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The Other Wind The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
This novel takes Earthsea's story forward. As it begins, Alder, a sorcerer of modest ability, comes seeking Ged, who is living with Tenar in contented retirement on the island of Gont. Alder has been sent by the Masters of Roke, because he has been dreaming strangely of the land of the dead (known as the dry land). Though Ged no longer has any power, he knows more about the dry land than any man living, for he entered it long ago to defeat the wizard Cob, who breached the barrier between death and life in his search for immortality.

PS Publishing PS Publishing
compiled by Rodger Turner
In 1998, Peter Crowther and Simon Conway formed PS Publishing. They began commissioning and then publishing novellas by UK authors in both hard cover and trade paper format, releasing a few titles each year. Authours published under their imprint include Graham Joyce, James Lovegrove, Kim Newman, Michael Marshall Smith, Stephen Baxter, Peter F. Hamilton, Paul J. McAuley and Ian McDonald.

The Fire Dragon The Fire Dragon by Katharine Kerr
reviewed by William Thompson
This is, without doubt, one of the better, more intelligently written high fantasy series currently in progress, and also one of the most ignored and undervalued.  This volume is but the 11th book in the sequence. It seems a shame that fantasy audiences, at least in America, have chosen to overlook this more original and inventive work.  Here you'll find no characters with over-blown powers, or beauty so overwrought as to make grown men weep.  No femme fatales in red leather body suits or warriors capering about as half-disguised samurai.  Cultural borrowings are not baldly daubed onto a medieval architecture, mercenaries aren't mimicking G.I. Joe, and the story is not simply a quest by any other name set within a new (or already well familiar) landscape.

Threshold Threshold by Caitlín R. Kiernan
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Looking over the last 100 years the number of authors who write literary horror can be counted on one hand. At the top of that shortlist is this writer, the most singular voice to enter the genre since Neil Gaiman popped up in graphic novels and Stephen King made movies live inside books. In the long run, her stunning fiction may have a more lasting effect than either of these publishing giants.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on the musical episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer written by Joss Whedon and The X-Files episode, "Nothing Important Happened Today" written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz.

Gregory Benford
The Martian Race The Martian Race by Gregory Benford
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Julia grew up dreaming of being an astronaut. She made the Space Program but NASA funding was cut, so she signed on for a risky new mission financed out of the private pockets of John Axelrod, an eccentric billionaire who thinks he can send a mission to Mars and make it pay. The novel opens on Mars, near the end of the astronauts' one year stay on the planet. So far the mission has been a success. But due to damage from a rough landing, it looks like they may not be able to lift off again.

Mars in Our Time
an article by Gregory Benford
Back to Mars—again. This season's two Mars missions have already seen the embarrassing smashup of an orbiter, sent off course by an error mistaking yards for meters. That blunder will ring in our memories, cited endlessly as classic hubris from all-powerful NASA...
    But the landing on December 3 will be the right stuff indeed — the most difficult ever attempted on the Red Planet. The Martian south pole is deadly cold and rugged.
    If it survives, we will hear the winds of another world for the first time. Our robot lander will dig for water. Then another two years will pass before another team of two craft probes our Earthlike neighbor.

The Martian Race by Gregory Benford
a novel excerpt
For American John Axelrod, it's not about nationalism or personal fame. It's about the money: the Mars Prize, a $30 billion purse offered for the first successful manned mission to the Red Planet. When NASA becomes bogged down in politics and bureaucracy, businessman Axelrod and a conglomerate of backers seize their chance.
    But for astronauts Julia; her husband, Viktor; Marc; and Raoul -- Axelrod's team of ex-NASAnauts -- it's not about wealth or media attention. It's about courage, discovery, and facing the unknown. It's about Mars... and staying alive.

Lightpaths Lightpaths by Howard V. Hendrix
reviewed by Donna McMahon
You could drive nails with this hard SF novel crammed tight with information on space habitats, artificial intelligence, molecular biology, Utopian fiction, mycology and a dozen other topics. An artificial intelligence is taking over the habitat's computer network in the pursuit of mysterious goals of its own. And Roger Cortland is trying to bioengineer a pheremone to suppress human reproduction, and release it secretly on Earth.

a movie review by Rick Norwood
The first third of the film is the story of an alien who comes to earth and, for reasons never explained, chooses to spend much of his stay hanging around a mental hospital. The alien really is an alien. There is ample evidence. To mention just a few pieces of evidence, any one of which would be conclusive: he can see ultraviolet, he knew many years ago about an extra-solar planet only recently discovered, he can enter and leave the hospital undetected...

