Superior fantasy horror novel, much better than most recent offerings. Highly recommended. It is the story of a densely wooded land near the Smoky Mountains called Wildwood. It is a place where twisted creatures, part animal and part man, roam; both beautiful and terrifying. Maybe even the best novel in exploring dark possibilities of the obscure woods. review: 07-Jul-06 (read in 1986)
L. Ron Hubbards' only worth-while contribution to the SF world ( note I am being facetious here) - establishing the competition for new writers - is actually a fun reading experience. Some great names came out of a couple of early issues, including Robert Reed and David Zindell. Marina Fitch submitted a lyrical, subdued story, a crowd-pleaser, but did not win anything. She proved though that she is a name to watch. review: 31-Aug-06 (read in 1991)
A curious debate over how a superior being (the size of a Galaxy or larger) would see the surrounding Universe and travel in it by macroscopic "steps". Such movements would surely defy the "speed-of-light" limit, just like our cars would seem to move with stupendous speed from "a tiny molecular being's" viewpoint. Size does matter; with another scale come another laws of physics (if you doubt that, observe completely different laws of quantum and astro-physics, and the bridge between them that is, well, missing). As for how our Universe might look "from an outside point of view", a series of amazing extrapolation pictures were published recently, showing the clusters of clusters of Galaxies, which seem to join together in strands, knots - weirdly similar to... neurons and structures inside a human brain. Think about that. review: 09-Aug-06 (read in 2005)
This story can be potentially life-changing, if you only let it - and seriously disturbing, if you don't. The subject matter will stay with you for days, and may haunt you until the solution is found. Similar to J. G. Ballard's dystopias, this masterful tale uses the surreal and the absurd as a powerful force, aimed directly at your subconscious. Everybody who ever struggled for identity inside an urban jungle, who tasted totalitarian propaganda, or been wounded by the impossibility of escape (in its broadest sense) - will savor every word; all other readers, too, will be immensely entertained. Heads above anything published in the field in years, this tale somehow managed to languish in the total obscurity for the past 50 years... This could be hard to explain, except for the fact that it was the first and ONLY piece Estelle Frye ever wrote! Apparently she had said everything she wanted to say (in a few carefully chosen words) and then fell silent ...
People in this story are trapped in an artificial, soul-killing environment (reminiscent of "The Truman Show") with all sense of identity and destiny seemingly lost to them. They go around in masks and pointlessly gaze at the painted landscapes around the city. The countryside is not much better. Soon there is only one thing left: to turn away from your own misery and start helping others, one person at a time. But then, such choice is almost always the hardest. review: 27-Dec-07 (read in 2007)
"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!
All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
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--/ wonder award sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness
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--/ rare find very hard to locate, mostly from old pulps, never reprinted, etc.
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