Since I only finish books that I enjoy, all of the reviews below (with one notable exception) are generally positive. Also, I tend to analyze stories to see what works and what doesn’t, so the reviews are geared more for writers than for readers.
Reviews are listed alphabetically by author, with the first line given beneath the title.
(*) denotes an indie published ebook.
Pride and Prejudice
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice.
The Martian Chronicles
One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets.
And then a long wave of warmth crossed the small town.
Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles.
Shards of Honor
A sea of mist drifted through the cloud forest, soft, grey, luminescent.
Bujold, Lois McMaster. Shards of Honor.
Kali McAlister tapped a wrench against her thigh as she contemplated her invention.
Buroker, Lindsay. Flash Gold.
“I’ve watched through his eyes, I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you he’s the one. Or at least as close as we’re going to get.”
Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game.
The Worthing Saga
In many places in the Peopled Worlds, the pain came suddenly in the midst of the day’s labor.
Card, Orson Scott. The Worthing Saga.
Voyager in Night
Trishanamarandu-kepta was <>’s name, of shape subject to change and configurations of consciousness likewise mutable. But Trishanamarandu-kepta within-the-shell kept alert against the threat of subversive alterations, for some of the guests aboard were unreliable in disposition and in sanity.
Cherryh, C. J. Voyager in Night.
The stars, like all man’s other ventures, were an obvious impracticality, as rash and improbable an ambition as the first venture of man onto Earth’s own great oceans, or into the air, or into space.
Cherryh, C. J. Downbelow Station.
Their names were Sandor and Allison…Kreja and Reilly respectively.
Cherryh, C. J. Merchanter’s Luck.
The Lifecycle of Software Objects
Her name is Ana Alvarado, and she’s having a bad day.
Chiang, Ted. The Lifecycle of Software Objects.
2001: A Space Odyssey
The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended.
Clarke, Arthur C. 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The volcano that had reared Taratua up from the Pacific depths had been sleeping now for half a million years. Yet in a little while, thought Reinhold, the island would be bathed with fires fiercer than any that had attended its birth.
Clarke, Arthur C. Childhood’s End.
Passage at Arms
The personnel carrier lurches through the ruins under a wounded sky.
Cook, Glen. Passage at Arms.
Monster Hunter International
On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.
Correia, Larry. Monster Hunter International.
Jacob Hull smiled with relief as he stepped out of the hatch of the shuttle that had brought him to the station.
Debenham, Kindal. Wolfhound.
The starship shimmered yellow in the midts of three spikes of blue flux, the magnetic motors of the tugs which added their thrust to that of the larger vessel.
David Drake. Starliner.
Long, long ago, when people spoke languages quite different from our own, many fine, big cities already existed in the sunny lands of the world.
Ende, Michael. Momo.
The Neverending Story
[Carl Conrad Coriander -- Used Books] This inscription could be seen on the glass door of a small shop, but naturally this was only the way it looked if you were inside the dimly lit shop, looking out at the street through the plate glass door.
Ende, Michael. The Neverending Story.
The Madness Season
When the series of images ended I reached out and flicked the projector switch off, sending the last holo spiraling down into darkness.
Friedman, C.S. The Madness Season.
The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend
The axe was four feet long, with a ten-pound head, the blade flared, and sharp as any sword.
Gemmell, David. The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend.
The King Beyond the Gate
The barracks building stood shrouded in snow, the broken windows hanging open like old, unhealed wounds.
Gemmell, David. The King Beyond the Gate.
Quest for Lost Heroes
Seventeen people watched the duel, and not a sound could be heard above the whispering of the blades and the discordant music of steel on steel.
Gemmell, David. Quest for Lost Heroes.
They had begun to torture the priest when the stranger stepped from the shadows of the trees.
Gemmell, David. Waylander.
In the Realm of the Wolf
The man called Angel sat quietly in the corner of the tavern, his huge gnarled hands cupped around a goblet of mulled wine and his scarred features hidden by a black hood.
Gemmell, David. In the Realm of the Wolf.
Smoke from the burning buildings still hung in the air, but the rioting mobs of yesterday had dispersed now, as the two priests walked slowly down the hill toward the town.
Gemmell, David. White Wolf.
The Swords of Night and Day
The sun was warm in a blue sky as the Priestess Ustarte stood at the graveside, watching her aides disguising the tomb.
Gemmell, David. The Swords of Night and Day.
The night sky over the mountains was clear and bright, the stars like diamonds on sable.
Gemmell, David. Winter Warriors.
The Jerusalem Man
The rider paused at the crest of a wooded hill and gazed down over the wide, rolling, empty lands beneath him. There was no sign of Jerusalem. No dark road, glittering with diamonds. But then Jerusalem was always ahead, beckoning in the dreams of night, taunting him to find her on the black, umbilical road.
Gemmell, David. The Jerusalem Man.
AL MUSTAFA the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn unto his own day, had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth. And in the twelfth year, on the seventh day of Ielol, the month of reaping, he climbed the hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld his ship coming with the mist. Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.
Gibran, Gibran Khalil. The Prophet.
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
Gibson, William. Neuromancer.
The Forever War
“Tonight we’re going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man.”
Haldeman, Joe. The Forever War.
