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Five Autobiographies and a Fiction Five Autobiographies and a Fiction by Lucius Shepard
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
"Writers tend to romanticize the sordid" one avatar of Lucius Shepard says in the longest and best of the stories here. Well, not all writers do, but it has been Shepard's stock in trade since he first began to conjure versions of the Vietnam War in stories like "R&R." It's there in the lush, overheated jungles of Central America and South East Asia that seem his natural home, and in the tales of wasted, drug-addled petty criminals who populate his vision of modern America.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2013 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2013
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
There are themes to many issues of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, and this one has to do with planes, trains and automobiles. What is more unusual is that Alex Irvine's "Watching the Cow," gets top billing on the front cover, when David Gerrold's "Night Train to Paris," deserved it more (but only if it had been a novelet instead of a short story). That isn't to say Irvine's story wasn't a good one, Sandra liked the feel of Gerrold's one better.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2013 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2013
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Thumbing through the pages looking for a theme in the stories, Sandra would like to think that she found one. Hunting runaway slaves. "Among Friends," by Deborah Ross is a more modern take on the theme while "The Lost Faces," by Sean McMullen gives a different account of Rome's dealing with the subject of slavery under Caesar's reign.

Interzone #244, January/February 2013 Interzone #244, January/February 2013
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Interzone has been around for quite a long time. It's gone from being A4 size to being a downsized, pocket edition overnight with a thicker cover graced by well-known artist Jim Burns who has also been in the fantasy art business for a while, so it figures that he would be a part of this 244th issue. The editor sees this new look issue in terms of how far the magazine has evolved within fifty issues. Magazines do change after a while.

Electric Wolves Electric Wolves by John Paul Archer
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This is what it is like to be on your own in deep space -- six colonists wake from being cryogenically frozen to find that they are the only survivors on board. This would be a daunting thing for anyone, but for these intrepid people, life is going to get a lot more serious, and very dangerous indeed.

Amped Amped by Daniel H. Wilson
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Science fiction for the masses. It's a well-established technique; take a present-day setting, soup it up with a concept out of science fiction, one that's a little edgy but close enough to people's experience so that you don't have to spend a lot of time on technical details, throw in a thriller plot and a little romance and voila!, you've got it, a main-stream best-seller with just enough SF to give it a sparkle. Michael Crichton is the established master at this, but now we have anothe who takes a big step toward making the territory his own.

Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo by Terry Pratchett
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Over the years, Terry Pratchett has referred to numerous fictional authors and their works in his expansive Discworld series, from Achmed the Mad's Necrotelinomicon to Cohen the Barbarian's Inne Juste 7 Dayes I wille make you a Barbearian Hero! In his novel Snuff, Pratchett introduced the prolific chidren's author Miss Felicity Beedle, and he has now published one of Miss Beedle's books, a tribute to a lost style of children's book where all the kids are well-mannered and all the adults are infinitely patient.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Guest columnist Claude Lalumière tells us about two of his long-time dream projects have been published: the first, an anthology of all-new Canadian superhero fiction, as Masked Mosaic: Canadian Super Stories (Tyche Books); the second , a retrospective of the best previously published superhero fiction, as Super Stories of Heroes & Villains (Tachyon Publications). You can also win a copy of the latter by answering a single question.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New and forthcoming books from Brenda Cooper, Steven Erikson, Drew Karpyshyn, Kay Kenyon, David Hair and Alison Littlewood.

Second Looks

Desperate Days Desperate Days by Jack Vance
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
Jack Vance is justly revered as one of the grandmasters of science fiction, fantasy, and that strange middle ground, science fantasy. But, as a writer, he once had another incarnation. In the 60s and 70s, John Holbrook Vance (his full name) churned out mystery novels and short stories, including some for-hire jobs under the name of Ellery Queen. But, although he won an Edgar Award for The Man in the Cage, his parallel career as a crime writer never gained full traction.

Spellbound Spellbound by Larry Correia
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This novel continues on directly from the first in this sequence, Hard Magic, opening with a suicidal assassination attempt on US President Roosevelt. It's a crime which is set up to look as if it was perpetrated, not only by a magic user, but also one that was a member of the clandestine Grimnoir Society. Those behind the attempt are revealed, to the reader, as a kind of steampunk CIA, deliberately stirring up major trouble, with the ultimate aim of introducing legislation to force all Actives to register as state assets.

The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 23 The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 23 edited by Stephen Jones
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
This volume once again provides horror enthusiasts with an exhaustive overview of where the genre stands and what new directions it is taking by reporting what books, magazines and movies have been offered in 2011. As is customary, the bulk of the volume is the twenty-six stories that editor Stephen Jones deems to be the best that have appeared in print. The reader should pay particular attention to the copyright page, which clearly indicates which were the more accomplished anthologies and collections of the year.

The Complete Rainbow Orchid The Complete Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
What we generally think of as graphic novels in the Anglosphere is a fairly recent innovation, deriving from more traditional comic books. In the Francophone world, bandes dessinées have a longstanding status and popularity which belies the slightly desperate quest of mainstream acceptability that often characterises English-speaking comics aficionados. The ligne claire style of Tintin or Edgar P. Jacobs' Blake and Mortimer adventures is, of course, not the only style of bandes dessinées, but perhaps it is the best-known and loved in the English speaking world.

Blood of Dragons Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Here, we pick up the story right where she left off in City of Dragons. The dragons and the crew of the Tarman have reached the lost city of Kelsingra and now Alise, Tats, Rapskal and the others are trying to settle down and make a life for themselves in the city. The dragons that remained earthbound all go through the process of learning to fly and the dragon keepers are now developing into full-fledged Elderlings and searching for the silver that will allow the dragons to complete their development.


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