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High Times, An Alien Paradise High Times, An Alien Paradise by Mark R. Viliborghi
reviewed by John Enzinas
The story is told in the first person in present tense by Horn, a saxophone player in the house band at High Times,  a nightclub/dance-hall/restaurant with a heart-shaped swimming pool in the basement. Horn, and many of the other employees of High Times live an apartment building who spend all of their free time either wandering back and forth between their apartments or at High Times.

Tangled Up in Blue Tangled Up in Blue by Joan D. Vinge
reviewed by Rich Horton
Nyx LaisTree, from the planet Newhaven, is a young policeman in the Tiamat capital city of Carbuncle. On the night of his nameday he and his brother participate in an illegal raid on a warehouse which is a conduit for passing illegal tech to the Tiamatans. But something goes horribly wrong leaving only Nyx alive. Upon his recovery, LaisTree realizes that his superiors are after something they think he knows about the raid, but he can't remember anything.

Tangled Up In Blue Tangled Up In Blue by Joan D. Vinge
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Nyx LaisTree and his brother Staun are police officers in the rough port city of Carbuncle, on the planet Tiamat. Frustrated by their inability to enforce smuggling laws because of corrupt authorities, a bunch of cops organize vigilante warehouse raids on shady operations. But one night a raid goes terribly wrong. When Tree wakes in hospital he discovers that he is the only survivor. Worse, he is embroiled in a lethal intrigue involving a mysterious group called the Survey, the Snow Queen herself, and perhaps even senior officers in the police force.

The Children of the Sky The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Marooned in the Slow Zone, the last surviving human population has a clear goal; rebuild their technological civilization in time to protect themselves from the Blight that is surely coming their way. Unfortunately, almost all of them are teenagers or young adults, and they're not sure they believe an official story that includes their parents as the villains who freed the Blight.

Tangled Up In Blue Tangled Up In Blue by Joan D. Vinge
reviewed by Catherine Asaro
Set in the world of her Hugo-Award winning The Snow Queen, the book takes place in the city of Carbuncle. Several officers in the police force carry out an unauthorized raid on a warehouse chock full of forbidden smuggled technology. Unexpectedly, two other groups of officers show up -- a simple raid goes explosively wrong. It fast becomes clear that far more is going on here than your garden-variety smuggling.

The Witling The Witling by Vernor Vinge
reviewed by Paul Raven
A pilot and an archaeologist from the planet Novamerika, part of a widely scattered human diaspora, become stranded on the planet Giri when the natives destroy their shuttle accidently while landing. Escape is imperative, not just because of the risk of being exposed as aliens rather than foreign wizards, but because of the lethal diet -- the heavy metals content of the local flora and fauna provides a ticking time-bomb of poisonous pressure. Our heroes are captured by the natives, and become playing pieces in the political intrigue that drives the planet's society.

A Deepness in the Sky A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Several thousand years from now, expeditions from two human cultures meet near an astronomical oddity known as the OnOff star. The Qeng Ho are interested in trade, the Emergement in more direct forms of exploitation. Neither group is there just for a chance to study a unique star system.

Beyond Good & Evil Beyond Good & Evil by Frank Viollis
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This novel a straight shot to the finish line. The story is original and involving. A chapter or two in, and the language and the page appearance become familiar. After that it's only the plot, characters, and the strange, magic-filled world they inhabit that stand out.

The Radon File The Radon File by Denise Vitola
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
In their latest adventure, Marshals Ty Merrick and her charm-bedecked partner Andy LaRue are the buddy-cops who must stand against injustice in this world gone bad. In this world where superstition has largely replaced science, and Ty is continually bedeviled with annoying (and painful) bouts of lycanthropy, why should it matter if cops use supernatural as well as book methods to bring crooks to justice?

The Red Sky File The Red Sky File by Denise Vitola
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Someone or something has decided to eliminate the "peacekeepers" of the River Patrol. In an unusually grisly manner. Call in Ty Merrick -- District Marshall, top detective, and sometime werewolf -- to solve it. Teamed with personal physician Gibson and partner LaRue, she is the last hope for their rapidly thinning ranks.

Opalite Moon Opalite Moon by Denise Vitola
reviewed by Lela Olszewski
A police procedural in the classic form. Lela found the author was able to knit all the various elements (mystery, science fiction, and the fantastic) together into a coherent whole, for a unique and satisfying read.

The Lady of the Terraces The Lady of the Terraces by E. Charles Vivian
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
The 20s was nearing the end of the popularity and plausibility of lost-race novels. This book has most of the tropes (not to say clichés) of lost race novels, a strong good looking male hero, a birthmark announcing him as prophesied leader/saviour of an ancient race, his relationship with a beautiful princess/queen, his defeat of an evil priest, ditto for the nasty usurper king, and lots of battles. However, unlike many such tales, the hero, Colvin Barr, brings along a love-lorn Spanish-English half-breed who serves as mooching sidekick and comic relief, though he can be handy in a fight too.

Argall Argall by William T. Vollmann
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Where Disney's 1995 Pocahontas further mythologized the story of the meeting between an early 17th century Native American "princess" and the adventurer and leader of the Jamestown colony, John Smith -- who depending on who you listen to may or may not have made up himself the dramatic story of their meeting out of self-aggrandizement -- the author tells the story with all its blood, gore, infighting and nastiness, closely following original sources.

The Grand Ellipse The Grand Ellipse by Paula Volsky
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
One of the wonders of Jules Verne's work is that modern readers can still delight in his story telling, even after a century has made his vision of the future obsolete. The author must have wanted to use Verne's charming approach to story telling as the starting point for her new book. This world isn't quite ours; for one thing, magic works, though in many areas emerging technology is replacing sorcery as a way of getting things done.

