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SF Insite: In the second installment of The SF Site Reader's Guide to Science Fiction, John O'Neill takes a look at that beloved staple of the genre: space pirates.
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The Last Dragonlord The Last Dragonlord by Joanne Bertin
reviewed by Todd Richmond
This first novel is filled with a richness of detail that makes you want to know more. Linden Rathan, the main character comes alive in the book: you feel his joy and his pain, his sense of compassion and anger but, most of the time, you get the feeling that he is just a lonely man, searching for companionship and comfort.

Mission Child Mission Child by Maureen F. McHugh
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Fans of the author's first two novels should find this novel to be better than either of the previous two. Newcomers to McHugh's writing will find the novel to be the work of a mature writer, full of ideas and interesting characters.

Mark V. Ziesing Books Mark V. Ziesing Books
compiled by Rodger Turner
From Gene Wolfe to Joe Lansdale, Stephen King to James Blaylock, Mark Ziesing has published an eclectic mix of titles since he did his first book in 1982. This is the first installment of a nine part series putting together a reading list of Mark V. Ziesing Books.

Lord of the Fantastic Lord of the Fantastic edited by Martin H. Greenberg
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Only if you are familiar with Zelazny's work and the enormous impact of the man on SF, fantasy, and literature in general, will it prepare you for the breadth of the 23 tales paying homage to the author and the man. But try to find a person who has turned a page of the genre without ever encountering his stunning body of work.

Unfinished Tales Unfinished Tales by Mark Sumner
Mark Sumner, author of Devil's Tower and the Extreme Zone series, is a man with a lot of creative energy. Last issue, we offered you portions of two of his works-in-progress. They are still there for those of you who haven't read them. This issue, we've added a third piece. With Mark's permission, we're offering you a look at these intriguing story excerpts.

Proxies Proxies by Laura J. Mixon
reviewed by Kim Fawcett
Which of the hordes of books in stores is worth your time and money? Here's a tip -- the next time you go to the bookstore, look up Proxies. The only reason it doesn't actually leap off the shelf is because it's jammed in too tight.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
In his column, Rick reviews the season premiere of The X-Files, "The Beginning" by Chris Carter and one of the Babylon 5 telemovies, "River of Souls" by J. Michael Straczynski.

Skins of Dead Men Skins of Dead Men by Dean Ing
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Neither a high-tech SF book nor a horror novel, this is a high-paced thriller with interesting and believable characters, and, refreshingly, intelligent heroes who do not have to blow away all the nasty characters with big guns, or blow up everything à la James Bond.

New Arrivals November Books
compiled by John O'Neill
Something for everyone this issue -- including hard SF, High Fantasy, horror, thriller, comedy, and almost everything in between. Major new titles include work from Bruce Sterling, Poul Anderson, Ray Bradbury, Pamela Sargent, Jane Lindskold, Kathe Koja, Gahan Wilson , Michael A. Stackpole, Joel Rosenberg, Ben Bova, Simon R. Green, Gayle Greeno, and Kristen Britain. All the details are just a click away.

Darkloom Darkloom by Cary Osborne
reviewed by Thomas Myer
It's a great yarn, with an excellent set of core characters. Tom found himself wrapped up in the storyline and caring about what happened to the half-dozen or so characters that anchor the telling of the tale.

Treks Not Taken: A Parody Treks Not Taken: A Parody by Steven R. Boyett
reviewed by Mark Shainblum
What if Stephen King, Anne Rice, Kurt Vonnegut, James Joyce, Dr. Seuss and other famous writers had written episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation? Boyett is a good literary counterfeiter and his parodies are often side-splitting. Wesley Crusher as J.D. Salinger's cynical anti-hero in "The Crusher in the Rye" literally had Mark laughing so hard that he dropped the book.

Forthcoming Books Forthcoming Books
compiled by John O'Neill
Part of the joy of reviewing books is the occasional glimpse at a future title or two. And to share some of that fun with you, we've crafted a set of pages devoted to news and info on forthcoming books -- including work from Dan Simmons, Guy Gavriel Kay, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Stephen R. Donaldson and many others. We think you'll find it very interesting.

Eidolon Eidolon, Volume 25/26
reviewed by Thomas Myer
Eidolon is a beefy journal, printed on good quality stock, with striking full-color cover art. This is not your father's science fiction quarterly. The stories were a literary can of whoop-ass.