Citizen of the Galaxy
“Lot ninety-seven,” the auctioneer announced. “A boy.”
Heinlein, Robert A. Citizen of the Galaxy.
I always get the shakes before a drop.
Heinlein, Robert A. Starship Troopers.
“It’s not a hearing aid,” Hubert Farnham explained. “It’s a radio, tuned to the emergency frequency.”
Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham’s Freehold.
One Confirmed Kill*
The following is not fiction.
Johnston, Peter. One Confirmed Kill.
There was a wall.
Le Guin, Ursula K. The Dispossessed.
The Left Hand of Darkness
I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.
Le Guin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness.
Out of the Silent Planet
He walked fairly fast, and doggedly, without looking much about him, like a man trying to shorten the way with some interesting train of thought.
Lewis, C.S. Out of the Silent Planet.
Call me Ishmael.
Lowell, Nathan. Quarter Share.
The Bourne Identity
The trawler plunged into the angry swells of the dark, furious sea like an awkward animal trying desperately to break out of an impenetrable swamp.
Ludlum, Robert. The Bourne Identity.
Major, Nathan. Paradise Seekers.
A Game of Thrones
The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer.
Martin, George R. R. A Game of Thrones.
Lessa woke, cold. Cold with more than the chill of the everlastingly clammy stone walls.
McCaffrey, Anne. Dragonsflight.
I’d never given much thought to how I would die–though I’d had reason enough in the last few months–but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.
Meyers, Stephanie. Twilight.
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Brother Francis Gerard of Utah might never have discovered the blessed documents, had it not been for the pilgrim with girded loins who appeared during that young novice’s Lenten fast in the desert.
Miller, Walter M. Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz.
Once A Hero
Esmay Suiza had done her best to clean up before reporting as ordered to the admiral aboard her flagship, but the mutiny and the following battle had left her little time.
Moon, Elizabeth. Once A Hero.
In the birthing room of a tiny clinic, in a town in Southern India, holding the hand of another man’s wife, Michael Fielding felt chaos rise quietly through the world.
Nagata, Linda. Goddesses.
Skye Object 3270a*
Skye’s skin suit was a royal blue so hot it glowed.
Nagata, Linda. Skye Object 3270a.
The Mote in God’s Eye
Throughout the past thousand years of history it has been traditional to regard the Alderson Drive as an unmixed blessing.
Niven, Larry and Jerry Pournelle. The Mote in God’s Eye.
Yesterday’s Gone: Episode One*
On the day everything changed, Brent Foster’s biggest concern was getting an hour to himself.
Platt, Sean & David Wright. Yesterday’s Gone, Episode One.
The Golden Compass
Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen.
Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass.
Parry Boyce looked up from the rippled red surface of the comet.
Reynolds, Alastair. Pushing Ice.
Ali and Nino
We were a very mixed lot, we forty schoolboys who were having a Geography lesson one hot afternoon in the Imperial Russian Humanistic High School of Baku, Transcaucasia: thirty Mohammedans, four Armenians, two Poles, three Sectarians, and one Russian.
Said, Kurban. Ali and Nino.
Ash fell from the sky.
Sanderson, Brandon. Mistborn.
Old Man’s War
I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife’s grave. Then I joined the army.
Scalzi, John. Old Man’s War.
The Killer Angels
He rode into the dark of the woods and dismounted. He crawled upward on his belly over cool rocks out into the sunlight, and suddenly he was in the open and he could see for miles, and there was the whole vast army below him, filling the valley like a smoking river.
Shaara, Michael. The Killer Angels.
That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made
Sol Central Station floated amid the fusing hydrogen of the solar core, 400,000 miles under the surface of the sun, protected only by the thin shell of an energy shield, but that wasn’t why my palm sweat slicked the plastic pulpit of the station’s multidenominational chapel.
Stone, Eric James. That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The year 1866 was signalised by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten.
Verne, Jules. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
I Am Not a Serial Killer
Mrs. Anderson was dead.
Wells, Dan. I Am Not a Serial Killer.
It was one a.m. and I was staring at a cat.
Wells, Dan. Mr. Monster.
I Don’t Want to Kill You
I didn’t know Jenny Zeller very well. Nobody did, really. I guess that’s why she killed herself.
Wells, Dan. I Don’t Want to Kill You.
A Hidden Place
The municipality of Haute Montagne stood at the junction of the Fresnel River and the railway, its water tower and its huge granaries erupting from the prairie like blocks of basalt from an eroded sea floor. Once, not long ago, the town had aspired to be a city.
Wilson, Robern Charles. A Hidden Place.
Everybody falls, and we all land somewhere.
Wilson, Robert Charles. Spin.
In the summer of his twelfth year–the summer the stars began to fall from the sky–the boy Isaac discovered that he could tell east from west with his eyes closed.
Wilson, Robert Charles. Axis.
No more, Sandra Cole thought when she woke up in her sweltering apartment.
Wilson, Robert Charles. Vortex.
On My Way To Paradise
A dusty gray hovercraft floated to a stop in front of my booth in the feria. As its door flipped open, an emaciated woman struggled up from the shadows within and into the stabbing daylight.
Wolverton, Dave. On My Way to Paradise.