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NeuroGenesis NeuroGenesis by Helen Collins
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The planet Z2 is part of the Octente, a political entity comprised of many planets whose communications and commerce are limited by the use of SPEED ships that travel near, but not beyond, the speed of light. SPEED ships are also used for exploration and research. That's the mission of the Procne, but when the Procne's crew is changed at the last minute, and its mission is mysteriously altered from two years to two hundred in local time, the effect on the friends and family of the crew is as if they have all been murdered.

Nancy A. Collins

Mockingjay Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
reviewed by Dan Shade
Katniss Everdeen can stand tall. She's won two hunger games and now finds herself as the Mockingjay. The Mockingjay is a small little bird that has many qualities but perhaps the most important for now is that it draws others to itself through its song. Those in power who would fight the oppressive government of the Capitol and President Snow rally to the standard of the Mockingjay which Katniss has come to represent.

Counterfeit Kings Counterfeit Kings by Adam Connell
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Inventing a way to harness a new energy source, John Kingston, parlayed it into a lucrative monopoly that quickly all but replaced earth's fossil fuel industry. With his domineering personality and genius for order, Kingston soon had ten orbiting energy mines. But all was not peaceful in his "kingdom." A botched assassination attempt has killed his son and wounded him, and, in its wake, he has disappeared. According to law, after twenty days of absence he must be declared dead; his kingdom will then be up for grabs. There's no shortage of claimants.

Red Inferno: 1945 Red Inferno: 1945 by Robert Conroy
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
The story begins with the American advance troops whom, in the dying weeks of the war in Europe, crossed the Elbe in small numbers. The newly inaugurated President Truman decides, in the twist on what really happened that gives any alternate history its impetus, to send two divisions to Berlin to try and ensure that the liberation of the city is not entirely a Soviet Affair.

1942 1942 by Robert Conroy
reviewed by David Maddox
The year is 1942. The Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor. The American forces are in disarray. But what if Japanese Admirals Nagumo and Yamamoto had continued their attack? What if they had won the battle that day? What would the repercussions be then?

The Way of Light The Way of Light by Storm Constantine
reviewed by William Thompson
In this 3rd volume, we follow the rather logical story lines revolving around the struggle for power between the sons of the dead emperor and the empress, Tatrini, the gradual acceptance of Valraven in his role as the True King, the abduction of Varencienne and her daughter, Ellony, by Taropat and Shan, and the culmination of these various plot threads into the long anticipated, climactic battle between the new Sea Dragon King and the Malagash successors to the Empire. 

The Crown of Silence The Crown of Silence by Storm Constantine
reviewed by William Thompson
This 2nd volume of The Magravandias Chronicles opens with the destruction of a rural village far from the shores of Caradore or the heart of the Magravandian Empire, with the brutal rape of a peasant boy, Shan, and his subsequent rescue by a stranger.  This episode will set in motion a series of events that will ultimately lead to a spiritual quest and testing that will eventually divide its participants and announce the existence of a true king who will oppose and destroy the Empire.

The Oracle Lips The Oracle Lips by Storm Constantine
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Storm Constantine is a name that should be familiar to most fans of dark fantasy. If your wardrobe runs almost exclusively to black, and your make-up choice is lead white, and if you've ever dyed your hair a completely unconvincing shade of black, Constantine may well be a name that has influenced your lifestyle.

Echelon Echelon by Josh Conviser
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
As followers of conspiracy theory will know, Echelon is purported to be the eyes and ears of global Big Brother; an advanced communications and surveillance monitoring system at the murkier end of the NSA. Legend has it that Echelon is privy to everything sent over the telephone lines or airwaves. In the near future Echelon has shed its ties with the US intelligence community, and evolved into a world-shaping force which acts to enforce its masters' idea of a utopian society. There is no war, no terrorism, and no dissent. Nevertheless, something has gone badly wrong.

Princess At Sea Princess At Sea by Dawn Cook
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Once upon a time, Tess was Princess Contessa of Costenopolie. Then she learned she was really just a decoy princess, a target for would-be assassins. Now, her sister, the real Contessa sits on the throne, along with her new husband, a prince of Misdev. Tess acts as an advisor, lending the knowledge she picked up in her years as a princess, all the while trying to keep the royal couple from killing one another.

