A Conversation With Alan M. Clark
An interview with Jeff VanderMeer
On the influence of the subconscious:
"The subconscious is not only important for me in my process, but it is equally important that the work props open the door
to the subconscious within my audience. I dip into the subconscious every time I create a painting. I look for ways to
access it, promoting free association, throughout the process of my work. The trick is to take the chaos of the
subconscious and give it context, but not create such definition that the work closes the door on the audiences' subconscious."
Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong
reviewed by Alisa McCune
The book opens with Paige being approached by Lucas' father, Benicio Cortez. Benicio is a sorcerer and the CEO of the Cortez Cabal,
a large company that employees supernaturals and has shady moral dealings. Since Lucas is estranged from his father, Paige
was never supposed to be approached by Benicio. But
Benicio is not to be denied his meeting with Paige. It would seem he has a case he wants Lucas to take. Someone is killing
The Soddit by A.R.R.R. Roberts
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The book tells the story of a lone soddit named Bingo Grabbins, hired as a thief by the wizard Gandulf and a
cadre of twelve dwarfs. The dwarfs make it clear to Bingo that the purpose of the quest to the Only Mountain is to gain
the dragon's gold. This clear subterfuge, of course, eventually causes problems, as the usually perceptive soddit buys
the dwarfs' claim.
Return Engagement by Harry Turtledove
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The time is the Summer of 1941, and in this world the Confederate States of America were never brought into the union. The last
time the CSA fought the USA, was about 20 years ago, but a surprise bombing raid on the US capital, Philadelphia, proves
to be the opening salvo of a new, and very bloody conflict. The megalomaniac President of the CSA, Jake Featherstone
is shown to be much more closely modelled as an American Hitler.
Alchemy, Numbers 1 & 2
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
Alchemy appeared quietly in 2003 and immediately set a new standard for what a small
press fantasy magazine could be. It contained no manifesto, no grand editorial pronouncements, no socio-politico-historical
ruminations, and only the barest of biographical notes about the authors at the end of each of the six stories.
But what stories they were, and what authors! And the second issue is considerably better than the first.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Some of the new arrivals this month include the latest novels from Jacqueline Carey, Charles Stross, Marie Jakober, Jennifer Fallon, Alastair Reynolds, Jane Lindskold, plus a whole lot more.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on TV. He takes a look at the TV mini-seies Legend of Earthsea
as well as the DVDs of Daredevil - The Director's Cut and Carnivàle.
Fears Unnamed by Tim Lebbon
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
It's quite possible the author has discovered a way to work subliminal messages into his fiction. Or, perhaps, there is some
addictive substance on his covers. Whatever the explanation, it is quite impossible to get enough of his work. Not to mention
how difficult it is to stop until you've consumed every word of his latest gift to horror. Lick your fingers one time to
turn the page and poof it's in your bloodstream. In this collection of novellas, that irresistible pull is stronger than ever.
Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore
reviewed by Neil Walsh
This novel is actually a collection of thematically-linked stories, 12 of them, that all take place in Northampton over
a span of 6,000 years. The first story, set in 4,000 BC, is narrated by a simpleton paleolithic nomad, who speaks
in a difficult dialect, with a severely limited vocabulary, strange grammar, and a naively warped understanding of the
world around him. Each succeeding story uses progressively more elegant language as each jumps ahead further in history, until the last
episode, which is set in 1995, the time of the author's writing.
M by Steven Lee Climer
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
M (Emily) would appear to be a slightly above-average 13-year-old, with a taste for banned exploits. Even she has no
inkling of the radical changes that are about to shake up her life. Her life and her ever-loyal best friend Zoey's
life, actually. Because M is no ordinary teen; Emily Tyme is a Mapper. Teamed with a Defender and a Keeper, she
will search a world unseen by unremarkable eyes for the magical Pieces of the World, to keep them from the dark
forces who would use their remarkable powers for sinister purposes.
Natalie's Grove by Mikal Trimm
reviewed by Trent Walters
Mason, friend-sitting the pregnant Becky as she mourns the loss of her boyfriend just when she needs him, offers to
take her boyfriend's place and marry her. She turns him down with compliments on his good husband potential for
someone else and, instead, introduces him to Natalie. Natalie and Mason hit it off. She immediately takes Mason
to her grove, a place where the trees whistle their unique song. Becky, however, feels regret at turning Mason
down, which is when the trouble begins.
The Silent War by Ben Bova
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Far from Earth, in the depths of the Asteroid Belt, a silent war rages, and to the winner will go the untold riches and
resources to be found by mining the asteroids. Two major factions have emerged: Humphries Space Systems and Astro
Corporation. Bitter rivals and opponents for years, their feud has carried on even after the tragic death of Astro
founder and former industrialist-adventurer, Dan Randolph.
Prisoner of Haven by Nancy Varian Berberick
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Dezra Majere visits Haven every year in order to collect supplies needed for the family's tavern. This year she takes her
sister-in-law Usha with her, knowing that the painter needs distraction from the troubles in her marriage. Usha knows that times are
getting harder in Haven. Dezra confirms it when she tells Usha that the supplies that they have come to gather -- hops,
wine, spirits -- are no longer available. Then the dragons attack, trapping everyone in the city.
One Step Beyond
a DVD review by Trent Walters
If the human judicial system fails, is there a cosmic, albeit perpetually ironic, judicial system in the universe, built entirely
out of psychic phenomena? If you'd like to think so, then One Step Beyond may be the series to watch. The entire premise is that
these are dramatized real life accounts.
a give-away contest
Earthsea follows the tale of a reckless youth destined to become the greatest sorcerer that the mystical land of Earthsea has ever
known. When the young wizard Ged discovers that he possesses infinite magical powers, he seeks to master the ancient arts. As he
journeys to manhood, he will combat dragons, rescue a princess, fall in love, cross death's threshold, and ultimately wield the
power to reunite a kingdom.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?
