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The Dervish House The Dervish House The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
A bird turns in the thermals rising from a sprawling, clangorous waterfront city, spread so far below that the details of its inhabitants cannot be seen. Ian McDonald may have read John Dos Passos's 1925 novel, Manhattan Transfer as both writers chose exactly the same image to open their novels, and to exactly the same effect. The remote, aerial viewpoint is distancing and depersonalizing: the individuals rushing about below are, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant, just cogs in the vast, impersonal machine that is the city.

The Beastly Bride The Beastly Bride edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
reviewed by Rich Horton
Like the editors's previous YA oriented original anthologies such as The Green Man and The Faery Reel which have preceded this year's entry, these are very enjoyable collections, each on a loose fantasy theme. In this case, the theme is "animal people" aka shapechangers. As with the other books, this is a top-to-bottom very readable, engaging, book.

The Alchemyst The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
reviewed by Dan Shade
Fifteen-year-old twins, Sophie and Josh Newman, find themselves in a world of hurt when they befriend a seven-hundred-year-old Alchemyst, Nicholas Flamel. While in his bookstore, they are attacked by Golems, men created out of mud, that are controlled by the infamous Dr. John Dee. As they come to Flamel and his wife's support, they save the day by inadvertently providing the opportunity to fight another day.

Basic Black: Tales of Appropriate Fear Basic Black: Tales of Appropriate Fear by Terry Dowling
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The collection doesn't include any misfires, the quality of the stories is consistently top notch, but some material is absolutely superlative. "The Bullet That Grows in the Gun" is the intriguing, tense, extraordinary report of a scientific experiment involving an apparently absurd theory about materialization. An unforgettable tale graced by excellent storytelling and superb characterization.

Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy by Joe Sergi
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is the story of ordinary American teenager DeDe Christopher, who has an extraordinary destiny. DeDe dreams of winning the National Gymnastic Tournament and dating the school quarterback. Until she begins to develop powers strangely similar to those of a fictional superhero named Sky Boy. DeDe enlists the help of her best friend and comic book geek, Jason Shewstal, to discover her true destiny.

Tomb of the Fathers Mammoths of the Great Plains Tomb of the Fathers and Mammoths of the Great Plains by Eleanor Arnason
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Sometimes good things come in smaller packages. One is an old-fashioned science fiction adventure story, the other a thoroughly modern take on life in the near-future Midwest as seen through the lens of an alternate history. Both are the work of a writer who, over the years has explored issues of gender, politics, and social structure. In both books, she does much the same, while also displaying a sly wit and a talent for creating likable characters who are, in their own way, quietly subversive.

Mindswap Mindswap by Robert Sheckley
an audiobook review by John Ottinger III
Mindswap is a 1966 novel by Hugo and Nebula nominated author Robert Sheckley. An absurdist tale that is a precursor to Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, this zany novel tells the tale of one Marvin, a dreamer and poor college student who only wants to see the universe.

The Windup Girl The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
an audiobook review by Sarah Trowbridge
In the city of Bangkok, in the kingdom of Thailand, sometime in the future, a dizzying array of characters serving a most unlovely tangle of masters and agendas seethe and simmer in a stinking, humid cesspool of misery and failure. This seems to be the final, decaying remnant of human history on planet Earth.

Mortalis, Part 3: The Demon Wars Mortalis, Part 3: The Demon Wars by R.A. Salvatore
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
The Rosey Plague is wreaking havoc in the land of Corona, especially in the kingdom of Honce-the-Bear. The Abellican Church has ordered all of its abbeys to be shut and the monks to stay within the walls to prevent them from catching the plague. King Ursul has ordered the same for all baroneys, leaving the common people to fend for themselves.

The Crossroads The Crossroads by L. Ron Hubbard
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Keeping faith with pulp fiction of the early 1940's, Galaxy Audio brings three tales from the pen of L. Ron Hubbard to life with a full-cast audio production. Re-creating these stories in sound gives a new dimension to adventures first published in Unknown Fantasy Fiction and Unknown Worlds.

Carnival of Death Carnival of Death by L. Ron Hubbard
an audio review podcast by Gil T. Wilson
Galaxy Audio takes L. Ron Hubbard's short stories that were published in various aviation, sports and pulp magazines in the mid-1900's and creates a series of "audio pulps." These audiobooks are about two hours in length and contain one or more short stories within a given genre. The production mixes subtle sound effects, original music and an extremely talented cast of voice talent to create a cinematic audio experience that provides the perfect audio escape from reality. This title includes "The Carnival of Death" and "The Death Flyer."

