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The Witch Queen The Witch Queen by Jan Siegel
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Morgus, the enemy who dragged Fernanda Capel outside of time and held her prisoner beneath the roots of the gruesome Eternal Tree, didn't die in their final confrontation, as Fern believed. Preserved through sorcery, she has slipped back into the stream of time, bearing a cutting of the Tree. In an ancient, ghost-haunted country manor, she nurtures the cutting, which soon shows signs that it will bear its terrible fruit of living heads. When it does, Morgus will know what she must do to conquer modern Britain.

The Dragon-Charmer The Dragon-Charmer by Jan Siegel
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Although Fern denies her Gift, its strength draws others to her, including the sorceresses Morgus and Sysselore. These ancient, evil crones dwell outside of time beneath the Tree of Life and Death, whose branches support the earth and whose roots penetrate the underworld. On the eve of Fern's wedding, Morgus kidnaps Fern's soul and brings it to the Tree, intending to train Fern's Gift and then join it to hers and Sysselore's, in order to make a gateway back into the world of time.

Prospero's Children Prospero's Children by Jan Siegel
reviewed by Pat Caven
A doomed ship, tossed by a raging tempest, the siren who helps destroy it, and the key to the beginning of a tale that will span centuries.  Flash forward to the present where a young girl and her family are drawn into the tale when her father inherits a house in Yorkshire.  Fernanda Capel is an extremely self-possessed and practical young woman.  But a woman with a blossoming gift and a destiny that she has no idea how to fulfill.

Of Pigs and Spiders / A Lap Dance With the Lobster Lady / Two From Zothique: A Chapbook Of Pigs and Spiders by Edward Lee, John Pelan, David Niall Wilson and Brett Savory, A Lap Dance With the Lobster Lady by S.P. Somtow and Two From Zothique: A Chapbook by David B. Silva and Geoff Cooper
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Readers under the age of 17 caught reading these 3 chapbooks will be forced to take a three-week family vacation in a hatchback. With a car-sick dog sharing the back seat. And adults, please, don't get talked into buying these for kids loitering around the convenience store.

Roger Corman: Metaphysics on a Shoestring Roger Corman: Metaphysics on a Shoestring by Alain Silver and James Ursini
reviewed by David Maddox
From monster movies to epic pictures, from historical drama to tense thrillers, no man has directed or produced a more varied catalogue of film than Roger Corman. He has built his reputation on being a maverick filmmaker who doesn't play by Hollywood's rules. His decades-spanning career has lead to an incredible cult following and the helpful development of such filmmakers as James Cameron and Jonathan Demme.

Why Paint Cats: The Ethics of Feline Aesthetics Why Paint Cats: The Ethics of Feline Aesthetics by Burton Silver and Heather Busch
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
Your first question here, no doubt, is what a review of a book of cat photos is doing here. Well, we're glad you asked, because these are fantasy cat photos -- fantastic, even. Besides, we happen to know that a lot of SF Site readers like cats.

Wondrous Beginnings Wondrous Beginnings edited by Steven H Silver and Martin H. Greenberg and Magical Beginnings edited by Steven H Silver and Martin H. Greenberg
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
In many of the actual stories chosen for publication in these anthologies, the eventual shape of the mature author's work can be dimly discerned, like something sketched out in pencil and rubbed out many times until only a blur remains -- but for someone just starting out there is much to recognise in these stories, the kind of thing that a beginner, any beginner, does, and there is a shimmer of great and glowing hope there. Even someone like Arthur C. Clarke, esteemed elder statesman, or Anne McCaffrey, wildly successful author, had to step over some line in the sand somewhere, write a first word, write a first story, get a first cheque.

The Silver Web, Issue 15 The Silver Web, Issue 15
reviewed by Rich Horton
Rich was particularly taken with Brian Stableford's "Oh Goat-Foot God of Arcady", in which he slyly interleaves a woman's conviction that she is being stalked by the randy god Pan with biotechnological speculation about producing chimeras. A very neat use of fantastical imagery in the service of SF. He also quite liked Carol Orlock's sweet, rather Bradburyan, fantasy "Ye Olde Ephemera Shoppe", about a man who acquires the title business, and after making it a success selling fairly typical antiques finds a more rewarding sort of "ephemera."

The Silver Web, Issue 15 The Silver Web, Issue 15
reviewed by David Soyka
The standout stories are "A Lesser Michaelangelo" by T. Jackson King and "The Apocrypha According to Cleveland" by Daniel Abraham. The former is an allegory about deviancy and suffering to create great art, while Abraham's parable of the ineffable and perhaps meaningless nature of reality that lies beneath the myths constructed to give the appearance of an orderly universe is already on my "Year's Best" list. For my money, it doesn't get any better weird than this.

