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Maxine McArthur

Encounters Encounters edited by Maxine McArthur and Maree Hanson
reviewed by Steven H Silver
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ford Prefect explains the concept of buzzing to an incredulous Arthur Dent. According to Prefect, aliens "find some isolated spot with very few people around, then they land right by some poor unsuspecting soul whom no one's ever going to believe and then strut up and down in front of him wearing silly antennae on their head and making beep beep noises." This is a concept which is played up in the first two stories of this anthology.

Paul J. McAuley

Anne McCaffrey

Dragon's Fire Dragon's Fire by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey
reviewed by Lise Murphy
This latest book was written by Todd McCaffrey along with his mother Anne. That being said, it bears little resemblance to the original Dragonriders of Pern books. The characters are interesting but it is slow at times and there is so much jumping between points of view that it is difficult to really sympathize with the characters.

Acorna's Triumph Acorna's Triumph by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Long time readers know that Acorna, parted from her beloved life-mate Aari, who is lost is time, has been struggling and hoping for a chance to be with him again, and has followed hints of him throughout the galaxy. But the triumph pales. When she gets him back, he's different, strange, the bond they share doesn't feel quite right. Has she finally found her beloved husband, or has time brought her someone else entirely?

Dragon's Kin Dragon's Kin by Anne and Todd McCaffrey
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Kindan has spent his life in the coal camp of Natalon, where he helps his father tend the watch-whers that are so vital to the safety of the mines. A distant relative to dragons, they have large eyes that are painfully sensitive to the sun, and an ability to tell if the air in a mine is bad. A tragic accident robs Kindan of his family and the mine's only watch-wher. They need a watch-wher, and since Kindan is the only person there who knows anything about it, he gets to ride on a dragon to get a new one. Kisk will do more than become the mine's new watch-wher.

Acorna's Rebels Acorna's Rebels by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Becker has convinced Acorna to take a brief vacation. They go to MOO, the Moon of Opportunities, where they find out that another planet may have supplies they need to help them in the goal of rebuilding Vhiliinyar. A ship emergency forces them to land on a dangerous swamp planet but help is on its way...

The Five The Five by Robert McCammon
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
At heart, this is a straightforward thriller, the premise of which is a jobbing rock band, being stalked by a deranged sniper. The band are the Five, and they're portrayed as musicians, slogging away at their craft, but never quite getting the big break. Something starts going right, when a video for their latest song is commissioned. The problems begin when the video is broadcast as it gives the false impression that the band are disrespecting the US military in Iraq. The show is seen by one Jeremy Pett, a former US Marine sniper, now a dark shadow of his former self.

The Road The Road by Cormac McCarthy
reviewed by Dan Shade
The Road is perhaps the most desperate post-apocalyptic science fiction Dan has read. It's more like post-post-apocalyptic. A father and his pre-teen son are trying to make their way south with hope that is it warmer there. Everywhere the sky is dark and gray, the sun never shows its face, it rains or snows constantly, there is always ash in the air and it's cold. Everything is gray as all living things, plants and animals, are dead. The forests are dead and, as the dead trees can find no nourishment, their roots lose hold and they fall in thunderous crashes.

Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation by Helen McCarthy
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Miyazaki's animated feature films have achieved the kind of fame that ensures the titles and images are familiar even to those who have not embraced anime. Sometime in everyone's life, they must have heard of My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, or Porco Rosso. Until now, though, there has been no definitive English language study of Miyazaki and his work.

Chimera Chimera by T.C. McCarthy
an audiobook review by Dale Darlage
This is the third installment of the remarkable Subterrene War trilogy. This is not an easy trilogy. It has brutal battle scenes, shows the reader an uncomfortable vision of technology pushed too far and asks important questions about what it is to be human. And, on top of that, these three books are well-told, hair-raising trips through three different war zones in a truly dysfunctional world.

Exogene Exogene by T.C. McCarthy
an audiobook review by Dale Darlage
Exogene is a hell of a science fiction novel but to call it a sci-fi novel is to undersell it. It is a hell of a war novel, but to call it a war novel is also underselling it. It really is the story of a woman finding out what it is to love, to be loved and to know where one stands with God -- in short, to be human. But that seriously undersells this book and makes a violent tale of war, genetic mutation and out-of-control science sound like some piece of warm and fuzzy chick lit. It is certainly not that. So, what is it?

Germline Germline by T.C. McCarthy
an audiobook review by Dale Darlage
This non-stop military techno-adventure is set in the middle of a war in Central Asia in the 22nd century. Russia and the United States are fighting over the resources of Kazakhstan. It turns out that the country is rich in rare metals that are needed for the 22nd century's technological devices. They have to be mined deep in the mountains of Kazakhstan and the mines, countryside, little villages and cities of Central Asia become battlefields.

Spinners Spinners by Anthony McCarten
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
UFO sightings are nothing new in America (especially in some, shall we say, rural areas), but not so in New Zealand. Certainly, they never leave behind the seedlings of future offspring. Something like that could tear the village apart.

Wil McCarthy

Once Upon a Galaxy Once Upon a Galaxy edited by Wil McCarthy, Martin H. Greenberg and John Helfers
reviewed by David Maddox
All children grow up with fairy tales. They entertained, helped us sleep at night and gave moral lessons intended to shape us into well-rounded individuals. But as any science fiction writer will tell you, the line between science and magic can be quite thin. This is what led to this anthology of 14 classic fairy-tale themes transformed into science fiction stories.

The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln by Scott McCloud and U.S. by Steve Darnall and Alex Ross
reviewed by Glen Engel-Cox
The Fourth of July sees sales events promising independence from high prices and former president look-alikes leading marching bands to spectacular fireworks displays. Education and introspection take a backseat to marketing and entertainment. Which is why two new graphic novels dealing with the American national identity are welcome breezes of fresh air amidst the lingering stench of stale gunpowder.

