FSFH Book Review

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Abnett, Dan
Adams, Douglas
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Allen, Roger MacBride
Allie, Scott
Allston, Aaron
Anderson, Kevin J.
Barclay, James
Barnes, Steven
Baum, L. Frank
Bear, Greg
Bendis, Brian Michael
Bischoff, David
Bisson, Terry
Blackman, Haden
Bova, Ben
Bowen, Carl
Brooks, Terry
Canavan, Trudi
Card, Orson Scott
Chadwick, Paul
Clarke, Arthur C.
Clarke, Susanna
Clemens, James
Collins, Paul
Crichton, Michael
Crispin, A. C.
Cunningham, Elaine
Daley, Brian
David, Peter
DeMatteis, J. M.
Denning, Troy
Dick, Philip K.
Dickens, Charles
Dietz, William C.
Dixon, Chuck
Donaldson, Stephen
Eddings, David
Edginton, Ian
Elrod, P. N.
Erikson, Steven
Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
Goodwin, Archie
Graham, Mitchell
Grant, Alan
Green, Jonathan
Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
Hagberg, David
Hambly, Barbara
Hamilton, Laurell K.
Hand, Elizabeth
Harras, Bob
Harrison, Mick
Heinlein, Robert A.
Herbert, Frank
Herbert, James
Hine, David
Hobb, Robin
Howard, Robert E.
Jacques, Brian
James, Charlie Hamilton
Jenkins, Paul
Jeter, K. W.
Johns, Geoff
Jones, J. V.
Jordan, Robert
Jurgens, Dan
Karpyshyn, Drew
Kennedy, Mike
Kerr, Katharine
Keyes, Greg
King, Stephen
King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
Kube-McDowell, Michael P.
Lawhead, Stephen
Layman, John
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Lewis, C. S.
Lieberman, A. J.
Loeb, Jeph
Lorey, Dean
Lowder, James
Luceno, James
Lumley, Brian
Macan, Darko
Manning, Russ
Martin, George R. R.
Marz, Ron
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McIntosh, Neil
McIntyre, Vonda
Michelinie, David
Millar, Mark
Miller, John Jackson
Miller, Karen
Milligan, Peter
Moench, Doug
Moesta, Rebecca
Moore, Alan
Nicholls, Stan
Nicieza, Fabian
Nylund, Eric
O'Neil, Dennis
Ostrander, John
Paolini, Christopher
Perry, S. D.
Perry, Steve
Pratchett, Terry
Pullman, Philip
Quinn, David
Reaves, Michael
Reed, A. W.
Reed, Brian
Rice, Anne
Richardson, Nancy
Roberts, Adam
Rowe, Matthew
Rowling, J. K.
Rubio, Kevin
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Salvatore, R.A.
Shelley, Mary
Shultz, Mark
Simone, Gail
Simonson, Louise
Simonson, Walter
Smith, L. Neil
Spurrier, Simon
Stackpole, Michael A.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stewart, Sean
Stoker, Bram
Stover, Matthew
Straczynski, J. Michael
Stradley, Randy
Strnad, Jan
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Traviss, Karen
Truman, Tim
Turtledove, Harry
Tyers, Kathy
van Belkom, Edo
Veitch, Tom
Wagner, John
Watson, Jude
Whitman, John
Williams, Sean
Williams, Tad
Williams, Walter Jon
Windham, Ryder
Wolverton, Dave
Woodring, Jim
Wurts, Janny
Yeovil, Jack
Zahn, Timothy
Collaborations A - F
Collaborations G - M
Collaborations N - R
Collaborations S
Collaborations T - Z
Anthologies A - R
Anthologies S
Anthologies T - Z
Still to come
Reviewing Literature
The Books of William C. Dietz

Author of more than sixteen science fiction novels, William C. Dietz graduated from the University of Washington and has worked for the U.S Navy and, variously, as a surgical technician, newswriter, college instructor, television director and public-relations manager.  He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Seattle area.
Average Review Score: 4.3 out of 5

