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The Roses of Roazon The Roses of Roazon by Cherith Baldry
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Since time immemorial, a single bloodline has ruled the land of Arvorig from the capital city of Roazon -- the holiest city in the world, for it was there that God first manifested himself to humankind. According to a legend that only the common people still believe, the first Duke of Roazon won his rule by vanquishing the dark city of Autrys, home of demons and evil powers, and sinking it beneath the waves. It's said that as long as a lord of the true bloodline rules in Roazon, Autrys can never return.

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.

Jeff VanderMeer
City of Saints and Madmen City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer
reviewed by Martin Lewis
This volume has had a long gestation period but this, the first British publication, marks the final, definitive edition. Although what would become the first part of the book was completed in 1993 and published in 1996, it didn't appear as a collection until the 2001 Cosmos Books paperback edition. It was worth the wait and when you pick up the finished product it seems less a book than an artefact. Its wraparound cover is actually composed of a short story that forms part of the book itself whilst cunningly displaying the usual information.

The Mansions of the Moon The Mansions of the Moon by Jeff VanderMeer
a story excerpt
    "Once upon a time, in the city of Black in the midst of the Great Desert, there lived a man named Murak Ubu. Murak bred, sold, and butchered goats for a living. He was so good at breeding, selling, and butchering goats, and acquired so many acres of land to do so that he eventually amassed a fortune with far-flung tendrils in a dozen lands."


Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Matthew Peckham
Eisner and Harvey award-winning writer/artist Craig Thompson split with his girlfriend and hit the road earlier this year, beating a path to Europe and beyond. Matt takes a look at Craig's sequential travelogue, an odyssey of sights and sentiments for the senses.

Irresistible Forces Irresistible Forces edited by Catherine Asaro
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In this romantic fantasy anthology, six amazing writers take us on some wondrous journeys. It includes "Winterfair's Gifts" by Louis McMaster Bujold, "The Alchemical Marriage" by Mary Jo Putney, "Stained Glass Heart" by Catherine Asaro, "Skin Deep" by Deb Stover, "Trouble With Heroes" by Jo Beverly and "Shadows in the Wood" by Jennifer Roberson

The Boy Who Could Fly Without A Motor The Boy Who Could Fly Without A Motor by Theodore Taylor
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Splendidly titled, this is a story in the life of Jonathan Jeffers. He's fifty-two pounds, four-feet-two-inches tall and only nine-years-old. Jon lives with his parents, in a small cottage on Clementine Rock, some nineteen miles off the coast of California. Jon's father is the lighthouse keeper. It's a lonely life on the rock, with no other children and only his faithful dog, Smacks, to keep him company. Until, that is, Jon meets a strange figure on the beach. This turns out to be the Great Ling Wu, a Chinese magician who is long dead.

Story Time Story Time by Edward Bloor
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
It is set in a corrupt US county where the school board and the local government are so firmly under the sway of one greedy family that they allow them to shanghai public school students into the fee-charging Whittaker Magnet School, where the concept of "teaching to the test" goes reductio ad absurdum and then keeps right on going. The brightest kids on the county sit in rows in the basement of the Whittaker Library, taking test after test. Unfortunately for all, some of the books in the old library are haunted by nasty ghosts.

Table of the Lord Table of the Lord by Ono Ekeh
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
The author postulates the appearance on Earth, in the mid-19th century, of a benevolent alien super-culture, the Fenaarq. These loving, enlightened aliens, capable of interstellar travel, apparently have gods, and they come to the conclusion that unlike themselves in their present state, humans can evolve into gods, if they'd only learn to control their violence.

Xena: Warrior Princess Xena: Warrior Princess
a give-away contest
In a time of ancient gods, ruthless warlords and capricious kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty Warrior Princess forged in the heat of battle. Together with her sidekick Gabrielle in tow, Xena battles barbarians, overcomes oppressors and defeats demigods to protect the innocent and fight for peace in ancient Greece. Combining the series' trademark humor and dark mythological drama with Lucy Lawless's fiery and sexy persona, Xena: Warrior Princess completely redefined the role of the female action hero on television.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Ian R. MacLeod
Ian R. MacLeod A Conversation With Ian R. MacLeod
An interview with Kilian Melloy
On the line between living creatures and machines:
"Well, we are machines, aren't we? Otherwise, I suppose it's one of the genre tropes I enjoy paying homage towards. You're faced with the ordinary -- say a character who seems to have a pet -- and then you think, how can I improve on that, make it more interesting? Transformation and shifting from human is also something my characters do quite a lot. It's one of the strengths of the genre that you can explore this area in ways which can be literal, philosophical, creepy and fun -- often at the same time. I also tend to switch off a bit when I encounter SF set some time in the future which doesn't attempt to address what we humans will have done to ourselves."

