Felaheen by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
After the events of Effendi, Raf is at loose ends. Apart from his mostly ceremonial
Third Circle directorate, he's jobless, beset by the frustrations of looking after his frighteningly intelligent niece and the
stresses of living with a woman he loves but isn't sleeping with. Out of the blue, he's approached by Eugenie de la Croix, director
of security for his putative father the Emir. There has been an assassination attempt; the Emir's eldest son, Kashif Pasha, has
declared that a group of populist rebels is behind it, but Eugenie has her doubts, and wants Raf's help protecting the Emir. As
payment, she promises money, and something of much more value to Raf: proof of what he's always doubted, that his mother really
slept with the Emir.
A Better World's In Birth! by Howard Waldrop
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The story details a world in which a Communist revolution succeeded in central Europe in the middle of the nineteenth-century. Twenty
years later, as the last of the old guard are dying, there is a series of reports of visitations by the spirits of the martyrs of the revolution, Karl
Marx, Joseph Engel, and Richard Wagner. It is dropped in the lap of Comrade Rienzi to determine why these apparitions are appearing.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick reminds us of what is coming in October as the new TV season starts. He tells us what may be the best this year and
which series may be the wild card. Oh yeah, he also notes that Enterprise has changed its name.
Forrest Aguirre: Experimental Fiction
reviewed by Trent Walters
Forrest Aguirre writes a rarity these days: experimental fiction. The term
seems to cause confusion. Experiment is writing that hasn't been done
before. On the map of Here-There-Be-Dragons, this is where the experimental
writer heads. He pioneers. Though he may tread ground that other pioneers
have tread, he observes new details of that territory.
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.
Here, he gives us a glimpse on the stories he read while growing up and how his family influenced his love of books.
Jeepers Creepers 2
a movie review by David Newbert
The movie is surprisingly effective as an action-adventure film. After a fantastic
prologue in which the Creeper poses as a scarecrow to steal a young boy from under the watching eyes of his father,
the action shambles to a deserted highway and a broken-down schoolbus carrying a high school football team and an
entirety of three cheerleaders, one of whom happens to be conveniently visited by prophetic
and expository dreams so as to provide background for those unfortunate enough to have missed the first movie. The Creeper takes
advantage of these meals on wheels and moves in for the kill.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
It opens on a mystery: a lone man called Snowman, slowly starving to death in a world apparently empty of human beings like
himself. Some great catastrophe has clearly taken place; there are references to rubble, buildings drowned by the sea, relics of civilization
washed up by the waves. Strangely-named creatures -- pigoons, wolvogs -- stalk the land (Snowman sleeps in a tree for fear of them). There are
also the Children of Crake -- eerily perfect beings whose exquisite human forms can't disguise the fact that they're not quite human, for whom
Snowman appears to feel both distaste and some sort of responsibility. Who is Snowman? How did he survive? What happened to bring things
to such a state?
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
Samuel Vimes has been dispatched to Borogravia to stop a war. This war
only became an issue to Ankh-Morpork when it interfered with commerce, and now Borogravia has torn down communication towers,
so the war must end. Borogravia's government is broken. The beloved monarch hasn't been seen in a long time and is probably deceased, with
this truth concealed by the state. The official religion is decadent, with the local god on the decline, but still able to
issue increasingly insane and paralyzing lists of forbidden "abominations," such as chocolate, cats, garlic, the color blue
and women wearing trousers.
The Praxis by Walter Jon Williams
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The empire of the Shaa is about to end. Having dominated and conquered every other species they encountered for
ten millennia, including humans, the last Shaa is dying, and no one really knows who or what will take their place.
Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula are military personnel whose careers bring them into contact just as the
crisis caused by the end of the Shaa is beginning. Martinez is an aristocratic officer, Sula a
cadet with a hidden past. They are drawn together first by a shared adventure and then by the political and military
machinations that are now revealing themselves.
