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The War of the Flowers The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams
reviewed by David Soyka
Theo Vilmos is a thirty-something musician who isn't on his way to stardom. You know the type. Talented, but not overly ambitious, content to let life pass by along as he's got a gig, even if it is with a bunch of pretentious know-nothing kids, not bitter exactly, but somewhat disappointed with how things have turned out better than expected. But personal tragedies drive him to a secluded cabin where he is working on an apparent fantasy story written by his long lost uncle Eamonn Dowd. Then, one night, something tries to break into his cabin and kill him...

Nothing Human Nothing Human by Nancy Kress
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
When Lillie is twelve years old she suddenly falls into a strange type of coma. It turns out she is not alone, several other children experience the same thing. When they wake up, they all bear the same message, "The pribir are coming." The children also state that the pribir are coming to help humans follow "the right way." A short time later an orbiting nuclear reactor is destroyed.

Ill Wind Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Mother Nature is out to get us. If she isn't attempting to blow us all away with hurricanes or drown us with monsoons, she's tossing us around with earthquakes and trying to burn us to a crisp with forest fires. The only force capable of opposing this awesome angry power is the Wardens Association, a shadowy organization whose operatives, capable of commanding fire, earth, water, and wind, keep nature just barely under control, and the human race a hairs-breadth from destruction.

Rick Klaw A Conversation With Rick Klaw
Part 2 of an interview with Jayme Lynn Blaschke
On genre comics:
"So many adults grow up and continue to believe that comics are for children. Publishers perpetuate that. In defense of publishers, though, every time they try to change that, it doesn't work -- with a few notable exceptions. And again, it's starting to change slightly, by the repackaging of themů making comics look like books. You say genre's dead, but it isn't. Literary comics are actually thriving in bookstores. I mean, what do you call something like Ghostworld? That's a literary comic. If it was a book, we'd put it in the literature section, wouldn't we? Mainstream fiction. Things like that are thriving in bookstores. They sell. And who's buying them? Kids ain't buying those."

The Lost Steersman The Lost Steersman by Rosemary Kirstein
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
There are numerous books published as science fiction, containing sturdy SF tropes such as hyperdrives, sexy tech, futureworld societies, that really arise out of a fantasy dreamworld. The author is one of those rarities whose books are marketed as fantasy, and contain such sturdy fantasy tropes as wizards, magic, and low tech levels that are nevertheless built on a science fictional substrate. What's more, they are very good stories.

The Iron Grail The Iron Grail by Robert Holdstock
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Merlin continues his wandering of the world and the careful husbanding of his magic that his kept him youthful since the beginning of time in this second book of The Merlin Codex. He returns to Albion, where he sees that the dead still claim ownership of the fortress of Taurovinda -- literally. Soon, Urtha, the warlord of this fortress, will return from his adventures overseas, Merlin will travel to the Ghostlands to retrieve Urtha's children from hiding, and the Argo, captained by Jason and guided by a young woman named Niiv will set itself ashore. The latter is especially dire news to Merlin.

Legends II Legends II edited by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This anthology brings together aliens and dragons, magic and time travel, all within the framework of the modern fantasy novel. It, as its 1998 precursor, Legends, is an invitation to some of the biggest names in fantasy literature to write novellas in their most famous worlds with an eye to introducing new readers to their works and giving a gift of a new tale to their dedicated readers.

The Anencephalic Fields The Anencephalic Fields by Dale Bailey
a story excerpt
"Daddy left with a big-city dollymop when I wasn't but six years old, and Mama got a job tending the corpse gardens outside of Scary, Kentucky. By the time I was twelve, a tow-headed not-quite boy in his daddy's hand-me-down jeans, I remembered the dollymop better than I did the man himself. She was a loud, brash redhead with tits like jugs and a mouth like a wound, but Daddy had faded to a dull blur of memory. I couldn't for the life of me remember how he looked and Mama said the resemblance was minimal; but I could remember how it felt when he touched me, and if I tried I could still smell his jackleg whiskey and the black-market smoke that always hung about him. Mostly, though, I could recollect his hands."
Read the excerpt, answer the questions, win a prize. Easy, eh?

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on the return to TV of Battlestar Galactica. Also he gives episode reviews of Star Trek Enterprise titled "Similitude" and Jeremiah titled "The Mysterious Mr. Smith."

The Mocking Program The Mocking Program by Alan Dean Foster
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Set in Namerica (a futuristic contraction of North America), the book is a crime drama that begins with the discovery of a corpse stripped of its internal organs. Problems begin when it's revealed the victim has two completely different identities, one local and one federal. He is essentially two different people -- neither of whom is interesting enough to be involved in anything shady.

