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Moondust Moondust by Andrew Smith
reviewed by Stuart Carter
It all started when the writer had a kind of minor epiphany, realising that the number of people still living who have walked on another world is now down to single figures following the death of Pete Conrad, and that within his own lifetime there might well be no one alive who has done so. He therefore decides to try and track down the remaining nine Apollo moonwalkers, to ask them how such a singular experience has changed their lives and perspectives.

The Guardian The Guardian by Beecher Smith
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Sooner or later, every horror author does it. They can't help themselves. The overwhelming compulsion to rewrite Dracula -- the need to trot that old vampire legend out for another go. It wouldn't be so sad if most of them were well done. Or original. It would be wonderful if all of them were as entertaining as this novel.

More Monsters From Memphis More Monsters From Memphis edited by Beecher Smith
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Regional horror is hot right now. If you like your fiction with a little Southern flavour, this book offers an infusion of that deep south mixture of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

Goddess of the Mountain Harvest Goddess of the Mountain Harvest by Brenda Gates Smith
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Sequel to Secrets of the Ancient Goddess, the story concentrates on two women destined to be high priestesses of a peaceful matriarchal agrarian society in prehistoric Turkey. Yana has had to undergo a taxing initiation/rebirth, which has brought her spiritually closer to the nurturing/mothering aspect of the goddess. Henne has escaped from capture, enslavement and rape, returning with a very practical hands-on understanding of the limitations of the more passive aspects of the goddess.

Secrets of the Ancient Goddess Secrets of the Ancient Goddess by Brenda Gates Smith
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Dateline, Turkey, circa 5000 BCE. This books is steeped in gynocentric mythology and ritual. Like many of the current prehistoric novels, it is obviously targetted to a predominantly female readership. There is, however, sufficient adventure, powerful male characters, and graphic sex, to interest the typical male reader, too. It's a solid first novel.

The Double Shadow The Double Shadow by Clark Ashton Smith
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
In that now distant time before Tolkien and his acolytes and imitators (the good, the bad and the truly unfortunate), burgeoned like great canopied oaks above the ancient grove that is fantasy to overshadow the myriad other blossoms sprung from its rich, dark soil, there grew some strange, ripe blooms. One of the strangest and ripest was a poet named Clark Ashton Smith. A touch tubercular, beloved by Hugo Gernsback and H.P. Lovecraft, though oft looked at askance by his neighbours in the farming community of Auburn, California -- he was adept at seducing their wives -- Smith etched a brief line of fire across the pre-World War I literary firmament as a young Keats or Shelley. In the 20s, he turned to writing prose.

The Emperor of Dreams The Emperor of Dreams by Clark Ashton Smith
reviewed by William Thompson
Shifting sands and forgotten ruins. Oriental towers and odalisques. Medieval castles and haunted woods. These are but some of the fictional realms of Clark Ashton Smith, worlds of dark wonder and necromancy; familiar paths that imperceptibly veer into other realities where horror and often death await.

When the People Fell When the People Fell by Cordwainer Smith
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The story is well known by now. In 1950 an obscure, short-lived magazine called Fantasy Book published a story, "Scanners Live In Vain," under the transparent pseudonym Cordwainer Smith. The story caught the attention of those people who did encounter the magazine because it was so accomplished, and it was quickly republished in an anthology edited by Frederik Pohl. Since the author's name was so clearly a pseudonym, there was some debate about who it might really be. In his introduction to this collection, Pohl says that speculation included Henry Kuttner, Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon and A.E. Van Vogt. All denied it, of course.

Norstrilia Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This is part of a large future history covering tens of thousands of years, and many colourful characters. The author mainly wrote short stories, and readers of those stories will recognize several of the characters that appear in here, especially C'mell and the Lord Jestecost. The stories as a whole tell the history of mankind from the end of our civilization to its expansion through space under the watchful eyes of the Instrumentality of Mankind.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Mist Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Mist by Dean Wesley Smith and Kathryn Rusch
reviewed by Alexander von Thorn
The Captain's Table is a bar in the interstices of space and time, where ship captains from past and present gather to exchange stories, in the tradition of Gavagan's Bar or Callahan's. Unfortunately, it seems like more of a marketing device than a literary one.

