Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, April 4, 2016


  • Kevin J. Anderson, Janet Berliner, Matthew J. Costello, & F. Paul Wilson, Artifact.  Collaborative thriller.  "Six adrenaline junkies who call themselves the Daredevils Club hold the fate of the world in their hands.  In an ancient undersea cavern, one of them, oil man Frik van Alman, discovers a set of stones that are unlike anything else on Earth.  Fitted together, the stones form an object that promises limitless free energy for the world."  The guy's name is Frik.  Seriously?
  • "Jonathan Aycliffe" (Dennis MacEoin), The Vanishment.  Horror novel.  "From the moment they enter Peetherick House, Sarah feels the dark menace surround them and knows they should leae at once.  But Peter thinks it's just nerves and dismisses Sarah's fears -- until she disappears without a trace.  Suddenly Peter can see the shadowy figures in the night and hear a child's weeping, but the nightmare has only begun."  As Aycliffe, the author has produced nine very effective horror novels and under the name "Daniel Eastman" he writes best-selling international thrillers (seventeen by my last count).  Under his own name he is a respected expert on Islam and the Middle East.
  • John Connolly, Dark Hollow.  The second Charlie Parker thriller.  I'm becoming a big fan of this series.  [Sadly, all six libraries in the county library system here is geared more toward Danielle Steele and against books more than five years old.  They allow you to have (or to have on order) only fifteen books at a time (in Southern Maryland, the limit was 75) and do not offer internet library loans.  Most of the older books I'm interested in are not available and they don't carry newer books by Crider, Gorman, Lansdale, Pronzini, Max Allan Collins, and many others.  But then, many of the books they list in their catalog have the notation "unavailable."  All of which leads up to this:  this flipping book is not available from my local libraries.  Grrr.  End of rant.]
  • Lois Duncan, editor, Trapped:  Cages of Mind and Body.  YA anthology with 13 original stories.  The authors were left to interpret the theme "Trapped" any way they wishes, so we'e got a bit of fantasy, a bit of suspense, a bit of humor, and a bit of romance.
  • Ben Elton, Gridlock.  Humorous thriller, if there is such a thing.  "Gridlock is when a city dies.  Killed in the name of freedom,  Killed in the name of oil and steel.  Choked on carbon monocide and strangled with a pair of fluffy dice...Deborah and Geoffrey know, but they have transport problems of their own, and anyway, whoever it was that murdered the city can just as easily murder them."  Elton is a popular Brritish comedian, playwright, director, and author.  This was his second novel; his fourth, Popcorn, won the CWA Gold Dagger Award in 1996.  I read Popcorn shortly after it won the Gold Dagger and I was less than impressed; it left me wondering what the CWA was thinking.  On the very likely chance that my critical judgement about that novel was flawed, I decided to give this one a chance.  Someday real soon now.  Really.
  • Mel Gilden,Tubular Android Superheroes.  The third Zoot Marlowe SF novel.  "When Zoot Marlowe -- a four-foot alien with a two-foot nose for trouble -- returned to Earth with his grampa Zamp, he found Whipper Will and the other surfer dudes being strongarmed by Whipper's father, Iron Will. It ed thaat daad wanted whipper to build a better android, one that didn't fall apart after six months, and Iron Will would stop at nothing to get hold of Whipper's special genius."  And, yes, there ar saber-tooth and tyrannosaurus androids.
  • James Herbert, Domain.  Horror novel, the third in the Rats sequence.  The rats have survived a nuclear holocaust, but so have some humans.  Hmm, wonder who will win this one?
  • Marvin Kaye, editor, The Ultimate Halloween.  Horror anthology with seventeen stories.  And who doesn't love Halloween?  Except for some of the people in these stories, of course.
  • Kurt Mahr, Perry Rhodan #45:  Unknown Sector:  Milky Way.  SF, part of the long-running US reprints of the much longer-running German juvenile adventure series.  The US books were edited by Forrest J. Ackerman and translated by Wendayne Ackerman and contain the typical 4SJ extras.
  • Kim Newman, The Quorum.  A "Deal with the Devil" type of novel.  "In 1961, Derek Leech emerges fully formed from the polluted Thames, destined to found a global media empire of pop music, Hollywood movie studios, newspapers, publishers and television."  Newman is always innovative and interesting.
  • Donald A. Wollheim & Arthur W. Saha, editors, The 1986 Annual World's Best SF.  SF anthology in this long-running series.  Ten stories by Jayge Carr, C. J. Cherryh, J. Brian Clarke, Garner Dozois (with Jack Dann and Michael Swanwick), Harlan Ellison, Frederik Pohl, Lucius Shepard, Robert Silverberg, Ian Watson, and Connie Willis.  Darned good lineup.
  • Philip Wylie, Experiment in Crime.  Crime/suspense novella.  Originally published in book form as part of Three To Be Read, a 1951 collection of stories first published in The Saturday Evening Post.

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