Friday, March 6, 2009


Welcome to The Baryon Review, a look at science fiction, fantasy and other books of interest. Baryon has been around since 1976 and the regular website is

This site will be updated more often and use reviews by myself, Jim Brock, and Harriet Klausner, who is recognized as the number one reviewer in the country.

I hope you find something of interest and check back with us often.

Here's a few reviews to get you started.

MADMAN’S DANCE, Jana G. Oliver, Dragon Moon Press, $14.95, 392 Pages, ISBN: 9781896944845, reviewed by Jim Brock.

All you really need to know is that MADMAN’S DANCE is Jana Oliver’s newest (and third) Time Rover book. That means it is a must-buy must-read. But I’ll tell you some more anyway. The title is as apt as you can get. Time Rover, Jacynda Lassiter is in London, November 1888, with her memories erased and locked inside the hellhole of a 19th century insane asylum called Bedlam. That’s a particularly nightmarish situation for someone from our future.

But Cynda isn’t the only one with problems. Her Scotland Yard friend, Jonathon Keats, is being hunted for a murder he didn’t commit and has a hangman’s noose in his future. Her other friend from that time, Dr. Alistair Montrose, is getting deeper into forensics and deeper in the middle of the plotting and forces that might destroy London and drastically affect the timelines of the future.

Jana Oliver has succeeded so grandly in blending so many elements from history and science fiction and mystery and romance into three separate novels: SOJURN, VIRTUAL EVIL and MADMAN’S DANCE. These three make one super novel that is a rich buffet of ideas, plots and counterplots, past and future, and the future’s future.

MADMAN’S DANCE brings to a head the conflicts of the players from Cynda’s time. It also adds the complications of the players from her future. It settles the problems of the series to date in a very satisfying way and even solves the dilemma of Cynda’s love life.

Earlier I said this is a must-buy must-read. That is true of everything Jana Oliver has ever written – and that covers both her past and her future.

Three from James A. Moore: SMILE NO MORE, CHERRY HILL, and VENDETTA, forthcoming from Bloodletting Press/Morning Star, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Jim Moore has a lot of fans that are always waiting for anything new to come out. Hopefully they won’t have to wait too long to get grip on these three titles. And I do mean grip. Once you start reading these, you will keep a tight grip on them until the last page is turned. It would be easy to say that they are the best he has ever written, but I would have to add a qualifier to that statement, so far. I expect more books and stories to spring from his mind and the quality will continue to rise and add more fans to his fold.

SMILE NO MORE will make you hate clowns, if you don’t already. As I was growing up there was Red Skelton as a clown, the original Bozo, and Clarabelle on Howdy Doody, they were the happy friendly clowns that brought a smile to my face. Then came the others that changed them. There was Killer Klowns from Outer Space, IT by Stephen King, and others that I’ve relegated to the dark recesses of my mind. Now comes Rufo, one clown who is definitely unfunny.

Cecil Phelps leaves home at sixteen to become an escape artist and promises his sister, Millie, that he will be back. Cecil becomes a member of the Carnival of the Fantastic and ends up as Rufo the Clown. He is welcomed into the Carnival family and learns that they have their own brand of Justice when someone is wronged by the rubes or anyone.

Life is not always a bed of roses for the circus, especially when they end up in Serenity Falls and some children come up missing. This turns out to be the last show they do and the Carnival disappears.

Fifty years pass and Cecil finally returns home, but finds out Millie has died and her daughter, Cecilia had a daughter named Meaghan who is a dancer with Carnivale de Fantistique, the revived Carnival of the Fantastic. He catches up with the troupe only to learn that Meaghan has been missing for three days. He starts following the trail and the death toll starts rising as he follows leads to find out what happened.

Trying not to give too much away, this is a quest story, a tale of death and rebirth, revenge and redemption and enough blood, guts and action to thrill even the most jaded horror fan. Moore weaves an intricate tale that fits in with the tapestry of his other books and leaves you waiting for the final thread to be sewn.

CHERRY HILL is a mental institution with many secrets hiding and patients who only get worse and not better. Into this place comes John Doe, an elderly man with an artificial leg and amnesia who took out several policemen because they would not leave him alone.

CHERRY HILL is full of ghosts of the remnants of the events of the last hundred years. Not only were the insane sent there, but so were the boys who were different and girls who didn’t follow the morals of the day. Many were left to finish their lives there and the ghosts of the patients as well as those who came in with the patients.

John Doe is treated and when a detective comes from California, John is reminded of the deaths of his wife and children. This, as well as the arrival of Amelia Dunlow, causes a change in John Doe. He is able to regain his memory and his body undergoes a physical transformation. He is really Jonathan Crowley and apparently he has been dead for the last six years since a demon destroyed his life and murdered his family.

Something is going on in CHERRY HILL. The ghosts know it and are getting restless. Certain patients are undergoing changes and it is up to Crowley to regain his powers and stop the evil that is about to come forth into this world. Moore’s writing is extremely descriptive and there are passages that will leave your hair standing on end and give you the shivers.

Moore fills us in on some of the events of Crowley’s life but still leaves a lot to learn. This is a visceral and well written novel that will keep you going until you finish it. The only problem is that as satisfying as it is, it leaves you wanting more.

VENDETTA is another story of Jonathan Crowley. In this one he is out to take care of one of his loose ends. During one of his previous adventures, he did not completely close the door on the demon he expelled. This demon is the one who came back and destroyed Crowley’s family. Now that Crowley has the name he needs, he is out for revenge.

Before Crowley can move on his revenge, he must recover some books from Amelia Dunlow that her father hid from Crowley on a previous visit. Crowley must also stop a ghost from haunting a young girl. Crowley follows a code of ethics that he will not break even if it may cause him a problem in the future.

Crowley is a Hunter of the first degree and if you ask for help and he agrees, there will be rest for the evil spirits. Crowley will do whatever necessary to exorcise the demon, send the lost spirit to the light, or send the demon spawn back to hell and free his client from whatever their problem turns out to be.

If you have not read James A. Moore before, prepare for a feast. He is destined to be one of the foremost horror writers of this era. Be on the lookout for these, they are not to be missed. Be sure to bookmark for details. VENDETTA is currently available for order at $45. Don’t let any of these slip out of your hands.

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