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The God Engines
John Scalzi
Subterranean Press, 136 pages

John Scalzi
John Scalzi was born in 1969. His first job out of college was as a film critic at the Fresno Bee newspaper in California. Since 1998, he has been a full-time freelance writer. As well, he is the Chief Entertainment Media Critic for Official US Playstation Magazine. He lives in the small rural town of Bradford, Ohio with his wife and daughter.

John Scalzi Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Metatropolis
SF Site Review: Agent to the Stars
SF Site Review: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded
SF Site Review: The Android's Dream
SF Site Review: Old Man's War

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Peter D. Tillman

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The God Engines John Scalzi tries something new with this long novella. He calls it dark fantasy, but it's really more science-fantasy -- the action is largely aboard an FTL starship, and the setting is an interstellar religious empire. The title is literally true -- I'm treading lightly here to avoid spoilers. The empire is ruled by the Bishopry Militant, a rather unsavory theocracy, and the religious supernatural is at the forefront of the tale.

The God Engines is a story along the lines of Harlan Ellison's "The Deathbird," although it's less directly tied to Christianity than Ellison's classic. Scalzi does some very effective society and religion-building here. His writing is as good as ever, the tale moves along briskly, sex, violence and spaceship battles are featured. The story becomes darker with each revelatory twist, and ends up very dark and bloody indeed. Recommended, with a caveat for the easily-squicked. I'd be surprised if Scalzi doesn't revisit this intriguing new universe.

Copyright © 2010 Peter D. Tillman

Pete Tillman has been reading SF for better than 40 years now. He reviews SF -- and other books -- for Amazon, Infinity-Plus, SF Site, and others. He's a mineral exploration geologist based in Arizona. Google "Peter D. Tillman" +review for many more of Pete's reviews.


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