Rivers of London / Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Peter Grant, a probationary constable with the London Metropolitan Police, has issues with focus and faces a move
to the Case Progression Unit, a group that does paperwork for the real cops when a conversation with a ghost changes
his destiny. Returning to the scene to recontact the ghost, a detective inspector asks him what he was doing and he
answers with the truth and becomes the first trainee wizard in fifty years under Inspector Thomas Nightingale.
Grimscribe: His Lives and Works by Thomas Ligotti
reviewed by David Soyka
Grimscribe is an apt title for this definitive reissue of the 1991 collection of
horror stories. There's almost nothing here that is humorous, or uplifting or anything other than, well,
grim. The plural subtitle of "His Lives and Works" may refer to the multiple lives and works of characters whose
individual stories vary in circumstance, but who are all engaged in the same discovery that our ordinary existence
is permeated by nefarious forces of which we are ordinarily only dimly aware. The discoveries are not pleasant.
Those Who Fight Monsters edited by Justin Gustainis
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Inducing suspension of disbelief is the necessary requirement for any work of fiction. This is especially true for
stories dealing with the supernatural or the paranormal. But when the supernatural issue is addressed
by a "detective," who has to use his skill to analyze and deduce
things become even more difficult and only great
writers can manage to achieve and maintain the required suspension of disbelief.
The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
The novel begins in the time when Jardir was growing up in Karsia before he meets
Arlen and the narrative tells of how he grew into power and the circumstances which led to his
betrayal. In The Warded Man, Jardir's betrayal is shocking, but the focus on the events
from Jardir's perspective casts him in a much different light as we slowly begin to see the reasons that led
up to this point. The contrasting and changing perspective of The Desert Spear is
really a breath of fresh air to the reader as the author is creating some very complex plot threads and some very
Sunstorm by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
On June 9, 2037, a major solar event occurred. All across the planet Earth, people experienced electrical blackouts,
communications outages, and all other manner of electronic disruption. At a monitoring station on the moon, a Russian
scientist registered the event and he and his colleague began investigating the matter. The results of the study
were at once astounding and terrifying. The electronic interruptions experienced on Earth were found to be merely
a precursor to a more devastating event that was yet to come.
Farnham's Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein
an audiobook review by Dale Darlage
Hugh Farnham is prepared for nuclear war. As a contractor, he has designed, built
and stocked a fallout shelter. Nuclear war begins while the entire Farnham clan (and a visitor) are home, so Hugh
quickly moves his wife, college-aged daughter, her sorority sister, his lawyer son and their house servant Joseph
into the shelter. They all survive the attack and
emerge in a world that is not destroyed, but is actually a lush forest with wildlife and no radiation and no sign
of the nuclear war that occurred.
The River of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
If you have been following the series, the crew of the Catharand has successfully made it across the ruling
sea, well most of them anyway, and now the really weird stuff seems to begin. You see, not only did the crew
cross the untraversable ruling sea, it seems they have been transported 200 years into the future and some
fairly significant changes have occurred to the human race. Meanwhile, Panzel, Neeps, Thasa and the host
of supporting characters are still at odds with the evil sorcerer Arunis and his quest to master the
power of the Nilstone in order to destroy Alifros.
The Year's Best Science Fiction: by Author
compiled by Rodger Turner
In 1984, Gardner Dozois gathered together what he thought was the best short science fiction of the previous year. He
scrutinized as many of the magazines, collections and anthologies published in 1983 that he could get his hands on and
chose those which he felt best represented the science fiction field. Jim Frenkel published it as part of his Bluejay
Books line (for three years) and it has been produced every year since then (by St. Martins's Press).
Volume 28 has been added to the lists compiled by author, by title and by volume.
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
The aliens are here. Again. And they're out to wreak havoc. Again.
What started as H.G. Wells's commentary on imperialism in 1898 has turned, each summer,
into an update on the art of special effects, possessing at best the merest sliver of
intelligence that Wells and his myriad successors bring to any First Contact tale. Indeed,
the Martian tripods loom large each time visitors arrive to cinema screens, often with far
more noise but with far less visual frisson no matter why they decide to make Earth's prime
real estate their battlefield. Derek Johnson imagines Herbert George spins in his grave faster with each
retelling of his classic novel (and by now some enterprising MIT grad should hook him up to
compiled by Neil Walsh
Some of the newest books to show up at the SF Site doorstep include the latest from Kelley Armstrong, J.G. Ballard, John Clute, Cory Doctorow, Tim Powers, Justina Robson, Brandon Sanderson, Chris Wooding, and many others.
Cowboys & Aliens
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Cowboys & Aliens is in the sf western genre, which goes back at least to The Phantom Empire, a Mascot
serial starring Gene Autry. The movie starts well, finishes badly, and doesn't really have anything new to add.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick is back from Comic-Con where he heard Kevin Smith ask William Shatner if he was coming
out of the closet, heard J. Michael Straczinski rate himself a 6 or a 7 to Alan
Moore's 10 and attended comics fandom's fiftieth anniversary reunion.
One thing he didn't do was to see any movies.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Since it's early August, Mark London Williams is back from his annual trek to Comic Con.
He stayed for all four days this time (or at least parts of all four days) so took in more Con than usual.
He went to see a crime writers panel one of the evenings which included renowned comics writer Mark Waid. When the panelists were
asked who they were looking forward to seeing at the Con, Waid started to rave about the digital comics work
of Parisian-based animator/artist Yves Bigerel and how it was changing his own thoughts about narrative form.