Shadows of the New Sun edited by J. E. Mooney and Bill Fawcett
reviewed by Dave Truesdale
One can only imagine how daunting it must have been for the contributors, when they
realized they were going to attempt to write new fiction that would, with any luck, come within hailing distance of the quality,
general artfulness, and philosophical nuance of a Gene Wolfe tale, whom no less than Ursula K. Le Guin has remarked
that "Wolfe is our Melville." A tall order, indeed, and one the authors have filled with assurance, a steady hand, and even
panache, for each of the nineteen tales herein are entertaining in their own right and display the breadth
and vitality evinced in much of the work they honor. The icing on the cake is not only one new Wolfe story, but two; one
lighthearted to open the book and one more meditative and reflective to close the book.
The Red Knight by Miles Cameron
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The first of a proposed five book sequence, The Red Knight is the author's debut novel, although he has
published historical fiction under another name. Therefore it comes as no great surprise that this work is loaded with detail and
world building creation. There's also a satisfying level of characterisation, which goes deeper than the average fantasy novel,
producing a more realistic cast. The author clearly understands the Medieval context of his world, which allows him to present
authentic feeling scenarios, even when dealing with magic.
Bleeding Shadows by Joe Lansdale
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
One of the most acclaimed storytellers in the field of dark fiction, Joe R. Lansdale moves with ease from horror to crime from
supernatural to western stories. This volume collects many of the most accomplished short stories penned by him
throughout the years. Each story in the book is accomplished and quite enjoyable, in keeping with his well-known narrative talent, but some
are especially worth mentioning.
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2013
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
"Grizzled Veterans of Many and Much" by Robert Reed explores the intriguing
idea of Transcendence, with people being effectively hooked into a massive
computer core, their physical lives being shortened, but their virtual lives being extended for many lifetimes of experience, giving
them the ability to do the many things they wished to do, like write a series of books, drawing on the virtual structure to allow
them to master those things they never were able to master, but wished to, in their physical bodies.
Simulacrum and Other Possible Realities by Jason V. Brock
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
This collection consists of sixteen stories with thirteen poems
interspersed. The stories vary in length from a few pages to novella length. Many have arresting premises,
such as "The Central Coast" with its riff on the theme of an old world curse in a New World wineskin, and the Lovecraftian (in
every sense) "The History of A Letter." These two stories are well executed excursions in horror and are the best in the anthology.
Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Shy South lives on her farm with her gentle stepfather Lamb and the rest of her siblings. While away, Shy and Lamb
return to find their farm has been attacked and destroyed and her brother and sister Pit and Ro, have been
stolen. Shy has never been one to take anything lying down so she and Lamb set off after them. Eventually, they are
joined by a host of colorful supporting characters and their fellowship begins their long journey into the untamed
The End of Earth and Sky by Tom Simon
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The End of Earth and Sky is a frame tale set in an alternate universe, opening with an introduction
by the narrator, Calin Lowford, in response to a comprehensive indictment that claims he is the most heinous of
mega-super-extra-evil villains. Each chapter begins with a quote from this indictment, which, Calin explains, is written by
someone whose world indeed ended.
Calin is an ordinary young man, given to plumpness. He's termed lazy by many of his elders, and he's certainly tried several
apprenticeships unsuccessfully before being made into...
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Recently Derek posted a list of his 13 favorite horror movies, a fundamentally different one than appeared in one of his previous columns.
In that particular installment, he concentrated specifically on post-Exorcist works that he thought deserved mention, and that
were readily available to modern audiences. He thought (and continues to think) all were effective, even if some appeared
controversial. Oddly, the titles he thought might initiate dialogue nobody bothered to remark on, while more recent, less "serious"
fare met with howls of outrage. Nobody seemed very surprised at all that Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò: 120 Days of Sodom received
attention, yet the inclusion of Frank Darabont's The Mist saw such hostility...
Starboard Wine: More Notes on the Language of Science Fiction by Samuel R. Delany
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Mark London Williams has been reading East of West, Vol 1: The Promise, a somewhat
Dark Tower-esque apocalyptic Western, The Fifth Beatle, purporting to be the untold story of the Beatles' legendary discoverer/manager, Brian
Epstein and Badlands, by writer Steven Grant, and artist Vince Giarrano.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Gravity is a classic, as was writer/director's Cuarón's Hugo Award-winning previous film Children of Men. Is
it science fiction? It feels like science fiction. In fact, it feels like golden age science fiction. Today most sf
films are either distopean or pulp. Gravity respects hard science.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The movie is not the book. The movie is not as good as the book. But it's not bad.
The book is unfilmable now. Given the limits of what
can be allowed on the screen where children are concerned, the film is as good as could be expected. It is well-acted, pays
attention to detail of character and setting, and has excellent special effects.
Thor: The Dark World
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The second major Thor film is an entertaining superhero movie most notable for the appeal of the trickster Loki. It gets off to an
awkward start, with a voice-over narration by an instantly forgotten contemporary of Thor's grandfather Borr. (In the Norse Prose
Edda, Thor's grandfather is Priam, King of Troy, linking the legends of the far North with the legends of Greece, much as Virgil
linked the legends of Rome with Greece and Geoffrey of Monmouth linked the legends of King Arthur with Greece.)
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Samuel R. Delany is, to a large extent, responsible for Paul being a critic today. He had written a few desultory reviews when
he first read The Jewel-Hinged Jaw, and he discovered how criticism should be done. The book taught him that a rigorous
critical approach to the subject could be revealing, exciting, energising and, not least, thoroughly accessible. He learned
about, understood and enjoyed science fiction far more for bringing to it the critical approach that he had picked up from
Delany. And, of course, he was completely convinced by the arguments advanced. Delany remains, to his mind, one of the
half dozen or so critics whose work is essential for anyone who wants to understand the genre.
The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
In the Oort Cloud, post-human societies sculpt ice into massive art forms, while on Earth uncontrolled nanotech and wild
viruses twist and shape the desert and anyone who dares venture there. A thief and an angel contemplate the consequences of
completing their mission, and two sisters play a game of family politics with the fate of the last humans on Earth at
stake. That's just the start.
Elfhome by Wen Spencer
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Most of Baen's novels are either fantasy or science-fiction based, so finding one that encapsulates both is a real find in the
true sense of the word. Tinker is the protagonist in this story, and was once a human. She somehow got to be made into the
elf princess of Elfhome. Their realm just happens to be within Pittsburgh, a huge city with sixty thousand humans where elves
are in the minority, hoping to live through a war that is coming. Winter is also on its way.