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Please note:
Since July 1997, SF Site has posted a new issue twice per month. Regrettably, and until further notice, the posting of regular twice-monthly issues will be suspended, although we will continue to post reviews, columns and interviews from time to time.

Over the past few years, revenues from advertising have dropped off, while at the same time postal costs have risen significantly. As a result, our cash reserves were depleted until expenses began to come out of pocket. Unfortunately, we are now at a point where we cannot afford to continue this. Nevertheless, we will maintain the web site and the server, and we will continue to post material as it comes our way -- just not as twice-monthly issues, as we have done in the past.

The Best of Spicy Mystery, Volume 1 The Best of Spicy Mystery, Volume 1 edited by Alfred Jan
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
Two of the most notorious chapters of the pulp fiction saga were the weird menace magazines and the "Spicies." The former bore a more than superficial resemblance to weird tales, but with a couple of crucial differences. A typical weird tale (as featured, of course, in the magazine of that name) dealt with a gothic or dark fantasy theme: vampires, werewolves, haunted houses or the like.

The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent< The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This novel chronicles Lady Trent's journey through Vystrana to her further adventures on expedition through Eriga where she hopes to encounter the swamp wyrm of legend. She isn't alone though. There are two who wanted to explore with her as she has developed a following as a dragon naturalist. Readers will be happy to hear it's not all swamps, jungles and palm trees; she has more to deal with when she reaches the largest jungle of them all, the Green Hell.

Strings on a Shadow Puppet Strings on a Shadow Puppet by T.L. Evans
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This debut novel about the choices we make as civilised people between conforming to what the government propose or thinking for themselves encouraging democracy and civil rights. It is up to us to be able to choose. The story is many things, it's science fiction, mystery, adventure and espionage with a lot of action and thrills to keep you turning the pages. In this future, there are four separate factions fighting for domination...

Ex-Patriots Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is the second novel in the series featuring the adventures of super powered individuals in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. This time around the main thrust concerns the discovery of -- and by -- another powerful group. The others are a US military unit, located at the Yuma Proving Ground facility. A base that is also home to Project Krypton, which as the name implies, is a super-soldier program.

Umbral: Book One: Out of the Shadows Umbral: Book One: Out of the Shadows by Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Rascal is a young thief who intends to use an eclipse to hide her true intentions -- she wants to steal the Oculus, a rare gemstone that houses a power other entities crave. While she roams the Red Palace, she is also met by the king's son, Prince Arthir, where they also find an evil called the Umbral who are wraith-like creatures who want the Oculus and will kill anyone who gets in their way.

The Pulp Adventures of The Hooded Detective The Pulp Adventures of The Hooded Detective by G.T. Fleming-Roberts
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
If publishing partners Martin Goodman and Louis Silberkleit had not had a falling out in the late 1930s, American popular culture might have taken a different path over the rest of the Twentieth Century -- and beyond. Goodman and Silberkleit were limping along with a line of low-end pulp magazines, competing with fast-talking Rumanian-born Harry Donnenfeld's Spicy line, Delacorte, Fawcett, Harry Steeger's Popular Publications, and aging giant Street & Smith. Then along came something new: the superhero. Mystery men like The Shadow and wild adventurers like Doc Savage got their start in the pulps, but Donnenfeld bought a superhero comic strip for stamp money from a couple of teenagers straight out of Cleveland.

Fearie Tales: Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome Fearie Tales: Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome edited by Stephen Jones
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Here's an anthology of new stories inspired to the classical fairy tales by the Grimm brothers. Not a bad idea (although not particularly original), and certainly an interesting opportunity, considering the impressive line-up of the authors involved in the project. Names such as Tanith Lee, Brian Lumley, Peter Crowther and Angela Slatter -- just to mention a few -- should be a guarantee of excellent material, but life is unpredictable.

Transcendental Transcendental by James Gunn
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Here is a science fiction novel that's one part Golden Age SF and one part The Canterbury Tales, held together with a dash of Murder on the Orient Express. The historical setting is the Golden Age part. It's the multi-species, space-faring galactic civilization, with human beings as the unwelcome newcomers. That scenario is a classic one in SF going back to the pulp days.

