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Island Bound Island Bound by Betty Levin
reviewed by Margo MacDonald
Margo found this to be a great story. It's got everything: mystery, adventure, ecological battles, psychic impressions, historical curiosities, great writing, likeable characters, a touch of romance, and puffins.

The Silk Code The Silk Code by Paul Levinson
reviewed by Rich Horton
The author has a clever SF imagination, and many of the ideas in the book, taken in isolation, are pretty neat. Despite some structural issues, Rich found this expansion of the Analog short story "The Mendelian Lamp Case" kept him turning the pages.

The Cure The Cure by Sonia Levitin
reviewed by S. Kay Elmore
With the author's great skill in portraying real, living characters, you cannot read this book without becoming entranced. The author's unflinching depiction of one of the most pervasive horrors of history -- blood libel -- is a triumph.

Icarus Icarus by Roger Levy
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
On a near-future Earth, humankind is reaping the harvest of its heedless exploitation of the natural world. Environmental disaster looms. One man, architect of a spiritual empire that has also endowed him with vast wealth and temporal power, believes he has the answer. Known to his flock as the Captain, this man is prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve his vision.

Dark Heavens Dark Heavens by Roger Levy
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
The setting is a near-future Earth slowly being ripped apart by tectonic collapse, in the wake of devastating acts of global eco-terrorism. The environment has become all but unlivable, the air choked with volcanic ash, the ground and water poisoned, the landscape scarred by enormous rifts. The only hope for the human race is to go elsewhere: Dirangesept, a distant planet with an Earth-like environment. But Dirangesept has its own inhabitants, mysterious beings that, to human perception, appear as mythological beasts, and they aren't interested in being colonized. Twice they have savagely driven the human forces back.

Reckless Sleep Reckless Sleep by Roger Levy
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
This is a superbly confident work by a new novelist. The plot is well thought-out and the characters are perfectly believable. These two elements are missing in so much of what is published today that it is refreshing to find both handled so expertly in a first novel.

Reckless Sleep Reckless Sleep by Roger Levy
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
The story is set in a near-future world devastated by global eco-terrorism, where tectonic collapse, uncontrolled volcanic eruptions, and release of radioactive waste have made life almost unlivable. In this doomed environment, people turn increasingly to drugs and Virtual Reality games for escape, while the governments of the world try desperately to find some way to save the human race.

Worlds without End Worlds without End by John S. Lewis
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
Besides being a fine primer on modern planetary science, this book is an exceptional resource for science-fiction world builders and readers. The author is a respected planetary scientist reporting on recent discoveries of extrasolar planets, and speculating on the range of possible planets that might host life.

Rebel Sutra Rebel Sutra by Shariann Lewitt
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Hostile, barren Maya is a backwater colony world, all but forgotten by the galactic Empire. Two races have settled there: the elite genetically-enhanced "Changed," who live a luxurious sheltered life in the artificially-controlled environment of the Dome; and a larger population of ordinary humans, who eke out a precarious existence in the teeming, dilapidated city of Babelion. Both groups believe the Empire perished in the violent social upheavals that long ago forced them to flee Earth and seek out a new home.

Libellus Sanguinis I and II Libellus Sanguinis I and II
a gaming module review by Don Bassingthwaite
If you're keeping score, these 2 books cover 6 of the 13 clans described in Vampire: The Dark Ages. One other is also available. That leaves another 6 clans to be covered -- a perfect fit for 2 more libelli sanguinium.

Those of My Blood Those of My Blood by Jacqueline Lichtenberg
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Vampires on the moon? This premise provides a unique backdrop for a story in which we meet Dr. Titus Shiddehara, a human/vampire hybrid alien from the planet Luren. Titus, an astronomer has been sent to Project Station on the moon to stop his nemesis and vamphyric father, Dr. Abbot Nandoha, from contacting the home world of Luren.

Never After Never After by Rebecca Lickiss
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
Yes, it actually DOES start with "once upon a time", and ends with "and they lived happily ever after". But what comes in between lines is, well, less than classic -- or more so, depending on your point of view. The recipe includes straw spun into gold, the perennial enchanted frog-prince, the pea that bruised a princess's tender skin, fairy godmothers...

Never After Never After by Rebecca Lickiss
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Prince Althelstan wants to get married, but his parents, mostly because they're trying to keep him from marrying his cousin Vevilia (as if she would have him!) tell him that he can only marry a princess. The only available princess he can find is still a toddler, and so he sets out on a quest. He manages to find an enchanted castle, buried by weeds and herbage. He is not surprised to find the inhabitants asleep. He kisses every woman in the place, to no avail.

