The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
The Wise Man's Fear continues the story told in The Name of the Wind with Kvothe
recounting his life's story to Chronicler at the Wayside Inn. His
recollections pick up right where they left off with Kvothe attending the University. His conflict
with Ambrose continues in earnest and his exploits in and around Imre continue to build
his legend. When circumstances at the University compel Kvothe to take a term off, he travels to the
distant land of Vintas to work for one of the wealthiest men in the world. During his travels in Vintas,
besides conquering the world, Kvothe manages to uncover more about the Chandrian and furthers his
quest to locate them in order to seek vengeance for the death of his parents and his entire troupe of Edema Ruh.
Dangerous Ways by Jack Vance, edited by Terry Dowling and Jonathan Strahan
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
Not as well known in the science fiction field is Vance's output as a mystery writer -- eleven novels under
his full official name of John Holbrook Vance, three as Ellery Queen, and several more under other
pseudonyms. The Vance admirer who knows him for the mannered, intensely colored writing of his science
fiction will assuredly be surprised by the deliberately matter-of-fact, almost flat, style of his mysteries.
Stevenson Among the Palm Trees by Alberto Manguel
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Oscar Wilde once wrote to Robert Ross that "romantic surroundings are the worst surroundings possible for a
romantic writer. In Gower Street, Stevenson could have written a new Trois Mousquetaires. In Samoa, he wrote
letters to The Times about Germans." Looking at the lives of some the titans of imaginative literature, there
is some justice in the remark. Jules Verne, creator of so many spectacular (not to mention fantastic) voyages,
would have the vapours at the mere thought of leaving Paris; and of course Proust, confined to the cork-lined
room, was the supreme literary pioneer of the exploration of time as well as space.
Werewolves of War by D.W. Hall
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
It's 1938, and America is at war. This is not the war in Europe that we are all familiar
with, however. The United Slav Army, in a surprise attack on the American west coast, quickly gained a large
foothold, encompassing most of California, and massacring the entire population of San Francisco in the
process. The beleaguered American forces are barely hanging on against the overwhelming technology of the
Slavs, but a new secret weapon just might turn the tide.
Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
Miles Vorkosigan has made a lot of mistakes in his thirteen years of military service,
but he's always been able to bounce back stronger than before. But at the start of Memory,
Miles makes a series of errors in judgment that could cost him everything. After his brush with
death in Mirror Dance, Miles's cryo-revival procedure has seemingly gone without a
hitch -- except for the fact that he now has unexplained, unpredictable, and uncontrollable seizures.
Immortalis, Part 3: The Demon Wars by R.A. Salvatore
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
It is a bittersweet thing to come to an end of any good saga, and this is especially true
for The Demon Wars Saga. It's the story of the land of Corona, where the Demon
Dactyl, Bestesbulzibar, awakes -- wrecking havoc in the land. It took seven books to get through
this adventure, but was it ever worth it!
The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus by Jonathan Green
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The plot begins to thicken with the murder of Professor Galapogos, in his
office at the Natural History Museum. Ulysses Quicksilver is soon on the scene, and determines that the killer has
also stolen the professor's difference engine; the steam-punk equivalent to a personal computer. Throughout
this work the author amuses with alternate tech, such as Ulysses Quicksilver's personal communicator; a brass
and leather mobile phone, an Overground train network in Londinium Maximus, mechanical bobbies, and Beefeater-drones
with clockwork craniums. We soon learn that Magna Britannia is the ultimate superpower, dominating a world
where the sun never set on the British Empire, and Queen Victoria is almost 160 years old.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
So who has time to read comics these days (are comics really a young man's
game, as opposed to something for harried middle-aged dads?) or even see Thor (which apparently
is not bad) or contemplate DC's latest "universal reboot" with summer's
upcoming Flashpoint/Justice League twofer, which gives the new/same
heroes new origins (presumably), retooled identities, etc? Mark London Williams
had these questions swirling around his head, when it occurred to him that even in a time of (seemingly)
no reading, he had actually read some comics after all.
Smallville's Big Finish
a TV review by Christopher DeFilippis
Attention everyone. Attention: Superman has left the cornfield.
After 10 years on the air and 217 episodes, Smallville is no more. Clark Kent has put on his
tights and taken flight, finally donning the mantle of the Man of Steel and bringing the longest-running
American Science Fiction series to a close, in a two-hour finale that can only be described as a glorious mess.
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Over the Memorial Day Weekend, Derek decided to indulge himself by going to the movies for an entire day, something he hadn't
done in a while -- something that used to occur regularly when he was in his teens and, on occasion, early twenties.
But when most multiplexes screen anemic fare, to say nothing of advancing age, clawing his eyes out with rusty
forks appeals more than the prospect of trekking from screen to screen at the local multiplex to view such
cinematic atrocities. Fortunately, the Alamo Ritz in downtown Austin held a Day of the Apes: all
five Planet of the Apes movies shown back-to-back, for, according to the Alamo Drafthouse's
website, "over 8 armageddonlicious hours of blazing gorilla warfare."
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Better than Thor, not as good as Pirates of the Caribbean II and Pirates of the Caribbean III,
not nearly as good as the first film in the series, this fourth Pirates
movie has good acting, some clever dialogue,
but a very weak plot. It's not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
For most of his life, Rick claims there has only been one really good science fiction series on
television: Star Trek. The last two decades brought half a dozen more,
starting in 1993 with Babylon 5 and The X-Files. Now that
Smallville has ended, the only new show he really looks forward to is