Time Traveler's Wife
Harcourt; July 2004
(Format: Paperback, 560 pp)
lovers often believe themselves crossed by fate or by time,
but those in Niffenegger's spirited first novel have more
reason than most. Henry suffers from Chromo-Impairmenta quasi-medical
condition that catapults him, unwillingly, from one random
point in time to another. Clare first meets him in 1977, when
she is six and he materialises near her parents' garden as
a thirty-six-year-old from 2000; he returns regularly throughout
her childhood from different times in their shared future.
At last, when Clare is twenty and Henry twenty-eight, they
meet in his present, and the relationship begins in earnest.
But romance proves even trickier than usual when one person
keeps vanishing to distant, and occasionally dangerous, times.
Niffenegger plays ingeniously in her temporal hall of mirrors,
but fails to make the connection between the lovers as compelling
as their odd predicament.
Wars: Labyrinth of Evil
Ballantine Books, Inc.; January 2005
(Format: Hardcover, 352 pp)
longer a Padawan apprentice, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker
accompanies Obi-Wan on a galaxywide search for the mysterious
Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, in an attempt to put an end to his
evil schemes. As Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's emergency
powers grant him a stronger hold over the political reins
of the Republic, the Separatists, led by former Jedi Count
Dooku, look to the Sith for support. Anakin and Obi-Wan weave
their way through a tangle of intrigue and battles only to
find that each clue leads to another. Luceno crafts a tale
of adventure and bridges the time line between the events
of George Lucas's films, "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones"
and "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith"
(scheduled for release May 2005). Spot-on characterisations
of familiar series characters and a genuine feel for the space
opera genre makes this a strong addition to the series.
Year's Best Science Fiction
Gardner Dozois (Editor)
St. Martin's Press; July 2004
(Format: Paperback, 665 pp)
that run the gamut from alternate history to strange admixtures
of Science Fiction and fantasy to bizarrely inexplicable worlds,
and with authors ranging from big names to first-timers, Hugo-winner
Dozois shows off the dazzling range of the genre in his annual
compendium. Several authors deal with the loneliness of humans
in the galaxy. In William Barton's "Off on a Starship,"
young Wally accidentally leaves Earth on an automated spaceship,
only to discover that there are no other people out there-and
when he finally comes home, it's not as a boy but as a god.
Walter Jon Williams's bittersweet "The Green Leopard
Plague" explores the economic and social consequences
of conquering world hunger. Geoff Ryman's timely "Birth
Days" follows a gay researcher as he finds a way to "cure"
homosexuality, with unexpected results. Other standout stories
include Kage Baker's rollicking "Welcome to Olympus,
Mr. Hearst," where the Company takes on Hearst, and loses;
and Michael Swanwick's fantastic "King Dragon,"
where the dragon's lackey strikes back. This hefty tome has
enough content for a summer of reading, and the range of stories
indicates that Science Fiction still doesn't know the meaning
of the word "boundaries."
(R) thedailystar.net 2005