The Decoy Princess The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook
reviewed by Michael M Jones
All her life, Princess Contessa of Costenopolie has been raised as a proper princess should, well-versed in fashion, diplomacy, politics, and shopping. However, she's also been trained quite thoroughly in how to protect herself. Tess has never thought much about it, really. Being a princess is a dangerous job, and sometimes a girl has to protect herself. However, every skill Tess has learned still won't prepare her for the tasks at hand when her entire world is turned inside out, and her very identity revealed as a lie.

Lost Truth Lost Truth by Dawn Cook
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Conflicted and rebellious, Alissa is thankful when something new comes up: it seems that her dreams of late are not entirely dreams. The former Master population of the Hold still lives, stranded far away on a distant island, unable to find their way home. So Alissa, Strell, Lodesh, and a young raku Alissa rescued from feralness, Connen-Neute, set off to find the missing Masters and bring them home after decades away.

Forgotten Truth Forgotten Truth by Dawn Cook
reviewed by Michael M Jones
After several adventures, Alissa has finally discovered her true heritage and power. As one of the legendary Masters of the Hold, she can transform into a dragon like raku, and has great untapped magical potential which she's slowly exploring with the help of the Hold's last surviving teacher, Talo-Toecan. The only other inhabitants of the hold, the minstrel Strell and the ghostly Lodesh, vie for her affections, and deep in Alissa's mind, the feral nature of the raku still dwells, threatening to take over the body if she allows it.

She Is The Darkness She Is The Darkness by Glen Cook
reviewed by Wayne MacLaurin
It instills in the reader a sense of gnawing uncertainty at what is real, what is now and what is merely dream as the plot thickens and the Black Company draws ever closer to the end of their quest.

Ghostwalk Ghostwalk by Monte Cook and Sean K Reynolds
a gaming review by Craig Shackleton
The premise of this campaign setting is that the city of Manifest is located at the gateway to the afterlife, and that the ghosts of the dead manifest there in physical form. This allows players to continue to play their characters as ghosts after they die. While this is not an entirely new concept, it does have a refreshing tone for an afterlife/undead role-playing game.

Karma Kommandos Karma Kommandos by Paul Cook
reviewed by John Enzinas
Rory Koestler is a member of the L.A.P.D's Protean Set, undercover cops with the ability to change their appearance recruited from L.A's actors. The Protean Set's reason for existence is a hallucinogen called Chuckle being dealt by a man named Bob Thermopylae. Then the Supercomputer named Eidolon Rex disappears from its lab at Eidolon Technology before reappearing 10 hours later. The stories start to mingle when the scientists discover an anomalous number of Rex's programs containing the name Rory Koestler. Then things get complicated.

Secret Realms Secret Realms by Tom Cool
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
For a military SF reader questions arise. Is the sacrifice of the few outweighed by the survival of the many? At what price peace? Tom Cool adds to the mix. Do feelings of remorse assuage some of the guilt? Or should society even desire such emotions from killing machines?

A Slow and Silent Stream A Slow and Silent Stream by Loren W. Cooper
reviewed by Susan Dunman
The Borderlands form an uneasy buffer zone between the Kingdom of Lucia and the Moghan Domain. Tornin feels torn between the Lucian king's request for his allegiance and the previous freedom he enjoyed as nobility in the renegade Borderlands. Complicating matters is the fact that his mother is Moghan herself and has made sure her son is skilled in the ways of the Haman, a Moghan discipline involving the use of psychic and other paranormal abilities.

The Astral Grail The Astral Grail by D Jason Cooper
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
To say the subtitle of this book, A Novel Approach to Astral Projection, Tarot and the Qabbalah, is misleading, would be a disservice. This subtitle runs far beyond the boundaries of blatant exaggeration. The book offers little wisdom and speaks of arcane matters in only the most peripheral ways. In fact, the only word in the subtitle that applies is "novel," not in its inception, but the fact that it is a book of fiction, like all novels.

The Steam Magnate The Steam Magnate by Dana Copithorne
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Kyra is sent by the Heiress Veridi to the Broken Glass City where she must find a man named Eson and take from him a certain deed. Eson has inherited his family's hot springs in the northern mountains, and is in control of the electricity generated by them -- but more than that, the springs also grant him the power to bind others to himself through deeds like the one Kyra has been instructed to retrieve.

