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Horses Blow Up Dog City & Other Stories Horses Blow Up Dog City & Other Stories by Richard Butner
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
Let's say you have a cousin, a cousin who is a writer, a snobby writer, a writer who claims science fiction and fantasy "can't be literature" (whatever that means) and spends all his time rereading Proust. You -- being ornery, being combative, being mischievous -- want to prove to your cousin that, though there may not be an SF equivalent to Proust, there are, at least, a few writers digging for grub in the streets of the genre-fiction ghetto who are as skilled and serious about their art as any other contemporary writer.

On Fire's Wings On Fire's Wings by Christie Golden
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In the desert land of Arukan, Kevla is a Bai-sha: a girl born fatherless, without caste in a society where caste defines all social interaction. She spends her days in the marketplace, calling the services of her mother Keishla, a prostitute. Then one day a kashim, a clan leader, comes to carry her off to his lush estate, to be a servant in his house. Unbeknownst to Kevla, this man, Tahmu, is her father, and Kevla's mother was the great love of his life. But the rigid rules of caste decreed they could not wed.

Phases of the Moon Phases of the Moon by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by Jayme Lynn Blaschke
It reads not so much like a single author collection, but rather an anthology giving a historical overview of the evolution of the genre spanning six decades. Every story here could have a different author's name on it. The ease at which he shifts perspective and approach, changes the very rhythm of his sentences, the selection of words is nothing short of amazing. Each story reads as if it sprang from a different mind, flowed from unrelated fingers onto pages separated by not only miles, but lifetimes.

Mockymen Mockymen by Ian Watson
reviewed by Michael M Jones
What do body-possessing aliens, mind-destroying drugs, Nazi occultism and reincarnation all have in common? They're the disparate threads of this visionary novel, a truly bizarre tale of life, death, betrayal, and jigsaw puzzles. It starts out innocently enough, when an aged Norwegian hires a young British couple to make some very specialized jigsaw puzzles, involving nude pictures of themselves with a certain statuary garden in Oslo.

Forty Signs of Rain Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
This is probably one of the most important and thought provoking books of the year. It is about how all of these fabulous discoveries and projects get snowed under by lack of funding and poor management. Companies force scientists to keep their research a secret because if there's anything good to come out of the discoveries, they want to be able to cash in. It means that people from different companies with different equipment can't compare notes and perhaps bring the projects to fruition sooner. It also means that sometimes projects are completely buried or destroyed. Greed is the key, here, and it's a tragedy.

Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Matthew Peckham
Beckett Comics' The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty #1 arrived in July on Free Comic Book Day to rousing reviews and enthusiastic fans. Two months later, Matt takes a look at the first and second issues to see how this sold-out supernatural western from a fledgling indie publisher is holding up.

Secret Life Secret Life by Jeff VanderMeer
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
"Jeff VanderMeer writes as if in a fevered dream." That's one opening line that came to mind while reading this collection. "Jeff VanderMeer writes with one foot rooted in the Victorian Era and the other planted in next-century's answer to post-modernism." That's another. Throw in a disarmingly witty reference to VanderMeer's own sense of humor and you have a review that begins to do justice to stories that are in turn funny, amusing, horrifying, mystifying, surreal, thought-provoking, and sometimes just plain weird.

Newton's Wake Newton's Wake by Ken MacLeod
reviewed by Adam Volk
We follow the misadventures of Lucinda Carlyle, a hard-bitten combat archeologist and member of the infamous "bloody Carlyle's"; a group of renegade explorers who have managed to gain control of a network of wormholes known only as the Skein. On her first tactical command, Lucinda leads her motley crew to the uncharted -- and supposedly uninhabited -- planet of Eurydice, only to discover the descendants of long forgotten group of human colonists who fled the Earth centuries ago during the chaotic period known as the Hard Rapture.

Faerie Wars Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The story begins and ends in suburban England, with various excursions to and from the Realm of Faerie. The main players among the human characters are a boy called Henry Atherton, and an old man named Alan Fogarty, whom he occasionally helps out around the house. Fogarty is a curmudgeonly fellow, whose hobby is conspiracy theory. One such theory is proven, when a faerie, Crown Prince Pyrgus Malvae, arrives in his garden. Pyrgus has been transported there by accident. An unfortunate effect of this has been to make him butterfly sized, including full functional wings. This, however, is merely the start of his troubles.

Intersect: A Love Story Intersect: A Love Story by Harold Torger Vedeler
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Intersect is a game that calls to our emotions, to our souls, where young women compete in the computer matrices, throwing impossible numbers and calculations, weaving impossible creations of love and heart breaking beauty all the while trying to undo what the other has made. Men can't compete, women are not nearly as talented as their daughters, and so all those who can't compete sit in their Virtual Reality chairs and bask in the power of the performance, of the game.

Highlander 2 Highlander 2
a give-away contest
It's 2024 and MacLeod and Ramirez are back to save planet Earth. Ozone depletion, time travel and corporate greed are at the core of all thrilling twists and turns in this stylish action sequel. The 2 disc special edition DVD features a newly re-mastered high definition video transfer plus over 100 new and improved special effects produced by the film's original visual effects designer using the latest in digital technology.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Cthulhu Sex #17 Cthulhu Sex #17
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
The magazine is an odd assortment of very short stories, poetry, and illustrations. The tone focuses on the odd, and the intention is to embrace a subculture while also repelling those not inside the culture. If there was a bit more of an emphasis on good writing and not on following the clichés of pulp fiction, writing, then it might have a workable plan of attack.

