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The Secret of Redemption The Secret of Redemption by Jennifer St. Clair
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
It's another ordinary day at the library for Assistant Director Penny Montgomery -- until, that is, Malachi of the Wild Hunt pays a visit, feeling guilty about his past and seeking... well, he's not quite sure. But Penny has an idea: why doesn't he come along and tell stories of Faerie to the children at the library's after-school club?

Brian Stableford

Michael A. Stackpole

Star Maker Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
reviewed by David Soyka
This is one of those works that are revered by critics and studied in academia, but largely unread even by serious readers. While Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf may have sparked general interest in the oldest of English long poems (and forebear of sword and sorcery fantasy) beyond lit majors who have to read it, doubt exists that the Millennium SF Masterworks reissue of this novel will have similar results.

Star*Drive: Arms and Equipment Guide Star*Drive: Arms and Equipment Guide
a gaming accessory review by Don Bassingthwaite
Great selection, slightly questionable presentation, good background material with a little imagination, Don's advice: buy the Guide for the toys but look for text details and you'll get even more out of this book.

Star Trek Star Trek
a DVD review by Rick Klaw
After thirteen years, two dismal feature films, and a failed television series since the last quality installment (First Contact), the 43-year-old Star Trek franchise received a much needed facelift. In Star Trek, director J.J. Abrams managed a true rarity in creating a reboot that honored and embraced its predecessor in a movie that excited both hardcore and casual fans.

Outbound: An Explorer's Guidebook Outbound: An Explorer's Guidebook by Ed Stark
a gaming accessory review by Don Bassingthwaite
This guidebook addresses all of the various needs of an exploration campaign very neatly. As those familiar with the Star*Drive setting will know, the action takes place on the Verge, wild and woolly frontier space. So slip into your climate weave jumpsuit, and pack your sensor gauntlet, e-suit, and weapon of choice (hey, it's a nasty universe out there). Now you're ready to fire up the stardrive! To leave civilization behind...

Dracula: or The Un-Dead Dracula: or The Un-Dead edited and annotated by Sylvia Starshine
reviewed by Margo MacDonald
Margo discovered that the introduction to this book is interesting; the play itself is unbearable. Stoker wrote this script for the sole purpose of preserving the theatrical rights to his masterpiece. It is basically a pared-down version of the novel, but it has lost the aspects of the story and storytelling that made Dracula, the novel, chilling and seductive.

Star Wars Episode I: Queen Amidala Paper Doll Book Star Wars Episode I: Queen Amidala Paper Doll Book
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
What SF fan could oppose a book that fosters appreciation of the genre in young children? Jonathan's daughter, inspired by this book, is already asking about the various Star Wars characters. Perhaps if those who feel a bias towards SF had been introduced to it earlier, they would enjoy it now -- or at least not be so critical of those who do.

Steampunk Trails #1 Steampunk Trails #1
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The first of anything new is daunting, but also interesting. This a new magazine by David B. Riley, editor of Science Fiction Trails and Low Noon. His choice of quality fiction can be seen here as he has gathered several of the well-known names from his previous magazines and novel compilations; Carrie Vaughn, OM Gray, Quincy Allen, Henrik Ramsager, Lyn McConchie, Vivian Caethe, Sam Knight, Rhye Manhattan and Mike Cervantes.

Allen Steele

A Rumor of Gems A Rumor of Gems by Ellen Steiber
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Lucinda, has always lived in the cosmopolitan port city of Arcato. A strikingly beautiful woman, she works as a model for the exclusive clothing designer, Tyrone, a flamboyant tyrant who is also her only friend. Angry and fiercely defended, Lucinda uses and discards men before they can hurt her. Although she keeps to herself, Lucinda has heard rumours of odd happenings in Arcato. Those charming, quirky miracles are occurring amid other, darker supernatural events.

Abel's Island Abel's Island by William Steig
reviewed by Lela Olszewski
A classic of children's literature -- in print for nearly two decades -- Abel's Island works on so many levels, it's no surprise it's a Newbery Medal honor book.

Neal Stephenson

The Mongoliad, Book 1 The Mongoliad, Book 1 by Erik Bear, Greg Bear, Joseph Brassey, E.D. DeBirmingham, Cooper Moo, Neal Stephenson & Mark Teppo
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The back blurb begins: "Fusing historical events with a gripping fictional narrative, this first book in the trilogy reveals a secret history of Europe in the thirteenth century". In point of fact, if Alma had known about this particular sandpit way way back when it was first being mooted, and if she had known that there would be this many contributing writers involved, she would probably have tossed her own hat into the ring for a chance to do something with this material

Bruce Sterling

Soulsaver Soulsaver by James Stevens-Arce
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Juan and his partner Fabiola are soulsavers: they drive a FreezVan for the Suicide Prevention Corps of America. In the USA of 2099, where the separation of church and state is a thing of the past and the Christian Alliance rules, suicide has become the ultimate violation of God's Law. But a person must be alive in order to be punished -- and so SPCA drivers freeze suicides on the spot in their cryogenically-equipped vans and rush them to resurrection centres.

The Bearskin Rug The Bearskin Rug by Jennifer Stevenson
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The Bearskin Rug finishes the story began in The Brass Bed and The Velvet Chair. The three books came out one a month. The Bearskin Rug stands alone; the author interleaves the developing plot with flashbacks that not only illuminate Jewel's early life as a Wisconsin teenager inheriting her grandmother's failing farm, but paints in the relationships established in the previous books.