New York Dreams by Eric Brown
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
The third installment in Eric Brown's Virex Trilogy finds P.I. Hal Halliday deep in VR addiction, living out a
fantasy existence in the pristine landscape of a virtual Virginia coastline, his only companion a programmed recreation of
Casey, the waiflike teenager who briefly shared his real life but has since moved on. Hal isn't alone in his VR dependence:
in the bleak world of the twenty-first-century USA, with its poisoned environment and teeming, refugee-choked cities, the
complete, if temporary, escape offered by VR is powerfully alluring.
SF Site News
The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust
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.
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.
Interested in a copy of The Necronomicon by Abdul Alhazred? Or maybe S. Morgenstern's The
Princess Bride? Perhaps Stephen Crane's The Book of Counted Sorrows? Rick tells us why your search
will be fruitless.
Marque and Reprisal by Elizabeth Moon
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The main protagonist is Kylara Vatta, who is brooding over her past as the book opens; she'd recently been kicked out of her
home planet's military academy through no fault of her own, but had to make a meaningful life for herself anyway. So she's
following the family tradition of trading.
Very swiftly she survives an assassination attempt, then another, discovers her family has been attacked, and then is mysteriously
sent a letter of marque -- which she had never asked for.
A Conversation With Meghan Brunner
An interview with Cindy Lynn Speer
"It's something I've been discovering over the years. Don't get me wrong; some of my blood relatives are
fantastic. But there are people I'm just as close to who don't share my DNA. They're family, too. And I
think people underestimate those bonds."
The Alchemist's Daughter by Eileen Kernaghan
reviewed by Donna McMahon
The setting is Elizabethan England under threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada, and our heroine is Sidonie,
the bookish daughter of an impractical and largely unsuccessful alchemist. Always convinced
that the transformation of base metal into gold is imminently within his reach, Simon Quince has begged financing for his
experiments from Queen Elizabeth, in return for a promise of gold to finance her war efforts. And Sidonie is
terrified. What will happen to them if he does not succeed?
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Hamza should have been a contender. Actually, he should have been an academic with a degree and a writing career but something
went wrong. Now he washes dishes at ShabbadabbaDoo's and is one-half of the Coyote Kings. The other half is Yehat, a
should-have-been brilliant engineer who instead works as a video store clerk. The Coyote Kings are into classic and media SF,
African music and videos. When a beautiful woman appears who knows how to answer when handed a line from Star Wars,
Hamza is smitten and Yehat knows that they're both in trouble.
Orphanage by Robert Buettner
Grendel by John Gardner
reviewed by Michael M Jones
This is the first-person account of Jason Wander, an eighteen-year-old citizen of Indianapolis, orphaned
when the first Projectile destroyed his hometown and the vast majority of its residents. At first, everyone thought
it was the work of a terrorist. But then more Projectiles fell to Earth, devastating more cities, and the truth was
painfully evident: we were under attack from outer space. From a base on Ganymede, aliens of
unknown origin and motives were systematically wiping out the human race, bringing objects the size of skyscrapers
down in controlled crashes.
Ghosts in the Snow by Tamara Siler Jones
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
A forensic medieval fantasy murder mystery. With ghosts. Magic of many sorts, not just ghosts, exists in this world. Most
magic has been banished or minimized during past conflicts, but magical influences
still lurk and threaten, and can't be dismissed. Normally, the scientific methodology of criminal forensic investigation would
routinely eliminate "the impossible," supernatural explanations, but this investigator doesn't have this option.
Nirvana's Children by Ranulfo
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The main character, and narrator, is a 15 year-old Filipino named Napoleon, living in Australia. Like most kids of
that age, Napoleon is in conflict with his parents, but unlike most, he runs away from home. He
quickly discovers that life without money, on the streets and with no friends, is a lot harder than he'd imagined. He joins
a gang with an adult leader, known only as Blondie -- a cross between Fagin and Peter Pan --
whose ultimate ambition is to lead a children's crusade, and wrest control of the world from the corrupt adults. Blondie,
of course, is two pies short of a picnic, but his followers love him anyway.
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The premise of this book is both intriguing and audacious, with a hint of healthy disrespect. Alice In Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll was, it seems, a lie. The girl of the title, Alice Liddell, was actually Alyss Heart, a princess of
Wonderland and heir to the throne. No white rabbits, no tea parties, just an epic battle for power.
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
Some readers see fantasy and science fiction as an evil, though sometimes a necessary one. Fabulist fiction sells; it is
popular entertainment. Fabulist fiction keeps the publishing world moving and growing in its way. The opposite faction regards
fantasy as a joyous necessity, one that allows certain writers to explore parts of existence unavailable to a pedestrian
strolling the avenues of Paris, be it the one in Tennessee or in France.
Here we have a full blown fabulist achievement that highlights a capability intrinsic to fantasy, but which is found sparingly in realist fiction.
The Simulacra by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In the future (or what was, at the time, the future -- it's actually the 1990s), the United States
has become a matriarchal society. Nichol, the lovely and beloved First Lady and her husband, the der Alte (President) run
government policy. Every four years, the people believe that they get to choose a new husband for Nichol, but in truth he
is a Simulacra, an android figurehead that a group of men hide behind. Nichol will do anything to stay in power, and in
truth, she is a huge force in people's lives.