Archives

Weed of Time by Norman Spinrad

Source: Own Collection
Format: Hardcover
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

This was a fascinating short story. The narrator relates in it how he has taken Temp (tempus ceti), the “weed of time” referred to in the title, and then attempts to convey how it has affected his life.

In short, I think Spinrad does a brilliant job of showing the reader how the narrator is in all times at once, and how horrendous that could feel. Not an easy concept to convey, and yet I think he managed pretty well with this.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Source: Own Collection
Format: Kindle
Rating:  3 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Honest review, hmmm? I put the book down at the 32% mark. I’d had enough. While I admired the historical research and the portrayal of the harshness of life in the 1700s, I didn’t like either of the main characters. For me, they were both inconsistent. It seemed Jamie had more of an idea of the forces at work around them, but that didn’t really come across very clearly – I felt like I kept being TOLD what his character was like rather than being shown it, and when I was shown it, it felt like a token gesture that was judged by Claire (seeing as this was written in her first-person POV). And Claire… I felt was just being whipped around by the tides with very little thought process and sensibility of her position in the place and time. And where there was thought process, it was again not shown, so one had little idea why she made the decisions she made.

However, I am not a quitter, and I picked the book up again. And finished reading it. It was ok, but I wouldn’t rate it higher than that. However, I will give a firm nod to Gabaldon’s research and portrayal of life back then – I definitely commend and respect it. And it’s for this reason only that this book gets three stars from me, and not the two the “it was ok” would garner.

Terminós by Dean Francis Alfar

Source: Own Collection
Format: Hardcover
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

The story is primarily about trading in time. When people don’t like their lives, or they want to change something, they can come to Mr. Henares and sell a certain amount of time. Conversely, they can also purchase time from him – a particular event, really. In the story we experience events initially from Mr. Henares’s perspective, but then we also read about his clients’ experiences. This makes for an interesting and somewhat poignant tale.

I liked the Filipino flavour of the story, and the images conveyed in the words were clear. A lovely read, with plenty of food for thought.

 

Come-From-Aways by Tony Pi

Source: Own Book
Format: Hard Cover
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

In this story, we meet a man called Madoc who has arrived on the Newfoundland coast by sea. He doesn’t speak any understandable language, although a linguist suspects links to Welsh. As a linguist improves their understanding of his language, this fascinating tale unfolds of storms, time-jumps and metal.

This was, for me, quite a peaceful story – perhaps inspired by the Newfoundland environs as described in the book. Despite mention and experience of storms, nevertheless, the sense of peace remained as the story unfolded. A fascinating concept – that of an individual caught in a time-jump/loop linked to the date/s.

An enjoyable story, very readable.

Extinction Lost by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

In this short story, a quick trip to Greenland hot on the heels of their disastrous trip to France turns into a nightmare for Team Ghost. And beware – ghosts from the past may pop up when you least expect them!

Not to be overlooked, this short story is every bit what we’ve come to expect from Fitz and the rest of Team Ghost. Once again the recipients of an impossible mission, the stakes are raised on the team until it could go either way.

Gripping and fast-paced, Nicholas adds a new dimension to the Variant saga in this quick read. Excellent stuff.