Lord of Snow and Shadows by Sarah Ash|
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
As a painter, Gavril Andar's greatest sorrow was his growing affection for the lovely noblewoman Astasia, for whom he has been
commissioned to paint a portrait to help her secure a marriage, and therefore a peace-creating alliance with Prince
Eugene. Now, the father he knows nothing about has been assassinated, and the dark gift, the demon-like Drakhaoul that runs
in his own blood has come to claim him, along with his father's faithful retainers. Until Lord Volkh's murderer is, in turn, killed,
his spirit will never rest, the land will become frozen in deepest winter, and the people will suffer. Gavril has
seen a vision of the killer, and finds himself a reluctant leader, kidnapped from his mother's warm house and dragged to
the frozen north. It's hard not to understand his reluctance. If he uses the powers inherent in his blood, the dark creature
inside him will slowly take over, growing more powerful with every use, until, finally, he turns from human to dragon for
good. But that is not all.
The Anencephalic Fields by Dale Bailey
a story excerpt
"Daddy left with a big-city dollymop when I wasn't but six years old, and Mama got a job tending the corpse gardens outside of Scary,
Kentucky. By the time I was twelve, a tow-headed not-quite boy in his daddy's hand-me-down jeans, I remembered the dollymop better than
I did the man himself. She was a loud, brash redhead with tits like jugs and a mouth like a wound, but Daddy had faded to a dull blur of
memory. I couldn't for the life of me remember how he looked and Mama said the resemblance was minimal; but I could remember how it felt
when he touched me, and if I tried I could still smell his jackleg whiskey and the black-market smoke that always hung about him.
Mostly, though, I could recollect his hands."
Read the excerpt, answer the questions, win a prize. Easy, eh?
Cigar-Box Faust and Other Miniatures by Michael Swanwick
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
Although his novels have earned plenty of acclaim, they have never been as celebrated as his short
stories. Collections such as Tales of Old Earth, Gravity's Angels, and others offer the award-winners
and the better-known stories. But he has also produced plenty of little-known short-short
fiction. "The primary rule of writing is to use exactly as many words to say something as it takes, no more, no less,"
he tells us in his introduction. These stories offer his proof.
compiled by Neil Walsh
So far, November has brought us new books from Raymond E. Feist, Orson Scott Card, Nalo Hopkinson, Alan Dean Foster, Jeff Noon, Walter Jon Williams, and more. It's already shaping up to be a good holiday season.
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
reviewed by Alex Lightman
Novels are supposed to be character-driven, and the characters inhabiting this story feel as real as any historical figures. The focus
shifts around between the ageless alchemist Enoch the Red, genius without compare and alchemist/religious fanatic Isaac Newton,
puritan (and Newtonian roommate) Daniel Waterhouse, polymath lonely Wilhelm Leibniz, "Half-cocked" Jack Shaftoe (yes, that is an
anatomical reference), Eliza the virgin slave turned duchess/countess/spy, Royal Society standout Robert Hooke, and sexy beast
William of Orange are the most vivid and memorable characters.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
a movie review by David Newbert
A remake of Tobe Hooper's 1974 original, this movie hangs on to the knock-down,
drag-em-out aggression of the classic and joins it to the slick production values only a major studio can afford. It is caustic,
disgusting, visceral, and very nearly depraved. Yet it also has an attention to visual detail and something like an artistic
spirit. Depending on your appetite for such destruction, Nispel's flick is either savagely intense or sociopathic -- your pick.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on the episodes of Enterprise, "Twilight" and "North Star," Star Wars: Clone Wars
as well as the DVDs of Neverwhere, Mahabharata, Dark Shadows Collection 7,
Where the Wild Things Are and Looney Tunes Golden Collection. And if you want to know
what is happening to the TV series of Tarzan and Jeremiah...
Kalpa Imperial by Angélica Gorodischer
reviewed by David Soyka
Originally published in the author's native Argentina in 1983 as two separate volumes, this collection of loosely related
stories translated from the original Spanish by Ursula K. Le Guin marks the author's first appearance in English,
though she has 17 novels to her credit and evidently a considerable literary reputation. If this book is at all
representative of her work, Gorodischer is a fabulist in the tradition of fellow Latin American Jorge Luis Borges.
Lizard Dreaming of Birds by John Gist
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Everybody seems to be unable to break the grip Jubal Siner -- maybe-messiah, criminal, Svengali,
and seriously disturbed individual -- holds over them, long after
they have gone their supposedly separate ways. He is a frightening
character, walking through the novel like a wildfire out of control, wreaking havoc and leaving damaged people in his wake. Whatever
the fascination his friends feel for him, it is immediately obvious that everyone would have been better off never knowing him,
or if that terrible tragedy had ended differently.
