Purple and Black by K.J. Parker
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Over the past eleven years, K.J. Parker (a pseudonym; the writer's true identity has never been revealed) has
built a reputation for her own particular style of genre fantasy: a style characterized by down-to-earth,
rather brutal portrayals of warfare and politics; earthily humorous, but with an ultimately serious tone -- a
sense that this is the real messy business of how such affairs would be conducted in a pre-industrial world.
Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Outcast by Aaron Allston
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Once again, the galaxy is threatened by instability and strife. Once again, the Jedi Order is in the spotlight,
and not in a good way. The Jedi are too powerful, too enigmatic, too independent, too likely to go against
authority. The distrust is high, especially after the rise and fall of Darth Caedus, formerly Jacen Solo, son
of Han Solo and Princess Leia. And when another Jedi, Valin Horn, apparently goes mad and runs amuck, it's all
the evidence powerful people need.
The Department of Spirit Research by James Patrick Cobb
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The idea of what lies beyond this earthy existence, be it the after-life or a big nothing, has fascinated humanity
since before people developed written language. So it comes as no surprise that the subject continues to inspire
both those who embrace spirituality, and those who are miners of the imagination. This work
comes across as something in-between theosophical speculation and light science fantasy.
compiled by Susan Dunman
Recent audiobook releases received by SF Site include works by
Richard Matheson, Robert Heinlein, Margo Lanagan, Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
At times it's more convenient (and enjoyable) to hear the latest in science fiction and fantasy.
Bellwether by Connie Willis
an audiobook review by Sarah Trowbridge
This is science fiction only in the sense that it is a work of fiction whose principal characters
are scientists. As the work of 2009 Science Fiction Hall of Fame inductee, however, it is
inevitably classified in the genre. It tells
the story of Sandra Foster, a researcher laboring in the corporate catacombs of a company called HiTek. Her
work focuses on fads and their sources, and for her current project she is trying to track down the
mysterious catalyst for the 1920s craze for hair-bobbing.
White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison
an audiobook review by Jennifer McCann
The latest installment of the misadventures of Rachel Morgan kicks off at the beginning of the end -- the
end of Kisten's life (or unlife). Kisten's murder at the hands of an unknown assailant has haunted Rachel since she
woke up with no knowledge of what happened. Working with a psychiatrist, Rachel begins to put things together but
is still hampered by Jenks' "forget" spell.
Meanwhile, a close friend is hospitalized after what appears to be a banshee attack.
Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
The story opens with the death of Barry Allen as witnessed by Allen himself. What killed him, we soon learn,
is a wall of anti-matter that is slowly making its way across, not only Keystone City, not only the Earth,
but the entire multiverse. On world after world, the skies bleed to red. Then the shadows come -- creatures
that shift between solid and wrath-like and who seek only destruction. Finally, the anti-matter wall sweeps
the planet, destroying everything alive.
Escape from Hell by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
In 1976, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle released Inferno, a reworking of the epic poem by Dante
Alighieri. Now, they have returned to that world and to the hero, Alan Carpenter,
teamed with Sylvia Plath, who has been condemned to the wood of the suicides
in the middle ring of the seventh circle, to get out of Hell. Hell is going through a shakeup of its own because
of Vatican II. The rules have changed. The condemned are all scheduled to be tried anew.
Give Me Back My Legions! by Harry Turtledove
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Harry Turtledove explores the circumstances surrounding one of ancient Rome's greatest military disasters, The Battle
of the Teutoberg Forest. This is the battle in which the German, Arminius, defeated Augustus Caesar's appointed
governor of Germany, Publius Quinctilius Varus, keeping Rome out of Germany. Although well-known for his alternate
histories, Turtledove chooses historical fiction as the best format to tell about this history-changing battle.
The Demon Awakens, Part 2 by R.A. Salvatore
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
The beginning of a new era continues in part two of the high fantasy saga, The Demon Wars. The demon
Dactyl has awakened and has put together an army to destroy the land of Corona. R.A. Salvatore has created a story
that runs through seven books and is the basis of the role-playing game, Demon Wars. Now teamed up with Graphic
Audio, these books come to life as an audio adaptation.
