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Black Ships Black Ships by Jo Graham
reviewed by Dustin Kenall
As seen through the eyes of Gull, a seer or Pythia of the Lady of Death, the story of Prince Aeneas of Troy unfolds in accessible prose that is a model of clarity and swift pacing. Whereas the Aeneid takes the perspective of a single individual, Black Ships zooms out to encompass the wider Mediterranean world at the end of the Bronze Age when some cataclysm shook the Ancient Classical world to its roots, inaugurating a mini-Dark Age of piracy, dislocation, and the eclipse of trade and learning. This is not the age of Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus...

The Emerald Cavern The Emerald Cavern by Mitchell Graham
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Despite the best efforts of his enemies in The Fifth Ring, Mathew appears to have landed on his feet, in the safest place possible. Ensconced in Tenley Palace, under the fierce protection of King Gawl -- a giant of a man and the ruler of Sennia -- what could possibly happen to Mathew, his beloved Lara, and the others? Nothing could be as horrifying as the ghoulish Orlocks or as powerful as Karas Duren. And, Mathew has his incredible ring to fight anyone who threatens the fragile peace of the land.

The Fifth Ring The Fifth Ring by Mitchell Graham
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Mathew Lewin may have dreamed of a world beyond his own quiet village, but a magical ring and a ruthless tyrant were hardly the reasons he imagined forcing him out. Now, with a power-mad king, repulsive and deadly Orlocks, and war brewing, Mathew and his friends must run for their lives. Can they restore peace to the divided country? Will they survive long enough to make a difference? And how will they learn the truth about the mysterious ring?

Batman: The Stone King Batman: The Stone King by Alan Grant
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
A dam near Gotham City is about to burst and Batman has determined the dam cannot be saved but the citizens of Gotham city must be protected. Batman calls for the help from Justice League members to create a "safe dam break." After the turmoil when all the Justice League members are getting their breath and looking over the destruction created by the rushing waters, The Green Lantern notices a strange object. Uncovered by the erosion of the sudden rushing waters is a pyramid, not unlike those in Egypt.

Last Sons Last Sons by Alan Grant
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The premise features a Living Monolith character, the Alpha, who intends to destroy all inferior life forms in the universe, just as soon as it has collected the last sons of those races that have already perished. The purpose of this collection is to drain their emotional energies to use as a weapon. Thus do we find J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter and last son of the red planet, teamed with Superman, the last son of Krypton, and the cosmic bounty hunter Lobo, who is the last son of Czarnia.

Winter Knight Winter Knight by Charles Grant
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Ethan Proctor, ghost hunter and investigator supreme, is back -- fortunately for us and unfortunately for those with something to hide. This time, his unusual talents are needed across the Atlantic. The drowsy village of Pludbury has been living with a chilling secret for generations -- its own private, not so chivalrous phantasm, one who drives a vicious bargain.

Black Oak: The Hush of Dark Wings Black Oak: The Hush of Dark Wings by Charles Grant
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This book is another welcome dose of Grant's flowing, creepy style. The feeling is simply that it is all over too quickly; even before the gentle reader can get the nails chewed off one hand.

Black Oak #1:  Genesis Black Oak #1: Genesis by Charles Grant
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Charles Grant owes Lisa one night's sleep. What kind of fool stays up past midnight when the alarm is set for 5:30 am? The one who started this novel and knew by page 3 it had to be finished before something as trivial as sleep came.

Burning Days Burning Days by Glenn Grant
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
One of the perhaps unexpected impacts of personal technology on our lives is a hyperlocalism. The futurism of days gone by has often emphasised the abolition of distance and the opening up of a global arena of action for all of us, but the smart phone and the social network seem to be instead opening up space for the nearby, the quotidian local. Science fiction has often tended to emphasise universal dreams.

New Writings in the Fantastic New Writings in the Fantastic edited by John Grant
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
As stated in the introduction, the book tries to show "the full scope of what the literature of the fantastic can do" by assembling an impressive amount of brand new short stories (forty-one, to be precise) by both well known authors and newcomers. According to the editor, the reader is bound to fall in love at first sight with some stories and to hate other pieces because they are "uncomfortable, edgy, even outright offensive." Indeed.

Take No Prisoners Take No Prisoners by John Grant
reviewed by Adam Volk
Over the years, science fiction and fantasy have developed an undeserved reputation as the ugly stepsisters of so-called "literary fiction". Neglected by critics, disdained by academics, and largely considered little more than juvenile escapism by the majority of mainstream culture, the two genres have existed in a kind of literary limbo, despite the fact that both science fiction and fantasy have produced novels with depth, substance and ingenuity that rival even the greatest works of the western literary canon. And yet, every so often there comes along an author who is able to bridge the gap between literary elitism and the world of speculative fiction.