Galaxy's Edge #7 Galaxy's Edge #7
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Notable authors such as C.J.Cherryh, Elizabeth Bear, Robert Sheckley, Alexei Panshin, and Mercedes Lackey have a place in this seventh issue. Galaxy's Edge also has fiction by new writers, Lou J.Berger, Martin L. Shoemaker, Brad R. Torgersen and Steve Cameron, while Gregory Benford runs his own science column, Paul Cook has his own review column of the latest scrutinised books, and Barry Malzberg writes about anything he wants to in his column and gets away with it, so Mike Resnick says.

Super Stories of Heroes & Villains Super Stories of Heroes & Villains by edited by Claude Lalumière
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
All of the stories are directly or indirectly connected to the worlds of comics, pulp fiction and larger than life heroes or villains. There are twenty-eight stories in total, some of which are interconnected, with the majority being stand-alone pieces. Well known authors abound, including Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Kim Newman, Gene Wolfe, Tim Pratt, and George R.R. Martin. Eschewing any attempt to present a cohesive theme, the editor instead selects a wide spectrum of styles and themes.

Andromeda's Fall Andromeda's Fall by William C. Dietz
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
In this prequel to Legion of the Damned, Andromeda McKee is missing in action and Cat Carletto takes over where she left off. As Cat is the sort of woman that can't be kept down, she gathers her elite cyborg army, called the Legion, who have to fight against the might of evil Empress Ophelia. Andromeda is busy getting what she wants by force while Cat tries to get her revenge on the once titled princess whom she believes orchestrated her family's murder.

Beyond The Rift Beyond The Rift by Peter Watts
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Human beings often come with a highly developed sense of place. A misplaced object, or an object perceived to somehow be in the wrong place can raise any reaction from curiosity and surprise to fear and aggression. In Peter Watts' stories, those objects in the wrong place are humans, aliens and others, and the results are often horrific, but also poignant, captivating, and astonishing.

Black Arts Black Arts by Faith Hunter
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Jane Yellowrock is still distraught over the loss of her longtime friendship with Molly Trueblood and hasn't spoken to her since she killed Molly's sister in an earlier book. So it's a bit of a shock when Molly's husband, Evan Trueblood, shows up at her New Orleans home in search of his wife. Evan says Molly left their home in search of Jane to make things right. But Jane suspects something more sinister is afoot when more things start to go wrong.

The Echo The Echo by James Smythe
reviewed by Ernest Lilley
Sometime in this century, after we've given up the idea of conquering Mars, the spaceship Ishiguro sets out on a glorious media fueled mission into deep space, and while it's out there, to explore an anomalous area of dead space that appears to be moving towards Earth. On board was the physicist that discovered the anomaly, a telegenic crew and intrepid reporter, and lots of product placement. They launched amid fanfare and disappeared into the vastness of space. Or into the maw of the abyss.

Galaxy's Edge #6 Galaxy's Edge #6
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The sixth issue of Galaxy's Edge comes with an interesting range of science fiction stories from both known and unknown writers. Of the known; Andre Norton, Harry Turtledove and Barry Malzberg caught Sandra's eye even before she opened the magazine. In Mike Resnick's "The Editor's Word" column, he also introduces the newer writers featured in here; Gio Clairval, Marina J. Losteller, Brian Trent, Tina Gower and Jean-Claude Dunyach.

Sweet Poison Sweet Poison by Marge Simon and Mary A. Turzillo
reviewed by Trent Walters
What happens when you mix two award-winning female poets, both with a felicity at word-wielding and both of an age where they freely speak their minds on any topic with the equity of having understood life well? You get Sweet Poison, beautifully illustrated by M. Wayne Miller. Theirs is a strength born of unity and diversity -- two minds whose words sometimes pull together, sometimes apart -- but what's left behind is not a vacuum but possibly a gem.

A Thousand Perfect Things A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
One world, two continents, one bridge. That, stripped to its essentials, is the setting. It's the details, of course, that make things interesting, and they do not disappoint. On one continent there is a mid-nineteenth British civilization, dedicated to science and technology. On the other continent is an alternative India where mysticism and magic abound. Journeying between is a young woman whose determination holds the seemingly contradictory ambitions of a place in the world of academic sciences, and proving that magic does exist.

