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Strange But Not A Stranger Strange But Not A Stranger by James Patrick Kelly
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Looking for a good gift for the science fiction reader on your holiday shopping list? You could do much worse than this story collection. Adorned with a gorgeous cover painting by Bob Eggleton, the book is further proof that, outside the magazines, Golden Gryphon Press is the pre-eminent publisher of short stories in the science fiction field. There are even two Christmas stories included. The first, "Candy Art," is a fine example of the author's main strength as a writer, the revealing of human emotional responses underneath the surface gloss of a high-tech future. "Fruitcake Theory," besides celebrating the classic holiday confection, explores another common theme in the collection, an encounter with aliens whom the protagonist is never quite able to understand.

The Alchemist's Door The Alchemist's Door by Lisa Goldstein
reviewed by William Thompson
Using an imagined meeting between the famous English alchemist, John Dee, and his contemporary in the hermetic sciences, Rabbi Judah Loew as its basis, the author weaves a tale incorporating various historical incidents and recorded arcane investigations, as well as drawing from the culture and folklore of Eastern Europe and Jewish tradition. Dee, with the connivance of his assistant, the somewhat shadowy Edward Kelly, in an attempt to commune with angels, has instead accidentally raised a demon, whose threatening presence forces Dee to flee England along with his family in hope that the spirit will be unable to follow.

The Witch Queen The Witch Queen by Jan Siegel
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Morgus, the enemy who dragged Fernanda Capel outside of time and held her prisoner beneath the roots of the gruesome Eternal Tree, didn't die in their final confrontation, as Fern believed. Preserved through sorcery, she has slipped back into the stream of time, bearing a cutting of the Tree. In an ancient, ghost-haunted country manor, she nurtures the cutting, which soon shows signs that it will bear its terrible fruit of living heads. When it does, Morgus will know what she must do to conquer modern Britain.

SF Site News SF Site News
compiled by Steven H Silver
Every day, items of interest to you arrive in our email. Our bi-monthly format doesn't lend itself to daily updates. However, this is a small inconvenience to our Contributing Editor Steven H Silver. He's begun a new column which will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.

Knuckles And Tales Knuckles And Tales by Nancy A. Collins
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
With a slick, sexy creation like vampire hunter Sonja Blue it's easy to fixate on the character and overlook the writing. It's all too easy to forget just what a talented writer this author is. This collection will bring you back to that realisation in a heartbeat. No one outdoes her on Southern Gothic; she's practically made the sub-genre her very own.

The Wizard's Wife The Wizard's Wife by Becky Gauger
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Marela needs to make her way across the Scar; a place of deep woods and rough terrain. She thinks that she's lucky to fall in among a travel group lead by her adopted uncle Shap, until she wakes up one morning to find that all of her fellow travelers are gone. Completely, without so much as a footprint to prove that they ever where there. She makes her way out, but is much further from her destination than she expected. She finds herself at the keep of Grendelire, were the wizard AErin lives and conducts his work in solitude during the winter.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New books of the past few weeks include new novels from Alan Dean Foster, John Meaney, Elizabeth Haydon, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Terry Pratchett, and a new collection from Anne McCaffrey. Plus you'll see some sneak previews of some of the forthcoming books in the new year.

Spectrum 8 Spectrum 8
reviewed by David Soyka
Highlights of this issue include "Tall Tales on the Iron Horse" by Colin P. Davies. The narrator is attempting to save his girlfriend from the clutches of a religious cult, but the adventure entails some unexpected side trips. Equally weird, though in a different way that is perhaps more unsettling because it is not that far removed from current reality, is Josh Lacey's "A Night at the Movies," a meditation on human relationships taken in the context of the artificial environments we create for ourselves.

reviewed by Martin Lewis
This is a new UK magazine published by Ben Jeapes's Big Engine and edited by Liz Holliday. Aiming to publish six issues a year, it is very much a commercial enterprise. Taking its cue from Interzone in terms of format, the debut issue contains eight stories, split evenly between fantasy and science fiction.

