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The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories by John Kessel
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
In a genre like science fiction, where magazines and anthologies have played such a significant part in the development of the literature, it is inevitable that some writers will make their greatest impression in the short story. John Kessel is one such writer. His novels have been well received but not groundbreaking; it is as a short story writer that he has proved most impressive. So it is strange, to say the least, that so few of his stories have been brought together in collections.

Corrupting Dr. Nice Corrupting Dr. Nice by John Kessel
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Kessel's clever vision of the social transformations worked by the novel's time travel core are meant to amuse rather than to educate -- he's satirizing, but not darkly. Victoria found it to be one of the most enjoyable reads she has had in some time.

The Pure Product The Pure Product by John Kessel
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Although a number of the stories here deal with Hollywood and the images that Hollywood produces, other stories are set far from the realm of cinema. Steven see this collection as a good example of John Kessel at his finest.

John Kessel & James Patrick Kelly, ed.

Landscape of Demons Landscape of Demons by Gabriel Devlin Kessler
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
There is no gore here. There are no brains splattered, no hearts ripped beating from chest, no loathsome monsters -- not in a literal sense. The violence and horror are of the more personal, less visible kind. Given the choice of living out Steve Goldblatt's life, though, I would opt for a quick death. Anything to escape the appalling suffering he internalizes, storing it up for later.

Monstrous Creatures / Jar Jar Binks Must Die... and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies Monstrous Creatures / Jar Jar Binks Must Die... and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies Monstrous Creatures by Jeff VanderMeer and Jar Jar Binks Must Die... and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel
reviewed by Martin Lewis
You love the fantastic, it is in your blood. You have devoted a substantial part of your life to it, a part friends and colleagues have sometimes suggested has been wasted. Sometimes you wonder if they are right. You have poured your blood out through your pen but you find yourself unregarded, unrewarded and out of pocket. You are invested... so you want a return on your investment. How do you crystallise this labour into something that means something? How can you -- whisper it -- moneterise it? The answer is, of course, a book.

Shades of Gray Shades of Gray by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
All of the leading characters from Black and White are back for more, and are joined by a host of newcomers. This time around the story is split into three strands, one in the past and two in the present. The sequences set in the past deal with the original Squadron superheroes, their lives, loves and the reasons for their ultimate downfall.

Black and White Black and White by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Iridium is a super villain for political reasons, in command of Wreck City and maintaining loose order by wielding light-based powers. Jet is the Lady of Shadows, sponsored hero of New Chicago, with the ability to call up and manipulate a dark force, which can be bent to many uses. Jet and Iridium first met at superhero school and became best friends. Until life pushed them in opposite and opposing directions.

Thrones for the Innocent Thrones for the Innocent by C.W. Kesting
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Alex d'Meiter lost her daughter in an alcoholic stupor on the beach when Cora Rose was five. Two years later, she has begun the long and slow process of recovery from both alcohol abuse and the loss of her child, but she realizes it will never go away: mothers never let go. Alex loses herself in her work as a nurse anesthetist until a strange experience with two patients in the hospital one night changes her life, thrusting her into a quest of spirituality, mystery, faith and the paranormal.

Off Season Off Season by Jack Ketchum
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Something deadly is prowling the area. Something lethal is preying on the good people of Dead River. And even the few who suspect there may be a problem have sadly underestimated the extent of the danger. Before it's all over, many will pay a terrible price for that poor judgment.

Tales of Wonder by Mark Twain Tales of Wonder by Mark Twain edited by David Ketterer
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
He was a man who used his razor wit to expose much of what he saw as inhumane and degrading in the society of his time. Some of his more caustic material remain very topical even today. This volume collects a score of tales, some exceedingly obscure, bearing a number of science fiction tropes, from time travel to telephone-marriage to miniaturisation akin to that in Isaac Asimov's The Fantastic Voyage.

Flowers for Algernon Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
Charlie Gordon is a retarded worker in a bakery, who sweeps floors, acts as the butt for other's jokes, and struggles to learn to read under the guidance of Alice Kinnian. His situation takes a dramatic turn when he undergoes brain surgery designed to help reorder his brain tissue and to grant him intelligence.

