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The Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction Series: Four Titles The Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction Series: Four Titles
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
Looking back on futures past is one of the pleasures of reading classic science fiction -- our own lives may seem mundane compared to what old-time futurists thought they would be, but the overlay of yesterday's tomorrows onto awareness of today's now illuminates both the past and the present, and even restores a certain wonder in the everyday moments we take for granted.

Speaking With Angels Speaking With Angels by Michelle West
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
This collection contains thirteen stories, all reprints from various anthologies. In her introduction, author Tanya Huff likens the stories to dark chocolate. This may be apt in that the stories all have a similar tone. New readers might wish for a few crunchy bits, a few peppermints amidst all that chocolate, but it may be that her readers are going to know just what to expect and will be pleased; her long, very complex fantasies tend to sustain a similar tone throughout.

The Uncrowned King The Uncrowned King by Michelle West
reviewed by Alexander von Thorn
The author is a master of character and setting. The city of Averlaan is no sketch or generic medieval background; it's described with vivid color and with economy of language. The characters leap to life quickly, in only a few lines of dialogue.

Broken Crown The Broken Crown by Michelle West
reviewed by Wayne MacLaurin
Michelle West's previous fantasy set, Hunter's Oath and Hunter's Death, was a favorite here at the SF Site. Wayne finds out if her newest effort measures up.

The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral by Robert Westall
reviewed by Margo MacDonald
This is a chilling tale spun by a master storyteller. The style of the narrator is so genuine you feel like he is right there speaking to you.

The Science of Fiction and the Fiction of Science The Science of Fiction and the Fiction of Science by Frank McConnell, edited by Gary Westfahl
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
There are very few academic critics of science fiction whose style is immediately identifiable. There's a critical language to be used that mitigates against an individual style. But you could probably give Paul, sight unseen, a page from one of Frank McConnell's papers and he would know instantly from whom it came. No-one else, Paul thinks, in the world of sf academe threw off papers with such bravura flair, such a cavalier disregard for the minutiae of critical disputes, such a range of references, such a love of good puns and bad jokes.

Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction by Gary Westfahl
reviewed by Steven H Silver
In Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction, Gary Westfahl presents the thesis that Hugo Gernsback, the founder of Amazing Stories, is a seminal figure in the genesis of science fiction. While, to many, this may seem like a declaration that the sky is blue or the grass is green, Westfahl points out that Gernsback's role in the formation of the genre has come under attack relatively recently.

Science Fiction Quotations Science Fiction Quotations edited by Gary Westfahl
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This is the kind of book that is both easy and hard to review. Easy in that its virtues are obvious; it's a comprehensive, far-ranging collection of quotes from writers both famous and obscure, compiled from source material ranging from short stories to novels, movies, and plays. The difficult part is what to say next.

Uglies Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
reviewed by Dan Shade
Tally is in school. Learning seems to be the primary task for Uglies whereas having fun and partying is for Pretties. Tally is a pro at sneaking out at night to cross the river and spy on the Pretty life style. She travels via her hoverboard upon which she is fairly skilled. Tally has some pretty (no pun intended) exciting adventures among the Pretties before she meets Shay.

Fine Prey Fine Prey by Scott Westerfeld
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Since the age of five, Spider has lived at immersion school, learning the immensely complex alien language of the Aya, an interstellar race which has colonized Earth. Only the very best students are enrolled, and those who excel (and whose parents can pay their enormous tuition fees) are guaranteed a secure, prosperous future in the colonial bureaucracy.

Fine Prey Fine Prey by Scott Westerfeld
reviewed by Thomas Myer
This novel whips together the fields of equestrianism, genetic engineering, and linguistics; slathers on the base emotions of bloodsport; carefully adds layers of alien philosophy, human alienation, and class consciousness. The result is amazing.

Polymorph Polymorph by Scott Westerfeld
reviewed by Thomas Myer
For a polymorph like Lee, gender and ethnicity, bone structures and muscles mix and meld and dance, obeying her will. One day she can be a lovely Asian female, and at the moment of danger, a fanged avenger with a taste for blood. Scott Westerfeld is a shining new star ripping across the horizon, ascending to the zodiac of contemporary SF.

