The Grand Conversation by L. Timmel Duchamp
reviewed by Trent Walters
The book-end essays are the primary lectures and much of what you'd expect from the title. Picture a grand
ballroom where many guests mill around, sip wine, and dip into the conversation. The first essay
is something of an introductory piece on the history, even offering
other perspectives on how to see the history. The last is better
as it puts its topic within the context of the author's life, instead of propounding a dry, academic lecture.
Domino Falls by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due
reviewed by Trent Walters
In this sequel to the post-apocalyptic zombie novel, The Devil's Wake, Domino Falls becomes the
destination for a band of hardened, largely young adults aboard a bullet-riddled bus called the
Blue Beauty. They seek civilization, sanctuary away from zombies (or freaks) and pirates. The characters:
Native American "twin" cousins Dean and Darius, militaristic Ursalina, myopic Piranha and
Kendra, the youngest at 16, who is in love with Terry, and Sonia.
How to Build an Android by David F. Dufty
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Just over seven years ago, the head of Philip K Dick went missing from an America West Airlines flight between Dallas and
Las Vegas. A tired roboticist, transferring the talking robotic replication of Dick's head from one tech presentation to another,
left it in an overhead baggage locker. An incident which has already inspired a radio
play and received substantial media coverage at the time, it
initially seemed to somewhat too slight to merit book-length treatment.
The Spanish Gatekeeper by Bernard Dukas
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This trilogy is primarily a coming of age story, featuring a 15-year-old
English schoolboy named Peter de Soto, and his Spanish cousin Bonifacia Espasande. The initial setting is
northern Spain, in the summer of 1900, where Peter is on holiday at the home Bonnie shares with her
mother. While out butterfly hunting, the pair happen upon local broken down ruins, where they find what
eventually proves to be a portal to another place. Access is gained via the use of a family heirloom,
and in the deep dark of night the pair vanish from Spain, to emerge in a world not their own.
Darkers by Lisa DuMond
reviewed by Rodger Turner
Philip Lew, ex-cop, has migrated to Hades to get away from the strange, dangerous craziness endemic all over Earth.
It is an artificial satellite, built by The Darker Society
who have transformed themselves by virus into the monster archetypes: vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc.
Things are coming together for him: he's seeing a
new woman, Gina and his buddy Percy seems somewhat genial despite his almost congenital paranoia.
But Percy has popped up on someone's radar.
The Pottawatomie Giant by Andy Duncan
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Southern literature is as distinct a genre as mystery or science fiction. Just as those two genres can be
combined, southern literature with its naturalistic darkness which hints at a horror lurking beneath the surface,
can be combined with other genres, as Andy Duncan deftly does with many of the stories included in this collection.
Ink by Hal Duncan
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Vellum was a mess, a sprawling, swaggering, aggressive mess, but through the too-many stories there was still a
thin, frail thread of Story leading you through. And it was a big enough book that it deserves to be about something more
than the little metaphor of being a writer. Oh it has to be there -- Ink, Vellum, how could you hope to
escape the metaphor of writing? -- but please, as part of a bigger, grander mix, not as the guiding principle of the book.
Fortunately Hal Duncan is too brash and arrogant a writer to tie himself down so lightly.
Vellum by Hal Duncan
reviewed by Sean Wright
This debut is the first in a two-book series about an epic war between demons and angels. It
chronicles the history of the sophisticated, ancient and commanding civilization of Kur through Egyptian, Babylonian and East Indian
myth as well as bitmites, cyber-avatars and warring bands of fallen angels, the unkin. Vellum is both a gateway to multiverse realities
and a manual to a language of supremacy which can be both emblazoned in the skin and on the soul.
Vellum by Hal Duncan
reviewed by Jakob Schmidt
The documents a young student finds in the belongings of his grandfather unroll a story that spans all of human history and
several universes. They send him on a journey into the Vellum: the timeless meta-reality of all worlds. Throughout the Vellum,
the unkin, demigods whose battles and truces have governed the rise and fall of civilisations, are mobilising for the final
war between heaven and hell. Between the grinding
stones of history, some of the unkin desperately try to avoid the recruiting forces of both sides.
Dungeons and Dragons Core Rule Books (v3.5)
a gaming review by Mike Thibault
The latest version of the game is in stores now and it has been received by the gaming community with mixed
feelings. It is neither a fully new edition of the game, nor a minor tweak to smooth out the rough edges of the existing edition. It is somewhere
in between and probably has something to disappoint everyone. Granted, there is probably something that will please everyone too, but a lot of people
were pretty pleased with the 3rd edition as it stood.
Full Tide of Night by J. R. Dunn
reviewed by Kim Fawcett
This novel is not always easy reading.
It's a book that sometimes hurts, because it reminds us of what we are
capable of at our best and at our worst. But, while painful, reminders
of this sort should never be unwelcome.
