Blue and Gold by K.J. Parker
reviewed by Rich Horton
Saloninus, our narrator, tells us he is the greatest living alchemist. Apparently that's true,
though as he also tells us, he doesn't always tell the truth. Indeed, he opens the book by telling
someone "In the morning, I discovered the secret of changing base metal into gold. In the afternoon, I
murdered my wife." Whether either or both or neither of these claims is true is much of what the story is about.
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
In the course of her daily, dreary duties, a nun named Evangeline discovers wartime correspondence
between the philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller, and the abbess of the New York convent that is her
home. The suggestion is that the now deceased women
conspired to spirit away a valuable object, which has supernatural powers. Naturally, the location of
this missing artifact is only accessible to those who can work their way through a series of codes.
Passion Play by Beth Bernobich
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Therez is a typical teen, revelling in her own intelligence, sure she's figured out the world. Like many smart teens, when presented
with her first big challenge (and it's a very big one) she cuts and runs, not really considering that there
could be worse things out there than her problems at home. And she finds them when she joins a caravan.
Pink Noise by Leonid Korogodski
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Why do you read science fiction? Has it is been a lifelong affair, immersing yourself in altered worlds? Do you
come for the science or for the fiction? For the adventure, for the characters, or for the ideas? If you asked
Seamus in his more sober, respectable moments, he would say his attraction is to both new and innovative ideas, but
also at encountering our own world slightly altered, or with some little quirk taken to its logical conclusion.
Black Static, Issue 19, October-November 2010
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
As well as the usual array of short stories, and information on where to get new novels in this month's
issue of Black Static, Peter Tennant's Case Notes has some reviews on the latest books out there and an
interview of Stephen Jones, "Home is Where the Horror Is." This time out, Tennant
reviews the latest anthologies in horror such as The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New
Horror: A Twenty Year Celebration edited by Stephen Jones, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 21
also edited by Stephen Jones, and Zombie Apocalypse!, created by Stephen Jones.
Jupiter, Issue 30, October 2010
reviewed by Rich Horton
Rich thought the previous two issues of the magazine
among the strongest in its tenure. Alas, this issue doesn't work as well. It features four stories, plus four
linked sonnets. The sonnets are by Ian Sales, and are collectively entitled "Jupiter Quartet," with the
individual poems named for the Galilean satellites. They are the most interesting pieces in the issue.
Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn
an audiobook review by Jennifer McCann
Kitty is back in this third installment of the Kitty Norville series. After a
disastrous visit to the nation's capitol, Kitty decides to take a break from her radio show and
disappear into the mountains of southern Colorado to lick her wounds. Free from the glare of the
media, Kitty tries to take a stab at writing her memoirs. Being the first verifiable werewolf
in the world has garnered Kitty more interest than she truly wants.
The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
In the sequel to World Made By Hand, the author further develops his dark image of an America
plagued by terrorism and terrorized by plague. Now, with no more oil or electricity, citizens struggle
to survive. The Witch of Hebron focuses on Jordan Copeland, the eleven-year-old son of the
resident doctor in small-town Union Grove. Believing he must leave Union Grove, Jordan decides he
has learned enough from his father to start up his own doctoring business in another town. As
you might suspect, that plan doesn't work too well...
Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
This is not a novel proper, but rather a collection of Miles Vorkosigan novellas. All three
deal with Miles (who was deformed from a prenatal gas attack on his mother) as he must use his
considerable intellect to get out of -- and occasionally in to -- trouble.
On Blazing Wings by L. Ron Hubbard
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
David Duane is an American artist, adventurer and air ace who finds himself fighting for the Democratic People's
Government of Finland, only because he is in that country when the war starts. As a veteran aviator and air
ace, Duane instinctively goes after a group of Russian bombers. But his mission is interrupted when he sees
a city in the clouds. This city turns out to be Puhjola, the mythical land of heroes.
