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A Memory of Light A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time, which has spun out over 23 years, 14 books (not counting a prequel) and two authors, finally winds to a climax in its final volume, A Memory of Light. And if you've been with the series from the beginning, all that reading time and emotional investment begs the question: was it worth it? Do fans get the payoff they deserve?

The 5th Wave The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
reviewed by Michael M Jones
When the Others came, it was not in peace. They destroyed our modern infrastructure. They drowned our cities. They sent a plague to weed out the vast majority of the survivors. They enlisted silent killers and deadly drones to pick off the stragglers. And now those few who've made it this far must worry about the rumored 5th Wave, the one that will eradicate the last remnants of humanity and leave the Earth to its new owners.

Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane edited by Jonathan Oliver
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This book is a short sometimes sweet anthology, including the works of fifteen authors variously celebrated -- some deservedly so -- and others living on the fumes. There is no single theme to the collection, or anything to connect the individual plots, but the overall tone is a dark one, and concerns the dangers to both the victims and the practitioners whenever the power of magic is abused.

Oz Reimagined Oz Reimagined edited by John Joseph Adams & Douglas Cohen
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Even if an author limits themselves to the version of Oz depicted in the 1939 Victor Fleming film, there are plenty of stories that can naturally branch out. However, John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen have invited their authors to use the complete written works of L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson to create stories which shed light on Baum's most famous creation in Oz Reimagined. These sixteen authors make full use of the inspirational works.

Death Perception Death Perception by Lee Allen Howard
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Kennet Singleton is not your usual nineteen-year-old. Many would be out enjoying themselves at that age, out with their friends, chasing girls, and other things associated with teenage life. Not Kennet, his life with his invalid mother means he has to care for her most of the time, and the only break he gets is working at the local funeral home where he cremates the dearly departed. This type of teen would give some the impression that he is a young Norman Bates character.

Arctic Rising Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell
an audiobook review by Trent Walters
Anika Duncan and her partner Tom of the United Nations Polar Guard (UNPG) patrol the Arctic waterways, searching for those who would dump nuclear waste in its waters. They're piloting a blimp when a ship plows too quickly through the nearly ice-free sea. When they check for radiation, their detector beeps. They descend to the ship, but it fires a grenade that slams their blimp into the ocean.

Blue Remembered Earth Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The first thing to be said about this novel is that the plot is nonsense. Engaging nonsense, carried off with a great deal of panache, but nonsense nevertheless. The two central characters are sent dashing hither and thither across the solar system to find buried plot tokens that have been hidden decades before and yet whose discovery is somehow urgent for the immediate well-being of humanity. Of course, the things have been hidden so long that recovery has become filled with peril.

Low Noon 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.

The Alienated Critic The Alienated Critic
a column by D. Douglas Fratz
The novella (or short novel) may be the best of all lengths for science fiction -- long enough to fully explore the complex ideas, narratives, settings and characters needed for excellence in SF, but short enough to avoid the need for extraneous material that too often slows the pacing, diverts reader attention, and dilutes the emotional and intellectual impact of the story. D. Douglas Fratz believes that a persuasive case for this can be made with examples throughout the history of modern science fiction. He also gives us a glimpse into how he became a fan of ebooks and their role in his reading.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Last year, Rick Klaw contributed a column highlighting some of the works on comics history from his extensive collection. The piece turned out to be one of the most popular Nexus Graphica installments. As promised then, he has returned with another selection of books. And don't worry, he still has plenty more for yet another installment next year.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Forthcoming books include the latest from Joe Hill, Naomi Novik, Joe R. Lansdale, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mark Hodder, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Drew Karpyshyn, and much more.

Iron Man 3 Iron Man 3
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Iron Man 3 is a highly entertaining, unbelievably expensive film. If not great, it is at least very, very good. The Shane Black script is excellent, though Rick Norwood's favorite Shane Black script remains not this, not the Lethal Weapon series, but The Last Action Hero. He writes about flawed heroes and puts in plenty of clever bits to keep the jaded movie-goer on his toes.

Second Looks

Some of Your Blood Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon
reviewed by Trent Walters
Though originally released as a crime novel, this book reads as a semi-realistic, semi-playful horror tale as though Sturgeon asked the what-if question about vampires: if vampires truly did exist, what would they be like? This short novel gathers evidence from the protagonist and several psychologists in a most unusual volume that will have many readers clinging it to their bosoms as one of their treasured oddities.

Dream Castles: The Early Jack Vance Volume Two Dream Castles: The Early Jack Vance Volume Two by Jack Vance, edited by Terry Dowling and Jonathan Strahan
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
Over a span of some sixty-five years, well into the Twenty-first Century, Jack Vance, now ninety-five years of age, produced an astonishing stream of short stories, novelettes, novels, and occasional works of nonfiction. While most of his production has been labeled science fiction, he often tested the bounds of that classification, moving toward the realm of pure fantasy on the one hand, often mixing elements of the detective story into his works on the other. He also produced a respectable body of non-fantastic mystery and adventure fiction.

The Mongoliad, Book 1 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


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