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Lost on the Darkside Lost on the Darkside edited by John Pelan
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
This anthology represents the forth instalment in the fortunate Darkside series, one so far consistently good, which has probably reached its peak with the previous volume A Walk on the Dark Side. In spite of the editor's ability to recruit first-class writers as contributors for his annual horror anthology, keeping up the quality level of such a literary project is not easy.

The Last Continent The Last Continent edited by John Pelan
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
With these excellent new stories of Zothique, Earth's future when the continents have reassembled and a dying desert land survives only at the whim of its dying sun, any aficionado of Clark Ashton Smith will be well pleased. For those bred on today's horror of straight-forward prose, and horror grounded in real-life situations, this is a chance to widen your horizons. Either way, be careful where you tread in Zothique, for while there may be great rewards, there are also many pitfalls, many temptations, but ever so few ways of escaping one's doom...

Dust Dust by Charles Pellegrino
reviewed by Alexander von Thorn
The combination of rigorous scientific logic and gripping dramatic pacing makes this an excellent candidate for a Hugo nomination next year. The theme of this book is that life is the universe's way of organizing itself to combat entropy; here, though, entropy might win.

The Secret Life of Rubber-Suit Monsters The Secret Life of Rubber-Suit Monsters by Robin Pen
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
In a field where it might seem impossible to discuss the offerings seriously, Robin Pen not only does it, but does it well and still maintains a sense of humour. This book encompasses the Godhead of Godzilla, the supremacy of Anime, and the sin of over-budget and under-quality. It is a trip through the tangible world of science fiction films and stream-of-consciousness "skull movies" druing the period 1990-1995.

Time and Chance Time and Chance by Sharon Kay Penman
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
This book, a long time coming, deals with one of the most remarkable periods of medieval history. If the fiery relationship of Henry Plantagenet and his extraordinary Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, was not enough, the book essentially re-tells one of the best known and most exciting historical stories ever recorded -- the "turbulent priest" Thomas Beckett and the Murder in the Cathedral.

The Sinusoidal Spaghetti The Sinusoidal Spaghetti by J.-M. Perelmuter
reviewed by John Enzinas
First there is the story of Meni Mendel, an astrophysicist who discovers and decodes a message from another planet that has been encoded into a pulsar. Fearing that no one will take his discovery seriously, he has a breakdown and ends up in an institution for rich and/or well connected crazy people. His doctor attempts to get his manuscript published as part of his therapy. It leads to the story of the aliens, who are apparently just like us except for the fact that they are blue and sweat instead of crying.

Dead Is the New Black Dead Is the New Black by Marlene Perez
reviewed by John Enzinas
This is the first in a series of adventures of Daisy Giordano, a Junior at Nightshade High School. Daisy is the youngest in family of psychics but has not yet manifested any powers of her own. The story follows Daisy as she attempts to help her mother, a famous psychic, who is stumped by a murder investigation. She spots a connection to the investigation when a wasting disease starts striking down the members of the school's cheerleading team.

Bob Bridges Bob Bridges by Penny Perkins
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Your science teacher told you. The weird kid with the creepy bugs in a mayonnaise jar told you anytime you'd listen. But you didn't believe it; because you didn't want to believe it. Well, it turns out they were right -- cockroaches were here long before we were and they're going to outlast us all.

Tathea Tathea by Anne Perry
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In one night, Ta-Thea, empress of the Shinabari, loses everything... her husband and son are all killed in their beds by their own rebelling people. She only escapes death because one loyal man helps her flee into the desert. With only a handful of jewels taken from her dead husband's body, she journeys to the land where her mother came from. She is welcomed by her long-lost family, but she has no idea what to do with herself.

Perry Rhodan Magazine Perry Rhodan Magazine
reviewed by Mark Shainblum
At last! The return of a good old-fashioned, honest-to-God pulp magazine. Perry Rhodan is a space opera series which has been in continuous German publication since the early 1960s. After several forays into the North American paperback book market throughout the 60s and 70s, Perry Rhodan is finally back. It's been relaunched in an accessible, affordable newsprint format -- a pulp magazine, in other words.

Aliens: Berserker Aliens: Berserker by S.D. Perry
reviewed by Todd Richmond
The ninth book in the Aliens series portrays an interesting new practice in the war with the bugs -- send in a small team, including one very powerful killing machine, and let them loose. Worried about losing too many men? Use criminal volunteers and give them a break on their sentence -- if they live.

Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead by Steve Perry
reviewed by David Maddox
Indiana Jones has faced Nazis, Communists, Knights, the Holy Grail, Noah's Ark and even found the city of Atlantis in his myriad screen and Expanded Universe exploits. So, keeping up with current popularity, why not throw some zombis into the mix? That's what we find in the first novel adventure of everyone's favorite globe-trotting archaeologist to see print since Max McCoy's Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx back in 1999 from Bantam.