The Last Hero The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Cohen the Barbarian, with the help of the Silver Horde, set out to return fire to the gods on Cori Celeste. At the same time, Lord Vetinari pulls together his own band of heroes to try to stop the Silver Horde. He is concerned that Cohen's actions will result in the destruction of the Discworld and he links up with the wizards of Unseen University to send Rincewind, Captain Carrot and Leonardo of Quirm to Cori Celeste.

Justina Robson
Justina Robson A Conversation With Justina Robson
An interview with Lisa DuMond
On human intelligence and machine duplication:
"Since school I was fascinated by philosophical questions about the who, what and why of human existence. The further I followed those questions the more I got drawn into the various attempts we've made so far to create models of consciousness, natural language processing and other brain-specific phenomena. Also I got sucked backwards in historical time through the theories of our evolution and then, in general, to concepts of how all complex systems arise, function and fail. Computer science is trying very hard in various ways to attempt a kind of evolution of complex, life-mimicking systems at the moment, whereas the rest of the enterprise has to be satisfied with thought experiments and theoretical analysis."

Mappa Mundi Mappa Mundi by Justina Robson
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Dr. Natalie Armstrong's dream is to break through the code of the mind. Someday, her work may enable doctors to repair damaged brains and cure the mentally ill. She sees nothing but positive results coming from her discoveries, but she hasn't reckoned with powers that have been keeping a close eye on her progress. The time is coming when the benefits of her research will be snatched away from her and used in a way she will violently oppose. And she never saw it coming.

The Leaky Establishment The Leaky Establishment by David Langford
reviewed by Rich Horton
This novel, it should be mentioned, is not strictly speaking SF, though it is fiction about science. It is more generally in the comic tradition of such writers as Kingsley Amis. The story features Roy Tappen, a cynical scientist at NUTC, a fictional British nuclear center. By mistake, he manages to smuggle a warhead out of the place, and takes it home. When he finds it he realizes he needs to take it back, but security has been tightened, and he can't just waltz back in with it.

Short Fiction Focus Short Fiction Focus
a column by Nick Gevers
Nick Gevers' monthly column is a survey of recent short fiction. In this final installment of the column, this month's picks are Michael Swanwick's "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" in Asimov's, Gene Wolfe's "In Glory Like Their Star" from Fantasy & Science Fiction and "Small Houses" by James P. Blaylock posted at Sci Fiction.

City of Saints and Madmen City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer
reviewed by William Thompson
Straddling the ill-defined line between literature and genre, while the setting of the author's narratives draws heavily from the fantastic, employing generous use of the strange or curious incident, the style of writing and elusive narrative themes found in this book are far more frequent to literature.  He has created some of the most imaginative and truly unique landscapes and cast of characters to ever denizen either the realms of literature or fantasy.  If there was ever a true literary descendent to Jonathan Swift, this writer has every right to claim the inheritance.

Black House Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub
an offer from audible.com
Audible lets you download and listen to a great book at a great price. Listen to a free sample now.

Dr Who: Spearhead from Space Dr Who: Spearhead from Space
a DVD review by Rick Norwood
The pleasures of Dr. Who are real but elusive. A lot depends on how you watch. For example, it would be a mistake to try to watch a complete story all the way through. The silly story and laughable special effects would overwhelm any appreciation of the clever bits. But if you watch, say, one episode a day, that's about right, and you are always glad when the end-title theme music comes on. In fact, the great Dr. Who theme music is one of the show's chief pleasures.

Talebones, Fall 2001 Talebones, Fall 2001
reviewed by Rich Horton
It is one of the more respected small press magazines in the field, with good reason. It's been published regularly for 22 issues now, it's a very attractive package, with nice covers, nice interior illustrations, nice paper -- a solidly professional look all around. And the stories tend to be sound efforts...

Adventures In Time And Space With Max Merriwell Adventures In Time And Space With Max Merriwell by Pat Murphy
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Our heroine Susan Galina and her best friend Pat -- Pat Murphy, that is -- are off on a Caribbean cruise to take a break from the stress of their daily lives. Susan is out of work and just out of a marriage, so she's more than ready for a self-indulgent experience. Her friend Pat, on the other hand, is always up for any kind of experience. Susan's favourite author, Max Merriwell, and his writing workshops are the highlight of this cruise. Max's wild imagination should be a guarantee of a lively time, no matter what the circumstances.

Second Looks

Halfway Human Halfway Human by Carolyn Ives Gilman
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Val Endrada is a xenologist living on the advanced planet Capella. She is barely eking out a living in its information-based economy, so when she stumbles across an asexual human from the closed planet of Gammadis, she realizes she's struck a bonanza. No one has ever seen a Gammadian before. All the big corporations will want access to Tedla, to get data about its peculiar world where there are three sexes -- males, females and neuters (called "blands").

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