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Life of the Preservation Life of the Preservation by Jack Skillingstead
reviewed by David Maddox
It's late 2013 and the world has ended. The cities are in ruin, the sky rains poison, and the few that have survived the onslaught are slowly dying. In the remains of a tiny suburb, a young girl named Kylie does her best to be a rebellious teenager amid the end of humanity and wonders what is truly inside the giant bubble that surrounds the city of Seattle.

Tales of the Talisman Volume 8, Issue 4 Tales of the Talisman Volume 8, Issue 4 edited by David Lee Summers
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
For those who have been readers of Science Fiction Trails, here is a magazine with a difference edited by Science Fiction Trails regular David Lee Summers. Marketed as "steam stories and poems," that is pretty much what the magazine contains as well as articles that focus on the theme of steampunk. In this issue, readers will find airship pirates in another world, a colony world that has steam power and airships, clockwork magic used to trap fairies and vampires in Victorian London.

3D Futures 3D Futures by Rob Walters
reviewed by David Maddox
The future. Humanity has been divided into three factions, the Disembodied, the Departed, and the Dispossessed. The story follows these three very different versions of the human race as they continue the to grow, to evolve, and to survive in a world that has been drastically separated.

The Year's Best Science Fiction: by Author The Year's Best Science Fiction: by Volume
compiled by Rodger Turner
In 1984, Gardner Dozois gathered together what he thought was the best short science fiction of the previous year. He scrutinized as many of the magazines, collections and anthologies published in 1983 that he could get his hands on and chose those which he felt best represented the science fiction field. Jim Frenkel published it as part of his Bluejay Books line (for three years) and it has been produced every year since then (by St. Martins's Press). Volume 30 has been added to the lists compiled by author, by title and by volume.

The Incarceration of Captain Nebula and Other Lost Futures The Incarceration of Captain Nebula and Other Lost Futures by Mike Resnick
reviewed by David Maddox
Stories about the future, where we're going, how we get there, and whether the journey was a good idea in the first place have been written and suggested since man came to the understanding that there WAS something that would happen 'later.' Over the centuries, some stories have taken a positive outlook, but the most intriguing are those that present us a dark tone of warning, and few manage to write them as consistently captivating as Mike Resnick.

Under My Skin Under My Skin Under My Skin by Charles de Lint
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
This fast-paced tale for older teens takes off fast with first person narrator Josh, a normal surfer teen in a coastal California city, until his mom's abusive boyfriend attacks him. Josh turns into a mountain lion and mauls the guy, then races off in a complete panic until he meets another animal human. Josh has become a Wilding, a shape-shifter who can switch back and forth between his animal shape and human. For some reason it's been happening to local teens, no one knows why.

Rejiggering the Thingamajig and Other Stories 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.

Starship Century Starship Century edited by Gregory Benford and James Benford
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This book, is an amalgam of sorts. Part historical record, part advocacy document, part speculation, it's also a statement of purpose, that interstellar spaceflight is possible and worth pursuing. The non-fiction side of Starship Century grew out of the 2011 100 Year Starship Symposium, a yearly gathering of academics and government researchers interested in the long-term development of spaceflight. There are plenty of well-known names involved in addition to the editors, from Stephen Hawking to Paul Davies and Martin Rees.

Revolution of Air & Rust Revolution of Air & Rust by David Lee Summers
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Well known for his short stories written in the Steampunk and science-fiction genre, this one is a standalone novel by David Lee Summers where General "Black Jack" Pershing is the only one who stands in the way of Pancho Villa and his revolutionary army. While the battle is about to rage, Pancho is taken to a parallel Earth where he meets an ally who has the best technology available that could turn the tide of this war.

The Avengers Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
As Derek checked his Twitter feed in the hotel lobby where, one floor away, novels, stories, graphic novels, and television episodes received rocket ships in their respective categories, he found himself little surprised at the announcement that Joss Whedon's The Avengers won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. Little surprised, and somewhat disappointed. Could you blame him?

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Check out the latest from Stephen Baxter, Steven Erikson, James Gunn, Scott Lynch, Ari Marmell, Mike Resnick, Brandon Sanderson, Chris Willrich, Chris Wooding, and plenty of others!

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Gene Luen Yang's Boxers is the second part of his historical duo (a "diptych" as publisher First Second calls it) along with Saints, which Mark London Williams reviewed in my last outing. Like Saints, this is set during China's Boxer rebellion, though now we're following a male character, Bao, who is on the opposite side of the conflict from Four-Girl, our protagonist in the other book.


Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, Modified YT-1300 Corellian Freighter: Owner's Workshop Manual Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, Modified YT-1300 Corellian Freighter: Owner's Workshop Manual by Ryder Windham
reviewed by David Maddox
Ever wonder were Han Solo got some of the ideas to modify his YT-1300 Corellian Freighter? Were they just spurts of imagination and creativity, or did he have a little help? All this information and more can be yours. Haynes Publishing, renowned for creating durable and practical users guides for car, bike, tank, barbeque, and who-knows-how-many other items have teamed with Del Rey to release a detailed history and guidebook to modifying your YT-1300 Corellian Freighter.

Second Looks

The God Engines The God Engines by John Scalzi
reviewed by Trent Walters
Ean Tephe is a starship captain whose engine is a god, unruly and kept in iron chains, which doesn't keep him from killing tormentors whom he fools despite his bonds. Three types of iron exist and inflict damage on gods depending on the number of times it has been forged in fire: third-made binds, second hurts, first kills. Although Tephe believes in the god that has enslaved the god of his engine, he has to play good-cop, use diplomacy, yet reluctantly apply cruelty when necessary.

Fantasy Short Stories: Issue 1 Fantasy Short Stories: Issue 1
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
This first issue is an interesting, albeit uneven, debut. The two best stories are undoubtedly Noeleen Kavanagh's "The Pivot" and C.L. Holland's story "The Empty Dark." In "The Pivot," a young boy, Caill, with a talent for reading the emotions of others provides brief refuge to another boy -- the young king Clogher, whose clothes come with ominous splashes of mud and blood.


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