1999  
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Shiva 3000 Shiva 3000 by Jan Lars Jensen
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
In a future India, where the caste system has hardened society into unbending rigidity and the gods have been replaced with oddly low-tech machinery, the Sovereign dwells in a splendid palace where holy wandering cattle drink from golden troughs while the lowest tiers of society beg for scraps. The Baboon Warrior is the undisputed hero of the land, beloved protector of the poor and weak. But when Rakesh's betrothed is taken away by the Baboon Warrior, Rakesh is tasked by Kali, Goddess of Destruction, to kill the people's hero...

The Rainy Season The Rainy Season by James P. Blaylock
reviewed by Rodger Turner
James P. Blaylock brings us another of his modern gothic tales. He captures the creepy elegance of place, not in the setting of castles and moors but rather in a neo-Victorian farmhouse and an avocado ranch in Southern California. This novel provides us with a mixture of the mundane and the supernatural, woven together with a smart degree of wit and acuity.

Lord Demon Lord Demon by Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold
reviewed by Robert Francis
Kai Wren not only catches time, but also large chunks of real estate, mythological creatures, and retired sages and scholars in his bottles. Well, "catches" is not quite appropriate -- Kai Wren is an artisan who crafts magical bottles, which contain designer worlds.

New Magazines New Magazines
compiled by John O'Neill
The FictionHome page brings you the latest from the world of SF, Fantasy, and Horror magazines. This issue we look at new issues of Asimov's SF, Analog, Dark Regions/Horror Magazine, and many others.

Hobson & Co. Hobson & Co. by Brian Hughes
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
If Charles Dickens, Kingsley Amis, and Tom Sharpe were sent through a teleportation device and coalesced as one person, the first book they/he would turn out would be this one. And a more gleefully malicious human you would be better off never to meet. As a bonus, just add in the talents of a Gahan Wilson or an Edward Gorey, seeing as Hughes does his own delightfully whacked illustrations.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1999 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1999
reviewed by Ken Newquist
The July edition has a little something for everyone. Fantasy fans should enjoy most of its stories, and while hard SF fans may balk at some of its content, they'll find that Robert Reed's "Winemaster" is worth the price of admission.

The Book of the Spear The Book of the Spear by Diana L. Paxson
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
This 2nd novel in the Arthurian series, The Hallowed Isle, starts shortly after the first one left off, except with a twist. The reader leaves Artor and the Britons for a while to spend time with their main enemies, the Saxons.

The Sea Came in at Midnight The Sea Came in at Midnight by Steve Erickson
reviewed by David Soyka
This is an intriguing and highly inventive novel. It's not going to be shelved in the same place as Tolkien.  Kafka, Borges, and Garcia Marquez, yes, for this is the type of fiction that is often called "experimental" -- although, were it not for the connotations of fairies and sorcerers, fantasy is what it is.

Vampires of Vermont Vampires of Vermont by Mark Sumner
reviewed by John O'Neill
This isn't nail-biting suspense or R-rated horror -- it's the midnight Chiller Theatre, where fondness for the characters (including the monsters) is as big a component of the enjoyment as any of the orchestrated frights. It's funny, surprising, and guaranteed to take a brand new direction when you least expect it.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
In his column, Rick gives us an episode guide to J. Michael Straczynski's Crusade, the sequel to Babylon 5.

Safe As Houses Safe As Houses by Carol Anne Davis
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Not every person who falls victim to a serial criminal makes a fatal mistake. But if you're still parking next to vans in dark parking lots, or getting just a little bit closer to give that stranger directions, you haven't been paying attention. Crack the cover of this book and you'll never make that mistake again. You'll also never feel completely secure again, because this book is frightening in a way that Silence Of The Lambs could never be.

Souls in the Great Machine Souls in the Great Machine by Sean McMullen
reviewed by Rich Horton
Many years after a disaster called Greatwinter destroyed human civilization, people in what was once Australia live in smallish city states. Technology includes fairly ingenious mechanical devices but no electricity or electronics. A central feature of local civilization is the libraries, where the intelligentsia seem to maintain what records of the past they can.

