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Fantasy and Horror Fantasy and Horror edited by Neil Barron
reviewed by William Thompson
A companion to the author's Anatomy of Wonder, a standard reference for science fiction, this book is a combining of the editor's two previous references, Fantastic Literature and Horror Literature, published in 1990, and both intended to serve as reader's advisories. Following a format in most respects identical to the long-running Anatomy of Wonder, this scholarly tome attempts to cover the most important and seminal works written since the start of the Gothic tradition in the mid-eighteenth century, as well as fantasy from its inception in the origins of literature.

Lost Years of Merlin Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Until a teenage Merlin arrives on the scene to tell king Vortigern why his royal tower continually collapses, English texts never mention the Arthurian sorcerer. T.A. Barron attempts to detail Merlin's childhood in these three volumes (of a projected five), which Georges reports are packed with excellent fantasy, entertaining adventures and nasty beasties.

Iris Iris by William Barton and Michael Capobianco
reviewed by John O'Neill
Before Deepstar reaches Titan, the rogue gas giant Iris and its moons wanders into the solar system, and the ship is diverted to Iris in the hopes that it will prove more adventurous and rewarding. When one of Iris' moons is found to contain a submerged alien craft, this tiny crew of bickering artists and engineers soon finds itself confronting an ancient -- and very deadly -- alien mystery.

White Light White Light by William Barton and Michael Capobianco
reviewed by Jean-Louis Trudel
In this novel, the characters leap from a future Earth, devastated by a thermonuclear war, into a succession of ever more exotic locales, climbing the great chain of beings until they start rubbing elbows with godlike entities and delving into their own neuroses.

Birds and Birthdays Birds and Birthdays by Christopher Barzak
reviewed by Trent Walters
In the story, "Birthday," the narrator is a landlady who visits people's apartments while they are gone. She dresses in their clothes and imagines her life as theirs. Embarrassed, she kicks out a tenant, because of her desire to be that person. Later, she leaves her family to live in other apartments, with other lives. When all fails, she turns inward and finds that a simple desire drives her.

The Love We Share Without Knowing The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Christopher Barzak could be one of the best new writers that America has produced in recent years. Not one of the best science fiction writers or fantasists; one of the best writers, period. There seems to be only one character that appears consistently throughout the novel, and that is Japan itself. It comes across as both haunting and haunted, caught between an abiding sense of tradition and its own hyper-modernity, until you get the feeling that the country itself is disoriented, dislocated, perhaps even schizophrenic.

One For Sorrow One For Sorrow by Christopher Barzak
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Adam McCormick has run away from home. While hiding out at the home of his girlfriend he takes a novel off the shelf to read. It, too, tells the story of a runaway, but a whiny, preppy kid that Adam feels doesn't have it too bad. After all, nobody knows he has run away, and nobody's after him. His only companion is the ghost of Jamie Marks.

Rabid Transit: Menagerie Rabid Transit: Menagerie edited by Christopher Barzak, Alan DeNiro and Kristin Livdahl
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
This book is the fourth in the Rabid Transit series of anthologies. If you haven't encountered the other three, you may not be sure what to expect; but the cover blurb promises that the stories "show different ways to break out of the conventions of the shopworn story." This should interest you in seeing what the authors had come up with.

Battlestar Galactica: Downloaded Battlestar Galactica: Downloaded by David Bassom
reviewed by David Maddox
It seemed like a crazy idea at first. Taking an old one-season science fiction show from the 70s and re-imagining it for a modern day audience, while working in themes of current day politics and military struggle. Stepping outside the approved world of SF and focusing on characters and emotional responses rather than space ships and aliens was the next step. And, as a surprise to everyone, the hit series Battlestar Galactica was (re)born.

Night Child Night Child by Jes Battis
reviewed by Tammy Moore
In a world where humans have to co-exist with demons, half-demons and mages, a dead vampire in a stinking alley doesn't really merit a 2AM wake-up call. Not in OSI-1 Tess Corday's opinion anyhow. Only this dead vampire turns out to be anything but routine, in fact, it might just be the tip of the supernatural iceberg. With her job on the line, Tess has to deal with vampire politics, overly helpful necromancers, over-protective guardians and angry teens before she can get anywhere near the truth.