Dust City Dust City by Robert Paul Weston
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is a curious mixture; a cross-genre novel aimed at young adults, yet based on characters from classic fairy tales. The lead character is Henry Whelp, the juvenile son of the Big Bad Wolf who killed Little Red Riding Hood and her granny. A crime for which Whelp senior is now imprisoned at a maximum security facility. Henry, also begins the story incarcerated, in the St. Remus home for Wayward Wolves, for the crime of breaking a window.

In Springdale Town In Springdale Town by Robert Freeman Wexler
reviewed by Trent Walters
Some SF readers lust for estranging strangeness, others for a strange familiarity, bordering on wish fulfillment, i.e.: "I am a hulking barbarian and/or space cowboy with babes and/or hunks falling at my feet." Robert Freeman Wexler manages a fetching if quirky combination of the two modes in In Springdale Town.

Psychological Methods to Sell Should Be Destroyed: Stories Psychological Methods to Sell Should Be Destroyed: Stories by Robert Freeman Wexler
reviewed by John Enzinas
John should have known what to expect once he read Zoran Zivkovic's introduction in which he praises the small press for protecting the fundamental artistic nature of literature by publishing authors such as Robert Freeman Wexler instead of the large publishing houses that dominate the industry and are not willing to take risks for fear of lost profits from not catering to the masses. However, he failed to pay heed to this, not pausing to wonder why Wexler might not be of interest to one of the big publishers.

Divine Intervention Divine Intervention by Ken Wharton
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
The inhabitants of the planet Mandala have spent more than a century cut off from Earth, and in that time they have acquired a society of their own and a religion entirely their own. Or, rather, they have adopted a religion wholly the Captain's (the man who led their scouting mission); a religion that sprung newborn from the man's over-weaning ego, took over a planet, and made him that planet's Prophet. Excerpts from the Captain's log alternate between harmless musing and near-psychotic breaks.

eWhat: The Electronic Leslie What eWhat: The Electronic Leslie What by Leslie What
reviewed by Trent Walters
You want to investigate this "new" writer and Nebula-winner that Gardner Dozois calls "the Queen of Gonzo," but your buttocks are permanently glued to the seat in front of your computer. Or maybe you're a completist, a collector of What-nots, assembling all those hard-to-find fictions not collected in The Sweet and Sour Tongue, so you can own a majority share of her fiction oeuvre. What can you do? You rub the Leslie What compu-genie lamp and she kindly grants you eleven wishes.

Conflicts Conflicts edited by Ian Whates
reviewed by Rich Horton
Military SF is a standard subgenre. It's quite a broad subject that has interested a lot of writers for a long time, and one that continues to have resonance for writers and readers. This book includes a pretty good quantity of less familiar names (particularly to American readers) and as such we might hope for some surprises.

Anniversaries: The Write Fantastic Anniversaries: The Write Fantastic edited by Ian Whates
reviewed by Rich Horton
This is a selection of stories from a writers' organization, The Write Fantastic, and as such the concern that the writers, already essentially granted a slot, might fob off trunk stories or fragments or failed experiments on us. Not to worry: these are all seasoned professionals, and moreover the objective of the group, in essence to promote Fantasy as its own subgenre, separate from SF, argues in favor of its members putting their best feet forward.

The Happiest Days of Our Lives The Happiest Days of Our Lives by Wil Wheaton
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Actor turned writer Wil Wheaton has carved a niche for himself with his latest book which contains a series of short stories concerning his life growing up through the eighties and beyond. This is his third book, following Dancing Barefoot and Just a Geek. The pieces tell of various parts of his life, his unusual hobbies that he labels as geeky, allowing the reader to take a peek at parts of his past as well as the present day.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight: #1-4 Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight: #1-4 by Joss Whedon and George Jeanty
reviewed by David Newbert
Dark Horse published several dozen Buffy comics beginning in 1998, not too many of them very good. The quality of the art varied wildly, and the writing was often flat and uninspired. Though it had enthusiasm to spare, it was missing the guiding hands of Whedon and the talented men and women who wrote and produced the television show through seven mostly excellent seasons on two different networks. No such problem exists for this new series.