Greg Keyes / J. Gregory Keyes

Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross edited by Chip Kidd
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is primarily a sketchbook, providing a sumptuous overview of Alex Ross at work, including the mechanics of his technique, and insights detailing his creative thought processes. The artwork itself is mostly comprised of greyscale pencil and ink drawings, plus some colour works, the quality of which varies between basic and finely crafted concept pieces. As those familiar with his work will already suspect, the content is heavily dominated by images of Superman.

Low Red Moon Low Red Moon by Caitlín R. Kiernan
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Deacon Silvey doesn't want to help the police solve their latest crime, mostly because he knows the trouble it'll bring him if his wife finds out. They want him to accompany them to an apartment where a brutal murder has taken place, and use his special powers to see the killer. He's done with that, he has a wife and a baby on the way, but a monetary bribe convinces him to take a quick look.

Threshold Threshold by Caitlín R. Kiernan
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Looking over the last 100 years the number of authors who write literary horror can be counted on one hand. At the top of that shortlist is this writer, the most singular voice to enter the genre since Neil Gaiman popped up in graphic novels and Stephen King made movies live inside books. In the long run, her stunning fiction may have a more lasting effect than either of these publishing giants.

Candles For Elizabeth Candles For Elizabeth by Caitlín R. Kiernan
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
The stories in this chapbook are Caitlín R. Kiernan stories and that makes them vitally important to the horror genre. There is no need to repeat the list of woes striking the horror fiction field. Before things can begin to look up again, true originals like Kiernan are going to have to get the credit and readers they deserve.

Silk Silk by Caitlín R. Kiernan
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Call it "gothic horror," but don't even think of grouping it in your mind with Dracula, haunted castles and things that come out only in the absence of light. This is something far more terrifying than that. Junkies, incestuous psychotics, and sadists wait behind every turn of the page. Surviving them will make you stronger... if you survive.

Killer Karma Killer Karma by Lee Killough
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Our ghost doesn't remember his name, where he is, where he was, how he got there. All he remembers is the pain. He can feel his own body -- there's no evidence of a bullet wound on his head -- but no one sees him or hears him. He's got his clothes on, but no ID, no money -- no cell phone. All he knows is that he was murdered, and he feels a driving sense of urgency.

Evolve: Vampires Stories of the New Undead Evolve: Vampires Stories of the New Undead edited by Nancy Kilpatrick
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
I know what you're thinking: "please, not another anthology of vampire stories!". We have read so much vampire fiction in the past that by now everything seems to have been already said about that topic. However, it appears that vampires are no more what they used to be: they're changing habits, adapting to the rules of modern life. In other words, they are evolving.

Tesseracts 13 Tesseracts 13 edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The interesting and exhaustive overview of Canadian dark fiction by Robert Knowlton placed at the end of the book makes the inattentive reader realize how many horror writers commonly assumed to be American are actually Canadian. And the whole of this latest instalment in the series, entirely devoted to horror fiction, confirms that Canada is a prolific country for that genre fiction.

Graven Images Graven Images edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and Thomas S. Roche
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Perhaps the most disturbing story is Lois Tilton's "The Goddess Danced," which presents a view of modern India as alien to mainstream American thought as any culture created by science fiction authors. Meena falls into a downward spiral, not of her own making, but she continually makes the best of her situation and retains the faith her mother passed on to her.

In the Shadow of the Gargoyle In the Shadow of the Gargoyle edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and Thomas S. Roche
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Although a gargoyle is technically a grotesque sculpture used as a drainspout, the editors have expanded their definition to include all sorts of grotesque sculpture. The authors have not only taken this to heart, but have pushed it to see how inclusive it could be, resulting in a wide range of gargoyles from masonry to flesh and blood.

The Fabulous Beast The Fabulous Beast by Garry Kilworth
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is a collection of short stories described by the publisher as a set of beautifully crafted tales of the imagination by a writer who was smitten by the magic of the speculative short story at the age of twelve, and has remained under its spell ever since. An introduction loaded with promise, but does it add up to five beans?

