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Katja from the Punk Band Katja from the Punk Band by Simon Logan
reviewed by Martin Lewis
We meet Katja -- accessorised with drooping Mohawk and plastic tracheotomy tube -- as she arrives late for work at a diner, having just murdered her boyfriend. She has killed him to take possession of mysterious vial which offers the possibility of a way off the island. Unsurprisingly, others would seek to acquire the vial just as violently as Katja did.

i-o: input output i-o: input output by Simon Logan
reviewed by Gabe Chouinard
The author's fiction stands poised, triangulated, frozen in a half-step between the interstices of science fiction, horror and fantasy. The eight stories here are all half-steps, frozen moments, pieces of industrial waste cast up on the shores of literature. And they're good.

Proxy Proxy by Alex London
reviewed by Michael M Jones
What if... your entire life was lived at someone else's convenience? What if you were held hostage for their good behavior? What if they could do whatever they wanted, while you suffered the consequences? Syd is a victim of that system. Born into a debt he can never pay off, he's a Proxy, owned by one of the richest families in the Mountain City, one of the few civilized enclaves left after a series of apocalyptic disasters devastated the old world.

Ferney Ferney by James Long
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Consider Mike's problem. He has a pretty new wife whose mental state is fragile due to a childhood trauma. She then meets a rural octogenarian, Ferney, with whom she claims she's had a passionate 1300-year romance and whom she is destined to love through future incarnations. Mike's an understanding guy since the old man has one foot in the grave, but he has just a bit of trouble with the whole concept.

The Descent The Descent by Jeff Long
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
Early man's concepts of a dark and threatening Underworld grew from rare sightings of subterranean dwellers, primitive humans mutated into horrible, horned and armour-plated demonoids who thrived on cannibalism and torture. The powers-that-be want to investigate...

The Enemy Papers The Enemy Papers by Barry B. Longyear
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The saga of Human and Drac interaction began in 1979 with the award-winning short story, "Enemy Mine." It saw a sequel in the form of the novel, The Tomorrow Testament, and now the series is concluded in a new novel, The Last Enemy. All three are compiled in this one book, together with The Talman, the collected wisdom of the Drac which is quoted and alluded to throughout the three stories, and essays by Longyear about writing this series and about formulating an alien language.

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.

Through A Distant Mirror Darkly Through A Distant Mirror Darkly by Mark Lord
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
This short story collection comprises features five Medieval tales. This is neither a romanticised pre-modern idyll, or a brutish world of superstition; the characters are by turns befuddled, reflective, lusty, pious, cynical, brave -- in short, very like our own age. Four of the stories feature supernatural/horror elements, to slightly varying extents. Only the first, "Stand and Fight," is pure historical fiction.

James Lovegrove

Phantom Sense and Other Stories Phantom Sense and Other Stories edited by Richard A. Lovett and Mark Niemann-Ross
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Analog writers have collaborated to create this series of tales that concentrate on science and humanity. It is interesting when one writer edits a series of short stories, but when two notable ones join together, anything can happen, and it has with this award-winning team. These have the advantage of being both science and fiction and the two aspects are equal in these four stories which also come with an explanation for how they were conceived.

Karin Lowachee

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.

Path of the Bold Path of the Bold edited by James Lowder
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This anthology is the follow up to Path of the Just, although not strictly a sequel as there are no direct continuations among the stories. As with its predecessor, this is an ensemble production, featuring loosely connected stories from fifteen writers, one of whom is also the editor. The loose connection is that all the tales take place in or around Empire City, a twin for Astro City or Gotham. Like those places, it's a locale where super heroes and villains are a common fact of life, with all their attendant glamour and danger.

Path of the Just Path of the Just edited by James Lowder
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
This is a small anthology of superhero fiction, short stories, based around the many heroes and villains associated with Empire City. An offshoot of the Silver Age Sentinels RPG, it falls somewhere between a comic book script aimed at older readers, and the Wild Cards novels edited by George R.R. Martin.

The Doom of Camelot The Doom of Camelot edited by James Lowder
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This anthology gathers 14 short tales and a pair of poems on the matter of what led to the collapse of Camelot and King Arthur's fellowship of Knights of the Round Table. Some tales come from novices to Arthurian fiction (Susan Fry's "The Battle, Lost"), others from long time anthologists and collectors of Arthurian lore (Mike Ashley's "The Corruption of Perfection") and even some from professors of mediaeval literature (Verlyn Flieger's "Avilion: A Romance of Voices").

The Gathering of the Lost The Gathering of the Lost by Helen Lowe
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
This second novel re-introduces us to Derai characters from The Heir of Night as well as the two Heralds but also shows us the southern lads from the city of Ij to the Northern March of Emer, and acquaints us with a whole range of new, well-developed characters. Malian and Kalan have separated, since anyone searching for them would seek a boy and a girl, and are set on different paths. Assassins attack a House of Heralds in Ij which sets off a lot of tumultuous events. Everyone seems to have his or her own agenda and treachery abounds.

