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Alastair Reynolds

Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections by David West Reynolds
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Have you ever wanted to know where the electromagnetic freight barge clamp is on the Millennium Falcon? Or how many photon torpedoes Luke Skywalker carried in his X-Wing during his attack against the Death Star? If so, then this is the book for you.

Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary by David West Reynolds
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Star Wars has made such an impression on the world of science fiction that one could say it almost single-handedly brought the genre into the mainstream. And this is a great visual representation of the characters and creatures from all three movies.

Golden Age SF: Tales of a Bygone Future Golden Age SF: Tales of a Bygone Future edited by Eric T. Reynolds
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Peter Graham once noted that the golden age of science fiction is twelve. While it may be true that age is the one at which science fiction is most likely to grab hold of a reader's imagination, it is also true that there was a period in the 40s and 50s when there was something magical about science fiction. Lurid covers promised adventure and thrills. In this anthology, the editor has selected stories that will remind our internal twelve-year-olds of the adventure of that other golden age.

AD&D Core Rules AD&D Core Rules by Sean Reynolds
a gaming module review by Wayne MacLaurin
As a reference tool, this is an unmatched collection. DMs can build an adventure from their desktop PC, referencing everything from monsters to spells, building encounter tables and treasure lists. A welcome addition!

Angel Time Angel Time by Anne Rice
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Anne Rice is best known for her Vampire Chronicles, including the most popular, Interview with the Vampire. But any Rice fan knows she's written more than just tales of vampires, so it should be no surprise that her latest novel is about angels. What is surprising is how she explores the topic by telling a story of an angel who “hires” a modern-day contract killer to defend the Jews of 13th century Norwich, England.

Blackwood Farm Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Tarquin (Quinn) Blackwood has lived with his personal ghost for as long as he has memory. Goblin is his mirror image, a sometimes bratty, sometimes sly but always loving shade that no one can see but Quinn. The family ignores him for the most part, unsure what to make of their beloved child's habit of talking to the air, judging it harmless. Harmless and loving until recently, that is. Now Quinn has been given the dark gift, and Goblin wants his share of the blood.

Merrick Merrick by Anne Rice
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
The narrator is David, once head of an ancient order of paranormal investigators. In Tale of the Body Thief, David helped get back Lestat's stolen super-vampire body, and then traded up to a younger body himself. Then Lestat promptly made him a vampire. The title character is a powerful witch, Merrick Mayfair, a distant or estranged relative of the Mayfair Witches. Since the death of her guardian grandmother, Merrick has been the ward of David and his organization.

Edge of Our Lives Edge of Our Lives by Mark Rich
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
There are science fiction stories that are in essence about the ideas of science fiction. That's a tradition that stretches from Jules Verne and on into the magazines of the Golden Age and survives in its most pure form in what we often refer to as hard SF. An alternative method is to instead use the concepts of SF, whether they be space travel, alien encounters, visions of a future world, etc., as the building blocks for setting up stories that aren't about technology or science as such.

The Meaning of Star Trek The Meaning of Star Trek by Thomas Richards
reviewed by Neil Walsh
A deft and entertaining look at Star Trek from a Harvard English professor? Way, says senior editor Neil Walsh.

Going Back Going Back by Tony Richards
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Two years after the appearance of his last collection Ghost Dance, Tony Richards, an excellent, but hardly prolific author of dark fiction, provides yet another bunch of short stories, much to the satisfaction of his many admirers. It assembles fourteen tales varying in themes and atmospheres, but mostly revolving around the difficult but unavoidable relationship the human race has with time.

The Existential Joss Whedon The Existential Joss Whedon by J. Michael Richardson and J. Douglas Rabb
reviewed by Jakob Schmidt
The number of academic texts dealing with Joss Whedon's TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer is truly extraordinary. Like most of these books, this monograph combines the perspective of the fan and that of the scholar. Their argument is that Joss Whedon's oeuvre can (and should) be read as narrative explication of a communitarian ethics based on existentialist philosophy.

