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The Falling Machine The Falling Machine by Andrew P. Mayer
reviewed by Dave Truesdale
Steampunk is quite the sub-genre de jour of late, its popularity having grown to the point over the past number of years where it has even acquired its titular name. As its audience has grown so have the number of writers jumping on this proto-SF bandwagon in both the novel and short form. It thus becomes necessary for the author to distinguish himself from the crowd by coming up with some sort of fresh take, or variation, on what have already become steampunk tropes.

City of Ruins City of Ruins by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
Boss has arrived at the planet Wyr, in the city of Vaycehn, against her better judgement. Her job is to find and recover stealth technology -- technology that was once used by those who built the Dignity Vessels, but technology of which human beings are no longer master, and that is now just part of a mythical age. And this technology has, until now, only been found on derelict ships, not deep underground.

The Universe of Things The Universe of Things by Gwyneth Jones
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Paul is generally in favour of critical introductions to collections of stories. Except when it's a book he's reviewing. Then he tends to feel that he is being told how to read the book; especially if the critic picks up on an aspect of the work that he might otherwise have built his review around. Which is the case here. It's quite a good introduction by Steven Shaviro.

Stars and Gods Stars and Gods by Larry Niven
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
This book purports to collect all of the auhtor's work that has appeared since his last collection of short fiction, Scatterbrain, which appeared in 2003, and it does indeed do that. It also includes a number of short but usually quite interesting non-fiction works. What is perplexing is that fully a quarter of this massive volume consists of excepts from nine various novels.

Jupiter, Issue 32, April 2011 Jupiter, Issue 32, April 2011
reviewed by Rich Horton
Another solid issue for Jupiter. The thirty-second issue is subtitled Eurydome, as ever after a moon of Jupiter. This episode, besides the usual list of 5 stories, features 3 poems, 2 by veteran SF poet G.O. Clark, and one by Chris Oliver. Each is readable, a bit clever, thoughtful -- and, like almost every SF poem Rich has read, fairly negligible as to the holy fire of great poetry.

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Conviction Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Conviction by Aaron Allston
reviewed by David Maddox
The final story arc begins. Tahiri Viel's sentence for the murder of Admiral Pelleon is revealed. The Jedi take action against Daala's growing imperialism. Luke and Ben visit the home world of the evil droch insects in the hopes of finding leads on the missing entity Abeloth and Vestara Khai must finally face her father and her belief in the Sith way of life.

Doc Savage: White Eyes Doc Savage: White Eyes by Will Murray
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
A small-time crook gets nabbed during a bank heist. Unfortunately for the crook, a man was killed during the robbery and a death sentence could be handed down. To save his own life, the thug cuts a deal and agrees to name the mastermind behind the bank job, but as the police are escorting him to the DA's office, he suddenly falls to the ground in convulsions and within minutes, is dead. A quick examination shows that the crook's eyes have turned a perfect and unblemished white, like cue-balls.

Winterfair Gifts Winterfair Gifts by Lois McMaster Bujold
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
This novella, originally published in the anthology, Irresistible Forces, takes place a few months after the events of A Civil Campaign. It's the Winterfair season, and Miles Vorkosigan is only a few days away from his wedding to Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Vorkosigan House is in an uproar with the preparations, only exacerbated by the arrival of a contingent of Galactic guests, including Miles's former comrades from the Dendarii Free Mercenaries.

Palimpsest Palimpsest by Charles Stross
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
Pierce has been recruited by the Stasis, a seemingly omnipotent organization that has charged itself with the preservation and reseeding of mankind throughout Earth's extinction events, and collecting the knowledge of countless human civilizations in a vast library located literally at the end of the world. Stasis agents use timegates to carry out this work, traveling to any of the two and a half million human epochs to record the entirety of the human experience. But equally important as history to the Stasis is unhistory, and the timeline is riddled with palimpsests.

Hellbent Hellbent by Cherie Priest
reviewed by David Soyka
Hellbent is the second volume of the Cheshire Red Reports series, "Cheshire Red" being the aka for protagonist Raylene Pendle, vampire thief-for-hire. In the previous Bloodshot, we're introduced to Raylene as a sardonic but basically good-hearted female criminal, even if undead and the blood-pumping organ presumably is out of warranty. She is hired to recover a set of magical bones that a schizophrenic witch intends to use to conjure forces of nature in an act of vengeance against her former NASA employer.

The Bible Repairman and Other Stories The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Although mainly a prolific, very brilliant novelist, Tim Powers occasionally tries his hand at the short story. This first new collection since 2005 assembles five stories and a novella, where he exhibits his extraordinary talent as a fantasist and his uncommon imaginative power. The title story is an enticing, offbeat tale featuring a jack-of-all-trades whose most peculiar talent is saving ghosts and lost souls.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Due to an influx of graphic novels at the Nexus Graphica Texas offices, Rick Klaw is opting out of his usual monthly missives in favor of an entire column devoted to reviews. Next month, he plans to return with a more traditional piece. Well, unless something similar happens...

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New this time are the latest from Robert McCammon, Connie Willis, Tom McCarthy, Tim Pratt, some repackaged classics by Poul Anderson, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, and more!

First Novels

Ready Player One Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
Scientists have noted that by the time the average student graduates from high school, they've spent as much time playing computer games as they have studying for their courses. In school you master your coursework and (hopefully) learn how to learn. So what are gamers becoming experts at? Maybe they're learning the skills needed to save the world.


Vader, Voldemort and Other Villains Vader, Voldemort and Other Villains edited by Jamey Heit
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
While other books on this subject matter are made for fans of such series as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Twilight, this book is a refreshing change as it has essays based on the characters in the movies that are popular at the moment. This volume gives the reader a deeper understanding of what evil is when it is applied to villains in popular culture, and how it affects us in turn.


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