Eccentric Circles Eccentric Circles by Rebecca Lickiss
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
When her great-grandmother Dickerson dies suddenly, Piper Pied is astonished to discover she's been left Grandma's house. There are disadvantages to accepting the bequest -- dealing with her eccentric family, the chore of sorting through the thousands of books Grandma has accumulated. Walking into the kitchen the morning after moving in, she finds an incredibly handsome man dressed in full medieval garb seated at her kitchen table. He's an elf, he explains matter-of-factly. And he needs her to help him solve Grandma's murder.

She Nailed a Stake Through His Head: Tales of Biblical Terror She Nailed a Stake Through His Head: Tales of Biblical Terror edited by Tim Lieder
reviewed by David Soyka
The title of this slim collection of nine stories that recast Biblical legends reminds us that a lot of really nasty things were going on a few hundred centuries ago among so-called religious people all in the name of serving God. For that matter, God himself performs some really nasty things.

Grimscribe: His Lives and Works Grimscribe: His Lives and Works by Thomas Ligotti
reviewed by David Soyka
Grimscribe is an apt title for this definitive reissue of the 1991 collection of horror stories. There's almost nothing here that is humorous, or uplifting or anything other than, well, grim. The plural subtitle of "His Lives and Works" may refer to the multiple lives and works of characters whose individual stories vary in circumstance, but who are all engaged in the same discovery that our ordinary existence is permeated by nefarious forces of which we are ordinarily only dimly aware. The discoveries are not pleasant.

A Bowl of Fruit, A Whale In the Woods A Bowl of Fruit, A Whale In the Woods by Russel Like
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Strange things are happening again in the Garden State, but now toss in an invasion of blue aliens. Take a secret device, two slightly addled scientists, and a group of even more addle-pated humans, and you have the makings for the end of the world. Too bad we have only this band of common-sense impaired heroes to save us.

After the Blue After the Blue by Russel Like
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Tired of waiting for the next Douglas Adams opus? Afraid the Red Dwarf franchise has been milked for all its worth? Don't give in to despair; there must be other knee-slappers out there. Well, with a minimal amount of digging, Lisa has found one for you.

Blood Bargain Blood Bargain by Maria Lima
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Readers often approach second books in series with a bit of trepidation: they're excited to find out what happens next but wary that the second book might not live up to the excellence of the first. Well, have no fear. The author has created an even more riveting novel in her follow-up to Matters of the Blood. Keira Kelly can never go long without finding herself in the midst of a mystery. She and her shapeshifter brother, Tucker, find themselves helping Ignacio, who came over the border to search for his missing brother, Alex.

Matters of the Blood Matters of the Blood by Maria Lima
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Keira Kelly, a descendant of a paranormal family, doesn't know much more than that as she hasn't come into her full powers yet, but the process has started. She could be a mind reader, healer or shape shifter, but until the change has run its course, she may have bits and pieces of each talent. The beginning of "the change" could explain some of her extraordinarily vivid nightmares including two dead animals on a nearby resort and the murder of her not-so-intelligent human cousin, Marty.

Wizard of the Pigeons Wizard of the Pigeons by Megan Lindholm
reviewed by Jayme Lynn Blaschke
It's easy to see why this novel turned so many heads when first published back in 1986. With the sub-genre of urban fantasy still in its formative stages, the author deftly manipulated many of the tropes that would become familiar touchstones in the years to come: The mentally ill Vietnam veteran, the outcast homeless, the invisible magic of street corners and back alleys.

Luck of the Wheels Luck of the Wheels by Megan Lindholm
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In this fourth book of the Ki and Vandian Quartet, our heroes have worn out their welcome in the north, and so are trying to figure out a way to make a living in the south. Ki, a member of a race of gypsy-like people, has made her living from being a teamster all her life. Her old wagon gone, she needs to get used to the smaller, new wagon. She worries that she won't be able to find any cargo -- or anyone willing to pay her to haul it. Vandian is still trying to fit into the gypsy life. An ex-noble, all he has now is his honour, the names of his parents, his father's sword and his skill with it.

Cloven Hooves Cloven Hooves by Megan Lindholm
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Read a hundred pages into this book and you'd be convinced you were reading a very conventional, if well-written, mainstream novel: an everyday story of a woman, Evelyn, and her odyssey from an unfettered and imaginative childhood in rural Alaska to a crumbling marriage among her husband's family in Washington State. The remainder of the book, however, chronicles her passionate relationship, mating, and bearing a child to a woodland satyr.

A Voyage to Arcturus A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This seminal work of SF, originally published in 1920, begins with a séance which sets the story in motion. Following the strange séance, Maskull finds himself led by his friend Nightspore and the mysterious Krag to a deserted observatory in Scotland. Krag and Nightspore give Maskull a cock-and-bull story about the planet Tormance, which orbits the star Arcturus. By the time Maskull climbs the tower, he finds himself living on Tormance and beginning a pilgrimage to find the legendary Surtur.

