Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
Palimpsest is a "sexually transmitted city." Those who have been there carry portions of
it on their skin, the city's brands, a spidery tattoo which, on closer inspection, reveals itself to be a section of the
city map, its streets and squares and intersections and train stations. The brand is passed on through the act of
sexual congress, and at first you are limited in which parts of the city you can visit determined by which actual part of
the map your lover has tattooed on their skin.
The Immortal Prince by Jennifer Fallon
reviewed by Tammy Moore
When a convicted murderer survives the hangman's noose, it is inconvenient, but when the same murderer claims to be the
Immortal Prince Cayal -- one of the god-like Tide Lords -- it has wider repercussions. Not that anyone believes he
is who he says he is. The Tide-Lords are legends, stories for children and the credulous. But something does not
have to be the truth to be politically inconvenient.
Poe edited by Ellen Datlow
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The 200th birthday of Edgar Allan Poe is the occasion for the renowned editor Ellen Datlow, to assemble
another anthology of nineteen original stories somehow inspired to Poe's life or work.
Under such a broad label, the tales display an enormous variety of styles and genres,
where anyone can find something to like or to dislike.
Kris Longknife: Intrepid by Mike Shepherd
reviewed by Michael M Jones
The infamous Princess Kristine Longknife of Wardhaven is, surprisingly enough, bored. Sure, she has her very
own warship, disguised as a merchant vessel, laden with scientists and researchers intent on exploring beyond
the rim of human space, but she's a creature of action, and the action just isn't happening. To most people,
this would be relief. To her, it's the sheer knowledge that something will happen, and she's tired of
waiting. And so Kris Longknife goes hunting for pirates and trouble anyway.
Mantids by Ron Dakron
reviewed by John Enzinas
Blurbed as "an update of the world's oldest novel -- Petronius's Satyricon," John
had some trouble seeing the similarity between the two stories. This may be due to his lack of a
a classical education though. Or the reason may be because this book is about a tenth the size
and the author pared down the
original to the bare essentials: erections and giant bugs.
Lamentation: The Psalms of Isaak by Ken Scholes
Narrated by Scott Brick, William Dufris, Maggi-Meg Reed & Stefan Rudnicki
an audio review podcast by Susan Dunman
In this epic fantasy, Ken Scholes creates a world that immediately draws you into its
story. Windwir, the most beautiful and powerful city on the planet, is also a storehouse
of knowledge. When Windwir is consumed by fire from the sky, those who remain must save what
knowledge is left while trying to discover the cause and instigator of the catastrophe.
Click on the link to get the MP3 podcast file.
Danger in The Dark by L. Ron Hubbard
Narrated by Karen Black, et al.
an audio review podcast by Gil T. Wilson
Remember the old science fiction and fantasy magazines? You know, the ones that featured short stories
written by great sci-fi authors. Listening to this audiobook was like going back to those old pulps and
reliving the golden age of sci-fi. This collection contains three short stories written by L. Ron Hubbard
that are as diverse in subject matter as they are enjoyable to hear.
Click on the link to get the MP3 podcast
file. Or click on this link to
read the audiobook review of Danger in The Dark.
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
an audiobook review by Sarah Trowbridge
Set in the 25th and 26th centuries, it follows the adventures of three
disparate, more-or-less human characters in different circumstances and different parts of the galaxy as their goals and
objectives gradually converge. Dan Sylveste, an archaeologist with a few techno-physiological modifications
who stays in fairly regular contact with his dead father; Ilia Volyova, one of a triumvirate of cybernetically
enhanced humans piloting a light-hugger interstellar vessel; and Ana Khouri, an ex-soldier
whom we first encounter working as an assassin for a firm that serves the recreational needs of the very rich.
Princeps' Fury by Jim Butcher
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Tavi has been accepted as the Princep (heir to the crown of First Lord). However, a
recent civil war in Alera has left many citizens disgruntled and wanting something more than what the First Lord
seems able to offer. Alera has many enemies surrounding them, including the Marat to the south, the Ice Men to the
north and, across the sea to the west, the Canim. Fortunately, diplomacy and kindness have created an ally with
the Marat, and the Canim have agreed to cease hostilities for now.
Danger in the Dark by L. Ron Hubbard
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Remember the old science fiction and fantasy magazines? You know, the ones that featured short stories written by
great sci-fi authors. Listening to this audiobook was like going back to those old pulps and reliving the golden
age of sci-fi. This collection contains three short stories written by L. Ron Hubbard that are as diverse in
subject matter as they are enjoyable to hear.