Raven's Heart by Jennifer Dunne
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Raven Armistead is the daughter of the head of the Auric Rights League, beautiful, totally
devoted to her cause and dangerous when she has to be. Val Tarrent
is an officer of the the inter-continental police -- imagine them as fundamentalist Christians with
guns. The ICP is Val's life until Raven saves his. That's when things begin to go awry.
The Hashish Man and Other Stories by Lord Dunsany
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
There is nothing here to startle modern sensibilities, but there is a great deal to captivate
what was once called the poetic imagination. The lure of golden cities, far; the sense that horror may lurk unseen among the
reeds beside a stream or beneath the cobblestones of a London street; the realization that the shadowy dinner guest of a young
gentleman in an ornate restaurant is indeed Death, or that a private club down a quiet street might be the final retreat of
gods who have lost their last worshippers, waited upon by kings who have lost their thrones.
The Collected Jorkens, Vol. I by Lord Dunsany
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Who is this Jorkens? A British clubman raconteur (when properly lubricated), who is a mix of Baron Munchausen, the 19th century British
explorers, and a sort of British upper middle class retiree. His fanciful tales of his life, and those of some of his equally eccentric
and colourful friends, combine Lord Dunsany's hands-on knowledge of many exotic locations throughout the world, and the irony and humour
of his older purely fantasy tales.
The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany
reviewed by Gabriel Chouinard
If you're looking for an alternative to Tolkien's overly-hyped pastoral Middle-earth saga, you could do much worse than
to sit down with a copy of this classic novel. It is a perennial tale often overlooked by the average fantasy reader,
who seems to prefer Big Fat Trilogies over slender (241 pages), old (originally published in 1924), single
volumes. Oh, the shame! Because those readers are missing out on one of the loveliest fantastic tales of all time.
Time and the Gods by Lord Dunsany
reviewed by Rich Horton
The author is widely regarded as a seminal 20th-century writer of fantasy,
the originator of many of the tropes we see in story after story, and a
master stylist. However, he is not all that widely read any more. Well, this
new collection would seem to be intended to reach all readers and to set
Dunsany's record straight. The best stories in this book are excellent,
written in lovely prose that is indeed ornate, but to good effect, often
rounded off with an ironic barb, stuffed with lush images, and suffused with
the odour of regret.
The Cunning Blood by Jeff Duntemann
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Peter Novilio is in trouble. Having fallen foul of 1Earth's anti-violence laws, his sentence is transportation to the prison
planet Hell -- unless, that is, he accepts a mission from the Governor General of America, Sophia Gorganis. Hell's technological
development was supposedly stalled two hundred years earlier, when Earth placed a nano-mechanism in the planet's atmosphere
that would destroy all electrical conductors -- but now it seems that something strange is occurring on Hell...
The Other Lands by David Anthony Durham
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
In this sequel to Acacia, Corinn has gained the throne and become
Queen, and she has plans to restore and expand Acacia's power. As her siblings become pawns in her schemes, two
problems loom. One, Corinn has come in to possession of a magic artifact that grants her great power, but she
doesn't know how it works or what the price for using it might be. Second, by sending her brother Dariel as an
emissary to the Other Lands, she has helped to trigger events that will lead to the most horrific invasion Acacia
has ever seen.
Acacia by David Anthony Durham
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Acacia is an empire, and at first glance, a rather benign one. It's people are apparently wealthy and happy, its subjected
countries peaceful. It doesn't take long, however, before that peaceful facade is stripped away. Many generations in its
past, Acacia made a true devil's bargain. In order to protect themselves from a perceived threat on the other side of the
world, and in return for a promise that they would not be attacked by the Lothan Aklun, Acacia agreed to the Quota.
Trinity Field Reports: Alien Races / Psi Laws by Bryant Durrell
a gaming module review by Don Bassingthwaite
Designed as field reports addressed to operatives of the Aeon Trinity, these are colourful,
bite-sized morsels of information. Each is devoted to a narrow area of the Trinity
setting, covering it with a fair degree of depth but leaving lots of room for individual storytellers to manoeuvre.
British Kids Have More Fun: The Corfu Trilogy
a column by Georges T. Dodds
The series begins with the story of the five years the Durrell family spent on the Greek island of Corfu after the death of the
father. While it does delve to some extent into the interpersonal relationships of family members, and some of the more colourful
local folk, it is mainly a chronicle of the development of a budding zoologist.
Between the Darkness and the Fire edited by Jeffry Dwight
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This anthology marks Jeffry Dwight's first foray into editing. Hmmm...
doesn't show. Either Dwight has a natural ability to select quality material,
or he's just assembled a stellar collection of authors for this initial anthology.
The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet by Freeman J. Dyson
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
This book covers scientific revolutions, technology and social justice, and
the exploration and colonization of space -- familiar Dyson topics all, and
delivered with his usual clarity of thought, graceful use of language, big
ideas expressed modestly, and sense of history.