The Complete Binscombe Tales The Complete Binscombe Tales by John Whitbourn
reviewed by David Maddox
The reader sees the oddities in Binscombe through the eyes of Mr. Oakley, a new resident of the village who is begrudgingly accepted into the strangeness of the town only because his family lived there in generations past. He seems to have taken the interest of Mr. Disvan, a mysterious old man who knows more of the history of the town than anyone alive probably should know.

The Complete Binscombe Tales The Complete Binscombe Tales by John Whitbourn
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Apparently a village located in the south-east of England, Binscombe, is a place where odd things happen all the time, reality is not only what meets the eye and the supernatural and the paranormal are the bread and butter of everyday life. The living center of the village is the Duke of Argyll, the local pub, where, in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke's White Hart and Pratt and de Camp's Gavagan Bar, things are discussed and revealed, old traditions are kept alive and odd events take place.

Mind Changer Mind Changer by James White
reviewed by Todd Richmond
This is the 11th book in the Sector General series and its focus is Dr. O'Mara, Sector General's chief psychologist. Unfortunately for O'Mara's fans, the powers-that-be think that it's time for some changes at Sector General.

Isaac Asimov: A Life of the Grand Master of Science Fiction Isaac Asimov: A Life of the Grand Master of Science Fiction by Michael White
reviewed by Steven H Silver
During his lifetime, Isaac Asimov wrote three autobiographical volumes in addition to making autobiographical statements in various of his introductions and columns. A person might, therefore, be forgiven for thinking that there is no more to be said about Asimov's life (1920-1992). In fact, in 1994, this biography of Asimov proved that there was more to be said, and even that wasn't the final word. The writer has written an afterword which appears in the currently reprinted edition.

A Magic Dwells A Magic Dwells by Patricia White
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
These two novellas, combining to make a single novel, are not serious, adult literature. For the young adult audience, though, this should be an amusing pair. 1) The kingdom of Dur has fallen on hard times. Princes are now selected by lottery, their goddess' daughter has been kidnapped, and their doom is only days away. What a time to be scraping the bottom of the prince barrel. 2) Tessa, the Princess of the Outer Isles, is about to be given in sacrifice to a dragon. And it's her brother's fault, seeing as he gambled away his kingdom. Not a good time to be royalty...

A Wizard Scorned A Wizard Scorned by Patricia Lucas White
reviewed by Thomas Myer
In this vigorous tale, the mundane characters are poignant in their need for a quest, a structure for their lives in the midst of a harsh frontier where magic and nature collide. The wizards are full of frailties and pettiness, and they set into motion great big wheels of causation, wheels that crush and maim...

In Great Waters In Great Waters by Kit Whitfield
reviewed by Martin Lewis
The novel opens with its protagonist, Whistle, coming to realise his runtish position in his underwater tribe. He is small and weak and his tail is curiously bifurcated. Before long he is abandoned by his mother and forced up, out of the sea and into a new, terrifying world. It is an alien place; saltless and baffling, characterised by blinding colours, meat stink and impossibly thin air.

Kingdom Come Kingdom Come audio version by John Whitman
reviewed by Mark Shainblum
Mark's become a huge fan of radio drama. It's wonderfully expressive, and it's the only electronic medium which allows SF script writers the full range of their imagination. After all, the sound of Superman flying or a hyperdrive starship jump isn't a much more expensive effect than a gunshot or a kettle boiling.

Quin's Shanghai Circus Quin's Shanghai Circus by Edward Whittemore
reviewed by Jeff VanderMeer
In 1974, Henry Holt published an ex-CIA operative's first novel. It was one of the most astonishingly original and assured debuts by any 20th century fiction writer. It received great praise in such venues as The New York Times Book Review and Harper's. Upon rereading it in this new edition, Jeff found it to be still audacious, unflinching, uncompromising. Ethereal yet savage. Tender yet coarse. An absurdist fantasy. A poignant snapshot of characters caught in the throes of history and in the throes of sin and redemption.