Greywalker Greywalker by Kat Richardson
an audiobook review by Jennifer McCann
After dying from a brutal beating and then "miraculously" returning to life, Harper Blaine starts seeing things. The likeable Seattle P.I. discovers that she is a Greywalker, a person who can see and crossover into the next realm, known as the "Grey." The Grey is a layer of reality that coincides with ours and is inhabited by the dead, undead and some pretty scary creepy crawlies.

Those Who Walk in Darkness Those Who Walk in Darkness by John Ridley
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
A tough, black, female cop, Soledad O'Roark, is attached to MTacs, a special unit which hunts down super-powered individuals. Not just those gone rogue, but anyone who happens to have metanormal abilities. Because in this world, the US government has outlawed super-people, regardless of their actions or intentions. An Executive Order has been enacted following the wholesale destruction of San Francisco, by a super-villain called Bludlust, who was not stopped in the nick of time.

Those Who Walk in Darkness Those Who Walk in Darkness by John Ridley
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Years ago, a man showed up on the scene, foiling robberies with his mutant powers. More mutants came forward. Some could fly, some could throw fire. And with super heroes came the inevitable... super villains. It was OK, the heroes always stopped them in time until a tragedy destroyed most of San Francisco and caused to President of the United States to declare that the mutants no longer had any rights. They had to leave the United States or die. The mutants who stayed behind would find themselves facing specially trained MTac units.

Flying Saucer Stories Flying Saucer Stories by David B. Riley
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
This slim volume contains some fourteen short stories and a couple of poems on the connecting theme of interplanetary visitation. Mostly, Earth is visited by visitors from a planet you've never heard of before. They come and go in graceful silvery disks. Occasionally, it's the Earth folks who visit the aliens on their home worlds.

Low Noon Low Noon edited by David B. Riley
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Weird Western horror anthologies are becoming increasingly popular and by now constitute a definite subgenre with its devoted fans. Low Noon is the third installment in a series including Six Guns Straight From Hell and Showdown at Midnight. If you're looking for some good fiction to keep you entertained, then this is the book for you.

The Devil Draws Two The Devil Draws Two by David B. Riley
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Cyberpunk is a popular subject nowadays and it's no wonder when the Wild West, new technology and the threat of aliens rear its head. David B. Riley brings the past back to the reader with Miles O'Malley's adventures in what he calls the weird west. The character started out in a few short stories; in "Cabal Asylum," and "Hadrosaur Tales," and then he went on to feature in two other novels.

Six-Guns Straight from Hell Six-Guns Straight from Hell edited by David B. Riley and Laura Givens
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This anthology is a volume of twenty stories that feature science fiction, horror and the wild, Wild West. In these settings, cowboys, sheriffs and other humans have to fight off countless monsters in the guise of vampires, wizards, alchemists, zombies and other dark-hearted devils.

The Master of All Desires The Master of All Desires by Judith Merkle Riley
reviewed by Margo MacDonald
The setting is Paris in the year 1556 -- Catherine de Medici is Queen of France and Nostradamus is at the height of his powers. Through a series of mischances, Sibille Artaud de la Roque, a young woman fresh from her convent studies, finds herself in the possession of the most powerful occult artifact known to exist -- the head of Menander the Undying -- which has the power to grant petitioners their heart's desire.

Wyccad Wyccad by Steven William Rimmer
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Digging around, searching for new authors, ferreting out indie publishers not on the bestseller lists -- sometimes you come up with gold, sometimes you come up with tin. But, once in a great while, you come up with something more valuable than platinum and more sparkling than emeralds. Sometimes, you discover an author like Steven William Rimmer.

The Staircase The Staircase by Ann Rinaldi
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
There is a fine line between a plucky, young heroine and an obnoxious brat. Lizzy Enders is that rare combination of cynic, smartass, and compassionate emerging woman that readers can get strongly behind. Here is a true role model for anyone caught in a situation not of their own making; she is a survivor, surviving not at the expense of others, but through honesty, empathy, and her quick thinking. Though this story may be set in the 1870s, it is an object lesson to readers of any age or any gender.

