The Alienated Critic
a column by D. Douglas Fratz
We have been fortunate to have seen in the past twelve months career-spanning new best-of collections of short fiction from four of
the science fiction field's best authors. Mike Resnick (Win Some, Lose Some: The Hugo Award Winning (and Nominated)
Short Science Fiction and Fantasy of Mike
Resnick), Connie Willis (The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories), Joe Haldeman (The Best of
Joe Haldeman) and Robert Silverberg (The Best of Robert Silverberg: Stories of
Six Decades) have produced more
top quality short science fiction over the past five decades than many other auctorial quartets. Douglas
also goes out on a limb by providing his thoughts on who should win the major fiction category Hugo Awards, and who probably will win.
Armored edited by John Joseph Adams
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This anthology is a nicely chunky collection comprised of twenty-three short stories based around the theme of powered
armour. There are many well-known names represented here, but far more importantly the great majority have turned in superior
works. The technology, necessarily, takes centre stage, but very much co-starring are those within the various
armours. Characterisation here is almost always above average, and in at least a dozen instances of top quality.
Exotic Gothic 5, Volume 1 edited by Danel Olson
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The successful series Exotic Gothic published in the beginning by Ash-Tree Press and then taken up by PS Publishing
has now reached its fifth installment, continuing to provide dark short stories of modern gothic from every corner of the
world. Volume five has been divided in two volumes, possibly because the response to editor Danel Olsen's call for new stories
has been so overwhelming that it was too hard for him to exclude too many tales he deemed to be worthwhile.
The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
It's time to get your comic head on for the fourth book in the Science of Discworld series, Judgement Day. Terry
Pratchett, Professor Ian Stewart and Dr. Jack Cohen answer the toughest questions in life, the universe and everything in a comedic,
tongue-in-cheek way. The Omnians want to take control of Roundworld (Earth) as their religion is not
compatible with others. The wizards of Unseen University however don't like the idea of their interfering in their world.
Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Readers will journey to Kurald Galain wherein we
find the birth of all the events that take place within Malazan Book of the Fallen. One look at the Dramatis Personae should speak volumes to
those who are familiar with the Malazan Empire. Welcome back Anomander Rake, Silchas Ruin, Mother Dark, Spinnock Durav,
Sister Spite, Sister Envy, Draconus, Hood, Gothos, Kilmandaros, etc. The list of characters is long and impressive and
the story contained within is even more so.
At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories by Kij Johnson
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Something happened in the last decade. Before that, Kij Johnson was a respected if far from exalted short story writer,
who had won the Sturgeon Award for "Fox Magic," which would grow into her first novel, The Fox Woman, but otherwise
hadn't really troubled the award ballots. Since then, it is almost impossible to imagine an award shortlist that hasn't featured
at least one of her stories, often going on to win.
The Macht Trilogy by Paul Kearney
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
For those of you out there that love nothing more than reading about heroic last ditch battles against
overwhelming odds or get choked up with scenes about the brotherhoods formed when men fight and die together
in battle, Paul Kearney is your man. His Macht Trilogy is an excellent example of pure military
fantasy and if you are familiar with his work, you know there aren't that many authors out there who
can navigate a battlefield better than he.
Perfect Shadow by Brent Weeks
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?
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
In an unusual line-up of the cosmos, we now have our second straight guest-written column here
at Nexus Graphica. While Rick Klaw is busy with a book launch, Mark London Williams is busy with other life
stuff -- a sad farewell, and a 'change of venue' as they say in showbiz.
So stepping up to the plate this month is L.A.-based crime writer extraordinaire Gary Phillips,
who slings the noir in both prose and comics form, with a tribute to Elmore Leonard.
What I Found at Hoole by Jeffrey Barlough
compiled by Neil Walsh
This time we're looking at the latest from Kelley Armstrong, Patrick Rothfuss, James Enge, Clive Barker, Joe R. Lansdale, and many others.
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Derek had not heard of Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, or Edgar Wright prior to stepping into a theater to catch a screening on the opening
night of Shaun of the Dead. He had gone only because the premise -- a bored, almost clueless twenty-something seemingly
oblivious to the zombies shambling across London's streets seemed rife for good comedy. He didn't expect the movie to be an
insightful blend of character and commentary, much less to develop the following it did.
Years later, the trio decided to conclude what they have termed the Cornetto Trilogy, this time with The World's End
(which bookended Hot Fuzz), an homage to Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Village of the Damned.
Derek found it to be one of the best movies of the summer, a fitting end to the themes and ideas they presented nearly ten years ago.
Derek talks with Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright during their US press tour.
The World's End
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The World's End is the best science fiction comedy since the Hugo Award-winning Galaxy Quest. You'll laugh out loud,
and it's also good science fiction, with some new ideas. The ending was a bit of a letdown, but aside from that Rick thoroughly enjoyed it.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Elysium is an allegory of the one percent in the guise of action science fiction, and a very enjoyable one, if you don't take it seriously.
Several reviews say the plot doesn't hold together. They confuse plot and setting. The plot holds together very
well. Most action movies falter where everybody is either a sidekick or a henchman, whose only purpose in life is
to delay the final confrontation between the hero and villain for an hour and a half, that is not the case here.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
The Fall season is sputtering to a start, the first season in his life when Rick has chosen to give up the ability to watch tv shows
on, like, you know, television. He's glad he did. Not buying cable tv saves more than $80 per month. In most cases, he watches
using his WII, sometimes he use his Game Cube. He's l ooking forward to watching what's coming in September.
reviewed by Christopher DeFilippis
It's tough to classify the Western Lights novels, which take place in a mysteriously sundered
world where an ice-locked Victorian society coexists with a host of prehistoric beasts. The series wonderfully mixes horrific,
fantastic and supernatural elements -- with a dash of Science Fiction thrown in -- cooked up into a string of stand-alone
Victorian-esque potboilers. The author calls his books fantasy mysteries.
Albert of Adelaide by Howard L Anderson
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
The book tells the story of the eponymous platypus, an escapee from Adelaide Zoo, and his adventures
in Old Australia, which he had previously idealised as a human-free paradise. Albert is haunted and infuriated by
memories of his captivity, and the perpetual eyes watching his every movement. Further back, his capture from a simple
life along the Murray River was even more traumatic.
The story begins with Albert, days march north from Adelaide, delirious and seeming ready to die.
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Mia Price, has a unique addiction; she craves lightning and
has been struck so many times that she has veiny scars all over her body. Luckily her face has been exempt, but
one more strike and they'll expand there, too.
Mia, and her mother and younger brother, Parker, live in Los Angeles, a city rarely hit by lightning. Its lack
of affinity for lightning, doesn't preclude earthquakes, and a massive one, which many believe originated with
an electrical storm has turned downtown L.A. into a wasteland with the surrounding areas not a whole lot