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Mizora: A World of Women Mizora: A World of Women by Mary E. Bradley Lane
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Written in 1880-81, this is the first feminist utopia to propose an exclusively female society. Though it reads easily, as with most utopias it is long on the exposition of the apparent superiorities of the utopian society and short on any sort of plot. Vera Zarovitch, an outspoken Russian noblewoman, is exiled to Siberia, from whence she escapes north by ship. She reaches the inner world of Mizora through an opening in the pole, where an enlightened female society exists in perfect harmony. They are blessed with advanced technologies which permit leisure for continuous education, genetic manipulation of crops and the chemical manufacture of "pure" foodstuffs.

Scion's Lady Scion's Lady by Rebecca Bradley
reviewed by Rodger Turner
The author's prose offers us a degree of tension rarely seen except in work of more experienced authors. It is a taunt, exhilarating yet poignant portrait of characters involved in circumstances not of their making. Boy, Rodger was glad to be reading it rather than being a part of it.

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.

The Hand That Feeds / Alternate Lives / In The Mirror The Hand That Feeds by Peter Crowther and James Lovegrove, Alternate Lives by Paul Bradshaw and In The Mirror by Sarah Singleton
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
These are 3 exceptional chapbooks with a vitally important theme. It would be nice if these stories gave us pause, caused us to examine the shadows around us more closely. "Nice," but not likely, according to these authors. People are people and human nature is virtually set in stone; a genuine, lasting change just may be beyond such simple creatures.

Becoming Human: The Seven of Nine Saga Becoming Human: The Seven of Nine Saga by Brannon Braga et al.
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
SF fans, and people in general, love to look behind the scenes of movie magic, which explains why programs about special effects are such fun. Watching them is a little like knowing a magician's secrets; only with special effects, this never seems to spoil the illusion.

Seal Island Seal Island by Kate Brallier
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
With its Gothic atmosphere and moody setting, this twist on the old selkie legend is the kind of romance Mary Stewart might've written thirty years ago -- in about 250 pages. Recently down-sized from her dull New York City office job, Cecilia ("Cecil") Hargrave is more than ready to head north when she inherits her Aunt Allegra's house on Seal Island, just off the Maine coast.

The Final Sacrifice The Final Sacrifice by Patricia Bray
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Following the untimely deaths of the rest of the royal family, only Prince Lucius remained to be crowned emperor of Ikaria. Now Lucius reigns supreme over a land that could crack apart at any moment, thanks to the high-level rivalries and scheming of the court, and the just-ended war with the seafaring Seddon Federation. What only a small handful of people know is that Lucius, at one time exiled for a treacherous attempt to usurp the crown in his youth, is not the man he used to be. Dark magics were used to place the soul of a dying monk, Brother Josan, into Lucius' body.

The Final Sacrifice The Final Sacrifice by Patricia Bray
reviewed by Tammy Moore
The war is over, the Empress is dead and the hero has risen to take her place. Only instead of enjoying the fruits of his endeavours, the Emperor Lucius is fighting the slow degeneration caused by the magical grafting of two souls into one body. Those two souls, Scholar-monk Josan and aristocrat Lucius, may have come to an uneasy truce, thwarting those who'd sought to use them as a political tool, but their alliance does little to slow the wasting of both body and soul that afflicts them.

The First Betrayal The Sea Change The First Betrayal and The Sea Change by Patricia Bray
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Slowly recovering from a mysterious illness which nearly destroyed both mind and body five years ago, Brother Josan has resigned himself, however reluctantly, to a life of quiet solitude as a lighthouse keeper in a remote part of the kingdom of Ikeria, where he busies himself with quiet study and the reclamation of his skills. Why exactly he has been exiled, he doesn't know; in truth, only the merest handful understand why he's been cast aside by his brothers. A chance encounter following a major storm brings him into contact with Lady Ysobel Flordelis of the Seddon Federation, whose mission of trade hides a deeper, more sinister purpose: to rekindle a revolution in Ikeria. And that chance meeting is all it takes to upset Josan's life once again. And when an assassin comes for him, Josan displays a frightening ability to defend himself, followed by momentary blackouts, and a magical power he never knew he had.

