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WWW: Wonder WWW: Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Webmind, the world's first true artificial intelligence, has finally revealed himself to humanity, sparking a firestorm of controversy and mixed reactions. Despite ingratiating himself by all but eliminating spam, he's already survived one attempt on his "life" and fears a repeat. Now he must convince his "creators" that he comes in peace, winning over a world conditioned to expect the worst of artificial intelligences who can break any encryption, invade any database, and learn any secret.

The Lady of Situations The Lady of Situations by Stephen Dedman
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
The collection has a range and sense of controlled exuberance. There is a disregard for easy genre categorisations. For instance, the title story is pretty much a mainstream literary piece about a lady with an eidetic memory, while the immediately following "Ever Seen By Waking Eyes" is a vampiric twist on Lewis Carroll's much-analysed and much-debated interest in young girls. Two very different "genres," yet both have the same tone and emotional impact.

Judas Payne: A Weird Western Webb's Weird Wild West: Tales of Western Horror Judas Payne: A Weird Western by Michael Hemmingson / Webb's Weird Wild West: Tales of Western Horror by Don Webb
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is very much a book of two halves, being two books in one connected only by basic theme. When one title is read, flip it over and start a whole new story from the other side. Halves come into play with the lead character of Judas Payne who is the product of rape by the Devil, and is half-white half-native American, who is in love with his half-sister, Evangeline. Flip the book over, and there's Webb's Weird Western Tales of Horror by Don Webb. This is a small collection of twelve unconnected tales, all with weird twists.

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Ascension Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Ascension by Christie Golden
reviewed by David Maddox
Things seem to finally be going well for the Jedi and the Galactic Alliance. With the appointment of an interim Chief, the removal of Natasi Daala, the return of Luke Skywalker and the apparent disappearance of the Lost Tribe of the Sith, events seem to be favoring the Light Side of the Force. Or so you might believe with the eighth book in the Fate of the Jedi Expanded Universe series.

Black Static, Issue 21, February-March 2011 Black Static, Issue 21, February-March 2011
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This issue has to be read to be believed, Peter Tennant's column being the best, Ray Cluley and Maura McHugh's stories captivate, and Mike O Driscoll's argument on genre fiction makes it a very enjoyable magazine that's well worth getting your hands on.

Diplomatic Immunity Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
Miles and Ekaterin Vorkosigan deferred their honeymoon for a year after their wedding, but they've spent several months touring the nexus while their first children gestate in uterine replicators back on Barrayar. They're on their way home to be present for the birth when Miles's duties as Imperial Auditor intervene, and they are diverted to Graf Station to handle a budding diplomatic disaster.

The Lighthouse Land The Lighthouse Land by Adrian McKinty
an audiobook review by Sarah Trowbridge
Talk about a young hero coming up from reduced circumstances. Jamie O'Neill, at age 13, has lost his left arm and his voice as a result of a bout with bone cancer. The arm was amputated in order to provide a supply of healthy bone marrow to replace the diseased tissue and save his life, but Jamie was not consulted. He finds himself and his mother Anna living in a decrepit uptown tenement in New York City, not really making ends meet. Until one day Anna receives a letter revealing that a distant relative has died and left her the sole heir to a small island and a lighthouse off the coast of Northern Ireland.

A Dance with Dragons A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Westeros is a ravaged and war torn kingdom. House Lannister still controls King's Landing under Tommen's rule although it is tenuous at best. The Lannisters have earned themselves many enemies throughout the seven kingdoms and just about all of them are contending for the Iron Throne so the plotting, scheming and backstabbing are in full force. In the far north, Jon Snow has been promoted to Lord Commander of the Night Watch. He not only has to deal with the massive army of Wildings at his doorstep, but winter is coming.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
A unique melding of Frank Herbert's Dune, Jack Kirby's Fourth World, Michael Moorcock's The Dancers At The End of Time, A.E. Van Vogt's bizzaro, golden age space operas, and the Greek tragedies, The Saga of the Meta-barons (simply know as The Metabarons in the US) explores the multi-generational lineage of the universe's ultimate warriors. Originally introduced in May 1981 as a supporting player early on in Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius classic Incal series, the Metabaron played a prominent role throughout. Rick Klaw has a look at the first series of four graphic novels.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
This time we're looking at new works from Neal Stephenson, Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan, Charlaine Harris, Richard K. Morgan, anthologies of new horror in time for Halloween, and plenty more!

First Novels

Noise Noise by Darin Bradley
reviewed by Jason Erik Lundberg
The novel joins other notable society-wide apocalyptic fictions such as Stephen King's The Stand, José Saramago's Blindness, and Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower: apokalypsis in medias res. Rather than give us the aftermath of catastrophe, we are thrust face-first into its genesis and immediate consequences. The effect is like the collision with an undivertable freight train, as society as we know it very quickly degrades into cataclysmic collapse.


The Mythic Fantasy of Robert Holdstock The Mythic Fantasy of Robert Holdstock edited by Donald E. Morse and Kálmán Matolcsy
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
When Robert Holdstock died, late in 2009, he left behind a body of acclaimed work that effectively constituted a paradigm shift in how we regard fantasy. But there was no equivalent body of critical work that his significance in the genre should warrant. This volume is a first step towards filling that gap. But only a first, and at times rather tentative, step.

Second Looks

Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers by Grant Naylor
reviewed by Andy Remic
Red Dwarf. The Dwarf. The Boys From the Dwarf. Smeg Head. Kryten. Smeeeeg Head. Rasta Billy Skank. Holograms. SF trope rip-offs. Hell, every-decent-SF-movie-ever-made rip-offs!! And yes, that sentence does qualify a double exclamation in the best tradition of some seedy teen mag. Red Dwarf, then. Where to begin?


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