Archive for September, 2009

First Clean Reads Book Review

September 25, 2009 3 comments

Yesterday my first guest post was posted at Clean Reads, a review of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. Essentially it’s a reposting of the review I wrote for this site, with a brief intro to science fiction and speculative fiction added for the unitiated.

This was my first guest blog anywhere, and I admit I was a little intimidated at the thought. It’s like sending your manuscript to an editor and waiting for their form-letter rejection notice. Just because it’s someone else’s blog (instead of a magazine or publisher) doesn’t mean your article will be automatically accepted. Laura, hopefully you used the same editorial selectivity when posting my review! 🙂

Thanks to Laura Fabiani for inviting me to be a guest poster! I appreciated being able to add my review to her website, because I believe that reading a good book or an important book does not automatically mean that the reader has to read a lot of profanity, violence, or spiritism.

Incidentally, Laura would like me to mention that she is hosting a book giveaway at her site. Go check it out & you may come away with one or two good reads.

Categories: article, othersites, reviews

Marseguro: a Reader’s Review

September 18, 2009 1 comment

What would you do if genetic sculpting (genesculpting) became possible? Marseguro, by Edward Willett, explores a future where genetics assumes epic proportions.

Marseguro is the name of a planet secretly colonized by a group of fugitives fleeing from an intolerant theocracy. The Selkies, a race of genetically modified humans, suffered under the hand of the Body Purified, who believe in the sanctity of the human genome and viciously persecute any who disagree or who have been modified. When the Body comes into earthwide political power, the Selkies are forced to flee with their creator, Victor Hansen.

The story begins fifty years after their exodus. The Selkies thrive on the water world Marseguro, free even to explore aesthetic pursuits such as art and theater in a uniquely Maseguroite manner. However, human Chris Keating begins the story by plotting to betray his fellow colonists to the Body Purefied.

Marseguo is a richly realized story, blending together older SF tropes such as interstellar travel and colonizing planets with newer ideas like genetics and string theory. (If you’re wondering where string theory comes into the story, here’s a hint: Willett did not misspell ‘brane’.)

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and have already ripped into the sequel Terra Insegura, which is similarly enjoyable. Marseguro has a strong plot, well developed society and believable technology. What I feel lacking, in my opinion, is characterization. The main characters Emily Wood the Selkie, Richard Hansen (grandson of geneticist Victor Hansen and pawn of the Body Purified), Archbishop Cheveldoff, and Chris Keating of course all behave in a believable manner, but lack a depth to their character that would have added far more drama. Ultimately there is nothing wrong with this. Stories are either character driven or plot driven. Edward Willett has crafted an excellent plot driven story that was easy and enjoyable to read. I would certainly recommend Marseguro to anyone who enjoys SF.

This is my first review of Marseguro, aimed particularly at readers. Soon I’ll post a review that focuses on this book from a writer’s perspective.

Categories: reviews


September 3, 2009 1 comment

A little contest from Clarkesworld to win a free book. Clarkesworld is a very nice online SF magazine, one that seems worth tracking.
Anyways, back to the contest. I just have to post this link on my blog:

Categories: Uncategorized