The White Tribunal The White Tribunal by Paula Volsky
reviewed by James Seidman
James was captivated. Readers of Paula Volsky's other books will find this novel to be a definite change of style.

Odyssey of the Gods Odyssey of the Gods by Erich Von Däniken
an audiobook review by Dale Darlage
The theory is that humanity, thousands of years ago, was visited by aliens who built gigantic structures such as the pyramids and Stonehenge and were mistaken for gods by our ancestors. They are the inspiration behind much of the ancient mythology around the world and the fantastic beasts included in many of those myths are actually the result of genetic experimentation.

Metropolis Metropolis by Thea von Harbou
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Unless you are a science fiction fan who has hidden under a rock for your entire life, you will have heard of/seen Fritz Lang's Metropolis which is arguably one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. However, having no prior knowledge of the plot, the movie was exceedingly confusing -- of course the fact that close to a third of the original film had been excised and lost probably didn't help. Soon after Georges discovered the book from which the movie was made and read it... All he san say is "Wow! Now I get it!"

The Mysteries of New Orleans The Mysteries of New Orleans by Baron Ludwig von Reizenstein, translated by Steven Rowan
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
By the 1840s, the Gothic novel with its haunted castles, innocent noble damsels in distress and nefarious villains had pretty much petered out, and authors like Charles Dickens were presenting the horror of urban poverty and squalor resulting from the Industrial Revolution. There were still the penny dreadfuls, and some Gothic latecomers like William Harrison Ainsworth, but popular sensationalist literature needed a new focus. From June 1842-October 1843, Eugène Sue's Les Mystères de Paris was serialized in the French magazine Journal des Débats, starting a bestselling literary genre, the urban mystery.

The Atrocity Shop The Atrocity Shop by Kurt von Trojan
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Responsible adults only: this book is a shocker you should definitely read. Scandalous and blasphemous, yes, but the real shock comes in the knowledge that it was written some 20 years ago. Bare knuckle social commentary, jagged shrapnel cereal without the sugar coating -- and the sad reality is that it's still dead on target.

A Game of Perfection A Game of Perfection by Élisabeth Vonarburg
reviewed by Donna McMahon
In Dreams of the Sea, an accident stranded human colonists on a planet they named Virginia, and the few survivors had to struggle to live until the next colony ship arrived. This novel opens much later, after the active colonization of Virginia is over and millions of humans have been living on the planet all their lives. But they still have not solved the mystery of what happened to the alien race that inhabited the planet centuries before and then suddenly disappeared, leaving all their cities intact as if everybody had just stood up and walked away.

Dreams of the Sea Dreams of the Sea by Élisabeth Vonarburg
reviewed by Donna McMahon
A large expedition from Earth is in the process of settling Alpha, a planet orbiting Altair, when disaster strikes. As its twin planet eclipses the sun, a mysterious blue "sea" of mist rises, covering all the low lying areas of the continents. None of the colonists submerged by the sea survive, and those on higher land find that a mysterious force is neutralizing all electrical energy, and the technology they depend upon suddenly doesn't work. Without flyers they cannot even evacuate to their ship in orbit.

Dreams of the Sea Dreams of the Sea by Élizabeth Vonarburg
reviewed by William Thompson
As its title may suggest, this novel is constructed around dreams, those of a civilization that has disappeared, and those of colonists fleeing a dying Earth. The two overlap through the visions of an aïlmâdzi, a quasi-spiritual (to say religious implies too much) order of Dreamers who are part of the original inhabitants of Altair. Eïlai Liannon Klaïdaru experiences the dreams of others, not only of her own people, but of Strangers who will come in the future, long after her own people and civilization have disappeared. They will encounter a planet dominated by a luminous and ethereal blue Sea, which like a fog will periodically blanket and recede from portions of the planet, based upon the twin cycles of a solar and lunar eclipse. This phenomenon is a mystery...

The Sirens of Titan The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
reviewed by Neil Walsh
The novel is centrally concerned with the meaning of life. Or rather, the meaninglessness of life. Winston Niles Rumfoord is a wealthy playboy who takes his privately funded spaceship and drives it straight into a chrono-synclastic infundibulum, just to see what will happen. He is smeared from here to the far end of the galaxy.

Meet Me in the Moon Room Meet Me in the Moon Room by Ray Vukcevich
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
There are some writers who consistently surprise their audience -- M. Night Shyamalan, Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock, spring to mind -- but these are "kid stuff" compared to this author. Anyone who can read the opening lines of one of his stories and predict the outcome has either cheated and read the ending first or actually has ESP, because there is no other way they could figure it out. Quite simply, no one else's mind works like his and we are helpless to resist his allure (so, apparently, were the Philip K. Dick award committee).

Meet Me in the Moon Room Meet Me in the Moon Room by Ray Vukcevich
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
For all their strangeness, the 33 stoires of this collection are witty, funny, and ultimately about ordinary people, their relationships, their idiosyncrasies (and there are some pretty weird ones of those) -- basically they are explorations of the human condition in a place that just happens to not be the real world. Any story synopsis would hardly capture what makes them tick like Salvador Dali's watch.

The Man of Maybe Half-A-Dozen Faces The Man of Maybe Half-A-Dozen Faces by Ray Vukcevich
reviewed by Neil Walsh
Is there a sub-genre for off-the-wall, funny, SF detective mystery stories? This novel definitely fits that mould. It's very off-the-wall and very funny (although not even nearly as surreal as those of Steve Aylett). Neil's first impression of this novel was kind of Jonathan Lethem meets Robert Anton Wilson in a parody of a film noir that Philip K. Dick in one of his lighter moments tossed into the near future, only his aim was off and it didn't end up precisely where he thought it would.

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