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Off On A Tangent: Novel Reviews Off On A Tangent: Novel Reviews Off On A Tangent: Novel Reviews
a column by Dave Truesdale
Those yearning for something different, something devilishly outré enough to whet their starved and ever-hungry imaginations, but most especially for those who enjoy dark fantasies suffused with the likes of a seductive, evil goddess, an ancient tome, ichor-oozing zombies, and a cosmic cult of Lovecraftian evil, should enjoy first-time novelist R.S. Belcher's The Six-Gun Tarot. The fact that it's set in the Old West of 1869 in an out-of-the-way semi-ghost town named Golgotha only adds to the initial curiosity factor. (Plus there's a contest where you can win stuff.) And E.B. Hudspeth's first book, The Resurrectionist, is a handsome coffee table-sized hardcover. Set in 1870s Philadelphia, "a city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages," it describes the fictional life of one Dr. Spencer Black and his obsession with proving his theory that mythological beasts such as dragons, satyrs, mermaids, chimaera, and others were the evolutionary ancestors of mankind.

Everything You Need Everything You Need by Michael Marshall Smith
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
On one hand, the author is recognized as a fine, acclaimed writer of dark fiction, whose stories have been very frequently included in the annual Best New Horror anthologies and on the other he is the author of a bunch of successful thrillers. Oddly enough, the majority of his short fiction have been published by an American imprint, Earthling Publications, Everything You Need being the latest collection. And what a great, extraordinary collection!

The Friday Society The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
reviewed by Michael M Jones
A steampunk-style inventor, a magician's assistant, and a samurai team up to fight evil in the Victorian era. The twist: they're all teenage girls. Cora helps the eccentric Lord White with his work, while developing her own gadgets, which explode as often as they succeed. Nellie is the flamboyant helper to the Magician, aka the Great Raheem. An ex-burlesque dancer Nellie uses her looks and quick reflexes to distract and bedazzle. Michiko is a stranger in a strange land, the reluctant helper to the repugnant Callum, a renowned fighting instructor with a sordid personal life.

Jack Glass Jack Glass by Adam Roberts
reviewed by David Soyka
While ostensibly a novel, the book reads more like three connected novellas, with their own distinct mysteries and tone of voice that are linked to, (or "docwatsoned," to use the enigmatic narrator's great invented term) "the greatest mystery of our time…FTL." The author is, of course, poking fun at the Golden Age SF staple of faster than light travel, which despite being theoretically impossible is nonetheless fictionally imperative to most any space opera. Some of the smaller puzzle pieces are easy to guess, some you can't possibly anticipate.

Goodbye, Robinson Crusoe Goodbye, Robinson Crusoe by John Varley
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Someone noticed, it seems, that there were a fair number of John Varley stories that were currently unavailable in any collections. Coincidentally, the number of stories uncollected was just the right size to form a collection of their own. The result is a collection that, while it might not be the best or even the best known stories by him, nevertheless contains several examples of what made John Varley one of the most acclaimed and influential writers of the 70s and beyond.

The Best of All Possible Worlds The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The Sadiri are a proud and reserved race who are effectively the political leaders of humanity, but as this novel opens their home planet is destroyed by rivals from the planet Ain. Intriguingly, the Ain planet is then quarantined in a way that is far beyond the technological capabilities of humanity, and oblique references to some older, more powerful but now unseen galactic race are dropped throughout the book. One group of Sadiri survivors make their way to Cygnus Beta, a world with a history of taking in strays and exiles.

Science Fiction Trails #10 Science Fiction Trails #10
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
It has been a while since the first issue of Science Fiction Trails, the covers may have changed over the years, but the writing quality has stayed the same with authors such as; C.J. Killmer, Kit Volker, Raymond Broadbeard, Vivian Caethe and J.A. Campbell giving us some more amazing stories with which we have become so familiar.

