Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James Morrow
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
Remember those at-the-time underappreciated halcyon days between the fading of childhood and the onset of adulthood,
when the only consequence of not rising before noon was to have missed a lecture on the poetry of Sir Phillip
Sydney? We could stay up all night rapping with friends or roommates, altering our minds with wine or tequila
or wacky-backy, and riffing on cool thought-nuggets like, "Whoa, dude, if God's dead, who's gonna dispose of the body?"
Dead Reign and Spell Games by T.A. Pratt
reviewed by Rich Horton
An insane necromancer has been released from the
Blackwing Institute, Felport's asylum for sorcerers -- it seems he has been (mostly) cured of believing he's
dead. As he was an ally of Marla's predecessor, she's not too excited about this, especially as he seems bent
on returning to his old habits of raising the dead -- in this book in fact reanimating a corpse that may be that
of John Wilkes Booth. At the same time Marla is distracted by being forced to help plan the Founders' Ball, a
five-yearly event for the ghosts of the original Felport leaders.
The Last Theorem by Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Arthur C. Clarke, one of the most important figures in mid-century science fiction, was not exactly an exponent of
experimental prose. His view, reflected in a string of classic novels from the 50s to the 70s, seems to have been one where prose
should be, as near as possible, an invisible window through which one watches the action.
Frederik Pohl, on the other hand, has always been a little more ready
to take risks with the form and structure of his writing.
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: Twenty-First Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin J. Grant
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Most of you should already know, by now, that the twenty-first volume of The Year's
Best Fantasy and Horror represents the swan song of this fortunate, long lasting series that the publisher
has decided to discontinue.
No doubt a great loss for fantasy and horror lovers who will miss a yearly volume providing an exhaustive overview
of what happened in the two genres during the previous year, in terms of fiction, poetry, movies, comics, etc.
Greywalker by Kat Richardson
an audiobook review by Jennifer McCann
After dying from a brutal beating and then "miraculously" returning to life, Harper Blaine starts seeing things. The
likeable Seattle P.I. discovers that she is a Greywalker, a person who can see and crossover into the next realm,
known as the "Grey." The Grey is a layer of reality that coincides with ours and is inhabited by the dead, undead and
some pretty scary creepy crawlies.
Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
After his sudden death, science fiction writer Allen Carpentier finds himself along the shores of Hell with a strange
guide who wishes only to be known as Benito. Not surprisingly, it is a Hell visited once before by Dante Alighieri.
This work takes some artistic license with Dante's original Inferno.
Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
What makes the original Dune series a science fiction classic is the way that Frank Herbert creates not
only a story, but a framework to explore the power of religion, culture and conflict in civilization. Every book in the
series works around the political intrigue and cultural influences within the Dune universe, yet still has something
to say about today's society, no matter when that "today" happens to be.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed by Sean Williams
reviewed by David Maddox
The Sith Rule of two is widely known. Darth Bane set it down millennia ago,
a master and an apprentice, one to embody the power, the other to crave it. But the greatest treachery and deceit are
also part of the Dark Side's path. Even the Greatest Sith Lord in history, Darth Vader, follows this code as he plots
to seize Emperor Palpatine's throne by training his own, secret apprentice.
Infernal Sorceress by Gary Gygax
reviewed by John Enzinas
The book tells the story of two rogues who are framed for a crime they didn't commit and blackmailed into
hunting down the real perpetrators. In doing so, they discover a plot to take over the world which they
temporarily set back. They encounter and thwart and old nemesis. In a surprising twist, the men they are working
for were using them as pawns and actually wished to take over the world themselves.
Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost
reviewed by Tammy Moore
Lord Tophet, the second and final Shadowbridge novel follows Leodora, diguised as the
secretive, talented shadow-puppeteer Jax along with her manager Soter and her gifted, other-worldly musician Diverus.
But enemies draw ever closer as the wandering troupe finds itself on Colemaigne, where the cruel Lord Tophet blighted the Span.
Only Soter knows the true story of all that happened but, even as he struggles to protect
his ward, he cannot bring himself to tell the truth about what happened all those years ago.
Ex-KOP by Warren Hammond
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Juno Mozambe is a bad man on a bad planet. Formerly the leg-breaker and chief enforcer for Paul Chang, the ruthless
chief of the Koba Office of Police, he was forced into retirement after things went sour in a big way a short time
ago. Now he acts as a private investigator, taking nasty cases involving even nastier people, all of his money
going towards hospital bills to help heal his grievously-hurt wife.
Without Warning by John Birmingham
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The setting is March 14, 2003, where US armed forces are poised to invade Iraq. In an instant, there is a
major and catastrophic change. A mysterious wave of energy appears with no warning, standing miles high and
encompassing much of Canada, Mexico, half of Cuba and almost the entire United States. All life caught
within the standing wave vanishes, leaving vast areas unattended, and instantly impenetrable except by
unmanned drones. The only Americans left alive are those overseas when the wave struck, the military outposts
in Pearl Harbour and Guantanamo Bay, plus the city of Seattle which stands just outside of the wave.
Seven for a Secret by Elizabeth Bear
reviewed by Rich Horton
Set some 35 years after the close of New Amsterdam, about 1938, Sebastien and his companions,
chief among them Abby Irene and her not quite friend Phoebe Smith, have taken up residence in London.
But it is a changed London, occupied by Germans -- or, really, Prussians. For in this changed history,
there is no Hitler, but there is a Hitler analogue -- and sort of a
Bismarck successor -- and England is under his sway.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
In this column, Mark London Williams is annotating a brief "guide" to graphic novels that he wrote for the
parents at his youngest son's school. It was the time of their annual spring fundraiser,
which came with a handbook to the evening's festivities. This year, they wanted some
handy "how to," and "where to" type guides within the booklet, so it would have
some "evergreen" value -- as they say in both the journalism and ad businesses.
compiled by Neil Walsh
New and forthcoming books this month at SF Site feature the latest from Kage Baker, Gordon Dahlquist, Jacqueline Carey, L.E. Modesitt Jr., James P. Blaylock, Alan Dean Foster, Raymond E. Feist, and much more.
SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year: 2008
compiled by Neil Walsh
For more than a decade now, SF Site has been annually soliciting you, our readers, to vote for
your favourite books of the past year. Over the past couple of months, we've been receiving your input
on the best of 2008 with interest, and now we're ready to present the results. What follows is the
best books of 2008 as chosen by the SF Site readers.
It's an interesting list this year and one that Neil feels good about, since there's so
much overlap with the Editors' Choice Top 10.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Often when a film adapts a book, it tells the story of the book, instead of translating the book into a series
of dramatic scenes that draw you into the story. Watchmen draws you in. The writer and director know
what we want from a super-hero movie. We want to see the hero beat the shit out of a bunch of bad guys.
reviewed by Tammy Moore
In the Seven Kingdoms, the Graced are viewed with fear and suspicion. Marked out from their fellow citizens by their
mismatched eyes they are gifted, or Graced, with supernatural skills. Some can read minds or predict the future,
others are fighters that no Ungraced warrior could touch. Katsa is Graced with killing.