X2: X-Men United X2: X-Men United
a give-away contest
Mutants continue their struggle against a society that fears and distrusts them. Their cause becomes even more desperate following an incredible attack by an as yet undetermined assailant possessing extraordinary abilities. The shocking attack renews the political and public outcry for a Mutant Registration Act and an anti-mutant movement now led by William Stryker, whose "mutant" work is somehow tied to Logan's mysterious and forgotten past. As Wolverine searches for clues to his origin, Stryker puts into motion his anti-mutant program.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Dante's Equation Dante's Equation by Jane Jensen
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
What do a weaselish tabloid journalist, an upright Torah scholar, a driven scientist, and a ruthless operative for the US government have in common? Not a lot, initially. Denton Wyle is investigating unexplained vanishings for his paper, Mysterious World. Aharon Handelman, rabbi and family man, works passionately at deciphering Torah code, mysterious messages hidden in the Hebrew text of the Torah. Jill Talcott, associate professor of physics at a large state university, is perfecting a wave mechanics equation that she believes will prove her energy pool theory: that all matter exists as energy waves in a higher dimension.

Geeks With Books Geeks With Books
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick Klaw gives us a look at how things work from behind the counter of a book store. With the 20th anniversary of Neuromancer coming next year, Rick reflects upon his association with hackers and his meeting Lewis Shiner which may have been the single most important event in his literary life.

SF Site News 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.

Brother Bear Brother Bear
a movie review by Rick Norwood
A man is changed into a bear and must travel to a mountain, making friends along the way. When he reaches the mountain he must choose whether to remain a bear or change back into a man. For this story to work at all, we must take it for granted that there is no real difference, either in language nor intelligence, between man and bear. For the ending to work, we must take it for granted that as soon as we learn to love one another, bears and men will become friends, and nobody will eat anything but fish. Which naturally raises the question, what if one of those fish is Nemo?

Timeline Timeline
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The action is often entertaining. The story is not. Between action sequences you start to think about the many flaws in the plot. We move from full daylight to pitch black night in less than two hours with no twilight. A huge explosion knocks down stone walls but leaves the person standing next to it without a scratch. The hero and heroine escape from a burning house and are suddenly fifty yards away, unseen by the enemy soldiers surrounding the house.

The Sandman: Endless Nights The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
A few years back, the author penned the final story of The Sandman comic book series. Even though he cleaned things up and locked the door behind him, he promised us that he had more stories to tell, that he'd be back to tell them. And now he is. Here are seven stories, one for each of the Endless (seven brothers and sisters who rule the functions of dying, dreaming, despairing, etc.) that are focused strictly on them.

First Novels

Singularity Sky Singularity Sky by Charles Stross
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The story is a smorgasbord of ideas and tropes, from the chrysalis of a decadent futuristic Russian empire on the verge of emerging into a Soviet butterfly to an utterly alien culture which does things for its own reasons unfathomable to men but which still retains enough "humanity" to occasionally turn sharply funny. There's a nod to Terry Pratchett with Rachel Mansour's walkabout Luggage, and then there are pure flights of fun -- like the warship that looks like a "...cubist's version of a rabies virus crossed with a soft drink can..."

Second Looks

On Dragonwings On Dragonwings by Anne McCaffrey
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This book contains three of the Pern novels: Dragonsdawn, Dragonseye, and Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern. These three stories are linked by their portrayal of the history of Pern before the events of Dragonflight, the first Pern novel. One of them, Dragonsdawn, is the book which provides the most detailed answers to the questions raised in The White Dragon. More importantly, it tells a good story.

Strangers Strangers by Gardner Dozois
reviewed by Trent Walters
Joseph Farber is a graphic artist, rendering the planet Weinunnach to the folks back home on Earth. What he didn't count on was stumbling upon Liraun, a native Cian whom he "falls" in love with. Or is it pushed into love by pulling him away from? His comrades from Earth are hardly supportive, glaring and slandering his choice of mate. The Earth liaison strictly forbids it. The Cian liaison forbids it unless -- to allow the union of aliens -- Farber changes his karyotype. What could be more incentive than to do the thing people tell him not to?

Gaming

The Magic Box The Magic Box by John Snead
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
So, you've managed to defeat the big bad about 500 times, and maybe, just maybe, you're tired of being the nifty kick butt slayer or whatever other role you've found for yourself in the Buffy-verse. If that's so, why not see what Giles has for you down at the Magic Box?


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