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Never The Bride Something Borrowed Never The Bride and Something Borrowed by Paul Magrs
reviewed by Sandy Auden
Everyone living in Whitby has a secret. A small English coastal resort it may be, but it is also hides some strange and curious people. For starters, there's Mrs Claus, the maniacal owner of the Christmas Hotel -- a place where they're perpetually celebrating Christmas for the hordes of coach parties and local pensioners. Then there's Mr Danby, the owner of the spookily named Deadly Boutique, where beauty and youthful looks come at a high price. And don't forget Effie, the old lady at the Junk Shop with her dubious set of ancestors, and Effie's best friend Brenda, the Bed & Breakfast lady with some of the biggest secrets of all.

Dreamsongs Dreamsongs by George R.R. Martin
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
What you get here is a whistle stop tour through the author's career, from fanboy to a best-selling author, who has been called the American Tolkien. Perhaps that is an unfair comparison. Tolkien was a crusty old codger, who kept rarefied company, and wrote his master-work as an academic exercise. Whereas Martin has always been in close touch with the needs of his audience, and the real world. Fortunately for that audience, he is also in close touch with umpteen imagined worlds.

Thirteen Thirteen by Richard Morgan
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Dark, twisted, and violent. No one familiar with Richard K. Morgan's previous novels will be surprised to see those adjectives applied to his latest work. What they might be surprised to find is that it is also emotionally captivating in a way that allows the story to rise above the violence, and make the reader sympathize with and care for at least one character that most of the other characters in the novel, and, in fact, almost everyone who lives in the world they inhabit, fear and loathe in a way that is instinctive, ingrained into their very nature.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick has some thoughts on the new season's TV series, particularly Journeyman. He also gives us a list of SF on TV in October.

Acacia Acacia by David Anthony Durham
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Acacia is an empire, and at first glance, a rather benign one. It's people are apparently wealthy and happy, its subjected countries peaceful. It doesn't take long, however, before that peaceful facade is stripped away. Many generations in its past, Acacia made a true devil's bargain. In order to protect themselves from a perceived threat on the other side of the world, and in return for a promise that they would not be attacked by the Lothan Aklun, Acacia agreed to the Quota.

The Year's Best Science Fiction: by Volume The Year's Best Science Fiction: by Volume
compiled by Rodger Turner
In 1984, Gardner Dozois gathered together what he thought was the best short science fiction of the previous year. He scrutinized as many of the magazines, collections and anthologies published in 1983 that he could get his hands on and chose those which he felt best represented the science fiction field. Jim Frenkel published it as part of his Bluejay Books line (for three years) and it has been produced every year since then (by St. Martins's Press).

The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet is a small press zine begun in 1996 by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. The original issue had a print run of only twenty-six copies. Over the next decade, the print run grew larger and larger and the 'zine's reputation grew as well, publishing the works of such major authors as Jay Lake, Devon Monk, Bruce McAllister, Benjamin Rosenblum, Carol Emshwiller, and others.

Dispatches From Smaragdine: September 2007 Dispatches From Smaragdine: September 2007
a column by Jeff VanderMeer
As September passes in Smaragdine, it is time for the Dance of Synchronicity which takes the form of a sabre dance and ensuing battle among the twenty best novelists deemed so by the Ministry of Culture. Following the post-dance revelry, Jeff took some time to interview Jacob Weisman, publisher of Tachyon Publications.


Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction by Gary Westfahl
reviewed by Steven H Silver
In Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction, Gary Westfahl presents the thesis that Hugo Gernsback, the founder of Amazing Stories, is a seminal figure in the genesis of science fiction. While, to many, this may seem like a declaration that the sky is blue or the grass is green, Westfahl points out that Gernsback's role in the formation of the genre has come under attack relatively recently.

The Amazing Transforming Superhero The Amazing Transforming Superhero edited by Terrence R. Wandtke
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The book presents a series of essays analysing the changes to various comic book and movie super people, in response to the real world. Included are such intriguing diversities as the ultra patriotic, somewhat jingoistic presentation of the original Captain America, Wonder Woman as both a male fantasy and feminist icon, the importance of the Thing's Jewish roots, how Batman became the Man of Tomorrow, and the transcreation of Spiderman from Western to Eastern culture.

The Necronomicon Tarot The Necronomicon Tarot by Donald Tyson
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
The Necronomicon Tarot uses images and themes from H.P. Lovecraft's "Cthulhu" mythos. Lovecraft was a ground-breaking pulp horror writer from the 20s. No vampires or werewolves from him, no sir. Lovecraft's ultimate evil, Cthulhu, wasn't even technically evil, in the Manichean sense of "good" vs. "evil."

Second Looks

Shatterday Shatterday by Harlan Ellison
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The problem with reading a collection by Harlan Ellison is the introductions. Pages of them, not just to the book, but to each individual story. These are remarkable creations, constructing a character who is aggressive, self-aggrandising, self-deprecating, vain. It doesn't take long to become tired of the way any stranger who doesn't immediately understand the Ellison ego in its every weird contortion is casually labelled a "feep."

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