An essay by Harlan Ellison followed by his short story about totalitarianism and independence.3 stars
In brief: A decent story, but not the masterpiece it's claimed to be.
Space Odyssey #1
The long-laid plans of interfering aliens come to fruition when humans discover a lunar anomaly that turns out to be a signaling device.3.5 stars
In brief: This reads like the sketch of a novel rather than the novel itself.
Space Odyssey #2
After David Bowman disappeared into a mysterious monolith, Heywood Floyd and others have set out to investigate what happened. At the same time, unbeknownst to them, Bowman has returned, as a mysterious and powerful being revisiting old haunts.2.5 stars
In brief: A nicely written, poorly constructed, and ultimately purposeless book.
Space Odyssey #3
Humans force a landing on Europa, the only body in the solar system expressly forbidden to them.3 stars
In brief: While better than 2010, 2061 simply has no good reason for being.
Hugh and his father pick up a new clothes cupboard at a junk shop, but soon enough he and his friends find the cupboard has special qualities.
In brief: A fun light read, but perhaps best for young children who will accept vague symbols as significant mysteries.
Answered Prayers #3
A celebrated director is called to wrap up a friend and fellow director’s final project, a horror film.2.5 stars
In brief: Disappointing.
After almost all humans suddenly disappeared, the remaining humans develop long lives and psychic powers. All the robots remain, and seek their own new purpose in life. The humans form three groups – the few that work with robots, the Native Americans that disdain robots, and a nomadic group that fears robots.2.5 stars
In brief: The contents of a mildly interesting essay spread into a disappointing and not very interesting novel.
A wealthy miser learns the true meaning of charity.4 stars
In brief: One of Dickens' classics
Song of Ice and Fire #5
This companion to A Feast for Crows tells the contemporaneous stories of the other characters – the ones who just didn’t fit into that massive volume.3.5 stars
In brief: Dense, well-written political fantasy.
Simak Complete Stories #7
A collection of mostly science fiction stories by Clifford Simak.4 stars
In brief: A great selection of moving and optimistic Simak stories.
A small English village is disturbed by the appearance of a young American woman.3 stars
In brief: Pleasant but not compelling.
In a post-apocalyptic America, two women struggle to survive on the Oregon coast.3 stars
In brief: Interesting.
Travis, a young man come to live in a small plains town with his estranged aunt and uncle, finds there Anna, their mysterious lodger, and Nancy, as much a misfit as himself. Together, they gradually get more involved with Anna and with each other.
In brief: One of Wilson's stronger books.
A collection of SFF Christmas stories by Connie Willis.4 stars
In brief: A fun, uplifting collection by a very talented writer
A collection of stories by Michael Chabon.2.5 stars
In brief: Good, but not in any way outstanding.