Windowpane Windowpane by Steve Perry
reviewed by Donna McMahon
When Flint McClelland plays his platinum flute, magic breaks out all over. Flint didn't set out to become a homeless busker. Only a few years before, he was a high school teacher in Baton Rouge. But a mysterious old man and his flute changed everything, and now Flint is on a mission to find ten talismans -- objects that represent the magic of the 60s. When he finds all ten, the evil that "short-circuited" the Age of Aquarius will be defeated, and a new age will dawn.

Married With Zombies Flip This Zombie Married With Zombies and Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Where were you when the zombiepocalypse hit? Running errands? In class? Asleep? For David and Sarah, it was simple: they were on their way to marriage counseling (which, by the way, wasn't going so well). But when they stumble across their counselor snacking on the appointment before theirs, it's cause to worry. Cue a nonstop fight for survival, as the bickering couple attempts to stay one step ahead of the hungry hordes of restless undead. Seattle's never going to be the same again.

Boston Blackie Boston Blackie by Stefan Petrucha
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Maybe you are familiar with this serial from the short stories of Jack Boyle. It could be you remember Chester Morris portraying the "gentleman thief" in films, or Kent Taylor stepping into the role for the fledgling medium of television. The last of these dramas premiered more than 50 years ago, so you can be forgiven if this graphic novel is your first exposure, or if it sets you off on a quest to find more of his adventures.

Making God Making God by Stefan Petrucha
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
As if we didn't have enough to worry about with the Y2K problem, the new millennium in 2001, a possible Batman prequel, and Chinese restaurants lying about MSG, the author has given us something else to keep us up nights.

City of Souls Cheat the Grave City of Souls and Cheat the Grave by Vicki Pettersson
reviewed by Michael M Jones
The secret war between the Zodiac troops of Shadow and Light continues unabated, with Las Vegas as both battlefield and prize. As always, stuck right in the middle is Joanna Archer, whose uniquely mixed heritage casts her as a prophesied agent of change and destiny. Transformed into the exact likeness of her murdered socialite sister Olivia, she's living under the noses of her greatest enemies, one step away from discovery at all times.

The Scent of Shadows The Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Joanna Archer belongs to a wealthy Las Vegas family, but she didn't turn out quite like Olivia, her glamorous sister. Brutally raped at the age of 16, Joanna learned how to fight back and is now a photographer, documenting the side of Vegas that the tourists don't see. But, when a blind date turns sour, she discovers that there's a whole lot more out there than even she knows about. Every major city has its own Zodiac troop, a dozen people with extraordinary powers of strength, healing, and more besides; they are the Light, whose mission is to maintain peace and battle their Shadow counterparts.

The Touch of Twilight The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson
reviewed by Michael M Jones
There's a secret war raging on the streets of Las Vegas, with the hearts and souls of all who live there at stake. Two opposing troops of superhuman individuals known as the Zodiac, one representing Light, the other championing Shadow, meet each other on rooftops and in back alleys, in clubs and in the casinos, locked in an eternal struggle for dominance. However, several things have happened in recent memory to upset this delicate balance.

Razor Girl Life As We Knew It Razor Girl by Marianne Mancusi and Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Both novels are about teenage girls growing up to become young women under the impetus of having to survive after a planet-wide disaster. However, each takes a radically different approach to their subject. Both are entertaining reads, seemingly achieve the effect they intend, and neither suffers from major faults in their respective genres, though neither are entirely original or groundbreaking either.

The Star Trek Cookbook The Star Trek Cookbook by Ethan Phillips and William J. Birnes
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
It includes recipes for the food of Star Trek, from Fineagle's Folly to Heart of Targ. Some of the food sounds disgusting at first, and probably would be if you had to eat the actual alien ingredients, such as Klingon gagh (worms) or Blood Pie.

In the Palace of Repose In the Palace of Repose by Holly Phillips
reviewed by Donna McMahon
This collection contains nine finely crafted, atmospheric stories with settings ranging from the Russian steppes in the 20s to contemporary Vancouver. Although very realistic, the settings are just slightly sideways of reality, and the author gives us a dark, complex glimpse of what might happen if dreams really did come true.

In the Palace of Repose In the Palace of Repose by Holly Phillips
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
It's always tempting, when reviewing a short story collection, to look for a single theme or quality of authorial voice that can neatly encapsulate the whole. So, one could say that in this gathering of nine atmospheric, fluidly-written stories, the author envisions the "real" world as a thin veneer over a much darker and stranger reality, which is always, fearfully, wanting to break through. Or one could say that she writes about characters who are cursed (or blessed?)...

The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
When James Tiptree, Jr., first appeared in the March 1968 issue of Analog with the short story "Birth of a Salesman," he might have been regarded as just one more of the hundreds of writers who have popped up in the science fiction field, attracted a certain amount of attention, and then disappeared back into the big world of bankers and bakers, factory workers and chemists and schoolteachers from which we storytellers emerge. But Tiptree did not disappear.

Gray Rights Gray Rights by Roger L. Phillips
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This is a funny book full of one panel comic pieces that jump off the page, commenting about life on Earth and in outer space. Roger L. Phillips uses popular culture to raise laughs, even poking fun at new gadgets around at the moment such as the iPhone and iPod.