Headcode Headcode by Kenji Siratori
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Georges may regret this review in 20 years when Siratori is a household name and William Gibson is forgotten has-been, but he seriously doubts it. You can think of it as over 250 pages -- if only he'd written a sonnet -- of incomprehensible, undecodable, torturous, plotless, needlessly repetitive, self-indulgent gobbletygook -- a cyber-slang metalanguage to the cognoscenti -- that one hopes was printed on recycled paper lest it have the added sin of killing trees and contributing to global warming.

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.

Highlander: The Series Highlander: The Series
a give-away contest
Based on the popular HIGHLANDER film series starring Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert, HIGHLANDER the television series follows the amazing journeys of the Immortal Duncan MacLeod played by Adrian Paul. The six seasons of the TV show follow the action of the Immortal's age-old struggle for dominion - Good vs. Evil.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers some comments on reactions to his previous column. He provides reviews of four episodes of Jeremiah, "Crossing Jordan," "Running on Empty," "The Question" and "The Past is Prologue." Plus, do you remember Brother Dave Gardner?

Second Looks

The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
The fourth book in a cycle of seven called The Dark Tower is in fact a novel secreted within a novella; the novella concludes the third book's cliffhanger and progresses Roland's ka-tet a minute distance along the path of the beam toward the Dark Tower, while the "novel within" is a ripping 496 pages of flashback: the tale of Roland Deschain of Gilead's first love affair, and the terrible events which first and finally awaken him to his quest to locate the arcane, ailing crux of all time and space.

The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands by Stephen King
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
The third book in a cycle of seven called The Dark Tower opens somewhere north of the Western Sea some months later, in an enormous forest known as the Great West Woods. Roland has been training Eddie and Susannah to become gunslingers, knights of the ancient ways (a sort of Arthurian chivalric code grafted onto the American West mythos), whose talents with projectile weapons are only exceeded by their mental discipline.

The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
This is the second book in a cycle of seven called The Dark Tower which describes the quest of the world's last gunslinger -- Roland Deschain of Gilead -- to put right whatever has tainted or "wronged" his rapidly decaying reality. At the center of space and time is the Dark Tower, a nexus for all realities; Roland believes something has corrupted the tower and perverted what he thinks of as "love and light."

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (2003) The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (2003) by Stephen King
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
Stephen King finished scribing his epic seven-book The Dark Tower series in 2003, producing an estimated 2,500 manuscript pages for the final three books in less than two years (the first four total around 2,000). But instead of resting on his laurels, he turned a fastidious revisionist's eye back to the first tale, the one that started it all in the October 1978 issue of Ed Ferman's The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The result is a greatly improved book that retains the original's post-apocalyptic-western flavor, while leaving no word, phrase, or punctuation mark unturned.

The Wild Wood The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Plagued by inexplicable dreams of a magical world, and haunted by the buried pains of her past, artist Eithnie Gerrow has retreated to her cabin, deep in the Canadian woods. Even there, she can't escape the otherworldly contacts that seek her out in her sleep, their touch weakening the distinction between the real world and that of Faerie. Unable to banish the feeling that she's been targeted for something greater than she can explain, likewise unable to exorcize their influence from her art, she visits friends down in the deserts of Arizona.

The Eternity Brigade The Eternity Brigade by Stephen Goldin
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Jerry Hawker, known to his friends as Hawk, is a soldier in the U.S. Army. He has just returned from the African Wars, but Hawker is one of those men who knows nothing but the army. So, when he's invited to join a program called Project Bank Note, he's not doing it for the money. The experimental program involves freezing soldiers that have combat experience and thawing them out the next time they're needed.


The Air Loom Gang The Air Loom Gang by Mike Jay
reviewed by Donna McMahon
In 1810, Dr. John Haslam published "Illustrations of Madness," a detailed study of an articulate, educated patient who believed that his mind was being controlled by a gang of revolutionary thugs operating a secret machine called an "Air Loom." Haslam's landmark treatise about patient James Tilly Matthews earned a place in the history of psychiatry as the first example of an "influencing machine."

Men of Tomorrow Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
There are many complications when trying to write a history like this. In a novel, well known stories and legends could become ingredients without wondering just how true they were. He, the author has to consider conflicting versions of the history, and whether familiar legends of the comics' creation have any basis in fact. Some details may not be clear, and some parts of this history are controversial.


Eberron Campaign Setting Eberron Campaign Setting
a gaming review by Chris Przybyszewski
The Eberron Campaign Setting for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons role playing game is the result of a contest run by Wizards of the Coast, which allowed game fans to put together a totally new world set in the realm of AD&D. The result is a vibrant and unique realm in which gamers will happily live their alternate lives. This new campaign introduces further and welcome changes to the D20 system, and introduces "action points," an ability by the character to supplement her or his result score through the use of additional and additive die rolls.

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