending insights to the development of manned Mars exploration. But for now it’s notable enough for what it is: a smart, exciting piece of entertainment that touches the heart and transports the mind to a strange but real world.

Book Review: “The Empress Game” by Rhonda Mason
Book Reviews / July 11, 2015

“The Empress Game” by Rhonda Mason is a wonderfully intense work of science fiction. It will get under your skin and leave you wanting more. Filled with fighting, politics, and just the right amount of romance, this book will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

Book Review: “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
Book Reviews / November 1, 2014

I was never very interested in reading this book until lately, when political pundits began setting it up as an opposite to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. After reading it, I don’t really see them as opposites so much as complimentary, dystopian views of the direction our world may be headed.

Book Review: “Aliens on Vacation” by Clete Barrett Smith
Book Reviews / April 19, 2014

“Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast” is the name of the series, as well as the place young David “Scrub” Elliott finds himself visiting over the summer between sixth and seventh grade. It isn’t that Scrub is into science fiction, so much. His main interest is basketball. He would rather be back in Florida, trading insane dares with his best friend and training for the all-star team. Instead, when his parents take off on separate business trips, he gets packed off to his grandma’s crazy, retro-futuristic themed hotel in the woods of Washington. Equal parts throwback to the hippie era and throw-up of sci-fi film cliches, the B&B seems to promise the lamest summer vacation ever. But that’s before Scrub finds out that his grandma’s clients are really visitors from other planets.

Book review: “The Automatic Detective” by A. Lee Martinez
Book Reviews / November 28, 2013

I understand exactly why “The Automated Detective” came up in conversation after my friends read my review of “The Manual of Detection”. The mash-up of sci-fi/fantasy and hard-boiled detective fiction really is an up and coming genre. If my review of “Manual” gave the impression that it controls that territory unchallenged, I apologize. On the other hand, “The Manual of Detection” thrives in a world completely different from this book. The one is a straight-faced cocktail of period detective story and surrealist dream sequence; the other, an outrageous spoof of the era of pulp-fiction that scatters its in-jokes, machine-gun style, across both genres indiscriminately.