Richard Matheson's The Twilight Zone Scripts, Volume Two Richard Matheson's The Twilight Zone Scripts, Volume Two edited by Stanley Wiater
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
Scriptwriter, short story writer and novelist. He produced such cracking good tales. Why? He understands people, and he deeply believes in what Ray Russell, in the preface calls "... everything super-, para-, preter-, extra- or un-natural." There can be no greater credentials for writing stories of enduring value for a show of enduring value: a TV show that has transmuted its very name into an English language concept. How can you do better than that?

Richard Matheson's The Twilight Zone Scripts: Volume One Richard Matheson's The Twilight Zone Scripts: Volume One edited by Stanley Wiater
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Many of the best episodes to come out of this landmark series were written by this master of dark fantasy. The 8 scripts in this 1st volume are culled from the first four seasons: 1959-1963. These are some of the most famous and memorable episodes ever produced. A chance to see the original scripts is a gift no fan or writer of the genre should let pass.

7th Sea 7th Sea by Jennifer Wick et al.
a gaming module review by Don Bassingthwaite
It's a game about pirates -- or to give its more accurate description, a game about "swashbuckling and sorcery, piracy and adventure, diplomacy and intrigue, archaeology and exploration" (because saying 7th Sea is about pirates is like calling a 7-course dinner "a little something to tide you over from lunch to breakfast"). Yahoo...

Goblin Fruit #1 Goblin Fruit #1 edited by Jessica Wick & Amal El-Mohtar
reviewed by Neil Walsh
The stated intent is to publish quarterly, with each issue offering at least one of the poems in both text and downloadable sound file of the author's reading of the poem -- a laudable idea, to be sure. The first issue has only ten original short poems, of which you may hear four being read by their respective authors. Regrettably, Neil only found one of those readings added to his enjoyment of the poetry, and that was Mike Allen's reading of his excellent poem "Sisyphus Walks."

Inherit The Earth Inherit The Earth edited by Stewart Wieck
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Through this book, you will learn that there is so much more than the commonly held views of RPGs. The entries in this Hunter: The Reckoning anthology stand up to some of the best fiction being produced today. Remember, it all springs from a strong, solid story with endless possibilities.

Clan Novel: Toreador Clan Novel: Toreador by Stewart Wieck
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
World of Darkness fans, get ready for a treat. Clan Novel: Toreador starts a 13-novel vampire epic.  If this book is typical of the series, you can expect vivid writing and a gripping plot throughout.

To Leuchars To Leuchars by Rick Wilber
reviewed by Trent Walters
This collection is an odd bird in that a novel reader could accept it as a novel or a short story enthusiast can enjoy it as interrelated tales: 3 short stories, a novelette, and a novella that follow a journalist who got to cover the biggest scoop of the new millennium: who are these aliens whose ships continue to hover above the Earth and what do they want from us?

Future Media Future Media edited by Rick Wilber
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
In the influential 2010 essay "Reality Hunger: A Manifesto," David Shields argued that the age of fiction is past; non-fiction in its many variants (some of which borrow the conventions and practices of fiction) is the key literature of our time. This anthology could almost be Exhibit A in the case against Shields' thesis. The fiction is almost always not only more entertaining, but conceptually richer.

Flora Segunda Flora's Dare Flora Segunda and Flora's Dare by Ysabeau S. Wilce
reviewed by Rich Horton
These short stories, set in Califa, have been among the most delightful and original fantasies of the past few years. Flora, called Segunda because her now deceased older sister was also named Flora, is within days of turning 14. She is a member of one of the four great Houses of the city of Califa which seems roughly located where San Francisco is. But, in Flora's time, Califa is in decline, having been forced into a humiliating peace with the Axtec-like Huitzils.

Flora Segunda Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
Flora Segunda Fyrdraaca is neither a girly-girl, nor a nerd. She is not an heir-in-disguise, nor does she have some tremendous magical power hidden away inside her, just waiting to be discovered. This isn't that kind of YA fantasy novel. Instead, Flora is the decidedly un-illustrious youngest daughter of a very illustrious family fallen on hard times, just a bit like Califa, the country where they live.

