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The Empire of Ice Cream The Empire of Ice Cream by Jeffrey Ford
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is the second volume of short stories from Jeffrey Ford, the first being the award-winning The Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories. He is one among a rare breed, a writer's writer who still knows how to connect with the reader in the manner of a friend telling good tale. Even Jonathan Carroll is a fan.

Engaging the Enemy Engaging the Enemy by Elizabeth Moon
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
In this third volume of the Vatta's War series. Stella is made captain of Ky's original ship, and sent to trade. Stella finds herself hop-scotching system by system after Ky, dealing with the troubles Ky has stirred up in various ports. Meanwhile, unknown to the cousins, their tough old Aunt Grace, back on Slotter Key, is spying on the turncoat President -- and watching the assassins who are watching the survivors of her family. Everyone thinks Grace is a doddering old woman, an impression she works to foster -- until she is forced to take on an ally and then to act.

Retro Pulp Tales Retro Pulp Tales edited by Joe R. Lansdale
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
A bit of imagination, a lot of action and a gripping narrative style: those were the ingredients of the so-called pulp fiction which has filled the pages of many old magazines, delighting more than one generation of avid readers and shaping up the creative minds of many future writers. This anthology bring back to life that beloved, although often underestimated genre, challenging a group of distinguished authors to produce new material using the atmospheres, the themes and the time-frame of the old pulp tales.

The Greenstone Grail The Greenstone Grail The Greenstone Grail by Amanda Hemingway
reviewed by Lise Murphy
Nathan Ward, a young boy of approximately 13 years and his mother Annie are the central characters. The circumstances surrounding Nathan's conception have given him the power to dream himself into other worlds. The grail, in this adaptation of the grail saga, is actually a holy and mythical relic from one of these other worlds. Nathan and his mother, with the help of some friends (from this world and beyond), must uncover the mystery of the grail before someone gets killed.

K-Machines K-Machines by Damien Broderick
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
K-Machines starts off in much the same style as its prequel, mixing enigmatic conversation with literary stylings and rampaging monsters. It's when August Seebeck, whose life changed so dramatically in Godplayers, begins questioning what has happened to him that K-Machines starts to change its focus. The adventure is still there, but it now moves more to the background, and the main story becomes a series of conversations all brought about by August's questions.

The Town That Forgot How to Breathe The Town That Forgot How to Breathe by Kenneth J. Harvey
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Bareneed is a small fishing village on the Newfoundland coast, and, what part of the community the loss of the cod fishery hasn't killed, modern technology is finishing off by distancing people from their long held traditions. The recently separated Joseph Blackwood, a fisheries officer, returns to his family home, bringing his young daughter. When Davy Jones' locker begins to spew out albino fish, and the long ago dead-at-sea, there's clearly something up.

The Meadowlark Sings The Meadowlark Sings by Helen Ruth Schwartz
reviewed by Donna McMahon
In 2020 an American government dominated by the religious right bans homosexual acts. Thanks to mandatory testing for the "Scarpetti gene," the government identifies all gays and evacuates them to an island off the coast of California. For 35 years the two societies are isolated from each other. Heterosexuals born on the island of "Cali" are sent to the US, and homosexual babies from the US are sent to the island; otherwise the two populations never meet.

A Conversation With Kit Reed A Conversation With Kit Reed
An interview with Matthew Cheney
On writing:
"I've always been a visceral writer, as in, I don't have an intellectual approach, twelve steps or twelve things you need to put in to make a story, any of that; I sit down in the morning most days and do what I have to do, whatever that is. I do think the computer has made life better for me. Instead of ripping, say, seventeen unsatisfactory pages out of the klunky typewriter before hitting the right one, I can go over a file from the top sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph as many times as it takes to get it right."

Princess At Sea Princess At Sea by Dawn Cook
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Once upon a time, Tess was Princess Contessa of Costenopolie. Then she learned she was really just a decoy princess, a target for would-be assassins. Now, her sister, the real Contessa sits on the throne, along with her new husband, a prince of Misdev. Tess acts as an advisor, lending the knowledge she picked up in her years as a princess, all the while trying to keep the royal couple from killing one another.

Babylon 5.1 Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
What's on TV in February? Rick offers a list of what to watch. He also has some news about Battlestar Galactica and The Ghost Whisperer.


Technophobia!: Science Fiction Visions of Posthuman Technology Technophobia!: Science Fiction Visions of Posthuman Technology by Daniel Dinello
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
During 2006 there has been an alarming increase in the incidence of measles in the UK. This follows on from an increase in mumps noted during 2005. The return of childhood diseases that had declined to almost negligible levels before now is a result of mass technophobia. Earlier this century it was claimed that the standard MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) could cause autism. This claim remains unproven. Technophobia wins the day.

First Novels

Vellum Vellum by Hal Duncan
reviewed by Jakob Schmidt
The documents a young student finds in the belongings of his grandfather unroll a story that spans all of human history and several universes. They send him on a journey into the Vellum: the timeless meta-reality of all worlds. Throughout the Vellum, the unkin, demigods whose battles and truces have governed the rise and fall of civilisations, are mobilising for the final war between heaven and hell. Between the grinding stones of history, some of the unkin desperately try to avoid the recruiting forces of both sides.

Second Looks

Deathstalker Deathstalker by Simon R. Green
reviewed by John Berlyne
This is the first in the series featuring protagonist Owen Deathstalker and the story of his rebellion against the evil Empire. We meet Owen at a turning point in his life -- a historian by profession, he lives the languid life of the lazy aristocracy. However, in a flash all this is stripped from him, for he has been outlawed, which basically means everyone is suddenly looking either to capture or to kill him.

The Traveler The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Maya is trying to escape her past. Throughout her childhood her father trained her relentlessly as a warrior, spy and assassin. At twenty-six, she has twelve passports, is an expert at disguise and can kill a man in seconds, but she wants a normal life and she has been trying to build one in London. When her father is murdered, she reluctantly shoulders the responsibility he has passed to her -- to travel to Los Angeles and protect two brothers who are being hunted by members of a secret organization. The odds are against her.

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