Feed Feed by Mira Grant
reviewed by Michael M Jones
In an attempt to cure cancer and the common cold, scientists accidentally sparked something worse: a virus which turns its victims into mindless, ravening zombies. Twenty years later, the hungry dead are just a fact of life, one to be avoided when possible, dealt with when necessary. It's a world of paranoia and danger, constant blood tests and intense personal security, where human contact is minimalized.

Kaspian Lost Kaspian Lost by Richard Grant
reviewed by David Soyka
The author couples the politics of two otherwise unlikely connected subjects -- school reform and UFO abductions -- and grafts them onto a highly amusing coming-of-age fable (as if growing up isn't weird enough without having to endure crackpot politicos and alien visitations).

Incompetence Incompetence by Rob Grant
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Welcome to the United States of Europe, where incompetence is a way of life. According to Article 13199 of the Pan-European Constitution, "No person shall be prejudiced from employment in any capacity, at any level, by reason of age, race, creed or incompetence." In other words, knowing how to do a job is no longer a prerequisite for being hired... and not knowing how to do it can't get you fired. In the horribly mismanaged and incredibly inconvenient world of Article 13199, everyone goes round in circles, whether or not they're on a roundabout.

The Piaculum The Piaculum by Richard C. Gray
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Our story is set in a future, post-apocalyptic Earth. We follow the story of Cearl, a young man with a white-mark, who is a Mone. The Mone are non-violent farmers, who value family and religion. They are poor farmers who eke out a living in a desert-like landscape. The white-mark Cearl has is rare. It is similar to being an albino. He has pale skin compared to the dark color of the other Mone.

Great Ghost Stories/Great Horror Stories Great Ghost Stories and Great Horror Stories
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
These two books, totalling close to 1300 pages, certainly give you your money's worth. A number of tales are from well-known 19th century authors like James Hogg, Sir Walter Scott, Wilkie Collins, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Honoré de Balzac, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, etc. Another large group are from the superb British atmospheric horror writers of the early 20th century: E.F. Benson, Algernon Blackwood, Walter De La Mare, W.H. Hodgson, M.R. James, Oliver Onions, L.P. Hartley, etc.

Greatest Uncommon Denominator #6, Summer 2010 Greatest Uncommon Denominator #6, Summer 2010
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
The cover image sets the tone for a somewhat darker collection this time. There seems to be a lot more poems (worthy of particular mention is Jim Pascual Agustin's "Sand Clings To Me Toes, Daddy" with its capturing of one of those moments in childhood that are both magical and sad, presaging the inevitable passage of time), the stories seem to be longer, and there are none of the short comics of the previous volume. As well as being longer, there seems to be a darker tone to these stories.

Greatest Uncommon Denominator #5, Winter 2009 Greatest Uncommon Denominator #5, Winter 2009
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
The good folks at GUD proclaim on their site to be unconstrained by genre or form -- bringing the world sci-fi for the literary crowd and literary stuff for the sci-fi crowd. The dichotomy between sci-fi and "literature" is of course a false one, but it does reflect perhaps a divergence of interests among groups of readers who ultimately value originality and literary quality.

Hound Hound by George Green
reviewed by William Thompson
Told from the perspective of Cuchullain's charioteer, a Roman galley slave washed up on the shores of Erin, the description of Conor's fractious court and the Hound of Ulster's exploits capture the mythic proportions of its source material, and are related with intelligence and wit. Like the nonpareil exemplars they are, avatars of legend and a warrior ethos, Maeve, Connaught and Cuchullain quarrel with themselves, the gods and fate, exhibiting the pettiness of humanity and powers of deity in common measure.

The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus by Jonathan Green
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The plot begins to thicken with the murder of Professor Galapogos, in his office at the Natural History Museum. Ulysses Quicksilver is soon on the scene, and determines that the killer has also stolen the professor's difference engine; the steam-punk equivalent to a personal computer. Throughout this work the author amuses with alternate tech, such as Ulysses Quicksilver's personal communicator; a brass and leather mobile phone, an Overground train network in Londinium Maximus, mechanical bobbies, and Beefeater-drones with clockwork craniums. We soon learn that Magna Britannia is the ultimate superpower, dominating a world where the sun never set on the British Empire, and Queen Victoria is almost 160 years old.

