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Trunk Stories #1 & #2 Trunk Stories #1 & #2
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
You may think it a myth, but more often than not, it's true: a writer has a trunk, a dusty, heavy, hardly-spoken-of piece of furniture that sits in a shadowy corner of the garret. It's a repository for the wretched orphans of imagination, the stories that no-one cares about -- stories tossed into a baggage compartment and destined, like prose poetry, never to reach the end of a line.

Things That Never Happen Things That Never Happen by M. John Harrison
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is a formidable if occasionally entropic collection of 24 short stories, published between 1975 and 2000. He is a writer's writer, deep diving into the abyss of human consciousness with a style and acuity matched only by the disturbing visions of Jonathan Carroll. The tales presented here are filled with people in places that we can all recognise, if only from peripheral vision.

 Vox: SF For Your Ears 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 Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls.

Frank Miller's Sin City Frank Miller's Sin City
a movie review by David Newbert
Gory, sexy, occasionally infuriating, but always thrilling, the movie is so uncompromising that it's bound to polarize nearly everyone who sees it. Set in a kind of dreamworld dipped in memories of black-and-white crime dramas, it belongs to no particular time or place. Unapologetically brutal, it's a fantasy of power, lust, corruption, and violent retribution.

Conan: The Frost-Giant's Daughter and Other Stories Conan: The Frost-Giant's Daughter and Other Stories by Kurt Busiek
reviewed by Rick Klaw
Most readers of Rick's generation first learned of Conan and Robert E. Howard from the popular 70s Marvel comic book Conan the Barbarian and its companion magazine The Savage Sword of Conan. Initially written by Roy Thomas with elaborate art by Barry Windsor-Smith (and later John Buscema), the series ran until the mid-90s, when Marvel dropped the property due to lagging sales.

H.G. Wells H.G. Wells edited by Tom Pomplun
reviewed by Susan Dunman
This is a newly revised, second edition of selected works by H.G. Wells. There are all-new comics adaptations of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The Inexperienced Ghost, as well as other stories which did not appear in the first edition. For those familiar with the author, reading these adaptations is like meeting an old friend over coffee.

Ex Machina: The First Hundred Days Ex Machina: The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan
reviewed by Adam Volk
The superhero is one of those rare cultural icons that seems to have transcended time and place to become a familiar staple of pop culture and modern mythology. And yet despite the numerous appearance of spandex-clad crusaders in comic books, television and film, the superhero has often been criticized as a superficial and one dimensional construct devoid of any substance or depth. Fortunately, thanks to the continued evolution of the comic book medium over the past two decades, the superhero has now become a vibrant, multi-layered and intriguing new creation.

Reservoir Chronicle: Tsubasa, Book 3 Reservoir Chronicle: Tsubasa, Book 3 by CLAMP
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
Syaoran, Fai, and Kurogane have finished their mission in the Hanshin Republic. The recovery of her first feather means that Sakura has awakened with just a single memory of her life. Now, the group travels to the town of Ryonfi in the medieval fantasy world of Koryo. Aboji, a wandering magician deposed the former ruler of the country and now uses his magical prowess over the elements to unjustly subjugate the people and destroy their livelihoods through inflated taxes and thuggish enforcers.

Dave Gibbons A Festival of Delights: an interview with Dave Gibbons
conducted by Sandy Auden
"I tend to want to get the script right before I start drawing, but I'm thinking of both as I write. I might modify the script a little as I draw it. The bit I really enjoy is the visual storytelling and that overlaps both sides of the boundary, so there's no strict mental divide. Writing is more about ideas while drawing is more about craft."

The Year of Our War The Year of Our War by Steph Swainston
reviewed by Rich Horton
The novel opens with the Awian King, Dunlin Rachiswater, leading a suicide charge against the Insects. This leaves his throne in the hands of his very weak brother. His brother's disastrous mistakes lead to further Insect advances, which also lead to dissension in the ranks of the Eszai, particularly among two women who each wish to become Immortal in their own right, rather than by marriage.

Even the Stones Even the Stones by Marie Jakober
reviewed by David Soyka
The novel offers a standard fantasy medieval setting complete with a headstrong young queen in the midst of a dilemma and a mysterious maverick soldier who comes to her aid -- and her bed -- along with generous helpings of mythology amidst various treacheries and battles between the forces of good and evil. This is not the first volume in fat book trilogy, but a self-contained story with little hint of, or need for, a sequel.

Guy Gavriel Kay A Question of Character: an interview with Guy Gavriel Kay
conducted by Sandy Auden
"I tend to start from setting and theme, and characters arrive out of research and thinking on these things. But there really is no set formula for me, different figures have emerged in widely varying ways. Some have literally 'walked in' to the books, surprising me with their first line of dialogue."

King of Foxes King of Foxes by Raymond E. Feist
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Talwin Hawkins a fully formed, remade man. From his origin as a boy in a tribe not unlike Native Americans, he was now submerged under a constructed persona. A combination of the Flashing Blade and Jimmy the Hand, with a dash of Casanova. The story still revolves and evolves around one man. The disadvantage of this is that it makes Talwin Hawkins very obviously indispensable.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New and forthcoming books that showed up at the SF Site office in April include the latest offerings from Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter, Robert J. Sawyer, Tracy & Laura Hickman, Laurell K. Hamilton, Robert Charles Wilson, Neal Asher, Ramsey Campbell, and others. We also received some re-issued classics from Richard Matheson, Rudy Rucker, and the short fiction of Robert E. Howard.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on TV with reviews of the episose of Battlestar Galactica titled "Kobol's Last Gleaming," the Smallville episode "Onyx" and the Star Trek - Enterprise episode "Bound."


The Art of Halo The Art of Halo by Eric S. Trautmann and Frank O'Connor
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
The book highlights the process and precision of creating such art in a way not common to the artistry world. On the one hand, many who work in art do not consider interactive entertainments like gaming to be of the same caliber. Alternately, many graphic artists who work in the video game world do not want to be associated with 'real' artists, preferring the commercial world and the freedom to create new game environments. So a book about making this sort of art is not a usual fare, but it has the potential to fill a much-needed gap.

Wild Things They Don't Tell Us Wild Things They Don't Tell Us by Reg Presley
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The book includes discussion of crop circles, UFOs, Egyptology, alchemy, religion, evolution and creationism, among other subjects. The author touches upon many issues, without becoming bogged down in any one. Don't be put off if you think you've heard it a million times before, because this book includes a little nugget of gold, or to be more accurate, white gold. Like Fox Mulder, he wants to believe, and his enthusiasm is infectious.

Second Looks

The Forgotten / Haunted / Thunder Road The Forgotten and Haunted and Thunder Road by Tamara Thorne
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
The small Californian desert community of Madelyn is populated with a wide variety of people: a reformed serial killer in hiding, an amoral teenage serial killer in training, a doomsday religious cult with a con-artist leader who has just seen the light, his sadistic and violent but not too bright lieutenants, a pair of UFOlogists and their shadowy government nemesis, some honest to goodness UFOs, and a complement of good-ol'-boy (and girl) ranchers.

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