Thirteen Orphans Thirteen Orphans by Jane Lindskold
reviewed by John Enzinas
Imagine if Mahjong were not just a game, but also cleverly disguised mystic system which could be used to bind mystic forces to do your bidding. How did this happen? Well several generations ago, a group of power magicians fled to our world from a mystic China to protect their emperor. They used their powers to develop the enhanced Mahjong game to protect themselves.

Wolf Hunting Wolf Hunting by Jane Lindskold
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Animals are people too. If you don't believe me, give Wolf Hunting a shot, where animals are people, people are animals, and magic is not at all welcome. Let's start with Truth, who is a jaguar. Not just any old big cat, but a wise jaguar, not only sentient and talented, but quite insane.

Legends Walking Legends Walking by Jane Lindskold
reviewed by Pat Caven
Sequel to Changer, this book cannot be read on it's own. It takes up where Changer left off -- give or take a few weeks. Eddie and Anson A. Kridd have taken off for Nigeria to broker a petroleum deal between the struggling country and Japan. Meanwhile back in the US, King Arthur is struggling to keep the lid on the theriomorphs who want to 'come out' to the world.

Changer Changer by Jane Lindskold
reviewed by Neil Walsh
Is the general populace of the world ready to accept non-human sentient magic-wielding shapeshifting immortal beings living amongst them? Um... are you? This entertaining and imaginative story includes ideas and images to stimulate any fan of contemporary fantasy and comparative mythology.

The Other Side of Magik The Other Side of Magik by Michael Lingaard
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The action takes place mostly in Angland, on an alternate Earth on the other side of the mirror, where "magik" is a reality, and physics does not permit the development of electrical power. In Angland, DNA spirals to the left, and people travel in steam-buggies and airships. Geography and history are similar to the world we know, but differ at key points. The story centres on two teenage boys, Danny Royce, a disaffected wastrel from our reality, and Garreth Royal, a budding wizard who has just failed to make the grade.

Pretty Monsters Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
reviewed by Rich Horton
This is a collection of Kelly Link stories which can be deemed "Young Adult." For the most part, this simply means they feature teenaged protagonists. Otherwise they are as challenging in many ways as much of Link's work -- they do not necessarily end happily, they feature twisted self-referential narrative structures, they... they entrance.

4 Stories 4 Stories by Kelly Link
reviewed by Rich Horton
Her stories are elliptical and spooky. She often reworks material from fairy tales. Her writing seems to fit mostly the category "slipstream," as well as often being "horror" of a certain kind. She has an ironic and engaging voice, in its way most similar to Karen Joy Fowler. Her stoires are always interesting, although they may sometimes leave the reader quite puzzled, sometimes quite exhilarated, and occasionally both.

Trampoline Trampoline edited by Kelly Link
reviewed by David Soyka
The editor should be commended, not only for an intriguing compilation (even if perhaps criticized for not including a story of her own), but that she manages to stay out of the way of it. The only thing that intrudes here is her taste in the story selection and ordering. There's no tiresome manifesto here, no chest-beating about movements or genres or rants against publishing mediocrity and how some merry band of rogues is going to revolutionize anything. She understands that the role of editor is to let the work speak for itself. Even if all the stories don't always bounce back successfully, at least they take the risk of making the jump.

Vincalis The Agitator Vincalis The Agitator by Holly Lisle
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
Suspension of disbelief can work fine with magic when any use of magic has appropriate costs or consequences. For instance, magic use might deplete the user's stamina, leaving her fatigued. Sort of a metaphysical conservation of energy. Here, magic use creates a backlash of destructive forces. Large-scale magic use would normally destroy the user. Dragons, the ruling class of magicians in this ancient civilization, have developed technology which allows them to redirect the harmful by-product of their magic use so it consumes a population of slaves.

Diplomacy of Wolves Diplomacy of Wolves by Holly Lisle
reviewed by Todd Richmond
The first book in The Secret Texts, a new series by Holly Lisle, begins a tale of conspiracy and treachery, sorcery and lycanthropy, and ancient feuding families.

A Dangerous Magic A Dangerous Magic edited by Denise Little
reviewed by Thomas Myer
Without a doubt, this anthology just screamed out "don't read me, don't read me!" Tales of romantic fantasy, eh? Well, Thomas discovered that you can't be too hairy-chested for good writing. This anthology may even change your opinion of "romance."

Etruscans Etruscans by Morgan Llywelyn and Michael Scott
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
In the midst of magic, swordplay, and deities, one thing proves stronger, more enduring, than all the forces of good and evil. In a time of savagery and mortality, some fortunate citizens of ancient Italy from elite Etruscans to rustic Temeutians will come to recognize love to be the great leveller. Not even death and its denizens can extinguish love.

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