Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 17, 1999

Clouds End by Sean Stewart

Eight people showed up for the discussion of Clouds End, a fantasy novel by ArmadilloCon 21 Guest of Honor Sean Stewart. Six had read the book, and the others were present to socialize or observe. The book is a heroic fantasy set in a fully imagined world. The story concerns a group of island people who get wrapped up in a struggle involving supernatural Heroes and the mysterious Mist. A young woman, Brook, encounters a bird that turns into a twin of herself. Worse yet, the twin (called Jo) brings news of an ominous invasion. This causes Brook, Jo, and several of Brook’s friends to embark on a quest of danger and self-discovery.

We found the world of this book to be a brilliant and wonderful piece of invention. Stewart created interesting and fleshed-out civilizations and mythologies. The characters seem like they fit well in this world, and their novel speech patterns

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 3, 1999

Cosm by Gregory Benford

The discussion of Gregory Benford’s latest hard SF thriller drew a crowd of ten people. Eight had read the book and were there to discuss it, and two showed up just to socialize and join us for dinner. The book is a near future story about a young physicist, Alicia Butterworth, who makes a breakthrough discovery. A large part of the novel is a straightforward but unglamorized portrait of the life of a working academic scientist.

Everyone found the writing style compelling and readable, particularly compared to the stylistic experimentation of Benford’s Galactic Center books. We felt that the portrayal of a scientist’s life and work is realistic. The details of Dr. Butterworth’s life ring true, particularly her obsession with work and her neglect

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