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The Young Wizards Series The Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
The series tells of the adventures of the young teen wizards Nita Callahan and Kit Rodriguez along with Nita's kid sister Dairine, as they use wizardry to defeat the chaotic plans of the Lone One, master of entropy. The imaginative and meticulously detailed locations for these battles include an alternate New York City, deep-sea waters beneath the Atlantic, interstellar space, a magic-saturated Ireland, and inside a diseased human body. Their descriptions and that of the characters are such that it is easy to suspend disbelief, enter this world of young wizards and empathize with them as they face their enemy. The rapid pace, diverse adventures and genuine threat of what they are up against make the books the exciting page-turners they are.

James Barclay A Conversation With James Barclay
Part 2 of an interview with John Berlyne
On names in fantasy:
"I try not to have names that are difficult to pronounce. Now 'Xetesk' is one and I know it has confused people but I just like the X at the front so that's tough! I could have made it a Z, but Z makes it a bit sort of crap fantasy. I don't use Z's very much at all. But the names are not horribly dissimilar to names you find here on Earth but they're unusual in that you couldn't say, oh well that's like an Indian name, or that's like a Russian name."

Inherit The Earth Inherit The Earth edited by Stewart Wieck
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Through this book, you will learn that there is so much more than the commonly held views of RPGs. The entries in this Hunter: The Reckoning anthology stand up to some of the best fiction being produced today. Remember, it all springs from a strong, solid story with endless possibilities.

Dislocated Fictions Dislocated Fictions
a column by Gabriel Chouinard
Gabriel Chouinard's column is dedicated to exposing the risk-takers working in SF and fantasy. He calls them the Next Wave, in a nod to the obvious influences that the New Wave writers had upon them. Here, he lobs a few high, hard ones in the direction of SF criticism and reviewing, plus he offers suggestions where you can find books worthy of the term offbeat, literate fantastica. He also begins the formation of the Free Alliance -- a linkage of all websites that share a similar focus on literary SF.

Pride of Kings Pride of Kings by Judith Tarr
reviewed by William Thompson
Loosely based around the historical events surrounding Richard I's reign, this novel focuses upon the role and actions of Richard's youngest brother, John Lackland, largely through the eyes of an Outremer-born, landless knight, Arslan, the bastard son of minor nobility and a mysterious, Eastern ifritah.  The author stands the conventional historical view of John on its head, transforming the scheming, ambitious and rebellious younger son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine into a somewhat calculating, if sympathetic, hero who, despite his projected public and historical persona, defends Britain in Richard's absence against the machinations and a magically-wrought invasion by the French king.

Geeks With Books Geeks With Books
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick Klaw gives us a look at how things work from behind the counter of a book store. This time, he steps up and provides book store staff with what they need to do to have a good author signing. Clean toilets figure into it. And guest reviewer Sara Felix gives us her opinion on the cover for The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Gormenghast Gormenghast
a give-away contest
77 generations built the kingdom of Gormenghast... Will one kitchen boy bring it down?

We had a give-away contest. To help promote it, we built pages about the plot, Mervyn Peake, the cast and the characters. Here are the correct answers to the questions. The winners will receive a DVD (Region 1) copy of Gormenghast, courtesy of BBC America Shop.

Grave Peril Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Harry Dresden, wizard for hire, is up to his neck in ghosts. All over his hometown of Chicago, angry apparitions are making trouble -- more of them than Harry has ever seen before. Even with the help of Michael Carpenter (a.k.a. the Fist of God, bearer of one of only three God-given swords dedicated to the fight of good against evil), Harry has been run ragged trying to send the spooks back to the Nevernever where they belong.

Dark Tales & Light Dark Tales & Light by Bruce Boston
reviewed by Trent Walters
This collection includes "With Vorpal Sword in Hand" which creates a cast of furry clawed characters from the nonsense terms Lewis Carroll nonchalantly cast about: like Brillig and the gang of Slithy Toves who guard the Vorpal Sword that had once slain the Jabberwocky. But the author puts the Toves on motorcycles and transforms Brillig into a daydreaming hero-wanna-be -- all very human designs. Brillig's daydreams his way out of his job into rescuing damsels, but digs himself into a hole he must continue to dig when he tries to become a hero when there is no need for one.