In Memoriam: 2013 In Memoriam: 2013
a memorial by Steven H Silver
Science fiction fans have always had a respect and understanding for the history of the genre. Unfortunately, science fiction has achieved such an age that each year sees our ranks diminished. Deaths in 2013 included Iain M. Banks, Tom Clancy, Basil Copper, A.C. Crispin, Bobbie Dufault, Roger Ebert, jan howard finder, Parke Godwin, Ray Harryhausen, Rick Hautala, James Herbert, Doris Lessing, Richard Matheson, andrew j. offutt, Frederik Pohl, Nick Pollotta, Elliott K. Shorter, David B. Silver, Steven Utley, Jack Vance, Paul S. Williams, Lynn Willis and Hugo winner delphyne wood.

The Legend of the Dragonskinner The Legend of the Dragonskinner by Christopher Goodrum
reviewed by David Maddox
Ryan Henderson has very little going for him. A dead end job, no real friends to speak of, and the disturbing feeling that he's just missing some part of life, all permeate his waking hours. But he does have a baffling optimism and still holds on to his childhood belief that dragons are real, even though he has no proof of them whatsoever.

The Clown Service The Clown Service by Guy Adams
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is the tale a man so out of favour with his boss at Her Majesty's Secret Service, that he finds himself forcibly reassigned to the most obscure among obscure units. This is Section 37, a department charged with protecting the country from preternatural terrorism. Long since written off by the mainstream, the unit has just two full-time employees, counting the new recruit. A slang term for the Secret Service is the Circus, and Section 37 is said to be where they keep the clowns.

Through A Distant Mirror Darkly Through A Distant Mirror Darkly by Mark Lord
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
This short story collection comprises features five Medieval tales. This is neither a romanticised pre-modern idyll, or a brutish world of superstition; the characters are by turns befuddled, reflective, lusty, pious, cynical, brave -- in short, very like our own age. Four of the stories feature supernatural/horror elements, to slightly varying extents. Only the first, "Stand and Fight," is pure historical fiction.

Flowers of the Sea Flowers of the Sea by Reggie Oliver
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Playwright, actor and writer of strange and dark stories, Reggie Oliver has established himself as one of the finest contemporary authors of classy, enticing dark fiction. His latest collection confirms once again his extraordinary ability to create elegant prose, intriguing plots and insightful characterizations. His stories grip the reader right from the outset and develop in a smooth, engrossing way until the very last sentence.

How the World Became Quiet How the World Became Quiet by Rachel Swirsky
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Many of the stories in this collection deal with the common theme of what, exactly, it means to be an human. Despite the common theme, these stories display Swirsky's versatility of style, from the story of a human who marries a Greek god to the tale of two brothers on Mars, one of whom has been uploaded into a computer.

Pen Pal Pen Pal by Francesca Forrest
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Em Baptiste, twelve years old, throws a bottled letter into the Gulf Sea. It ends up at an island on the western edge of the Pacific rim, in the hands of a woman suspended over a volcano as a political prisoner. Kaya, lonely and desperately worried, writes back, and so begins an unlikely correspondence that has consequences rippling outward.

New Under The Sun New Under The Sun by Nancy Kress and Therese Piecynski
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
A changing, malleable humanity has long been a theme of science fiction. From H.G. Wells' The Time Machine to the latest post-human epic, the idea that humans could change into something else has been posited in many ways. In New Under The Sun, Nancy Kress, in her story "Annabel Lee," and Therese Piecynski, with "Strange Attraction" offer us two more glimpses of how a new humanity might emerge.

If the Stars Are Gods If the Stars Are Gods by Gregory Benford and Gordon Eklund
reviewed by Trent Walters
Aliens almost arrive on Earth. They stop at the Moon to find Reynolds, a washed-up, old has-been astronaut whose expiration date has come and gone. They won't talk to anyone else. Inside their crude if effective interstellar spaceship that humans have not managed to construct for themselves, they tell Reynolds that they have come to visit the stars -- not other races. They know that our star is benevolent and want to visit the creatures beneath its gaze.

A Conversation With Reggie Oliver A Conversation With Reggie Oliver
An interview with Nick Gevers
On evoking the detail, atmosphere and diction of past eras:
"This is really an extension of my fascination with acting. I have always loved writing and speaking in different voices, and the voices of the past in particular. Learning parts in plays that come from a different era is a wonderful way of getting inside the style and thought of that age. Some people imagine that our capacity for self-expression increases and widens with each generation. This is not so. You can sometimes say things in seventeenth or eighteenth century English that would be practically impossible to express in a contemporary idiom."

