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Wizard of the Winds by Allan Cole
The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton, Warner Aspect
Blood Debt by Tanya Huff, DAW
Blue Limbo by Terence M. Green, Tor
A Quantum Murder by Peter F. Hamilton
Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz, Knopf
Review Links
Ticktock by Dean Koontz, Ballantine
Sacrifice of Fools by Ian McDonald, Gollancz
The Gift by Patrick O'Leary, Tor
Frameshift by Robert J. Sawyer, Tor
Spares by Michael Marshall Smith, HarperCollins, Bantam
Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling, Bantam Spectra
Holy Fire
by Bruce Sterling, Bantam Spectra

[Cover] Bruce Sterling has been around. It's obvious from his prose. He is able to make credible the forthcoming twists and turns of technology as they apply to the day-to-day lives of his characters. It is an intriguing future, what with implants, nanotech, transportation, hygiene and many of the other minor aspects of life we take for granted. He does it seamlessly. It's too bad that all these wonderous revelations come at the expense of character and plot. There isn't much room for either.

Mia Ziemann is rich and old. Upon the death of an old amour, she undertakes surgery which can make her old body young again. She flees to Europe partway through the treatments. By doing so, she jepordizes the possible rejuvenation. There, she moves from person to person struggling to discover something I couldn't (nor cared to) figure out. Ulrich the thief, Therese the clothier, Klaudia the shopgirl, Benedetta the programmer, Josef the photographer all play a role in her search. She leaves each behind and moves on to the next. My favourite was Plato.

Blood Debt
by Tanya Huff, DAWCanadian Author

Vicky Nelson, Henry Fitzroy and Mike Celluci are back for their fifth vampire adventure in the Great White North. This time, Henry has moved to Vancouver since he can't share Toronto with Vicky. He sends for her (and her investigative skills) as he's faced with a mystery (he'll figure out a way to cope with her in the same city). A questioning ghost appears to him each dawn wanting him to find the killer. Asking one resulting in a negative answer is killing his neighbours. What's a vampire romance writer to do? Vicky and Mike (who is on vacation) know. They plunge headlong into an adventure involving street gangs, stolen body parts and really nasty characters.

Tanya Huff has been writing DAW novels for a number of years now. I've read almost all of them. Most have been good (Ones) but the last few have been terrific (Twos) including this book. She has a divine sense of characterization, her plots go where they should and she doesn't waste your time with stuff that fills out a lot books. She goes for the reader's throat, holds you by the scruff of the neck and jams a spine-tingling adventure into your brains. Then, with a toothy grin, asks, did you have fun? I just nodded my head and said, Yup.

A Quantum Murder
by Peter F. Hamilton, Tor

Greg Mandel still wants to be left alone. He's newly married to Eleanor, he's bought himself a farm with the proceeds of his last case (Mindstar Rising) and he wants to get his trees planted. When his friend, Julia Evans, asks him to investigate the suspicious death of one of her employees, Edward Kitchener, he's torn. Julia happens to be perhaps the richest, most powerful person on the planet and she paid him those proceeds. Now, Kitchener was a double Nobel Laureate and all-round hedonist. Greg has to figure out whether it was a crime of passion, industrial espionage or scholarly revenge. Thrown into the mix are the police who are not happy with the intervention of a citizen and the various gangs warring for turf after the rebellion which felled of the UK government. He's slated to be a busy guy.

Hamilton, the author of the UK bestseller, The Reality Dysfunction, does a terrific job at handling a host of characters without them blurring together. His plotting is top-notch; I found myself deeply engrossed in the intricacies of near-holocaust politics, wondering whether the country can get back on its feet again. At the same time, I was pushed to try and figure out who might have committed this locked-room murder. Fans of this sort of mystery will enjoy the dropping of clues, the ambiguities of how such a murder can happen and the puzzles and false leads which would be the envy of any author. It left me writhing in anticipation of the third volume due next year from Tor but already out in the UK. Hey, this is the Internet. I could order it online. Hmmm...


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