Clay’s Ark: An alien disease transforms a portion of humanity

Clay’s Ark by Octavia Butler

Clay’s Ark (1984) was written last in Octavia Butler’s 4-book PATTERNIST series, but comes third in chronology. It takes place after Wild Seed (1980) and Mind of My Mind (1977), in the post-apocalyptic California desert. Society has collapsed into armed enclaves, marauding ‘car families’, organ hunters, and isolated towns. It’s along the lines of Mad Max, with fuel sources depleted and social infrastructure nonexistent, violent death lurking at any moment, and little room for anything more than survival.

This world is gradually revealed via two storylines, one set in the past and the other in the present. The past story arc is centered on an astronaut named Eli, the only survivor of a spaceship call... Read More

The Queen of the Damned: Rather disappointing

The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

I have to admit to being rather disappointed with The Queen of the Damned. I came into the third book in Anne Rice’s VAMPIRE CHRONICLES fresh from the excellent The Vampire Lestat and ready for more. At the end of The Vampire Lestat, the reader is left with the distinct impression that everything in Rice’s meticulously constructed vampire universe is about to explode, and I was excited. It was the grand conclusion of the initial trilogy! Told from multiple perspectives! It was called The Queen of the Damned! (Honestly, that has to be the best title ever for a vampire novel.) In short, I was not burnt out on the series by this point. I was ready to love the novel. It just wasn’t to be.

The major problem with The Queen of the Damned Read More