15 Miles by Rob Scott
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
The book is named for a nursery rhyme, but it's also the distance from Richmond to the
farmhouse where two bodies in various states of mummification are found. The Virginia State Police are spread
thin since it's a holiday weekend, so Samuel (Sailor) Doyle is tasked to head up the investigation. A recent
transfer to homicide from vice, this is Doyle's first opportunity and he's terrified. But that's only a piece
of Doyle's problems.
Nowhere to Go by Iain Rowan
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Iain Rowan is a very fine writer, one of those authors endowed with the ability to hook the reader in just a few
sentences and keep him nailed until the very last word.
The book assembles eleven tales, all fine examples of modern crime stories, gripping and perceptive,
probing the dark secrets of the human soul, just like an old Alfred Hitchcock movie.
The Brain Eater's Bible by J.D. McGhoul and Pat Kilbane
reviewed by David Maddox
The book itself is a must if you're a zombie-phile or looking to become one of the undead, provided you're lucky
enough to retain most of your cognitive functions. It tells the story of a lab tech named J.D. who, having become
infected with the PACE virus, embraces his zombiness and creates this literature to help others of his kind in the
coming war between mankind and zombie.
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future: The First 25 Years edited by Kevin J. Anderson
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
For every budding writer there is a period in their lives when they think they will never manage to get
published, that their name will simply never be seen on the cover of a bestseller. Back in 1983, there
were plenty out there who had that viewpoint, but if science fiction and fantasy is what they are
aiming for, then back in 1984, there was some good news, as a new contest had been organized especially
for aspiring authors; The L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest.
The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
an audiobook review by Susan Dunman
Living in a grimy Moscow apartment with her mother and younger sister, Galina has recently returned home from
a stay in a mental institution. She is determined to say nothing that might send her back to the psychiatric ward,
but her world verges on another breakdown when her very pregnant sister, Masha, goes to the bathroom and simply vanishes.
The Boat of a Million Years by Poul Anderson
an audiobook review by Dale Darlage
The book follows a group of immortal people through their lives. These are regular people
in every respect except that they never age. They were not all born at the same time -- some were born
earlier (as early as 5,000 years ago), and some arrived later, but there seems to be no pattern that explains
their immortality. Their ancestors are not necessarily long-lived and their descendents do not inherit their
immortality. They recover quickly from injury but they can be killed by
accidents, disease and battle.
Briarpatch by Tim Pratt
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
Several years ago when the reviewer was doing a lot more book reviewing, he devised
something called the Lupoff First Paragraph Test. The LFPT is very simple. If you don't know whether a
given book is going to be worth reading, just sample the first paragraph. If that is good -- most notably,
if it makes you want to keep on reading -- there's a chance that the whole book will be good. That's no
guarantee. It could fall apart at any time. But it might -- it just might -- hold up. On the other hand,
if the book starts badly, there is almost no chance that it will ever get better.
Troika by Alastair Reynolds
Touched By An Alien, Alien Tango and Alien in the Family by Gini Koch
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
There are two significant science fictional inventions here, either of which would justify a book in its
own right. One is a big dumb object: a technological curiosity that hangs in space like a monumental question mark. The penetration and
exploration of this object provides the main science fictional drive of the story.
But it is the second invention, a low key political scenario, that holds the book together and leaves you
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
In the late 70s, Ridley Scott, hot off the success of Alien, and Harlan Ellison discussed the challenges inherent
in making a film adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune, to which Scott was, at that time, attached. Ellison,
as he recounts in Harlan Ellison's Watching, pointed out the insurmountable challenges, but Scott remained
convinced of its feasibility, telling Ellison, "The time has come for a John Ford of science fiction movies."
Derek has a look at some possible candidates.
compiled by Neil Walsh
This time features the latest works from Ray Bradbury, Jasper Fforde, Greg Egan, Maureen F. McHugh, Richard Morgan, Mark Hodder, Kathy Reichs, Stephen Baxter, and many others.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Falling Skies and Torchwood, while not deathless classics,
held Rick's interest to the end. Terra Nova did not. It wasn't terrible, it
just didn't hold his interest. He is still watching Sanctuary, but if it wants
to keep him as a viewer, it needs to start making sense.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Stan Lee has a new how-to book out, How to Write Comics, which makes more sense, really,
than his earlier How to Draw Comics, though given the way he moves through the material and presents his
ideas, he could get away with being a non-artist, since he acts almost more like a compiler, or editor.
But what struck Mark London Williams were the sections he had on "continuity."
reviewed by Michael M Jones
When marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt instinctively, against all odds, kills a superhuman monster with
nothing more than a pen, she's almost immediately dragged into a world of bizarre adventure unlike any she ever
imagined. She's spirited away by a group of Armani-clad hotties who work for an agency so secret, it's literally
out of this world.