Science fiction and fantasy                                            

In This Decade

The author Isaac Asimov died in 1992.

Unreviewed books

Red Mars cover    
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (1992)
Mankind begins to colonise Mars. But can a new frontier escape old tensions? The first novel in the Mars trilogy.

Green Mars cover    
Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (1993)
The colonisation of Mars continues. The second novel in the Mars trilogy.

Blue Mars cover    
Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (1996)
Mars is fully terraformed, whilst Earth is threatened with overpopulation and ecological catastrophe. The third novel in the Mars trilogy.

The Amber Spyglass cover    
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (1999)
The third novel in the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Queen Of Angels cover    
Queen Of Angels by Greg Bear (1990)
A public defender is tasked with bringing in a poet and mass murderer. Meanwhile, computers at Alpha Centauri and on Earth look for life and contemplate self-awareness and the soul. The first novel in the Queen Of Angels series.

Snow Crash cover    
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992)
In a world where armed corporations have taken over from governments and pizza delivery is life or death, a new drug comes on the market.

Gardens Of The Moon cover    
Gardens Of The Moon by Steven Erikson (1999)
The Malazan Empire is locked in perpetual warfare as mages, soldiers, and the Empress engage in a battle for supremacy. The first book in the Malazan Book Of The Fallen series.

The Subtle Knife cover    
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (1997)
Will steps through a portal into another world in the second novel in the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Quest For Lost Heroes cover    
Quest For Lost Heroes by David Gemmell (1990)
A young man sets out in search of his lost love who has been taken as a slave, accompanied by a group of aging warriors. The fourth Drenai novel.

The Sandman: A Game Of You cover    
The Sandman: A Game Of You by Neil Gaiman, Shawn McManus, Colleen Doran, Bryan Talbot and George Pratt (1992)
The fifth graphic novel in the Sandman series.

The Tale Of The Body Thief cover    
The Tale Of The Body Thief by Anne Rice (1992)
The vampire Lestat regrets losing his humanity, until he meets an immortal who can make him mortal once again. The fourth novel in The Vampire Chronicles.

Mindstar Rising cover    
Mindstar Rising by Peter F. Hamilton (1993)
An agent with a psychic gland investigates company sabotage in a world changed by global warming.

Hunting Party cover    
Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon (1993)
A young space officer is forced to leave the military and take her chances piloting a civilian spacecraft. The first book of the Serrano Legacy.

Cloud Castles cover    
Cloud Castles by Michael Scott Rohan (1993)
A businessman travels to the Spiral, where timeless myth meets the real world, in order to solve a mystery. The third novel in the Spiral series.

Midshipman's Hope by David Feintuch (1994)
The first novel in the Seafort Saga.

Sporting Chance cover    
Sporting Chance by Elizabeth Moon (1994)
The crew of an interstellar yacht have to transport a young prince in secret. But they are drawn into an intrigue when they realise all is not right with the young royal.

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind (1994)
The boundaries between the worlds are failing, and a woodsman has secrets to keep and a mysterious woman to protect. Book one of The Sword Of Truth.

The Book Of Ultimate Truths cover    
The Book Of Ultimate Truths by Robert Rankin (1994)
A young man and his friend set out to retrieve the manuscript of a man whose writings have been suppressed. The first book in the Toute la vérité series.

Aurian cover    
Aurian by Maggie Furey (1994)
A young mage comes to the city to learn magic, but ends up in a conflict with an archmage. Book one of The Artefacts Of Power.

Harp Of Winds cover    
Harp Of Winds by Maggie Furey (1994)
Aurian is pregnant and stranded in the south, whilst an evil archmage schemes against her. Book two of The Artefacts Of Power.

Challenger's Hope by David Feintuch (1995)
The second novel in the Seafort Saga.

Prisoner's Hope by David Feintuch (1995)
The third novel in the Seafort Saga.

The Sword Of Flame cover    
The Sword Of Flame by Maggie Furey (1995)
The mage Aurian continues her struggle to win an artefact and defeat a dark wizard. Book three of The Artefacts Of Power.

Vivia cover    
Vivia by Tanith Lee (1995)
A young woman hides in the caves to escape the brutality of castle life. When plague comes a dark god turns her into a vampire, but immortality is not the salvation she hoped for.