Trucker Ghost Stories Trucker Ghost Stories edited by Annie Wilder
an audiobook review by Susan Dunman
It's easy to get in the mood for Halloween with so many great horror stories available to listen to this year. It's always a more frightening experience to hear a good scary story rather than reading it in print. While it can be a challenge to find the best unnerving tales, this audiobook stands out because it claims to be a collection of true ghost stories.

Giants of the Frost Giants of the Frost by Kim Wilkins
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Victoria is a well-grounded atheistic meteorologist, who after a messy breakup lands a job on a remote wind-blown Norwegian Island, which just happens to be the Earth side of Bifrost, the mythical bridge between the 'real world' and Asgard, the home of Odin, Freja, Loki, Thor and the rest of the Norse pantheon, including Odin's son Vidar. Victoria and Vidar meet, sparks fly, but between Victoria's entanglements with coworkers, Vidar's jealous bond-maiden, and Loki the trickster, things aren't going to go smoothly, especially when Odin hears of things.

The Autumn Castle The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins
reviewed by Alisa McCune
One fateful day, Christine injures herself and is transported to Ewigkreis. In this strange land, Christine encounters a talking fox named Eisengrimm and the Fairy Queen. Queen Mayfridh is Christine's childhood friend, May. As children, they performed a 'blood bond' that allowed Christine to enter Ewigkreis. Queen Mayfridh is amazed and intrigued to be reunited with her friend Christine. After Christine returns to the real world, Mayfridh longs for all she lost.

The Autumn Castle The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins
reviewed by Susan Dunman
Christine Starlight doesn't believe in faeries but she's more than willing to believe in miracles. How else can she explain the untiring devotion of Jude, her strikingly handsome lover, during the past four years? Currently working as an artist in Berlin, Jude's latest painting is a tribute to the first day of autumn. Drab shades of black, brown and grey perfectly match Christine's melancholy mood. Disturbing recollections of the abduction of a childhood friend years earlier mingle with vague images of a frightening black crow, haunting Christine's memories.

Lost In Translation Lost In Translation by Edward Willett
reviewed by Donna McMahon
As a child, Kathryn's life was devastated when her parents were killed in an unprovoked attack by the alien S'sinn on the human farming colony of Luckystrike. She might easily have grown up in an orphanage, if her rare empathic abilities hadn't been discovered by the interstellar Guild of Translators. Instead, she grew up with the Guild, being trained for the prestigious and critical job of translating between species.

Lost in Translation Lost in Translation by Edward Willett
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
The novel is a space opera where humans and a bat-like race, the S'sinn, are locked in a bitter interplanetary feud which risks degenerating into an all out war. Jarrikk, a male S'sinn who has seen his friends slaughtered by human colonists, and Kathryn, a young woman whose entire family were slaughtered by the S'sinn have both become empathic Translators. They must work together to defuse the situation, but a power- and revenge-hungry S'sinn leader emerges, and the multi-racial Commonwealth is at risk.

Spirit Singer Spirit Singer by Edward Willett
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Besides being a fun novel with engaging characters and having all the basic elements of a good fantasy [a prophesied heroine, a quest, a feudal society, magic, an evil wizard-king, a character wavering between good and evil], this book manages to pack it all into 150 pages. Wait... it's not a 3,000 page, multi-volume series... not even a obvious tie-in for a sequel... could it be that fantasy can be brief and well written too? While I'm not suggesting that

Andy Nebula, Interstellar Rock Star Andy Nebula, Interstellar Rock Star by Edward Willett
reviewed by A.L. Sirois
This story is for younger readers, but it's sufficiently gritty and clever that an adult can get through it with little trouble. Kit is a street musician in a burg called Fistfight City on Murdoch IV, your basic "backwater" planet. One rainy night, Kit, who is being trailed by a mysterious man in black, opts to share a room in a flophouse with a spacer who is "between ships." The spacer turns out to be an alien.

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