Invisible Princess Invisible Princess by Faith Ringgold
reviewed by Lela Olszewski
Faith Ringgold is an artist of international stature. This story was written because her grandchildren wanted to know where the African American princesses were in the fairy tales their grandmother read to them.

There Will Be Dragons There Will Be Dragons by John Ringo
reviewed by Michael M Jones
In the far future, we've finally used technology to master the world and all aspects of our lives. Teleportation and shapechanging are commonplace, sickness and death are practically unknown, and there is no need. Our imaginations dictate our surroundings, and we spend our lives indulging in fantasies and various forms of instant gratification. Technology has, in other words, become sufficiently advanced so as to be indistinguishable from magic...

There Will Be Dragons There Will Be Dragons by John Ringo
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In the far flung future, the world is perfect. A huge super computer named Mother watches over everything, making sure that the Earth's balance remains unchanged. People use nannites to do everything for them. Disease, poverty, it has all gone. Of course, not everyone's content to leave well enough alone. Paul, part of the council, thinks that mankind has gotten soft. Several of the council are with him, several are opposed, and the ensuing battle between the two factions drains the energy that runs everything else. Neither side can relent, for fear that the other faction will blast them and emerge victorious. What does this mean for everyone else? Utter disaster.

Hell's Faire Hell's Faire by John Ringo
reviewed by Ernest Lilley
The defense of humankind boils down to one battle for an Appalachian mountain pass. Major Mike O'Neal and the First Battalion 555 powered-suit warriors are dug in at the Raburn Gap with orders to hold until relieved and the thousands of aliens throwing themselves on their rapidly dwindling stream of depleted uranium slugs. If the Posleen break through, they'll lay waste to humanity's last industrial stronghold, the American heartland. And that fellow earthlings, will be that.

Timeless Adventure: How Doctor Who Conquered TV Timeless Adventure: How Doctor Who Conquered TV by Brian J. Robb
reviewed by David Maddox
A lone traveler in a battered blue police box traveling through time and space, righting wrongs and keeping the universe safe. Doctor Who is an amazing show with a phenomenal 40-plus year history. But more than being the longest running and greatest resurrected television show ever, it's a reflection of the culture that created it. The writer captures the show's cultural importance with here, a critical study of the impact the show has had on British society and, through that, the world.

Iron Jaw and Hummingbird Iron Jaw and Hummingbird by Chris Roberson
reviewed by John Enzinas
The Celestial Empire is an alternate world where Imperial China did not retreat within its borders in the 15th century but expanded until a thousand years later it had colonized and begun terraforming Mars. The book tells the tale of two young people who find themselves in a position to bring the corruption of the government to light and improve the fates the inhabitants of Fire Star.

Paragaea Paragaea by Chris Roberson
reviewed by Rich Horton
This new novel is old again. That is, it's quite explicitly, indeed exuberantly, in the mold of planetary romances such as Edgar Rice Burroughs's Mars books, Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon serials, and Leigh Brackett's work. And, as the author reminds us, the television series Land of the Lost. He also includes buried references to many other SF books and grounds his story in at least vaguely plausible speculative science. The end result is quite a lot of fun.

Here, There and Everywhere Here, There and Everywhere by Chris Roberson
reviewed by Stuart Carter
Imagine you're just 16 once again: young and fit, everything to look forward to, with an entire world to explore... Now, imagine if you were not just 16 again, young and fit, with everything to look forward to, but you also had all of time and space to explore courtesy of a strange device/bracelet given to you by a nice (if somewhat mysterious) old lady who simply appeared in front of you in the woods one day.

Here, There and Everywhere Here, There and Everywhere by Chris Roberson
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Roxanne Bonaventura discovers the Sofia, a mysterious metallic armband that allows her to travel through time and, eventually, through alternate realities. Roxanne's use of the Sofia begins small as she tries to gain time by living in different periods and then returning only a few moments after she left. When her father begins to suffer from cancer, she attempts to use the Sofia to ease his suffering, if not cure the cancer entirely.