Circus Of The Damned cover    
Circus Of The Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton (1995)
When a man is murdered by vampires Anita Blake investigates, even though confronting the master vampire of the city could cost her her soul and her freedom. The third Anita Blake novel.

The Hawk Eternal cover    
The Hawk Eternal by David Gemmell (1995)
A highlander rescues the survivor of an attack on a lowland settlement. A warrior queen arrives through a gate in space and time to a world on the brink of war.

Fisherman's Hope by David Feintuch (1996)
The fourth novel in the Seafort Saga.

Voices Of Hope cover    
Voices Of Hope by David Feintuch (1996)
The fifth novel in the Seafort Saga.

Society Of The Mind cover    
Society Of The Mind by Eric L. Harry (1996)
A psychology professor goes to work for a billionaire genius on his island, where her job is to analyse an AI computer that is acting up.

The Lunatic Cafe cover    
The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton (1996)
Anita is called on to look into a murder with the hallmarks of supernatural involvement, and a number of disappearances affecting the shapeshifting community. Meanwhile, dating a werewolf is proving problematic. The fourth Anita Blake book.

Restoration London cover    
Restoration London by Liza Picard (1997)
A history of life in London in 1660 to 1670, covering topics such as furniture, clothing, food, cosmetics, medicine, jobs, and the status of women.

Ronan's Revenge by James Bibby (1997)
Ronan and his friends are set upon by exploding trolls as a greedy corporation tries to eliminate them in this send-up of epic fantasy. The third in the Ronan the Barbarian series.

The Killing Dance cover    
The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton (1997)
Anita Blake is finding it hard to choose between dating a vampire and a werewolf. But someone has put a contract out on her life, so her choice may not matter. The sixth Anita Blake novel.

Wit'ch Fire by James Clemens (1998)
A young woman discovers she has magic and faces her destiny in this novel of swords, mages, and rogue apostrophes. Book one of The Banned And The Banished.

Beyond The Pale cover    
Beyond The Pale by Mark Anthony (1998)
An ER doctor and a bar owner encounter strange occurrences that lead them beyond the boundaries of Earth, into a world of knights and magic. Book one of The Last Rune.

Burnt Offerings cover    
Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton (1998)
Anita Blake investigates a series of arson attacks on vampire businesses. The seventh Anita Blake novel.

Patriarch's Hope by David Feintuch (1999)
The sixth novel in the Seafort Saga.

Rainbow Mars cover    
Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven (1999)
A government agency for time travel went back in time and terraformed Mars. Now Hanville Svetz must work out what wiped out the Martians.

Dark Desire cover    
Dark Desire by Christine Feehan (1999)
Jacques, a tortured vampire makes a psychic connection to a surgeon. But will his confusion and madness endanger her in this paranormal romance? The second book in the Carpathian series.

The Company Of Glass cover    
The Company Of Glass by Valery Leith (1999)
A disgraced warrior returns to warn his homeland of an approaching army, but people do not believe him. Book one of the Everien series, by Tricia Sullivan writing as Valery Leith.

Unreviewed films

Total Recall cover    
Total Recall directed by Paul Verhoeven (1990)
Deadly memories resurface during a holiday on Mars.

Interview With The Vampire cover    
Interview With The Vampire directed by Neil Jordan (1994)
A young man becomes a vampire, but his conscience is troubled by his immortality and his need for blood.

The Nutty Professor cover    
The Nutty Professor directed by Tom Shadyac (1996)
An obese college professor creates a potion that turns him into an outgoing but obnoxious thin man so he can woo the woman of his dreams

The Fifth Element cover    
The Fifth Element directed by Luc Besson (1997)
In the 23rd century the Fifth Element has come to Earth to protect the world from evil, and it falls to a taxi driver to protect her.

The Truman Show cover    
The Truman Show directed by Peter Weir (1998)
Truman Burbank is living his whole life as a TV show, and he is the only one unaware that everything around him is fake.

The Matrix cover    
The Matrix directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski (1999)
A computer hacker is about to learn that reality is not what he believed it was, as he joins the war against the machines.

Back To The Future Part III cover    
Back To The Future Part III directed by Robert Zemeckis (1990)
Marty McFly and his friend the Doc get stuck in 1885 and have to figure out how to return to the future, whilst rescuing a schoolteacher who was destined to die.

