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Sandman Slim Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Eleven years before the novel begins, James Stark was a young magician learning to control and use the power and talent so evident within him. Then another magician and his followers ganged up to send James, still alive, to Hell, where he was forced to fight demons and other creatures hand to hand for the amusement of Lucifer and his minions. They also killed his girlfriend Alice, and it's that action that fuels his desire to survive and escape from Hell. Now he's in Los Angeles, determined to track down and have his revenge on those who ruined his life.

Haze Haze by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
reviewed by John Enzinas
Major Keir Roget is a government operative who works for the Federation, the current government of human civilization. Its strongest roots are in the Chinese government that created the Federation as it conquered the Earth and then spread out across the galaxy. In the past, Roget was sent out as a covert operative and discovered a cell of dissidents who were plotting against the Federation. In the present, he has been sent to Haze, a planet so named because it has a shroud to protect it from intruders and apparently also from detection.

Genesis Genesis by Bernard Beckett
reviewed by David Newbert
The book grabs your attention. It's never boring, and its basic questions -- what separates men and machines, how can artificial intelligence be creative, at what point can AI be considered "self-aware," and how do Ideas come into being -- are clichés in the SF genre, but this book handles them nimbly and with considerable charm. If you like a compelling intellectual thrill, Genesis doesn't disappoint.

Cemetery Dance Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
reviewed by John Enzinas
A reporter is brutally murdered by someone who had been found dead two weeks earlier. Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast joins forces with NYPD Detective Vincent D'Agosta to solve the crime seemingly committed by voodoo and bring those responsible to justice.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet Nightmare at 20,000 Feet by Richard Matheson
an audio review podcast by Susan Dunham
If you're in the mood for scary stories, then listen to this collection of 20 classic horror stories written by Richard Matheson in the 50s and 60s. Each story is narrated by a single performer, but there are 12 narrators reading this anthology, giving each story its own flavor of fear.

Blue Moon Rising: Part 1 Blue Moon Rising: Part 1 by Simon R. Green
an audio review podcast by Fred Greenhalgh
By the look of the cover you'd think that Blue Moon Rising is your typical tale of princes and princesses, unicorns and dragons, and knights and champions. But this adventure is anything but typical.

Aliens Rule Aliens Rule edited by Allan Kaster
an audiobook review by Susan Dunman
The idea of aliens among us has always been an intriguing concept but it's not quite so appealing if the aliens have the upper hand. In this collection of three short stories, humans must cope with unusual circumstances created by aliens who are in control of the situation.

Sleep Traveler Sleep Traveler by Marcus Hame
an audiobook review by Bonnie L. Norman
Brenden, a moderately talented musician, has had a series of recurring dreams his entire life, one of a boy in the 1900s and the other of an amazing musical prodigy in the future year of 2020. He comes to believe that some entity is trying to communicate with him through these strange dreams.

Glass Houses Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
The story in this first book of the series introduces listeners to the town of Morganville, Texas, home of Texas Prairie University. The town is populated by some strange people and even stranger yet, it is run by vampires. Each person has a sort of insurance policy that protects them from the vampires, but when children reach the age of 18, they must find some vampire family to "insure" them or risk becoming food for the vamps.

The New Space Opera 2 The New Space Opera 2 edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan
reviewed by Rich Horton
The New Space Opera differs from the Old Space Opera mainly in displaying a generally more cynical political attitude, in being better written, and (often) in having slightly more rigorous scientific underpinnings. Which is to say, really, that it's Space Opera written from the perspective of SF writers of our time. Perhaps the only difference with Old Space Opera is that sometimes writers took it less seriously than their usual Science Fiction.

Dollhouse: Season Two Dollhouse: Season Two
a TV review by David Newbert
The second season of Dollhouse has begun, and there is some good news and some bad news. Good news first: the first three episodes out of the gate are everything they needed to be artistically, setting the stage for an exciting run and showing that Joss Whedon and his brain trust are back in charge. Now the bad news: these are Dollhouse's lowest rated episodes ever.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New arrivals this time feature the latest Wild Card novel from George R.R. Martin and others, re-issued classics, plus new works from Iain M. Banks, Michael Chabon, Laini Taylor, Adam Roberts, and many more.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
And so arrives the one book -- especially the one "graphic novel-y" type book -- Mark London Williams has been waiting for all year. (Well, he wouldn't mind a look at the latest Umbrella Academy collection, either, but it hasn't shown up yet....) And that book would be the already much-discussed book of Genesis, illustrated by one of his own favorite cartoonists (as longtime readers of this column can attest): R. Crumb. Mark's reasons for waiting eagerly -- hungrily? -- for the book may not be quite the same as yours.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Surrogates is a routine but entertaining Bruce Willis vehicle, mundane science fiction about a world where 90 percent of humanity lives through surrogates, pretty robots who transmit their senses and sensations to dormant humans.

First Novels

The Crown Conspiracy The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan
reviewed by Tammy Moore
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The Riyria. Most thieves steal jewels and coin; the Riyria prefer to focus on the theft of reputation and power. Last port of call for the wealthy and powerful of Medford, the small, secretive group make a profitable living off the social and political machinations of their country's elite.

Book of Shadows Book of Shadows by Paula Brackston
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, age 384, has moved once again to start another segment of her nearly solitary life. As Bess Hawksmith, a witch finder condemned her mother to hanging in England in 1628. Bess turned to Gideon Masters, a local warlock to save her from a similar fate. As the daughter of a hanged witch, she stood no chance against a village out for blood. Gideon taught her witchcraft and helped her find the power to become immortal. But he commanded a price.

Second Looks

Implied Spaces Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams
reviewed by John Enzinas
Implied Spaces is an exploration of what would threaten a post-singularity humanity. The hero was a computer programmer who helped architect the singularity a thousand years ago. Now going by the name Aristide, he has taken to studying the implied spaces of the wormhole universes that humanity now creates. While doing this in a world created by World of Warcraft enthusiasts, he discovers evidence of a nefarious plot.

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