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Electric Velocipede

The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook by Suzette Haden Elgin
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
The Handbook offers readers a ubiquitously practical guide beginning with poetry basics (surprisingly hard to find in much contemporary analysis), advanced poetics (e.g., graphic, phonological, lexical, and syntactic patterns), and then the 'rough and ready' world of the professional writer who markets and sells his/her work.

Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction by Jonathan R. Eller and William F. Touponce
reviewed by David Soyka
While the title implies a biography, this is rather an exhaustive -- both in terms of detail as well as reader endurance -- scholarly examination of the Bradbury opus that seems to have collected every possible minutia that even die-hard fans might find themselves not caring too much about. In other words, this is a work intended for an academic audience, the type of people who actually read footnotes and care to know about such things as the line edits between an author's first drafts and subsequent revisions.

Son of Brainbox Son of Brainbox edited by Steve Eller
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
After the influenza pandemic, there was a place for horror. After the Holocaust, there was a place for horror. And we have seen already that after the tragedies of that September morning, there is a place for horror. It is only our definition that shifts. Here, in this time of changing perceptions and withering beliefs about what we thought was common ground to all of us, the stories behind these stories are suddenly more important than ever before. Perhaps because they sensed that significance, the authors of this anthology have reached deep to get at the truth, often so deep the pain is apparent in every word.

Jaran The Novels of Jaran by Kate Elliott
reviewed by Todd Richmond
At four volumes and over 2,250 pages, this series may seem daunting -- but it's certainly worth reading. The saga sweeps across the galaxy, involving war, romance, intrigue and treachery. The Jaran series is truly an epic masterpiece, conveying a story of the dreams of conquest and rebellion by a pair of charismatic men and the woman who is linked to them both.

King's Dragon King's Dragon by Kate Elliott
reviewed by Katharine Mills
Katharine found this novel a mixed experience overall. Elliott's prose balances nicely between the archaic and the overly contemporary, and she pays attention to her characters. However, the hefty creaking of her backdrop was often intrusive.

Absolute Planetary Absolute Planetary by Warren Ellis
reviewed by Susan Dunman
Itís a strange world -- so says Elijah Snow, and he should know. He has been recruited by a mysterious organization called Planetary to assist in its efforts to uncover Earth's secret history. The pay is not bad at one million dollars a year for life, especially considering Elijah has already lived 100 years, while aging only half that number.

Shatterday Shatterday by Harlan Ellison
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The problem with reading a collection by Harlan Ellison is the introductions. Pages of them, not just to the book, but to each individual story. These are remarkable creations, constructing a character who is aggressive, self-aggrandising, self-deprecating, vain. It doesn't take long to become tired of the way any stranger who doesn't immediately understand the Ellison ego in its every weird contortion is casually labelled a "feep."

Dangerous Visions Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
In 1967, The editor sought to shake up the science fiction universe with the publication of this anthology. In many ways, he succeeded. Different ways of telling stories were introduced, writers who might otherwise have escaped the attention of the hardcore SF reader gained a reputation and an audience. But what was its long-term influence? Is science fiction different now than it would have been without this ambitious anthology? The publication of a 35th Anniversary Edition brings with it not only the chance to remember a milestone of the field, but also to take a look at how science fiction has changed in the thirty-five years since it was first published.

The Essential Ellison: A 50 Year Retrospective The Essential Ellison: A 50 Year Retrospective by Harlan Ellison, edited by Terry Dowling with Richard Delap and Gil Lamont
reviewed by Jayme Lynn Blaschke
It is a curious phenomenon, being unable to discuss the prose without discussing the author. But such is the author's unique position -- the shadow he casts is a very large one indeed. The influence he has had on modern genre, direct or indirect, is immeasurable. To that extent, the title of this book is a straightforward case of truth-in-packaging: It is essential, essential for aspiring writers, veterans of the field, editors, fans... anyone with a desire for a thorough appreciation and understanding of SF.

Edgeworks 4 Edgeworks 4 by Harlan Ellison
reviewed by Wayne MacLaurin
Whether you're already an Ellison fan just looking for a great addition to your collection, or you're wondering what all the fuss is about, the Edgeworks series is a great way to discover (or rediscover) the remarkable talent that is Harlan Ellison.

Slippage Slippage by Harlan Ellison
reviewed by Thomas Myer
Good news and bad. Thomas found the stories are Grade-A premium quality, filled with words both unusual and delightful. But he also thinks these stories mark no departure for Ellison.