Flatliners cover    
Flatliners directed by Joel Schumacher (1990)
A group of medical students want to explore what lies beyond this life, so they experiment with stopping their hearts.

Hook cover    
Hook directed by Steven Spielberg (1991)
Peter Pan has grown up and forgotten his past. When Captain Hook kidnaps his children, Peter must return to Neverland and remember who he is.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country cover    
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country directed by Nicholas Meyer (1991)
The Enterprise crew embark on their last voyage before retirement. Peace negotiations with the Klingons go awry when unknown traitors attack their ambassador.

AlienÂł cover    
AlienÂł directed by David Fincher (1992)
A ship crash-lands on a prison colony, where Ripley must battle an alien infestation.

Batman Returns cover    
Batman Returns directed by Tim Burton (1992)
Batman takes on Penguin and Catwoman.

The Nightmare Before Christmas cover    
The Nightmare Before Christmas directed by Henry Selick (1993)
When the King of Halloween Town discovers Christmas he tries to change things, but because of his lack of understanding of Christmas things go awry.

Junior cover    
Junior directed by Ivan Reitman (1994)
Whilst working on a fertility drug, a male researcher makes himself pregnant.

Mary Shelley    
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein directed by Kenneth Branagh (1994)
A scientist stitches together body parts from corpses to create a monster.

Armageddon cover    
Armageddon directed by Michael Bay (1998)
A huge asteroid is headed for Earth, so NASA recruits a group of undisciplined oil engineers to break it up and save the planet.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace cover    
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace directed by George Lucas (1999)
Two Jedi knights struggle to keep peace in the galaxy, whilst the Sith return to do the opposite. But a young boy may hold the power to restore balance to the Force.

Bicentennial Man cover    
Bicentennial Man directed by Chris Columbus (1999)
A robot butler exists to serve a family, but he wants to become truly human.

Darkman cover    
Darkman directed by Sam Raimi (1990)
A scientist is attacked and left for dead, but his discovery of short-lived synthetic skin allows him to take on disguises as he searches for revenge.

Bill And Ted    
Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey directed by Peter Hewitt (1991)
After they are murdered by robot clones from the future, Bill and Ted challenge the Grim Reaper.

Hocus Pocus cover    
Hocus Pocus directed by Kenny Ortega (1993)
A young man accidentally revives three witches at Halloween in Salem, where they go on the rampage.

Demolition Man cover    
Demolition Man directed by Marco Brambilla (1993)
A tough cop is unfrozen from cryogenic sleep to take on a psychopathic killer who has escaped from prison.

Judge Dredd cover    
Judge Dredd directed by Danny Cannon (1995)
In Mega City One, Judge Dredd is the law.

The Postman cover    
The Postman directed by Kevin Costner (1997)
In post-apocalyptic America one man sets out to deliver the mail and bring back civilisation.

Alien: Resurrection cover    
Alien: Resurrection directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (1997)
200 years after the events in Alien 3, Ripley is cloned as a human and alien hybrid. Scientists think they can contain the aliens. The fourth in the Aliens series.

Batman And Robin cover    
Batman And Robin directed by Joel Schumacher (1997)
The caped crusader battles Poison Ivy and Mr Freeze, who want to ice up Gotham City.

Blade cover    
Blade directed by Stephen Norrington (1998)
A half-vampire who can walk in daylight sets out to destroy all vampires.

eXistenZ cover    
eXistenZ directed by David Cronenberg (1999)
A video game plugs directly into people's brains, making the line between fantasy and reality blurred.

Science Fiction and Fantasy from the 1990s

Film Reviews

Terminator 2: Judgement Day cover    
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) directed by James Cameron
5 star rating
The second film in the Terminator series sees the young John Connor fighting for his life against another robot from the future.

Jurassic Park cover    
Jurassic Park (1993) directed by Steven Spielberg
4 star rating
On an isolated island the ultimate theme park is almost completed, featuring live dinosaurs. What could possibly go wrong?

Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead cover    
Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead (1993) directed by Sam Raimi
4 star rating
The third film in the Evil Dead series sees Ash trapped in the middle ages and facing off against the forces of evil.

