Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon
reviewed by John Berlyne
The novel opens with the likable young heroine Kylara Vatta being thrown out of military academy in disgrace. Her
crime appears to have been one of poor judgement rather than anything malicious, but the effect of the action illustrates the harsh
(necessary) intolerance that such institutions function under. This in media res opening, in which we soon learn that a good person
has been treated unjustly introduces our protagonist in such a skilful way that it could only be the most hard-hearted of readers
that would not warm to her.
Geeks With Books
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick Klaw usually gives us a look at how things work from behind the counter of a book store.
Not this time though. Instead we get a glimpse into one of his passions. He's nutty for apes:
Planet of the Apes, King Kongs, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and everything in-between.
East by Edith Pattou
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Rose's mother didn't want her youngest child to be north born. To enter the world facing north means that you will be a wanderer,
and besides, years ago a fortune teller informed her mother that her north-born child would be buried under snow and ice -- a dire
prediction that she will try her best to foil.
But north-born Rose is filled with mischief and wildness as well as honor.
Chaos and Amber by John Gregory Betancourt
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Admittedly, this second book of the new series reminded Steve more of the second Amber series, than the first but, aside from
that, it's eminently entertaining. The main character is Oberon, son of Dworkin, who was raised on a shadow world, in complete
ignorance of his true heritage. It answers some of the questions raised in Dawn of Amber and leaves a few others in its wake.
Balance of Trade by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Poor Jethri. Not wanted by the most powerful person on his family ship and now in deep trouble on the ground that he hates so much. He
belongs to space, but whether he will ever escape being planet-bound seems less likely with every passing minute. Not to mention that
his last moments may be coming sooner than he thought. Surrounded by the haughty and refined Liadens, he is a Terran in trouble. There
are those who would like to see his buried under that dirt he so despises.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick considers the question: when is a TV show science fiction? And he mentions a few which we may has missed.
He also tells us what to watch in November.
The Guardian by Denise Fleischer
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
The last place Lea Netera Payton expects to find herself is in the Atlantic Ocean, the victim of a forced portation. She is forced
by the Dark Lord Seltar to accept a Challenge for the Guardianship of Earth. If she fails in any of the four major battles then
all of Earth and its inhabitants go to feed the unholy appetites of his Elders. If she wins, then the Earth will be safe, and she
will be its Guardian.
Idlewild by Nick Sagan
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
Our narrator awakens with amnesia in a mysterious realm he doesn't recognize or understand. Meanwhile,
readers will easily identify the Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy world as a computer-generated virtual
reality, fraught with all manner of meaningful metaphors and symbols. Our narrator learns that his name is Halloween,
and then that he may have murdered someone named Lazarus. Eventually he realizes he is one of a handful of gifted high school
students attending "Immersive Virtual Reality" classes at the Idlewild IVR Academy, a highly selective school
sponsored by multinational biotech company, the Gedaechtnis Corporation.
Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The Roman Empire never fell.
That's the premise that binds together this collection of stories about a never-ending Roman Empire
spanning not just centuries but pretty much millennia.
Ancient Rome and its doings has always been a fertile field for fiction writers to harvest, given the abundant historical reference
material and all the fun you can have figuring out how many names ending in "ius" you can put in without confusing your reader into
lost boy lost girl by Peter Straub
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
Tim Underhill is not close to his brother who still lives in their home town, but he can't fail to return to help when his
brother's wife commits suicide and their son mysteriously disappears, perhaps a victim of a serial killer. Tim recruits
his buddy Tom Pasmore, a Nero Wolfe- or Sherlock Holmes-type who investigates crimes using information (public and confidential)
he finds on the internet. Eventually, a woman professor, visiting from Madison Wisconsin, helps identify the killer.
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Dragon Masters by Jack Vance
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The Royina Ista, a middle-aged widow, decides to go on pilgrimage through the land of Chalion, which
feels a lot like a Renaissance alternate-Spain, one that is overseen from the other-worldly realm by five gods, so there are five
religious traditions going on here. On the way, she and the divine leading her entourage discover that demons have been appearing in
the world with disturbing frequency, having escaped from the fifth god's hell. The pilgrimage is then waylaid by a lost contingent of
Roknari warriors from the neighboring kingdom; she is rescued by a swashbuckling horseman who attacks a troop single-handedly.
SF Site News
compiled by Steven H Silver
Every day, items of interest to you arrive in our email. Our bi-monthly format doesn't lend itself to daily updates.
However, this is a small inconvenience to our Contributing Editor Steven H Silver. His column
will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.
The Court of the Midnight King by Freda Warrington
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
For August, a modern day history major, the obsession began with
a movie, Sir Lawrence Olivier's version of Shakespeare's Richard III. She is
spellbound by him, even as her fellow students argue whether he was truly the evil, malformed creature history has named him, or
if, in fact, he was the best king England ever had. That night, she begins to see the story, in a place like ours, but not quite.
Vox: SF For Your Ears
a column by Scott Danielson
Scott Danielson is looking at audio SF -- on tape, on CD, on whatever. This
time out, he has been listening to The Callahan Chronicals by Spider Robinson, Timeline by Michael Crichton
and Tales for a Stormy Night: A Pandora's Box of Classic Chillers compiled by Yuri Rasovsky
Contact Imminent by Kristine Smith
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Jani Kilian is a human woman who has unwillingly been infected
with genetic material from an alien species. Jani is slowly metamorphosing into a hybrid creature, neither human nor idomeni. Some view
her as a bridge between the two cultures and races -- an ambassador who can pave the way to increased understanding and contact -- while
others see her as an abomination.
reviewed by Rich Horton
Composed of "The Dragon Masters" (1962) and "The Last Castle" (1966),
both stories are set in the far future, and they feature humans enslaving genetically modified aliens. In each, the plot
turns on a war between the humans and the aliens. The two stories are quite cynical, and our admiration for the heroes is tempered
by our natural antipathy for some of their attitudes and actions.
Dreamer of Dune by Brian Herbert
reviewed by David Maddox
How does anyone approach the study of their father? It's a tough question, but even tougher if that father is the creator of the
science-fiction classic Dune, Frank Herbert. He was a man who lived a life of adventure, traveled the North American continent,
worked his hands in politics, but never abandoned a dream of. But how many know Frank Herbert, the man? None better than his own
son. This is his testament to Frank Herbert, father, activist and writer.