Mech The Battletech Universe: Part 2
a survey by John O'Neill
Giant battling robots? Virtual reality centers? Is this science fiction or toy merchandising? John continues his in-depth look at the rich universe that has spawned over thirty novels, the MechWarrior computer games, and even a trading card game.

Mech The Battletech Universe
a survey by John O'Neill
Giant battling robots? Virtual reality centers? Is this science fiction or toy merchandising? John has an in-depth look at the rich universe that has spawned over thirty novels, the MechWarrior computer games, and even a trading card game.

Tokyo Tokyo by Bruce Baugh and Mark Cenczyk
a gaming module review by Don Bassingthwaite
Like other sourcebooks, World of Darkness: Tokyo takes a location and explores its supernatural denizens, their politics, and their relationships with the mundane world. There are more than just wraiths in Tokyo.

Shattered Europe Shattered Europe by Bruce Baugh, John R. Snead and Greg Stolze
a gaming module review by Don Bassingthwaite
Third in a series of sourcebooks for White Wolf's Trinity science fiction game, Shattered Europe details one of the game's psi orders, the Aesculapian psionic healers, and the region in which they are based, Europe.

Dataware Dataware by Wolfgang Baur
a gaming accessory review by Don Bassingthwaite
If you intend to make the Grid (or artificial intelligence or robots) a part of your Alternity campaign, you need this book. But remember to bring your imagination, it'll be needed to fill in the gaps.

Stephen Baxter

Peter S. Beagle

The Secret History of Fantasy The Secret History of Fantasy edited by Peter S. Beagle
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Some have argued that, over the last 30 or 40 years, the genre of fantasy has come to be identified with a bunch of multi-volume Tolkien clones that follow an overly-familiar trajectory. Although the formula is not specified here, we all know how it goes: a youth (almost always male) is unexpectedly revealed to have a special skill or be a long-lost prince and must then embark on a quest to recover various plot tokens before finally defeating the forces of evil. It's a format that accounts for an awful lot of what appears on the fantasy shelves of our bookshops.

The Loving Dead The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer
reviewed by Trent Walters
The novel opens with a strange man attacking Jamie, who has just left an exercise dance class. When he bites her, Jamie knocks him to the sidewalk where his head smacks the cement. She assumes she just killed a mugger. Her friend Kate thinks he's rapist. However, we readers know differently. When he gets back up, they take off in a van to go to a party. The party is full of booze, prescription drugs, and kinky sex during which Jamie awakens as a zombie.

The Loving Dead The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer
reviewed by Rick Klaw
With her horrifically comic first novel The Loving Dead, Amelia Beamer taps into the cultural zeitgeist of the early 21st century. Much like the great zombie film progenitor, Night of the Living Dead, Beamer uses the undead to represent the fractured real world around her, albeit from a hyper-sexual millennialist bent.

Elizabeth Bear

A Companion to Wolves A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The authors, with a degree of apparent effortlessness that is astonishing, have pulled off not one but several very difficult things in this book. The first, and by no means the least, is the sometimes vexed collaboration issue. You I have read co-authored books in which you could have chopped out and parceled into neat little piles the bits that belonged to the various authors because the voices simply never gelled enough to produce perfect seamlessness. Here, it just doesn't even matter. It flows. The two authors work as one; it's not so much cooperation as a symbiosis. A job very well done.

The Mongoliad, Book 1 The Mongoliad, Book 1 by Erik Bear, Greg Bear, Joseph Brassey, E.D. DeBirmingham, Cooper Moo, Neal Stephenson & Mark Teppo
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The back blurb begins: "Fusing historical events with a gripping fictional narrative, this first book in the trilogy reveals a secret history of Europe in the thirteenth century". In point of fact, if Alma had known about this particular sandpit way way back when it was first being mooted, and if she had known that there would be this many contributing writers involved, she would probably have tossed her own hat into the ring for a chance to do something with this material

Greg Bear

A Touch of the Creature A Touch of the Creature by Charles Beaumont
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Gleaned from boxes of manuscripts left behind upon his untimely death, these stories bounce from humorous farces to cynical indictments of the film industry. One can easily sense why Beaumont was so popular and so influential. His characters are complex and when not endearing, at least memorable.