Sword-Sworn Sword-Sworn by Jennifer Roberson
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Having freed himself from the stone forests of Skandi, Tiger and Del return to the South. They originally fled the South because, to save Del's life, Tiger broke his vows as a seventh level sword-dancer, declaring himself elaii-ali-ma. Tiger returns to this land, originally, because the South is his home and he hopes to rebuild the shodo at Alimat, where he was trained. Soon he is haunted by dreams, dreams of a skeleton, of a woman's voice that commands him -- "Find me," she says, "And take up the sword."

Sword-Born Sword-Born by Jennifer Roberson
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Tiger and Del are sword-dancers that have both broken their vows. They are without a place to go, unwelcome both in the north, where Del came from, and in the south, where Tiger was born. One day a man seems to think that Tiger is from his own land of Skandi...and Del agrees that her lover and friend bears an amazing resemblance to the man. Tiger isn't so sure, but he agrees to get on a ship and sail to Skandi, and perhaps learn the truth of his heritage.

Adam Roberts

Kinsmen of the Grail Kinsmen of the Grail by Dorothy James Roberts
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Gawain has been a knight for some 20-odd years; he's still a powerful knight but he knows he's slowing down and that he increasingly needs to rely on his experience rather than merely physical prowess. He's just a bit irked when the young Perceval, who has been kept shielded from all knightly pursuits by his mother, goes off to Camelot, pulls an enchanted sword out of a stone, and becomes "super-knight" overnight.

Hannibal's Children Hannibal's Children by John Maddox Roberts
reviewed by Ian Nichols
What if Carthage had won? What if Publius Fabius Cunctator had not harried and delayed Hannibal until he lost his base of support in Italy? What if the Roman Senate had caved after the battle of Lake Trasimene? What if Scipio Africanus had not had the opportunity to annihilate Hannibal's army at the battle of Zama? A few fairly large questions, but ones which provide the core of this vastly entertaining novel.

Pavane Pavane by Keith Roberts
reviewed by Rich Horton
Alternate history is now one of the most popular sub-genres in the SF field, but that popularity is a recent development. And the recent crop of alternate history stories, enjoyable as some of them may be, seem largely minor works, dwelling in the shadows of 3 great alternate history novels which loom over the present-day offerings. This is one of them.

The Merriest Knight The Merriest Knight by Theodore Goodridge Roberts
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This collection gathers for the first time all the author's Arthurian works, in particular his delightfully humorous tales of Sir Dinadan, a character given only passing mention in Sir Thomas Malory's La Morte d'Arthur. Unlike the big-guns (or perhaps lances) like Lancelot, Tristram, and Kay, Sir Dinadan only manages to move up to #17 in the Round Table Knight Rankings by the end of his career, so while he's by no sense a coward, he looks hard and fast at a situation before engaging in combat.

The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo by Craig Robertson
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Have you ever had the inner yearning to write your own novel? Even if it started out as a short concept and you had got it down on paper or even as a draft on your computer. You needed to see it completed, and hope against hope to see it published, and gracing the shelves in book stores. It's what everyone wants to see, isn't it? Well, now you know what poor salesman Piers Langland is going through as he tries his hand at NaNoWriMo every year.

The Twentieth Century The Twentieth Century by Albert Robida
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
As pointed out by P. Willems in his lengthy and rather erudite introduction, and John Clute in his Excessive Candour column, this is an important work of early science fiction. Important in that the author, as possibly the first dedicated science fiction illustrator, gives us something part ways between a mere illustrated novel and a graphic novel, with illustrations that go far beyond depicting the mere text, adding visual information and details which expand one's view of the world he creates.

Point of Honour Point of Honour by Madeleine E. Robins
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Marketed to appeal to a mainstream audience, this novel will also appeal to genre readers who like a well-researched historical feel -- the same readership, perhaps, that likes Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman. From the very first pages, the author skillfully lets the reader know that this novel is not set quite in the Regency England we know.

The Stone War The Stone War by Madeleine E. Robins
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Perhaps it started with Alas, Babylon or On The Beach, but some of us can't get enough of post-apocalyptic fiction. Or dystopias, for that matter. It may be a morbid fascination, but whether and how people and societies survive is endlessly engrossing. Combine this with Armageddon and you have the ingredient for a winning novel.

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