SciFi Authors Comment on
Anvil of the Heart
From the first paragraph to the last, Anvil of the Heart was difficult to put down. It is a truly extraordinary book.
Victor Besaw, author of The Alien; The Sword of Shandar
I have no hesitation in expressing enormous enthusiasm for Anvil of the Heart. It is, as British reviewers always seem to say, a "jolly good read," and, I think, a real find. The strength of the book, besides the fact that it is constantly exciting to read, lies in a cast of complex and consistently interesting characters with more depth than most science fiction novels, and a precise attention to the details of psychology, especially as it pertains to Aikido. There are many powerful and moving scenes in the book. I congratulate Bruce Holmes on a terrific first novel.
Rob Swigart, author of The Book of Revelations
Anvil of the Heart is written with zanshin. Well-executed, it has color, action, thought and feeling--a first book which makes one eager to read the author's second. Mr. Holmes is a writer to watch.
Roger Zelazny, author of The Chronicles of Amber
A fascinating novel, an excellent first! I think other readers will enjoy this very much indeed.
Anne McCaffrey, author of The Dragorriders of Pern
I found this to be one of the most absorbing books I've had in hand for some time. I glance at the first page upon opening the package...and couldn't stop for four pages. I finished the book that night, after doing my own stint of writing, and even while writing I found myself thinking about it. It is a story that stays with you, makes you think, makes you care about the characters portrayed. My family, at the moment, numbers three who are at home, and we all have read and raved over Anvil. This is a book that changes the reader.
Ardath Mayhar, author of Golden Dream
Anvil of the Heart is the kind of book one comes on far too infrequently. It creates a believable and engrossing reality, peopled with characters who leap off the page with life. Holmes writes with particular authority on Aikido, weaving it into his story adroitly and conveying the philosophy effectively. What a joy to encounter an author with something to say and the ability to say it entertainingly.
Alice Laurance, co-editor of Speculations
Bruce Holmes in an impressive first novel has managed the unlikely blend of the classic science fiction theme of revolt against tyranny with a martial arts subplot. His characters are well-realized and his action sequences as breathless as they come.
Tom Scortia, author of Earthwreck!
A stylish, promising new writer, Holmes's first is hip and mean and streetwise, a crackling good tale full of action and suspense.
Janet E. Morris, author of the Kerrion Saga; the Silistra Series
I found Anvil of the Heart an exciting, well written book with characters I cared about. It reminded me of Heinlein and that is as fine a comment as I could make about a science fiction novel. I enjoyed it greatly.
Craig W. Anderson, author of The Science Fiction Films of the Seventies
Holmes's future society has a frightening authenticity. The 'villains' are ourselves, really, our own technology having released our potential for evil in the form of humanity's classic failing, presumed superiority. The 'heroes' fall into the gray area as well. Real and solid people doing what they must, with some well-done and intriguing philosophy growing naturally out of their conflicts.
Robin Kincaid, co-author of part of John Cleve's Spaceways series
Written from the heart, the story stays in the reader's mind long after the book is completed.
Edward W. Ludwig, author of The 7 Shapes of Solomon Bean
I have read Anvil of the Heart and I must say it is a novel hard to put down once started There is a freshness about Bruce T. Holmes's novel, an ingenuousness not often seen in current science fiction. He knows how to tell a good story. That is important these days, for there are becoming fewer good story-tellers.
Jerry Sohl, author of Costigan's Needle
I was enthralled all the way through the book, and I was delighted with the way he handled the interweaving of action and story. This is a beautifully executed novel, and I see no reason that Bruce T. Holmes should not soon take his place among the best of all the selling sf authors. This book has all the hallmarks I look for in good entertainment. It has solid characters, strong point of view, and a tantalizing philosophical theme exemplified within the events rather than in author's polemics.
Jacqueline Lichtenberg, creator of the Sime/Gen universe
Anvil of the Heart had me hooked from the beginning. If nothing else, Mr. Holmes knows how to tell an engaging story. But there is something else. He has characters who change, who grow through overcoming the inner conflicts of their own personalities, or who fall as victims of those conflicts. In the process of doing this, he gives us a story that works or many different levels and in different contexts.
