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Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
reviewed by Rich Horton
Jack Vance is a writer whose influence on the field has been quite noticeable. The Dying Earth itself is an obvious inspiration for such a major work as Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. One might add less significant but still worthwhile work also set in what is either explicitly the Dying Earth or what seems closely derived from same. Countless other writers have used similar milieus, some quite openly. Indeed, many of the contributors to this book are Vance's heirs to some degree or another.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2009 Nebula Awards Showcase 2009 edited by Ellen Datlow
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
At some point in the not too distant past, when we probably weren't really paying attention, the Science Fiction Writers of America, which presents the Nebula Awards, became the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. All the way through this forty-third annual anthology of Nebula Award winners and nominees there is an uneasy awareness of this shift in focus. Perhaps Brian Stableford and John Clute were right, you only have to look in the bookshops to see fantasy is in the ascendant so maybe science fiction has indeed run its course.

Conspirator Conspirator by C.J. Cherryh
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
C.J. Cherryh is the best writer of first-contact stories in the business. Nobody offers more insight in the psychological subtleties of human-vs-'Other' communication, and the problems and issues that can result when one group thinks -- mistakenly -- that it understands the other. Previous works like the Faded Sun series and the Chanur series amply demonstrate her skill, but the Foreigner series, of which this book is part, is her masterwork.

Unclean Spirits Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Jayné gets a life-changing surprise when she flies to Denver to settle her murdered Uncle Eric's estate. The good news is she has inherited a lot of money and property all over the world, but the bad news is she finds herself embroiled in a battle with the Invisible College. What you might ask is the Invisible College besides the group that killed Jayné's uncle?

Genesis Genesis by Bernard Beckett
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Set in a near future where the inhabitants of an island have walled themselves off from a world dying of disease and devastation, this book is nominally the story of a young student facing an examination that will determine her qualifications for the next step up in her career. But with characters with names like Anaximander and Pericles, and a society that refers to itself as the Republic, it's evident that there's more going on here.

Shiver Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
It's a supernatural love story. Young Grace, whose parents tend to forget that she exists half the time, was once (when she was very young) dragged off by a pack of wolves into the woods behind her home -- and was rescued by one of the pack, a wolf whose golden eyes she has never forgotten and with whom she keeps up a strange and distant relationship during the winters of her lives when the pack is roaming the woods. She has plenty to handle in the rest of her life.

Tesseracts 13 Tesseracts 13 edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The interesting and exhaustive overview of Canadian dark fiction by Robert Knowlton placed at the end of the book makes the inattentive reader realize how many horror writers commonly assumed to be American are actually Canadian. And the whole of this latest instalment in the series, entirely devoted to horror fiction, confirms that Canada is a prolific country for that genre fiction.

Batman: Dead White Batman: Dead White by John Shirley
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
Be aware, this title isn't work safe or kid safe. It contains foul language and racial epithets. The story is overdone. Everything is overstated and larger than life, and that's exactly what a comic book novel should be. There is no subtlety here, no layers of meaning. You have the good guys, who are in all ways good, duking it out with the bad guys, who embody everything we could consider bad.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
In an earlier column, Mark London Williams had talked about a couple of "Madeleine Cookie" experiences he'd had with recent arrivals over the transom, the first of those being the 4th Batman collection in DC's Showcase series of archival B&W compendiums. And how that collection brought him back not only to "then," but several subsequent phases/stages of growing, changing, aging in general, and as a comics reader -- and occasional writer -- in particular. He also wrote of a second "cookie," but had run out of space for it, and he figured he'd get to it in a subsequent column.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
This time, our recent arrivals feature the latest from Robin Hobb, Greg Egan, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, David Anthony Durham, Robert Holdstock, a graphic novel adaptation of Ray Bradbury, a manga version of X-Men, a colleciton of essays on Robert Bloch, and much more.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Caprica, a prequel to Battlestar Galactica set more than fifty years before the age of the Battlestars, is currently only out on DVD. It will come to television in 2010, as the pilot of a new series. The DVD of Dollhouse contains two episodes that were never shown on television, both on disk three, "Echo" and "Epitaph One." Both include a few scenes that were aired in other episodes.

Series Review

Mistborn The Well of Ascension The Hero of Ages The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
We are introduced to the Final Empire, a dark, seemingly post-apocalyptic world that features raining ash and a mysterious mist that comes at night. The final empire is governed by the oppressive and god-like Lord Ruler and has been around for a thousand years. Society is divided into the nobility and the skaa or slaves. Vin is a seventeen-year-old half-skaa girl who is a member of a small-time gang of street thieves. She is their lucky charm. Vin has no idea that the ability to create that luck is something much more.


Battlestar Galactica: Downloaded Battlestar Galactica: Downloaded by David Bassom
reviewed by David Maddox
It seemed like a crazy idea at first. Taking an old one-season science fiction show from the 70s and re-imagining it for a modern day audience, while working in themes of current day politics and military struggle. Stepping outside the approved world of SF and focusing on characters and emotional responses rather than space ships and aliens was the next step. And, as a surprise to everyone, the hit series Battlestar Galactica was (re)born.

First Novels

A Mage of None Magic A Mage of None Magic by A. Christopher Drown
reviewed by John Enzinas
Neil, a young man on the cusp of adulthood thinks he knows what his life has in store but his journey is disrupted by as he discovers that he is the Apostate, a prophesied mage of none magic who will change the world. To assist him in his new journey he has his band including the reformed assassin, the charismatic leader and the gruff yet surprisingly intelligent fighter.

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