Gradisil by Adam Roberts
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Manipulation of the Earth's magnetic field leads to the development of orbital flight without the need for
rockets. It may not be physically possible, but it does create the
impetus for an orbiting society composed mainly of independently wealthy mavericks determined to keep their wealth and status
free from earth's increasingly belligerent nations. When those countries start to extend their power into space, the
conditions for revolution are at hand. Klara Gyeroffy, one of the early inhabitants of the Uplands, has her life changed
by the murder of her father.
White Night by Jim Butcher
reviewed by Michael M Jones
As any Spider-Man fan can tell you, with great power comes great responsibility. As Harry Dresden, wizard, private investigator,
and Warden of the White Council, can tell you, with great responsibility comes even greater headaches. And in Harry's case, the
headaches tend to be magically explosive, often fatal, and always messy.
The Poisoned Crown by Amanda Hemingway
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Fifteen-year-old Nathan Ward, a human boy whose alien genetic heritage gives him the power to dream himself through the Gates
between worlds, has already visited many realities in his quest for three ancient relics, part of a Great Spell crafted thousands
of years ago to save a dying universe. The Cup and the Sword are safe in the keeping of Nathan's adopted uncle, the wizard
Bartlemy; it remains only to find the final relic, the Crown.
Ilario: the Lion's Eye by Mary Gentle
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
Although a stand-alone novel, this is billed as a prequel, a book
in the universe of Ash: The Secret History, set fifty years before. It's a stab at fleshing out and explaining
the weird universe that Ash and her cohorts live in. But that's just part of it. For it
takes a special character to be able to carry a storyline -- in first person -- for the duration of a novel this long
and complex, but that's exactly what Ilario does.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick speculates on which TV shows will be renewed for the 2007-2008 season, what is on TV in May,
what is coming in the months ahead and what titles we can expect as DVD original releases.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Next is one of those all too common films where craftsmanship on the part of the actors and technicians is rendered
pointless by a total lack of craftsmanship on the part of the writers. The gimmick is that Nic Cage can see two minutes
into the future. If there were such a person, Rick'll tell you later on what his life would really be like, but that doesn't
happen in the movie, because the writers never bother to think.
Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
In this episode, we reconnect with the centurion Lucius (or Latro, as he was known in the
first two books, Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete), some years after he made it home from Greece after
the Hellenes had fought off the last invasion by Persia. Lucius had served on the losing side, a mercenary in King Xerxes's
army that was slaughtered by Spartan and Athenian hoplites at the Battle of Plataea. There he suffered a catastrophic head
wound that left him with a great scar on his scalp and a brain that can only remember the last twelve hours.
Ink by Hal Duncan
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Vellum was a mess, a sprawling, swaggering, aggressive mess, but through the too-many stories there was still a
thin, frail thread of Story leading you through. And it was a big enough book that it deserves to be about something more
than the little metaphor of being a writer. Oh it has to be there -- Ink, Vellum, how could you hope to
escape the metaphor of writing? -- but please, as part of a bigger, grander mix, not as the guiding principle of the book.
Fortunately Hal Duncan is too brash and arrogant a writer to tie himself down so lightly.
Dispatches From Smaragdine: May 2007
The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin
a column by Jeff VanderMeer
In this month's column from Smaragdine, Jeff learns about how Elizabeth Hand's books
got published in translation and why she is so popular. He has read two of her new titles, Generation Loss
and Illyria and provides us with a brief excerpt from Generation Loss.
a movie review by Rick Klaw
Opening as the previous films with a sensational Kyle Cooper-designed kaleidoscope sequence interspersed with scenes from
the first two chapters, Spider-Man 3 picks up from the end of Spider-Man 2 with all the major players and
unresolved plot lines returning. Peter Parker and Mary Jane explore
the next level of their relationship. Harry Osborn seeks revenge for the death of his father, the Green
Goblin. Spider-Man enjoys unprecedented levels of popularity as media star. Chaos quickly ensues.
Electric Velocipede #11
reviewed by Jakob Schmidt
This issue offers 13 pieces of short (occasionally very short) fiction and four poems. The stories range from vaguely
weird realism (Marly Youmans's "The Geode") to straightforward science fiction ("The Duel" by Tobias Buckell). Most of the pieces
are short character studies, utilising whatever technological or magical element appropriate to make their point.
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Prince Martris Drayke, second son of the king of Margolan, has always had an affinity for magic. Among other skills, he's able
to see the ghosts of the dead. His talent has been cultivated by his grandmother, the famed sorceress and Summoner Bava K'aa;
but Bava K'aa is years dead, and since her passing there has been no one to teach him.
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.
Star Trek, The Animated Series: Logs Five and Six by Alan Dean Foster
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
A long time ago in a decade far, far away, Star Trek ruled the world of television science fiction. After three
seasons of superb television, the series was canceled
to the outrage of millions of fans. Then the wait began. Years later, when the animated series first aired and
suffering Star Trek withdrawal, we watched not because it was great television, but because we loved the
characters. When the logs came out, fans were treated to what amounted to a new Star Trek.