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The Flaxen Femme Fatale The Flaxen Femme Fatale by John Zakour
reviewed by Michael M Jones
No one has managed to kill Zachary Nixon Johnson, the last freelance P.I. on Earth yet. That's the good news. Thebad news is that it's still early. That's about how you can sum up any day for our hero. And when a mysterious woman appears in his dreams and asks him politely not to try and find her, he's surprised... but only a little. And when the military summons him to try and find their missing secret weapon, an impossibly-dangerous psychic named Natasha, who just happens to look like his earlier visitor, Zach has no choice but to take the case.

Jupiter, Issue 23, January 2009 Jupiter, Issue 23, January 2009
reviewed by Rich Horton
Let's go story by story. Lee Moan's "The Weight of Shadows" tells of a young woman from Earth who has gone to another planet to care for children orphaned by an ongoing war between the "watusi" and the "rifiri", rival races of aliens. In Huw Langridge's "The Darken Loop" a group of freelance scientists is urged by an AI to make use of an unexpected means of a sort of time travel to save the girlfriend of one of them.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Following the success of their EC-inspired horror anthology Creepy, publisher James Warren and editor Archie Goodwin began Blazing Combat in 1965. The new magazine employed a similar format, using many of the same artists of the previous Warren publication -- Joe Orlando, Reed Crandall, John Severin, Al Williamson, Gray Morrow, Russ Heath, Alex Toth, and Wally Wood. Like Creepy, Blazing Combat also featured Frank Frazetta covers, and Goodwin scripts in a magazine format. But unlike its predecessor, Blazing Combat died a ignoble death after just four issues. Rick Klaw follows the trail of Blazing Combat along with that of Jack Kirby's The Losers.

Green Lantern: Hero's Quest Green Lantern: Hero's Quest by Dennis O'Neil
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
In the back alley behind a smoke-filled bar, young art student and ne'er-do-well Kyle Rayner encounters a strange blue gentleman in a red nightshirt. The gentleman gives him an odd green ring, then disappears. Soon Kyle finds himself possessed of powers he doesn't understand. He is invited to join the Justice League, only the League, and the Watchtower, suddenly vanish.

Lord Tophet Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
In this sequel to Shadowbridge, we return to his world of giant bridges spanning endless swaths of ocean. We return to the story of Leodora, a young orphan following in her father's footsteps and earning her fame as greatest living shadow puppeteer and storyteller since her father, Bardsham. We even return to the exact moment where the previous novel ends, with Leodora taken to Edgeworld, the realm of the gods.

Chapterhouse Dune Chapterhouse Dune by Frank Herbert
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Chapterhouse Dune takes place ten years after the events in Heretics of Dune, which left the planet Dune completely destroyed by the mysterious enemy from the scattering, the Honored Matres. Threatened with their own destruction at the hands of the Honored Matres, the Bene Gesserit must defend themselves.

Turn Coat Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Harry Dresden has recently been appointed a warden of the White Council. Now, the strange part about Harry being made a warden is that he was once on probation for the possibility that he was starting to lean to the dark side. While Harry was on probation, Warden Donald Morgan was assigned to watch over Harry's every move. Morgan did his job well, to the point of accusing almost every move of Dresden's to be black Magic. So when Morgan is accused of murdering a member of the White Council and escaping their prison, no one would ever expect Harry Dresden to hide him from the others.

Best American Fantasy 2008 Best American Fantasy 2008 edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Even with the demise of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, there are many Best of the Year anthologies out there. But Paul notes, and applauds, about this selection of stories is that the wide range of sources challenges our notions of fantasy. This collection takes us far away from the standard tropes of wily magicians and mighty-thewed heroes and young boys destined to become king and the like.

The Sinusoidal Spaghetti The Sinusoidal Spaghetti by J.-M. Perelmuter
reviewed by John Enzinas
First there is the story of Meni Mendel, an astrophysicist who discovers and decodes a message from another planet that has been encoded into a pulsar. Fearing that no one will take his discovery seriously, he has a breakdown and ends up in an institution for rich and/or well connected crazy people. His doctor attempts to get his manuscript published as part of his therapy. It leads to the story of the aliens, who are apparently just like us except for the fact that they are blue and sweat instead of crying.

