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Off On A Tangent: Short Fiction Reviews Off On A Tangent: Short Fiction Reviews Off On A Tangent: Short Fiction Reviews
a column by Dave Truesdale
Dave Truesdale has returned with a new column looking at short fiction. For his first, he takes a look at two collections: The Guild of Xenolinguists by Sheila Finch which collects the bulk of her Lingster stories and Nano Comes To Clifford Falls by Nancy Kress made up of her recent stories, grounded in science or technology and featuring nano-tech along with its effect on society.

Implied Spaces Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams
reviewed by Rich Horton
The book opens with a swordsman walking across the desert, soon to encounter mysterious priests kidnapping people, and caravan guards led by an ogre. Pure sword and sorcery, right? Not at all, as readers of "Womb of Every World," from last year's SFBC anthology Alien Crimes, will immediately realize. That story, moderately revised, represents a bit more than the first third of this novel.

The Lion Hunter/The Empty Kingdom The Lion Hunter/The Empty Kingdom The Lion Hunter and The Empty Kingdom by Elizabeth E. Wein
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The Lion Hunter picks up just after the events in The Sunbird, in which Telemakos, grandson of Arthur, is introduced, and becomes a victim of international intrigue. Readers unfamiliar with this novel will find expert back story painted in at the start of The Lion Hunter as Telemakos challenges himself to overcome the fears he suffered after being held prisoner, blindfolded and bound, as a result of deadly international politics.

Singularity's Ring Singularity's Ring by Paul Melko
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The post-human universe isn't just for grown-ups anymore. In his first novel, Paul Melko brings the classic style of young adult science fiction headlong into a future where the singularity has come and gone, leaving old-fashioned human beings and a new kind of humanity, the pods, reeling and attempting to recover in its wake. It's a fast-moving story full of adventure, angst, and the growing pains of a young being known as Apollo Papadopulos.

The Other Side of Magik The Other Side of Magik by Michael Lingaard
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The action takes place mostly in Angland, on an alternate Earth on the other side of the mirror, where "magik" is a reality, and physics does not permit the development of electrical power. In Angland, DNA spirals to the left, and people travel in steam-buggies and airships. Geography and history are similar to the world we know, but differ at key points. The story centres on two teenage boys, Danny Royce, a disaffected wastrel from our reality, and Garreth Royal, a budding wizard who has just failed to make the grade.

Timeless Moon Timeless Moon by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Josette Monier has been living alone, in self-imposed exile for many years, in order to keep her immensely strong psychic abilities under control. To most of her fellow shapeshifters, those known as the Sazi, she's both a legend and a hermit by choice, one of the oldest and most powerful of her kind. Unfortunately, what she's just become is a target.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The new Indiana Jones movie is the best action-adventure film seen in a long time. You would have to go back to the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie for one as good. But it is not as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, or The Lord of the Rings. For a film to be that good, it has to be a new idea, with new characters.

Prince Caspian Prince Caspian
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Andrew Adamson, who helmed this film of the second book in the seven book Narnia series, decided to go all out for big-budget action this time. Maybe the studio pushed him in that direction, but he deserves the credit and blame for turning a human adventure into a special-effects extravaganza. In the middle is an entire battle sequence that isn't in the book and doesn't advance the plot.

The Happening The Happening
a movie review by Rick Norwood
What pass for horror movies these days are seldom designed to induce fear. Fear, after all, is an unpleasant emotion, though the relief afterwards is pleasant. There are the horror movies where you experience self-righteous satisfaction when women who have sex out of wedlock are killed or when teen-agers who have sex before marriage are killed. And there are the horror movies which produce roller-coaster thrills where each horrible death produces a shriek of laughter.

Genius Squad Genius Squad by Catherine Jinks
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
A few months following the destruction of the infamous Axis Institute, the university for young villains-in-training created by international mad scientist and all-around bad guy Phineas Darkkon. At present, Darkkon is missing, his nefarious right-hand-man Prosper English is sitting in an Australian jail cell, and their unwilling protege fifteen-year-old computer genius Cadel Piggott, has been dumped in yet another foster home. Adding to Cadel's unstable life, he's living in legal limbo, his citizenship as uncertain as his parentage, under the constant shadow of police surveillance.

Dark Integers and Other Stories Dark Integers and Other Stories by Greg Egan
reviewed by Rich Horton
The author's reputation, first and foremost, is as one of today's preeminent "idea men" of SF. His fiction is built around scientific or sociological ideas -- that is to say, on speculation. Particular areas of interest seem to be mathematics, physics, and the workings of the brain (and indeed all of these ideas are often interconnected). He eagerly uses concepts from the cutting edges of these fields, and speculates beyond the cutting edge -- sometimes, as he has admitted, a bit implausibly.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Regular readers of comics news and reviews already know that Rory Root, the affable, pioneering proprietor of Berkeley, California-based Comic Relief passed away suddenly last month. The scope and breadth of what the store carried, how Rory was an advocate/supporter of lesser-known, or just-starting-out-of-the-gate work, and how well liked he was in the comics community by creators and retailers. Mark London Williams remembers his days growing up in the Berkeley area and how Rory affected his development into the writer he is today.

The Yiddish Policemen's Union The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
Meyer Landsman is about as hard-boiled as detectives get. He lives in a cheap flop-house of a hotel, and smokes too much, drinks way too much, and works obsessively -- besides abstractly thinking about suicide, drinking and working are what gets him through his days. He's divorced and estranged from his ex-wife Bina, who is now his superior officer, and he's plagued by family ghosts -- his chess-obsessed suicide of a father, his sister Naomi, a pilot who crashed her Piper Cub into a mountain, the tiny voice of his aborted baby. He's long on bitterness and short on hope, unable to see anything but the bleakest future for himself or his people. Because, unlike your run-of-the-mill depressed and hard-bitten police detective, Landsman is also facing Reversion.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New books are flooding into the SF Site office almost as quickly as we can unpack 'em. The most recent arrivals include the latest from Kevin J. Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter, F. Paul Wilson, Timothy Zahn, Gregory Frost, Charlaine Harris, Charlie Huston, John C. Wright, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Mike Resnick, Katharine Kerr, Scott Bakker, Mike Carey, Harry Turtledove, and many, many more.

New Audiobooks New Audiobooks
compiled by Susan Dunman
At times, it's more convenient (and enjoyable) to hear the latest in science fiction and fantasy. Recent audiobook releases include works by Lewis Carroll, Laurell K. Hamilton, Simon R. Green, Kelley Armstrong and Philip K. Dick.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick has some thoughts on the first half of Battlestar Galactica Season 4. And he has questions that he hopes the writers will address in the second part of the show's last season.

Second Looks

The Secret of Sinharat The Secret of Sinharat by Leigh Brackett
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
John Stark, besides being a tough and independent mercenary, is a man with a very thin veneer of civilisation overlying an almost animalistic core. In somewhat of a parallel with Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes, Stark was raised from infancy by barely-human Mercurian aborigines, and under certain stressful situations, which are not uncommon in his business, he reverts to his origins and lives by his quasi-animalistic instincts.

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