Charm Charm by Sarah Pinborough
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
First of all the main characters are quite changed. Cinderella is not the humble, innocent girl mistreated by her bad stepmother and stepsisters but a determined, ambitious young woman whose aim is to become the bride of a beautiful, wealthy Prince by using the magic powers of a mysterious "good fairy."

The Alienated Critic The Alienated Critic
a column by D. Douglas Fratz
Last year Douglas reviewed the first volume in a new series, American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-1964, by John Wells, noting that he looked forward to the volume chronicling the second half of the that seminal decade. That volume was finally released as well as American Comic Book Chronicles: 1950-1959 which was a joy to read, start to finish. Finally, Douglas read Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe without any preconceptions. What he discovered was a comprehensive account of the entire history of Marvel Comics focused not on the comics and characters, but on the people and the business itself based on interviews with more than a hundred of the insiders who lived it.

Science Fiction Trails #11 Science Fiction Trails #11
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Here the Martians are making a sneak appearance once again (they can't keep away, can they?) an evolution story and a Native American warrior who gets to hear more about parallel universes. With stories from C.J. Killmer, Sam Knight, Henrik Ramsager, J.A. Campbell, Lyn McConchie, R.A. Conine, Jackson Kuhl and an article by David Lee Summers who is another of SFT's regulars.

A Brief Guide to Oz: 75 Years of Going Over the Rainbow A Brief Guide to Oz: 75 Years of Going Over the Rainbow by Paul Simpson
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
There was the recent movie adaptation of The Wizard of Oz while several other books and plays have concentrated on certain characters from the franchise. Wicked, for example, tells us more of the Wicked Witch of the West and what, more importantly, make her so wicked. Paul Simpson takes a look back in time to the Famous Forty, the novels by L. Frank Baum and his successors which brought us the characters we have come to know and enjoy hearing about.

Hot Lead, Cold Iron Hot Lead, Cold Iron by Ari Marmell
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Mick Oberon is a private detective working during the 1930s, wearing a fedora and overcoat. He looks the part, but he's hiding something -- some pointed ears as he is actually a Fae who is very handy with a wand. Hired to find a gangster's daughter after she was believed to have been replaced with a changeling, he is drawn from Chicago's criminal world to the Otherworld of his own Fae people to solve the case.

Ex-Heroes Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Ex-Heroes begins an on-going sequence of cross-genre novels, mixing the ever popular theme of superheroes with a zombie apocalypse. Both subjects have produced some of the more enduring and successful entertainment of recent years. So in theory, crossing the two worlds is a very smart move -- and long term might produce a smarter movie, or TV show -- providing the unique qualities of both are not lost in the process. The back cover blurb describes this work as being The Avengers meets The Walking Dead, but is it a spandex spectacular, or just more rotting meat?

L.Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume XXX L.Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume XXX edited by Dave Wolverton
reviewed by Trent Walters
A woman sees the past in mirrors. A boy changes his shape. A hunter recognizes he's killing endangered species for a serial killer. Animals go extinct. Earth is not habitable for humans, so they live in a dystopia, meanwhile. Giants cross the land to sleep on glaciers. In a dry world, with even humanity on the brink of extinction, a girl creates storms. A Oz-like motley of characters unite to escape a comet. A man is stuck in time, visits a virtual girlfriend who won't stop killing herself. Interested?

The Suicide Exhibition The Suicide Exhibition by Justin Richards
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The basic premise is one that has been richly mined before, but there's still plenty of room for more, if it's done well. Set early in WWII, it begins with a foiled incursion, predicted by an obscure branch of British Intelligence. Known as Station Z, they are grappling with the unknown in the form of occasional incursions into British air space by unidentified aircraft, at first thought to be German secret weapons. Reports from behind enemy lines, and more esoteric sources, also tell of the Übermensch, or German superman; a living weapon to be deployed against the allies.

