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Dance of Knives Second Childhood Dance of Knives and Second Childhood by Donna McMahon
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
Post-global-warming Vancouver is not what it used to be, with water where streets once used to be and parts of town divided severely into the have and have-not sections. Certain human beings living in the 22nd century have been modified in more or less unspeakable ways in order to be useful to others in positions of power. The main character is a boy who once used to be known as Simon Lau, but who has been wired up as a data shark and as an enforcer.

Lesser Demons Lesser Demons by Norman Partridge
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Trying to label and explain the main features of Norman Partridge's style to those still unfamiliar with his work is not an easy task. He is a horror writer endowed with a powerful imagination, a vivid narrative technique and the ability to move effortlessly from the terror tale to pulp fiction, from the crime story to dark fantasy.

Happy Snak Happy Snak by Nicole Kimberling
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Gaia Jones is a loner after a failed marriage; her family relations aren't very good either, so she transfers to the A-Ki Station, which has a human section built by the mysterious amphibious, hermaphroditic Kishocha. Only one of the Kishocha has wanted to interact with the humans, the charismatic Kenjan, who swiftly becomes a popular celebrity.

The Cold Kiss of Death The Cold Kiss of Death by Suzanne McLeod
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Genevieve (Genny) Taylor works for Spellcrackers, a witch-owned business, that cleans up magical messes. Genny can crack spells and absorb magic, but her ability to actually cast spells remains pitifully weak. A ghost, whom Genny calls Cosette, haunts her, unwanted invitations from vampires flood her mailbox and, while she still has her job at Spellcrackers, powerful witches want her to move out of her apartment.

Dragon Haven Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Robin Hobb's latest work is the second volume of The Rain Wild Chronicles. It picks up right where the first volume, The Dragon Keeper, left off. We find the crew of the Tarman escorting a group of dragons, along with their keepers and hunters, up the Rain Wild River in search of the lost city of Kelsingra. Along the way... well, nothing much happens.

And Another Thing... And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
Picking up right where Mostly Harmless left off, we find Arthur, Ford, Trillian and Random improbably rescued from the final destruction of Earth by none other than Zaphod Beeblebrox and the Heart of Gold. But Zaphod (being Zaphod) botches the rescue, forcing them to seek help from Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, who just happens to be passing by Earth to deliver some more insults. Wowbagger reluctantly saves them, and the story spirals out from there.

Vatta's War: Trading in Danger, Part 2 Vatta's War: Trading in Danger, Part 2 by Elizabeth Moon
an audiobook review by John Ottinger III
Kylara has survived being shot, awakening in the hospital of one the mercenary ships that are interdicting the planet of Sabine Prime. Quickly regaining her senses, she returns to the Glennys Jones only to find that her small trader ship is now to be a prison for crews from non-combatant ships in the Sabine area. Forced to agree to the mercenaries' use of her ship as a cattle car, Kylara must tread the thin tightrope of appeasing her guests while remaining in charge.

If I Were You If I Were You by L. Ron Hubbard
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
This time out, the audiobook contains two stories. "If I Were You" was originally published in the February 1940 issue of Five-Novels Monthly and "The Last Drop" was originally published in Astonishing Stories, November 1941. One of the key features of the Galaxy Audio releases is their super production quality. With original music, and subtle yet effective sound effects, these audiobooks are like a great trip back to the days of radio dramas.

Brain Thief Brain Thief by Alexander Jablokov
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This is a funny, often hilarious adventure set in the wilds of rural and suburban New England. Not only that, it's a style of humor that rarely emerges in science fiction; a hip, sarcastic mix of personal observations mixed with pop culture and historical references. The late great Hunter S. Thompson was the master, but if there is such a thing as gonzo science fiction, Brain Thief is it.

Terminal World Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The novel starts in a city perched part way up a massive spire known as Spearpoint. And at the very edge of the city an apparently dead angel is found. Angels come from higher up Spearpoint where a more advanced technology is possible, but every so often one ends up in the city and, when they do, they are taken to Quillon. Quillon is a pathologist who has been making a study of angels; but this one isn't quite dead, rather he has undertaken a suicide mission in order to get a message to Quillon. The message is: flee.

The Book of Dreams The Book of Dreams edited by Nick Gevers
reviewed by Rich Horton
Here is a collection of new fantasy short stories on the general subject of dreams. It differs from many such original anthologies in consisting mostly of quite short works -- perhaps one story here is a short novelette, the others short stories. The writers are all established pros, and they all reliably deliver good value. Which in a sense is the problem here.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Comics creator Matt Dembicki is the editor/creative force behind Trickster, a graphic novel anthology collecting tales of North America's first adventure heroes -- trickster figures like Coyote, Raven, and other "animal humans," who both transformed the world around them, and were often transformed by it -- in spite of themselves. Mark London Williams has a chat with him.

News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
Mark Chadbourn talks about his new Fantasy series, The Sword of Albion which takes us into the treacherous world of spies in Elizabethan England; and debut novelist Sarah Pinborough gives us the inside skinny about desolate futures, self destruction and getting new novel A Matter of Blood published.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Newest arrivals this time include the latest from Stephen Baxter, Terry Brooks, Mark Chadbourn, Peter F. Hamilton, Robert J. Sawyer, James Barclay, Charles de Lint, Cory Doctorow, Norman Spinrad, Jeff VanderMeer, and many more.


Writing in the Digital Generation Writing in the Digital Generation edited by Heather Urbanski
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
The dedication of this volume reads "this book began in science fiction and fantasy fandom and so is dedicated to all those in that community." This is an intriguing set of academic essays on writing in the digital generation. One of the familiar tropes of declinist narratives of a lost golden age of the humanities is that writing and reading are in decline. Radio, television, the cinema, the internet -- all were supposed to kill off the written word.

Second Looks

Frankenstein Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The story tells the tale of a young man, Robert Walton who writes letters to his sister, Mrs. Saville, over in England about a sea voyage he undertakes alone. Feeling somewhat depressed and bored, the voyage is disrupted by another man's dire health and has to save him from freezing to death. Trying to keep him in good spirits, Robert converses with him and he becomes the companion and friend he wanted all along, yet the other man thinks he will be seen differently when he tells his own tale of woe.

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