War in Heaven War in Heaven by Gavin Smith
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
War in Heaven is the sequel to Veteran, and includes a few pages to explain what has gone before, then it's back down the rabbit hole that is the author's plot. Veteran was a moody shooter's paradise, boasting an attitude like a Rottweiler with toothache. The follow up continues right where things left off, and maintains the style. Yes, there are some moments of humour, but these are slight and of an acquired taste. His technique is to keep hurling material at the reader, trebuchet style, never letting up.

Veteran Veteran by Gavin Smith
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is one of those books that either hits the spot or misses completely. There is no black and white in terms of its style, although it does buck the trend a little more, getting from beginning to end. The premise is a veteran military special forces operative, forced out of retirement to track down an alien killing machine. An infiltrator of the same type wiped out his entire squad, back in the day. Now, it's loose in his home town. Except, things aren't quite the way they seem.

Veteran Veteran by Gavin Smith
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Jakob Douglas fought alien enemies he didn't understand for years before being dishonorably discharged for his part in a mutiny. But now his former CO has called him back into service. A thrilling, action-packed sci-fi debut, the book that takes place 300 years in the future. The war with the aliens has lasted 60 years and an end is nowhere in sight. But now one of Them has turned up in Jakob's hometown of Dundee, and he's the closest hope of destroying it.

The Busker The Busker by Guy N. Smith
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
The Lichfield District is a typical rural area of England. Add one dangerously open mind and you throw the whole thing into chaos. Add one farmer, determined to work the land in the old way, organic and by hand, and watch the farming community bristle. Add one itinerant busker and watch the villagers die.

Kristine Smith

Everything You Need Everything You Need by Michael Marshall Smith
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
On one hand, the author is recognized as a fine, acclaimed writer of dark fiction, whose stories have been very frequently included in the annual Best New Horror anthologies and on the other he is the author of a bunch of successful thrillers. Oddly enough, the majority of his short fiction have been published by an American imprint, Earthling Publications, Everything You Need being the latest collection. And what a great, extraordinary collection!

The Intruders The Intruders by Michael Marshall
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Jack and Amy Whalen, a former policeman turned writer, and his wife who works in advertising, are living the quiet life tucked away in small town America. Until Gary Fisher, an old high school friend of Jack's, turns up with circumstantial evidence which suggests Amy might have a connection to the Anderson murders. Running parallel with this is the story of nine-year-old Madison, a girl who goes missing while walking on a deserted beach. Madison is suffering from odd blackouts, during which she cannot remember her actions. Inside her head she senses another presence, and it is this entity, an older adult mind, which directs her relentlessly toward an unknown destination.

Binary 2 Andy Warhol's Dracula by Kim Newman and The Vaccinator by Michael Mashall Smith by
reviewed by Lisa Brunetta
Two short novels in one book. The first is about Johnny Pop, the Dracula family's latest incarnation, who shows up in America, promptly drains a budding disco king and sets out to conquer the world of Andy Warhol and Studio 54. The second concerns Eddie, who fixes things for a living. Right now, he negotiates abduction vaccines for unfortunate about-to-be-beamed-up humans with a trio of tall, spidery golden aliens who are often too wasted to talk.

Spares Spares by Michael Marshall Smith
reviewed by Rodger Turner
Rodger thinks this is an author with a remarkable eye. His writing is starkly visual reminding him of what Blade Runner would be like on speed. Smith captures the essence of characters with a deft touch, all the while pushing the plot forward with surreal intensity.