Let Me Whisper In Your Ear Let Me Whisper In Your Ear by Mary Jane Clark
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Laura Walsh is a rising star in the news game, shooting for the top production slots at the Key television network, hoping to give up the obituary beat. With the support of a powerful mentor she is on her way to her dream job. When that supporter suffers an untimely and messy death, Laura starts digging and turns up a bigger story than she bargained for and the roots may reach back to a thirty-year-old unsolved murder case. Along the way she unwittingly emerges as the prime target of the killer or killers.

Issola Issola by Steven Brust
reviewed by William Thompson
It is always a notable event when a new Vlad Taltos novel is published: with Vlad, Steven Brust has created one of the more original and memorable characters of fantasy fiction. This is the 9th volume in the series; go back and read them from the beginning. Once you start this rollicking, humoresque series, you won't put it down till you reach the conclusion.

Richard Matheson's The Twilight Zone Scripts: Volume One Richard Matheson's The Twilight Zone Scripts: Volume One edited by Stanley Wiater
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Many of the best episodes to come out of this landmark series were written by this master of dark fantasy. The 8 scripts in this 1st volume are culled from the first four seasons: 1959-1963. These are some of the most famous and memorable episodes ever produced. A chance to see the original scripts is a gift no fan or writer of the genre should let pass.

Short Fiction Focus Short Fiction Focus
a column by Nick Gevers
Nick Gevers' new monthly column is a survey of recent short fiction. This month's picks are "One Last Game" by Robert Reed, Carol Emshwiller's "The Project" and "The Two Dicks" by Paul J. McAuley in Fantasy & Science Fiction and "First To The Moon!" by Stephen Baxter and Simon Bradshaw in Spectrum SF.

The Way of Light The Way of Light by Storm Constantine
reviewed by William Thompson
In this 3rd volume, we follow the rather logical story lines revolving around the struggle for power between the sons of the dead emperor and the empress, Tatrini, the gradual acceptance of Valraven in his role as the True King, the abduction of Varencienne and her daughter, Ellony, by Taropat and Shan, and the culmination of these various plot threads into the long anticipated, climactic battle between the new Sea Dragon King and the Malagash successors to the Empire. 

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick has lost all interest in watching the 2nd season of Witchblade after watching its season finale. Not that the finale was bad in and of itself. If it were the ending of the series, it would be an acceptable ending. But Witchblade has been renewed for a second season. Find out why.

Second Looks

Next of Kin Next of Kin by Eric Frank Russell
reviewed by Rich Horton
John Leeming is a scout pilot for the Terran space navy. Earth and her allies are engaged in a war with the Lathians and their allies. Leeming, a rather insubordinate fellow by instinct, is given the assignment to take an experimental new super-fast one-man scout ship and fly it as far as he can towards the "rear" of the Lathian empire, in order to determine the extent of the Lathian holdings. He soon finds himself marooned with a decaying ship on a planet well away from the front.

Gullah Folktales from the Georgia Coast Gullah Folktales from the Georgia Coast by Charles Colcock Jones, Jr.
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Like it or not, it was white men like Jones and Joel Chandler Harris who first preserved the pre-emancipation folklore of African Americans. But with today's political correctness even Disney's Song of the South (1946), based on Harris' Uncle Remus tales and winner of two Academy Awards, remains unreleased on video in North America (though it is available in Europe and Asia in PAL format). For all the unsavouriness of Charles Colcock Jones, Jr. the man, he did collect some very amusing and entertaining African American tales which, as Susan Miller Williams points out in her Foreword, continue to be read and interpreted in new ways, even today.

Nebula Awards 3 Nebula Awards 3 edited by Roger Zelazny
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
This anthology collects some of the best short fiction ever done. In it are "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes" by Harlan Ellison, Samuel R. Delany's "Aye, and Gomorrah...", "Gonna Roll the Bones" by Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock's "Behold the Man" and Anne McCaffery's "Weyr Seach."

First Novels

Eccentric Circles Eccentric Circles by Rebecca Lickiss
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
When her great-grandmother Dickerson dies suddenly, Piper Pied is astonished to discover she's been left Grandma's house. There are disadvantages to accepting the bequest -- dealing with her eccentric family, the chore of sorting through the thousands of books Grandma has accumulated. Walking into the kitchen the morning after moving in, she finds an incredibly handsome man dressed in full medieval garb seated at her kitchen table. He's an elf, he explains matter-of-factly. And he needs her to help him solve Grandma's murder.

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