Death's Daughter by Amber Benson
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Calliope Reaper-Jones' goals are simple: get promoted out of her boring job so she can lead the glamorous New York
life she has always dreamed about, have a decent blind date, and find the good sales every now and again. Unfortunately,
she's dragged kicking and screaming back into the family business when she gets the urgent and disturbing news
they're all missing, presumed kidnapped. Worse
yet, she is the only one even remotely qualified to take over daily operations, something which
doesn't fit in with her 5-five year plan. For if she accepts this heady responsibility, she'll
be stepping into the role of Death.
The January Dancer by Michael Flynn
The Faerie Door by B.E. Maxwell
reviewed by Rich Horton
It is, first and foremost, an entertaining Science Fiction novel of the old sort -- nearly
a Space Opera, with mysterious aliens (including legendary "prehumans"), desperate planets, people searching for a way
back to Old Earth, an enigmatic object, travel through warp space that makes sense and the nature of which matters,
and plenty of color.
The Other in the Mirror by Philip José Farmer, edited by Christopher Paul Carey
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Editor Christopher Paul Carey has collected here three of Philip José Farmer's lesser known novels.
The first, Fire and the Night, is a non-science fiction novel that
looks at racism and religion in the United States. The second, Jesus on Mars, is probably the best
known of the three, and the final one, Night of Light looks at religion and sociopathic behavior on
an alien world.
Lamplighter by D.M. Cornish
reviewed by John Enzinas
Book two of the Monster Blood Tattoo series, it
details Rossamund's training and his first posting. On the way, he befriends the first female lamplighter
and a shell-shocked former lamplighter named Numps. We are also reintroduced to characters from the first book
including Europe, the monster hunter and Sebastipol the Leer and falseman.
The High City by Cecelia Holland
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
In The Soul Thief, the author introduced Corban Loosestrife, an Irishman whose witchy twin sister, Mav, was
raped and carried off by Viking raiders, prompting him to go looking for her. The series has grown into a
multi-generational saga and now, in the fifth and latest volume, The High City, we're following Raef,
Mav's fey and fated son. He has worked his way downriver from Kiev and across the Black Sea just in time to be
shipwrecked off Byzantium.
Raef is a perpetual outsider, marked not only by being conceived in rape but by the not-always-helpful magic powers
he has inherited from his mother.
Blood Bargain by Maria Lima
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Readers often approach second books in series with a bit of trepidation: they're excited to find out what happens
next but wary that the second book might not live up to the excellence of the first. Well, have no fear.
The author has created an even more riveting novel in her follow-up
to Matters of the Blood. Keira Kelly can never go long without finding herself in the midst of a
mystery. She and her shapeshifter brother, Tucker, find themselves helping Ignacio, who came over the border
to search for his missing brother, Alex.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
It's hard out here for a comic book pubublisher. Especially if you're not Marvel, DC, or Dark
Horse -- someone with an established pipeline to film production, for all that good
syntax that comes with titles appearing both on theater marquees and comics
shelves. Of course, whether the "single issue comics shop" model can continue to
thrive in the era of the graphic novel is an open question.
Again, name brand comics will sell single issues for awhile, but for indies, the
future may be in bookstores. Mark London Williams gives us an inside view of
how an adaptation he was working on for a proposed Danger Boy
comic, a kind of sequel to the print series, is developed.
compiled by Neil Walsh
This time we're looking at the newest books from Laurie R. King, Kelley Armstrong, Mike Carey, Catherine Jinks, Alan Campbell, Ricardo Pinto, plus classic collections of Ray Bradbury, Michael Moorcock, and plenty more.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Like many, Rick is having some concerns over the use of "imaginary stories" where the past gets changed.
Many series, like Witchblade and Dallas, have used the plot device.
So don't get Rick started on Heroes, where it seems everything that happens is either a dream, a hoax,
or an imaginary story -- or all three at once. Some say that Heroes, like Smallville,
has blown up the refrigerator. Rick still has hope. Is there a script doctor in the house?
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The story concerns two 11 year-old children, on intertwined quests to find magical orbs that can help thwart a
rising evil. Victoria Deveny is from 1890's Britain, where she discovers a magical ring and steps through an
equally magical door, into small town America of 1966. There, she meets Elliot Good, who also has a magic
ring. Following an almost fatal encounter with a renegade Shadow Knight, the pair escape though yet another
magical portal, into Faerieland.