The Mask cover    
The Mask (1994) directed by Charles Russel
4 star rating
A downtrodden nice guy finds an ancient mask that gives him the powers of a cartoon hero.

Stargate cover    
Stargate (1994) directed by Roland Emmerich
4 star rating
When Dr. Daniel Jackson deciphers the markings on a device found in Egypt, he has no idea how far it will take him.

The Shadow cover    
The Shadow (1994) directed by Russell Mulcahy
2 star rating
The Shadow, the comic book character created by Walter B. Gibson, fights crime in New York in this film adaptation.

Waterworld cover    
Waterworld (1995) directed by Kevin Reynolds
4 star rating
The ice caps have melted, leaving the world covered in sea. The remaining humans scavenge what they can, and dream about a place called Dryland.

Batman Forever cover    
Batman Forever (1995) directed by Joel Schumacher
2 star rating
Batman faces up to Two-Face and The Riddler in this colourful comic adaptation.

Johnny Mnemonic cover    
Johnny Mnemonic (1995) directed by Robert Longo
1 star rating
A data courier is left with a head full of dangerous information in this adaptation of a short story by William Gibson.

From Dusk Till Dawn cover    
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) directed by Robert Rodriguez
4 star rating
Two escaped criminals and their hostages flee to Mexico, only to find that the bar they stay in is infested with vampires.

Independence Day cover    
Independence Day (1996) directed by Roland Emmerich
4 star rating
Enormous alien spaceships arrive on Earth just before the USA is due to celebrate the 4th of July.

Doctor Who cover    
Doctor Who (1996) directed by Geoffrey Sax
2 star rating
The eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, pits himself against his enemy the Master, who is struggling to overcome death.

Darkdrive cover    
Darkdrive (1996) directed by Phillip Roth
0 star rating
People upload their minds into a virtual reality world in this science fiction thriller.

Starship Troopers cover    
Starship Troopers (1997) directed by Paul Verhoeven
4 star rating
A young man enlists in the military in order to fight giant arachnid aliens intent on destroying mankind.

Men In Black cover    
Men In Black (1997) directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
4 star rating
Aliens live amongst us, and a young NYPD officer is given a new job keeping them in check.

Event Horizon cover    
Event Horizon (1997) directed by Paul Anderson
3 star rating
A crew is sent to recover a spacecraft beyond Neptune. But where has the lost craft been, and what has it brought back with it?

Merlin cover    
Merlin (1998) directed by Steve Barron
4 star rating
This two-part movie tells the story of Merlin and King Arthur as the wizard struggles against the evil Queen Mab.

Razor Blade Smile cover    
Razor Blade Smile (1998) directed by Jake West
2 star rating
The vampire Lilith Silver tools up and sharpens her fangs when a secret society are on her trail.

Godzilla cover    
Godzilla (1998) directed by Roland Emmerich
2 star rating
Nuclear testing in the Pacific gives rise to a monstrous lizard which lays waste to New York.

Beowulf cover    
Beowulf (1998) directed by Yuri Kulakov
1 star rating
An animated version of the epic Anglo-Saxon poem.

Galaxy Quest cover    
Galaxy Quest (1999) directed by Dean Parisot
5 star rating
Mistaken for a real crew of space adventurers, a group of jaded actors battle to save a friendly alien race.

Sleepy Hollow cover    
Sleepy Hollow (1999) directed by Tim Burton
4 star rating
Constable Ichabod Crane sets out to solve a series of grisly murders which the locals blame on supernatural causes, in this adaptation of a Washington Irving story.

Progeny cover    
Progeny (1999) directed by Brian Yuzna
1 star rating
A man fears he and his wife have been abducted by aliens, and he wonders if the child is really his.

Book Reviews

Raising the Stones cover    
Raising the Stones (1990) by Sheri S. Tepper
4 star rating
Gods and prophets of peace and war clash in this story of the far future.

The Complete Ballad Of Halo Jones cover    
The Complete Ballad Of Halo Jones (1991) by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson
5 star rating
Halo Jones strives for the perfect escape in this graphic novel.

The Ship Who Searched cover    
The Ship Who Searched (1992) by Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey
3 star rating
Tia is a girl trapped in the body of a spaceship.

