Lauren McLaughlin: Cycler

Cycler has an inventive premise: for most of every month Jill McTeague is a more-or-less normal teenage girl, but for four days she physically turns into a male. (The novel doesn’t explicitly deal with how this came about, although it drops some clues. I suspect McLaughlin will address it directly in a future volume*.) JillContinue reading “Lauren McLaughlin: Cycler”

Lisa McMann: Wake

The good: As supernaturally-themed young adult novels go, the premise of this one is strikingly original: no vampires, werewolves, nor zombies (at least in this first volume of the series…). Instead, Janie finds herself involuntarily drawn into the dreams of anyone dreaming near her. A few SF authors have worked with similar concepts — andContinue reading “Lisa McMann: Wake”

George Mann: The Affinity Bridge

The Affinity Bridge sets some derring-do and a Sherlock Holmes-ish mystery in an alternate history where England had much more sophisticated technology under the Victoria’s reign (some of the tech, in fact, extends Victoria’s lifespan farther into the 20th century). Sometimes it seems like Mann is juggling a few too many plot threads — aContinue reading “George Mann: The Affinity Bridge”

John Cook, Mac McCaughan, Laura Ballance: Our Noise – the Story of Merge Records

Three quick endorsements of Our Noise: I read every word within a 24-hour span I’ve already purchased some Merge recordings I hadn’t previously heard The palpable enthusiasm of Ryan Adam’s (slightly incoherent) intro almost makes me want to hear what he’s been up to lately The structure of Our Noise is pretty genius: there’s aContinue reading “John Cook, Mac McCaughan, Laura Ballance: Our Noise – the Story of Merge Records”

Michael Moorcock: Gloriana

Good God, I hated this book, with an unreasoning, visceral passion. (Had much the same reaction to Nabokov’s Lolita). I made the perhaps-mistake of reading the Moorcock’s afterword first, in which he explains that Andrea Dworkin took him to task for including a graphic rape scene (with a troubling thematic implication) in book she otherwiseContinue reading “Michael Moorcock: Gloriana”

Glen Matlock: I Was a Teenage Sex Pistol

I’ve whined recently about how the London punk scene of ’76-77 gets such a disproportionate share of media attention. So why’d I pick up Matlock’s book? Because his is one of the first-person perspectives I haven’t seen. Lydon’s and McLaren’s versions are amply documented. But Matlock’s part in the Pistols actually ends when Sid ViciousContinue reading “Glen Matlock: I Was a Teenage Sex Pistol”

Laurie J. Marks: Fire Logic

A curmudgeonly speculative-fiction fan I used to know had rules for avoiding crap books that went more or less like this: Nothing with swords or dragons in the title or the cover Nothing with a map of imaginary places at the front There are many counter-examples to prove the rules, and even more bad booksContinue reading “Laurie J. Marks: Fire Logic”