The Nosferatu Scroll The Nosferatu Scroll by James Becker
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
It begins in Bohemia in 1741 with Bohdan Reznik, a priest who has to perform certain rites on a Hungarian princess before she is laid to rest. These are not ordinary rites though, as she has her head removed, holy water splashed over her corpse, and many other rituals, but no one other than him knows why this happens. This first part of the story brings readers into the mind of the priest who performs the rites without any emotion. He does as he is told and, strange as it seems, he also removes all trace that the princess ever existed.

Link Link by Walt Becker
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
How many theories have been formulated to explain the existence of life on Earth? What better way to start a shouting match than to get creationists and Darwinists in the same room? Where did man come from? And, where is that pesky missing link?

Genesis Genesis by Bernard Beckett
reviewed by David Newbert
The book grabs your attention. It's never boring, and its basic questions -- what separates men and machines, how can artificial intelligence be creative, at what point can AI be considered "self-aware," and how do Ideas come into being -- are clichés in the SF genre, but this book handles them nimbly and with considerable charm. If you like a compelling intellectual thrill, Genesis doesn't disappoint.

Genesis Genesis by Bernard Beckett
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Set in a near future where the inhabitants of an island have walled themselves off from a world dying of disease and devastation, this book is nominally the story of a young student facing an examination that will determine her qualifications for the next step up in her career. But with characters with names like Anaximander and Pericles, and a society that refers to itself as the Republic, it's evident that there's more going on here.

The Magicians and Mrs. Quent The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen M. Beckett
reviewed by Tammy Moore
Ivy Lockwell is the eldest daughter of Mr Lockwell, a magician whose sanity has been shattered in a mysterious magickal accident that has left his family impoverished and socially isolated. Dashton Rafferdy is the wastrel son of one of Altania's great magnates who views claims that he is descended from one of the great magical families as a potentially dangerous distraction from his pursuit of shallow enjoyment.

The Looking Glass Wars The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The premise of this book is both intriguing and audacious, with a hint of healthy disrespect. Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was, it seems, a lie. The girl of the title, Alice Liddell, was actually Alyss Heart, a princess of Wonderland and heir to the throne. No white rabbits, no tea parties, just an epic battle for power.

Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait by K.A. Bedford
reviewed by David Maddox
Time travel has fascinated humans for eons. To skip across years, see historical events that have passed and try to change your world for the better… or worse. But imagine a world where time machines are as common as a toaster oven. How would it affect choices, consequences and human nature?

Hydrogen Steel Hydrogen Steel by K.A. Bedford
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Retired police Inspector Suzette McGee guards a terrible secret: she's not a real human being, but a disposable. Disposables are androids produced by cheap nanofacture to handle all the jobs that are too dirty, degrading, or brutal for human beings to deal with. Zette has no idea why she's different, or why whoever made her went to the trouble of implanting an entire lifetime's worth of false memories. She's tormented by the question of whether there might be others like her. Or is she unique?

Eclipse Eclipse by K.A. Bedford
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
"This time tomorrow," thinks James Dunne, newly-minted graduate of the Royal Interstellar Service Academy, "I'll be an officer serving aboard a starship, charting unexplored space!" It's his life dream, untarnished despite the horrors of his Academy years -- an ordeal of rote learning, ritual hazing, and unremitting brutality that would give Pat Conroy nightmares. But the Academy is behind Dunne now, along with the tragedies of his family life and his nagging sense of his own inferiority. The rest of his life can begin. Things don't quite work out that way.

Orbital Burn Orbital Burn by K.A. Bedford
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Lou is minding her own business at her favorite -- and the only -- local diner, waiting out the last few days before leaving the planet of Kestrel, which is about to be struck by a huge, unknown space object and obliterated. She knows her future is bleak. Years ago an extremely nasty nanovirus began destroying her tissues, killing her. It's only the nanobots constantly repairing her system that keeps her going, but even they will soon begin to fail unless she comes up with enough creds to get another nano-tank treatment. Her newest client, however, won't help in that department.