Robert Silverberg

Robert Silverberg, ed.

Beyond The Doors Of Death Beyond The Doors Of Death by Robert Silverberg and Damien Broderick
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This is an interesting little experiment in publishing that pairs a classic story by Robert Silverberg with a sequel by a less well-known Damien Broderick. The Silverberg story is "Born With The Dead," a 1974 novella that first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Damien Broderick's "Quicken" is an original story, picking up almost to the day where "Born With The Dead" left off.

Science Fiction, The Best of 2002 Science Fiction, The Best of 2002 edited by Robert Silverberg & Karen Haber
reviewed by Steven H Silver
One of the questions which must be asked when reading a new best of year anthology is whether it adds anything to the genre beyond what is provided by the already existent Gardner Dozois and David Hartwell series. Part of the answer must be yes, because different editors have (sometimes radically) different views of what science fiction is and what constitutes the "best." It can further be argued that the more anthologies of this type which can exist, the better the state of the genre.

The Avram Davidson Treasury The Avram Davidson Treasury edited by Robert Silverberg and Grania Davis
reviewed by Rich Horton
The collection is organized as a retrospective with the selections placed in order of first appearance, along with introductions by many of Davidson's friends -- mostly fellow authors and editors. Rich is a big Davidson fan so he came to this collection not at all objective.

The Sound of Angels The Sound of Angels by Lisa Silverthorne
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
From a haunted airplane crash site to Martian caves, her prose contains just the right description to put you into her many imaginative locations. Even better, she puts you in the mind of her characters so that you understand them, despite how alien some of their lives are.

In A Town Called Mundomuerto In A Town Called Mundomuerto by Randall Silvis
reviewed by Sandy Auden
The author tells two intertwining stories -- one about the grandfather and the boy, set in a present; and the other, more substantial story, about the tragic events in the grandfather's youth, when a beautiful maiden was seduced by the mysterious dolphin-man.

Way Station Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
reviewed by Rich Horton
Enoch Wallace is a reclusive man living in the Southwest corner of Wisconsin. A U.S. agent has tracked down stories about Enoch that prove he is 124 years old, the last survivor of the Civil War, though in appearance he is perhaps 30. Enoch has a secret: he was chosen by aliens to operate a way station of their interstellar teleportation network. Earth is not yet ready for membership in the Galactic co-fraternity of races, so Enoch must keep his station secret.

Dan Simmons

The Stars of Axuncanny The Stars of Axuncanny by David Simms
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
While this book was a pleasant if not overly engrossing read, it would be hard to place it into either science fiction or fantasy, or even imaginative fiction. This is sometimes a difficult distinction for books by "mainstream" writers who use elements of SF or fantasy to place their story in a slightly alternate reality.

Secret of the Three Treasures Secret of the Three Treasures by Janni Lee Simner
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Tiernay West's father travels the globe doing research for his adventure novels. Tiernay Markovitz's mother lives a useful live in a small northeastern town as mother to a daughter she intends to raise as responsible and practical. Tiernay is trying hard to be a good daughter to both her parents, who are now separated, but she really wants to be Tiernay West, Professional Adventurer.

Sweet Poison Sweet Poison by Marge Simon and Mary A. Turzillo
reviewed by Trent Walters
What happens when you mix two award-winning female poets, both with a felicity at word-wielding and both of an age where they freely speak their minds on any topic with the equity of having understood life well? You get Sweet Poison, beautifully illustrated by M. Wayne Miller. Theirs is a strength born of unity and diversity -- two minds whose words sometimes pull together, sometimes apart -- but what's left behind is not a vacuum but possibly a gem.

The End of Earth and Sky The End of Earth and Sky by Tom Simon
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The End of Earth and Sky is a frame tale set in an alternate universe, opening with an introduction by the narrator, Calin Lowford, in response to a comprehensive indictment that claims he is the most heinous of mega-super-extra-evil villains. Each chapter begins with a quote from this indictment, which, Calin explains, is written by someone whose world indeed ended. Calin is an ordinary young man, given to plumpness. He's termed lazy by many of his elders, and he's certainly tried several apprenticeships unsuccessfully before being made into...

Cavalcade Cavalcade by Alison Sinclair
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Thousands of people took up the alien invitation and find they have been instantaneously transported to a vast, strange cavern. They are a huge, motley crowd consisting of those people who would risk anything to embark on this greatest human adventure and those -- in great numbers -- who had nothing on Earth left to lose. Some have brought their families, pets and cherished possessions; others have brought nothing but the clothes on their backs; still others are drunk and just coming to the appalled realization that this wasn't a hoax after all.

