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The Autumn Castle The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins
reviewed by Susan Dunman
Christine Starlight doesn't believe in faeries but she's more than willing to believe in miracles. How else can she explain the untiring devotion of Jude, her strikingly handsome lover, during the past four years? Currently working as an artist in Berlin, Jude's latest painting is a tribute to the first day of autumn. Drab shades of black, brown and grey perfectly match Christine's melancholy mood. Disturbing recollections of the abduction of a childhood friend years earlier mingle with vague images of a frightening black crow, haunting Christine's memories.

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.

NightScape NightScape by David Morrell
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In his introduction, the author reflects on his childhood and his realization of the pain his mother suffered throughout her life. The result is that all of these stories, unbeknownst to him, have a theme of obsession. Every person in this collection gets an idea in their head, and it haunts them. They all pay a price for it. Sometimes things end well despite this price, sometimes not, just as in life.

The Ragwitch The Ragwitch by Garth Nix
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Julia and Paul, two Australian children, discover an Aboriginal midden on a deserted beach. At its summit is an odd birds nest, containing a ball of feathers, inside of which is a rag doll. Julia chooses to take this home, and by the time darkness falls, she's been possessed by the Ragwitch; the spirit of a supernatural entity from another dimension. Julia is made to return to the world where the Ragwitch once ruled, when she was called the North-Queen.

Winter On the Plain of Ghosts Winter On the Plain of Ghosts by Eileen Kernaghan
reviewed by Donna McMahon
This may be the only historical fantasy novel that's ever been written about the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro (in what is now Pakistan).  This strange, atmospheric setting with its unfamiliar culture makes an entirely fascinating backdrop to a strong narrative.

Compositions for the Young and Old Compositions for the Young and Old by Paul G. Tremblay
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This is a wide-ranging collection of weird to noir tales, told through the voices of the young and the old, to the old and the young, and sometimes those somewhere nebulously in between. Many of the tales, in particularly "The Jar," and "The Laughing Man Meets Little Cat" have a somewhat Bradburyesque feel, others, like "Annabel Lee" are much more in the tradition of Gothic ghost stories, and yet others like "City Pier" and "Dole as Ribbit" partake of noir and cyber-punk.

Exile Exile by R.A. Salvatore
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Drizzt has found his way into the labyrinths of the Underdark, where he has made a life for himself near a grove of half men, half mushroom myconid. He raises rothé to eat and hunts the caverns with his truest friend Guenhwyvar at his side, when needed. He slowly understands that he is losing himself, that he is becoming the Hunter alone, and that all the ideas he held dear is being lost. After a less than pleasant reunion with his family, who want him dead in order to appease their cruel goddess, he decides to venture into the realm of the svirfnebli.

Lord of Lies Lord of Lies by David Zindell
reviewed by Adam Volk
This sequel to The Lightstone continues with Val struggling to unlock the secrets of the Lightstone only to discover that its full power can only be released by the Maitreya, an enlightened figure long foretold in legend. Who or what the Maitreya may be however, remains a mystery and Val and his companions set out once more, this time to discover the identity of the strange prophet.

Stargate SG-1 Stargate SG-1
a promotion
The Stargate is a round portal that can instantaneously transport an object from one point in space to another by generating an artificial wormhole. A wormhole is created between any two Stargates when one Stargate dials the address of another Stargate. A Stargate uses 6 of 38 symbols, representing star constellations, to locate another Stargate and then uses a final 7th symbol, unique to each Stargate, as its point of origin.

Horror Flicks Horror Flicks
DVD reviews by Trent Walters
Interested in some amusement for Halloween? Why not read what Trent has to say about Bubba Ho-Tep, Dreamcatcher and The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra? Then drop by your local video store for a treat after the ghosts and goblins have been to your door.

Absolutely Brilliant In Chrome Absolutely Brilliant In Chrome edited by Keith Olexa
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This anthology of short stories, gets off to a maudlin start, with "Letters To A Sister," the saga of a woman writing to her astronaut sister, who is in suspended animation. Author Rebecca Carmi veers between personal comment and events happening in the wider world over several decades. The next story is "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" from Daniel Conover, a delightful comedy piece.

No Phule Like An Old Phule No Phule Like An Old Phule by Robert Aspirin and Peter J. Heck
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Captain Willard "Jester" Phule of the Space Legion, and his irrepressible team of misfits, Omega Company are back for their fifth action-packed outing. Ever since Phule took over the leadership of Omega Company, generally regarded as the dumping grounds for the Space Legion's worst and most incorrigible soldiers, he has turned it into an elite unit through an infusion of money and business sense, and good old-fashioned dumb luck. But there's always someone willing to rain on the parade.