Monster by A. Lee Martinez
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Judy never expected to find a yeti in the freezer section of the Food
Plus Mart while she was working the night shift, much less a yeti
intent on eating all of the ice cream (save the vanilla.) But there
it is, so what does she do? She calls Animal Control Services, which,
surprisingly enough, actually has a remedy for her infestation issues.
Enter Monster, of Monster's Cryptobiological Rescue, a large
blue-skinned man with a talent for transmogrifying and containing
supernatural pests, and his paper gnome companion Chester.
City Without End by Kay Kenyon
The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
As the novel opens, the major story-lines left over from A World Too Near are front and
center. Titus Quinn still searches for a way to save our universe, the Rose, without destroying the Entire. Meanwhile,
his daughter grows in power even as she renounces their relationship, and Helice continues her plan to bring humans
to the Entire, no matter the cost to Earth.
The Buckross Ring by L.A.G. Strong
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Largely forgotten today, L.A.G. Strong was one of the most popular and eclectic writers of the mid-twentieth
century, author of biographies, detective stores, children books and, last but not least, of supernatural
novels and stories. The present volume collects, for the first time, the author's supernatural or "strange" short stories, most of which were
probably unknown, thus far, to today's readers.
Jupiter, Issue 24, April 2009
reviewed by Rich Horton
Rich thought this was one of the better issues.
To begin at the end, with the shortest story, Gareth D. Jones offers an enjoyable snippet, a little character sketch,
in his Roadbuilder sequence, "Dog's Best Friend." Continuing from
the end, James McCormick's "If You Can't Beat Them ..." speculates on an accommodation reached by two crime
lords, one of whom has chosen biological enhancement, the other mechanical enhancement, to the point they've reached
a stalemate in their rivalry.
Powers: Secret Histories by John Berlyne
an article by Rodger Turner
I still remember when I was reading Dinner at Deviant's Palace (1984) by Tim
Powers for the first time. After some 27 years of reading SF, I thought it would be hard to startle
me with ideas and amaze me with plot. Sure, I could become engrossed with a sense of wonder and be charmed
by a delightful turn of phrase. But I had read a lot of books and it didn't seem like there
could be more. Boy, I was young and stupid. I found a number of treasures and surprises in
Dinner at Deviant's Palace and Tim Powers became one of my favourite writers on the spot.
News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
There's lots of good stuff out for the Summer so here's a round up
of Guillermo del Toro's vampires in The Strain; Jonathan L Howard's
necromancer Johannes Cabal; and both Mike Carey's dysfunctional Tom Taylor
in The Unwritten and news about the ultra-cool Felix Castor.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Rick Klaw recently attended the Writers League of Texas Agents Conference. Unlike genre
conventions, this event focused completely on authors getting agents rather than
established writers promoting their wares. Nearly twenty agents presented and offered
critiques for the some 600 attendees. As with all these type of functions, the
Conference afforded panels with industry experts. For the panel Beyond the
Strip: Inside the World of Comics & Graphic Novels, Rick shared his stories from
the trenches along with fellow writers Alan J. Porter and Tony Salvaggio. Overseen
by crime novelist Kit Frazier, the three of them bantered about the inner workings
of comics for a dozen or so graphic novel neophytes.
compiled by Neil Walsh
It's been a few issues of the SF Site since we listed the new arrivals, so there are quite a few new books this time. Highlights include the latest from Jacqueline Carey, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Catherine Asaro, John Scalzi, Charles de Lint, and many others.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Last month Rick said there was no SF on television this summer. But there is always some, if you look hard enough.
He found Doctor Who, Merlin and Primeval, all UK series.
Then there is Warehouse 13 plus Virtuality by Ronald D. Moore.
He also found out where where each genre series fell in the official rankings of the 2008-2009 network TV season.
reviewed by David Soyka
The Imperial Merchant Ship Chathrand is an immense six hundred year old
vessel that is the last of her kind. Because of his knowledge of certain treacherous waters, a discredited
captain has been reinstated to lead a subterfuge in which the ship's sinking will be faked in order to complete
a secret mission to uncage an ancient evil to provoke war between the arch-enemy nations of Arqual and the