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1610: A Sundial in a Grave 1610: A Sundial in a Grave by Mary Gentle
reviewed by David Soyka
Valentin Raoul Rochefort is a French spymaster and assassin loyal to a fault to the Duc de Sully, the French prime minister for King Henri the Fourth. Henri's wife, Queen Marie de Medici, manipulates this loyalty to blackmail Rochefort to arrange the assassination of her husband and gain France's throne for herself. Rochefort's seemingly goes along with the Queen while planning to protect both his patron and his king, but good intentions backfire and regicide results nonetheless. Knowing his capture would implicate the Duc, Rochefort flees to England in search of both sanctuary and political connections to help reveal and revenge the Queen's treachery without imperiling the Duc. Instead, Rochefort is recruited in a plot to assassinate the British King James.

Survival Survival by Julie E. Czerneda
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Dr. Mackenzie Connor wants nothing more than to use her biology degree to study the salmon runs every year. Norcoast Salmon Research Facility sits at an ideal juncture of river and sea, and is host to a jumble scientists and graduate students. It seems like the last place on Earth for anything more exciting than whale pods to appear. All of that changes with the sudden arrival of the first Dhryn to visit the planet, with a mission: to meet the respected Dr. Mackenzie Connor to share the archaeological theories that are dangerous to spread on his home planet.

Lies, Inc. Lies, Inc. by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
Rachmael Ben Applebaum accidentally intercepts a data download about rats, in a dream. His life is in turmoil; the family business is on the skids. Rachmael's father had built a successful career as an operator of spaceship freighters. A remarkable teleportation device has left the family's technology obsolete. Teleportation provides the infrastructure for a remote colony, the only hope for a terribly overcrowded Earth. Teleportation only works in one direction, however, and Rachmael wants to take his remaining spaceship on an eighteen year trip, alone, to the colony on the off chance that someone might want to come back to Earth.

Jimmy the Hand Jimmy the Hand by Raymond E. Feist and Steve Stirling
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Jimmy the Hand, a young man whose facile fingers have picked many a pocket, thus earning him that name, has just helped Prince Arutha and Princess Anita in their flight to escape Krondor. That part of the story, how they got to that point, you might already know somewhat. You also might know about how, many years later, Jimmy saves Arutha's life again. But what you don't know yet is what happened to Jimmy in between these two adventures.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New arrivals for this month are quite varied, with everything from Manga to historical fiction, science fiction to high fantasy, new works to reprinted classics.

Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Matthew Peckham
Matthew Peckham reviews selected titles of one week's worth of comics. But don't look for frequent reviews of the more popular stuff here, e.g. Spider-Man or Batman, X-Men or JLA -- they get plenty of attention. Instead, he is dipping into a combination of the low print run mainstream and independent, alternative, web-based or small press stuff.

Geeks With Books Geeks With Books
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick Klaw usually gives us a look at how things work from behind the counter of a book store. But this time we're going to read some more about one of his grand passions: he's nutty for apes. His two nephews drop by for a screening of the original King Kong and we're swept up in a column about the new interest by Hollywood in redoing classic SF films.

Kelley Armstrong
Kelley Armstrong A Conversation With Kelley Armstrong
An interview with Alisa McCune
On sex and violence:
"When it comes to sex and violence, I write it as the story and the characters dictate.  With the werewolves, we have a very physical, instinct-driven race who, as Elena says, spend a large amount of their time engaged in the three Fs of survival: feeding, fighting and... reproduction.  This was how I saw them, so the sex and violence came naturally and sometimes melded together.  With the witches, it changes."

Dime Store Magic Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
reviewed by Alisa McCune
The third book in the Women of the Otherworld series, it begins a year after the second, Stolen. Paige, a coven witch, has custody of Savannah, a 13-year-old angry witch. Paige has her hands full trying to guide and protect Savannah, who is experiencing teen-angst with an unhealthy dose of rage.

Van Helsing Van Helsing
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The opening scenes are a black and white homage to the Universal Studios monster pictures. In fact, the whole movie is really just one homage after another, with visual quotes from everything from Stagecoach to Raiders of the Lost Ark. But it owes its greatest debt to Chuck Jones and the Roadrunner and the Coyote, cartoon horror, with cartoon physics (good cartoon physics, you understand) and always an unbelievable coincidence just around the corner.

Choice of the Cat Choice of the Cat by E.E. Knight
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Second book in the Vampire Earth series, it opens with Lt. David Valentine commanding a group of Wolves, a military designation for his unit, on a reconnaissance mission. With the help of Alessa Duvalier, a Cat or spy, Valentine embarks on the journey. From the Ozarks to Denver with a final showdown in Omaha, a city devastated by nuclear war, Valentine and Duvalier set out to find the Twisted Cross.

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
a give-away contest
Join Hercules as his adventures continue through the mythic world of Greek gods, goddesses and otherworldly beasts in the epic third season of The Legendary Journeys. Join in the adventures that takes Hercules on a wild ride that includes a romp into 18th century France, a deadly dual with an ancient Egyptian mummy, and even a nasty showdown with a very jealous Cupid.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Kalvan Kingmaker Kalvan Kingmaker by John F. Carr
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The novel is a continuation of the Lord Kalvan stories written by H. Beam Piper. These tales, which grew out of Piper's Paratime Police stories, follow a Pennsylvania state trooper into a world in which North America was colonized from west to east and only bears a geographical resemblance to the North America of our own world. The author does an excellent job of capturing Piper's style and stories in his world, but...