Gene Van Troyer, Co-Editor of Star*Line
A remarkably satisfying book. Holmes has the knack for putting you into his situations, not just describing them to you. And his ideas are thoughtful: all too often science fiction is relatively shallow once the veil of technology has been lifted.
Ralph A. Sperry, author of Status Quotient: The Carrier
What the near future will actually be like no one now living can possibly know or even predict with a reasonable likelihood of success. Aldous Huxley made one guess, Orwell another. Now 1984 is practically here, and not more than about one-tenth of the latter's direst predictions have come true. We can at least be grateful for that, and go right on reading with the keenest kind of enjoyment books of this nature, particularly when they are powerful enough to curdle our spines and lift us from our seats, along with no small measure of intellectual enrichment. All of this Bruce Holmes has achieved in Anvil of the Heart, an exceptionally brilliant first novel.
Frank Belknop Long, Life Achievement Award--World Fantasy Convention--1978
Before my eyes, John Cunningham became a three-dimensional figure in a yarn that builds to an apocalyptic climax. It's an ambitious work that reaches black-belt status. I'd put Anvil of the Heart near Heinlein's Friday--and this his first time out!
Holmes has put together a well written, riveting tale. His characters come alive in a real America of the future. His style is smooth, his story fast paced. It will make an excellent summer read. I'll look forward to his next novel.
Graham Diamond, author of The Haven; The Falcon of Eden
I'm thoroughly delighted with this book's incursion into the soul's country. The author's blend of imagination and knowledge ensorcells the reader. The many characters peopling this story are various as life and all of them presented with the deft spirit and pure release of a masterful storyteller.
A. A. Attanasio
I found the book fascinating from the very first page...a realistic, frightening account of a very possible future. I will look forward to seeing another book by Bruce Holmes.
Pat Graversen, author of The Fagin: A Novel; Invisible Fire
Anvil of the Heart is a superior novel--a powerful statement and a great adventure story. Holmes displays high affinity with his characters, and I found myself caring very much about what would happen to them next. This goes well beyond the results of suspense techniques. He also handles story situations with clarity and reality. The result is vividness without kinkiness. Anvil turns out to be a convincing story of human victory. There is even a certain joy in it. Unlike a lot of authors, Holmes hasn't given up on man.
John Dalmas, co-author of Touch the Stars: Emergence
Anvil of the Heart lives up to its thoughtful title. Here at last is a strong and moving book about a possible future of the human spirit, carefully, believably and lovingly done. Poetic. Thank you, Bruce T. Holmes.
Raymond Z. Gallun, author of Skyclimber
I intended to sample the book by reading the first chapter immediately after opening the package; instead, I went on reading straight to the end of the book. It's an impressive, stirring story--certainly an outstanding first novel. The author's love for Aikido burns like a flame, imbuing the story with a power that partakes of both stillness and strength. I only wish it had been longer; I hated to see the story end.
William T. Lukeman, author of Koren; Rajan
The book is delightful and a hell of an accomplishment for a first novel. If Mr. Holmes hasn't shot his bolt; if he has more novels in him, we may be talking about the next Robert Heinlein.
Richard Mueller, author of Jernigan's Egg
I liked Anvil of the Heart immensely. It is a book that ends heart-true. There are no easy answers put blithely forth. In fact there's nothing pat about this book. Bruce Holmes has proven with this first novel that he's an author worth watching for in the future. He has the three strengths that are necessary for a good novelist: strong plots, characters that the reader can care about, and an underlying resonance that remains once the book has been finished. What more can one ask for? Thanks for a good read, Bruce.
Charles de Lint, editor of Dragonfields writing in Fantasy Newsletter
Anvil of the Heart presents a vivid picture of the future in a world that is neither new nor brave, but terrifying in its glimpse of things to come. If you're looking for excitement, read this book.
Robert Bloch, author of Cold Chills; The Cunning