A Brief Guide to Stephen King A Brief Guide to Stephen King by Paul Simpson
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This is a nice, pocket size paperback. Paul Simpson breaks each part of King's life into six parts and nineteen chapters starting with "The Life of Stephen King" where we read about his early life from him first selling his horror stories to magazines to getting his first novel published.

The Torture of Girth The Torture of Girth by Nicholas Alan Tillemans
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Harry Gorman is an unhappy man in a marriage that is doomed to failure. It also doesn't help that she is unfaithful and overweight -- a trait that has turned off many men before him. Springwood is a place where people keep themselves isolated, not caring about others, but there is a purpose in mind for all of them, and Harry gets a taste of what that purpose is when he starts to commit evil acts against others while believing that he is being used by an alien spirit and is in fact doing their bidding.

Night Broken Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Mercy Thompson has her hands full in the 8th installment of this popular series. Adam's ex-wife, Christy, turns to Adam for help from a dangerous boyfriend. So, Mercy is forced to accept her nemesis into her home, and added to this problem, is that much of the pack is still loyal to Christy. Christy, it seems, always wants to make a play to get Adam back, but Mercy won't go down without a fight. But she has an even larger battle to face as it turns out that Christy's boyfriend isn't even human, but an evil villain the likes of which Mercy and the pack have never faced.

Pop Manga: How To Draw the Coolest, Cutest Characters, Animals, Mascots, and More Pop Manga: How To Draw the Coolest, Cutest Characters, Animals, Mascots, and More by Camilla D'Errico and Stephen W. Martin
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Watching CBeebies (the BBC channel of programmes for preschool children) or similar stations, the influence of manga on contemporary children's visual culture becomes very clear. There are some programmes with an explicit manga aesthetic. There are many more, such as Tree Fu Tom and Octonauts, in which the visual cues of manga are more hidden (large-eyed teens with spikey, action-lined hair, rotund creature caricatures of maximised cuteness) and yet pervasive. Recent Disney heroines and heroes such as those of Tangled and Frozen owe much to manga; indeed they often occupy a mid-point between classic Disney-style animation and manga style.

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Imagine if you had a chance at writing your memoirs of living around dragons just as today's archaeologists have examined the ancient bones of dinosaurs and other early creatures before that. This would be the culmination of a life's work, a dream to most of us who have grown up reading fantasy novels about dragons, so it is no surprise that fantasy and reality have come together to make this novel of exploration.

On the Steel Breeze On the Steel Breeze by Alastair Reynolds
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
We start two hundred years after the events of Blue Remembered Earth, and the action here extends over roughly a century, so already there is a sense that this is a work on a different scale to what went before. But in a sense the timespan is the most homely part of the novel, because along the way we encounter caravans of hollowed-out asteroids each with ten million passengers, alien constructs a thousand kilometres long, curiously casual journeys that are years in length, and more. The novel teems with inventions that seem designed primarily to emphasise the smallness of humankind.

Dream London Dream London by Tony Ballantyne
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is the story of Captain James Wedderburn, adored by women, respected by men and feared by his enemies. Wedderburn's mission is to discover who or what has twisted his home into another world. In Dream London, the city changes a little every night, and the people change a little every day. The towers are growing taller, the parks have hidden themselves away, and the streets are forming strange new patterns. There are people sailing in from new lands down the river, strange inhuman criminals emerging, and a path that spirals down into another world. But, does it lead to anywhere interesting?

A Darkling Sea A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias
reviewed by Ernest Lilley
Midway between the Earth and Sholen, the world of the alien race that's been there, done that, cleaned up their act, and now looks askance at humanity's move into the universe, lies the ice-covered world of Ilmatar, where intelligent life lies below a few kilometers of ice in its frigid seas, dwelling in communities around thermal vents. A human research station also lies on the ocean floor, carefully separated from the nearest community, its scientific efforts hampered by a non-interference agreement with the Sholen, who would prefer it if the humans stayed out of the water completely, and ideally back on their own planet.

Doctor Sleep Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
an audiobook review by Dale Darlage
Dale has reviewed almost 250 audiobooks and he can unequivocally say that this was the best performance he has ever heard on an audiobook. The accents, the pacing, the nuances were all perfect. Whether Will Patton is voicing an elderly black man from Florida or a crusty old New Englander or an evil woman who likes to torture young people for their souls or a middle school girl or an old Italian grandmother or a panicked small town mom -- he nailed it. 