Prince of Dreams Prince of Dreams by Nancy McKenzie
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
High King Markion would not wear the crown that unites all of England if not for the bravery of his nephew, Tristan. In return he is given the crown of Lyoness, which he has been promised for years. Tristan admires King Mark and wants to support him to keep alive the work that Arthur accomplished before his death -- keeping all of England united. Soon he begins to suspect that his loyalty is not returned. King Mark is jealous of his power...

Alma Alexander
Alma Alexander A Conversation With Alma Alexander
An interview with Chris Przybyszewski
On language:
"Words have been the mainstay of my existence for as long as I can remember. I taught myself to read (a language not English) when I was barely four years old; I was five when my sonnet-writing poet grandfather read me a new poem and I informed him in my lisping five-year-old voice that it didn't scan [the sonnet carried too many syllables on one line]. It didn't [scan], when he checked, which made him feel both proud and supremely put out all at once."

The Secrets of Jin-Shei The Secrets of Jin-Shei by Alma Alexander
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Tai is just a child when she first accompanies her mother, a palace seamstress, to the Summer Palace, the luxurious mountain retreat where the ladies of the Imperial Court go to escape the summer heat of the capital city of Linh-an. A chance encounter in a courtyard brings Tai to the attention of Antian, the First Princess, heir to the throne of the Empire of Syai. Unexpected warmth blossoms between the two girls, so different in station and destiny, and Antian offers Tai the precious gift of jin-shei: a vow of friendship that can be made only between women, binding them to a lifelong sisterhood that commands more loyalty even than the blood ties of family.

Dr. Tim: Book One Dr. Tim: Book One by Christopher Varian
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
It starts with: "Dr. Tim is a brilliant Medical Doctor [sic] whose scientific breakthroughs will change the world -- if he can stay alive. With discoveries worth billions stored in his head, villains everywhere have one goal: Get Dr. Tim!" So the point of the book is to follow Dr. Tim through his journey (the first book of his adventures, at least), away from jealous colleagues, from those nefarious beings who would pilfer the good doctor's rich secrets, and even the occasional alien who would wish Timmy harm.

Dead Until Dark Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Sookie, a very blonde, buxom, barmaid is not your average girl in Bon Temps. She has the ability to read other's minds. This ability is not an asset when working in a bar. Imagine if you could 'hear' someone's thoughts, worries, dreams, their most intimate feelings. How is a girl supposed to find a boyfriend in the backwater of Louisiana when she is acutely aware of all his thoughts? Sookie has found a solution -- the Vampire Bill.

Two Trains Running Two Trains Running by Lucius Shepard
reviewed by David Soyka
The author literally "bums around" in this collection of his award winning work. This volume is a bit different in that it includes a non-fiction piece, "The FTRA Story," a shorter version of which was originally written for Spin magazine, that inspired the characters and settings of the two short stories, "Over Yonder" and "Jailbait."

Van Helsing Van Helsing
a movie review by David Newbert
This is the first example of Hollywood gigantism we'll be treated to this summer season, and the summer's first rotten candy apple. Similar big budget efforts, with their cross-pollinating media, are on the way, and if the movie were any better, it would have had a huge advantage in being so early out of the gate. It's signature set piece -- a fierce carriage chase through the evening woods -- is a lurching collection of moments cribbed from other adventure films, as poorly sewn together as Frankenstein's Creature himself, and stuffed with a numbing array of CGI images.

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. His column will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his views on the Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital episode, "Butterfingers," the Enterprise episode, "The Council" and the TV adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time based upon the novel by Madeleine L'Engle.

The X-Files The X-Files
a give-away contest
From the revelation about Scully and Mulder's baby in "Nothing Important Happened Today" and the mystery surrounding the murder of Agent Doggett's son in "Release" to Mulder's final confrontation with those who would deny "The Truth," these Season Nine episodes are a must for every X-Files fan!
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Second Looks

The Collected Jorkens, Vol. I The Collected Jorkens, Vol. I by Lord Dunsany
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Who is this Jorkens? A British clubman raconteur (when properly lubricated), who is a mix of Baron Munchausen, the 19th century British explorers, and a sort of British upper middle class retiree. His fanciful tales of his life, and those of some of his equally eccentric and colourful friends, combine Lord Dunsany's hands-on knowledge of many exotic locations throughout the world, and the irony and humour of his older purely fantasy tales.

The Safety of Unknown Cities The Safety of Unknown Cities by Lucy Taylor
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Our heroine, Val, is most definitely damaged, but we certainly can relate to her. Her mother, Lettie starts the novel off by gouging out her eyes with a spoon. This act sets the tone of the book and foreshadows what is to come. Val leads a very nomadic life. She travels from one city to another, from one bed to another, in search of a 'new' thrill -- something that will fill the void inside of herself. From whispers and gossip, Val learns of a place called the 'City,' a place that makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like Little House of the Prairie.

First Novels

Dead Witch Walking Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Rachel Morgan is a witch and runner working for Inderland Security, in an alternate world where forty years ago, a bioengineered disaster wiped out a great deal of the world's population. In the process, it exposed the existence of the supernatural communities that had long lived alongside humanity. Now, in modern-day Cincinnati, Rachel works to take down unlicensed and black-art witches, rogue Weres, criminal leprechauns, overzealous vampires, and all the other inhuman nasties that get out of line. Problem is, she's been having a run of bad luck with her cases.

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