Grass for His Pillow by Lian Hearn
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In this sequel to Across the Nightingale Floor, Takeo
leaves Kaede, and their paths diverge for a time. He goes with the Tribe, who demand uncompromising obedience,
and who, hiding him from the angry Arai, train him further in their ways. Sickened by some of the things they force him to
do and too strong willed to bend easily, Takeo begins to make other plans.
The Matrix Revolutions
a movie review by Rick Norwood
"This doesn't make any sense!" cries one character near the end of the final film in this trilogy. How nice of them to
review their own movie. It would be a waste of time to point out the many absurdities. Superman's battle
with General Zod didn't make a whole lot of sense either, and it didn't set off any alarms. It wasn't supposed to
make sense. The battles in the Matrix are Superman vs. Zod
raised to the nth power, and can be enjoyed on that level.
Geek Confidential by Rick Klaw
reviewed by Neil Walsh
Neil has long suspected that Rick Klaw may be an unscrupulous pretender.
He's never met him, but Neil has serious doubts that he is a bona fide geek. Every
conventional definition of the word "geek" carries with it strong
connotations of social unacceptability, due largely to behavioural factors,
often involving obsessive interest in a narrow field. Neil feels that a geek is someone who shows up to
his cousin's wedding wearing a Star Trek uniform.
A Conversation With Rick Klaw
The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands by Stephen King
Part 1 of an interview with Jayme Lynn Blaschke
On getting negative feedback:
"Surprisingly, no. When I did my review of The Fellowship of the Ring, which was not for my column but for
RevolutionSF.com, you'd have thought I pissed on Tolkien's head. I liked the movie, but I didn't like it as much as everybody
else. Somehow, I don't get as many negative comments as you'd think. Occasionally I get people who disagree with me, but
that's different than what I would consider negative feedback."
Swan Sister: Fairy Tales Retold edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The classics will always be with us, but the classics, to the editors, are not so much a final destination as the
starting point of a journey which can take the reader to places quite unexpected. This is an anthology of 13 stories
from such luminaries as Jane Yolen, Tanith Lee, Midori Snyder and Neil Gaiman. And
the old-fashioned feel of Christopher Rowe's "The Children of Tilford Fortune", and Gregory Frost's "The Harp That Sang"
is a delight.
Path of Fate by Diana Pharaoh Francis
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In the land of Kodu Riik, Reisil is a tark, a healer. Her training newly completed, she has returned to the town where she grew
up, hoping she'll be accepted as its official tark. Orphaned in babyhood, passed from foster family to foster family, she has
never really known what it's like to have a true home. Being a tark offers her the thing for which she has always longed: a place
in the world, a chance to belong.
Alien: The Director's Cut
a movie review by David Newbert
It's back. Or, more accurately, it never really left. It has slept inside of one sci-fi film after another
for the past twenty-four years as a more-or-less silent influence, imitated so often that its ideas have occasionally become the fodder
for parody instead of horror. And now it bursts forth in a new "director's cut" with a few minutes of footage restored, including the
infamous "nest" scene.
First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In this sequel to Green Rider, Karigan G'ladheon has returned to her former life. She has
gotten good at ignoring the call, determined not to take up the mantle and name of Green Rider. The first Green Rider's
ghost has other plans. Lil Ambriodhe wants this young woman to take up her destiny, now more than ever and she won't take
no for an answer. Her determination sets Karigan back on the path, and a year later she and a delegation set off to meet
with the Eletians, but on the way are attacked.
Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The ritual of eating a dead dragon, Bon Agornin, is what launches the story. Bon's powerful and demanding son-in-law, the
Illustrious Daverak, takes more than his share for his own family, despite the wishes of Bon and the claims of Bon's other
children, the Blessed Penn, Avan, the brother who works in the city, and the two younger
maiden sisters, Selendra and Haner. Avan decides the next day to institute a lawsuit against Daverak.
SF Site News
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. His column
will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
At last, we're going to get some real answers. The kind that make a book (or series) matter, stumble, or tank. Not that we minded
waiting the first 688 pages (it's those fourteen years between that were really irritating). The third book in his
unfolding Dark Tower series puts one foot on the clutch, upshifts, then pins the accelerator to the floor. Let there be light,
he seems to say, and suddenly the series switches from dark fantasy to science fiction and injects nuclear power cells,
positronic tributes to Richard Adams, Mach One monorails, a warped AI to rival Arthur C. Clarke's HAL, Robert A. Heinlein's "Mike," and
Harlan Ellison's AM, and you guessed it: weapons of mass destruction.