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Laughin' Boy Laughin' Boy by Bradley Denton
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
"Laughin' Boy" (aka Danny Clayton) is a sad, unlucky weirdo who typically finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong moment. Set in USA in the year 2000, the story starts with a shooting among a crowd attending an outdoor music festival in Wichita, Kansas. While the terrorists responsible for the massacre remain initially undetected, the public attention is drawn to a young man who, unharmed, is accidentally videotaped in the midst of the carnage, appears to be "laughing his ass off."

Killer Karma Killer Karma by Lee Killough
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Our ghost doesn't remember his name, where he is, where he was, how he got there. All he remembers is the pain. He can feel his own body -- there's no evidence of a bullet wound on his head -- but no one sees him or hears him. He's got his clothes on, but no ID, no money -- no cell phone. All he knows is that he was murdered, and he feels a driving sense of urgency.

Howard Waldrop Reading List Howard Waldrop Reading List
compiled by Rodger Turner
Recently, Golden Gryphon published a chapbook of a new Howard Waldrop story, A Better World's in Birth!. It is about time we had some new Waldrop fiction. While you are waiting for more, have a look at what else he has done. It'll help you scout up some more of this remarkable author's novels and his short fiction.

The Rivers of War The Rivers of War by Eric Flint
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
"In 1814, we took a little trip..." This old Johnny Horton tune may be about all you remember about the War of 1812. Oh, and the British burned the White House.... You may be certain that you'll know a good deal more about this chapter of American history after you've read this novel and be very well-entertained en route.

The Brothers Grimm The Brothers Grimm
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It is a delightful movie, with much more originality both in plot and visual effects than most fantasies. It gets off to a rather rocky start; initially the brothers are not very likable. They make their living by swindling the gullible and they don't get along with each other all that well.

Black Gate #8 Black Gate #8
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Black Gate looks for the best in fantasy adventure, delivering surprises in some stories, and familiar structures in others -- stories that entertain the reader along the way so that one can look forward to where it's going. Some issues range from comedy to horror, the settings from contemporary Earth to its history to strange magical worlds that never were. This issue happens to center mostly around magic worlds.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover
reviewed by David Maddox
This story is a difficult one to tell. After all, fans of the series already know how the adventure turns out, the ending will be dark and the Jedi will fall. So how does a writer keep the element of suspense in a predestined tale? Matthew Stover succeeds by assuming the reader already knows "what," so he spends his time on the details of "how."

The Traveler The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
For thousands of years, an elite caste of warriors known as Harlequins have defended beings called Travelers, whose unique genetic makeup allows them to journey between the six realms of existence. From these realms, Travelers return transformed, ready to pass on the wisdom they have gained to others. However, the Travelers have a deadly foe: a powerful secret society called the Brethren who have been trying to exterminate them, along with their Harlequin protectors.

Harry Turtledove A Moment in Time: an interview with Harry Turtledove
conducted by Sandy Auden
"I was already interested in history as a result of my SF and fantasy reading but Lest Darkness Fall was what really got me going. I started trying to find out how much L. Sprague de Camp was making up and how much was real, and I got hooked. I was a science person by original intention, but flunked out of Caltech at the end of my freshman year, not least because of a serious inability to do calculus."

Fiona McIntosh A Conversation With Fiona McIntosh
An interview with Sandy Auden
On creating believable characters:
"For me it always boils down to giving them a strong emotional base. All of my tales are totally character-driven and unless these characters leap very directly and swiftly off the page and into readers' hearts, then my story's lost. I need the reader to despise my villains from the outset and then I can just keep turning the screws on them, making them darker and darker until the reader is howling for vengeance. That stirring of reader passion gives stories great impetus."

Mind's Eye Mind's Eye by Paul McAuley
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The story begins with an episode from the childhood of Alfie Flowers, one that left him with a mild form of epilepsy. Years later, as a professional photographer, he sees a design by a graffiti artist that brings back his childhood trauma. Alfie enlists the help of a friend to search for Morph, the graffiti artist. Meanwhile, Harriet Crowley, a securities expert with ties to British Intelligence agencies is also hunting for Morph and the glyph, not because of epilepsy but because the glyph can be used in a form of mind-control.

The Glamour The Glamour by Christopher Priest
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
Richard Grey, a television cameraman for news programs, wakes up to find himself in a hospital after having been injured by a car bomb explosion. He does not remember anything about the previous few weeks of his life before the explosion, and is surprised when a visitor tells him she is his girlfriend, Susan. With hopes that she can restore his memories for him, though, Grey lets her into (or back into) his life, and soon discovers that she has (or thinks she has) the ability to be invisible.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on the DVD release of the TV shows, Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Show, along with what to watch on TV in September.

First Novels

Rocket Science Rocket Science by Jay Lake
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
Set in a Kansas small town just after the end of World War II, the story has the feel of one of those Heinlein-Asimov adventures from the Golden Age. Vernon Dunham is a sensitive young man, the son of the town drunk, who was kept out of the war by the damage done during a childhood bout with polio. But his lifelong best (and only) friend -- that girl-chasing good ol' boy, flamboyant Floyd Bellamy -- has not only been to see the elephant but has come back from the Battle of the Bulge with a Nazi half-track full of radar tracking gear and what he thinks is an experimental airplane that is centuries ahead of the times.

Second Looks

The Lord of Samarcand The Lord of Samarcand by Robert E. Howard
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
In The Lord of Samarcand we are presented with all of Robert E. Howard's historical tales of the Orient. Howard was drawn to this form by his interest in history, but also through his admiration for the historical and adventure works of Harold Lamb (1892-1962), an author who, unlike Howard, had been widely published in the prestigious pulp magazine Adventure.

Non-Fiction

The Pocket Essential Science Fiction Films The Pocket Essential Science Fiction Films by John Costello
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
This book is more than just a quick overview of the better films of the genre -- it makes you want to go out and rent a personal movie marathon of some of the greatest, most entertaining, and memorable movies of the 20th century.


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