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A Fine and Private Place A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
As the story opens, a talking raven arrives in a cemetery in the Bronx, New York to deliver a stolen baloney to a man who has been living in the cemetery for the past 19 years. Mr. Rebeck. Shortly he meets Mrs. Klapper who is here to visit the grave of her husband, Morris. The cast of major characters is filled out by a couple of ghosts, each of whom we meet on the occasion of his or her funeral.

Overlooked or Over-hyped? Overlooked or Over-hyped? Overlooked or Over-hyped?
a column by Neil Walsh
Neil wonders whether anyone is reading his column. But he has decided to give it another try with Slan by A.E. Van Vogt, in which a young man who is more than human takes on pretty much the whole world as he quests for others (or even one other) like himself, and A Scientific Romance by Ronald Wright, in which a dying man takes a time machine to the future in hope of finding a cure for himself and a way to go back to the past to cure his now dead former lover, and he leaves a manuscript behind which may or may not ever be read... by anyone.

Kris Longknife: Audacious Kris Longknife: Audacious by Mike Shepherd
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Naval lieutenant Kristine Longknife, Princess of Wardhaven, is in dire need of a vacation, after the way things have gone for her over the past few months. Thusly, she packs her bags and her entourage, and hies off to the planet of New Eden, where she hopes things will stay quiet for the time being, while she (reluctantly) fulfills various diplomatic and military obligations. The first assassination attempt suggests that things aren't going to be quiet.

The Da-Da-De-Da-Da Code The Da-Da-De-Da-Da Code by Robert Rankin
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Jonny Hooker is a 27 year-old musician who is accompanied, in a metaphysical sense, by an imaginary monkey boy called Mr Giggles. Nobody else can see or hear Mr Giggles, but that does not mean he isn't there. Soon after the story begins, Jonny is found dead in the pond of Gunnersbury Park. Minus his head, which appears to have exploded.

Cynnador Cynnador by Patrick Welch
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
What's so unusual about this book then? For a start, although it takes place in one of high fantasy's traditional settings -- a mercantile city in desert lands -- the story is complete in a single volume of under 200 pages, which is pretty rare in itself these days. More than that, the structure is unusual: the first 40 pages comprise a prologue and thirteen "preludes" before the main story starts.

River Horses River Horses by Allen Steele
reviewed by Steven H Silver
On a frontier world, like Coyote, banishment can be a death penalty. Two ruffians, Marie Montero and her lover, Lars Thompson find themselves exiled from their community after they can't make the transition from Rebellion to peacetime. Rather than a permanent exile, however, they are tasked with exploring the planet, still widely unknown, and reporting back via radio every couple of days. To increase their chance of survival, a savant, Manuel Castro, is sent along with them.

The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: by Volume The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: by Volume
compiled by Rodger Turner
In 1988, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling collected together what they thought was the best short fantasy and horror from the previous year. They went through as many of the magazines, collections and anthologies published in 1987 that they could find and chose those stories which they decided best represented the fantasy and horror field. Jim Frenkel arranged for its publication by St. Martins's Press and it has been produced every year since then. In 2003, Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant took over from Terri Windling as the fantasy editor.

The Spiral Labyrinth The Spiral Labyrinth by Matthew Hughes
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Henghis Hapthorn is approached by a wealthy socialite with what appears to be a straightforward case: her husband has vanished after buying a small spaceship. Establishing that the spouse was not involved in hanky-panky, Hapthorn investigates further, to discover that several others who had considered buying the vessel also disappeared. He takes on a guise as a buyer himself -- to be captured by a super-intelligent fungus that leeches personality, experience, and knowledge from its victims.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New this month are the latest from Chris Wooding, Laurell K. Hamilton, Janny Wurts, Stephen Donaldson, and many others, plus some classic reprints from Gene Wolfe, Robert Holdstock, Frank Herbert, Michael Moorcock, and -- you guessed it -- yet still more. It's a busy time of year for publishers.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase by Douglas Adams
Performed by a full cast

an audio review podcast by AudioFile Magazine
The universe can be a vast, empty place until Douglas Adams gets hold of it. The BBC cast that performs this radio dramatization of Adams' work fills the cosmos with characters and situations that will leave you confused, dazed, and entirely happy.

Click on link to get the MP3 podcast file.

Ratatouille Ratatouille
a DVD review by Rick Klaw
Set in Paris, the story revolves around Remy, a rat gourmet with a hyper-sensitive palate, who uses his enhanced sense and cooking skills to help Linguini, a young dishwasher who accidentally becomes a chef at the famous Parisian restaurant Gusteau's, founded by the eponymous late chef. Chef Gusteau's former assistant Skinner now manages the formerly five-star bistro and even uses the legendary chef's persona to sell a line of decidedly down-scale frozen dinners.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Nothing new on television so RIck has turned to film with thoughts on The Dark is Rising, Martian Child and Star Trek, The Menagerie.

First Novels

One For Sorrow One For Sorrow by Christopher Barzak
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Adam McCormick has run away from home. While hiding out at the home of his girlfriend he takes a novel off the shelf to read. It, too, tells the story of a runaway, but a whiny, preppy kid that Adam feels doesn't have it too bad. After all, nobody knows he has run away, and nobody's after him. His only companion is the ghost of Jamie Marks.

Second Looks

Human Is? Human Is? by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Paul Raven
It's not difficult to get hold of the short stories of Philip K. Dick, if you're of a mind to do so. However, doing so usually involves unearthing anthologies old and new in which his work has appeared, or going instead to the Complete Works -- four hefty volumes, which allegedly contain a fair amount of filler in between the killers. So it should come as no surprise that a publisher decided to package a selection of Dick's "greatest hits" into a single paperback volume -- especially considering the increasing number of films being made from his work.

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