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Dark Tangos Dark Tangos by Lewis Shiner
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Few countries have had as dark a half-century as Argentina. Once one of the ten wealthiest nations on earth, and blessed with outstanding natural resources, Argentina's post-war history became a catalogue of repression, oppression, exploitation and (perhaps worst of all) a pervasive sense that justice was never done. The most intense and damaging period of repression was the so called processo, which introduced "disappeared" as a noun to the lexicon. We meet the narrator, Robert Cavenaugh, who works for a fictional American corporation whose Buenos Aires office was, it turns out, complicit in all this.

Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies by Lucy Sussex
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Lucy Sussex is one of the best writers of fantasy and science fiction to emerge from Australia over the last 25 years or so, and one of the least well known outside that country. She has a respectable shelf full of Australian Awards, but has been largely ignored by the genre's international awards. She does not, apparently, have a regular publisher outside Australia. Paul is confident that those of you who do pick up the book and read it will wonder why.

Iron Shoes Iron Shoes by J. Kathleen Cheney
reviewed by Trent Walters
A widowed woman of the early 1900s tries to restore the family racing horse ranch to its former glory. Her husband had made some poor choices, which his mother and wife are now paying for. Now they either have to start selling horses or pin their hopes to Blue Streak, the horse who stands the best chance of winning the ranch some money. Enter a horse she just bought, sight unseen. Paddy, the ranch's best trainer, tells Imogen it's sick and he doesn't know what to do. Imogen knows immediately. The horse is a fairy trapped in the horse form.

Interzone #231, November-December 2010 Interzone #231, November-December 2010
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
There have been occasions when a new writer with a singular new style and vision appears whose fiction seems destined to have lasting impact on the field. Jason Sanford is one such a new writer. He writes with a confidence and skill that makes it difficult to believe that he burst onto the scene only in the past few years. The November-December issue of Interzone is a special Jason Sanford issue.

Interzone #230, September-October 2010 Interzone #230, September-October 2010
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
This issue features a celebration of 25 years of Nick Lowe's "Mutant Popcorn" film reviews that have so often been far superior to the work he is writing about, along with five well-written and imaginatively exotic science fiction stories by burgeoning UK writers that seem a bit too alike in their enigmatic settings and war-torn dystopian pessimism.

Science Fiction Trails #7 Science Fiction Trails #7
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
For readers who enjoy reading steampunk stories, the ones in this latest issue runs along similar lines except David B. Riley's chosen selection of stories are also featured in the Wild West of old. The caption on the front of the magazine, "Where science fiction meets the Wild West," is very apt as it shows what would happen if the technology of today was available to the few over a hundred years ago.

Steal Across the Sky Steal Across the Sky by Nancy Kress
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
Ten thousand years ago, the Atoners visited our planet. Rather than just observe our fledgling species, the Atoners meddled. In a grand experiment of their own devising, the Atoners altered the DNA of homo sapiens, while abducting a number of unaltered humans and depositing them on seven different planets. Were they just curious, or deliberately mean? Maybe they interfered with humanity the way humans sometimes interfere with ant colonies, or bee hives. No one knows for sure, but what they did irrevocably altered the course of our species forever. Now the Atoners are back, and according to their advertisement on the internet, they wish to atone for what they did.

A Princess of the Linear Jungle A Princess of the Linear Jungle by Paul Di Filippo
reviewed by Trent Walters
Merritt Abraham graduated from college but was too poor to pursue a higher degree in archeology (rather, polypolisology -- the study of many cities) as she wanted. Taking a job in a museum, she marks time until her boss learns of her true desire and helps her out. Merritt attends graduate school and falls in love with her offbeat professor, Scoria. They join an expedition team on a journey to Vayavirunga, the Jungle blocks of the Linear City.

The Freedom Maze The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
reviewed by Trent Walters
Sophie's mother is dropping her off at the Oak Cottage in Louisiana with her aunt and grandmother -- people Sophie doesn't particularly enjoy -- so that the mother is freed to pursue her accounting degree since the father has left the family. Sophie, on the cusp of becoming a woman, doesn't feel like she has any power over her life, and these women don't help. Behind the Oak Cottage is a maze constructed out of tall shrubs. It is there that Sophie is first haunted by the Creature who taunts Sophie when she gets lost in the maze.

Fenrir Fenrir by M.D. Lachlan
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
In this second novel in the series, the Vikings are intent on getting a French Count's sister, they want to take her and, in return, they will not slaughter the people. This, in turn, proves to be a no win situation for the count as he can either let them take her and protect his people, or face the Vikings and the wrath of his own people. As he is next in line to be the ruler of the Franks, he has to let his fate take its course.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
As we begin 2012, Derek is looking at upcoming science fiction releases and, as usual, finds himself indifferent to most of the proposed offerings. Granted, 2011 wasn't the complete disaster he anticipated -- despite the usual dogs and high-profile disappointments, a few modestly entertaining efforts, surprise hits and one or two gems played at his local multiplex and the nearest arthouse -- but for the most part he viewed much of his film-going experience with a mixture of apprehension and dread... and, sadly, he feels the same way whenever he thinks of the genre movies opening next year.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
The new year brings a fresh look at new works from such authors as Paul McAuley, Tim Powers, Karl Schroeder, Robin Hobb, Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, Ari Marmell, and many others.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
The big, blockbuster science fiction films of the Christmas season aren't science fiction at all. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and The Adventures of Tin Tin have the splashy special effects that suggest sf, without any sf story elements. They also lack characters you care about and interesting ideas. They are entertaining. Rick also tells us what's SF on TV in January.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Mark London Williams opines that comic shops can become pillars of their local retailing communities, the way book and record stores are -- or were. But the mix of customers they attract are important for ancillary and neighboring businesses, and vice versa. As we move to increasingly digital means of delivery however, what happens to such public mercantile spaces? On which note, just because something can be delivered digitally, it doesn't mean there's an automatic audience aggregated for it. There's still the necessary "word of mouth," even if those mouths are digital.


Stan Lee's How to Draw Comics Stan Lee's How to Draw Comics by Stan Lee
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
This is an updated version of the ground-breaking 1978 book How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by comics writer Stan Lee and artist John Buscema, although much of the material is new. It includes work by 60s/70s artists such as Jack Kirby, John Romita, Sr., Neal Adams and Gil Kane, along with much more recent work by artists apparently associated with "contributing writer" Dave Campiti. Both volumes seek to demonstrate how to draw comic books in the super-hero and related genres.


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