Lifeblood Lifeblood by P.N. Elrod
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Once again, P.N. Elrod has created a delightful read in the second installment of The Vampire Files, with Lifeblood.† What makes these books fun is that they are not just another book about vampires, but they are the film noir of vampire novels.† Did you ever read any of the old detective magazines with stories about a private investigator of sorts cracking the case?†

Cold Streets Cold Streets by P.N. Elrod
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Jack Fleming figures the case will be easy. He'll use his vampire abilities to become mist, attaching himself to the suitcase filled with the ransom for Vivian Gladwell's daughter, Sarah. He'll follow the money, overpower the kidnappers, take the girl home. He's right. He does all this with great ease, finishing up by using his hypnotic powers to whammy the men into confessing. This is where things go downhill. It works on all of them, except Hurley Dugan, their leader, who now suspects Jack's true nature. Soon, Dugan will try

Lady Crymsyn Lady Crymsyn by P.N. Elrod
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
At one time, Jack Fleming would have been styled as a vampire detective, as he sometimes teamed up with a pal who is a private investigator. With this volume of the series, he seems to be headed in the direction of being a vampire gangster. He steadfastly maintains that he isn't a criminal, but he's likely in denial.

Hex Appeal Hex Appeal edited by P.N. Elrod
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
All together there are ten authors at work here, two of whom write under a collective name, presenting paranormal tales from the world that lies just out of sight, most of the time. These include stories about bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, a resurrected boyfriend, and a supporting role for a pleasure droid from the twenty-third century! The editor wrangles a nicely diverse collection of talent. But former glory is never a guarantee. Is what they serve up the literary equivalent of a gourmet meal, or more like a dog's breakfast?

Against the Giants Against the Giants by Ru Emerson
reviewed by John O'Neill
The memory of tracking hill giants through the timber maze of the Steading or the first encounter with the Drow deep in the Fire Giant's lair, is a powerful inducement to pick up this book. They're all here -- the Frost Giant Jarl, the two-headed ettin guard, the imprisoned Titan giantess who aids the party, even Eclavdra the Drow high priestess, mastermind of the whole plot.

Xena Warrior Princess: Go Quest, Young Man Xena Warrior Princess: Go Quest, Young Man by Ru Emerson
reviewed by Pat Caven
The first book in a new Xena trilogy, it introduces the reader to the "arc" plotline: Joxor is bedazzled into joining a quest to save Helen of Troy and bring her back into the arms of her obsessive husband -- Xena's old enemy Menelaus.

Carol Emshwiller

The Wolf Age The Wolf Age by James Enge
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
We find Morlock in Wuruyaaria: the city of werewolves. The story begins with Morlock being captured by a band of werewolves and subsequently imprisoned. Eventually, Morlock befriends a few fellow prisoners and, soon finds himself in the middle of a political power struggle. To complicate matters, other unseen forces are at work and are using Morlock and the city of werewolves as pawns in a much larger game.

This Crooked Way This Crooked Way by James Enge
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
We begin the story, this second installment in the Ambrose books, with Morlock on the road exploring his new found pseudo-exile by the recently-crowned fledgling emperor. The novel unfolds like a series of vignettes or short stories rather than a straight-forward narration with each section of the novel written from a different character's perspective that Morlock meets along his journey.

Arslan Arslan by M.J. Engh
reviewed by Harriet Klausner
When the name General Arslan is first mentioned on American TV, no one has heard of him and very few people can locate his nation, Turkiston. Not long after, he decides to begin his plan to save the planet from the spiral of corruption and destruction that its leaders seem to desire. After becoming the Deputy Command in Chief of the US armed forces, people recognize him as the conqueror of North America -- without a drop of blood spilled.

The Long Man The Long Man by Steve Englehart
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The story kicks off when Max August is summoned by a dying friend, in the hope that he can save Dr. Pamela Blackwell from whoever is trying to use magic to kill her. Blackwell's research is something that has the potential to save the lives of millions, and that has accidentally put her in the sights of a clandestine organisation called the FRC.

The Sea Came in at Midnight The Sea Came in at Midnight by Steve Erickson
reviewed by David Soyka
This is an intriguing and highly inventive novel. It's not going to be shelved in the same place as Tolkien.  Kafka, Borges, and Garcia Marquez, yes, for this is the type of fiction that is often called "experimental" -- although, were it not for the connotations of fairies and sorcerers, fantasy is what it is.

Steven Erikson

The Carpet Makers The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
The novel opens on a subsistence-culture desert planet where the most respected industry is the construction of intricate carpets woven of human hair. So detailed, so fine is the weaving, that each maker can only produce one carpet in his lifetime. The hairs themselves come from the bodies of his wives, chosen for the silkiness and shade of their tresses.

