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Work had me swamped and exhausted this week. Plus I've been dealing with some mildly inconvenient health problems. I've been reading, not haven't found time to review.

Here's what I read this week:

Irresistible Forces, edited by Catherine Asaro
A short story collection of spec fic/romance with some big name contributors. This will mainly be of interest to Bujold fans interested in 'Winterfair Gifts', a short set of Barrayar during preparations for a wedding featuring a romance between minor characters from her Vorkosigan saga. The concluding story, Jennifer Roberson's 'Shadows in the Wood' was also decent, but the three middle entries left me cold.

Foundation's Friends, edited by Martin H. Greenberg
Stories in honor of Isaac Asimov, written by stars in the field: Bradbury, Bova, Silverberg, Turtledove, Willis, Resnick, etc ., etc. There were a lot of gems in this collection, and a wide variety among the stories - appropriate given Asimov's prolific output. There was a nod to all of my favorite Asimov works, even some rather obscure ones. Very much worth reading.

Inside Job, by Connie Willis
This is a novella rather than a novel, but I'll take it. I don't know how Willis did it, but she managed to write a paranormal fantasy that is sure to become a beloved classic among skeptics and rationalists everywhere. What happens when the editor of a skeptical magazine encounters the returning spirit of H. L. Mencken? Willis treats her characters with love and respect that just shines through the page.

Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin
Husband has started to read A Game of Thrones for the second or third time - he keeps giving up 150 pages in. Meanwhile I picked this earlier work up at the library. It's about vampires and steamboats, not a combination I would have thought of myself. Martin does a wonderful job of evoking the richness and complexity of life on the Mississippi, which makes this worth reading even though it does fall apart a bit at the end. Warty Captain Abner is a wonderful creation. Good for fans suffering withdrawal from Ice and Fire and fans of Twain's river tales.

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