Halo: The Flood
The follow-up to Eric Nylund's 'The Fall of Reach' and the novelisation of the first Halo game itself.  To people who haven't played the game, this will be an enjoyable and instructive introduction to the franchise that made the Xbox so popular.  To those who've played the game (and therefore, by definition, loved it) it's a chance to relive those familiar moments and discover what the Master Chief was thinking when you were gunning down those hoardes of Covenant warriors.  The downside to this is that, due to the sheer number of enemies the Chief annihilates in the game, it soon becomes repetetive reading about him pumping a hostile full of lead, reloading, thowing a grenade, pumping another hostile full of lead and so on and so forth.  To counterbalance this Dietz also tells the stories we don't see in the game; focusing on how the Marines (and the elite Helljumpers) establish a base on Halo from which to provide the support the Chief receives.  The best bit of this aside-action is where Lieutenant McKay has to lead an immense convoy of Warthogs and Scorpions through a Covenant ambush.  The defence of Alpha Base is also a great scene.  So, repetetive at times but an enjoyable military feast for action fans nonetheless.
4 out of 5
'Tech Officer (3rd Class) Sam Marcus swore as the intercom roused him from fitful sleep.'
Star Wars: Dark Forces - Soldier For The Empire
This illustrated novella tells the early story of Kyle Katarn, the character made famous by the Dark Forces and Jedi Knight computer games.  The story is lively and interesting, particularly when Kyle, on his first mission as a Stormtrooper, finds his conscience interfering with his ability to kill Rebels.  The fact that Kyle is pulled between the Empire and the Rebellion is what makes the story worth reading, but there's also a few cameos to keep fans on their toes Rom Mohc and Jerec (baddies who Kyle battles in the games) make appearances, as does Lando Calrissian.  The finale of the book links directly into the beginning of the Dark Forces game, as Mon Mothma sends Kyle on the mission that puts the plans for the Death Star in Princess Leia's hands.
4 out of 5
Star Wars: Dark Forces - Rebel Agent
The second illustrated novella of the trilogy features a prologue in which Morgan Katarn discovers the lost Valley of the Jedi.  The story then jumps five years into the future, precisely where the Jedi Knight computer game begins.  Kyle is investigating his father's murder years earlier and discovers that a Dark Jedi is responsible.  He soon discovers more is at stake than vengeance, however, as the Dark Jedi, Jerec, is seeking the power of the Valley.  This book is about Kyle learning the answers to the questions of his past and then growing beyond them to accept the mantle of Jedi Knight and undertake the quest to protect the Valley.  It's a definite improvement over the first book, having a more focused storyline, but suffers from the fact that it doesn't resolve many of the plotlines it introduces.  I did think that the romance between Kyle and Jan was handled fairly well and that it could have been a lot soppier and annoying.  I also wasn't too impressed with the art in this book, especially considering there's a picture of Maw without any legs, from before he loses them in the story.  Luke and Leia make brief appearance, further linking Kyle's story to the larger saga.
4 out of 5
Star Wars: Dark Forces - Jedi Knight
The third and best Dark Forces novella, illustrated by Star Wars veteran Dave Dorman.  This book brings to a head all the issues from the other two and resolves them well.  What I enjoyed most about this book is the tidbits of earlier Jedi history we learn as we go along (they've since been linked into the Prequels as the battles where the Sith were all but destroyed).  Also, when Kyle has his visions, the fact that he enters the mind of a Jedi and a Sith is a good reflection of Kyle's own psyche, torn between his duty and vengeance.  This book also features an excellently written battle scene in which Kyle and Jan fly alongside Luke's X-Wing and the Millennium Falcon against an Imperial Star Destroyer.  The downside to this book is Dietz's habit of sidetracking the narrative to minor characters, specifically the Ruusan colonists, which slows down the story and is generally pretty annoying.  However, Dorman's excellent and dynamic artwork more than balances the faults.
5 out of 5

If you liked Dietz:
Then I'd recommend that you actually play the Kyle Katarn games; 'Dark Forces', 'Jedi Knight', 'Mysteries Of The Sith', 'Jedi Outcast' and 'Jedi Academy'.  Additionally, if you want to find out more about the Battle of Ruusan (the ancient conflict that Kyle has visions of), then there is a graphic novel available, (uninspiringly) titled 'Jedi vs. Sith'.

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