more . . .

All Reviews

next »

 
the_author() rating onrating onrating onrating onrating off

STREET

Smooth!

By "K", member

Jul 17, 2010: I started this story and to say the least . . . I intent to finish. I like this girl Gina. She is savvy smart and spunky! Gonna save this to my favorite.

0 of 0 members found this review helpful.
Help us improve!  Request an invite or log in to rate this review.

next »

the_author() rating onrating onrating onrating onrating off

STREET

A Mean Street, But Worth the Trip

By Ysabetwordsmith, member

Jul 14, 2010: It’s a mean "Street" out there, but fun to watch from a safe distance. This story has a short setup leading to a long, sharp drop into fast-paced action.

The viewpoint character, Gina, is a prostitute who sells not sex but something more intimate. She scans people’s thoughts and emotions with the help of a drug called Spice. Unlike some of the strung-out telepaths on the Street, Gina is good at keeping her head on her shoulders. Unfortunately, that’s not enough.

A mysterious fellow named Bomber offers her a week’s worth of money for a full night’s work. (That’s usually a sign of trouble.) But when Gina tries to touch the target’s mind, she falls into a morass of insane images—and he somehow realizes what she is doing. Before long, Gina and Bomber are fleeing for their lives as Gabriel sends his men after them.

"Street" is cyberpunk, but I like it better than I do most fiction in this genre. There’s something a little more real about it —the careful precision of the details, a better balance between the grim-and-gritty cyberpunk tone and the sense of wonder that characterizes most speculative fiction. There are moments of humor and whimsy amidst the violence. The city is not all bleak, but has touches of charm. And the story, while it proceeds at a breakneck pace most of the time, occasionally pauses for a breath.

Cyberpunk fans will enjoy this story. It’s also worth a look if you enjoy corporate espionage or intrigue, and the darker flavors of science fiction. The first book, "Empathy," is already complete and the second, "Clairvoyance," is in progress.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
Help us improve!  Request an invite or log in to rate this review.

next »

the_author() rating onrating onrating onrating halfrating off

COLD HILLSIDE

The brother left behind

By Linda Schoales, editor

Feb 10, 2010: “Cold Hillside” is the story of Simon, a man dealing with the recent death of his brother Giles in a car accident. Simon goes to Giles’ house, once their childhood home, to remember his brother, wrap up his affairs, and to try to make sense of his death.

The story is told in first person and starts with Giles experiencing the car accident that kills him. The narration then switches to Simon being interviewed by a detective while reminiscing about this brother. He remembers incidents from their childhood on the downs near Dorset, an auction they went to, the moment when the phone call came, the funeral, and the visitors afterwards.

The pace of the first 73 pages is fairly slow. There’s lots of description and conversation but nothing much happens “in the present”. I enjoyed reading the stories as Simon remembered his brother because they fleshed out the two brothers and their relationship. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the places and the people. The time shifts in the writing were well-handled and it was always obvious when a “story” was done and Simon was back talking to the detective. The overall feeling was rather languid or numb, as it probably would be after the loss of a loved one. There is a definite sense of loss and being lost as Simon remembers his brother.

After that the story changes. The detective seems to be gone and things start happening that make Simon suspicious. Someone seems determined to make him leave Giles’ house. Simon remembers other incidents in his relationship with his brother that weren’t so innocent. I found the change to be rather abrupt. The writing seems to have changed to being “in the present”, and to being darker. Instead of sepia-toned memories we have hints that Giles was mixed up in something dangerous. The violence is jarring and the mystery seems out of place after the long lead-in. I gave up after 100 pages because I was missing the quiet Dorset countryside.

I’m not sure who to recommend “Cold Hillside” to. On the one hand, it’s well-written and the characters feel like real people. If you like character-driven stories about family relationships you’ll probably enjoy the beginning but the rest may not be your cup of tea. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a mystery or thriller you may be disappointed. The mystery takes a long time to appear and the pace of the first 73 pages is too slow to be “thrilling”.

1 of 1 members found this review helpful.
Help us improve!  Request an invite or log in to rate this review.

next »