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Midnight Tides Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson
reviewed by William Thompson
The fifth novel in Steven Erikson's ongoing series, Malazan Book of the Fallen, marks a slight departure from his earlier work. The vivid and imaginative world-building and myth creation remains, as does the indelible cast of characters informed by forgotten history and racial memory. But unlike past books, where one could expect a carry-over of characters as well as some temporal link between multiple and diverse storylines, this novel appears superficially to be a clean break with what has preceded.

The Healthy Dead The Healthy Dead by Steven Erikson
reviewed by William Thompson
In this sequel to Blood Follows, we return to the exploits of thats necrotic duo, the refined yet diabolical conjuror, Bauchelain, his silent, corvine partner Korbal Broach, and their reluctant, world-weary servant, Emancipor Reese. First appearing in Memories of Ice, where they caused all manner of undead havoc, four years have passed since events in Lamentable Moll, where Reese first met his dubious employers, itinerant masters of the dark arts. Their arcane studies and investigations have kept them ever on the road, one step ahead of the armies pursuing them from the past town they frequented.

Jim Butcher
Jim Butcher A Conversation With Jim Butcher
An interview with Alisa McCune
On the inspiration for Harry Dresden:
"A deep and abiding admiration for the character of Peter Parker, by and large. Petey has always been a complex and admirable hero-character -- and is somewhat unique among comic book characters in that he has a very real, complex, and believable personality which exists wholly within the character of Peter Parker and is not at all dependent upon his sideline as the Amazing Spider Man. The things that make Peter a hero are not his superpowers or his combat record with the Hulk -- what makes SpiderMan a hero is that Peter Parker is dedicated to what he believes and refuses to abandon his fellow human beings when they are in danger or need."

Blood Rites Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Harry Dresden, the only openly-practicing wizard and private investigator in Chicago, is on the job once again. Over the past few years, he's tangled with everything from vampires to werewolves to demons, and helped to save Chicago, and sometimes the entire world, from destruction. He's been used as a pawn by forces far greater than he can imagine, stared into the abyss, and laughed at death. He's made some strange allies, and strange enemies along the way. But old enemies lurk in the shadows, and some history is about to come back and bite him in a very sensitive spot.

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.

A Forest of Stars A Forest of Stars by Kevin J. Anderson
reviewed by Susan Dunman
Reynold will soon become the next Father of Theroc, ruling a verdant green world which moves to the slow tropical rhythm of the worldforest. Here, giant sentient trees live in harmony with humans and form symbiotic bonds with selected individuals. These hairless, emerald-skinned green priests communicate telepathically with worldforest trees planted on colony worlds across the Spiral Arm. The galaxy-spanning network of trees and green priests provides instantaneous communication throughout Earth's growing empire, but the trees are beginning to express feelings of foreboding to their human assistants.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Highlights of the arrivals this month include new works from James Alan Gardner, China Miéville, Greg Keyes, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Margaret Weis, Harry Turtledove. Forthcoming books to look for this autumn include collections from Bruce Holland Rogers, Pamela Sargent and more.

Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Matthew Peckham
After a long and controversial award-winning run, Alan Moore rounds off his final Promethea story arc by successfully annihilating reality and the world -- as we know it.

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
a give-away contest
With a strength surpassed only by the power of his heart, Hercules faces new challenges and exciting adventures in his quest to help those who cry out in need. The fun, action-packed adventures of Hercules continue with the nine-disc DVD release of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys™ - Season Four.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Vassal of El Vassal of El by Gloria Oliver
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This novel is an entertaining and fast-paced tale of Torren, a loner mercenary with a past and of an innocent young maiden, Larana, who is far more than she knows. He rescues her as she is running from soldiers bent on her capture, and together they make their way north to where he seeks to offer his services as a mercenary. There he discovers her identity and returns her to the Winged people or Flyers for which, as Aen, she represents the living embodiment of their God. But not all is well upon the floating islands of the winged people.

The Shivered Sky The Shivered Sky by Matt Dinniman
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Imagine waking up naked in the middle of a vast beach with no ocean in site. Not only do you not know who you are -- but you have no clue if you are dead or alive -- in heaven or hell. Then others begin arriving in the same condition. This world is not heaven or hell -- it is another existence altogether.

A Stir of Bones A Stir of Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Susan, freed from having to go home so that she can begin research on a science fair project, overhears three friends discussing a haunted house. The three -- Julio, the closest thing she has to a real friend, Edmund, who is desperately seeking a place to conduct experiments in magic, and Deirdre, a tomboyish girl who distrusts Susan at first -- are determined to explore this abandoned place. Susan asks to go along, and takes the first steps toward taking control of her strictly structured and confining cage of a life.

