The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is one of those books that elicits comparisons with the classics,
and, by so doing, arches the incredulous eyebrows of prospective readers. The book has been variously described
as like Dickens, Sherlock Holmes and H. Rider Haggard, mostly by other writers. The premise is three very
different characters, all of whom become embroiled in the same nefarious conspiracy. At heart, it is a
good old-fashioned mystery, with plenty of action to keep things lively.
But can it be as good as the illustrious names mentioned above, or do we have another case of Emperor's New Clothes?
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Messing with the timeline can drive a man insane. That's one of the lessons Richard Burton and several other characters
learn as they are confronted with an apparition who, among
his various crimes, asserts that the world they live in was never meant to be. That world is nineteenth century
England, a world of coal-engine driven taxis, helicopter lounge chairs, and genetically engineered messenger
pigeons that taunt and insult the message's sender and recipient.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II by Sean Williams
reviewed by David Maddox
The story picks up a year after Starkiller's
final battle with Vader and the Emperor on the still-under-construction Death Star. His former pilot and
romantic interest, Juno Eclipse, is now Captain in the fledgling Rebel Alliance and doing her best to help
and keep control of Jedi General Rahm Kota. But on Kamino, Darth Vader has not given up on his apprentice,
either bringing him back to life, as he did once before, or finally managing to clone a Force-sensitive individual.
L.Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume XXVI edited by K.D. Wentworth
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Every year budding fantasy and SF writers send in their short stories to be read and
possibly published in the next Writers of the Future volume. Judges, four in all, run their
eyes over the new talent, and offer their own opinion on how good they are and if they are
good enough; the judges in this case are; Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Eric Flint, Dean Wesley
Smith and Mike Resnick. These judges were also winners in previous contests.
reviewed by Rich Horton
The latest issue of Aurealis is the 20th Anniversary issue.
One highlight is a memoir by cofounder Dirk Strasser of the circumstances around the founding and early history
of the magazine -- very entertaining. Patricia L. O'Neill's science article, "Underbelly -- A Feast for the Census II," looks at some
of the critters we harbor internally. The book review column is former editor Keith Stevenson's farewell,
and there is an editorial from current editor Stuart Mayne.
Thoughts and Dreams by John H. MacDonald
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The first thing that grabs you about this book of contemporary poetry is the fact
it puts off the reader by using capital letters throughout its entirety, and due to the advent of the internet
and netiquette, those who are aware of netiquette will feel the poetry on every page is shouting at them.
Way of the Wolf by E.E. Knight
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
E. E. Knight's Vampire Earth series, of which Way of the Wolf is the first, is a
tremendous work of post-apocalyptic science fiction with genetically engineered vampires. The
story follows David Valentine, from his beginnings as the adopted son of a minister in the free territories,
through joining the Wolves and becoming like a wolf himself, through his military career against Earth's
new Kurian overlords. Most of the power in this story comes from its excellent and brilliantly executed world building.
Final Crisis by Greg Cox
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
Let's see if we have this straight -- in some future battle, Darkseid is defeated and is sent
hurtling backward through time. Eventually, he lands on Earth in our own present day. This
causes an imbalance in our world, and also in the 51 other universes that hinge upon our own,
and the whole big mess begins to slide into a black hole. There's also something about the
anti-life equation, a mathematical proof that shows Darkseid is the true ruler of all. Darkseid
broadcasts the anti-life equation all over the planet to enslave humanity and a few super-heroes
as well. All the super-heroes of the world, and a few not of this world, will have to band together to save the 52 universes.
Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
The Cetagandan Empire may be Barrayar's main military rival, but when the Cetagandan Empress dies, political
niceties must still be maintained. In this case, the young officer Miles Vorkosigan, son of the
Barrayaran Prime Minister, and his cousin Ivan are sent to Cetaganda to attend the galactic funeral
proceedings. However, they've barely made it off their spaceship -- and haven't, to their knowledge,
offended anyone yet -- when they're attacked by a servant of the late empress... The same servant who
is later found in the middle of the mourning procession with his throat cut.
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
reviewed by David Soyka
The anthologists of record for such subgenres as New Weird and pirates as well as the subject matter at hand
stand out because of their sense of humor about genre classification lacking in most
academic treatments and that they supplement terrific fiction with offbeat critical discussions, typography
and other diversions of interest. A prime example here is "A Secret History of Steampunk," a collage
incorporating graphics, multiple authors, and just plain weirdness to satirize the academic research and
discussion of obscure literary fragments.
Virals by Kathy Reichs
The Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones
reviewed by Dan Shade
We find ourselves in the company of
four 12- to 14-year-olds. Tory Brennan, Temperance Brennan's niece, is the youngest and the only female in
the group. Ben, Hi, and Tory make up the rest of the pack. They are all science and sci-fi geeks and the luckiest
kids in the world. Their parents are an elite group of scientists from the University of South Carolina who are
fortunate enough to live on Loggerhead Island, off the coast of South Carolina, which is all but deserted except
for the research labs, a small pack of dog/wolf mixes, and a bunch of Rhesus monkeys who seem to have lived on
the island since escaping from the labs many years ago.
7 Billion Needles, Volume 1 by Nobuaki Tadano
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Just an ordinary teen, Hikaru lives her life through hearing, and the only thing she hears is the sound
of the music on her MP3 player, uninterested in the real-life world around her at school, at home or in the
street. One day she has a disruption in her headphones, she goes outside to see what the trouble is and is
met by a skeletal form known as Horizon who infects her bloodstream and controls her actions. The invader
is an alien being, though it isn't the bad guy she thinks he is and he wants her to save humanity.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Mark London Williams talked with Gary Phillips awhile back when his Bicycle Cop Dave first appeared on the
web. But this being the ides of March and all, it's time to talk to him again
about the current state of crime-in-comics, and noir in particular.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Newest arrivals at the SF Site offices include the latest from Kim Harrison, Raymond E. Feist, Orson Scott Card, Daniel Fox, Elizabeth Moon, China Miéville, Lisa Goldstein, and others.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Each year Rick predicts which genre films will be best, based on the people who write the screenplay, people who have
more to do with how good a film is than anyone else, people largely neglected by the popular media.
According to the IMDB, 102 science fiction movies will be released in 2011 and 92 fantasy
movies. Most will never make it to your local multiplex. Most will not be worth seeing.
A random example: Evil Bong 3-D: The Wrath of Bong,
written by August White, who also wrote the first two Evil Bong movies.
The Adjustment Bureau
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The Adjustment Bureau is about that old chestnut, predestination vs. free will, but it is fast and smart
and a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. It is also about the ever popular idea that every man and every
woman have one true love, something Rick responds to as strongly as the next man, despite never having seen
it in real life.
reviewed by Rich Horton
Dabir and Asim are both members of the household of Jaffar, a prominent judge in Baghdad and an
associate of the caliph. Asim is the Captain of Jaffar's guards, and Asim is the tutor to Jaffar's
beautiful -- and very intelligent -- young niece, Sabirah. Attempting to raise Jaffar's spirits
after the death of his beloved parrot, the two happen upon an escaping thief, and recover
a valuable ancient door pull. Dabir soon realizes that the door pull is connected with the disappeared
ancient city of Ubar.
Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles by Merrie Destefano
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Death isn't the end anymore. Play your cards right, be willing to abandon your old life, and you can be
resurrected, courtesy of Fresh Start's secret cloning process. If you're really lucky, you might get as many
as nine lives before things break down to the point of systems failure. Chaz Dominguez is a Babysitter in New
Orleans, tasked with protecting and watching over recent resurrectees for the first week of their new
lives, until they're settled in and can take care of themselves.