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Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Matthew Peckham
Matthew Peckham reviews selected titles of one week's worth of comics. But don't look for frequent reviews of the more popular stuff here, e.g. Spider-Man or Batman, X-Men or JLA -- they get plenty of attention. Instead, he is dipping into a combination of the low print run mainstream and independent, alternative, web-based or small press stuff.

In Dark Places In Dark Places by Michael Prescott
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
From the start, Robin Cameron is just throwing herself in the path of a bullet-train of trouble. She's a psychiatrist, actively in search of the most unstable people imaginable. Her clients include Justin Gray, a notorious, sadistic serial killer with an uncanny talent for spotting the weakness in his prey. The radical experiment she is pursuing is intended to cure such sociopaths, but there is no way to verify the results.

Absolution Gap Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Spreading human civilization has triggered attacks from a machine intelligence known as the Inhibitors. This novel splits its story between two locales, the planet Ararat, where Scorpio and Clavain find their refuge under attack, and Hela, where a strange astronomical phenomena has attracted the attention of religious zealots, who see a planet's vanishing and reappearance as a sign of the end times.

Son of Avonar Son of Avonar by Carol Berg
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Life these past ten years has not been easy for Seri, once a duchess and now a peasant trying to fill her belly by gathering dyestuffs and selling them. When she runs into a wild young man in the woods, naked and insane, she wisely runs away. Until an old enemy shows up on her doorstep who demands to know if she has seen him. Despite her better judgment she goes back for the young man. She soon discovers that he's capable of sorcery, an ability punishable by death by burning. Seri knows this quite well. Her beloved husband was discovered to be a sorcerer, and was burned at the stake. Her son was taken from her moments after his birth and killed.

Dreams of the Sea Dreams of the Sea by Élisabeth Vonarburg
reviewed by William Thompson
As its title may suggest, this novel is constructed around dreams, those of a civilization that has disappeared, and those of colonists fleeing a dying Earth. The two overlap through the visions of an aïlmâdzi, a quasi-spiritual (to say religious implies too much) order of Dreamers who are part of the original inhabitants of Altair. Eïlai Liannon Klaïdaru experiences the dreams of others, not only of her own people, but of Strangers who will come in the future, long after her own people and civilization have disappeared. They will encounter a planet dominated by a luminous and ethereal blue Sea, which like a fog will periodically blanket and recede from portions of the planet, based upon the twin cycles of a solar and lunar eclipse. This phenomenon is a mystery...

SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2003 SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2003
compiled by Neil Walsh
Once again we solicited our loyal SF Site readership to vote for their favourite books of the year. The results are in, and the Top 10 Readers' Choice Best Books of 2003 are a healthy mix of science fiction, fantasy, and other genre-bending, boundary-blurring work. You're invited to compare this list to the Editors' Choice Top 10 Books of 2003 to see what the SF Site staff recommends and where there is some overlap in what you, the readers, have chosen.

New Pacific New Pacific by G. Miki Hayden
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
From the ill-used corporate operative Takashi vantage point, life could not get much worse. While he covers the globe, doing the dirty work the rich and powerful who control Moritomo, his own situation goes from bad to worse to, just possibly, lethal. If he does manage to find an important scientist gone AWOL, will everything be back to normal, then? He's just beginning to understand that "normal" bears no resemblance to the life he has been living.

Deathstalker Return Deathstalker Return by Simon R. Green
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Many years ago, Owen Deathstalker and his friends saved humanity and created a golden age, one that is now endangered from within as well as without. There is a prophecy that states that when they need Owen again, he will come back, and boy, do they need him. His friends all have one goal -- to find Owen so that he can stop the Terror, a rather frighteningly described eater of worlds.

The Elder Gods The Elder Gods by David and Leigh Eddings
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Imagine a set of gods ruling a land called Dhrall in shifts. One group of gods rules each territory, while a second group sleeps for eons, then there is sort of deity changing of the guard. Now imagine some of those sleeping gods return to the world as children called Dreamers, somehow set up by one of the waking gods, to fulfill an ancient prophecy in a time of great need. What might drive a god to such measures?

Xena: Warrior Princess Xena: Warrior Princess
a give-away contest
In a time of ancient gods, ruthless warlords and capricious kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty Warrior Princess forged in the heat of battle. Together with her sidekick Gabrielle in tow, Xena battles barbarians, overcomes oppressors and defeats demigods to protect the innocent and fight for peace in ancient Greece. Combining the series' trademark humor and dark mythological drama with Lucy Lawless's fiery and sexy persona, Xena: Warrior Princess completely redefined the role of the female action hero on television.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

SF Site News 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.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on recent episodes of Star Trek Enterprise, Stargate SG-1, Smallville and Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital. Also he has notes about 24, Season One and some ideas on how the proposed film, Serenity by Joss Whedon, will do at the box office.

First Novels

Dead Witch Walking Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Rachel Morgan was an excellent Inderland Security runner. She could catch any criminal -- witch or pixy or vampire or werewolf -- and bring them to justice. Emphasis on the was. Lately she's had a string of bad luck. Inexplicable things keep happening to prevent her from being the success she knows she can be, and now she's out on runs that a rookie could do. When she catches her latest prey, a tax evading leprechaun, the little lass offers her three wishes. That would be a bribe, if offered to an IS agent, but Rachel's realized that this is her big chance to quit.

Gideon's Wall Gideon's Wall by Greg Kurzawa
reviewed by Donna McMahon
The story takes place during the medieval era of some unnamed world very similar to Earth. The frame story is the account of an archaeological dig conducted by an archaist from the Loraen Isles who seeks the answer to a terrible mystery. A decade ago, the thriving empire of Shallai fell into ruins almost overnight. Now the continent is an arid wasteland, and sailors who venture into its abandoned ports say they can find no survivors to tell the tale.


The Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature The Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature by Brian J. Frost
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Werewolves garner much less attention than do vampires. Partly this may be because our image of werewolves is that they are bestial and violent, whereas vampires -- while perhaps evil -- can be suave and sensuous. Well, now, with the publication of this book, you can assuage your lycanthropophilic obsessions, and with its 73 page bibliography of werewolf-related materials, build quite a to-read list.

Series Review

The Time of Judgment The Time of Judgment by Ari Marmell, Bill Bridges and Bruce Baugh
reviewed by Michael M Jones
After twelve years, hundreds of supplements, and dozens of fiction books, White Wolf Games decided to undertake a risky and unusual proposition: rather than update and revise their games, like they'd done twice before, they simply chose to end their popular World of Darkness series of games altogether, by publishing supplements containing end of the world scenarios for each of their game lines. In conjunction with this, they also released a trilogy of novels, one for each of the three major games, offering a canonical end to their universe.

Second Looks

The Mysteries of New Orleans The Mysteries of New Orleans by Baron Ludwig von Reizenstein, translated by Steven Rowan
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
By the 1840s, the Gothic novel with its haunted castles, innocent noble damsels in distress and nefarious villains had pretty much petered out, and authors like Charles Dickens were presenting the horror of urban poverty and squalor resulting from the Industrial Revolution. There were still the penny dreadfuls, and some Gothic latecomers like William Harrison Ainsworth, but popular sensationalist literature needed a new focus. From June 1842-October 1843, Eugène Sue's Les Mystères de Paris was serialized in the French magazine Journal des Débats, starting a bestselling literary genre, the urban mystery.

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