A Change Of Destiny A Change Of Destiny by Marilynn Mansfield
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Romantic science fiction. Science fiction romance. Sounds as if it ought to be the same thing, doesn't it? This e-book falls somewhere in the middle, but Lisa'd have to give it a nudge toward the romance department.

Ferney Ferney by James Long
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Consider Mike's problem. He has a pretty new wife whose mental state is fragile due to a childhood trauma. She then meets a rural octogenarian, Ferney, with whom she claims she's had a passionate 1300-year romance and whom she is destined to love through future incarnations. Mike's an understanding guy since the old man has one foot in the grave, but he has just a bit of trouble with the whole concept.

First Novels

Bob Bridges Bob Bridges by Penny Perkins
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Your science teacher told you. The weird kid with the creepy bugs in a mayonnaise jar told you anytime you'd listen. But you didn't believe it; because you didn't want to believe it. Well, it turns out they were right -- cockroaches were here long before we were and they're going to outlast us all.

The Company of Glass The Company of Glass by Valery Leith
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
The Land of Everien is between a rock and a hard place. The beautiful but evil Sekk, an ancient enemy, threaten from one direction, while Pharician horsemen are invading from another. To make matters worse, a messenger has just brought bad tidings to King Lerien...

Turn of the Century Turn of the Century by Kurt Andersen
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
One of the more radical conjectures of this brilliantly funny, semi-speculative millennial novel is that nothing terrible happens on January 1, 2000. Sure, there are plenty of breakdowns and disasters in the novel -- they're just of a more universal nature. It's failures of communication the author is concerned with, and the havoc that results from the age-old human tendency to confuse fact and fiction.

Second Looks

Elidor Elidor by Alan Garner
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In the middle of an urban wasteland, 3 brothers and a sister discover a ruined church. Playing with a football they've found, they kick it too high, and it vanishes through one of the church's broken windows. One by one the children go off to look for the ball, and fail to return.

The Difference Engine The Difference Engine by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
This novel explores a world in which Britain is going through both the Industrial and Information Revolutions simultaneously. It combines Sterling's wildman inventiveness with Gibson's brooding, streetwise characters, both shoved back one and a half centuries into an obsessively-detailed and weirdly-transmogrified London of 1855.

Non-Fiction

Seek! Seek! by Rudy Rucker
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This book provides an interesting and highly readable look into the mind of a writer who remains one of SF's true iconoclasts, perhaps the only writer in science fiction who can legitimately be compared to both Hunter S. Thompson and Carl Sagan.

Star Wars Episode I: Queen Amidala Paper Doll Book Star Wars Episode I: Queen Amidala Paper Doll Book
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
What SF fan could oppose a book that fosters appreciation of the genre in young children? Jonathan's daughter, inspired by this book, is already asking about the various Star Wars characters. Perhaps if those who feel a bias towards SF had been introduced to it earlier, they would enjoy it now -- or at least not be so critical of those who do.

Gaming

Renraku Arcology: Shutdown Renraku Arcology: Shutdown by David Hyatt and Brian Schoner
a gaming accessory review by Don Bassingthwaite
December 2059: the automatic security systems of the Renraku activated, killing several people and injuring dozens more. The arcology was then locked down. No one is getting in or out. Locked inside are about 90,000 residents, plus another 10,000 or so Christmas shoppers. Current game date, February 2060: the arcology has remained sealed for almost two months and the army has cordoned off the building from the rest of Seattle. What's going on? Ask the right questions and you might find out some of the answers.

Threats from Beyond Threats from Beyond by Bill Slavicsek
a gaming accessory review by Don Bassingthwaite
So, heroes -- you're setting out to save the galaxy. You've got your ship, you've got your guns, you've got your mindwalker and your happy, friendly aliens. The Verge is your oyster, a goose waiting to be plucked, a sheep (for the less scrupulous among you) waiting to be fleeced. What are you going to do first?


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