Doubleblind and Killbox by Ann Aguirre
reviewed by Michael M Jones
What happens when the rebels win and become part of the system? That's one of the many themes explored in
the third and fourth books of the Sirantha Jax series, starring the titular hot-tempered
grimspace jumper and her motley assortment of allies and friends. After bringing down the corrupt Farwan
Corporation and battling the deadly alien Morgut, Jax has reluctantly traveled to Ithiss-Tor as an ambassador
for New Terra's ruling Conglomerate. Her job: to play nice with the reclusive race of alien insectoids.
Zombie Apocalypse! created by Stephen Jones
The Anatomy of Utopia by Kàroly Pintèr
reviewed by David Maddox
The cleverly designed collection
of short stories, strung together as journal entries, police reports, emails, texts, medical records and
classified documents, tells of a near future London that, over the course of about a month, goes from being
a country trying to celebrate its history in a failing economy, to ground zero of a massive zombie outbreak.
The Living Dead 2 edited by John Joseph Adams
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Never again will Mario read another zombie anthology. This is his last one, he promises. After such an indigestion of
zombie tales (44 stories spread across almost 500 pages), he doesn't think he'll be ever be able to take more. Maybe the
occasional tale in a non-themed anthology, but not a whole book such as this hefty volume (the sequel to the
successful and critically acclaimed The Living Dead).
Having said this, the book does address the subject of zombies from any possible perspective
and situation the human mind can conceive and that many excellent tales are included herein.
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Derek's love affair with cinema began when he was twelve years old, with John
Williams's bombastic opening fanfare that began The Empire Strikes Back. It almost ended abruptly a year
later, with Wallace Shawn's nasal pleading with André Gregory to keep his electric blanket
in Louis Malle's My Dinner with Andre. At the time, he was trying to see everything that was given generally unanimous
critical praise, especially to things that would not normally have come across his radar.
Recently, he recorded it on his DVR and watched it again for the first time in nearly thirty years.
And guess what?
compiled by Neil Walsh
Some exciting stuff has recently arrived at the SF Site offices, including the latest from Steven Erikson, Martha Wells, Lewis Shiner, Ben Bova, Sheri S. Tepper, and much more besides.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
In 1923 the visionary Nikola Tesla unveiled his greatest invention: Atomic Robo, a robot
with automatic intelligence. Over the next eight decades, the metallic marvel along with his
allies investigate and battled para- and extra-normal phenomenon. If this is news to you,
then clearly you have yet to experience the fascinating creations of Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener.
Rick Klaw has a look at this series that recalls the best of the 40s serials and 50s science fiction.
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Opinions differ sharply, but it may be paossible to date the origins of our genre (at least in its modern form) pretty
accurately. In May 1515, Thomas More travelled to Bruges on a trade mission and in July took time off to pay
a visit to Peter Giles, a fellow humanist, in Antwerp.
There he wrote a treatise about an ideal state that would become the second
part of Utopia. The response from those fellow humanists who saw the work was so enthusiastic that,
upon his return to England later in the year, he wrote the section that has come to be known as the Dialogue
of Counsel. The whole thing was published, in Latin, in Louvain, in November or December 1516. Thus was a new
word coined, a literary genre created, and innumerable political theories born.
John Dies at the End by David Wong
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
For those who like to delve into the realms of the unreal and offbeat, this is a really good one. What
other cover has a severed hand on it wearing green nail varnish? This is as good an indication as any that what's
inside is a fun read. It is an unusual novel that has several influences
from some of the most notable horror fiction writers around, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King and dare one
say, Douglas Adams.
Nomansland by Lesley Hauge
reviewed by Dan Shade
On an island of women alone, who is the real enemy? This is the question posed on the dust jacket of the novel
and it takes some time for the truth to come out. We are only left to question why men have been chosen as the
enemy and attributed with horrible actions. Some of it may be true and are remembered from the days of Tribulation.