“Strata” by Terry Pratchett

Strata Terry Pratchett Before there was the Discworld, there was “Strata,” the story of a company that builds planets. Including, it turns out, a strange flat planet out in the middle of nowhere… It’s a bit hard to review “Strata” in a meaningful way, because it both prefigures the Discworld novels, and stands in inevitable […]

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“Whip Hand” by Dick Francis

Whip Hand Dick Francis In “Whip Hand,” Sid Halley returns, this time with his damaged hand replaced with a myoelectric version. He’s returned to life after the depression of the first book, but has to face his own weakness when his nemesis threatens him with his worst fears. Francis’s use of Halley as a recurring […]

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“Odds Against” by Dick Francis

Odds Against Dick Francis In “Odds Against,” Francis’s fourth fictional outing, he takes a decidedly darker turn. Although not lacking in evil villains, both “Dead Cert” and “For Kicks” had a strong aspect of glamorous wish fulfillment, and so, in its own way, did “Nerve.” Alan, Rob, and Daniel all had tough times, sure, but […]

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“For Kicks” by Dick Francis

For Kicks Dick Francis In “For Kicks” Francis continues to demonstrate the mastery of the horse-thriller genre he established in “Nerve.” Even more so than “Nerve,” “For Kicks” is slightly bizarre, unrealistic wish fulfillment, but that in no way diminishes its charm–in fact, it is one of the key factors in its charm. Who doesn’t […]

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