Snakeskin Road Snakeskin Road by James Braziel
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The future's not pretty. That's the inescapable lesson to be found in this gritty, bleak look at a near-future United States torn apart by a collapsing ecology. That collapse is most notably seen in the desert that has made the Southwest uninhabitable and is spreading east across the southern U.S., or what's left of it. We are introduced to this world through the eyes of Jennifer Harrison, a young woman who has decided it's time to get out of the desert, but it's too late.

Metapocalypse Metapocalypse by Mark Brendan
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
His name may be John Everyman, but we'd best hope he doesn't represent all of us. Try to think of a worse existence than being the mind-altered puppet of the government, corporations, secret societies, and whoever else feels like putting their hand in. Then again, maybe none of this is happening and John is just imagining the entire thing. Or maybe that's just what they want him to think.

Carnal Sin Carnal Sin by Allison Brennan
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Carnal Sin is the sequel to the first in the series, Original Sin, that was released to great acclaim. Each book has a theme of one the seven deadly sins which have been unleashed by demons who want to control the world. Here, Lust, in demon form, travels to Los Angeles to influence individuals and answer his calling.

Faerie Wars Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The story begins and ends in suburban England, with various excursions to and from the Realm of Faerie. The main players among the human characters are a boy called Henry Atherton, and an old man named Alan Fogarty, whom he occasionally helps out around the house. Fogarty is a curmudgeonly fellow, whose hobby is conspiracy theory. One such theory is proven, when a faerie, Crown Prince Pyrgus Malvae, arrives in his garden. Pyrgus has been transported there by accident. An unfortunate effect of this has been to make him butterfly sized, including full functional wings. This, however, is merely the start of his troubles.

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Imagine if you had a chance at writing your memoirs of living around dragons just as today's archaeologists have examined the ancient bones of dinosaurs and other early creatures before that. This would be the culmination of a life's work, a dream to most of us who have grown up reading fantasy novels about dragons, so it is no surprise that fantasy and reality have come together to make this novel of exploration.

The One True Prince The One True Prince by Thomas Brennan
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The premise is that centuries past there was an apocalyptic war and only a very few still have access to high technology. The majority of the world's population has reverted to a medieval lifestyle. In order to guarantee an unbroken line of succession for the English throne, the protocol is that the first born son is cloned, four times.

The Timeless Tales of Reginald Bretnor The Timeless Tales of Reginald Bretnor by Reginald Bretnor
reviewed by Steven H Silver
For the too many readers who are completely unfamiliar with the author's writing, perhaps the stories which come closest to Bretnor's style and wit are the Azazel stories written by Isaac Asimov during the final years of his life.

The Daylight War The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
The Demon Cycle is in full bloom. By the time The Daylight War takes place, Arlen and Jadir have had their confrontation and the Spear of Kaji is now in the hands of Jadir. He has begun his plan to assimilate all the northern lands for the impending holy war. Meanwhile, Arlen Bales is on his way back north to the Greenlands to be reunited with his people in order to make his own preparations for the upcoming war with demonkind.

The Desert Spear The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
The novel begins in the time when Jardir was growing up in Karsia before he meets Arlen and the narrative tells of how he grew into power and the circumstances which led to his betrayal. In The Warded Man, Jardir's betrayal is shocking, but the focus on the events from Jardir's perspective casts him in a much different light as we slowly begin to see the reasons that led up to this point. The contrasting and changing perspective of The Desert Spear is really a breath of fresh air to the reader as the author is creating some very complex plot threads and some very interesting characters.

