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Libyrinth Libyrinth by Pearl North
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
15-year-old Haly is a clerk in the Libyrinth, a vast underground library of Earth lore and knowledge brought long ago to this colony world. From her earliest memories, Haly has been able to "hear" the Libyrinth's books. They speak to her, reciting their contents, as lively and full of personality, from warm and comforting to stodgy and pedantic, as any family you might imagine. But not everyone treasures this repository of ancient knowledge.

Federations Federations edited by John Joseph Adams
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Ask most people who don't read or watch much science fiction what it's all about and they'll probably mention spaceships and aliens, massive explosions and techno-babble speaking geeks, not necessarily in that order. Stories set in an interstellar space filled with competing civilizations have long played a part in SF of all kinds, whatever its format. That's the kind of science fiction celebrated here and the stories do a good job of illustrating just how wide a range of stories can be built around such a common theme.

Satan's Rose Garden and Other Tales of Terror Satan's Rose Garden and Other Tales of Terror by Alan M. Etheridge and Bill M. Etheridge
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The title story, by Alan M. Etheridge, is a dark novella, which turned out to be good and on the whole, very well written. It is a modern gothic tale of incest, murder and possession, the first part of which is really enticing and very effective, graced with a steady and captivating narrative pace. By contrast, the second half of the novella becomes less accomplished.

Hum Hum by Scott Marcano and Tom Lenoci
reviewed by John Enzinas
Hum takes place on a world that was colonized and then ignored. The world was capable of supporting human life, but something caused 80 percent of the colonists to be struck permanently blind. At first, the sighted cared for the blind, but then they became resentful and made the blind their slaves, justifying it through their physical superiority. The slaves rebel and leave to set up their own villages of the blind.

New Audiobooks New Audiobooks
compiled by Susan Dunman
Recent audiobook releases received by SF Site include works by Mike Carey, R.A. Salvatore, Mercedes Lackey, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. At times it's more convenient (and enjoyable) to hear the latest in science fiction and fantasy.

Star Wars: Death Troopers Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber
an audiobook review by John Ottinger III
Set just a few years before the events in Star Wars: A New Hope, this stand-alone novel follows the events surrounding the prison ship Purge. Purge is carrying a load of prisoners to an Imperial prison planet. When it becomes stranded, it seems a boon that the crew happens upon a seemingly derelict Star Destoryer. But the Empire had its reasons for leaving the massive ship floating in space.

Dragon Champion Dragon Champion by E.E. Knight
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
Auron is a gray dragon, scaleless and without the hunger for treasure that plagues other dragons. His lack of armor makes him more vulnerable but also more adept at blending into his surroundings. After a fierce battle for primacy immediately post-hatching, Auron is the only male offspring left to his parents. He's bright and inquisitive, but his world is mostly limited to the confines of the cave in which he was hatched. All of that changes on the day his cave is invaded by murderous dwarves.

The Winds of Dune The Winds of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
The authors continue to explore the Dune Universe which is filled with opportunities to discover side stories or fill in gaps between the original novels, and they have done a fine job without taking anything away from the original stories. In fact, they have added more depth to the series, creating adventures that seem as though they were there from the beginning. The Winds of Dune begins after the events of Dune Messiah, jumping back and forth in time from before Paul Atreides came to Dune to the events during Paul Maud'dib's Jihad.

The Quiet War The Quiet War by Paul McAuley
reviewed by Rich Horton
For quite a few years now, Paul McAuley has been publishing stories set in the aftermath of the Quiet War, a war between Earth and the Outer Planets of the Solar System. Earth won the war, but the stories suggested that their victory would prove ambiguous. These stories have been largely first-rate, some of the best hard SF of recent years. With The Quiet War, he has finally written the story of the war itself.

Spirits in the Park Spirits in the Park by Scott Mebus
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Spirits in the Park is the sequel to Gods of Manhattan and is a direct continuation of the original story, set just one month later. It starts with an attempted assassination via poison slug. From there on, it's straight into the guts of the story, setting up another adventure for Rory Hennessey, the last Light of New York City. As before the story flits between the mundane world, and the unseen layer of spirit world that is Mannahatta.

Thousandth Night / Minla's Flowers Thousandth Night / Minla's Flowers Thousandth Night and Minla's Flowers by Alastair Reynolds
reviewed by Derek Johnson
Both stories showcase some of Alastair Reynolds's best features: the ease with which he creates interesting characters in strange settings; his ability to blend space opera with other generic forms (mystery in "Thousandth Night," bildungsroman in "Minla's Flowers"); his knowledge of current physics and technologies that, while consistent with what might be possible, never read as flat or arid.

The Android's Dream The Android's Dream by John Scalzi
reviewed by John Enzinas
The story starts off with a carefully orchestrated political incident. This leads to the breakdown of a relationship between Earth and its closest alien supporter. This is happening in parallel with the eradication of a genetically modified breed of sheep needed by these aliens as part of a governmental confirmation ceremony.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Rick Klaw has cleaned the house, shelved the books, and chilled the bubbly so it must be time to announce the Nexus Graphica best graphic novels/comics/funny books of the year. As with last year, Mark London Williams and Rick each picked the top ten titles that they encountered over the past year or so. The back half of our countdown (10-6) falls on Rick's shoulders. Since they have different tastes and don't always read the same books, their lists tend to differ greatly. For this initial part, just one title ranks on both lists -- in the same place, oddly enough, since they determine their lists independently.


New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Highlights this time include the latest from Robert J. Sawyer, Elizabeth Moon, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Joe Hill, and plenty more.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
As the first half of another TV season winds to a close, Rick offers his thoughts on what he was watching and what caught his attention. He also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in December.

First Novels

Ars Memoriae Ars Memoriae by Beth Bernobich
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Set against a world in which Irish Queen Áine Lasairíona Devereaux rules over a fractious England, the story concerns Commander Adrian Dee, who is sent on a mission to Montenegro to seek out Anglian activists. We follow Dee as he crosses Europe and must not only find the cell of Anglians but also figure out who the traitor is among the Queen's court.


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