A Tangle in Slops by Jeffrey E. Barlough
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
It's a dark time for the denizens of Orkney Farm, where a rogue mylodon has snatched the venerable Foud, Mr.
Magnus Trefoil, out of his study. Now the giant beast has returned, sniffing around the bedroom windows of the
late Foud's little daughter Mary. Telltales in the coffee room of the Hop Toad attribute this ill fortune to
Trefoil's recent unearthing of a cache of mystical items belonging to his late ancestress Tronda Quickensbog,
a sorceress of legendary repute.
Brave New Worlds edited by John Joseph Adams
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Dystopias have almost as long a history as their twin, the utopia. But it was the 20th century when dystopias really
came into their own, in novels such as Zamyatin's We, Huxley's Brave New World, Orwell's 1984
and Karp's One. Indeed it is possible to view the 20th century as the dystopian century, not just because of
the prevalence of dystopias as a literary form but also because of the political horrors that provided so much inspiration.
Tom Harris by Stefan Themerson
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Tom Harris has the form of a detective story, one that consistently throws the reader off kilter,
does not allow complacency or certainty, yet a detective story nevertheless. A detective thriller, even. A
detective story that suddenly breaks down, for this is a book of two halves, the second very different from
the first. Some questions are answered but most aren't. This is no classic whodunnit, partly because we don't
quite know whatwozit in the first place.
Science Fiction Trails #6
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Still a rarity in fiction writing, science fiction meets the Wild West results in a wealth of
time travel and steampunk adventures. In this issue of the magazine, we find
nine tales in this rather well-presented glossy magazine that is really a book by the looks of it. It
features works by C.J. Killmer, Laura Givens, David Lee Summers, Raymond Broadbeard and Lee Clark Zumpe.
The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
an audiobook review by Julie Moncton
Imagine a world where books are valued -- not like we appreciate books in our society,
but really valued. A place where authors are celebrities, first editions are coveted,
people memorize and recite famous excerpts, and even crimes are committed over
rare books. This is the world of Zamonia, a mythical lost continent.
The story features an unlikely hero, Optimus Yarnspinner, a naïve
dinosaur-like creature from Lindworm Castle, a self-proclaimed author who has yet to be published.
Out of the Dark by David Weber
an audiobook review by Dale Darlage
The story begins with an alien survey of Earth in the year 1415. The aliens are exploring and documenting all habitable
planets and rate all inhabited planets on a technology scale.
They find the Earth of 1415 backward technologically but decide to watch some military action in Europe. What
they witness is the Battle of Agincourt between Henry V's England and France -- some of the fiercest fighting
of the Hundred Years War and the site of horrific slaughter. The aliens that witness this slaughter are horrified.
Tale of the Thunderbolt by E.E. Knight
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
There is a weapon that can change the course of the war against the Kurians. Captain David Valentine doesn't know
what it is, or exactly where he can find it, but he does know that if he can get to Haiti with a large enough
ship, he can meet up with a man called Papa Legba who can show him the way. To that end, he goes undercover for a
year as a Coastal Marine in the Kurian Zone, getting promotion after promotion as his own worst enemy.
The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
While walking through the wooded acreage of her Haven, Maine home, novelist Bobbie Anderson stumbles across something
very interesting -- literally. After picking herself up off the ground, Bobbie looks back to see a thin piece
of metal jutting out of the soil. Letting her curiosity get the best of her, Bobbie begins to dig, in spite of
the strenuous protests of her faithful dog, Pete. Bobbie doesn't know it yet, but she is about to unearth
something never before seen on this world.
Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
For Miles's first assignment as an official Imperial Auditor, he is sent to investigate the crash of a space
freighter into the Komarran Soletta Array -- a giant mirrored satellite that provides much of the light and heat
needed to make Komarr habitable. Not to investigate the mechanics of the crash itself -- that much falls to
Lord Auditor Vorthys, an engineering specialist -- but to probe the political currents that eddy around
the incident. Miles is normally right at home in the waters of politics and intrigue.
Black Gate #15, Spring 2011
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Black Gate first appeared in print as a quarterly zine. That idea evolved over fifteen issues
to the present form, a book-length anthology that comes out when it comes out. The previous issue, at nearly
400 pages, was so successful that the decision was made to stay at that length. For the amount, the price is
quite reasonable, and the online subscription is half that.
The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumière
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Mark London Williams is away so guest columnist Cullen Bunn stepped in to tell us that
one of the perks of writing a comic book series like The Sixth Gun is that he gets to read (and re-read)
a bunch of favorite Weird Western comics, short stories, and novels and watch (and re-watch) favorite
Weird Western movies and TV shows. This, as they say in the biz (at least in his little corner of the biz)
is research. Even when it's not research, it's inspiration. (One of the toughest battles any writer will face is
convincing his or her loved ones that -- no, really -- watching that movie trilogy all afternoon is work!)
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Derek went to see Chariots of Fire at the Fox Theater in Austin in 1982. He tried to see Academy Award
winners whenever they were playing. The preview that played before the movie began was for the major Harrison Ford release that
summer, Blade Runner. Derek cannot remember a single scene from the movie, but he can tell you, almost shot for shot,
nearly thirty years later, exactly what happened in that preview. He remembers walking out of the theater babbling about
it, and how it was like nothing he'd ever seen.
Camelot: Season 1
a TV review by Dominic Cilli
The pilot episode begins with the poisoning of Uther Pendragon at the hands of his daughter Morgan
Pendragon. Merlin gets Uther to sign over the succession of his kingship to his bastard son Arthur who has been
kept hidden away and his identity unknown, even to himself, until Merlin shows up to gather Arthur up to take
the throne and repair the now crumbling monarchy. In subsequent episodes Arthur establishes his court by
gathering his knights and rebuilding the ancient fallen Roman stronghold known as Camelot while Morgan
continues to plot for the throne using her dark powers.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Falling Skies is the best new science fiction tv show since 2009's Defying Gravity,
which was also a Summer series. Defying Gravity was cancelled half-way through
its first season. Rick hopes Falling Skies has a longer run.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The Green Lantern movie isn't as bad as Rick had feared. He particularly liked the first face-to-face meeting
between Green Lantern and Carol Ferris, where something happens that he has wanted to see happen for years.
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
The book starts somewhat deceptively with an image straight out of a Lovecraftian
nightmare. Yamesh-Lot seems to be a cross between an evil demon and a malevolent god, summoning up the dead
to create an army of terrifying reanimated corpses. A little Lovecraft with a touch of George Romero?
The author doesn't stay in the supernatural horror mode for long, though.
Monstrous Creatures by Jeff VanderMeer and Jar Jar Binks Must Die... and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel
reviewed by Martin Lewis
You love the fantastic, it is in your blood. You have devoted a substantial part of your life to it, a part friends
and colleagues have sometimes suggested has been wasted. Sometimes you wonder if they are right. You have poured
your blood out through your pen but you find yourself unregarded, unrewarded and out of pocket. You are invested... so
you want a return on your investment. How do you crystallise this labour into something that means
something? How can you -- whisper it -- moneterise it? The answer is, of course, a book.
The Secret History of Extraterrestrials by Len Kaster
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The author is a man with much to say about the truth surrounding aliens and whether they exist. He starts the first chapter
with the reason for this book, being his own encounter with aliens he describes as an actual close encounter as he
felt nauseous at being in the craft itself. The fact there are a great deal of chapters in this novel means he
has a lot of newly discovered information on aliens to back up what might be conceived as bizarre claims.