Freak Nation Book Reviews
Freaks, whatever their tribe, all seem to be serious bibliophiles. From sci-fi to fantasy to horror and other sorts of speculative fiction, to tech manuals for software and hardware, to textbooks and how-tos on practically every subject under the sun, to classic literature ranging from Machiavelli to Baudelaire, to comics and manga, we seem to devour it all. Naturally, our site reviews the whole range of printed material that freaks enjoy.
If you want to review something for us, please read the review guidelines. Then, by all means, send it in to the webmaster!
- posted 01/20/2007Altered Carbon
In a world where anyone’s memories and personality can be stored, played back, and “re-sleeved” in a new body, death has become optional — at least, for those with the money to pay for new bodies. Takeshi Kovacs doesn’t have that much money, but his employer, Laurens Bancroft does — and can afford to hire Kovacs to find out who killed Bancroft. Emily Crow says Richard K. Morgan’s novel brings the cyberpunk genre back to vivid life, instead of copying previous masters.
- posted 08/13/2006Hammered
Elizabeth Bear’s first novel, Hammered, introduces us to a protagonist who has Molly Millions beat hands-down for realism, plus Richard Feynman as a rogue AI. It also gives us a host of supporting characters and a whirlwind plot full of standard-cyberpunk and outside-the-subgenre elements. But it’s only the first third of a story that’s being released as a “trilogy”. This makes the pacing seem off until you realize it, and keeps the plot from really jelling properly. We can only expect (and hope!) that the following two-thirds of the story will fix that. Reviewed by Kai MacTane.
- posted 05/10/2006Jennifer Government
Suppose the laissez-faire libertarians actually got to create a world based on their free-market ideals. What would it look like? Max Barry’s Jennifer Government answers this question, but does it as a rollercoaster of a cyberpunk adventure story instead of as a dry economic treatise. The result is so scintillating, it makes up for the few minor flaws buried beneath the book’s surface. Reviewed by Kai MacTane.
- posted 03/05/2006The Bride Wore Black Leather
Drew Campbell is better known as the author of the Miss Abernathy series of slave training manuals. In The Bride Wore Black Leather (And He Looked Fabulous!), Campbell turns his talents toward an “etiquette guide for the rest of us”. Ms. Alternative reviews, and finds Campbell’s work up to her exacting standards.
- posted 02/08/2004The Last Hot Time
John M. Ford’s fantastic look at a Chicago transformed by magic and elven intrigue doesn’t stop at the usual “magic has returned” clichés. Instead, it looks deep into the nature and uses of magic, and the hearts of its characters, to bring us a thought-provoking thriller.