Breathmoss and Other Exhalations Breathmoss and Other Exhalations by Ian R. MacLeod
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
In the novella, "Breathmoss," the author sets the story on a fantasy world that implants spores called Breathmoss into the lungs of its young so that they can breath in the environment. The world of is terribly original, a living, breathing space of reality that lacks ornamentation and that holds an internal truth. It teaches the reader a new language, one that draws the reader into the story and as we understand the language more regularly, we perceive the characters in a new way.


The Queen of Sinister The Queen of Sinister by Mark Chadbourn
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
A mysterious plague is killing all that it infects. Caitlin Shepherd, a local GP, is doing what she can but knows it's not enough. The plague seems incurable and unstoppable. Then things get even worse. Caitlin's husband, Grant, and their young son, Liam, also become fatally infected, and a supernatural menace invades the town. The newcomers ride beasts like horses only larger, and are wreathed in a sickly purple mist, which causes despair in all who encounter it.

Sweet Miss Honeywell's Revenge Sweet Miss Honeywell's Revenge by Kathryn Reiss
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Zibby has been working hard to save money for a brand new pair of roller blades. Blades she plans on getting for her birthday when her mother and aunt finish perusing the tables of the local dollhouse show. Just before the show ends, Zibby finds herself compelled to buy an antique dollhouse that costs exactly -- to the penny -- what she has in her pocket. Her mother is thrilled, but when Zibby comes out of the trance, anger doesn't quite describe her feelings.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 2004 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 2004
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
Despite being a themed issue, the collection of stories have little in common, much like the denizens of America. If there is a commonality, it is one of vision, rather than one of style or voice. In "The Battle of York," a novelette by James Stoddard, the author presents to the reader an American history that has become an oral tradition myth, due to the destruction of all paper and electronic records. Stoddard shows a character named Washington, who cannot tell a lie and his quest to find Mount Rushmore in order to save his country.

I, Robot I, Robot
a movie review by Rick Norwood
I hope you were able to avoid reading any reviews before seeing the movie. Except this one. It is OK to read this review before seeing the movie because I'm only going to tell you one thing about the plot. It is a murder mystery. The good news is that the movie isn't anything like what the previews lead you to expect.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on what to watch on TV in August. He also gives us an idea of why the Firefly DVD box set is so good, what Steven King's Kingdom Hospital is all about and when you can see the rest of the 2nd season of Jeremiah.

First Novels

Medalon Medalon by Jennifer Fallon
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
This is the opening salvo of what is known as The Demon Child Trilogy. It is this Demon Child with whom this particular segment of the series is concerned -- a being born of a union between a human woman and a king of the Harshini, a semi-mythical elf-like magical race with demon-taming potential. Keeping to true fantasy tropes, this lost child has no inkling of her true identity as the book opens -- and neither, apparently, has the only other half-Harshini character, Brak, sent by the rest of the Harshini and the Gods to seek the demon child and bring it back to the Harshini Sanctuary where there is a large and somewhat fraught destiny waiting.

Dragon Precinct Dragon Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Welcome to Cliff's End. It's the sort of city where sooner or later, everyone passes through and everything happens, and someone has to clean up the resulting mess. When legendary hero and adventurer Gan Brightblade is murdered in a seedy tavern, it's up to Castle Guards Danthres Tresyllione and Torin ban Wyvald to investigate. All evidence points to magic, but who could kill one of the world's greatest heroes, and why?

Daughter of Exile Daughter of Exile by Isabel Glass
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Readers who enjoy fantasy with a hint of romance will enjoy this unusual first novel. It is a fun read with an interesting and unusual heroine. Lady Angarred Hashan, a fiery red-head, is a lady of the realm, but she has grown up far from court. Her father was banished from court by the King many years ago. Her mother died around the same time, leaving Angarred to the care of her bitter, power-obsessed father.


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