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The reviews are sorted alphabetically by authors' last name -- one or more pages for each letter (plus one for Mc). All but some recent reviews are listed here. Links to those reviews appear on the Recent Feature Review Page.

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Batman: No Man's Land Batman: No Man's Land by Greg Rucka
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
First there was the Contagion, a modern-day plague that washed over Gotham City leaving its population decimated. Then came the Cataclysm, a massive earthquake with its center just miles from Gotham's downtown. Costing $100 billion to rebuild the wasted city, it was a price tag the government quickly decided they did not want to pay. Those who wanted out were evacuated but hundreds of thousands stayed, unwilling to leave their homes, or perhaps having nowhere to go. With the bridges to the mainland demolished, the United States government washed its hands of the whole affair. Gotham City was gone, now there is only No Man's Land.

Rudy Rucker

Sharamitaro Sharamitaro by Jonathan M. Rudder
reviewed by Rob Kane
We are introduced to the youth Brendys. A good-natured teenager, he is son of the HorseMaster Brendyk, an equally good-natured man. Brendyk's nature and desire to help has led him to take in numerous wanderers and homeless souls over the years, providing them with a room and productive work to do at the ranch. When one day a man and his son appear, hungry and homeless, Brendyk does not hesitate to bring them in like the countless others before. But something is different this time.

Sewer, Gas & Electric Sewer, Gas & Electric by Matt Ruff
reviewed by Leon Olszewski
In the novel, set twenty-six years from now, you'll meet an outrageous cast of characters, including a hurricane lamp that contains the holographic image and personality of Ayn Rand and a cybernetic beaver. Leon feels that readers who can take a joke will have a fun time.

Fool on the Hill Fool on the Hill by Matt Ruff
reviewed by David Soyka
This novel has become something of a cult classic among college students. Ruff ponders the BIG ISSUES -- i.e. the meaning (or meaninglessness) of life and love -- in an accessible, light-hearted way that undergraduates with pretensions of being hip will gladly prefer over Moby Dick.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Ecstasy Club Ecstasy Club by Douglas Rushkoff
reviewed by Glen Engel-Cox
Glen found this novel read like a poor man's Illuminatus! Trilogy.

Next of Kin Next of Kin by Eric Frank Russell
reviewed by Rich Horton
John Leeming is a scout pilot for the Terran space navy. Earth and her allies are engaged in a war with the Lathians and their allies. Leeming, a rather insubordinate fellow by instinct, is given the assignment to take an experimental new super-fast one-man scout ship and fly it as far as he can towards the "rear" of the Lathian empire, in order to determine the extent of the Lathian holdings. He soon finds himself marooned with a decaying ship on a planet well away from the front.

Wasp Wasp by Eric Frank Russell
reviewed by Nick Gevers
This novel may be dated, preposterously archaic in its technological and social assumptions, and distinctly patronizing towards its aliens, but it redeems itself by being wryly amusing, well-paced, and quite instructive on the subject of guerrilla and psychological warfare. It is a superior example of the stylishly undemanding SF adventure tales of the 50s.

The Twilight Zone: Memphis & The Pool Guy The Twilight Zone: Memphis & The Pool Guy by Jay Russell
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
There is nothing quite like time travel. Revisiting the past is something we all do, even if it's just to understand what we've been through. Reading this book was like traveling back in time. Being a child again, staring at a black and white television, enthralled as Rod Serling laid out yet another fabulous story that would stay with you for days to come.

Waltzes and Whispers Waltzes and Whispers by Jay Russell
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Would you think a zombie story could break your heart? What difference would the erasure of one sports hero make? Or if the fairy tales you grew up on had a radically different ending? These are some of the questions the author explores in his new collection.

The Sparrow The Sparrow and Children of God by Mary Doria Russell
reviewed by Kristen Pederson
Both novels, the latter a sequel, contain some of the most engaging, interesting, and multi-dimensional characters that Kristen has encountered in years. Sandoz and his fellow travellers, some Jesuit, some not, are portrayed with unique and believable quirks, foibles, and strengths. Sandoz himself is a fascinating character who is easy to like, and whose eventual descent into his wounded state is unpredictable and heartbreaking.

