Category Archives: Book Review

Foundation’s Fear by Gregory Benford

Foundation's Fear Cover

New York, NY: HarperPrism, 1997; $23.00 hardcover;
425 pp.

Reviewed by Matthew Appleton

This review originally appeared in the April 1998 issue (#116) of The New York Review of Science Fiction.

The fact that Gregory Benford wrote a novel based in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation universe comes as no surprise. In the years before his death, Asimov created a shared universe for a short-lived series of anthologies; presented a series of books spotlighting new writers; allowed Robert Silverberg to expand “Nightfall,” “The Ugly Little Boy,” and “The Bicentennial Man” into full-length novels; and authorized Isaac Asimov’s Robot City, a 12-book series–written by other authors based on his Three Laws of Robotics and set during the time of his robot novels. Benford himself is no stranger to this type of sharecropping; in the mid-eighties he wrote Beyond the Fall of Night a companion piece to Arthur C. Clarke’s Against the Fall of Night.

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Jack Faust by Michael Swanwick

Faust Cover

ISBN-10: 0380974444
Publisher: Avon Books
Pub. Date: Sept. 1997
$23.00, 352 pages, hardcover

Reviewed by Matthew Appleton

This review originally appeared in the February 1998 issue (#114) of The New York Review of Science Fiction.

Since Christopher Marlowe penned Doctor Faustus in 1604, the story of Faust has been retold in many major guises from Goethe’s Faust to Gounod’s opera to Randy Newman’s concept album Faust. Those who believe that that any further retellings just waste our time should take a look at Michael Swanwick’s latest novel, Jack Faust, which is more of a modern, adaptation of the famous tale; rather than a modern retelling.

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