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Writer's of the Future XXIX Writer's of the Future XXIX edited by Dave Wolverton
reviewed by Dave Truesdale
Longtime SF/F readers who for some reason have not yet picked up any of these annual volumes, or those relatively new to SF who might think that since the writers are new and just starting out that it might be an iffy purchase, the writers being as yet untried and not yet proven, one can say to them that they couldn't be more mistaken. Out of the thousands of stories submitted each year, the quarterly and annual winners are carefully vetted by each year's judges for imagination, style, and overall craft, and an inordinately large number have gone on to have stellar careers. It doesn't get any better, or tougher, for the contestants.

140 and Counting 140 and Counting by Upper Rubber Boot Books
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
140 and Counting is an online poetry magazine that started out on Twitter where writers would post up such poetry as haiku, cinquains and American sentences that would fit in a tweet. They also publish very short stories that reach 140 characters and nothing more. This could be seen by some as limiting, yet for many of us it is a challenge that we might readily accept. There is nothing quite like trying to write to a deadline, but in this case each writer is using a set character count that for some would be almost impossible.

Weak and Wounded Weak and Wounded by Brian James Freeman
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Brian James Freeman is a brilliant writer whose horror stories do not rely upon vampires, zombies or werewolves, as the present collection (a slim book reprinting five of his previously published stories) clearly demonstrates. In these stories he portrays one of the true horrors afflicting human existence, namely the pain,the hurt and the emptiness created by the loss of loved ones. He describes that horror with skill, insight and finesse, leaving behind a deep sense of sorrow and anger for the atrocities of life.

Operation: Montauk Operation: Montauk by Bryan Young
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
After traveling in time on a mission to kill Hitler before the start of the war, World War II Army Corporal Jack Mallory wakes up with most of his unit dead or dying, facing down a hungry Velociraptor -- which he starts shooting in the face. After an instance of bloody mayhem, he meets up with other time travelers likewise stranded in prehistory, including 19th Century British inventor James Richmond, 20th Century scientist Veronica Keaton, and Captain Abigail Valentine and the surviving crew of the Chronos, the first faster-than-light vessel from some nebulous point in Earth's far future.

The Sum of Her Parts The Sum of Her Parts by Alan Dean Foster
reviewed by Trent Walters
In the trilogy's finale, Ingrid and Whispr run into a "meld," a human gene-modified for the desert, complete with a heavy water storage sack on his back. He wants a cut on their diamond haul, but the two aren't hunting diamonds. They believe they lose him; yet unbeknownst to them he dogs their trail. Later, after they've dodged searcher drones patrolling the area outside the SEAC facility, a four-armed anti-corporation Meld, living and prospecting in this forbidden zone, accosts Ingrid and Whispr. Meanwhile, Molé, the hired assassin sniffs out their trail to southern Africa.

Broken Homes Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Broken Homes is book four in the adventures of PC Peter Grant, Britain's first trainee wizard in a generation. So, any prospective new readers should stop and seek out book one, Rivers of London. This time around, the story is centred on Skygarden, an architectural experiment in high rise construction, by legendary designer Erik Stromberg. A building later noted for its catalogue of design errors. When information reveals that something untoward and possibly supernatural is occurring in or around Skygarden, PC Grant is tasked with finding out what.

Owl Dance Owl Dance by David Lee Summers
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Fatemeh Karimi has fled the oppression of her country and intends to make a new start for herself in another land. Sheriff Ramon Morales of Socorro, New Mexico meets her when a new life-form comes to Earth called Legion. Now Fatemeh and Ramon have to pull together to find out who he is and why he has come to Earth. While they are taking their time investigating, they run into others: outlaws, inventors and pirates. Ramon is a man of the world and great with a gun and Fatemeh has an ability she can use to her advantage that involves animals.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New books this time include the latest from Alastair Reynolds, Neal Asher, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Stephen Donaldson, annual collections from Stephen Jones, Ellen Datlow, and a brand new magazine dedicated to steampunk stories. Plus, of course, more.

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.

The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg, Volume 7: We Are For the Dark (1987-90) The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg, Volume 7: We Are For the Dark (1987-90) by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Subterranean Press has been collecting many, although not all, of Robert Silverberg's short stories since they published To Be Continued in 2006. The series has now reached the late 1980s with volume 7, We Are For the Dark, which brings together ten stories, many of which have historical backgrounds, from "Enter a Soldier, Later: Enter Another" to "Lion Time in Timbuctoo."

First Novels

Year Zero Year Zero by Rob Reid
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The aliens have heard our music, and they like it. Actually, they love it to the point where the first time they heard human music it caused all listeners to become comatose with rhapsody, disrupting entire societies to the point where, after recovering from the shock, calendars were re-numbered, with all dates now measured by whether they are Pre or Post K. What the K stands for is one of the underlying jokes of this hilarious first novel.


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