Choice of the Cat Choice of the Cat by E.E. Knight
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Lt. David Valentine is a proud member of the Wolves, an elite squad dedicated to eradicating the Kurian Order from earth. Kurians are vile. The Masters need Aura energy to live, energy they get from their Reapers when they kill humans. The Reapers are vampire-like creatures, puppets controlled by the Masters, who in turn command the ape-like grogs. These creatures have formed a team that is near impossible to beat as the wars that decimated the world have proven.

Songs of Leaving Songs of Leaving by Peter Crowther
reviewed by John Berlyne
This new collection of stories offers real nourishment for all connoisseurs of short fiction, for the author is a master of the form. Though prominent and highly respected in the fields of dark fantasy and crime fiction, this brings together a group of gems that are thematically science fiction. What is perhaps most striking about these works is that he is using the genre not to extrapolate futuristic ideas but rather to explore the effects of these concepts on his characters, sometimes in isolation, sometimes as part of a larger society.

Mike Carey
Mike Carey A Conversation With Mike Carey
An interview with Matthew Peckham
On characters:
"In a broader and more banal sense, too, I use human characters in almost every story line to provide an anchor for the reader, so that the story doesn't lose itself in rarefied cosmic transactions. I try to make sure that there's always an emotional focus that's real and -- to some extent -- universal, running alongside the "mythical" narratives in a way that's a bit like a commentary track on a DVD."

Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Matthew Peckham
After twenty-five issues of hard-boiled horror-noir, current series writer Mike Carey celebrates magician-quipster John Constantine's 200th birthday --- issue #200, that is, and it's a three-part expanded length forty-page whopper of a shift in direction for this acerbic occult serial. If you've been reading the series and thought you'd seen it all, guess again -- Carey drops a bomb that if nurtured properly, could rock the series for years to come.

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 14 Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 14
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
Here's a hint: writers must read the publication to which they submit. Read one edition, if that is the only available edition. Read one story, if that is all time allows. If the writer can get more editions, then that writer should read more editions. Here's why: editors publish the stories they like to read. It's that simple. The caveat is that editors will publish the story they like best from what they are given.

Untied Kingdom Untied Kingdom by James Lovegrove
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The novel is a near-future fiction with a razor sharp edge. The story is set in an England ravaged by war, and deliberately cut off from the rest of the world. The government has fled to Bermuda, leaving the battered population to pick up the pieces. Those who live in the countryside try to maintain something similar to normality. They are assisted by individuals who have taken up the names and leadership of legendary figures such as Robin Hood, Lady Godiva and the Green Man. In savage contrast to this typically English eccentricity, marauding gangs now rule the big cities.

Xena: Warrior Princess Xena: Warrior Princess
a give-away contest
In a time of ancient gods, ruthless warlords and capricious kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty Warrior Princess forged in the heat of battle. Together with her sidekick Gabrielle in tow, Xena battles barbarians, overcomes oppressors and defeats demigods to protect the innocent and fight for peace in ancient Greece. Combining the series' trademark humor and dark mythological drama with Lucy Lawless's fiery and sexy persona, Xena: Warrior Princess completely redefined the role of the female action hero on television.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

The First Heroes The First Heroes edited by Harry Turtledove and Noreen Doyle
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The fantasy genre has its roots in the oldest legends of mankind. From Gilgamesh defeating Humbaba to the fall of Troy and Odysseus' journey back to Ithaka, these early stories of civilization have long held a fascination for mankind. The editors have commissioned 14 stories set during the Bronze Age for thise anthology. Given the length of the Bronze Age, however, the stories span a vast period of time and point out that the Bronze Age didn't end simultaneously across the world.

Dime Store Magic Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Paige Winterbourne has been the Coven Leader of the American witches ever since her mother's death. A position that some of the elders, particularly the embittered Victoria, are not comfortable with her having. Part of this is because she fights against the hidebound attitude of her sisters. Centuries of persecution have forced witches into hiding what they are, destroying any spells of real power lest the days of horror come again.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on why he'll be watching the new Farscape miniseries, why Smallville is still amazingly good and why the first episode of the new season of Star Trek Enterprise titled "Storm Front" worked, given its Nazis in Space cliffhanger from last season.

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force by James Luceno
reviewed by Michael M Jones
After five long, bloody years, the war for an entire galaxy finally draws to a close. The invading forces of the Yuuzhan Vong have penetrated to the very heart of the New Republic, taking Coruscant, killing trillions of beings and destroying entire worlds along the way. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and their varied allies are scattered to the wind as they desperately try to find a solution that doesn't involve genocide.

First Novels

Dead Witch Walking Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
reviewed by Alisa McCune
The world has been transformed by tomatoes. In our search for genetically engineered food and medicine, we created a nasty virus in tomatoes that has nearly wiped out mankind. This virus has unveiled paranormal races to the world as they are immune. Society has splintered with all the upheaval and paranormal races have set-up residence in the Hallows -- the Las Vegas for the paranormal.

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