The Painted Man The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett
reviewed by Tammy Moore
By day mankind tends to their fields, loves their families and gathers to drink beer and cheer the jongleurs performances. Come nightfall, however, and they must deed the earth over to the corelings, the elemental demons that crawl out of the earth and shadows. Wood, fire, air and water -- they are invulnerable, unstoppable and viciously, poisonously hungry. Wards carved onto doors and windows and walls can provide protection against the demons but they are complex, fragile things and the smallest disruption of precise lines can weaken them fatally.

Tribebook Wendigo Tribebook Wendigo by Bill Bridges
a gaming module review by Henry Harding
It's a tired old question. You are a Wendigo Ahroun. You come across an oil-pipeline surveyor nosing around your sweat lodge deep in the Alaskan interior. Do you ask to see his Pentex ID, or merely shift into crinos shape and rip out the soft warm flesh of his neck?

Mercy Thompson: Homecoming Mercy Thompson: Homecoming by Patricia Briggs and David Lawrence
reviewed by Charles de Lint
There's a growing trend of authors scripting comic books based on popular characters from their prose series. As a long-time comic reader, Charles often wonders if the readers of these tie-in comics are ever intrigued enough with the medium to go on and try other titles. He hopes so. And this particular title is good enough that it should certainly pique their curiosity.

Night Broken Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Mercy Thompson has her hands full in the 8th installment of this popular series. Adam's ex-wife, Christy, turns to Adam for help from a dangerous boyfriend. So, Mercy is forced to accept her nemesis into her home, and added to this problem, is that much of the pack is still loyal to Christy. Christy, it seems, always wants to make a play to get Adam back, but Mercy won't go down without a fight. But she has an even larger battle to face as it turns out that Christy's boyfriend isn't even human, but an evil villain the likes of which Mercy and the pack have never faced.

Dragon Blood Dragon Blood by Patricia Briggs
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
As Tisala makes her escape from the temporary torture chamber set up outside of the city of Estain just for her, she knows the only person she can turn to is Ward, the ruler of Hurog. When she arrives, more dead than alive, Oreg, who is actually a dragon who was once bound to the service of the rulers of Hurog, heals her. Ward has long adored the warrior maiden, even though her politics -- she is a known rebel, supporting the faction who seek to over throw the tyrant Emperor Jakoven -- spell danger for him and his people.

David Brin

First Rider's Call First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In this sequel to Green Rider, Karigan G'ladheon has returned to her former life. She has gotten good at ignoring the call, determined not to take up the mantle and name of Green Rider. The first Green Rider's ghost has other plans. Lil Ambriodhe wants this young woman to take up her destiny, now more than ever and she won't take no for an answer. Her determination sets Karigan back on the path, and a year later she and a delegation set off to meet with the Eletians, but on the way are attacked.

Green Rider Green Rider by Kristen Britain
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
While running away, Karigan meets a rider with two black arrows in his back. With his dying breath he binds her to an oath -- to deliver the message he carries. He gives her his horse and his winged brooch, the emblem of the legendary messengers of the King, and a warning: Beware the shadow man.

Antediluvian Tales Antediluvian Tales by Poppy Z. Brite
reviewed by Jakob Schmidt
Written before Hurricane Katrina, the book is quite slim. But what is striking about these stories is that they are about everyday life events, small epiphanies, sometimes vaguely magical, more often quite mundane. They're all set in and around New Orleans, and most of them are about the Stubbs family, which features heavily in her recent work. It is a book of small thresholds, about how life may change in very small, but irrevocable ways.

Simulacrum and Other Possible Realities Simulacrum and Other Possible Realities by Jason V. Brock
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
This collection consists of sixteen stories with thirteen poems interspersed. The stories vary in length from a few pages to novella length. Many have arresting premises, such as "The Central Coast" with its riff on the theme of an old world curse in a New World wineskin, and the Lovecraftian (in every sense) "The History of A Letter." These two stories are well executed excursions in horror and are the best in the anthology.