The Rook The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is the story of Myfanwy Thomas, an important administrative cog working in Her Majesties Supernatural Secret Service. The only traditional supernatural critter that plays any significant part in this tale is a single vampire, but there are plenty of others who are distinctly abnormal. Most common are those imbued with major or minor super-powers and able to pass as regular humans, and those who may appear to be human, until genetic and/or surgical adjustments activate to radically alter their bodies. As the story begins, Myfanwy Thomas is not herself, in fact she is someone else entirely.

Limits of Power Limits of Power by Elizabeth Moon
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Limits of Power begins minutes after the end of Echoes of Betrayal. The reader is plunged into the chaos after the climax of that volume, without introduction of the characters. Though a new reader will find a helpful map at the beginning of the volume, plus a Dramatis Personae, that does not explain who they are, how they are related, what they look like, and most of all their very complicated back stories. It is strongly recommended that the new reader begin with Oath of Fealty.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
We lost the writer who was, arguably, the most influential in modern pop culture. A writer whose influence was so pervasive that it touched generations of audiences, despite his invisibility to many of those audience members. I speak of Richard Matheson, whose name is legend among many science fiction and fantasy fans, but who is, alas, almost unknown outside of genre circles. The name, that is. The work is a different matter.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
After nearly five years after its initial French publication, the Steampunk/mystery graphic novel Clockwerx finally makes an English language appearance. Originally written in English by Jason Henderson and Tony Salvaggio and lavishly illustrated by Jean-Baptiste Hostache, the story first appeared in two French graphic albums: Clockwerx, Tome 1: Genese (2008) and Clockwerx, Tome 2: Deluge (2009). Rick Klaw sat down with the two to discuss the work's unusual publication history, translation, the collaborative art, and of course Steampunk.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Last time Mark London Williams columnized here, he wrote about a re-delving into comic writing work, as hr finally did some script breakdowns for the Barnstormers idea he's had since before they were a story-within-a-story in the Danger Boy books. The conceit, as you may recall, was that a group of out-of-work movie monsters (in this world, the monsters are real) band together to form a barnstorming baseball team in 1930s America. Difficulties ensue. This column is something of a sequel to that one, though this time, He's here instead to talk about the next part of this process, the selling of it.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Newest of the new arrivals at the SF Site offices include the latest from James Barclay, Greg Bear, Orson Scott Card, Erin Hoffman, Nicola Griffith, Jasper Kent, Joe R. Lansdale, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Elizabeth Moon, and much, much more.

Star Trek Into Darkness Star Trek Into Darkness
a movie review by Christopher DeFilippis
When J.J. Abrams' Star Trek hit theaters a few years ago, it reinvigorated the moribund franchise by appealing to both Trek fans and casual filmgoers alike. And if you're one of those casual filmgoers looking for a repeat experience in the sequel, then you're in luck. Star Trek Into Darkness is a highly entertaining and enjoyable Sci-Fi action thriller, and you'll leave the theater satisfied. That's really all a non-Trek fan needs to know. But if you are a Star Trek fan, your reaction to Star Trek Into Darkness will range from bemused shrug to full-blown apoplectic fit.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
The current issue of Entertainment Weekly lists their pick of the 100 greatest tv shows of all time. They do justice to genre shows: #8 Buffy, the Vapire Slayer, #13 The Twilight Zone, #24 Lost, #29 The X-Files, #41 Twin Peaks, #65 Doctor Who. Rick also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in July.

World War Z World War Z
a movie review by Rick Norwood
With four writers on board, two of them very good, the movie is a roughly equal mix of smart and stupid. The hero duct taping a thick magazine around his right arm to protect it from getting bitten is smart, and a reflection of the well-known law of physics that there are very few problems that cannot be solved by a judicious application of duct tape.

Man of Steel Man of Steel
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The new Superman reboot is essentially a remake of Superman and Superman II, minus Christopher Reeve, minus Lex Luthor, minus the humor, and minus the great music by John Williams. Man of Steel has better special effects, but the Richard Donner version has more heart.

This is the End This is the End
a movie review by Rick Norwood
This is the End is written and directed by actors and, in it, actors play themselves as survivors of the Biblical apocalypse. It made Rick laugh. It made Rick jump. It grossed him out.


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