The End of Science Fiction The End of Science Fiction by Sam Smith
reviewed by Stuart Carter
We meet Detective Inspector Herbie Watkins, who has been called out to investigate the brutal murder of a young woman in central London. At the same time it becomes common knowledge that the end of the world is nigh -- six days nigh, in fact -- and not merely the world: the entire universe has been discovered to have played something of a cosmic trick upon us and is collapsing at breakneck speed back into a Big Crunch. Hearing the news, Watkins carries on with his job as a policeman, spending his last few days investigating the murder. He isn't insane neither is he so dull as to be unaware of the time limit upon his investigations. Watkins is not an unhappy man but... well, what else is there to do?

A Posse of Princesses A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
In a world of relatively peaceful small kingdoms where magic is operated by mages and the usual feudal trappings exist, Lios, Crown Prince of Vesarja, invites the young princesses and princes of the world to a several day coming out party in his parent's castle. Rhis, princess of a small remote mountain kingdom, who has grown up stifled by protocol, is one of those who attends the festivities. When Iardith, a beautiful but vain and self-centered princess is kidnapped, Rhis leads a mounted rescue party of princess-friends.

The Crown and Court Duet The Crown and Court Duet by Sherwood Smith
reviewed by Rich Horton
Very few books keep Rich up at night or make him take an extra-long lunch break to finish -- but these two did. They feature 16-year old Countess Meliara Astiar, and her bumbling but passionate entrance into the worlds of politics and war. The pair of books are nice formal contrasts: the first almost all action and war, the second more magic and formal court life. Highly recommended.

The Echo The Echo by James Smythe
reviewed by Ernest Lilley
Sometime in this century, after we've given up the idea of conquering Mars, the spaceship Ishiguro sets out on a glorious media fueled mission into deep space, and while it's out there, to explore an anomalous area of dead space that appears to be moving towards Earth. On board was the physicist that discovered the anomaly, a telegenic crew and intrepid reporter, and lots of product placement. They launched amid fanfare and disappeared into the vastness of space. Or into the maw of the abyss.

The Magic Box The Magic Box by John Snead
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
So, you've managed to defeat the big bad about 500 times, and maybe, just maybe, you're tired of being the nifty kick butt slayer or whatever other role you've found for yourself in the Buffy-verse. If that's so, why not see what Giles has for you down at the Magic Box?

Niamh and the Hermit Niamh and the Hermit by Emily C.A. Snyder
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Princess Niamh is so beautiful that her beauty has driven many a man mad. Even her Fairy mother and royal human father can not bear to look directly upon her, her presence burns like the sun, and anyone who approaches her with less than pure intentions falls in a faint. Except, of course, for the evil Count, who has nothing at all in his heart for her beauty to call to, and is immune. There will be no wedding for the princess, unless the Hermit, known for his kindness and saintly behavior despite his deformity makes him seem like the best -- and only -- possible choice.

Shotgun Sorceress Shotgun Sorceress by Lucy A. Snyder
reviewed by John Enzinas
This one picks up where Spellbent left off, with the titular hero, Jessie Shimmer, coming to terms with the fact that her hand has been replaced with demonic plasma and she's just killed a couple of extremely powerful creatures. Just as she's wondering if maybe her flaming hand is just some kind of gift, she discovers that she now feels death (and other memories).

Spellbent Spellbent by Lucy A. Snyder
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Jessie Shimmer lives with her magical mentor/lover, Cooper Marron and their respective familiars. Lately they've both had nightmares, but Cooper doesn't seem too worried. Unfortunately, during an uncomplicated spell to bring a storm to save the local farming community, Cooper opens a portal to hell instead.

The Innamorati The Innamorati by Midori Snyder
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This novel draws you into a tangle of plots spread wide across an alternate Italy where magic and curses are commonplace. A time when the release from a curse's grip lies in the centre of a mysterious, everchanging labyrinth. But, despite centuries and hundreds of pilgrims, no one has ever emerged from the maze again.