Stargate SG-1 Stargate SG-1 by Ashley McConnell
reviewed by Todd Richmond
Stargate SG-1 isn't up to its task. If you've seen the movie or the TV show, there's little point in reading this book. If you haven't seen the show, you'd be better off trying to find the series on your local cable channels or renting the film from your local video store.

First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women by Eric McCormack
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Wanna see to what levels horror literature can be taken? McCormack's novel is reminiscent in some ways of the works of E.F. Benson -- an atmospheric British-style ghost story with a hefty dose of more graphic horror.

The King Of Ice Cream The King Of Ice Cream by Robert Wayne McCoy
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
There are some highly entertaining ideas here, such as the Codices of Smoke, the object of one character's search. It is the last book of the damned, a dangerous, supernatural tome, which is on Church of Rome's list of books to be burned without ever being opened. Then there are the Paladins; special individuals trained to combat fallen angels, and by so doing implement the Word of God.

Jack McDevitt

Be My Enemy 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?

Planesrunner Planesrunner by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
YA is the new black. At least, within science fiction more and more authors are writing YA novels, and YA novels are attracting more and more attention within the genre. What is it that we say to a YA audience that we do not say to an adult audience, or vice versa? Judging from Ian McDonald's first venture into writing a YA novel, the answer seems to involve, perhaps unsurprisingly, complexity. But it is not simply that one form is more complex than the other.

Planesrunner Planesrunner by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Rich Horton
The novel opens with Everett Singh going to meet his physicist father at a lecture -- but instead Everett witnesses his father's kidnapping. The police are little help, and neither is his divorced mother. Soon enough Everett realizes that his father was involved in some very interesting research, research which led to opening a gate between parallel worlds. And when his father's rather creepy boss comes around, it seems clear that Dr. Singh must have made an important discovery, and that the authorities are after it.

The Dervish House The Dervish House The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
With the tight, cinematic precision of a Hitchcock thriller, this book introduces us to a near-future Istanbul and to the lives of the characters who work and live in one of the oldest buildings in the city. Over the course of five heat-wave infested days, the characters lives are drawn together in ways that none of them could have anticipated.

The Dervish House The Dervish House The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
A bird turns in the thermals rising from a sprawling, clangorous waterfront city, spread so far below that the details of its inhabitants cannot be seen. Ian McDonald may have read John Dos Passos's 1925 novel, Manhattan Transfer as both writers chose exactly the same image to open their novels, and to exactly the same effect. The remote, aerial viewpoint is distancing and depersonalizing: the individuals rushing about below are, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant, just cogs in the vast, impersonal machine that is the city.

Cyberabad Days Cyberabad Days by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
At the heart of this book is a story called "The Little Goddess." It is, perhaps, the best story in the collection, the mid-point of the book, but more than that it is the piece that captures, better than any of the other stories, better even than the novel, River of Gods, to which this volume is a welcome pendant, exactly what it is that makes Ian McDonald's vision of near-future India so exciting and so right.

Cyberabad Days Cyberabad Days by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
In the mid-21st Century, India is a land of tradition, mixed cultures and advanced technologies. The country has balkanized, splitting up in to twelve different countries. The stories in this collection are snapshots of the people and places that make up this new India, glimpses of a life where ancient philosophies mix with soap operas whose entire cast is made up artificial intelligences, and where a shortage of women and water is causing upheavals on every level of the society that makes up the political, social, and economic structure of India.

Brasyl Brasyl Brasyl by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Stuart Carter
Only one third of Brasyl, set in Sao Paulo in 2032, appears to be the straightforward extrapolative science fiction that River Of Gods was. There are two other narratives: one following Marcelina Hoffman, a producer of trash TV, living a thoroughly modern life in the Rio of 2006, and one following her seeming antithesis, Father Luis Quinn, an Irish Jesuit priest on a Heart Of Darkness-style voyage across an appalling Brazil of 1732.

Ares Express Ares Express by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Rich Horton
This is a long, adventure-filled, extravagantly colourful, often funny, quite moving, highly imaginative, excellently written, story, set on a glorious Mars built partly of sharp-edged Kim Stanley Robinson-style extrapolation, but mostly of lush, loving, Ray Bradbury-style semi-SF, semi-Fantasy, Martian dreams. The author has visited this Mars before -- it's the setting of his first novel, Desolation Road, and indeed his first published story, "The Catharine Wheel", is set in a slightly different version of this setting, and even shares some characters with Ares Express.

Sacrifice of Fools Sacrifice of Fools by Ian McDonald
reviewed by Rodger Turner
The Shians have landed. In exchange for technology, Earth has ceded them enclaves. Ex-criminal Andy Gillespie has become one of the liaison folk who are there to ease the Shian transition to life on Earth. (He is so alienated from his own contemporaries that the Shians seem like family.) On his way to a Shian celebration, Andy finds himself the chief suspect in the barbaric mutilation and murder of five Shian. To save himself, he decides to track down the true culprits.

Merlin's Gift Merlin's Gift by Ian McDowell
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
Ian McDowell has put a real twist on the Arthurian legend, telling the story from the point-of-view of Mordred -- but a Mordred you may not recognize. This is the sort of book that would be outright foolishness if it weren't all managed so deftly by the author. Stephen was most impressed!

The Gospel According to Star Wars The Gospel According to Star Wars by John C. McDowell
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
The author draws parallels to the Bible from all six of the Star Wars movies and even some of the existing literature. The problem is, this can be done for any religion, or any philosophy. Pulling out things that match a preconception is no trick. In fact, looking to establish any theological or philosophical treatise when entering a body of work is easy, because you'll always find something.

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