Poison Sleep by T.A. Pratt
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
There's a problem at the Blackwing Institute. This is a kind of Azkaban
for grown ups, where psychologically disturbed sorcerers -- some criminal some
just ill -- are kept away from society. One of the patients is a
woman called Genevieve, who has the ability to reweave reality according
to her whim. She is not a criminal, but rather a rape victim, whose
trauma has made her unstable, and therefore highly dangerous. Genevieve
has been mostly catatonic for 15 years, until a failed attempt to break
out one of the real criminals, accidentally caused her to wake.
The Queen's Bastard by C.E. Murphy
reviewed by Tammy Moore
From the moment of her birth, Belinda Primrose has been a dangerous secret. Born the bastard daughter of Lorraine Walter,
the Virgin Queen of Auron, her very existence was a threat to her mother's crown; a state secret known only to Lorraine
and to Robert Drake, Belinda's father. Twenty years later, she is the Queen's most loyal assassin, killing on her spy-master
father's word and in her mother's name.
Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy edited by William Schafer
reviewed by John Berlyne
This short but very tidy anthology initially seems something of a hodgepodge. Used as we are to themed
anthologies, the title here is loose and generic enough to capture virtually any kind of genre story that has something
strange in it. As such, it is indeed an eclectic mix of works, but it is the consistent
excellence of the material that gives this collection its cohesion as much as the fantasy content of the stories.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
An essential aspect of comics since almost the beginning of the medium, the first all horror
anthology, the one-shot Eerie Comics (Avon), appeared
in 1947 with six stories including early work from art pioneer Joe Kubert. The following year,
B&I Publishing (later known as American Comics Group) published Adventures into
The Unknown, the first ongoing horror title. Featuring primarily ghost stories,
the series ran for 174 issues for over twenty years. Rick Klaw says that both of these titles later seemed
tame in terms of violence, gore, and content when compared to the emerging the EC line
of terror tales, the first great horror comic books.
Dragon and Liberator by Timothy Zahn
reviewed by Rich Horton
This is the final book in the author's YA series of adventures about Jack Morgan and his alien
companion Draycos. Draycos and his people are refugees from another galaxy, with
the unusual ability to become two-dimensional and be sort of a tattoo on appropriate hosts -- which, fortunately,
humans are. Draycos' people, the K'Da, are fleeing maximally evil aliens, the Valahgua.
Love in the Time of Fridges by Tim Scott
reviewed by John Enzinas
Huckleberry Lindbergh is an ex-Cop who returns to New Seattle after an 8-year self-imposed exile following the death of his wife.
Thanks to a random police stop, Huck is pulled into a plot to liberate a group of fridges and take them to freedom in
Mexico. Soon he is on the run from the police, the Fridge Patrol and New Seattle Health and Safety.
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror
compiled by Rodger Turner
In 1988, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling collected together
what they thought was the best short fantasy and horror from the previous year.
They went through as many of the magazines, collections and anthologies published in 1987 that they could
find and chose those stories which they decided best represented the field. Originally
conceived by him, Jim Frenkel arranged for its publication by St. Martins's Press. In 2003, Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant took over from
Terri Windling as the fantasy editor.
Ubik: The Screenplay by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The late 60s was an interesting time for Philip K. Dick. He had begun to experience some of the mystic revelations that would
preoccupy his later years, but these were only obliquely feeding into his fiction.
It was perhaps most overtly recognised in Ubik, one of his best if most complex novels, in which reality is constantly
being undermined and questioned. In 1974, a French film producer approached Dick with the idea of
turning Ubik into a movie.
Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn
Dead To Me by Anton Strout
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
In Kitty Goes to Washington, Kitty, the host of a late night talk show about the supernatural, and a werewolf to
boot, underwent the transformation while on national television. This led her to become a spokesperson and advocate for
werewolves before a McCarthy-istic Senate Committee. So what is more natural, in Kitty Takes a Holiday,
the third title in the Kitty Norville series, than for
Kitty to take a break, put the talk show on hiatus, spend some time in a remote cabin and write her memoirs?
1984 by George Orwell
Performed by Simon Prebble
an audio review podcast by Brian Price for AudioFile Magazine
Doublethink, thought police, constant surveillance, never-ending war. Although this classic dystopian novel was written
in 1949, Orwell's lean prose, finely honed political discourse, and penetrating images seem as fresh, as menacing, and as
disturbingly prophetic as ever. With British equanimity, Simon Prebble accentuates every shade of gray in post-Blitzed-London.
Click on link to get the MP3 podcast file.
News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
This month: A Comic Book Retrospective for Vertigo with Alex Irvine; Stan Nicholls
warns that the Orcs are coming; Peter V Brett's new and original
fantasy The Painted Man; Nigel Suckling talks fangs with
The Book of the Vampire; and the Fall season line-up from Small Press
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
The new seasons of Smallville and Heroes have
premiered. Rick enjoyed parts of Smallville and he really liked Heroes.
He also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in October.
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Simon Canderous is a psychometrist, able to psychically read the histories of objects and people with which he interacts. In
its time, this power has been both blessing and curse, putting an end to more relationships than he can count, but letting
him enjoy a small sideline as a handler of antiques and secondhand goods. However, he's sworn to make something more of
himself. As a member of New York's Department of Extraordinary Affairs, Other Division, he works to keep the Weird Stuff
in the city from getting out of control.