Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 20, 1998

Spiritride by Mark Shepherd

Four showed up for this discussion, and two additional people submitted comments via e-mail. Spiritride is a hard-to-describe fantasy novel involving elves, motorcycles, and Native Americans. The story follows a group of elves hunting for their enemies, who have fled to the world of humans. Along the way, the elves enlist the help of a Native American biker and several “guardian angels” of bikers. Complications ensue, and eventually a Satanic cult gets mixed into the plot.

Despite most in the group stating that this is “not the type of book I usually read”, no one had any trouble reading the book. The tone of the book, the inclusion of a teenage boy character, and the emphasis on motorcycles made us feel like this novel was aimed at teenage boys who like motorcycles. None of us fell into that category, but we liked the book anyway. We found Shepherd’s prose style to be technically solid and very readable. The fantasy and Native

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 6, 1998

An Exchange of Hostages by Susan R. Matthews

Ten people attended the discussion of An Exchange of Hostages, the first novel by Campbell Award nominee Susan R. Matthews. This is a science fiction novel about a military doctor who is forced to attend a school for torturers. The story describes the training in detail and also depicts the complicated political and psychological environment at the school and in the world outside.

This book produced strong and varied responses. Eight people finished the book and had positive things to say about it. Two of us were so turned off by the graphic depiction of torture sequences that we were unable to finish the book. I fell into the latter category, and had to quit halfway through the first

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