The Baby Killers The Baby Killers by Jay Lake
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
The catalogue description of this short novel refers to the book as a restaging of mankind's fall from grace in the form of a steampunk fable. Any deeper symbolic meaning in this book takes a back seat to the fact that it is simply a hell of a good read. There is more story and setting stuffed into this short volume than in many full length novels,

Return Return by Peter S. Beagle
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
In this new novella, the author returns to the extraordinary Fantasy realm he first introduced in his 1993 novel The Innkeeper's Song, and proves once again that his prose style is unmatched for wit and grace. But despite its familiar setting and distinguishing technique, this is a somewhat atypical offering -- perhaps most remarkable for the fact that the story in and of itself will probably have very little bearing on whether you choose to buy the book.

Terminal World Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds
reviewed by Rich Horton
The story is set on Earth (perhaps), far in the future, as the climate is failing. The dominant "city" is called Spearpoint -- a vertical city, spiralling around a structure that seems to extend all the way to space. As the levels in Spearpoint increase in altitude, there is also an increase in what technology works. From the top comes Quillon, a posthuman renegade who discovers that his former masters are sending newly modified angels to kill him.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
"The Uncanny Un-Collectibles" began percolating soon after the publication of the two-part "Geek Movies NOT on DVD." Inspired by Glenn Erickson's always interesting annual Movies Not on DVD list at the entertaining DVD Savant, Rick Klaw decided reach out to his cadre of writers, critics, and artists to compile a similar geek-centric film list. The feature garnered tons of interest and remains one of the most popular in the site's nearly 10-year history.

News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
Tom Lloyd gets devious talking about his latest Twilight Reign novel, The Ragged Man; and David Wellington updates some traditional myths in his new werewolf novel, Cursed.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Vampires are having a good year.  From the publication of both the second in Guillermo Del Toro-Chuck Hogan Strain trilogy and the first in Justin Cronin's Passage trilogy, to the release of Let Me In, Matt Reeves's remake of Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One In, and the soap opera shenanigans of the Twilight movies, there are so many bloodsuckers to shake a stake at, that one could be forgiven for feeling a tad overwhelmed by the undead… and for wondering why similar love isn't being shown for the vampire's shaggier pop culture cousin, the werewolf. Derek thinks he knows.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick watched the premiere of the tenth and final season of Smallville, and while the writers try very hard, only a few seconds really thrilled him. On the other hand, a few thrilling seconds are better than an hour of mild entertainment. He also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in October.

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Issue 25 Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Issue 25
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Issue 25 is filled with inspirational fiction, non-fiction, and poetry that will open up the reader's mind to a whole new experience in writing.


Tale of Monkey Island Tale of Monkey Island
a video game review by David Maddox
Look behind you! A three-headed monkey! The clever distraction ploy has been used time and time again by stalwart protagonist of the Monkey Island game series, Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate! Now fans can rejoin the adventurer on his latest excursions as TellTale Games, in association with LucasArts, returns the inept swashbuckling hero to gaming consoles in the five-part Tales of Monkey Island.

First Novels

The Windup Girl The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
reviewed by Dan Shade
The Windup Girl takes place in Thailand, in and about Bangkok. Huge retaining walls have been built to keep the sea out. Water is pumped back into the sea with coal driven machines. Petroleum is non-existent. People are starving the world over. The population of the world has been greatly reduced by a virus called cibiscosis which continues to mutate and cause more death. Crops suffer from attack by mutant viruses. In the midst of all this, the Thai people seem to be sitting on a seed bank.

Celtic Maidens Celtic Maidens by Ceri Norman
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Sian Derwyn leads a fairly humdrum life of work and hanging out with friends until Ryan Ackley, a photographer comes to her Welsh village to take pictures of the numerous stone circles in the area and brings her to life. She doesn't understand it, but she feels a strong connection to this man and feels she understands him far better than she should for the short time they've known one another.

Southcrop Forest Southcrop Forest by Lorne Rothman
reviewed by John Enzinas
The story tells the tale of a colony of Tent Caterpillars named Fur who have somehow developed a group mind and are befriended by Auja, the tree in which they live. Auja explains to the Fur that trees can talk to each other as long as they are connected. But, thanks to the efforts of humans, many trees groups have been cut off as the humans cut them down to replace them with their habitations.


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