Filet of Sohl Filet of Sohl by Jerry Sohl
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This collect contains seven short stories from the early 50s which were to form part of a projected but never published 1959 paperback collection of the same name, along with its never before published introduction by Sohl himself. Another three more modern short stories are also included along with two previously unknown scripts, bought but never produced for The Twilight Zone, and a previously unpublished script from Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

The Abulon Dance The Abulon Dance by Caro Soles
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
The people of Merculian are not like most of us. On their planet the dominant sentient species is comprised entirely of hermaphrodites -- true hermaphrodites, capable of impregnating any other Merculian. If this concept is a bit difficult to wrap your mind around, imagine the reactions of the other races they meet throughout the galaxy. Perhaps these encounters would be slightly easier if the group the aliens were facing was not the extremely emotional, often histrionic members of the Merculian National Dance Company.

The Electric Church The Electric Church by Jeff Somers
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
Unification into the System of Federated Nations has divided the world's population into a tiny number of haves, and a great unwashed sea of have-nots, policed by the System Security Force, and local cops. The resultant urban turmoil has left Old New York, a sprawl of grubby, trashed buildings and grubby, trashed people. One of these is Avery Cates, a security expert, sometime bodyguard, and assassin-for-hire. Avery knows his days are numbered -- unless something big happens to change things.

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.

The Afterlife The Afterlife by Gary Soto
reviewed by Trent Walters
Chuy is an average kid -- average-looking and average at athletics -- from the poorer district of L.A. He plays basketball but only plays when their team is way ahead or way behind. We meet him in the restroom of Club Estrella, spiffing up for his date. Chuy tells a stranger in yellow shoes that Chuy likes the shoes. The guy doesn't much care for the remark. So he stabs Chuy, and Chuy dies. Chuy is now a ghost slowly disappearing and is tossed by the wind.

Space and Time, Spring 2004 Space and Time, Spring 2004
reviewed by Rich Horton
The current issues offers nine stories and as many poems. (No other features -- no editorial, no reviews, no non-fiction. Though there is copious black and white artwork.) In a very general sense, the stories are typical of the better semi-professional magazines -- in nearly every case one can see why they may not have made the cut at the top magazines, but they are generally decent work, with a spark in every case that will keep you reading.

Agog! Smashing Stories Agog! Smashing Stories edited by Cat Sparks
reviewed by Lisa Dumond
In this fourth volume of the Agog! series of anthologies, the editor has trumped herself again with a collection of the very best in speculative fiction from Australia. As always, the anthology offers the perfect introductory course to the geographically locked-in, with familiar names, such as Deborah Biancotti, Sean McMullen, and Simon Brown, and "new" authors, ready to be "discovered" by the rest of the world. The stories range from science fiction to fantasy to the darkest of horror -- all in every mood imaginable and every approach never imagined.

Agog! Terrific Tales Agog! Terrific Tales edited by Cat Sparks
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Agog! Fantastic Fiction was so enjoyable that there wasn't any hesitation to review her latest anthology. Again, the editor has a talent for finding the some of the most entertaining fiction Australia has to offer, snaring not only familiar names, such as Jack Dann, Sean Williams, and Jack Dann, but uncovering "new" authors readers may never have encountered. What more could you ask of an anthology?

Agog! Fantastic Fiction Agog! Fantastic Fiction edited by Cat Sparks
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Every time you're browsing in a bookstore you see the searchers: people desperate to find somebody "new" to read. Well, if for some unfathomable reason you aren't familiar with our Australian contingent in the genre, here is your chance to correct that mortifying oversight and score 29 "new" authors to get excited about. This anthology just might be your best chance yet to sample the best that Australia serves up in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction realms. A veritable smorgasbord!

Spectrum SF

Cloven Cloven by Sally Spedding
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Ivan Browning has come to quiet, quaint Northamptionshire in order to escape the tragic accident that robbed a young girl of her life and him of his peace. Now he teaches a pottery class and lives in Tripp's Cottage, a place with a long and tragic history. His journey begins, ironically, when his car is stolen. Before he left his car, he suffered a sucking sensation on his hand, as if something was sucking on his skin. It creates a funny mark to one on Valerie Rook. It is Valerie who explains the strange nature of the place. Soon, they'll be trying to solve something much less mundane than crooked politics and incestuous town affairs.

