After America by John Birmingham
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Set a mere handful of years from where Without Warning left off, the story opens with President James
Kipper leading the effort to reclaim an America that is now free of the deadly energy wave which erased most
of the living things within its borders. Gone, as quickly and mysteriously as it came -- and without any
explanation -- what is left behind is a vast country in which most of the cities are burned out ruins.
Carnal Sin by Allison Brennan
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Carnal Sin is the sequel to the first in the series, Original Sin,
that was released to great acclaim. Each book has a theme of one the seven deadly sins which have
been unleashed by demons who want to control the world. Here, Lust, in demon form, travels to Los Angeles
to influence individuals and answer his calling.
Conflicts edited by Ian Whates
reviewed by Rich Horton
Military SF is a standard subgenre. It's quite a broad subject that has interested a lot of writers
for a long time, and one that continues to have resonance for writers and readers. This
book includes a pretty good quantity of less familiar
names (particularly to American readers) and as such we might hope for some surprises.
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
reviewed by Dan Shade
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in a local bar and grill in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She's a fox by every definition of the
word. Great build, blond hair, blue eyes, about 5'7", etc. Something about her blood is special too because
every Vampire she meets want a bite.
Sookie has never had much of a social life including sex as she has a disability, as she puts it.
Absolute Planetary by Warren Ellis
reviewed by Susan Dunman
It's a strange world -- so says Elijah Snow, and he should know. He has been recruited by a
mysterious organization called Planetary to assist in its efforts to uncover Earth's
secret history. The pay is not bad at one million dollars a year for life, especially considering Elijah
has already lived 100 years, while aging only half that number.
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
an audiobook review by Craig Clarke
John Chandagnac, son of a puppeteer, is still mourning his father's death when
he sets out for Jamaica to get back his inheritance from the uncle who stole
it. To this end, he charters the Vociferous Carmichael but gets to see another
side of sea life when it is attacked by Phillip Davies, privateer and captain of
the sloop Jenny. Chandagnac gets on the wrong side of a pirate captain
and is offered the choice to either join them or die.
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
an audiobook review by Julie Moncton
Catherine Crawfield is on a mission. Ever since learning that she was conceived when her human mother was brutally
raped by a vampire, she has made it her vocation to eliminate vampires from the world -- one silver stake at a
time. The score is in Cat's favor when she meets the vampire Bones, a bounty hunter who chases
down other vampires for a living. With a common goal of killing vampires, Cat enters into an uneasy alliance
The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes edited by John Joseph Adams
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the
truth." The defining quote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote for Holmes is what guides this collection,
which explores the improbable and bends the limits on improbability. There are 28 stories in
this collection, written by authors whose specialties range throughout the science fiction, horror and fantasy realms.
The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
Miles Naismith Vorkosigan was left crippled after a poison gas attack on his mother when
he was still in the womb. In reality, he's lucky to be alive at all, but gratitude doesn't
always come easy when one's bones might break from a hard push, especially when growing up
in a culture that places a high premium on physical prowess in boys. Add onto that a
father who is a Count, a high-ranking military officer and former Regent to the Emperor,
and you have one young man eager to prove himself.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
an audiobook review by Amy Timco
The powerful Alethi princedoms are held together
by an uneasy alliance, but lack the unification of a strong ruler after the infamous assassination of their
first king a decade ago. Military power is determined by Shardblades and Plate, magically enhanced weapons
and armor that kingdoms battle to possess. Society is divided in a rigid caste system based on eye
Deep Blue by David Niall Wilson
reviewed by Gil T. Wilson
"Crossroads or crosshairs, it's all the same. There's only one way through the pain and that's
through the music." That's what the mysterious old bluesman tells Brandt when Brandt learns he has
a new musical power. This quote grabbed me and kept hold as Brandt, a burned out musician, begins
to play music that can absolve people of their pain.
Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
From its start, everyone from the Malazan Adjunct Tavore to the
Letherii King to a group of Elder Gods to the lizard-like K'Chain Che'malle and several other persons and peoples
have a plan or plans to pursue. The problem for the reader is that all those plans point to a big conclusion
coming up in The Crippled God, the tenth and final volume of
The Malazan Book of the Fallen. The problem for the characters is that
none of their plans work out the way they expected.
Ghost Seas by Steven Utley
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
The eponymous opening story of this brilliant collection is a haunting tale of the West Texas sands, a strange
triangle between a dementing (but rich) old man, his apparently guileless nephew, and the nephew's young
wife. This story was reminiscent of all those J.G. Ballard stories and novels set in imagined landscapes that
powerfully reflect mindscapes. The exotic and the eerie is a mirror of ourselves.
Once Walked with Gods by James Barclay
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
For most of the last thousand years, the different threads or clans of elves have lived in harmony and equality
under the guidance of Takaar. But ten years ago, Takaar fled to Calaius from a battle with the demonic
Garonin (humans), saving the lives of many elves, but leaving thousands to be slaughtered. The past ten years
have brought strife among the threads, and Sildaan, of the Ynissul thread, has aligned herself with humans to
bring back the old ways.
The Godfather of Kathmandu by John Burdett
reviewed by Jason Erik Lundberg
For Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, our humble narrator, release
from samsara is urgent: his six-year-old son Pichai has been killed in a traffic accident, and his wife
Chanya has fled to a nunnery in her grief. The beginning of the novel sees Sonchai as a broken man, surviving
his despair through liberal consumption of marijuana and the recitation of an ego-annihilating mantra given
to him by a Tibetan yogin in Nepal.
The Enemy by Charlie Higson
reviewed by Dan Shade
Everyone over sixteen is catching an unknown disease that usually kills
them. However, instead of dying or becoming brainless zombies, they become semi-brainless zombies
stumbling around in packs, attacking children and eating them.
Our story starts with a group of children battling a crowd of adults in a London, YMCA-type community recreation center where they have
gone to scrounge food out of vending machines. Upon arrival, they discover the machines have been
thrown into the pool. Not having seen a grown-up during their trek,
the kids feel it's safe to enter the sickening water.
compiled by Neil Walsh
New and forthcoming titles this time include the latest from Tim Lebbon, Alan Dean Foster, Jeffrey E. Barlough, Lois McMaster Bujold, Cherie Priest, and much more besides.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Captain Marvel Jr., introduced in 1941 as one of the earliest crippled characters in comics,
revolutionized the burgeoning comics industry as the first youthful counterpart to a main
hero, thus spawning the "superhero family" concept. During an aerial battle between Captains
Marvel and Nazi, the Aryan villain crashes into a lake, crippling the young Freddy Freeman who
happened to be fishing on a small boat. Rick Klaw has some thoughts on how disabilities
are portrayed in comics.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on Battlestar Galactica direct to DVD movie The Plan.
He also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in November.
Entangled: The Eater of Souls
an article by Graham Hancock
"Entangled is very different from anything else I've ever written. It's a work of fiction -- a
fantasy-adventure, sci-fi, time-slip novel, with strong elements of horror thrown into the mix, set part
in the twenty-first century, part in the Stone Age. Brindle is a young Neanderthal man and Ria a young human
woman living in northern Spain twenty-four thousand years ago. They're caught up in a cosmic battle of good
against evil, and supernatural forces bring them together with Leoni, a troubled teen in modern Los Angeles,
to confront a demon who travels through time."
reviewed by Rich Horton
Jean le Flambeur is a thief. As the novel opens, he is sprung from a space-based prison
by Mieli, an Oortian woman who hopes to get her lover back by serving a certain goddess -- and the
service now requested is to have Jean steal something. And that requires a trip to the Oubliette on
Mars, where Jean apparently once lived under a different name, and betrayed a woman, and hid
something that Mieli's employer wants.