Be My Enemy by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
In Planesrunner, the first part of his YA Everness series, Ian McDonald introduced a superbly competent
teenage hero, Everett Singh, took him to a vividly realized steampunk world, put him aboard the airship Everness with its
attractive crew and convenient romantic interest, Sen, and gave him a near-impossible quest, to locate his father who has
been banished to any of a presumably infinite number of parallel universes. So how do you take the series forward if you
don't want to simply repeat the formula as before?
A Conversation With Ted Kosmatka
An interview with Dave Truesdale
On the science aspects of the story:
"I've always been fascinated by the big questions in life. Where do we come from? How did we get to be the way
that we are? Religion and science both seek to answer these questions, and they arrive at their answers from very
different directions, so this novel was a way for me to put them both on the same playing field, forcing them to
face each other. (I gave religion the home court advantage; it was here first after all)."
Cosmocopia by Paul Di Filippo
reviewed by Trent Walters
While Paul Di Filippo isn't a household name, if you've read deeply in the field, you've heard of him. He zigs and zags his
way across the genre. For a genre known for its weird, this book has to rank right up there.
As with many of Filippo's works, especially at this length, a Beatnik/Kerouac's On the Road feel rises from the
narrative. Predicting what will happen next is out of the question.
Alien vs. Alien by Gini Koch
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Presented, for your consideration: Kitty Katt-Martini and her husband, Jeff. She's a rock-and-roll loving girl from Earth;
he's an Armani-clad hunk hailing from Alpha Centauri, rocking the superhuman abilities and with something of a jealous
streak. They're in charge of the American Centaurian Diplomatic Corp, a thinly-veiled attempt to pass Jeff and his fellow A-Cs
off as a very exclusive religious/ethnic group with full representation in Washington, D.C. They're married with a brand new
baby girl, and their life is abso-freaking-lutely insane.
Carmilla, a Critical Edition by Sheridan Le Fanu
reviewed by Trent Walters
Although not as well known as its younger cousin, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Sheridan Le Fanu's novella "Carmilla" may be
nearly as familiar to anyone with a fondness for horror or vampires. Whie it has been anthologized and filmed multiple
times, "Carmilla" wasn't widely reprinted until the horror boom of the 80s. This present volume includes the original novella, four critical
essays, a timeline and biographical notes.
Final Entropy by Nelson Lucier
reviewed by Cyd Athens
The premise of this novel, allegedly a deep-space science fiction thriller about survival on an alien world, is appealing. It
is the execution that exemplifies the stigma against works that are not traditionally published.
We begin with a notice on the copyright page.
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.
The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Subterfuge, misdirection, false assumptions and misplaced suspicions are the building blocks of many a good murder mystery.
This is a novel that constantly leads its
characters, and its readers, down one path, only to have the story twist away in a new direction. By the end, what begins
as a murder mystery with some political overtones has become, for everyone involved, much, much more.
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
From F. Scott Fitzgerald to Michael Tolkin, novelists and fiction writers find themselves as fascinated by filmmaking and film
culture as the film industry itself. And why wouldn't they be? Those who make Faustian pacts with studios more manipulative
than Mephistopheles must lead lives that perpetually teeter into the illusions they proffer to audiences.
It's no wonder, then, that remarkable works examining this DeBordian landscape and its populace of neurotic starlets and
sham artists appear regularly in science fiction and fantasy. While many of these works share an interest a place so alien
as Hollywood, few genuinely grasp how strange it can be, and how utterly odd such a landscape appears to those
who only consume its fare. Writer and journalist Mark London Williams gets it, though. Derek Johnson talks to him
Nested Scrolls by Rudy Rucker
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
The big news for June is the return of Falling Skies, a summer-time series Rick has
enjoyed for the past two summers and he is looking forward to it again. Falling Skies,
like almost all sf on television, is not real science fiction, in the sense that Doctor Who
is real science fiction, but rather is an adventure series with one or two genre tropes, in this case
the old chestnut about human resistance fighters after aliens conquer of Earth. Rick also
gives those of us who will a list of what SF is on TV in June.
Star Trek Into Darkness
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Like Iron Man 3, this is another extremely good film that falls short of greatness. Every
time Rick goes to a major motion picture, he hopes for a Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park,
or Star Trek – First Contact. The most recent film to be that completely satisfying was The Avengers. There
are only a few such films in a decade, and he is glad for fine entertainments in between.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
So this is one of those may-get-it-in-late columns, at the end of a busy week for Mark London Williams. The good kind of busy, as opposed to gathering
oneself -- and one's loved ones -- up after a tornado, say, like those poor folks in tornado alley, as the weather keeps reminding
us it will likely no longer remain cooperative, during most of the rest of our lives.
He has been busy working on the Danger Boy series, promo for his GhostDance title and
reading a few titles like Clive Barker's Next Testament as well as Mark Millar and Frank Quitely's Jupiter's Legacy.
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.
Pardon This Intrusion by John Clute
The Spanish Gatekeeper by Bernard Dukas
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
This seventh collection of commentary is an eclectic mix of
material reaching back to the 80s, but has its main focus on his 21st century writings about the evolution of the genre
over the past century. Its title is a reference to the first words spoken by Frankenstein's Monster in the seminal 19th
century novel by Mary Shelley, words which John Clute argues provides a touchstone of meaning. Pardon This Intrusion
includes 47 essays and talks, several of which have not been published previously.
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This trilogy is primarily a coming of age story, featuring a 15-year-old
English schoolboy named Peter de Soto, and his Spanish cousin Bonifacia Espasande. The initial setting is
northern Spain, in the summer of 1900, where Peter is on holiday at the home Bonnie shares with her
mother. While out butterfly hunting, the pair happen upon local broken down ruins, where they find what
eventually proves to be a portal to another place. Access is gained via the use of a family heirloom,
and in the deep dark of night the pair vanish from Spain, to emerge in a world not their own.