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The Dragons of Babel The Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
reviewed by Dustin Kenall
Fantasy has desired dragons -- if not always as profoundly as one would like, then at least profusely. E.R. Eddison invoked the beast as a symbol of eternal return in The Worm Ouroboros. John Gardner, delving into similar mythological mines in Grendel, unearthed a creature existing outside of time, an intelligence spearing the past, present, and future on the tip of its claw. Most other authors, however, fashion serpents only scale deep, imagining them as gigantic sand worms (Frank Herbert), fire lizards (Anne McCaffrey), or leonine raptors (Dragonheart). Among contemporary writers, Robin Hobb is one of the few to express a deeper interest in the metaphysical properties of dragons. Michael Swanwick's dragons, however, are one of a kind.

Conversation Hearts Conversation Hearts by John Crowley
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
On the planet Brxx, a little girl called Trxx is born with no fur. At first her mother and father, Qxx and Fxx, and her older brother, Pxx, don't know what to make of this strange, disturbing disability. But gradually they learn that Trxx's difference does not affect her ability to enjoy life.

Incandescence Incandescence by Greg Egan
reviewed by Jonathan McCalmont
If the world of SF were a stock market then Greg Egan would be a blue chip company. Hugely respected and a doyen of the Hard SF scene, he is not what you would call unpredictable. This, his first novel in six years, is as blue chip as ever in that not only does it give you what you would expect from a Greg Egan novel, it has also prompted a number of equally predictable reviews that have lavished hundreds of words upon the trite received opinion "nice ideas, shame about the characters, plot and prose." Jonathan calls this a received opinion as he does not think it is in the least bit true; Incandescence is a thought-provoking story about science as a community and as a part of the community.

Stalking the Vampire Stalking the Vampire by Mike Resnick
reviewed by Tammy Moore
In the second Fable of Tonight series John Justin Mallory is still living in the alternate Manhattan. It has been nearly a year since the events in Stalking the Unicorn and things are looking up for John Justin. He still doesn't have his Velma, but he does have a loyal partner in Colonel Winifred Carruthers, a thriving detective agency, an office cat-person and a magic mirror. There's not much more a Manhattan gumshoe could ask for.

Dies the Fire Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
What would you do if tomorrow morning your cell phone stopped working? What if it weren't just your phone, but also your computer, car, and refrigerator? And what if it weren't just your electronics, but those of everyone? What would you do? Could you find enough food to survive? Could you defend it against other people who want to take it from you?

The Steel Remains The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan
reviewed by John Berlyne
Ringil is a war hero entering the middle years of his life. He lives in retirement, feeding himself from the proceeds of minor mercenary work and the telling of tall tales of his prowess. His fame stems largely (and deservedly) from the part he played in an infamous battle against the lizardmen who so nearly conquered his people, and perhaps without his actions, the war might have been lost. However, the gloss has faded somewhat on Ringil. One day, his mother arrives unannounced to ask for his help in tracing a relative recently sold into slavery.

Poison Sleep Poison Sleep by T.A. Pratt
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Marla Mason is back from San Francisco, and it's time for her to kick some ass and take care of business at home once again. Felport's up to its sewers in magical trouble, and as always, it's Marla's job to make sure things don't get too messy. Not only does she have to keep the city's assorted magic practitioners from killing one another over the usual stupid things like privilege, property, territory and ego, but there's been a breakout at the Blackwing Institute, the combination mental hospital/prison which houses some of the nastiest, scariest, most insane sorcerers to wreak havoc in the area.

Postscripts Magazine Postscripts Magazine
compiled by Rodger Turner
In the spring of 2004, PS Publishing launched a new magazine called Postscripts. Originally, the magazine was to be digest-sized featuring about 60,000 words of fiction, a guest editorial, book reviews, and the occasional non-fiction article in each issue. Fiction includes SF, fantasy, horror, and crime/suspense. Recently, Issue #15 (Summer 2008) was published and its contents have been added to our pages sorted by author, title and volume.

Snow Crash Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
reviewed by Paul Graham Raven
Few modern novels divide opinion among science fiction fans with quite the sharpness of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, the book that blasted him to geek-hero status after its original publication in 1992. Subterranean Press's handsome limited edition re-release seems as good a reason as any to look at Snow Crash with the benefit of hindsight, and ask why it is a sacred text for some but an execrable failure for others.

The Brass Bed The Velvet Chair The Brass Bed and The Velvet Chair by Jennifer Stevenson
reviewed by Rich Horton
Jewel Heiss is the heroine, a cop of sorts in a slightly alternate Chicago. To say "cop" is slightly misleading since Jewel works for the Department of Consumer Services, so she is restricted to investigating fraud and out of date licenses and so on. Oh, and magic -- or as it is called, "the hinky stuff". In the case of the latter, her main job is to suppress evidence of any "hinky stuff" -- after what happened to Pittsburgh, the city mayor is determined not to let his city lose control to magic.

The Touch of Twilight The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson
reviewed by Michael M Jones
There's a secret war raging on the streets of Las Vegas, with the hearts and souls of all who live there at stake. Two opposing troops of superhuman individuals known as the Zodiac, one representing Light, the other championing Shadow, meet each other on rooftops and in back alleys, in clubs and in the casinos, locked in an eternal struggle for dominance. However, several things have happened in recent memory to upset this delicate balance.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Some of the latest books to arrive at the SF Site office include new and forthcoming works from Neal Stephenson, Michael Moorcock, David Weber, Richard Morgan, Kage Baker, Ben Bova, Mike Carey, Kelley Armstrong, Alan Dean Foster, Paul Kearney, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Kim Wilkins, Arthur C. Clarke & Frederik Pohl, plus some new editions of classics by Robert Silverberg, Tim Powers, Robert E. Howard, Ray Bradbury... and much more besides.

News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
This month, Sandy has information on Karen Marie Moning's free podcast of Darkfever; Simon Clark on Stone Cold Calling; Doctor Who audio stories; debut novel from Thomas Nevins; and French Fantasy is translated into English with The Cardinal's Blades.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Things changed earlier this decade. Graphic novels, largely ignored by both comic and book collectors, suddenly acquired a collectible status similar to their prose and periodical brethren. Rick Klaw first noticed this phenomenon about five years ago when a customer came into Half Price Books to sell Miracleman Book 3: Olympus.

Star Trek: The Original Series - The Complete Second Season (Remastered) Star Trek: The Original Series - The Complete Second Season (Remastered)
a DVD review by Rick Klaw and Brandy Whitten
Premiering on September 8, 1966 to lackluster ratings, Star Trek ended its three-season run in 1969, but almost immediately began a very successful syndicated existence. The once-doomed program eventually spawned five more original series, ten motion pictures, and an abundance of pop culture paraphernalia, that shaped the cultural zeitgeist. Phrases such as "Beam me up, Scotty" and "red shirt" entered the popular lexicon. NASA named the first space shuttle "Enterprise." To celebrate the 40th anniversary, Paramount, the custodian of the venerable franchise, decided to give the 23rd century a face-lift.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
It is time once again for Rick's annual Fall Preview of TV shows. He predicts those he thinks will have a full season. He also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in September.


What Is It We Do When We Read Science Fiction What Is It We Do When We Read Science Fiction by Paul Kincaid
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The thirty-three essays assume a certain level of familiarity with science fiction as a whole and with the specific authors and sub-genres. This means that when the author discusses authors who are better known in Britain than in America, he may lose some of his North American readers, but it also demonstrates just how heterogeneous science fiction is. Despite an increasing globalization, there are still regionalisms even within the realm of Anglophonic science fiction.

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