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The Perseids and Other Stories by Robert Charles Wilson|
reviewed by Nick Gevers
These 9 stories are all located, or at least rooted, in Toronto. All feature intrusions into the quotidian world by
strange forces, strange beings, strange understandings, the malevolence of which is sometimes a matter of opinion.
This is Lovecraft territory, of course: a spookily evoked venue is haunted by agencies that watch us, covet us, grasp us,
and (possibly) love us; and in a spirit of fatalism, curiosity, or bravado, we (through our literary representatives)
respond to their otherworldly beckonings. Sometimes our surrender is complete, sometimes it shifts to defiance; but the
sense always accrues that we inhabit a flimsy film of ordinariness atop an immense chthonic gulf of weirdness.
Soulsaver by James Stevens-Arce
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Juan and his partner Fabiola are soulsavers: they drive a FreezVan for the Suicide Prevention
Corps of America. In the USA of 2099, where the separation of church and state is a thing of the past and
the Christian Alliance rules, suicide has become the ultimate violation
of God's Law. But a person must be alive in order to be punished -- and so SPCA drivers freeze
suicides on the spot in their cryogenically-equipped vans and rush them to resurrection centres.
Hell on Earth by Robert Bloch
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This collection presents 4 novellas from the author's pre-Psycho but
post-Lovecraftian era. They are down and dirty pulp literature, ranging from humorous fantasy to
occult and noir horror. While his works aren't the sorts
of things one would reread to find the intricate plotting and meaning of a Tolkien, they are very entertaining,
suspenseful and fun to read.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his opinion on James Cameron and Charles Eglee's Dark
Angel and whether it will stand the test of time. He also has some
thoughts on the first episode of the new season of Star Trek
Voyager, "Unimatrix Zero."
Full Moon Bloody Moon by Lee Driver
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This novel sees the welcome return of investigator Chase Dagger, his partner Sara, and
the mismatched bunch that completes the force. Once again, they are after a criminal that shouldn't exist, but
does. This time, though, the killer may be more than Dagger's team can handle. If so, they will lose much more than
their perfect record; they will lose one of their number.
compiled by Neil Walsh
If you're in the mood for some Hallowe'en reading, there's a new anthology of horror classics from Mike Baker and Martin H. Greenberg. Or if you'd rather look to the future, try the new Writers of the Future collection or the latest SFF Net Darkfire anthology. In addition, the past few weeks have brought us new titles from Peter S. Beagle, Gregory Benford, Anne Bishop, Terry Brooks, Chris Bunch, Kate Elliott, Simon R. Green, James Lovegrove, Lois Lowry, Jane Yolen and many others.
A Conversation With Nancy Kress
An interview with Steve Pendergrast
On when she wanted to be a writer:
"I knew that quite late. I know friends who decided they were going to be a writer at seven or eight years old,
which always astonishes me, because I was almost thirty before I started writing and I had no intention of doing
it seriously. I was pregnant with my second child and stuck way out in the country with a toddler and a pregnancy
and no car and I was going quietly nuts. So I started writing while the baby was napping. It was either that or
soap operas and there are some things to which one does not descend."
A Conversation With Mary Gentle
An interview with Rodger Turner
On writing of medieval life:
"I've tried to replicate what medieval life would have
been like, in so far as that can be done with a twentieth century mind. I
got very fed up of "medieval fantasies" in which there are, plainly,
off-stage, flush toilets and liberal democracies. Ash doesn't have those,
and the people (I hope) react accordingly."
Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle
Salt by Adam Roberts
reviewed by Katharine Mills
Quite apart from the author's sly games with the stodginess of accepted scholarship,
this is also a wicked good adventure story. The author understands
both the movement of politics across nations, and the motivations of seemingly
insignificant people, and she makes her reader feel both. Her battles are as
simultaneously glorious and horribly sordid as real battles must have been;
she spares no gruesomeness in her description, yet the breathless
exhilaration of the fighter is there as well.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Here's a sampling of some of the F&SF books that are headed our way in the coming months...
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Why do we create alien worlds for our characters to live in? For
some, it is simply the fun and challenge of working out the details. This
is the classic art of world-building. Others use an alien setting in order
to ask what would people who lived in this strange place be like? Still
others use an alien world in order to gain a fresh perspective on behaviour
that is all too ingrained in us. The last approach is the one taken in this
impressive and rewarding debut novel.
The Gods Trilogy by Terry Pratchett
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
If you've never encountered his witty blend of fantastical satire and story, you'll find this collection
of 3 novels (Pyramids, Small Gods, and Hogfather)
an excellent entry point. The theme, of course, is gods and their worshippers, and if you can't laugh at
religion, this collection may just teach you a few things about human and godly nature.
The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
reviewed by Rich Horton
This novel concerns Andrew Harlan, a Technician for the organization called Eternity which
trys to maintain a stable society, with reasonable prosperity over time from the 27th century to about the 70,000th century.
As it opens Harlan is shown committing a crime: in exchange for concealing
a minor error by a functionary of one of the Eternity bases, he arranges to have the Life Plot of a certain
woman tracked through a change.
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Corwin, unaware of his heritage, wakes up on the shadow Earth, completely unable to remember anything, except
that he'd been in a horrible car accident that wasn't an accident at all. Worse yet, someone was keeping him
sedated and incommunicado for motives that weren't likely pure. Though handicapped by amnesia, Corwin
finds himself in a game where he doesn't know the stakes, but he knows they're
high enough to kill for.
Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
Here's a handsome new omnibus edition of four classic fantasies: The Dying Earth,
The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel's Saga and Rhialto the Marvellous. This series spans much
of the author's career, from his first published book (The Dying Earth, 1950, a collection of six stories from the 40s)
through the 1984 collection Rhialto the Marvellous.