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Off On A Tangent: Novel Reviews Off On A Tangent: Novel Reviews Off On A Tangent: Novel Reviews
a column by Dave Truesdale
Steven Gould's Impulse begins years after the close of Reflex, as Davy and Millie now have a teenaged daughter, Millicent, nicknamed Cent. Davy has purchased, dirt-cheap, an isolated arctic hunting lodge. For Davy is on the run from the government whose only desire is to exploit his powerful ability, but soon enough found himself captured and tortured by a criminal terrorist organization. And in Gillian Philip's Firebrand, the first in her Rebel Angels series, takes place in both the faery realm of the Sithe (whose folk are nigh immortal) and the human world of the 16th century (where witch-hunts and religious persecution abound), the Veil, the shield separating and protecting the Sithe world from that of mortals is decaying.

The Best Of Joe Haldeman The Best Of Joe Haldeman by Joe Haldeman
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
When a collection begins with the three words "The Best Of" it's a certainty that you're dealing with a well-established writer. Such a collection generally serves two purposes. One is for those who already know the author's work, here's easy access to favorites old and new. The other is for readers less familiar with or new to the author, here's easy access to the best work of a writer with a long-standing body of work. This book fulfills both functions splendidly.

Not to be Taken at Bed-Time & Other Strange Stories Not to be Taken at Bed-Time & Other Strange Stories by Rosa Mulholland
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
After a long hiatus, the series Mistresses of the Macabre edited by the invaluable Richard Dalby, an expert of ghost and supernatural British fiction, returns with a collection of short stories by Rosa Mulholland. An Irish writer belonging to the Charles Dickens circle, Mulholland (1841-1921) was the author of several successful, but soon forgotten novels.

Civil War Civil War by Stuart Moore
an audio review by Dale Darlage
Marvel's Civil War is a "reboot" of the Marvel universe. It is not a fundamental change like the Star Trek re-boot that came with the last movie. Spider-Man is still Spider-Man and Iron Man still flies around and tries to control everything through Stark Industries. But some minor characters are killed and groups like S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers are forever changed.

Chicks Kick Butt Chicks Kick Butt edited by Rachel Caine and Kerrie L. Hughes
reviewed by David Soyka
Let's first stipulate that women both fictional and real shaped David's concept of positive femininity. Which is why he is a sucker for characters like Mary Gentle's Ash and Justina Robson's Lila Black, independent women who can handle themselves despite considerable social and physical obstacles, and despite self doubts and insecurities sometimes unique to feminine sensibilities, and frequently better than the men for or against them. So this anthology sounded like something that would appeal, even if he had never read anything by the female authors collected here, nor the editors. But, that's half the fun of picking it up.

Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies by James Marshall
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Comedy never dies, no matter what genre it is in. This novel pretty much concentrates on the main ones that are popular right now; ninjas, pirates, and zombies and fairies. Just think of Samurai Girl, Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean and Shaun from Shaun of the Dead and you'll be on the right lines. This first book in the series starts out when GuyBoyMan, an unlikely hero (he doesn't even know it himself at the beginning) wakes in his parent's basement thinking he is their prisoner.

Tooth and Nail 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.

River of Stars River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The author weaves together a large number of stories and characters, although for several chapters it isn't entirely clear which ones will be ongoing characters and which ones will simply move in and out of the storyline or die off entirely. Few of them wind up living the lives they expect, even before the massive tidal wave of history rolls over them. Characters find that their choices aren't always the obvious ones, although they do make sense for the characters in the long run.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Although geek movies have pervaded the box office in recent years, movies made by genuine visionaries are in short supply. It's not that Joss Whedon's Marvel's The Avengers or Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight aren't great movies, or that there aren't great things in, say, Jon Favreau's Iron Man, but when it comes to daring, truly original directors tackling subject matter that might appeal to science fiction fans more steeped in literature than visual media, few of even the best directors appear up to the challenge. In the past, Derek Johnson gave short shrift to the director of what he now thinks is one of the best, if not the best, science fiction movie of the past ten years: Shane Carruth, who turned in the twisty time travel tale Primer in 2004.

Oblivion Oblivion
a movie review by Rick Norwood
There is a tradition in written science-fiction of making sense. The graphic novel never had their John W. Campbell, Jr., editor of Astounding who taught science fiction writers two important lessons: 1) know something about technology and how it works, 2) show, don't tell. Robert A. Heinlein took Campbell's lessons and made them work, and he is still the most enjoyable sf writer of all time -- not the greatest, but the most fun to read. Oblivion breaks the most basic rule in the very beginning.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick has decided never to watch television ever again. Cable is expensive, commercials are annoying, and the ads inset into the picture during the story are intolerable. The last straw was Doctor Who Season 6b premiere, when BBC America had a "countdown" to the next program throughout the entire show. He also gives those of us who will a list of what SF is on TV in May.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Mark London Williams catches up with Art Slade (Dust, The Hunchback Assignments) after he announced a crowdfunding initiative for a new graphic novel, Modo: Ember's End, and the campaign around it.

First Novels

Time for Patriots Time for Patriots by Thomas Wm. Hamilton
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The prologue sets us off in Philadelphia during 1780 where George Washington asks Benjamin Franklin if he will journey to Long Island where there are many war orphans he feels could be neglected or in danger. Washington feels that they won the war in an easier fashion than expected, almost too easy for his liking, and values the thoughts of his associate. It is this that begins the debate over Bunker Hill. Jump forward to 2009...

Veteran Veteran by Gavin Smith
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is one of those books that either hits the spot or misses completely. There is no black and white in terms of its style, although it does buck the trend a little more, getting from beginning to end. The premise is a veteran military special forces operative, forced out of retirement to track down an alien killing machine. An infiltrator of the same type wiped out his entire squad, back in the day. Now, it's loose in his home town. Except, things aren't quite the way they seem.

Second Looks

The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg: Volume 6, Multiples, 1983-1987 The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg: Volume 6, Multiples, 1983-1987 by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
It is easy to argue that over the past five decades, Robert Silverberg has been the field's most prolific author of superior science fiction of all lengths, especially short fiction. Although his short fiction has been featured in a number of previous collections -- some of which have been retrospective volumes with titles that include "best of" or "collected stories" -- this new Subterranean Press series of The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg is a welcome and necessary addition to the library of any science fiction reader.


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