We Never Talk About My Brother We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle
reviewed by Rich Horton
This collection is a great way to introduce yourself to the fabulous work this wonderful writer has been doing these recent years. He made his reputation with the magnificent 60s novels, A Fine and Private Place and The Last Unicorn, and cemented it work outside the field like I See By My Outfit and with later novels like The Innkeeper's Song.

In Great Waters In Great Waters by Kit Whitfield
reviewed by Martin Lewis
The novel opens with its protagonist, Whistle, coming to realise his runtish position in his underwater tribe. He is small and weak and his tail is curiously bifurcated. Before long he is abandoned by his mother and forced up, out of the sea and into a new, terrifying world. It is an alien place; saltless and baffling, characterised by blinding colours, meat stink and impossibly thin air.

Dead Reign Dead Reign by T.A. Pratt
reviewed by Michael M Jones
In her years as chief sorcerer of Felport, Marla Mason has dealt with any number of magical threats and occult menaces, slapping down unimaginable horrors and upstart magical practitioners on a weekly basis. Whether she's playing cat herder with the prominent sorcerers of the city, or preventing necromancers from creating servants out of the recently deceased, she's got it all under control. Well, mostly.

A Conversation With Diamond Star author Catherine Asaro, and Hayim Ani of Point Valid A Conversation With Diamond Star author Catherine Asaro, and Hayim Ani of Point Valid
an interview with Charles E. Gannon
Diamond Star the CD might well have been given the subtitle: "Musical Energy Erupting from a Fusion of Two Creative Minds." Energy, creativity, imagination, and drive are the obvious keynotes when interviewing award-winning author Catherine Asaro (who also happens to be a physicist and dancer) and Hayim Ani (whose promise at age 17 had already resulted in the production of a prior CD with the band Point Valid). Their differences in background and experiences emerge not as a collision of styles, but as a harmony of complimentary visions that allowed them to bring a unique blend of diversity and common-mindedness to their project.

The Rainbow Connection The Rainbow Connection by Ian Harac
reviewed by John Enzinas
The book tells the story of an FBI agent who is responsible for inter-dimensional copyright. When the wrap-up a fairly standard bust results in a dead munchkin, Agent Matt Anders is pulled into a conspiracy that affects his whole department and takes him through Oz all the way to Dorothy's Kansas.

News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
Liam Sharp talks about new book God Killers, wish-fulfilment heroic sagas, and being under the influence of Moorcock and Silverberg; Alex Irvine does the double with controversial new novel Buyout and brand new comic adventure with Daredevil Noir; and John Higgins on the Watchmen movie and his new twisted story in the collected Razorjack graphic novel.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Some of the highlights this month include new editions of old favourites from the likes of Robert E. Howard, L. Ron Hubbard, Ben Bova, Charles de Lint, plus a wide array of sparkly new books too.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
And another TV season winds to a close. Rick offers his thoughts on what he was looking forward to watching and what caught his attention. He also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in May.

First Novels

Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
This is a debut novel, and what a debut it has been so far. This has been one of those books that has been gathering buzz as it rolls along until it has reached the point that it somehow inevitably pops up in any discussion on the topic of YA literature. It managed to make it into New York Times Review of Books, and received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, not to speak of the notoriously hard-to-please Kirkus Reviews; it won, was a finalist in, or was nominated for a slew of industry, critical, readers' and bloggers' "best of" lists and awards. But...

Daemon Daemon by Daniel Suarez
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Originally self-published in 2006 using a POD service under the name Leinad Zeraus, Daemon is a top quality techno-thriller about the potential power of the internet. More precisely, it is about what that power could do, if harnessed and exploited by someone who truly understands how virtual and actual reality intermesh. In this case, by computer gaming legend Matthew Sobol, an individual who cannot be stopped in any conventional way, because he is already dead.

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