Count Karlstein Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In fine and spooky style, this book brings together all the ingredients of the best fairy tales: stalwart heroes, plucky heroines, fugitive orphans, lost heirs, supernatural threats, and, of course, a happy ending.

Mind Changer Mind Changer by James White
reviewed by Todd Richmond
This is the 11th book in the Sector General series and its focus is Dr. O'Mara, Sector General's chief psychologist. Unfortunately for O'Mara's fans, the powers-that-be think that it's time for some changes at Sector General.

Playing God Playing God by Sarah Zettel
reviewed by David Soyka
Now this is David's idea of what science fiction ought to be -- believable characters facing difficult and not entirely resolvable conflicts in a futuristic setting where plot and pacing take precedence over arcane technical speculation and long-winded philosophical digressions.

The Avram Davidson Treasury The Avram Davidson Treasury edited by Robert Silverberg and Grania Davis
reviewed by Rich Horton
The collection is organized as a retrospective with the selections placed in order of first appearance, along with introductions by many of Davidson's friends -- mostly fellow authors and editors. Rich is a big Davidson fan so he came to this collection not at all objective.

Extremities Extremities by Kathe Koja
reviewed by S. Kay Elmore
In Kathe Koja's world, there is the potential for horror in every situation. Here, she proves it with 17 lush and startling visions. Each story explores an extreme state of being: obsession, grief, survivors guilt, insanity, death, and what seems to be Koja's favorite subject, artistic expression.

First Novels

Lady in Gil Lady in Gil by Rebecca Bradley
reviewed by Rodger Turner
The author has woven an intriguing tale of honour, horror and dignity which explores whether there is any nobility in being true to your family, people and heritage and the lengths one should go to stand by them.

Landscape of Demons Landscape of Demons by Gabriel Devlin Kessler
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
There is no gore here. There are no brains splattered, no hearts ripped beating from chest, no loathsome monsters -- not in a literal sense. The violence and horror are of the more personal, less visible kind. Given the choice of living out Steve Goldblatt's life, though, I would opt for a quick death. Anything to escape the appalling suffering he internalizes, storing it up for later.

Animated Objects Animated Objects by Linda D. Addison
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
If you believe films and situation comedies, everyone's secret wish is to peek into other people's diaries. You can read from the author's personal journal and there won't even be a messy discovery/pouting/forgiveness sequence to sit through; she wants you to look inside.

Second Looks

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
reviewed by Katharine Mills
Good news for anyone who may be looking for a present for a child -- The Weirdstone of Brisingamen is back in print! Katharine has long cherished the solid reality of Garner's English landscape, and the way in which the magical creatures stand squarely on the ground with everyone else.

The Moon of Gomrath The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
This novel holds two levels of experience. Children will enjoy it for its swift pacing, its adventure, its fantastic characters and events, while its complexity and depth will challenge adult readers. On either level, it's a classic.

Gaming

Gateway to the Stars Gateway to the Stars by Pierce Askegren
reviewed by Alexander von Thorn
At a remote starport on the edge of the Imperium, a man wearing the face of another repossesses an unremarkable starship. The ship is noteworthy only in that it is heading offworld, attracting an assortment of motley rogues as crew and passengers desperate to get offworld. So it begins...

Trinity Trinity
a game review by Don Bassingthwaite
Trinity is White Wolf's science fiction roleplaying game... Well, yes, you could describe Trinity that way. Just like you could say that Dragonlance is TSR's game about dragons.

New Arrivals November Games
compiled by John O'Neill
Modern gaming features some of the most creative work in fantasy and science fiction today. From the rich background of TSR's Forgotten Realms to the detailed future of White Wolf's Trinity, gamers and game authors around the world are enjoying some of the most fully-realized fictional settings ever created. If you're looking for innovative ideas and energetic prose, look no further.

Non-Fiction

The Secret Life of Rubber-Suit Monsters The Secret Life of Rubber-Suit Monsters by Robin Pen
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
In a field where it might seem impossible to discuss the offerings seriously, Robin Pen not only does it, but does it well and still maintains a sense of humour. This book encompasses the Godhead of Godzilla, the supremacy of Anime, and the sin of over-budget and under-quality. It is a trip through the tangible world of science fiction films and stream-of-consciousness "skull movies" druing the period 1990-1995.


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