Railsea by China Miéville
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
It's a rollicking adventure book for boys that liberally plies the classic tropes of swashbuckling romances
like Treasure Island and Kidnapped, with a dash of The Odyssey thrown in for good measure. But
at its core, the novel is a retelling of Moby Dick. Only instead of taking place on a whaling ship, it
takes place on a train traversing the railsea -- a jumbled landscape of rails extending in every direction as far as the eye can see.
Rejiggering the Thingamajig and Other Stories by Eric James Stone
reviewed by Trent Walters
The first collection of Nebula-winner Eric James Stone
traces the development of this writer from humble beginnings -- chopping wood behind his log cabin in
Kentucky -- to award-winning writer. All of the stories are entertaining; half will stick with you. While
more than capable of evoking thought and strong emotions from the reader, Stone remains unafraid of the
Golden-Age-style, short-short entertainments.
Energized: An Interview with Edward M. Lerner
An interview with Dave Truesdale
On drawbacks of electric cars:
"First, batteries are expensive and require
scarce materials. Replacing a petroleum cartel with a lithium cartel may shift wealth while leaving consumers no better
off. Second, batteries take time to recharge -- if you can find a charging station -- whereas there's a world-wide infrastructure
that lets drivers quickly refill their gas tanks. Recharging from a household power outlet (rather than with an expensive,
high-voltage charging station) is an overnight affair."
Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
The action takes place in 1765 Boston
shortly after the Stamp Act riots and as tension is revving up between the colonists and the royalists. Ethan Kaille,
the hero of our tale, is a conjurer, who uses organic matter -- usually his own blood, but leaves and grass will do -- to
create magic. He uses his magic to eke out a living as a thieftaker, and as long as he sticks to middle-class
clients, Sephira Pryce, Boston's ruling thieftaker doesn't bother him.
The Mongoliad, Book 1 by Erik Bear, Greg Bear, Joseph Brassey, E.D. DeBirmingham, Cooper Moo, Neal Stephenson & Mark Teppo
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The back blurb begins: "Fusing historical events with a gripping fictional narrative,
this first book in the trilogy reveals a secret history of Europe in the thirteenth century". In point of fact, if
Alma had known about this particular sandpit way way back when it was first being mooted, and if she had known that there would
be this many contributing writers involved, she would probably have tossed her own hat into the ring for a chance to do something
with this material
Low Noon edited by David B. Riley
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Weird Western horror anthologies are becoming increasingly popular and by now constitute a definite subgenre with its devoted fans.
Low Noon is the third installment in a series including Six Guns Straight From Hell and Showdown at
Midnight. If you're looking for some good fiction to keep you entertained, then this
is the book for you.
King of the Nine Hells by Dean Klein
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
A gravedigger works late into the night during the Dark Ages, creating a book using papyrus pages bound to a tree
which it is believed to be used by a sorcerer. When he has completed it, he gains enough power to serve the
leader of a powerful Scottish family.
Hundreds of years later, a man attends a book sale away from London, where he finds a very ancient book, its
binding giving it away instantly. Not knowing why he has done it, he steals the book, but what he doesn't
know is that the book is one that is possessed.
Pax Omega by Al Ewing
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
As the third sortie into the world of Pax Britannia, created by Jonathan Green, following
El Sombra, and Gods of Manhattan -- both highlights of the steampunk genre -- it
is described by the publisher as a "galaxy spanning adventure" and true to its word begins
with a small group of aliens playing God. What follows is a trip through time, taking in the 1920s, a large
World War II episode, the alternate future aftermath of that conflict, and then into the furthest future.
Perfect Shadow by Brent Weeks
Nested Scrolls by Rudy Rucker
reviewed by Trent Walters
Prominent and alluring courtesan Gwinvere Kirena has had her Chateau Shayon stolen from her, so she hires
Gaelan as an assassin. But that's just the beginning. He will have to kill all five wetboys, the supreme
assassins of the land, and their leader. If she hires him and he succeeds, can he trust that she will not turn on him?
Slaine: Book of Invasion Vol. 1 by Pat Mills
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Balor and his evil demon warriors want to take over the Land of the Young, and Slaine, the first High King of
Ireland along with his wife, Queen Niamh, have to battle them in order to keep their land safe from the
invaders. During the battle, once it looks like Slaine and his men have won, a cruel demon lord, Moloch, offers
to make a deal with them.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Purveyors of one of the least understood and respected aspect of comic book production, translators largely
remain anonymous and typically only garner attention under negative circumstances. In a hope to enhance an
understanding about the little understood skill, Rick Klaw interviewed Jerome Saincantin, the newly-minted Public
Relations Officer and main translator for CineBooks -- a UK-based, English language publisher of French and Belgian comics.
compiled by Neil Walsh
This month we're looking at the latest from Kelley Armstrong, Terry Brooks, Justin Cronin, Steven Erikson, M. John Harrison, Terry Pratchett, Allen Steele, and many others.
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
His science fiction ranges from serious-minded studies of realistic persons plunged into fantastic
realms to fairly conventional adventure SF, to children's fables,
to a historical bio-novel of the late Renaissance painter Peter Bruegel, to at least one deadpan pastiche
of the old Verne-Poe-Bradshaw-Burroughs hollow earth novel, called appropriately, The Hollow Earth. At
least, it seems to be a deadpan pastiche. That's one of the charming aspects of Rucker's work, although it may
also have limited his success. Sometimes you don't know whether he'd kidding or not.
Extra Innings by Bruce E. Spitzer
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Fenway Park is turned into an island, robot pitchers are throwing 120 mile per hour fastballs to juiced up hitters, and enough advances
in medical technology can revive the frozen remains of an individual from the Twentieth Century. That's the set-up
this novel, and yes, the author is a Red Sox fan. And if you haven't figured it out yet, that means the man being
revived is none other than Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter of all time.