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Parallel Visions: City of Angels City of Demons ebook and trade paperback available on Amazon (or here).
The question of whether Vance was dead or not became more than academic when he found himself in a bathtub up to his chin in ice water like some forgotten cocktail garnish, a demonic woman standing over him, and no memory of how he got there.
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The Red Rook, sequel to Dispensing Justice and the second novel of Nova Genesis World is now available for Kindle or as a paperback at Amazon.
Read free chapters of Dispensing Justice here (or get it here).
Read free chapters of The Red Rook here (or get it here). -- Fritz Freiheit

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Template:The Callahan Chronicals (comment)

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I'm about a third of the way through and wishing that I was finished with The Callahan Chronicals. And not because I'm enjoying it, if that was in question. The stories, prose wise, are fine. A bit better than fine. But you really have to squint to see the science fiction in them. Worse, I can't find a scrap of a sense of wonder. Sure, the puns are fun, but the stories are anecdotal, mostly of the shaggy dog sort. Perhaps the popularity came from being different than the rest of stuff appearing in Analog during the Seventies. This is my first encounter with Spider Robinson. I suspect it will be my last.

It struck me at about the three-quarters mark, that one of the things that bothers me about Callahan stories is that they give me a strong feeling of indulgence or what I am forced to describe as a fan fiction sensibility (that is, "I am such a fan of Callahan's that I am going to write glowingly about it.") or, more charitably, utopian fiction (i.e. "Callahan's is the perfect bar"). To be fair, most fiction is a form idealization or the smoothing away of the less-than-esthetic elements and contradictions of reality. Alas, to paraphrase a famous saying, one man's utopia is another's distopia. Or another's irritatopia irritating-topia.

  • If I sound angry, it's because I resent losing the time, even if it's partly my fault to hoping it would improve (it didn't)
  • Periodically, the grinding sound of the author sharpening a philosophical axe on my head would drown out the story
  • I came to realize that my willingness to forgive the sin of Mary Sue is proportional to how closely a story aligns with my own desires
  • In the final short story (where Spider Robinson writes about visiting the bar) the author basically confirms my Mary Sue intuitions, smugly including a statement that this has to be fiction, because who could invent such unusual characters?

... Warning: This is a work in progress. -- Fritz.

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