Sean Russell

The Frozen Pirate The Frozen Pirate by William Clark Russell
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Between Marryat's The Phantom Ship and William Hope Hodgson's tales of maritime horror, by far the best and most prolific purveyor of this sort of literature was this author. Largely forgotten today, except by fans of sea stories, he wrote close to 50 novels of the sea. This book is the first instance in English literature of the use of cryonic suspension as a plot device, preceding H.G. Wells' suspended animation machine in When the Sleeper Wakes by a dozen years.

Carlucci's Heart Carlucci's Heart by Richard Paul Russo
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Frank Carlucci, a veteran cop in mid-21st century San Francisco, investigates the death of a man named Tito only because Tito was a friend of Carlucci's daughter. Nobody else is interested in the peculiar death of a poor Mexican AIDS patient until Carlucci mentions "Cancer Cell", a mysterious renegade medical group which allegedly abducted Tito. Suddenly everyone is interested, but nobody will do anything except mutter dark hints. Then the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the city is murdered, and Carlucci begins to suspect that he's on the track of a medical crime which could kill millions of innocent people.

Ship of Fools Ship of Fools by Richard Paul Russo
reviewed by David Soyka
One difference between literary SF and the type of simplistic SF entertainment embraced by the major media is the depiction of the alien. While the latter revels in its ability to show the alien, the more artistic purveyors of the form know that the true alien is subversively elusive, beyond our full comprehension even as we are sucked into the whirlpool. This novel is a case in point.

Terminal Visions Terminal Visions by Richard Paul Russo
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
While the settings of the stories in this collection range from interstellar lifeboats to decaying post-apocalyptic inner cities, and the technology from invasive alien body suits to a device for time/space-hopping in old-fashioned cars, the stories are first and foremost about ordinary men and women, their emotions, interactions, hopes, and motivations. These largely transcend the technological backdrop or unusual abilities of the characters. Best of all, the characters are neither save-the-world superheroes, nor cloyingly sentimental; they are ineffectual emotional wrecks.

The Cabinet of Wonders The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
In 16th century Bohemia, Mikal Kronos made a magnificent clock for the young Prince Rodolfo; in return, the prince had the craftsman's eyes gouged out. Mikal's twelve-year-old daughter Petra resolves to travel to Prague to recover her father's eyes. She gets a job in the royal palace and, with the aid of her pet mechanical spider Astrophil and a Roma boy named Neel, sets about trying to find the eyes.

Children of the Shaman Children of the Shaman by Jessica Rydill
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Annat is a Wanderer adolescent whose ailing aunt has dropped her and her brother, Malchik, off with their long-missing father, Yuda. Although currently employed as a guard for the railway, Yuda is about to take a job in a frontier village as an healer, using his skills as a shaman. At the same time, he will coach Annat in her own abilities as a Shaman.

Air Air by Geoff Ryman
reviewed by David Soyka
One historical dividing line in science fiction is between those who think technology offers a lot of "cool" things that better the human condition (Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov) and those who think the opposite (Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells and their New Wave descendants sprung from the loins of atomic explosions and countercultural indulgences). The cyberpunks melded both with the sort of Zen-like attitude that technology is neither inherently good or bad, it merely is what it is.

The Child Garden The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman
reviewed by Jakob Schmidt
In a future world where the cure for cancer had the unfortunate side-effect of increasing the speed of ageing rapidly, children must become adults within a few years after birth. Genetically engineered viruses that transfer knowledge are used to cut childhood as short as possible. But Milena Shibush turns out to be immune. Learning things the hard way, she's also not bound by the social conformity spread by the omnipresent viruses. When Milena meets the outsider master-singer Rolfa, she falls in love with the strange, genetically engineered creature.

Tesseracts 9 Tesseracts 9 edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Geoff Ryman
reviewed by Donna McMahon
This is the first in the Tesseracts anthology series that Donna has read in its entirety. The previous ones she looked at felt overburdened with ponderous, somber work that seemed to have been picked for literary 'respectability' rather than story-telling. Here, the vast majority of stories are strongly emotional narratives, rather than aloof exercises of the intellect.

Was Was by Geoff Ryman
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
It is a novel woven from three main strands of narrative: the story of a girl named Dorothy who lives a sad and painful life in 19th-century Kansas and once made an impression on a young substitute teacher named Frank Baum; the story of Frances Gumm, whose difficult childhood forever haunted the persona she became when she changed her name to Judy Garland; and the story of Jonathan, an actor dying of AIDS who dreams of one day playing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, and who, before he dies, traces Dorothy back to Kansas and Baum.

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