On My Way to Samarkand: Memoirs of a Travelling Writer On My Way to Samarkand: Memoirs of a Travelling Writer by Garry Douglas Kilworth
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Samarkand, it turns out, is one of the few places not visited by Garry Kilworth in this account of a very restless life. He was born in York in the early years of the Second World War, but fairly soon moved to Essex which is the still point about which the rest of this book revolves. His father was in the RAF, and chose to stay in the military after the war, so Kilworth had the typically unsettled upbringing that implies.

Memories of the Flying Ball Bike Shop Memories of the Flying Ball Bike Shop by Garry Kilworth
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
Sean can't understand why his boss, John Chang, has an unreasoning hatred for him, a red-headed gweilo who has come to work for a Hong Kong newspaper as part of what appears to be a gentle descent into mediocrity and self-recrimination over a disintegrated relationship with a woman he now loves and hates in equal measure.

Tales from a Fragrant Harbour Tales from a Fragrant Harbour by Garry Kilworth
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
Any culture can be looked at from two perspectives within fiction -- that of the native, and that of the outsider. For a long time, readers in the West have enjoyed stories of expatriates abroad in Asia, whether they be Marco Polo-esque adventures on the Silk Road or more modern travellers' tales. We also love tales of lost worlds, and in some ways Hong Kong satisfies both these needs.

Same Difference and Other Stories Same Difference and Other Stories by Derek Kirk Kim
reviewed by David Maddox
The internet has allowed a plethora of aspiring artists to post their comics and cartoons for all to see. This isn't always a good thing, but a few jewels are hidden amongst the myriad of autobiographical, poorly sketched rants out there. This collection is one of those jewels. Kim's artwork can be seen in full color glory at www.smallstoriesonline.com and he keeps the site updated with serials and stand-alone strips on a (most of the time) regular basis.

Happy Snak Happy Snak by Nicole Kimberling
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Gaia Jones is a loner after a failed marriage; her family relations aren't very good either, so she transfers to the A-Ki Station, which has a human section built by the mysterious amphibious, hermaphroditic Kishocha. Only one of the Kishocha has wanted to interact with the humans, the charismatic Kenjan, who swiftly becomes a popular celebrity.

British Science Fiction & Fantasy: Twenty Years and Two Surveys British Science Fiction & Fantasy: Twenty Years and Two Surveys edited by Paul Kincaid and Niall Harrison
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Science fiction and fantasy changes over time. Sometimes the changes are obvious such as when a novel like Neuromancer explodes on the scene. Other times, the changes are more subtle, like an authors whose work has been published steadily in the magazines looks back and sees the scope of their career. In 1989, Paul Kincaid conducted a survey in which he asked British science fiction and fantasy authors a series of questions to get a feel for the state of the genre. Twenty years later, Niall Harrison conducted essentially the same survey.

What Is It We Do When We Read Science Fiction What Is It We Do When We Read Science Fiction by Paul Kincaid
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The thirty-three essays assume a certain level of familiarity with science fiction as a whole and with the specific authors and sub-genres. This means that when the author discusses authors who are better known in Britain than in America, he may lose some of his North American readers, but it also demonstrates just how heterogeneous science fiction is. Despite an increasing globalization, there are still regionalisms even within the realm of Anglophonic science fiction.

The Wild Road, The Golden Cat The Wild Road and The Golden Cat by Gabriel King
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
If you're a cat lover or enjoy animal-based fantasy, read both books -- you'll find well developed and complex animal characters that aren't tainted with human motives and reasoning. However, understand that for this pleasure you will have to put up with a certain amount of mystical dross, that may enhance the mystery of cat-ness, but other times obscures it.

The Wild Road The Wild Road by Gabriel King
reviewed by S. Kay Elmore
Kay's take on this novel is one of a story about the overwhelming instinct to survive against insurmountable odds. The characters grow, mature, and realize that the survival of their best and brightest -- perhaps even the whole cat species -- depends on completing their quest.

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