Cavalcade Cavalcade by Alison Sinclair
reviewed by Rich Horton
With a resolution that is quite original and very moving, the central mysteries of the story come to a head in a fair and interesting manner. There isn't any cheating with the plot and the book's theme is strong and satisfying, and deeply science-fictional. In some ways it reminds Rich of Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy.

Accidental Goddess Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Gillie, aka Captain Gillian Devre, has several problems, not the least of which is that she has lost 342 years of her life. One minute she's fighting in a war, enters riftspace on the tail of an enemy vessel, and then she's thrown through a freak hole in time/space, ending up more than three centuries hence. Her second big surprise is, during the lapsed years, she has become a goddess, the patron saint of the Star Fleet, an object of worship. Goddesses don't swill beer and play billiards in seedy space bars, and she wasn't the saint the religious texts claimed she was.

The Golem The Golem by Isaac Bashevis Singer
reviewed by Neil Walsh
From a Nobel laureate comes a powerful retelling of the legend of the clay giant who aids the Jews of Prague in their time of need. Available in paperback for the first time.

Tangle of Need Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The novel takes the reader through to Adria, a wolf changeling and soldier who has to leave her past behind her in order to set about creating a new future for herself. But when she meets a SnowDancer, Riaz, her heart is torn in two just as his is troubled by how he feels about her. His needs are sexual, and all consuming. He is dangerous, and that appeals to her risky nature. They shouldn't be together, but they can't be apart. Theirs is a love that is terrible, yet wild and tortuous for both of them.

Angel's Blood Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh
reviewed by John Enzinas
Imagine a world like our own, except that instead of governments and corporations controlling our lives, there is a council of Angels who have divided up the world into their own little fiefdoms where they rule with an iron fist. These angels are very powerful winged humanoids but there is no explicit connection with the divine. This is probably for the best as these angels have the ability to transform humans into immortal servants who are vampires.

The Hand That Feeds / Alternate Lives / In The Mirror The Hand That Feeds by Peter Crowther and James Lovegrove, Alternate Lives by Paul Bradshaw and In The Mirror by Sarah Singleton
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
These are 3 exceptional chapbooks with a vitally important theme. It would be nice if these stories gave us pause, caused us to examine the shadows around us more closely. "Nice," but not likely, according to these authors. People are people and human nature is virtually set in stone; a genuine, lasting change just may be beyond such simple creatures.

Headcode Headcode by Kenji Siratori
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Georges may regret this review in 20 years when Siratori is a household name and William Gibson is forgotten has-been, but he seriously doubts it. You can think of it as over 250 pages -- if only he'd written a sonnet -- of incomprehensible, undecodable, torturous, plotless, needlessly repetitive, self-indulgent gobbletygook -- a cyber-slang metalanguage to the cognoscenti -- that one hopes was printed on recycled paper lest it have the added sin of killing trees and contributing to global warming.

Blood Relations Blood Relations by A.L. Sirois
reviewed by Rodger Turner
The sabership Haltija sends a first contact party down to the planet Lennon with the intent of re-establishing relations with a colony once thought lost. The sentient ship had just about given up and its crew-family was looking ahead to some shore leave. For events were not proceeding as expected. The crew had factionalized and sabotage had damaged ship's key systems.

Susan Sizemore

The Affinity Trap The Affinity Trap by Martin Sketchley
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Alexander Delgado is a veteran soldier and experienced covert operative for Structure, the world government that has come to exist in the wake of humanity's withdrawal into gigantic habitat towers, sealed off from the trashed, polluted, disease-ridden world of the far future. Since a bloody coup by the power-hungry General William Myson, Structure has become a corrupt dictatorship. Delgado, whose loyalty to the previous regime caused him to be punished by the sidelining of his career, is called out of his semi-retirement by General Myson himself. Earth is in imminent danger of war with the Seriatts, a powerful three-gendered alien race whose homeworld lies close to the locus of some of Myson's many illegal dealings.

Sky City: New Science Fiction Stories by Danish Authors Sky City: New Science Fiction Stories by Danish Authors edited by Carl-Eddy Skovgaard
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Every few years, international science fiction appears to be spotlighted by an American editor, whether it is the excellent SFWA European Hall of Fame edited by James and Kathryn Morrow in 2007 or Tales from Planet Earth edited by Frederik Pohl and Elizabeth Anne Hull twenty years earlier. Here we have Sky City, with stories selected by Carl-Eddy Skovgaard and published by Science Fiction Cirklen, an anthology of Danish Science Fiction originally published in 2007 and 2008 with new translations into English.

