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review 2017-12-13 03:04
Doomsday Book - Connie Willis

So historians in 2054 have time travel tech and use it to travel back and study the past. In this story a young historian, Kivrin, convinces the history department at her college to let her travel back to 1320, but what they don't know is that she has been infected with a new strain of flu. She is accidentally sent to 1348 when the Black Plague starts in Oxford where she is deathly ill for days and almost dies. In the present the new flu strain causes an epidemic killing many people before a vaccine is developed.

 

This is paralleled by Kivrin watching everyone in the village she is visiting die horrible deaths from the plaque. And Willis's description is pretty graphic. To make matters worse since Kivrin is sent to the wrong year she is almost lost in the past.

 

While this story was a little long winded with some of the descriptions, etc. the story is really good. It jumps back and forth between Kivrin in the past and the people in the present dealing with the flu epidemic and trying to figure out how to get her back. I wonder if Willis was having a crisis of faith while writing this book as she is very detailed in her description of how people in 1348 felt that God had abandoned them, all except Father Roche, the village priest and the last to die. Kivrin even had a recorder embedded in her wrist that was activated when she puts her hands in an attitude of prayer. Kivrin even at times railed against God about not taking someone and the railing against Him about just getting it over and putting someone out of their misery.

 

All in all a great story and highly recommended.

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review 2017-07-11 15:52
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

There have already been many good reviews written about this book, some praising and some condemning.

 

I myself loved the book and the way it is narrated by the different characters. Is it weird that my favorite character is Tyrion?

 

The story is about a kingdom in turmoil for the throne (thus the title) and the many high families involved, including the exiled children of the previous king. Add to that the Black Guard that stands guard at the huge ice wall protecting the kingdom from the Others. The ending of this book was a surprise to me. I can't wait to see what Dany will do!

This book leaves a lot of unanswered questions which leads in to the rest of the series which I will most definitely read. I just hope the last book does indeed bring everything to a close.

 

One note of warning. This book describes human savagery and butchery at it's worst with beheadings and war, descriptions of rape and debasement of women and the "lowborn". If you are sensitive to that sort of thing then this book may not be for you.

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review 2017-03-28 21:11
The Claw of the Conciliator - Gene Wolfe

I really like this story of the continuing adventures of Severian. However, if you read the first book, The Shadow of the Torturer, you probably came away with a multitude of questions but don't expect to have them answered in this second book. There there are some things where you may see a glimmer of an answer and start to get an idea for what's going on, but nothing becomes absolutely clear. And as another reviewer pointed out (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/205947975?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1) keep a dictionary handy. I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

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review 2014-09-03 14:02
Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie

New Review! ANCILLARY JUSTICE by Ann Leckie

 

http://tinyurl.com/olvy4oy

 

It won the 5 big SF awards: Hugo, Nebula, BSFA, Arthur C. Clarke, Locus! Groundbreaking stuff! So why am I reading while yawning. Unimpressed.

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text 2014-07-05 09:43
2014 Locus Awards Winners
Abaddon's Gate - James S.A. Corey
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two - Catherynne M. Valente,Ana Juan
Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
Six-Gun Snow White - Catherynne M. Valente
The Sleeper & the Spindle - Neil Gaiman
Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales - Paula Guran,Theodora Goss,Caitlín R. Kiernan,Tanith Lee,Genevieve Valentine,Jane Yolen
Old Mars - George R.R. Martin,Gardner R. Dozois
The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories - Connie Willis

The readers of the Locus Magazine again voted on the best science fiction and fantasy books from last year. Let's have a look who the winners are...

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