Betrayals Betrayals by Sharon Green
reviewed by Robert Francis
Betrayals is the fourth book in The Blending, and solidly builds upon the groundwork laid in the first three books. The story revolves around 5 people, each gifted with control one of the five elements -- Air, Water, Fire, Earth, or Spirit.

The Blending The Blending by Sharon Green
reviewed by Robert Francis
The Blending series (so far 3 of possibly 5 volumes) tells a tale of power, corruption, and talent of an unusual nature. The proper Blending of Talents to control Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit can provide almost unimaginable power. Finding that ideal combination to defend against the Enemy is paramount, although many say the Enemy is long overdue. Perhaps too long overdue...

Simon R. Green

Blue Limbo Blue Limbo by Terence M. Green
reviewed by Rodger Turner
This novel is a near-future tech-noir thriller that follows Mitch Helwig, a Toronto cop, as he goes up against a criminal gang who are out to kill him in revenge for a raid which destroyed their warehouse. Not content to lick their wounds, they try to kidnap Mitch's father, kill his best friend and threaten his daughter. In effect, they want to wreck his life. Not that it would be hard.

Shadow of Ashland Shadow of Ashland by Terence M. Green
reviewed by Rodger Turner
Leo Nolan's mother is dying. She rambles on about her brother, Jack, coming back for a visit. But Jack disappeared some 50 years ago. Leo wonders about what happened to him. His fascination with Jack leads him to question his father and his family about the cause. He discovers Jack left Canada for Detroit to build cars. Some letters kept by family members surface, leading Leo on a journey to find out more. Eerily, the post office begins to deliver letters from Jack with a postmark a half-century old.

Treachery and Betrayal at Jolly Days Treachery and Betrayal at Jolly Days by Dan Greenburg
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
After facing the terrors of first book, Wally and Cheyenne Shluffmuffin return to Jolly Days Orphanage, where the Onts come to retrieve them, and the headmistress, Hortense Jolly, is all too ready to betray the children for the adoption money. Who knew that Cincinnati could be so dangerous?

The Onts The Onts by Dan Greenburg
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
Wally and Cheyenne Shufflemuffin are fraternal twins living at the Jolly Days Orphanage, a place that makes the Municipal Orphanage of Annie seem like a day spa. Wally's feet stink and Cheyenne is constantly sneezing, so no one wants to adopt them, until a pair of gaunt women, Dagmar and Hedy, come to the orphanage looking to adopt. Stinky feet and dripping noses are just what they want in children.

Apprentice Fantastic Apprentice Fantastic edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Russell Davis
reviewed by Rich Horton
The premise here is that each of the 13 stories are told about apprentices. As the stories are all fantasies, and as the most traditional fantastic trade to emphasize teaching is sorcery, most of the stories feature sorcerer's apprentices of one variety or another, though none of them is a retelling of the famous story.

My Favorite Science Fiction Story My Favorite Science Fiction Story edited by Martin H. Greenberg
reviewed by Rich Horton
In this anthology, the editor uses a gimmick that Rich has seen before, but one which still has legs. He has selected several prominent SF writers of the present day, and asked them to choose one favorite SF story. Their choices form this anthology.

Lord of the Fantastic Lord of the Fantastic edited by Martin H. Greenberg
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Only if you are familiar with Zelazny's work and the enormous impact of the man on SF, fantasy, and literature in general, will it prepare you for the breadth of the 23 tales paying homage to the author and the man. But try to find a person who has turned a page of the genre without ever encountering his stunning body of work.

The UFO Files The UFO Files edited by Martin H. Greenberg
reviewed by David A. Truesdale
Initially approaching The UFO Files with arched eyebrow and a healthy dose of jaded skepticism, David came away having enjoyed it. Make no mistake, however; no Pulitzer Prize winners here. Just well-worth-the-money plane or train ride or lounging on the patio on a summer afternoon fare, with a handful of solid stories and one true innovative gem.

Martin H. Greenberg and Larry Segriff, ed.

Villains Victorious Villains Victorious edited by Martin H. Greenberg & John Helfers
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
In this anthology, the bad guys and gals win. It includes stories by authors such as Tanya Huff, Rosemary Edghill, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Gary A. Braunbeck & Lucy A. Snyder, Fiona Patton, Michelle West and Peter Crowther.

Black Cats and Broken Mirrors Black Cats & Broken Mirrors edited by Martin H. Greenberg & John Helfers
reviewed by Neil Walsh
Don't let James Brown fool you. Martin H. Greenberg is the hardest working man in show business. Since his first anthology in 1974, he's followed up with over two hundred more. Here, he teams up with newcomer John Helfers for a look at superstitions, both modern and ancient.

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