The Brief History of the Dead The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
We begin with a city: vast, mysterious, a good place for the living dead to hang out while they wait to be forgotten. In this cosmology (apparently inspired by a vague mix of African and Asian mythoi) purgatory is urban, and the spirits or souls or somethings of the dead inhabit it until they are no longer remembered by the living, and then they cross over to an unknown realm, truly dead and truly gone, their history lost with their names.

Yellow Rose of Texas: The Myth of Emily Morgan Yellow Rose of Texas: The Myth of Emily Morgan by Douglas Brode
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Emily Morgan aka Emily West may, or may not, have been in General Santa Anna's tent at the Battle of San Jacinto, able to alert the attacking Texican forces where their adversary was. And she may, or may not, have been the direct inspiration for the ballad "Yellow Rose of Texas." In any case, the author takes the print-the-legend approach, and who are we to question the wisdom of a John Ford movie?

Damien Broderick

Beyond The Doors Of Death Beyond The Doors Of Death by Robert Silverberg and Damien Broderick
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This is an interesting little experiment in publishing that pairs a classic story by Robert Silverberg with a sequel by a less well-known Damien Broderick. The Silverberg story is "Born With The Dead," a 1974 novella that first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Damien Broderick's "Quicken" is an original story, picking up almost to the day where "Born With The Dead" left off.

Not the Only Planet Not the Only Planet compiled by Damien Broderick
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Lonely Planet is best known for publishing an excellent series of travel guides. This venture into fiction is a reprint collection which draws from 3 countries and as many decades to look at how travel is tied to our image of the world around us.

Blood of the Tribe Blood of the Tribe by David S. Brody
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
It has been less than four years since the author broke into the thriller genre with Unlawful Deeds. So, why does it seem so much longer? Well, with a debut as exceptional as his, it just leaves you starving for more. Not that you could really say the story is more of the same; this sophomore effort manages to exceed its predecessor in every area. Quite simply, he went from a smashing novel to an even more irresistible story.

The Child Thief The Child Thief by Brom
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The story begins with a young girl whose mother has ended her own life with pills surviving each day in the shadow of a cruel stepfather who abuses her. Her terror ends the night she is rescued from her fate by a boy who enters her bedroom window to free her from her bonds. She has no idea who he is, yet she goes with him to whatever adventure he might promise. The setting is a dull area of Brooklyn, New York where all the evil and cruelty in that world seem to exist.

Genetopia Genetopia by Keith Brooke
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
In a degenerate far future, long after a nano- and biotechnology transformed the world, true humans live in small clans seeking to avoid exposure to the "changing vectors" that infect the wilderness around them and threaten to mutate and transmogrify them. One of their only remnants of high technology is a tenuous grasp of how to use these changing vectors to create beings to serve them as slaves.

Faking It Faking It by Keith Brooke
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
In recent years, Keith Brooke has been writing superior science fiction and fantasy novels such as Genotopia, The Accord and The Unlikely World of Faraway Frankie. His considerable skills were first honed writing juvenile novels and short science fiction in the late 80s and 90s. Faking It collects nine of those short SF stories (including one never before published), all of which are set in a common near future.

The Unlikely World of Faraway Frankie The Unlikely World of Faraway Frankie by Keith Brooke
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
Frankie Finnegan is a contemporary teenager living in a seaside English town where he is psychologically bullied by his peers.  His sister (and closest companion) was killed in an accident.  He is a terribly average teen whose only real talent is his vivid imagination.  His imagined world is, at first, just a subtle variation of his own village, but it slowly becomes more and more different. When his sister inexplicably returns, he finds he can change things in his new world.

The Accord The Accord by Keith Brooke
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Noah Barakh is "the man who built heaven," the architect of the Accord -- a vast virtual realm, as good as the real thing, based on and sustained by a consensus (or accord) of realities. People can now have copies of themselves archived, to be uploaded to the Accord when they die. And if someone dies in the Accord, they'll be reborn there, again and again. It's as good an "afterlife" as humans could build.

