Posted by : atcampbell | On : March 18, 1997

Expiration Date by Tim Powers

Seven of us met at Adventures in Crime and Space on March 18 to discuss Expiration Date by Tim Powers. The novel is a dark fantasy set in Los Angeles, featuring the ghosts of Thomas Edison and Harry Houdini. We all liked many of the ideas and elements of the book, but we were divided about how successfully the story was told. Two of the group found the writing style “wonderful,” while most of the rest found that the story started very slowly and took a couple of hundred pages to pique our interest. One person had nightmares while reading the book, so obviously the writing style was effective for her. One member who’d also read the British version of the book, which differed substantially, felt that the American version seemed “padded.” Powers’s ideas and unique points of view are always interesting, and we never know what he’ll do next.

— A. T. Campbell, III



Posted by : atcampbell | On : March 4, 1997

Wildside by Steven Gould

On March 4, eight of us met at the FACT Office to discuss Steven Gould’s Wildside. It’s a coming-of-age science fiction story in which a group of Texas teenagers discover a gateway to a world filled with saber-toothed tigers, wooly mammoths, and other supposedly-extinct creatures. We found Gould’s prose style quite readable, and we admired the author’s intent for the book to be read both by adults and younger readers. The novel features extensive aviation scenes, which the private pilot in our group pronounced generally accurate. The characters were multidimensional and easy to tell apart, and their relationships seemed real. While we all found the basic concept fascinating, many of us wished the author had explored his world more. As one person put it, “it’s like making Jurassic Park with the dinosaurs offscreen.” Overall we liked the book, and we’re looking forward to what Gould writes next.

-A. T. Campbell, III