Powers of the Mind Powers of the Mind by John and Anne Spencer
reviewed by Thomas Myer
Thomas found this to be an ambitious book. It takes on just about every single conceivable paranormal oddity related to the mind, and addresses them each in a solid, organized way.

Wen Spencer

The Ocean and All Its Devices The Ocean and All Its Devices by William Browning Spencer
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
More than ten years after his first collection, the critically acclaimed The Return of Count Electric, William Browning Spencer returns, much to his fans' delight, with a second volume of short fiction. This book assembles nine previously published stories, scattered so far among the pages of a number of genre magazines.

Irrational Fears Irrational Fears by William Browning Spencer
reviewed by Neil Walsh
Alcoholism is a cthulhoid conspiracy. No wait! Maybe that's just what the mad cultists want you to think. Or maybe they only want you to think that they want you to think that, in order to cover up the fact that it's actually true. Is that it?

Quiver Quiver by Stephanie Spinner
reviewed by Amal El-Mohtar
Set in a mythic, ancient Greece, where centaurs are as much of a threat to people as the boars sent by vengeful gods, it tells the story of Atalanta, who, cast out at birth for being a girl instead of the son her father hoped for, is suckled by a she-bear and raised by hunters. She takes a vow of chastity, devotes her life to the goddess Artemis, and, at sixteen, is reckoned by many to be "the swiftest mortal alive," as well as a brilliant huntress. She longs for glory and, in search of it, takes part in the Calydonian Boar Hunt.

Bug Jack Barron Bug Jack Barron by Norman Spinrad
reviewed by Martin Lewis
Jack Barron is the host of Bug Jack Barron, a television phone-in show with an audience of 100 million and the power to make or break reputations. Benedict Howards is the billionaire director of the Foundation for Human Immortality, a cryogenics institute that will freeze anyone for $500,000. Legislation, in the form of the Freezer Utility Bill, is currently being proposed that would give the technically non-profit Foundation a legal monopoly on freezing.

Extra Innings Extra Innings by Bruce E. Spitzer
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Fenway Park is turned into an island, robot pitchers are throwing 120 mile per hour fastballs to juiced up hitters, and enough advances in medical technology can revive the frozen remains of an individual from the Twentieth Century. That's the set-up this novel, and yes, the author is a Red Sox fan. And if you haven't figured it out yet, that means the man being revived is none other than Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter of all time.

Prom Night Prom Night edited by Nancy Springer
reviewed by A.L. Sirois
When you think about pop music of the 50s and 60s, there are a tremendous number of titles having to do with love, from Milly Small's silly "My Boy Lollipop" to the Beatles wistful "And I Love Her." But the odd thing is, not one song has anything to do with a prom. With this distinct lack in the music culture, the marketing geniuses at DAW have come up with this anthology to fill the gap.

I Am Mordred: A Tale from Camelot I Am Mordred: A Tale from Camelot by Nancy Springer
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
Stephen felt this to be an entertaining, if flawed, work dealing with the Arthurian character of Mordred. It bothered him that Mordred's part has been rewritten, giving him an unwitting and unwilling role in the destruction of Arthur.

Fair Peril Fair Peril by Nancy Springer
reviewed by Lucy Snyder
This book goes a lot deeper than most light fantasy you'll find on the shelves these days; it's a good, fast read, but it will leave you thinking. Springer explores the physical and symbolic ramifications of being turned into a frog.

Daughter of Darkness Daughter of Darkness by Steven Spruill
reviewed by Thomas Cunningham
A doctor finds the corpse of a body drained of blood on her doorstep -- a message from a creature she'd long thought destroyed. Thomas found it a vampire novel with original trappings.

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