The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 24 The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 24 edited by Stephen Jones
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The twenty-forth instalment of the world's longest-running annual showcase of horror and dark fantasy includes twenty-one stories, a short poem and, as usually, an extraordinary, exhaustive summation of anything appeared in the horror field (novels, anthologies and collections of dark fiction, horror magazines, movies etc.) during the previous year. Among the tales there is indeed some excellent, very enjoyable material.

Shaman Shaman by Kim Stanley Robinson
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
It is the story of the humans 30,000 years ago who created the extensive cave paintings discovered in the 1990s in France. The narrative features several tense and harrowing sequences, starting with its 12-year-old protagonist Loon's initiation into adulthood by spending two weeks naked in the freezing wilderness. The longest such sequence is the rescue of Loon's wife Elga, who has been abducted by a tribe far to the north. But the real strength of the novel lies in the quieter times as the small group of humans in Loon's tribe struggle to survive in the harsh ice age.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
So unpleasant was Derek's experience with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that he viewed his invitation to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with a dread reserved for family gatherings during the holidays. The screening was not a high frame–rate screening of the first movie, but the experience with the previous outing colored his experience enough that he strongly considered sitting it out. He didn't, of course, and viewing the second part of Jackson's unexpected trilogy as a movie allowed him to concentrate on the movie itself, including many of the problems it faced.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The second Hobbit film, billed as simply The Hobbit in the opening credits, would be rated as 10 out of 10 if it were, say, an adaptation of Final Fantasy. But filming a classic raises expectations. Writer/director Peter Jackson has spent so much of his time and money on spectacular action sequences that the emphasis is all wrong. The small character bits are there, but they are overwhelmed by special effects.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Instead of reviewing "The Day of the Doctor," and risking spoiling some of the fun, Rick has a word or two for those of you who have not watched Doctor Who, or who have watched a few episodes and dismissed Doctor Who as low budget trash. Some of Doctor Who is low budget trash, and even the recent big-budget New Doctor Who includes some stinkers. On the other hand, Doctor Who has won six "best drama" Hugo Awards, so it must be doing something right.

Influx Influx by Daniel Suarez
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Influx concerns technological advances hidden from humanity by a secretive and all pervasive American agency named the Bureau of Technology Control. Like so many government funded ideas the BTC began with a semi-legitimate though singularly arrogant mission; preventing catastrophic damage to the existing global society and economy, by holding back certain world-changing developments.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Welcome to the year's end two-parter, where Mark London Williams and Rick Klaw each run down the second part of their "top ten" out of all that they have read and written about this past year. As Rick Klaw noted last time out, their lists diverge wildly. This isn't because they have diametrically different tastes. It's more a function of them reading different things throughout the year, in order to be able to write about different things… throughout the year. There's usually a wee bit of overlap though, and as you will see, they were both quite impressed by a "graphical recounting" of a key moment in America's recent history.

The Videssos Cycle, Volume II The Videssos Cycle, Volume II by Harry Turtledove
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Harry Turtledove's first major series under his own name was The Videssos Cycle, originally published in four volumes in 1987. Del Rey has recently re-released the books in a two volume trade paperback edition. The second volume includes the novels The Legion of Videssos and Swords of the Legion. Putting these two books in a single volume reinforces the structural differences between them and the first two novels in the series.

Steampunk Trails #1 Steampunk Trails #1
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The first of anything new is daunting, but also interesting. This a new magazine by David B. Riley, editor of Science Fiction Trails and Low Noon. His choice of quality fiction can be seen here as he has gathered several of the well-known names from his previous magazines and novel compilations; Carrie Vaughn, OM Gray, Quincy Allen, Henrik Ramsager, Lyn McConchie, Vivian Caethe, Sam Knight, Rhye Manhattan and Mike Cervantes.

The High Crusade The High Crusade by Poul Anderson
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The year is 1345, and Sir Roger Baron de Tourneville is mustering troops ready to join King Edward III in his struggle against France. The knight's day is interrupted by a two-thousand foot long flying machine, containing an advance force of Wersgorix. These are aliens intent on world conquest, who see the denizens of Earth as mere primitives. Unfortunately for them, Sir Roger and company are combat hardened, and don't take kindly to being shot at.

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