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Remember Why You Fear Me Remember Why You Fear Me by Robert Shearman
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
He is an eclectic fantasist, whose stories range from the surreal to the horrific, from dark fantasy to black humor. But labels count precious nothing for good writers and, if you want to know how good a writer he is, this collection, arguably featuring the best of his short fiction, is an unique opportunity. Including twenty stories,the volume does offers a complete overview of the author's different narrative styles and of his personal approach to reality.

Desperate Days Desperate Days by Jack Vance
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
Jack Vance is justly revered as one of the grandmasters of science fiction, fantasy, and that strange middle ground, science fantasy. But, as a writer, he once had another incarnation. In the 60s and 70s, John Holbrook Vance (his full name) churned out mystery novels and short stories, including some for-hire jobs under the name of Ellery Queen. But, although he won an Edgar Award for The Man in the Cage, his parallel career as a crime writer never gained full traction.

The Gift Of Fire / On The Head Of A Pin The Gift Of Fire / On The Head Of A Pin by Walter Mosley
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
There are two tales here, two stories of personal struggles and world-changing, mind-altering discoveries. There are myths to be shattered, legends waiting to be born, and lives ready to be changed. In two relatively short novels published in one volume, the author manages to unite the grandness of myth with the reality of everyday life, and the good news is that his characters, and possibly the world, are better for it.

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
Each year for almost three decades, the massive collection of science fiction stories in this series has been the most important book of the year for lovers of short SF. While the shorter best-of-the-year volumes provide a valuable complement, it is this one that provides the most comprehensive reading experience, and the best guide to where the field currently stands, and where it is likely going in the future, and the 29th volume is no exception.

Blood of the City Blood of the City by Robin D. Laws
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
It starts out in the mundane setting of Magnimar's city streets where Luma Derexhi, a cobblestone druid, works with her family of mercenaries who deal with any problem of the people from the city's elite. The wealthier they are the better chances the mercenaries have of making a tidy profit. Luma is the oldest child of the family, yet due to her half-elven heritage no one takes any notice of her.

The Moon Maze Game The Moon Maze Game by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes
reviewed by Dave Truesdale
Set in 2085, 34 years following the amusement park's debut, the corporation funding Dream Park have now moved the action to the Moon, as the finishing touches are being put on the new park located at Heinlein base. The basic setup of the game is the same as in the previous novels: the elite live-action players from around the world flock to this first-ever game set on the Moon, and the stakes for everyone are enormous.

The Complete Binscombe Tales The Complete Binscombe Tales by John Whitbourn
reviewed by David Maddox
The reader sees the oddities in Binscombe through the eyes of Mr. Oakley, a new resident of the village who is begrudgingly accepted into the strangeness of the town only because his family lived there in generations past. He seems to have taken the interest of Mr. Disvan, a mysterious old man who knows more of the history of the town than anyone alive probably should know.

Elfhome Elfhome by Wen Spencer
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Most of Baen's novels are either fantasy or science-fiction based, so finding one that encapsulates both is a real find in the true sense of the word. Tinker is the protagonist in this story, and was once a human. She somehow got to be made into the elf princess of Elfhome. Their realm just happens to be within Pittsburgh, a huge city with sixty thousand humans where elves are in the minority, hoping to live through a war that is coming. Winter is also on its way.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Seems like just yesterday when Mark and Rick started this column (April, 2008 in actuality) and later that year when they delivered the first best of column. These annual events often featured atypical titles, mysteriously absent from other lists (though neither of them are above including the "typical"). As evident by their choices in the first half and this final installment of the 5th annual year's best of guide, Mark and Rick proudly continue that fine tradition.

Non-Fiction

Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross edited by Chip Kidd
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is primarily a sketchbook, providing a sumptuous overview of Alex Ross at work, including the mechanics of his technique, and insights detailing his creative thought processes. The artwork itself is mostly comprised of greyscale pencil and ink drawings, plus some colour works, the quality of which varies between basic and finely crafted concept pieces. As those familiar with his work will already suspect, the content is heavily dominated by images of Superman.

Monstrous Creatures / Jar Jar Binks Must Die... and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies Monstrous Creatures / Jar Jar Binks Must Die... and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies Monstrous Creatures by Jeff VanderMeer and Jar Jar Binks Must Die... and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel
reviewed by Martin Lewis
You love the fantastic, it is in your blood. You have devoted a substantial part of your life to it, a part friends and colleagues have sometimes suggested has been wasted. Sometimes you wonder if they are right. You have poured your blood out through your pen but you find yourself unregarded, unrewarded and out of pocket. You are invested... so you want a return on your investment. How do you crystallise this labour into something that means something? How can you -- whisper it -- moneterise it? The answer is, of course, a book.

Series Review

The Stormlord Trilogy The Stormlord Trilogy The Stormlord Trilogy The Stormlord Trilogy by Glenda Larke
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
In tone and quality, Glenda Larke's Stormlord Trilogy is the closet thing Dominic has read to Robin Hobb's The Farseer Trilogy in a long time. The setting, characters, world-building, theology and plot are all done with exceeding care and all come off without a hitch. The magic system also deserves to be mentioned. It's all based on water, not all that original, but Larke uses it in some very imaginative ways with a clearly defined set of rules.

First Novels

Babylon Steel Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold
reviewed by Rich Horton
The novel is set in Scalentine, a city which seems to be most of its "plane," sort of a universe among multiple universes, accessible from other planes by multiple portals. (Scalentine seems to be a sort of neutral ground for multiple races from different planes.) The eponymous heroine is that old cliché, a whore with a heart of gold.

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