Planar Handbook Planar Handbook by Bruce R. Cordell and Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel
a gaming review by Chris Przybyszewski
Single-planet campaigns are good for many, maybe even most player characters. What's wrong with becoming a big fish in a small pond? But for others, the cosmos beckon. For others, the universe, in its infinite variety, calls with a silver-tongued voice, one that cannot be so easily ignored. For those adventurers, here is a new source book for the Dungeons & Dragons world which offers a variety of information on multiple worlds, multiple possible campaigns, and multiple character classes.

Tangents Tangents by Bruce R. Cordell
a gaming accessory review by Don Bassingthwaite
Welcome to Tangents, the sourcebook of alternate reality for Alternity -- and a very spiffy little sourcebook it is! Why bother whipping about the universe on starships when there are whole planets just waiting to be explored right under your feet?

Return to the Tomb of Horrors Return to the Tomb of Horrors by Bruce R. Cordell
a gaming module review by Wayne MacLaurin
20 years later, TSR has reprinted and expanded the classic puzzle and trap module. This adventure will make a fine challenge for any group of AD&D players looking for some stiff competition. Years have gone by and Skull City, a dark community of necromantic evil, has been built on the site of the original tomb. But even the inhabitants of this fell city have no idea of the true evil lurking beneath them...

Lion Boy Lion Boy by Zizou Corder
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Written by a mother and daughter using a name based on a pet lizard, this is the story of Charlie Ashanti, a boy who can talk the language of cats. Charlie, whose mum is English and dad is African, moved to England when he was a baby. Not long after an incident where a leopard scratch -- and exposure to cat blood -- gave him his special power.

Under the Black Flag Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly
reviewed by Neil Walsh
Neil wonders why this book is being reviewed on the SF Site. Because it's about pirates. Isn't that enough? Everyone loves pirates, right?

Tenderness Tenderness by Robert Cormier
reviewed by Lucy Dechene
From the respected author of The Chocolate War comes a Young Adult thriller of a girl in love with a young serial killer. A sensitive subject indeed for a book aimed at a teenage audience. Lucy Dechene takes a closer look.

The Discontinuity Guide The Discontinuity Guide by Paul Cornell, Martin Day & Keith Topping
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
The guide's strength is its detail and its interest in the facts. The authors do not shy from the show's multiple blunders, and more attention is sometimes paid to what went wrong rather than what went right. However, a lack of general context weakens the overall effect of anything the authors might be trying to show.

British Summertime British Summertime by Paul Cornell
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Alison Parmeter is a young woman with a gift -- or a curse, depending on how you look at it. She's able to read patterns: body language, facial expressions, tones of voice, the arrangement of buildings on a street that point to the existence of a particular sort of shop. While this makes her a whiz at her job (setting odds for a betting shop), it's pretty depressing always to know what people are going to say and do. And things have, abruptly, gotten very much worse: for Alison's gift is now telling her that the End of the World, something she has always sensed as a very distant possibility, is suddenly extremely close. And there's nothing she or anyone can do about it.

Factotum Factotum by D.M. Cornish
reviewed by John Enzinas
Factotum is the third and final installment of The Foundling's Tale (formerly The Monster Blood Tattoo), being the chronicles of Rosamund Bookchild. The author has taken the flavour of the 18th century and added monsters, alchemy and bio-engineering from Dr. Frankenstein's wildest dreams. Having seen Rosamund travel to his apprenticeship in the first and serve his country in the second, we now see him entering into service as the Factotum of Europe, a famous monster hunter.

Lamplighter Lamplighter by D.M. Cornish
reviewed by John Enzinas
Book two of the Monster Blood Tattoo series, it details Rossamund's training and his first posting. On the way, he befriends the first female lamplighter and a shell-shocked former lamplighter named Numps. We are also reintroduced to characters from the first book including Europe, the monster hunter and Sebastipol the Leer and falseman.

