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Novels of the Nightside Novels of the Nightside by Simon R. Green
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
One lead character adventuring through an even dozen titles, aided by a solid cast of reoccurring major characters, handfuls of minor characters and one shots, half a dozen running themes, plus individual side quests that can cover a quarter of a book. So far, it sounds good though not so very different from any other fantasy series. But this is the Nightside, where nothing is ever quite the way it seems. The Nightside is a small city, located somewhere beneath London, and accessed via the London tube network. People can arrive there accidentally, but most of those who enter know exactly where they are going. In the Nightside the darkest needs of the human condition are catered for in all their compelling, addictive and grotesque forms. All books in the series are first and foremost the story of John Taylor, the supernatural son of a creature from Biblical legend. Not that you'd know from looking at him.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2012 Nebula Awards Showcase 2012 edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
As the best-of-the-year volume that usually appears the earliest each year, one can look forward to reading the annual Nebula Awards collection. It whets the appetite for the meatier SF volumes that come later, especially the Hartwell/Cramer and Dozois tomes. This volume clearly demonstrates the increasing diversity in subgenres, themes and styles in the field. Reading this year's collection, however, somehow makes Douglas feel his age even more than past ones -- could the science fiction field be evolving faster than he can keep up?

Memories of the Flying Ball Bike Shop Memories of the Flying Ball Bike Shop by Garry Kilworth
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
Sean can't understand why his boss, John Chang, has an unreasoning hatred for him, a red-headed gweilo who has come to work for a Hong Kong newspaper as part of what appears to be a gentle descent into mediocrity and self-recrimination over a disintegrated relationship with a woman he now loves and hates in equal measure.

Kiss of the Vampire Kiss of the Vampire by Cynthia Garner
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This is the first novel in the Warriors of the Rift series that concerns a potential serial killer on the streets, but as the murders are not the usual ones, the victims all being vampires, and Nix de la Fuente is investigating them. Who could be the killer? It does help that she is no ordinary investigator. Half-human, half-demon, she is a complex woman.

Fantasy Short Stories: Issue 1 Fantasy Short Stories: Issue 1
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
This first issue is an interesting, albeit uneven, debut. The two best stories are undoubtedly Noeleen Kavanagh's "The Pivot" and C.L. Holland's story "The Empty Dark." In "The Pivot," a young boy, Caill, with a talent for reading the emotions of others provides brief refuge to another boy -- the young king Clogher, whose clothes come with ominous splashes of mud and blood.

Three Tales Three Tales Three Tales Three Tales by David Farland
reviewed by Trent Walters
"Sweetly Dreams the Dragon" is the imaginative gem of the trio. In the distant future, an intercepted Cycor transmission says that their previous attempt to destroy all life on the planet Danai failed, leaving behind humans and skraal. The Cycor need to return, resupplied. Meanwhile, humans have lost the technology and intelligence they once had that gained them the stars. On Danai, humans are at the bottom of a caste system of intelligent species.

Earth Unaware Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston
an audiobook review by Susan Dunman
Victor is an apprentice mechanic to his father, the person responsible for maintaining life-support and other essential systems on board the mining ship, El Cavador. A gifted student with a natural ability to understand all things mechanical, Victor is already a valuable member of the ship's crew, although he's still a teenager. But it is his dedication to ideals instilled by his family and his sense of responsibility that may catapult him into the history books of the First Formic War.

The Macht Trilogy The Macht Trilogy The Macht Trilogy The Macht Trilogy by Paul Kearney
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
For those of you out there that love nothing more than reading about heroic last ditch battles against overwhelming odds or get choked up with scenes about the brotherhoods formed when men fight and die together in battle, Paul Kearney is your man. His Macht Trilogy is an excellent example of pure military fantasy and if you are familiar with his work, you know there aren't that many authors out there who can navigate a battlefield better than he.

The Roberts The Roberts by Michael Blumlein
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
One of the many false dichotomies sometimes posited between speculative and "literary" fiction is that speculative fiction is more concerned with ideas, concepts, technologies and archetypes; lit-fic is more concerned with emotions, lived experience, and the messy realities of individual lives. Whatever broad-brush truth there might be to this caricature, this is a limiting and misleading opposition that does a disservice to the possibilities both genres.

The Year's Best Science Fiction: by Author 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). Volume 29 has been added to the lists compiled by author, by title and by volume.

Fuzzy Nation Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
reviewed by Trent Walters
Jack Holloway is a loveable rogue who trains his dog to blow up a cliff-side full of nesting birds in order to unveil a possible vein of sunstones -- a mood-ring kind of jewel that rivals the beauty and value of diamonds. However, an immediate call from Zarathustra Corporation tells Jack that his disregard for ecological impact has canceled his contract and kicked him off the planet. Zarathustra starts singing a different tune as soon as it turns out Jack's hunch was correct.

Gray Rights Gray Rights by Roger L. Phillips
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This is a funny book full of one panel comic pieces that jump off the page, commenting about life on Earth and in outer space. Roger L. Phillips uses popular culture to raise laughs, even poking fun at new gadgets around at the moment such as the iPhone and iPod.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Did you ever wonder how some of the classics of sequential art came to be? Or perhaps who was the person behind those drawings you so admire. Well, Rick Klaw does too. This time out, he looks at titles such as Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero, Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture and The Comic Book History of Comics.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
This time, we're looking at new works from Stephen King, Dave Duncan, Ben Aaronovitch, Kim Harrison, Richard Kadrey, Ian C. Esslemont, Graham Joyce, Mike Resnick, James Maxey, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., and many others.

First Novels

Endless Endless by Matt Bone
reviewed by David Maddox
John, a non-descript, average graphic designer in England, awakes to find that everyone on Earth is dead. No plague, no virus, no apocalyptic event, everyone just keeled over and stopped living. John then spends the next two years taking care of his former neighbor's cat and trying not to go insane or kill himself. The sheer desolation described in the silent, dead Earth is truly chilling. While this story of loneliness on a dead world is happening, the reader is swapped over to another world, similar to Earth but with different laws and at a different stage of development, called Crescent.


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