The Complete Roderick The Complete Roderick by John Sladek
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
Roderick is an evolving robot: he evolves from an AI construct to a legless but mobile box with sensory apparatus, and finally, near the end of the first novel in this two-volume compilation, to something with a body and a reasonable facsimile of a head, though a head painted black, which causes quite a bit of confusion amongst some of Roderick's neighbors.

Tik-Tok Tik-Tok by John Sladek
reviewed by Rich Horton
The book is purportedly written by the title character, a robot, as he awaits his trial and certain execution for murder. We are quickly told of the first of Tik-Tok's crimes, the first time he realizes his "asimov" circuits must be damaged: he murders a little blind girl while his owners are away, and then covers up the bloodstains with a mural. It is the mural which provokes interest though: it is evidence that robots can be creative. The ironic linkage between creativity and murderousness should probably not be missed.

Masters of Deception Masters of Deception by Michelle Slatalla and Joshua Quittner
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
It's 1989, and while personal computers have been around for a few years, their full potential is still largely untapped. Only about one household in three owns a computer, and most that do own them don't really know what to do with them. But there are an elite few who understand instinctively that mastery of the computer means power. These few are almost always teenage boys, are highly intelligent, and are bored. It was fun at first, like a game, but when a couple of hackers gain access to New York Telephone's computer system, the stakes are suddenly much higher.

The Girl With No Hands and Other Tales The Girl With No Hands and Other Tales by Angela Slatter
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
An Australian author who spins beautiful yarns in a musical, fascinating narrative style, her enticing stories are set in a magical world in which reality is colourful and fascinating, made of that elusive, precious substance of which dreams are made. This collection of sixteen enchanting fairy tales for grownups is penned by this incredibly talented writer.

Among the Dolls Among the Dolls by William Sleator
reviewed by Dan Shade
Ten-year-old Vicky, is crushed when she receives a dusty, old doll house for her birthday instead of the shiny, new 10-speed bike she'd been hinting about so much. She rushes to her bedroom in tears. However the doll house soon begins to draw her interest and she soon begins play with it a great deal. Vicky then begins making the doll house people behave like the real people in her life.

Rewind Rewind by William Sleator
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Fans of Sleator's creepy and complicated SF stories may be surprised by this relatively straightforward tale, in which there aren't any particularly strange goings-on -- other than the fact that the narrator is dead, of course. But not permanently dead, or at least not yet. He is given a chance to go back and prevent his death.

The Boxes The Boxes by William Sleator
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
This is a fast-paced, vividly imagined book. Many young readers will love the fascinatingly creepy details and identify with the young heroes as they outwit the nefarious grownups.

Brain Plague Brain Plague by Joan Slonczewski
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Chrysoberyl is a young artist, struggling to mount an exhibition and pay her rent at the same time. In addition, her family cannot afford the medical help her brother needs. When she signs up for an experimental program, she becomes host to a microbe colony known as the Eleutherians. Her status as a carrier is her ticket to wealth and fame, but it also exposes her to the growing prejudice against the brain plague and its human hosts.

The Children Star The Children Star by Joan Slonczewski
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The author's ability to use her scientific background (she's Chair of the Biology Department at Kenyon College) to create believable worlds is a powerful asset, while her writing skills ensure that there's a good story to go along with the scientific accuracy.

The Apparition Trail The Apparition Trail by Lisa Smedman
reviewed by Donna McMahon
It is 1884 on the prairies, but a very different 1884 than the one in Canadian history books. Since a mysterious comet struck Earth's moon in 1877, magical phenomena have become real. For Europeans, this has manifested in the development of perpetual motion technology, which is swiftly replacing coal and steam on the partially completed Canadian Pacific Railroad. And for tribes like the Cree and Blackfoot, magic holds the promise of powerful spells to banish foreign interlopers from the plains and restore the vanishing buffalo herds.

Tails You Lose Tails You Lose by Lisa Smedman
reviewed by Donna McMahon
One of the signs of a successful novel is that it stands alone, regardless of whether the reader has read prequels, or -- in the case of media and gaming tie-ins -- is familiar with the universe it's set in. On that basis, this novel in the Shadowrun series, is a winner -- a book that is readable by anybody, regardless of their interest or disinterest in gaming.

The Forever Drug The Forever Drug by Lisa Smedman
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
You think werewolves are cursed with this nightmare of shape-shifting, and spend their miserable lives bemoaning their tragic fate? That doesn't come close to describing the problems of Romulus, free agent for the Magical Task Force of Halifax. Running around in wolf-form is the least of his worries.

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