Climbing the Tower: Preface Climbing the Tower: Preface
a column by Matthew Peckham
With the seventh and final book in Stephen King's The Dark Tower series arriving on King's 57th birthday (September 21, 2004), Matt explores the stories, themes, and ideas that comprise the inner and outer layers of King's "Jupiter," covering the seven core novels, fifteen related books, inspirational and reference material.

Prince of Christler-Coke Prince of Christler-Coke by Neal Barrett, Jr.
reviewed by Rich Horton
Asel Iacola is the newly come-of-age Prince of Christler-Coke, one of the corporations that dominates America East. The book opens with his arranged wedding to the rather dim Loreli, from the family of Pepsicoma-Dodge. But almost at this hour his family is attacked, a scheme of Asel's hated rival Ducky Du Pontiac-Heinz as well as a power from the West, Califoggy State's Peter Cee, of Disney-Dow. Asel's family is obliterated, and Asel is sent to prison in Oklahomer, forced to wear tacky middle class clothing and feed himself.

Electric Velocipede #6 Electric Velocipede #6
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
There are now at least a handful of small-press periodicals worth reading regularly and the sixth issue of this one proves that this title certainly belongs on that list. The eleven stories and three poems in this issue offer a wide variety of subjects and styles -- everything from fairly traditional fantasy to bizarre science fiction to pieces that wend their way between a number of different genre boundaries. A few of these works are likely to be some of the best stories of the year.

Heat Stroke Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine
reviewed by Michael M Jones
When we last left our heroine, she had sacrificed herself to save the world. But that wasn't the end of her story. Her new found traveling companion brought her back from the dead as a Djinn. In a very short time, Joanne Baldwin went from phenomenally powerful Weather Warden, capable of manipulating the natural forces of air and water to create or control storms, to Djinn, capable of manipulating the very fabric of reality. Mind you, it hasn't affected her fashion sense, or need for speed on the highway.

Cartomancy Cartomancy by Mary Gentle
reviewed by David Soyka
The title story for this collection provides a framing device to connect otherwise unconnected tales. Perhaps its the most famous use is Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man where which various disparate tales are "told" on the moving tattoos of a man's flesh. Here, "Cartomancy" concerns a voluptuous, scantily leather clad halfling and her ugly orc companion who tempt the newly elected Pontiff of blue-skinned elves with a marvelous map that, with a drop of blood, depicts whatever is going on in that part of the world.

Way of the Wolf Way of the Wolf by E.E Knight
reviewed by Adam Volk
In a genre where originality is often a precious commodity, the author has managed to successfully blend together the best elements of horror, post-apocalyptic fiction, and military SF, into a novel that stands alone as a unique and entertaining read. The novel follows the burgeoning career of Lieutenant David Valentine, a hard-bitten survivor in a post-apocalyptic world teeming with madness and death.

xxxHOLiC, volume 1 and Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, volume 1 xxxHOLiC, volume 1 and Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, volume 1 by CLAMP
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
Watanuki Kimihiro finds himself drawn to Yuko Ichihara's mysterious shop where wishes are granted in return for something unique and irreplaceable belonging to the customer. Before he knows it, he finds himself turning over an heirloom pocket watch and agreeing to indefinite servitude in return for freedom from his curse. In each issue, Yuko, attended by a pair of weird twins, grants wishes and explores metaphysical concepts in a sometimes grim, sometimes madcap Twilight Zone Japan.

Alien Vs. Predator Alien Vs. Predator
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Very early in the film, if you watch closely, you catch a glimpse on a television screen of Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Jr., icons of the Universal horror films. Lon Chaney, Jr.'s last film (made in 1971!) was Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, reputed to be one of the dumbest films ever made. It can't be much dumber than Alien Vs. Predator.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
The third season of Enterprise is the best so far, and season four promises to be even better. Enterprise added the words "Star Trek" to the title in mid-season. Here is an episode guide to season three.

Second Looks

Prince of the Blood Prince of the Blood by Raymond E. Feist
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
This was the author's blockbuster set in the Kingdom of the Isles. The tale was one of coming of age, of court intrigue, of betrayal, and of faith in those friends one finds along the way. It seemed to recapture that magic of the Riftwar series that sealed the author's fame. He has only rewritten one other of his novels, Magician: Apprentice.

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