Return of the Crimson Guard Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian C. Esslemont
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
The timeline in Return of the Crimson Guard is just after the events in The Bonehunters. In this story, the action shifts to the continent of Quan Tali, the home continent of the Malazan Empire. The empire is in bad shape. It is stretched thin and insurrection threatens to rip the empire apart from the inside out. To make matters worse, it appears that the rumors that the Crimson Guard, a mortal enemy of the Malazan Empire, is returning are finally coming to fruition.

Night of Knives Night of Knives by Ian C. Esslemont
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
The story describes the events that transpired on the night that Surly became the empress of the Malazan Empire and Kellanved and Dancer ascend to the pantheon of shadow realm. The tale is told through two primary characters, Temper and Kiska. Temper is a grizzled Malazan soldier stationed on Malaz isle and a veteran of the legendary Seven Cities campaign having served directly under Dassem Ultor. Kiska is a cunning young girl who has spent her entire life on Malaz Isle and knows the city inside and out.

Satan's Rose Garden and Other Tales of Terror Satan's Rose Garden and Other Tales of Terror by Alan M. Etheridge and Bill M. Etheridge
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The title story, by Alan M. Etheridge, is a dark novella, which turned out to be good and on the whole, very well written. It is a modern gothic tale of incest, murder and possession, the first part of which is really enticing and very effective, graced with a steady and captivating narrative pace. By contrast, the second half of the novella becomes less accomplished.

A Darkness Forged in Fire A Darkness Forged in Fire by Chris Evans
reviewed by Tammy Moore
Konowa Swift Dragon had good reason to kill the Calahrian Viceroy he was meant to protect. The man was a brute, a traitor and most likely even worse than that. He still ended up banished to the Elfkyna forest and the Iron Elves regiment he led was demanded. Alone among the unresponsive trees with only his bengar Jir for company Konowa thinks that things can't get much worse.

Mnemosyne's Kiss Mnemosyne's Kiss by Peter J. Evans
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Cassandra Lannigan wakes up in a Nairobi hospital and realizes that she's extremely lucky. Two months ago, doctors tell her, somebody put a bullet through the back of her head and only the miracles of medical nanotech saved her. Unfortunately, science could not entirely rebuild her damaged brain. Cassandra cannot remember who she is, what she was doing in Nairobi or why assassins are still trying to kill her.

The Fictional Man The Fictional Man by Al Ewing
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Niles Golan is a professional writer, primarily known for his character Kurt Power, a no nonsense ex-lawyer turned private eye, who stars in such naff titles such as Pudding and Pie: A Kurt Power Novel. Following a series of failed relationships, culminating in divorce, Golan is at something of a crossroads in his life and in therapy with Ralph Cutner, the former star of a TV show, who has now reinvented himself as a Life Coach.

In Deepspace Shadows In Deepspace Shadows by Kendall Evans
reviewed by Amal El-Mohtar
It isn't quite a play, it isn't quite a poem. It showcases a cast of artificially intelligent robots of different shapes and sizes, created by humans and placed aboard a spaceship, called The TransAtlantic Tortoise, sent out to find new, habitable worlds. The ship is also intelligent but, at the play's opening, it has mysteriously stopped communicating with the crew. We follow Gael-all-of-metal, the dog-shaped captain, as he reflects on and tests the boundaries of his programming, encourages mutiny aboard his ship and discovers love with another crewmate.

Pax Omega Pax Omega by Al Ewing
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
As the third sortie into the world of Pax Britannia, created by Jonathan Green, following El Sombra, and Gods of Manhattan -- both highlights of the steampunk genre -- it is described by the publisher as a "galaxy spanning adventure" and true to its word begins with a small group of aliens playing God. What follows is a trip through time, taking in the 1920s, a large World War II episode, the alternate future aftermath of that conflict, and then into the furthest future.

Gods of Manhattan Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The story revolves around three lovingly re-imaged characters. El Sombra, is a merciless, Zorro-esque Mexican swordsman. Once upon a time he was a poet named Djego. Now, he is the Saint of Ghosts, El Sombra, who believes the only good Nazi is a dead Nazi. Moving along a seemingly parallel path is the Blood Spider, who begins the book as a murderous masked vigilante, something like a cross between Batman and the Shadow. Then there's America's Greatest Hero, Doc Thunder, who is presented as an amalgam of Doc Savage, Hulk Hogan, and the original template for Superman.

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.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Baron Munchausen The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Baron Munchausen
a game review by Don Bassingthwaite
Wax your moustache or tighten your bodice, and call the potboy for another round of drinks. The year is 17__ and Baron Munchausen is tired of being pressed into relating the tales of his remarkable adventures for unappreciative hosts. To free himself from such mundane demands, he has created his own roleplaying game.

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