Genetopia Genetopia by Keith Brooke
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
In the distant future, the world is saturated in "changing vectors," bio- and nano-technological agents that alter those who come into contact with them in unpredictable ways. The clans of "True" humanity guard the purity of their genes jealously: babies showing signs of being affected are left out to die from exposure, and the purebreds want nothing to do with "Lost" humans. But there's a thriving slave trade in "mutts," individuals so drastically transformed that they are regarded as animals.

Infinity Plus One Infinity Plus One edited by Keith Brooke and Nick Gevers
reviewed by William Thompson
Perhaps not surprisingly considering the authors' past work, 4 stories come to dominate this collection: the opening tale by Michael Swanwick, Jeff VanderMeer's comparatively eccentric ghost story, a light and singularly voiced parable from Paul Di Filippo, and a subterranean delving of the lunar surface by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Yet 4 outstanding stories out of 13 is far from an equitable average, and significantly underscores the uneven quality that typifies the rest of this collection.

Parallax View Parallax View by Keith Brooke and Eric Brown
reviewed by Nick Gevers
Here is that rare phenomenon, a collaborative story collection. This one contains 2 stories and 6 collaborations which vary in quality. At their best, they combine the wondrous exotic inventiveness of Cordwainer Smith (as in the deployment of peculiar modes of psychically convoluted space travel) with the dire existential insights of James Tiptree, Jr. (reflected particularly in a recurring sense of how primordial biological imperatives can sunder "higher" human aspirations).

Year of Wonders Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
reviewed by William Thompson
Not remotely slipstream (nary a ripple; not a rill), with only the most remote or tenuous resemblance to the fantastic found arguably or fabricated in the form of historical reference to the superstitions and witchcraft of the 17th century, or perhaps the horrors attending rural customs or the corporal punishments of the period, this novel, as its secondary title suggests, more readily identifies itself with historical fiction, possessing perhaps only a trace of romance as defined through the novels of Jane Austen or especially the Brontė's. While this book does exhibit a haunting quality reminiscent of Wuthering Heights, it could hardly be identified with horror or phantasms any more than its 19th century predecessors, despite the obvious and tempting associations. So why review it here?

The Zombie Survival Guide The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
reviewed by John Enzinas
The first section details the nature of the undead. In this world, it's caused by a viral infection. The book talks about the effects of the virus and what this means for the zombies it creates. From there, it transitions into how to kill zombies and what are the best tools to use. Next up are the various survival scenarios such as how to defend your home or where to go if your home is indefensible.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Using the format of an oral history, it tells the story of the most disastrous world-spanning war the world has ever known. From its beginnings in the remote village of New Dachang, China, the books's characters chronicle the spread of a strange disease that turns humans into zombies. The only way to stop one is to destroy its brain. The disease, and the threat to humanity, expands exponentially and no place on earth is safe.

Terry Brooks

Freddy the Detective Freddy the Detective by Walter R. Brooks
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
With a generally optimistic outlook, Freddy, the resourceful talking pig, and the other denizens of Mr. Bean's barnyard give this book a genuine but not sickly-sweet feeling of family that lends them much of their charm.

Mothership Mothership by John Brosnan
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
When the Elite, who have controlled the world of Urba with an iron fist from time immemorial, suddenly lose their magical defenses, it isn't long before the oppressed masses rise up to massacre their hated rulers. Now the change the Elite withheld from Urba for so long is afoot, and dashing and reckless Prince Kender of the Domain of Capelia decides to embark on a spying mission to assess it. Fearing for his safety, his father, Lord Krader, commands his childhood friend Jad, a rather incompetent and much-less-than-reckless jester, to accompany him.

Star Dragon Star Dragon by Mike Brotherton
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Star Dragons provide their own siren call to the characters in this novel. Creatures of deep space, living in the chaos of the decaying dwarf nova system of SS Cygni. Riding and diving through the plasma and magnetic forces where nothing should be able to survive, the beasts offer mystery, immortality, and a purpose to a disparate crew willing to leave everything behind just for a chance.

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