True Review
Current Issue Number 79 Vol. 22 January 2012
The Astounding


THE ASTOUNDING, THE AMAZING, AND THE UNKNOWN, by Paul Malmont. Simon and Schuster (, 2011, 418 pp., $26.00. ISBN 978-1-4391-6893-6

The premise to THE ASTOUNDING, THE AMAZING, AND THE UNKNOWN is this: in the year 1943, during World War II, some of the most speculative minds, all science fiction writers, joined the U.S. Navy and worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. They included such SF luminaries as Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague de Camp, L. Ron Hubbard, and others.

If you were smart and imaginative, with a high IQ, and you had a blank check from the government to work on astonishing technology, what would it be? Cloaking technology to hide a warship? A super aircraft? A super-bomb?

Instead, this exceptional (and motley) crew is drawn into a mystery, supposedly a discovery by the great inventor Nikola Tesla, a project abandoned that would allow a ship to be invisible – ala the Philadelphia Experiment. A project like that could prove a superweapon for the Allies.

Meanwhile, there’s this Cartmill dude and Campbell gentleman who are under the FBI’s watchful eye, for access to public records to build a superbomb . . . .

Malmont brings a lot of sheer speculation and a momentous amount of personal and true background to this cast of characters, making this story eerily lifelike. Malmont has done some extensive research into the actual personal histories of SF's Founding Fathers, including real biographies, real spouses, real scandals . . . all while these SF giants were beginning to launch historical careers.

ASTOUNDING was fun to read, because Malmont had you believing this could be true, why couldn’t it be true, and if so, why did we find this all out now? But that’s what the best speculative author does: speculation that makes a lot of sense because it could have been real, with a little stretch of the imagination.

Andrew Andrews


In This Issue

SUPERVOLCANO ERUPTION FLASHBACK Click on book cover for review. The Astounding, The Amazing, By Malmont FUTURE MEDIA

Urban Fantasy Blood and Other Cravings The Haunting of 20th Century America Ghosts by Gaslight A Pleasure to Burn

The Gift A Dublin Student Doctor   The Price of Civilization The Deception at Lyme

Next Time In True Review
Realms of Fantasy - Aug. 2011


REALMS OF FANTASY, August 2011. Damnation Books (, $5.99.

There’s a great essay in here about “Women in Fantasy: The Images, the Artists” with illustrations of some of the best. The essay looks into the “urban fantasy babe” and her predecessor, the “woman warrior.” A sexist image? Some of the best illustrators are included, with Virginia Lee and Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.

Andrew M. Andrews
Realms of Fantasy - Oct. 2011


REALMS OF FANTASY, October 2011. Damnation Books (, $5.99.

Another great illustrator interview with (and profusely illustrated by) Ruth Sanderson, conducted by Karen Haber. Check this out!

Andrew M. Andrews
Deed To Death - cover


SAINTS ASTRAY, by Jacqueline Carey. Grand Central Publishing (, 2011, 356 pp., $14.99. ISBN 978-0-446-57142-5

Loup and girlfriend Pilar escape from military custody to be high-priced bodyguards for a British rock band. But they can’t leave their past behind – including their chance to stay in Outpost 12, a Texas border town, and bring out those they have abandoned.

Andrew M. Andrews
No Rest for The Dead - cover


THE PENGUIN BOOK OF VICTORIAN WOMEN IN CRIME, ed. by Michael Sims. Penguin (, 2011, 340 pp., $16.00. ISBN 978-0-14-310621-0

Michael Sims, editor of the PENGUIN BOOK OF GASLIGHT CRIME, brings together a wealth of authors to showcase the work of some great crime-fighters that could compete with Holmes and other classic sleuths.

Andrew M. Andrews
Promises To Keep - cover


MIRROR MAZE, by Michaele Jordan. Pyr/Prometheus (, 2011, 368 pp., $16.00. ISBN 978-1-61614-529-3

Jacob Aldridge is the victim of a curse, beginning with the death of his fiancée, encountering her doppelganger, all the while a demon stalks him, and draws others close to him into the dangers that await.

Andrew M. Andrews
Eyes to See


EYES TO SEE, by Joseph Nassise. Tor (, 2011, 319 pp., $22.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-2718-5

The story of a classics professor who, desperate to find out why his young daughter disappears, performs an arcane ritual that robs him of his eyesight in order to “see that which is unseen.” His new powers allow him to do some great things for people but also send him up against a terrible force that could cost him his own life, as well as that of others.

Andrew M. Andrews
Thomas World


THOMAS WORLD, by Richard Cox. Night Shade Books (, 2011, 396 pp., $14.99. ISBN 978-1-59780-308-3

Almost Philip K. Dick-like, the protagonist in this book, Thomas, sees his life spinning out of control. He believes that his life has been scripted, perhaps by his own doppelganger-like soul, watching him . . . why?

Andrew M. Andrews

Next Time In True Review

THE MAGNIFICIENT MEDILLS, by Megan McKinney. HarperCollins (, 2011, 456 pp., $27.99. ISBN 978-0-06-178223-7

2011, 716 pp., $37.50.

KAFKAESQUE, Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka, ed. by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly. Tachyon (, 2011, 284 pp., $15.95.
ISBN 978-1-61696-049-0