Orbital Burn Orbital Burn by K.A. Bedford
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Lou is the victim of an accelerated tissue necrosis nanovirus. Clinically she's dead. Some time ago, a nanogenic cure restored her to something very much like life -- but since then she hasn't been able to afford another full treatment, just periodic refreshers that leave her looking (and smelling) like a week-old corpse. Shunned by most normal living people, Lou has become part of the underclass on a planet named Kestrel, eking out a living as a private investigator. Unfortunately, Kestrel is soon due to be destroyed by a giant asteroid.

Navohar Navohar by Hilari Bell
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Microbiologist Irene Olsen is a crew member aboard a starship sent out to determine the fate of 22 missing human colonies and also to search for a cure to a bio-engineered plague which is devastating Earth. After visiting 18 planets where humans were killed off by alien environments, they arrive at Navohar and find a small group of survivors who seem surprisingly unhappy at being rediscovered.

A.D. 999 A.D. 999 by Jadrien Bell
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Oh, how primitive and superstitious people were in the 10th century! Just because a calendar was about to roll over, they thought the world was going to end, that horrors awaited them on the opposite side of that midnight. Can't we all be proud how much more rational and sensible we are now?

The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn by John Bellairs
reviewed by Jennifer & Chris Goheen
Jennifer liked the riddles and thought the mystery was challenging. Chris, Jennifer's dad, thought that, with a less melodramatic treatment of the villain and more skillful handling of a few of the plot twists, this would have been a much better read.

Gregory Benford

If the Stars Are Gods If the Stars Are Gods by Gregory Benford and Gordon Eklund
reviewed by Trent Walters
Aliens almost arrive on Earth. They stop at the Moon to find Reynolds, a washed-up, old has-been astronaut whose expiration date has come and gone. They won't talk to anyone else. Inside their crude if effective interstellar spaceship that humans have not managed to construct for themselves, they tell Reynolds that they have come to visit the stars -- not other races. They know that our star is benevolent and want to visit the creatures beneath its gaze.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2000 Nebula Awards Showcase 2000 edited by Gregory Benford
reviewed by David Soyka
Originally, David thought this series was a way for writers, otherwise marginalized from the mainstream, to pat themselves on the back a bit and honour their own. But it seems this isn't the case. He wondered how then to evaluate this year's anthology, which has dropped its historical numerical appellation in favour of a designation with deep science fictional connotations. Well, it would seem that the volume's editor can offer a helping hand...

Drowned in Thunder Drowned in Thunder by Christopher L. Bennett
an audiobook review by Susan Dunman
It's just a typical evening for Peter Parker, swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper through mid-town Manhattan as Spider-Man. Always on the lookout for criminals, be they super-villains or the average devious crook, it doesn't take Spidey long to find and interrupt a robbery in progress. Working hard to prevent injury to by-standers, Spider-Man successfully delivers the would-be robbers to the police, but the next day's issue of the Daily Bugle paints Spider-Man as the real criminal. Tired of

Star Trek TNG: Greater than the Sum Star Trek TNG: Greater than the Sum by Christopher L. Bennett
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Time and again, Starfleet has encountered, fought, even defeated the Borg, but always at a great cost. The most recent Borg incursion cost numerous lives, and saw the USS Einstein assimilated and transformed into a new kind of vessel for a much more aggressive, even vindictive breed of Borg. Now the Einstein seems to be on the verge of capturing a form of "quantum slipstream" technology, which would allow it near-instantaneous teleportation across vast distances.

Death's Daughter Death's Daughter by Amber Benson
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Calliope Reaper-Jones' goals are simple: get promoted out of her boring job so she can lead the glamorous New York life she has always dreamed about, have a decent blind date, and find the good sales every now and again. Unfortunately, she's dragged kicking and screaming back into the family business when she gets the urgent and disturbing news they're all missing, presumed kidnapped. Worse yet, she is the only one even remotely qualified to take over daily operations, something which doesn't fit in with her 5-five year plan. For if she accepts this heady responsibility, she'll be stepping into the role of Death.

Plague Tales The Plague Tales by Ann Benson
reviewed by Alice Dechene
When an artifact from the 14th Century is unearthed in 21st Century London, it may mean the beginning of a terrifying new plague. A novel of science fiction from a fresh new voice.

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