Four Stories by Paul Di Filippo
reviewed by Trent Walters
The author claims that two possibilities exist for why writers choose to tell single-idea SF:
1) According H.G. Wells, writers should not beleaguer readers with too many strangenesses in one narrative.
2) SF writers are stingy with their ideas. A third reason not mentioned by him may be that writers
want to make a clear, philosophical extrapolation of a single idea or theme. If they add too much to the
pot, they fear cooking something more like mud than stew.
Forever Azathoth: Pastiches and Parodies by Peter Cannon
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
The stories here all qualify as Lovecraftian metafiction, ranging from parody to
pastiche to homage. The author adds spice to this stew by calling in elements from authors as disparate as William
Faulkner and James Herriot. The most surprising and surprisingly successful combination is the importation
of P.G. Wodehouse's air-headed Bertie Wooster and Bertie's "gentleman's gentleman," the unflappable
Reginald Jeeves, into the world of Lovecraftian weirdness.
Absorption by John Meaney
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Absorption, the first book in the Ragnarok series, also marks a return to the
world of the pilots and their infinite city of Labyrinth in mu-space. That said, one doesn't need to have read any
of his other books to enjoy or understand this one. There is a lot going on in these pages, and perhaps
too much, but Absorption is more of a setup novel than a plot novel in which he introduces
characters and situations, and much more will hopefully be learned in future installments.
Snow Come to Hawk's Folly by J. Kathleen Cheney
reviewed by Trent Walters
In a sequel to Iron Shoes, the story picks up
a few years later: Guiare and Imogen have married and have had a child. And her devious
fairy father, Mr. Finnegan, has shown up on her doorstep, wanting to get to know his long-lost daughter. Finnegan
promises not to harm any of her family -- a promise he cannot break. But Imogen is unsure if her father can
still do damage, playing with the wording of the promise.
Jupiter, Issue 33, July 2011
reviewed by Rich Horton
The thirty-third issue is subtitled Euanthe, as ever after a moon of Jupiter. This issue has
five stories, as well as two poems by Allen Ashley on astronomical subjects (Venus and Mercury).
The issue opens with "Battlefield of Woe" by Alexander Hawes.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon by Peter David
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
It starts with the manned expedition to the moon, but the real reason for doing so was
hidden from the public gaze, wasn't televised and never talked about with the net result that it was considered top
secret. The government were instead interested in finding out more of an alien ship that had crash landed on
the planet. The story starts in the 60s with the scientists trying to find out what it all meant, and
whether they could make any sense of what was buried under there.
Batman: No Man's Land by Greg Rucka
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
First there was the Contagion, a modern-day plague that washed over Gotham City leaving its population decimated. Then
came the Cataclysm, a massive earthquake with its center just miles from Gotham's downtown. Costing
$100 billion to rebuild the wasted city, it was a price tag the government quickly decided they did
not want to pay. Those who wanted out were evacuated but hundreds of thousands stayed, unwilling to leave their
homes, or perhaps having nowhere to go. With the bridges to the mainland demolished, the United States government
washed its hands of the whole affair. Gotham City was gone, now there is only No Man's Land.
Kafkaesque edited by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
"Kafkaesque" is a word used very often to describe bureaucratic snafus and paradoxes. Even people who have never read
a word of Kafka use it to describe their encounter with the Department of Motor Vehicles, or airport security. So
pervasive has "Kafkaesque" become that it has nearly lost its link with the works of Franz Kafka. When it
comes to trying to summarise this wonderful anthology, there is something of a dilemma. It can be recommended
unhesitatingly to anyone who has ever read any Kafka, but what about those for whom Kafkaesque is a noun
they use but Kafka is not someone they've read?
The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This doorstopper of a book seeks to reverse the bog-standard LOTR-style
hero quest by presenting the story from the perspective of the bad guys. As we soon learn, the machinations of
Morthul, dreaded Charnel King of the Iron Keep, have failed. Centuries of plotting come to nothing, due to a band
of so-called heroes sent by good King Dororam. The price paid for thwarting evil, is the cold blooded murder of
Princess Amalia, Dororam's only daughter. As winter falls upon the Brimstone Mountains, a grieving Dororam begins
to assemble a mighty army, with the intention of finally destroying the great enemy of humanity.
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
reviewed by David Soyka
This is first adventure of Jennifer Strange, adolescent foundling and indentured servant, who manages
the Kazam Mystical Arts Management, a collective of wizards for hire. Also it turns out that Strange is a chosen
one, the last of a long line of Dragonslayers, destined to kill the last surviving dragon,
thereby opening up the heretofore magically protected Dragonlands to land development.
The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Marooned in the Slow Zone, the last surviving human population has a clear goal; rebuild their technological
civilization in time to protect themselves from the Blight that is surely coming their way. Unfortunately, almost
all of them are teenagers or young adults, and they're not sure they believe an official story that includes
their parents as the villains who freed the Blight.
The Complete Binscombe Tales by John Whitbourn
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Apparently a village located in the south-east of England, Binscombe, is a
place where odd things happen all the time, reality is not only what meets the eye and the supernatural and the
paranormal are the bread and butter of everyday life.
The living center of the village is the Duke of Argyll, the local pub, where, in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke's
White Hart and Pratt and de Camp's Gavagan Bar, things are discussed and revealed, old traditions are kept alive
and odd events take place.
Dangerous Dimensions by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by Trent Walters
Robert Silverberg's science fiction work has won him multiple Hugos and Nebulas. Are these justified? Do they
stand the test of time? This is a five-story ebook which puts those questions to the test.
All are very different: from culture SF, to classic SF, to contemporary
SF, to hip and quirky SF, to a more literary SF. There's something here for every type of SF
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
After taking a month sabbatical from reviewing books for this column, Rick Klaw found himself with an abundance
of material. In fact so many titles to cover, that they squeezed out his typical Nexus Graphica
rantings. He'll be back in 30 with a more traditional piece.
compiled by Neil Walsh
This time it's a short list, but some of the highlights include the latest works from the likes of Orson Scott Card, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mike Resnick, and Tad Williams.