Electric Velocipede #4
reviewed by Martin Lewis
This issue of the well-regarded fanzine edited and published by John Klima features a number
of stories including "The Ship" by Jay Caselberg, "Fat Nate's Master Plan" by Stepan Chapman and
Beth Adele Long's "The Rose Thief"
The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases edited by Dr. Jeff VanderMeer & Dr. Mark Roberts
reviewed by William Thompson
This volume is both a spoof and a serio-comic collection of fiction
parodying the non-fiction of an earlier era. The fact that the type of literature it mimics was itself at times fraudulent or the
product of a highly susceptible imagination only further inflates the parody. Presented as a reference written by other esteemed
medical authorities in the field, complete with anatomical illustration, advertisements and newspaper articles, Dr. VanderMeer and
his colleagues have great fun mocking similar literature and pamphlets of the nineteenth century, while at the same time satirizing
a tradition of scholarly journals, encyclopedias and medical literature that persists to this day.
SF Site News
The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" and Other Nautical Adventures by William Hope Hodgson
compiled by Steven H Silver
Every day, items of interest to you arrive in our email. Our bi-monthly format doesn't lend itself to daily updates.
However, this is a small inconvenience to our Contributing Editor Steven H Silver. He's begun a new column which
will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.
Hidden Warrior by Lynn Flewelling
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Tobin wakes up after a harrowing experience in which he discovered that he is really a she,
but imprisoned in a boy's body. But this boy's body is the body Tobin is used to, has lived in for twelve years! There is hardly time
to brood over it, though, as there are serious problems all around: his squire and best friend is severely wounded, maybe dying; his
horrible guardian wants him back under control; his uncle, the king, who ordered the deaths of all warrior women and their babies,
might be coming back from the wars. And weaving eerily in and out of real life is Brother, the demonic ghost of Tobin's dead twin
brother, who is gaining powers of his own.
a movie review by David Newbert
Selene is a vampire warrior in a centuries-old "blood feud" that has rendered almost all the Lycans extinct and their
leader presumed dead. The surviving vampire clans are led by the ambitious Kraven;
he rules in place of the sleeping Viktor. Selene distrusts Kraven, especially when she learns that
he may have a role in a Lycan plot to kidnap an unsuspecting
human named Michael Corvin. Michael's blood contains a gene to turn the war in the Lycan's favor; he's a kind
of walking bioweapon of potential mass destruction. Selene reawakens Viktor, and the action proceeds by a series of betrayals to
a bloody conclusion beneath the city they inhabit.
compiled by Neil Walsh
This month's batch of books at the SF Site office includes new novels from Ian Watson, David Zindell, Robert J. Sawyer; new anthologies from Robert Silverberg, Michael Reaves & John Pelan; and a new collection of essays from SF Site columnist Rick Klaw.
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Here are collected many of the author's horror tales of the Sargasso Sea,
all the lesser-known (and hard-to-find) tales of his Raffles-like rogue, Captain Gault smuggler-extraordinaire, and some other
tales of similar salty dogs. What is interesting to the reader is the very different nature of the Captain Gault
tales. Constantly coming up with dodges to smuggle items through customs, Capt. Gault is never nasty or vindictive,
but always has the last laugh. There's plenty of adventure, nefarious crooks, and innocent maidens at risk too. This
isn't entirely the case in the Capt. Jat and the D.C.O. Cargunka stories.
The Other Side of the Sky by Arthur C. Clarke
Star Dragon by Mike Brotherton
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
When it comes to writers like this one, it seems almost irreverent to be writing a review. What can someone like me possibly
have to say about someone like him -- a titan of the genre whose works were not only seminal to the world of science fiction but who
also contributed significantly to the facts of science as we know them today?
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Star Dragons provide their own siren call to the characters in this novel. Creatures of deep space, living in the chaos of the
decaying dwarf nova system of SS Cygni. Riding and diving through the plasma and magnetic forces where nothing should be able
to survive, the beasts offer mystery, immortality, and a purpose to a disparate crew willing to leave everything behind just
for a chance.
Mordant's Need by Stephen R. Donaldson
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Terisa surrounds herself with mirrors, in an attempt to prove to herself she exists. Geraden is clumsy and always getting himself
into trouble. One day, he accidentally crashes into her apartment through one of the mirrors, and asks her to return with him to
Mordant, and, Terisa, being the non-entity she is, can't say no. She travels through the mirror into Mordant, where mirrors don't cast
reflections, but are used by wizards called imagers, who use the power of mirrors to do all sorts of interesting and improbable things.