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A Stark and Wormy Knight A Stark and Wormy Knight by Tad Williams
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is a small collection of shorter works from an author best known for his vast, sprawling, epic tales. Some writers are naturally at home with longer stories, others excel when restricted to shorter forms, but few can manage both with equal aplomb. Tad Williams is one such author. Already having legions of fans means a large number of readers will buy this collection regardless of what any reviewer says. So the job here is not to preach to the converted, but to offer an overview to those who are not yet in the author's camp.

Year's Best SF 17 Year's Best SF 17 edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
All of those who love short science fiction look forward each year to the release of the two senior annual best-of-the-year anthologies by Gardner Dozois and David G. Hartwell/Kathryn Cramer, the latter of which is now only the slightly smaller of the two. For the record, the Hartwell and Cramer volume this year has only four stories of its 24 that are also included in the Dozois -- although as usual there are many other authors who have different stories chosen for each -- and perusing both remains essential for all serious SF readers.

Red Dot Irreal Red Dot Irreal by Jason Erik Lundberg
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This collection of stories test our sense of reality and what is surreal. The author has done the excellent job of putting characters in unusual situations that would leave us perplexed as to why we were there in the first place. In fact, his stories thrive on the fact that his characters accept, for the most part, the world they are put in.

A Conversation With Eric James Stone A Conversation With Eric James Stone
An interview with Trent Walters
On advice to new writers:
"In addition to practicing your writing skills by writing, find ways of improving your skills by learning: attend workshops/classes, read advice books, join a critique group, etc. Be willing to experiment with new ways of doing things, but remember that not all advice applies to all writers and all stories. Find the advice that works for you, and don't worry about the rest."

Taken Taken by Benedict Jacka
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
The series continues with this third installment that puts our divining hero where he seems to want to be, in the middle of nearly impossible situations. Apprentices of both light and dark mages have been going missing, and Alex Verus gets appeals from both sides to track down who's behind the shielded disappearances. But as usual, he's bitten off more than he can chew alone.

Triangulation: Morning After Triangulation: Morning After edited by Stephen V. Ramey
reviewed by Trent Walters
This is an anthology loosely themed by the editor and interpreted by the authors. The title suggests this anthology focuses on apocalypses; however, most of these are fantasy stories. About half of the stories would stand well -- if not stand out -- amid the contents of a professional magazine. If there's a standout among these, it might be the Odyssey-flavored, African fairy tale "Nyabinghi's Sacred Drum" by Susan Urbanek Linville although DeAnna Knippling's alien "The Third Portal" gives Linville's tough competition for that prize.

The Euonymist The Euonymist by Neil Williamson
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Calum is set the unenviable task of naming newly discovered planets. Calum is what is known in the field as a Euonymist, as a planet namer, but it isn't as easy as others think, certainly not his uncle or his wife. It is more difficult than that, and he spends most of the plot trying his best to think of these names for something that is sometimes beyond him.

One Buck Horror, Volume 4 One Buck Horror, Volume 4 edited by Christopher and Kris M. Hawkins
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Short stories are the true staple for a reader. They are easy to read and quick enough for short journeys or sitting in waiting rooms -- though not to see the doctor or dentist. These stories are far too scary for that. One Buck Horror, this time around, has several stories of interest to just about anyone who likes a good scare.

The Sword & Sorcery Anthology The Sword & Sorcery Anthology edited by David G. Hartwell and Jacob Weisman
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
Hero tales are the oldest tales, and yet like Roddy McDowell contemporary writers in the heroic mode can't get no respect. While it is still sometimes used as a term of lit crit abuse, "science fiction" has largely completed the gentrification process of achieving literary respectability. The dystopian fictions of Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy, the genre bending of David Foster Wallace and Johnathan Lethem, the elevation of J.G. Ballard into something of a patron saint of British literature, Philip K. Dick achieving the canonical landmark that is inclusion in the Modern Library edition; all have combined to render SF-nal elements acceptable in quarters formerly forbidden.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Unrealized adaptations of great novels clutter soundstages across the globe. Often the movies in question seldom rise from development hell because of budgetary concerns or because artistic ambitions exceed studio of filmmaker grasp. Some cannot overcome the structural challenges. And then Derek thought of David Cronenberg.

Total Recall Total Recall
a movie review by Rick Norwood
There was really no point in making a mindless action film based on another equally mindless action film based on a cute short story by Philip K. Dick. The basic plot of both movies and of the short story starts out with a character who longs to go to Mars, arranges to have memories of a trip to Mars as a secret agent implanted in his brain, and during the implant discovers that he really is a secret agent who went to Mars.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Before he created Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry created a tv series called The Lieutenant, about the peacetime US Marine Corps. It is just out on DVD from Paramount, and it is pretty good. Falling Skies has ended until next Summer. Rick thinks it was the best sf on tv this summer. Rick also gives a list of what to watch in September.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
In Jewish tradition, fall represents a new year, which it also does on school calendars. So for this new year juncture, what better than to contemplate a single book which also takes in the idea of seasons, their passage, and the sometimes-shattering ways we find ourselves hard into autumn. Mark London Williams has a look at Year of the Beasts. It's a hybrid, it's a comic, it's a YA novel...

First Novels

Empire of the Ulfair Gwellem's Hitch Og'yre War The Spanish Gatekeeper by Bernard Dukas
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This trilogy is primarily a coming of age story, featuring a 15-year-old English schoolboy named Peter de Soto, and his Spanish cousin Bonifacia Espasande. The initial setting is northern Spain, in the summer of 1900, where Peter is on holiday at the home Bonnie shares with her mother. While out butterfly hunting, the pair happen upon local broken down ruins, where they find what eventually proves to be a portal to another place. Access is gained via the use of a family heirloom, and in the deep dark of night the pair vanish from Spain, to emerge in a world not their own.


Beyond the Wall Beyond the Wall edited by James Lowder
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
This book is a collection of essays subtitled "Exploring George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire." In one, Daniel Abraham's "Same Song in a Different Key" is a first hand account of his work adapting the books for a successful comic book series being published by Dynamite. A very hands-on account, it gives details of the process unique to this project, and also provides interesting suggestions about how comic book adaptations can be approached in general.


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