The Brass Bed The Velvet Chair The Brass Bed and The Velvet Chair by Jennifer Stevenson
reviewed by Rich Horton
Jewel Heiss is the heroine, a cop of sorts in a slightly alternate Chicago. To say "cop" is slightly misleading since Jewel works for the Department of Consumer Services, so she is restricted to investigating fraud and out of date licenses and so on. Oh, and magic -- or as it is called, "the hinky stuff". In the case of the latter, her main job is to suppress evidence of any "hinky stuff" -- after what happened to Pittsburgh, the city mayor is determined not to let his city lose control to magic.

Trash Sex Magic Trash Sex Magic by Jennifer Stevenson
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Raedawn Somershoe lives with her wild, outspoken mother in a trailer along the banks of the Fox River just outside of Chicago. Living next to them are the remaining members of the Gowdy family, the parents having vanished suddenly one night, leaving a drunken uncle named Cracker in charge. King Gowdy is back after ten years away, unhappy about his wild brothers and the even wilder nine-year-old twins named Mink and Ink who were left behind by one of Cracker's many girlfriends.

River Rats River Rats by Caroline Stevermer
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The story begins after the "Flash" (an unexplained global disaster, followed by a terrible epidemic) transformed the Mississippi into a polluted waste lined with little scratch towns, a village controlled by a tough family, the Lesters, and, in the ruins of a once-big city, a gang of Wild Boys. The protagonists are a small group of kids who lived on an old paddle wheel steamboat that was serving as a grim sort of orphanage.

When The King Comes Home When The King Comes Home by Caroline Stevermer
reviewed by Pat Caven
In a Renaissance world allayed alongside our own, Hail Rosmer is an artist's apprentice studying in the city of Aravis. Two centuries past, the fabled King Julian IV disappeared into legend. The promise of his mythical return has become synonymous with wild dreams fulfilled. And Hail is just such a dreamer. But ambitious apprentices soon discover they have enemies.

Earth Abides Earth Abides by George R. Stewart / The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Classics of science fiction, both are post-holocaust novels in which a single man survives. Beyond being rousing adventures, and having almost opposite approaches to the human nature of their last man, they explore the role of personal integrity and of knowledge in the development of humanity -- one centred on the concept of the all-controlling, all-conquering Übermensch; the other on its hero's uneasiness of the absolute power his deification by fellow survivors has brought him.

Heaven Heaven by Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
This book has an ambitious high concept; likely the authors wanted to write a humorous, satirical study of the evil often wrought by religious fanatics. The difficulty is that it is hard to make such an unpleasant subject funny. Frankly, there is a lot of evil in the name of religion going around these days. So while this book can't be as amusing as it might, the theme is still important.

Wheelers Wheelers by Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
Most the story takes place on Earth or on Jupiter or points between. And a vast, epic story it is. Equal emphasis is given to the character development of twin sisters and the son of one of the sisters on earth, and the fascinating details of the exceedingly alien civilization in the atmosphere of Jupiter. Earth is menaced by an impact by a comet, which seems to have been somehow hurled at Earth by an incredible manipulation of Jupiter's moons.

Sean Stewart

Shiver Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
It's a supernatural love story. Young Grace, whose parents tend to forget that she exists half the time, was once (when she was very young) dragged off by a pack of wolves into the woods behind her home -- and was rescued by one of the pack, a wolf whose golden eyes she has never forgotten and with whom she keeps up a strange and distant relationship during the winters of her lives when the pack is roaming the woods. She has plenty to handle in the rest of her life.

S.M. Stirling

Reckoning Infinity Reckoning Infinity by John E. Stith
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Some authors take their time, steadily setting the scene, developing the characters, building the tension -- easing you into the situation. John Stith grabs you by the arm and yanks you into the centre of the action. It's a one-page-no-turning-back kind of thing. There's no stopping until you reach the final page.

The False House The False House by James Stoddard
reviewed by Pat Caven
It takes up where The High House finished. Lord Carter and his brother discover that the High House is changing. The anarchists have stolen the foundation stone of the House, using it to create a duplicate in the Outer Dark -- a false House created out of bleakness and despair. The effect on the true House forces Carter and his friends to seek the anarchists out on their home ground.

The High House The High House by James Stoddard
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In contrast to the increasing trend in fantasy to seek authenticity by focusing on real-world details and topical issues, this novel unapologetically situates itself entirely outside mundane reality, plunging the reader fully into an other-world of symbol and legend.

Bram Stoker's Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition Bram Stoker's Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition by Bram Stoker, annotated and transcribed by Robert Eighteen-Bisang & Elizabeth Miller
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
Talk about expectation versus experience! Richard will confess that he thought this book was going to be a total snoozer. A facsimile of a hundred or so pages of dubiously legible notes by a long-dead author, for a novel that he wrote well over a century ago. The author was Abraham "Bram" Stoker (1847–1912) and the novel was Dracula (1897).

Ashes and Angel Wings Ashes and Angel Wings by Greg Stolze
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
It is a cinematically written mad dash, rather like an episode of The Sopranos though a drug haze, but also including supernatural characters based on the angels and demons of Biblical lore. The mix is one of psychopathic violence, which is never mindless, Mafia culture, and snappy dialogue presented in a New Jersey accent. The anti-hero is one Harvey Ciullo. Things look terminal, especially when Harv has his brains blown out, but then his death attracts the attention of Hasmed, a fallen angel recently freed from Hell.

Rejiggering the Thingamajig and Other Stories Rejiggering the Thingamajig and Other Stories by Eric James Stone
reviewed by Trent Walters
The first collection of Nebula-winner Eric James Stone traces the development of this writer from humble beginnings -- chopping wood behind his log cabin in Kentucky -- to award-winning writer. All of the stories are entertaining; half will stick with you. While more than capable of evoking thought and strong emotions from the reader, Stone remains unafraid of the Golden-Age-style, short-short entertainments.

Matthew Woodring Stover

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