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Swords & Dark Magic Swords & Dark Magic edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders
reviewed by Martin Lewis
It isn't a particularly inspired title for an anthology of sword and sorcery stories but then speaking plainly is one of the virtues of the subgenre. This is a collection that does exactly what it says on the tin, with one exception.

Incarceron Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
reviewed by Dan Shade
In John Carpenter's movie, Escape from New York, every inch of Manhattan Island is a maximum-security prison. All the bridges have been blocked and, once you're incarcerated, you never get out. Incarceron is of the same concept but more. You may never get out of Incarceron but you may not even know you are in prison. Generations have lived and died within the walls of Incarceron and may have forgotten they are in prison as it is the only life they've known.

The Lifecycle of Software Objects The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
We begin with Ana Alvarado, an unemployed zookeeper taken on by a cutting edge software company to train up their latest developments: software objects who are meant to function as virtual pets. Meanwhile, Derek Brooks, an animator, is working for the same company designing the new creatures.

Jade Man's Skin Jade Man's Skin by Daniel Fox
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Continuing from the previous novel, Dragon in Chains, the author gives readers a wonderful story of feudal China in old times where a fight for the rightful owner of the throne is occurring and only a few men can prevent the evil-doers getting their hands on it and the power that comes with it. There are several who would overthrow the emperor, and those who would defend him, yet traitors are lurking in the midst.

The Left Hand of God The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman
reviewed by John Enzinas
Our hero is a 14-year-old boy who is the most deadly human in the world. Adopted into a monastery of fanatical warrior priests, he was trained from a very young age in the arts of combat. While there, his super-power which allowed him to predict and counter any other fighter appeared. Using his powers and genius like a sense of tactics (as well as a bunch of lucky breaks), he and his friends escape after discovering the festering evil that lies at the heart of the monastery.

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed by Pat Rothfuss, illustrated by Nate Taylor
reviewed by John Enzinas
This book is only 72 pages long and each page has only a couple of sentences on it. The rest of the page is filled with precise and fanciful illustrations by Nate Taylor giving us the details of the action described by Pat Rothfuss's words. Given this limited amount of content, it's hard to know how much to tell you about this book without giving anything away.

Beautiful Creatures Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
an audiobook review by Jennifer McCann
Ethan begins the new school year with the anticipation of nothing new -- same old friends, same old attitudes. It's a typical small southern town where everyone knows everyone else's business and the usual prejudices reign. But this year there is a change in the air. This year there are a few surprises. Spooky old Mason Ravenwood, the town recluse, has a teenage niece that has just moved in and joined the student body.

Roll Them Bones Roll Them Bones by David Niall Wilson
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Jason, Frank, Ronnie and Lizzy were all friends growing up in the small town of Random, Illinois. One Halloween they decided to visit a witch that lived in the woods, where they all sought to have their fortunes told by the town's legendary haunter of the woods. The only problem was that once they reached the witch's campfire, things went all wrong.

Nadya Nadya by Pat Murphy
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
Nadya is a werewolf, living in the mid 1800s, born of a werewolf father from Poland and a werewolf mother, who was a harlot in New Orleans. When she strays one night during a full moon and kills a neighbor's sheep, the community goes out to hunt the wolves that they see as a danger, and Nadya must escape towards the west.

Dog Blood Dog Blood by David Moody
an audio review podcast by Gil T. Wilson
In this sequel to Hater, recently infected Danny McCoyne continues the bloody kills to destroy the Unchanged while also looking for his five year-old daughter, Ellis. After escaping from a camp where Haters are destined for slaughter, Danny makes his way back to the city where his wife and daughter could be hiding/surviving. While Haters act as vicious as any zombie from any zombie movie or story, they can think and they don't eat their victims -- well, not always.

Divine Misfortune Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Welcome to a world where the gods are alive and well and dealing with humanity on their own terms. Everyone's got a personal god, who takes care of them according to the level of faith involved and sacrifices offered. Want that promotion? Sacrifice a calf to Baal. Looking for lower insurance premiums? Marduk's your deity. After years of holding out, Phil and Teri are fed up with seeing everyone else get ahead through worship while they get left behind... so they're in the market for a god.

The Rats and the Ruling Sea / The Ruling Sea The Rats and the Ruling Sea / The Ruling Sea The Rats and the Ruling Sea / The Ruling Sea by Robert V.S. Redick
reviewed by David Soyka
Not surprisingly, Thasha manages to escape the arranged marriage by employing a more successful variation of the Romeo and Juliet gambit. The Chathrand sets sail in unchartered waters to fake its own shipwreck as part of a plan to stealthily implement Arquali plans for world domination. Needless to say, our hearty band of heroes stands in their way. But since this is only the second volume of The Chathrand Voyage, they aren't quite successful.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Mark London Williams is done with teaching comics. No, really, he is finished -- as in, the five week course he taught over the summer on comic book scripting is now concluded. He has mentioned elsewhere that he teaches writing -- one of the places is "in house," for the Disney folks. Mark fell into one of these as a creative writing teacher for one department running what amounts to an in-house community college, offering evening classes in a variety of subjects. He has taught various aspects of writing over the years but comic book scripting was a challenge.

News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
Tim Lebbon explains how writing can disturb your sleep as well as your wife, and Stephen James Walker's End of Ten delves deep into the real-life story behind the scenes as David Tennant bows out of Doctor Who.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
In his mid-July column, Rick offered a list of the ten best sf movies before Stanley Kubrick's monumental sf trilogy, and wondered what modern moviegoers made of such ancient fare. These films still have some popularity, since all are available on DVD and can be ordered from Netflix. The response led him to wonder about the demographics of SF Site, and of science fiction generally.


British Science Fiction & Fantasy: Twenty Years and Two Surveys British Science Fiction & Fantasy: Twenty Years and Two Surveys edited by Paul Kincaid and Niall Harrison
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Science fiction and fantasy changes over time. Sometimes the changes are obvious such as when a novel like Neuromancer explodes on the scene. Other times, the changes are more subtle, like an authors whose work has been published steadily in the magazines looks back and sees the scope of their career. In 1989, Paul Kincaid conducted a survey in which he asked British science fiction and fantasy authors a series of questions to get a feel for the state of the genre. Twenty years later, Niall Harrison conducted essentially the same survey.

First Novels

The Raw Shark Texts The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Edgar Allen Poe was once described by James Russell Lowell as "three-fifths genius, two-fifths sheer fudge" (and who reads James Russell Lowell today, one might ask?). It might be a stretch to call any segment of this book genius, but the second three-fifths certainly pass the fudge test. The first 130 pages, however, are gripping. "Gripping" is one of those over-used terms of critical praise, but every so often a piece of prose exerts a physical power to keep one reading. The Raw Shark Texts has this in spades.

Second Looks

Among the Dolls Among the Dolls by William Sleator
reviewed by Dan Shade
Ten-year-old Vicky, is crushed when she receives a dusty, old doll house for her birthday instead of the shiny, new 10-speed bike she'd been hinting about so much. She rushes to her bedroom in tears. However the doll house soon begins to draw her interest and she soon begins play with it a great deal. Vicky then begins making the doll house people behave like the real people in her life.

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