Goliath Goliath by Steve Alten
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Sitting inside the combat information center on the Aircraft Carrier Ronald Reagan, Commander Rocky Jackson has been watching the sonar screen. She hears a sound that she thinks is innocent; an orca or similar creature. Her commander agrees with her, but something about the sound bothers her. Before she can figure it out, she hears an explosion and runs to find her husband, only to find he's been murdered. Working her way off the sinking carrier up to the surface, she discovers that she is one of only a handful of survivors; the twelve ship convoy sunk. She also sees Goliath, a huge sting ray-shaped submarine, one that she herself had a hand in engineering.

Stone Stone by Adam Roberts
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This book is a first-person narrative from the depths of human behavior, a memoir of madness in a seemingly perfect world. The citizens of t'T consider themselves the first truly utopian society in human history. The universal use of nanotechnology, referred to in the novel as dotTech, has eliminated hunger and want, and all the other inequities that plague human societies. Crime is almost unheard of, all have equal access to the pleasures and resources of t'T. But imprisoned in a cage built within the plasma of a star waits humanity's only known murderer.

Night Watch Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
reviewed by William Thompson
Life looks pretty rosy for Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the City Watch and His Grace the Duke of Ankh: his wife, Sybil, is expecting their first; the butler, Willikins, knows what should be worn when out in public; he's got a spiffy new wardrobe of duds that includes a gleaming breastplate replete with gold ornament ("gilt by association"); and, through his marriage to the Duchess, is now the richest man in Ankh-Morpork. And what is more, the Assassin's Guild has finally stuck his name from their registers...

Restless Spirit Restless Spirit by S.D. Tooley
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
For those unacquainted with Sam Casey, she's an insightful, headstrong detective with Chasen Height's finest. True, she's a cop on suspension for a questionable shooting, forbidden from pursuing cases. And her outspoken attitude has made her a political liability. And she's something of a pariah at the moment, but that isn't only because her position is so tenuous at the moment; her colleagues are more likely put off by her psychic ability to gain information from the dead.

Firefly Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick thinks it is time to watch Firefly, the best new SF show since Babylon 5. It is in grave danger of being cancelled. And he gives us his views of the spate of TV shows in boxed sets plus capsule reviews of recent TV episodes of Firefly and Enterprise.

Elfsorrow Elfsorrow by James Barclay
reviewed by William Thompson
This novel takes place 6 months after the events recounted in Nightchild. The Unknown Warrior has rescued his family from the privations and unrest in Balaia left in the wake of Lyanna's destruction, and returned to Herendeneth, unfortunately with uninvited Xeteskian mages and Protectors in tow. Erienne continues to grieve for the loss of her daughter, while refusing to accept the One Magic the Al-Drechar have tragically forced upon her. The exiled Kaan are slowly dying, awaiting rescue and return to their own dimensional space, and new members have been added to The Raven's roster.

Second Looks

Cloven Hooves Cloven Hooves by Megan Lindholm
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Read a hundred pages into this book and you'd be convinced you were reading a very conventional, if well-written, mainstream novel: an everyday story of a woman, Evelyn, and her odyssey from an unfettered and imaginative childhood in rural Alaska to a crumbling marriage among her husband's family in Washington State. The remainder of the book, however, chronicles her passionate relationship, mating, and bearing a child to a woodland satyr.

Luck of the Wheels Luck of the Wheels by Megan Lindholm
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In this fourth book of the Ki and Vandian Quartet, our heroes have worn out their welcome in the north, and so are trying to figure out a way to make a living in the south. Ki, a member of a race of gypsy-like people, has made her living from being a teamster all her life. Her old wagon gone, she needs to get used to the smaller, new wagon. She worries that she won't be able to find any cargo -- or anyone willing to pay her to haul it. Vandian is still trying to fit into the gypsy life. An ex-noble, all he has now is his honour, the names of his parents, his father's sword and his skill with it.

The Star Wars Trilogy The Star Wars Trilogy by George Lucas, Donald F. Glut and James Kahn
reviewed by David Maddox
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

These words have been immortalized in the minds of American pop culture for 25 years. One wonders if George Lucas knew exactly what he was giving birth to when he first penned the opening to one of the greatest and certainly most profitable science fiction trilogies of all time.

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