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The Sword of Albion The Sword of Albion by Mark Chadbourn
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Will Swyfte is part Flashing Blade and part prototype James Bond, with a dash of Captain Jack Sparrow. Swyfte has more luck than a fistful of four leaf clovers, and accomplishes at least as many improbable escapes as Jack Bauer. All for Queen and country, overtly fighting the Spanish, and covertly locked into an endless battle with the supernatural forces of the true Enemy.

Love in Vain Love in Vain by Lewis Shiner
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
In this beautiful limited edition paperback of the author's 1997 collection, these are great stories, ranging over genres and locations with admirable disdain for the artificial boundaries that disfigure literature. To use one of the great clichés, there is something for everyone. More accurately, there are multiple stories to suit multiple tastes.

Fire Fire by Kristin Cashore
reviewed by Dan Shade
In the Dells, where Fire lives, she is considered a monster. Not because she is graced to read and control minds but because of her vibrant flame red hair. Even without it, she would be considered an extremely beautiful woman. With it, all men desire her. The king makes a total fool out of himself over her, pawing and bowing and begging her to marry him or coming to her rooms at all hours of the night and day with new proposals of marriage and threats to kill himself if she does not. These are not idle threats.

The Last Song of Orpheus The Last Song of Orpheus by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by Rich Horton
An enjoyable and very smoothly written recounting of Orpheus's life (or, as Orpheus would have it, one cycle of his ever-recurring life), the book tells most of the familiar stories about him, particularly his musical gifts, his love for Eurydice and his doomed trip to the Underworld to retrieve her, his study in Egypt, his journey on the Argo with Jason, and his final fate at the hands of the Maenads.

Mockingjay Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
reviewed by Dan Shade
Katniss Everdeen can stand tall. She's won two hunger games and now finds herself as the Mockingjay. The Mockingjay is a small little bird that has many qualities but perhaps the most important for now is that it draws others to itself through its song. Those in power who would fight the oppressive government of the Capitol and President Snow rally to the standard of the Mockingjay which Katniss has come to represent.

The Secret Back of Things The Secret Back of Things by Christopher Golden
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The present volume assembles eighteen tales quite various in genre, content and style. For instance there are: a historical piece ("One"), a vampire story full of graphic violence ("Venus and Mars"), a yarn in the shape of a comic book story ("Lament for Gunwitch"), a funny tale about the human race going crazy ("The Urge"), and a horrific novella running on the edge of plausibility, where a monster destroys the peace of a small sea town ("The Shell Collector").

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Star Wars: the Old Republic: Fatal Alliance is a chance for Star Wars fans to read the newest novel and immerse themselves in the characters before the release of Star Wars: the Old Republic video game in 2011. Bioware and Lucas Arts collaborated to make this game a reality, and no doubt there will be a scramble to get their hands on it.

Tongues of Serpents Tongues of Serpents Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik
reviewed by Rich Horton
Temeraire and Laurence have been transported to Australia. Laurence remains loyal to England, with misgivings, and Temeraire of course is utterly loyal to Laurence. Australia has recently undergone a sort of revolution, with the local landowners deposing the cruel and incompetent Governor Bligh (of the Bounty, yes). But this cannot stand, and Bligh angles for restoration to his seat.

Journeys Journeys by Ian R. MacLeod
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The author's stories have won multiple World Fantasy and Sidewise Awards and his novels have garnered him Clarke and Campbell trophies. This fourth collection provides insight into why his work is held in such high esteem. In many of the stories, he is able to take the time to flesh out a complex setting, familiar, yet quite different from the world in which we live.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Damien Walter at the Guardian recently posted an article entitled "Why Hollywood Can't Get the Hang of Science Fiction," in which he stated that, after more than a century of cinema and despite a wealth of source material since the inception of science fiction as a literary form, only two science fiction masterpieces, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Bladerunner, have ever been filmed. Almost immediately after Mr. Walter posted this opinion, comments appeared making a plethora of suggestions to add to his very short list. Derek felt that Mr. Walter's list lacked one movie on his list of masterpieces.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
This time we're looking at the latest from Charles Burns, Joe Abercrombie, Connie Willis, Alan Dean Foster, Dave Duncan, Lois McMaster Bujold, Paul Kearney, Fiona McIntosh, and plenty more.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick has found a Fall TV show he really likes: Sanctuary. Actually, this is the third season of the show. It has appealing, exotic characters, interesting scripts, and -- something you don't often see these days -- good music and good art direction. He also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in November.

First Novels

Hush, Hush Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
reviewed by Dan Shade
All the drama started one day in science class when Coach Harvey changed the seating chart to do a little scientific sleuthing as he put it. His plan was to force students to get to know a new lab partner. This paired Patch with Nora and where all the trouble began.


Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery by Stephen J. Pyne
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
This is the story of NASA's Voyager probes, two spacecraft launched in 1977, and their extraordinary Grand Tour to the outer planets and beyond -- only better, because the author also deftly weaves in the story of the Western world's love affair with great voyages of discovery.

Second Looks

Z for Zachariah Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien
reviewed by Dan Shade
Ann Burden is alone and she is scared. She is also a remarkable woman in spite of her girlish years (not quite 16). The world as we know it has ended by nuclear disaster. We are, appropriately, given little to no details of the war, because that's not what this book is about. It is about the inner strength of women, and how it rises to the surface when faced with horrible adversity and circumstances.


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