War in Heaven by Gavin Smith
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
War in Heaven is the sequel to Veteran, and includes a few pages to explain what has gone before,
then it's back down the rabbit hole that is the author's plot. Veteran was a moody shooter's paradise,
boasting an attitude like a Rottweiler with toothache. The follow up continues right where things left off, and
maintains the style. Yes, there are some moments of humour, but these are slight and of an acquired taste. His
technique is to keep hurling material at the reader, trebuchet style, never letting up.
Dadaoism (An Anthology) edited by Justin Isis and Quentin S. Crisp
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
According to one of the editors, the term "dadaoism" is a portmanteau of "dadaism" and "daoism." Fine
enough, but we're not any wiser. Having now read the anthology, which includes a total of twenty-six contributions (short
stories, novellas, poems) Mario's own feeling is that "dadaoism" is another synonym for "weirdness."
The book features a bunch of weird material and what really matters to most is whether it's valuable stuff or not.
Weird fiction, per se, is neither good nor bad.
Pathfinder Tales: Death's Heretic by James L. Sutter
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Salim Ghadalfa is a warrior who has a dark past he would rather
forget. He is a man who has his own religion, yet works for a church he loathes, and takes on many dangerous
missions. One is where he has to accompany an aristocrat's daughter while he searches the length and breadth of Thuvia
for the answers to why the man's soul was so ruthlessly captured.
Tooth and Nail by Jennifer Safrey
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Amateur boxer Gemma Cross has quit her job as a pollster to prevent any potential controversies from affecting
her boyfriend, Avery McCormack's race for the House of Representatives. On the heels of this decision, Gemma
learns a long-kept secret about herself: she is part fae and part human. As a half-human, the fae have called
upon her to become a warrior for their cause to return to the Olde Way.
Theme Planet by Andy Remic
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Dexter Colls is a policeman on holiday with his family on Theme Planet. He thinks he
has found a great place to take a break from Earth life, but when his family goes missing, he doesn't know where
to look until he unearths a conspiracy. This is what gets his policeman's instincts off and running, and this is
also where he is out to find the culprits come hell or high water.
Welcome to the Greenhouse edited by Gordon Van Gelder
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Paul is coming to the conclusion that the worst disservice ever done to "science fiction" was saddling it with that
name. In particular, the "science" part. It raises expectations and assumptions on behalf of both readers and
writers that the genre mostly cannot, and should not, even attempt to fulfil.
As long as we expect fiction to incorporate scientific rigor, we are doomed to disappointment. And if we
expect science fiction writers to be better qualified than any other reasonably well-informed member of the
public to comment on the scientific issues facing us today, we are deceiving ourselves.
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.
Burning Days by Glenn Grant
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
One of the perhaps unexpected impacts of personal technology on our lives is a hyperlocalism. The futurism of days
gone by has often emphasised the abolition of distance and the opening up of a global arena of action for all
of us, but the smart phone and the social network seem to be instead opening up space for the nearby, the
quotidian local. Science fiction has often tended to emphasise universal dreams.
Unchained by Sharon Ashwood
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
With a custody battle coming up, Ashe Carver, monster killer, has switched from stakes to a job at the public library. But fate
has other things in mind. Ashe find herself chasing a demon rabbit that escaped from the supernatural castle along with Captain
Reynard, one of the castle's guards. But there's more than that going on here. Someone has stolen Reynard's soul, part of what
bound him to the castle; a vampire king wants to impregnate Ashe since her sister, Holly, had a vampire's baby; and there's a
dark fae prince who seems to have his finger in every pot.
Watching the Future
The Furnace by Timothy S. Johnston
a column by Derek Johnson
As Derek and his family walked out of Houston's many movie theaters on
Westheimer Blvd., he was absolutely certain that his life couldn't get any
better. It was December 1978, and, impossibly, a movie he was convinced couldn't
possibly exist not only proved extant
but also exceeded every conceivable expectation he might have had.
He had just seen Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie. And it breathed life into
the four-color sequential art he had been reading for over four years.
compiled by Neil Walsh
New and forthcoming books this time include the latest from Jonathan Carroll, Mark Chadbourn, Ari Marmell, Karen Marie Moning, Christopher Moore, and many others.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Best bet for genre tv in May is the second season of Sherlock, which aired in
the UK in January. All three episodes come to PBS in May. On the other hand, if you are willing
to wait until May 22, you can get whole series on DVD and Blu-ray. It's not really science
fiction, but it feels like it is. Rick also gives a list of what to watch in May.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Mark London Williams was lucky enough to see Avengers on the Disney lot somewhere in
The film's a lot of fun, the set pieces are terrific (the battle scenes have a nice logic
to them -- in, of course, a "superhero movie" way -- as well as a good sense of staging
and physical space, which is rare enough in action films these days), the banter between
superheroes is good and it's the best Hulk movie yet made.
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
In the distant year 2401, humanity has spread out across the solar system, governed by the suppressive, authoritarian
Confederate Combined Forces. When murder is suspected on SOLEX One, a remote research facility orbiting the sun, the
CCF Security Division dispatches Lieutenant Kyle Tanner, its best homicide detective to investigate.
But more murders occur in the wake of Tanner's arrival, including an attempt on Tanner's own life. In the
investigation that proceeds, Kyle uncovers a shocking threat that could not only claim the rest of the station
crew, but humanity itself.
Monstrous Creatures by Jeff VanderMeer and Jar Jar Binks Must Die... and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel
reviewed by Martin Lewis
You love the fantastic, it is in your blood. You have devoted a substantial part of your life to it, a part friends
and colleagues have sometimes suggested has been wasted. Sometimes you wonder if they are right. You have poured
your blood out through your pen but you find yourself unregarded, unrewarded and out of pocket. You are invested... so
you want a return on your investment. How do you crystallise this labour into something that means
something? How can you -- whisper it -- moneterise it? The answer is, of course, a book.
Dangerous Ways by Jack Vance, edited by Terry Dowling and Jonathan Strahan
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
Not as well known in the science fiction field is Vance's output as a mystery writer -- eleven novels under
his full official name of John Holbrook Vance, three as Ellery Queen, and several more under other
pseudonyms. The Vance admirer who knows him for the mannered, intensely colored writing of his science
fiction will assuredly be surprised by the deliberately matter-of-fact, almost flat, style of his mysteries.
The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross
reviewed by Ernest Lilley
Besides the obvious and delightful spy-geek-Chuthluian horror cocktail that Charles Stross shakes together in his
Laundry series, there's a bit of Stargate to it, what with the openings of gates into
otherwhere and heroic types stepping through them. It has been that way since the beginning, when our man from the
Laundry, a geek turned applied demonologist and secret agent, stepped through a hole in space to rescue the damsel