Foundling Foundling by D.M. Cornish
reviewed by John Enzinas
The book, the first of the Monster Blood Tattoo series, tells the tale of Rossamund as he is selected for service with the Lamplighters (those who ensure that the lights of the empires roads never grow dim) and his journey to a distant city where he will be trained for his new job. The world he travels through could be described as Steampunk, but its technology owes more to Frankenstein than The Difference Engine. Perhaps Fleshpunk might be a better term.

The Winter King The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell
reviewed by Neil Walsh
Neil takes a look at the the first two volumes of a new Arthurian series, this one a gruesomely vivid picture of life in fifth century Britain.

Excalibur Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell
reviewed by Neil Walsh
It offers a satisfying conclusion to the tragic story of Arthur, as related in Cornwell's The Warlord Chronicles. It does not end happily -- it's a tragedy, after all -- but it concludes the story in such a way as to offer some faint hope... or does it?

Spellbound Spellbound by Larry Correia
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This novel continues on directly from the first in this sequence, Hard Magic, opening with a suicidal assassination attempt on US President Roosevelt. It's a crime which is set up to look as if it was perpetrated, not only by a magic user, but also one that was a member of the clandestine Grimnoir Society. Those behind the attempt are revealed, to the reader, as a kind of steampunk CIA, deliberately stirring up major trouble, with the ultimate aim of introducing legislation to force all Actives to register as state assets.

Hard Magic Hard Magic by Larry Correia
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Crossing steampunk with magic, and primarily depicting the adventures of Jake Sullivan, war hero, private eye and ex-con, tthe story begins with him just out of jail due to making a deal with the Feds, which sees him using his special abilities to help take down criminals who are also enhanced by magic. All is going well, with just one more operation to complete for Jake to win freedom, when he encounters Delilah Jones. In addition to being an old girlfriend of his, complete with her own magical abilities, Jones is on the Feds hit list. When the mission goes badly wrong, Jake begins to discover that the authorities have been lying to him.

The Adventures of Corwyn The Adventures of Corwyn by Chad Corrie
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
In his introduction, the author states that, besides their obvious qualities, the conciseness and ability to span a wide time scale of Robert E. Howard's Conan tales inspired him to try his hand at some short fantasy tales. While neither Corrie nor anyone else before or since has written quite like R.E. Howard, these stories are well constructed, entertaining, have engaging characters, and use standard fantasy tropes with humour and a modicum of originality.

Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim by Tom Corwin
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Visually, it is a lovely book, the detailed line drawings of Craig Frazier, complementing the whimsical story of Mr. Fooster who goes on walking excursions armed with only his senses and an old bottle of soap with a bubble-making ring. But what bubbles! one becomes a vintage car, another an immense flying bird cage full of tropical fish. Mr. Fooster meets a lost newt, a giant insect, spends a winter as a tree, and meets an isolationist wall-builder.

The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy by Cosmic Hobo
reviewed by Martin Lewis
Professor Dunning who, in addition to being an Ancient History don, is a hack writer of supernatural thrillers. Dunning's tale to his students is interrupted by the appearance of a Russian émigré who arrives in something of a panic and promptly jumps out the window. His death is then investigated by Detective Inspector Lionheart. Wouldn't you know it, there is more to the death than meets the eye.

The Pocket Essential Science Fiction Films The Pocket Essential Science Fiction Films by John Costello
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
This book is more than just a quick overview of the better films of the genre -- it makes you want to go out and rent a personal movie marathon of some of the greatest, most entertaining, and memorable movies of the 20th century.

First Contract First Contract by Greg Costikyan
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Following alien contact, Mukerjii loses his mansion, his wife, his money, and his business. Homeless and penniless, he's reduced to working as a soup-kitchen cook in a shantytown. He may be down, but he isn't out. He has an idea for how to beat the aliens at their own game. Sure, Earth can't compete with alien technology, but what about tacky tourist items? If only he can figure out how to make and market some cheap bagatelle the aliens will want to buy.

Skunk: A Love Story Skunk: A Love Story by Justin Courter
reviewed by David Soyka
Don't get put off by the idea of a Casper Milquetoast-type narrator who becomes addicted to skunk musk (the smell reminds him of the beer his alcoholic late mother favored) and finds love with a brilliant marine biologist who has bioengineered a solution for global warming and just happens to have a fetish of her own for the smell of fish. Odd, yes, but no more so than the oddity of most human attraction.

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