Cover Story Cover Story by John Picacio
reviewed by Jayme Lynn Blaschke
Jayme has seen the future of speculative fiction art, and its name is John Picacio. Except, if he's being honest with himself and readers, that's not true. You see, to be the future would imply that he has yet to come into his own. Anyone who even casually thumbs through this book knows full well that this young artist has arrived. The question isn't how good he is, it's how much better can he possibly get?

A Choir of Ill Children / Louisiana Breakdown A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli and Louisiana Breakdown by Lucius Shepard
reviewed by David Soyka
Southern Gothic is the neighbourhood haunted by Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty and William Faulkner. The style features supernatural -- or seemingly supernatural -- grotesquerie, often in a backwoods or swamp setting, rooted in a cultural folklore steaming with themes of enslavement, racial tension, repression, rebellion, religious belief, family conflicts, and clan loyalty in which God or fate influence, if not outright determines, moral choices.

A Lower Deep A Lower Deep by Tom Piccirilli
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Fans of the author have waited a long time for a novel about their favourite necromancer and his wise-cracking, remorseless familiar. In answer to that demand, this will not fail to delight and disgust his most ardent admirers. The Necromancer and Self are back, and back with a literal vengeance. This is going to be an encounter that may leave none of the bizarre cast of characters alive. Or, as alive as they were at the beginning of the book.

Deep Into That Darkness Peering Deep Into That Darkness Peering by Tom Piccirilli
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Fishboy Lenny is back and he's brought a few of his mutant contemporaries along for your reading pleasure. In this collection crammed full of the damaged and the deformed, the author's oddities curiosities freaks stand out -- not for their abnormalities, but for the protective feelings they inspire.

Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden by Cameron Pierce
reviewed by John Enzinas
Apparently there is a genre called Bizzaro Fiction. John hadn't know about it before reading Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden by Cameron Pierce. Now he does. It touched him deeply. He has not yet decided if it was inappropriate touching.

Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood by Meredith Ann Pierce
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Brown Hannah lives at the edge of the Tanglewood, a dark, trackless forest surrounded by barren moors. According to the peasants who eke a meager existence at the Tanglewood's edges, a great treasure lies at the forest's heart, though none of them know what the treasure is. Mounted knights come from faraway to seek it, riding into the wood as if bespelled, never returning. Only Hannah knows the truth: there's no treasure in the Tanglewood, just the powerful wizard she has served ever since she can remember.

Alosha Alosha by Christopher Pike
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
With her mother dead and her father, a long-distance hauler, gone for days at a time, thirteen-year-old Alison Warner has learned to be self-sufficient. And it's not like the isolated city of Breakwater is rife with danger -- until Ali goes hiking up one of the local mountains and finds herself being stalked by something big and hairy. Something that tries to kill her, leaving her trapped under a rock slide. She manages to dig herself out, just barely, and limps home to safety, but that night she has a strange dream about a threatening darkness called Shaktra and awakens with the certainty that it's something important. Something familiar.

Charm Charm by Sarah Pinborough
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
First of all the main characters are quite changed. Cinderella is not the humble, innocent girl mistreated by her bad stepmother and stepsisters but a determined, ambitious young woman whose aim is to become the bride of a beautiful, wealthy Prince by using the magic powers of a mysterious "good fairy."

The Anatomy of Utopia The Anatomy of Utopia by Kàroly Pintèr
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Opinions differ sharply, but it may be paossible to date the origins of our genre (at least in its modern form) pretty accurately. In May 1515, Thomas More travelled to Bruges on a trade mission and in July took time off to pay a visit to Peter Giles, a fellow humanist, in Antwerp. There he wrote a treatise about an ideal state that would become the second part of Utopia. The response from those fellow humanists who saw the work was so enthusiastic that, upon his return to England later in the year, he wrote the section that has come to be known as the Dialogue of Counsel. The whole thing was published, in Latin, in Louvain, in November or December 1516. Thus was a new word coined, a literary genre created, and innumerable political theories born.

The Standing Dead The Standing Dead by Ricardo Pinto
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
As the 2nd volume of The Stone Dance of the Chameleon opens, Carnelian and Osidian are discovered by the legionary in charge of disposing of the urns, who illicitly opens them in search of goods to steal and sell. Terrified of these Masters, yet knowing himself doomed for having seen their uncovered faces, the legionary decides to take them south, beyond the Guarded Land, and try to sell them there.

The Standing Dead The Standing Dead by Ricardo Pinto
reviewed by William Thompson
In 1999, his novel, The Chosen, flew largely under the radar, ignored by most readers and reviewers, except for the foresight of a few publications. Granted, on the surface it appeared to be just another epic fantasy, one more candidate for attention in an arguably already glutted market. But anyone who took the time to read the novel should have immediately recognized that, despite its flaws, it potentially announced a significant new voice in the genre, notable both for its original, imaginative and at times obsessive world-building, an approach almost anthropological in its treatment of characters and society, as well as its bold focus, within a traditional audience noted for its predominant heterosexual and white-boy makeup, upon a gay protagonist.

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