Guilty Pleasures cover    
Guilty Pleasures (1993) by Laurell K. Hamilton
5 star rating
A woman who raises zombies is asked to investigate a serial killer who targets bloodsuckers. The first Anita Blake book.

Engineman cover    
Engineman (1994) by Eric Brown
5 star rating
When FTL starships become obsolete their Enginemen are out of work and the spaceports are falling into decay. But has progress come at too high a price?

Assassin's Apprentice (1995) by Robin Hobb
5 star rating
The first episode in the Farseer series, based in the kingdom of the Six Duchies.

Sabriel cover    
Sabriel (1995) by Garth Nix
5 star rating
Sabriel goes on a journey to rescue her father, even if it means she has to walk through the gates of death itself.

Northern Lights (His Dark Materials trilogy) cover    
Northern Lights (His Dark Materials trilogy) (1995) by Philip Pullman
5 star rating
The first book of the His Dark Materials series.

Pollen cover    
Pollen (1995) by Jeff Noon
3 star rating
This is the very strange sequel to Vurt.

Royal Assassin cover    
Royal Assassin (1996) by Robin Hobb
5 star rating
The second instalment of the Farseer Trilogy follows FitzChivalry's adventures at court.

Luck in the Shadows cover    
Luck in the Shadows (1996) by Lynn Flewelling
4 star rating
A fantasy featuring Alec of Kerry and the roguish Seregil of Rhiminee. Book one of the Nightrunner series.

Otherland : City of Golden Shadow cover    
Otherland : City of Golden Shadow (1996) by Tad Williams
4 star rating
The first episode in the Otherland series introduces a world of immersive virtual reality.

Automated Alice cover    
Automated Alice (1996) by Jeff Noon
3 star rating
Alice in Wonderland travels forward in time.

Servant of the Bones cover    
Servant of the Bones (1996) by Anne Rice
3 star rating
A spirit from the time of ancient Babylon recounts his life story and his attempt to redeem himself by solving the mystery of a recent murder.

Assassin's Quest (1997) by Robin Hobb
5 star rating
In the conclusion to the Farseer Trilogy Fitz has to escape his corrupt uncle and save the Six Duchies Kingdom.

Stalking Darkness cover    
Stalking Darkness (1997) by Lynn Flewelling
4 star rating
Seregil and Alec return for more thieving and spying in the second book of the Nightrunner series.

Dragonclaw cover    
Dragonclaw (1997) by Kate Forsyth
2 star rating
The first book of The Witches of Eileanan introduces a land where witchcraft is outlawed and dragons are hunted to the brink of extinction.

Reave the Just and other tales cover    
Reave the Just and other tales (1998) by Stephen Donaldson
5 star rating
A collection of short stories in the fantasy genre by Stephen Donaldson.

The Still cover    
The Still (1998) by David Feintuch
4 star rating
Rodrigo is a young prince fighting to claim his kingdom in this fantasy of war and betrayal.

Dinosaur Summer cover    
Dinosaur Summer (1998) by Greg Bear
3 star rating
In this sequel to The Lost World, a young man and his father accompany a travelling dinosaur circus.

Daughter of the Blood cover    
Daughter of the Blood (1998) by Anne Bishop
3 star rating
The first book in the Black Jewels trilogy.

Rhapsody cover    
Rhapsody (1999) by Elizabeth Haydon
5 star rating
This fantasy begins a trilogy of magic, intrigue and epic scope.

Time Future cover    
Time Future (1999) by Maxine McArthur
5 star rating
In a space station in the far future, Commander Halley lives at a time when humans are no longer the dominant species. The first in the Time Future series.

Heir to the Shadows cover    
Heir to the Shadows (1999) by Anne Bishop
4 star rating
The second episode of the shocking yet romantic Black Jewels trilogy.

Darwin's Radio (1999) by Greg Bear
4 star rating
A biologist and a palaeontologist uncover evidence that suggests evolution does not happen the way we believe it to.

The Martian Race cover    
The Martian Race (1999) by Gregory Benford
3 star rating
A novel about a near-future expedition to Mars.

Traitor's Moon (1999) by Lynn Flewelling
3 star rating
Seregil and Alec engage in some complex politics in the land of dragons and magic.