Doc Voodoo:  Aces & Eights Doc Voodoo: Aces & Eights by Dale Lucas
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Rather than stretch out an idea until it snaps, the author presents a tight, action packed tale of what his publishers term mobsters, mystery, magic and mayhem. The mobsters are a mixture of West Indian, Jewish, Irish and Italian immigrants, all competing -- often bloodily -- for a piece of the action in Harlem. The main contenders are Papa House and the Queen Bee, who are running rival gangs yet have very different ambitions.

The Star Wars Trilogy The Star Wars Trilogy by George Lucas, Donald F. Glut and James Kahn
reviewed by David Maddox
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

These words have been immortalized in the minds of American pop culture for 25 years. One wonders if George Lucas knew exactly what he was giving birth to when he first penned the opening to one of the greatest and certainly most profitable science fiction trilogies of all time.

The Phantom Menace Movie Storybook The Phantom Menace Movie Storybook
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
If you have children who enjoy Star Wars (or to whom you'd like to introduce it!), you'll want to get them this book. You may even want to check it out to satisfy the science fiction loving child in yourself.

Star Wars: Millennium Falcon Star Wars: Millennium Falcon by James Luceno
reviewed by David Maddox
Han Solo's YT-1300 Freighter is more than just a space ship, it's a full-blown character that the Star Wars Universe couldn't exist without. Over the original trilogy and through countless Expanded Universe stories, it has surpassed itself in travel and saving its owners time and time again. But what of the ship's personal history? Is there a story behind its many voyages?

Star Wars: Millennium Falcon Star Wars: Millennium Falcon by James Luceno
an audiobook review by Sarah Trowbridge
In the Star Wars universe, there is no vessel more famous and revered than the Millennium Falcon. Yet how much do we really know about the circumstances that led to her pivotal role in the greatest conflict in the history of that long-ago, far-away galaxy? In Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, that story is finally told.

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force by James Luceno
reviewed by Michael M Jones
After five long, bloody years, the war for an entire galaxy finally draws to a close. The invading forces of the Yuuzhan Vong have penetrated to the very heart of the New Republic, taking Coruscant, killing trillions of beings and destroying entire worlds along the way. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and their varied allies are scattered to the wind as they desperately try to find a solution that doesn't involve genocide.

Star Wars: Cloak of Deception Star Wars: Cloak of Deception by James Luceno
reviewed by David Maddox
Supreme Chancellor Valorum, saddled with the hardships of public office and constantly mired in scandal and baseless accusations, finds more problems from the greedy Trade Federation and the rising terrorist group known as the Nebulan Front. On advice from trusted friend and colleague Senator Palpatine, Valorum attempts to create peace between them, at an emergency trade summit. The Jedi Knights are tasked to protect the delegates from possible terrorist threats, but sinister forces lurk beneath the surface, using politicians as pawns in an unfathomable game.

Final Entropy Final Entropy by Nelson Lucier
reviewed by Cyd Athens
The premise of this novel, allegedly a deep-space science fiction thriller about survival on an alien world, is appealing. It is the execution that exemplifies the stigma against works that are not traditionally published. We begin with a notice on the copyright page.

The Day Watch The Day Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Despite being compared by some to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, the Night Watch Trilogy involves realistic contemporary (post-communism modern, slightly decaying Russian) urban landscapes, strictly adult characters, with adult interests, motivations and issues, organized in highly hierachical multi-member fraternal organisations, battling on many fronts, and trying to intrigue their way to superiority over the other side. In this sense, they are much more reminiscent of the title characters in Katherine Kurtz's early Deryni titles.

No Sharks in the Med No Sharks in the Med by Brian Lumley
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
With a prolific literary career spanning over forty years, Brian Lumley is one of the most famous and celebrated contemporary horror writers, whose Lovecraftian tales and vampire Necroscope novels (just to mention a few examples) represent true genre milestones.

Titus Crow: The Burrowers Beneath  and The Transition of Titus Crow Titus Crow: The Burrowers Beneath and The Transition of Titus Crow by Brian Lumley
reviewed by Chris Donner
Despite the otherworldliness of the topic -- the Cthulhu legend and occult themes in general -- the author manages to bring horror down from the stars and up from the seas and position it directly under our feet, where it may strike fatally and with no more than the quirky spasms of a seismograph needle to warn of its coming.

The House of Doors The House of Doors by Brian Lumley
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
A large, alien craft has landed in the Scottish countryside, taking on the appearance of a castle. The alien on board "absorbs" a group of humans into the structure to test human mental breaking points. Stephen found this to be either an unhorrific horror story or an uninspired SF novel.

Titus Crow: The Clock of Dreams & Spawn of the Winds Titus Crow: The Clock of Dreams & Spawn of the Winds by Brian Lumley
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
The Titus Crow novels mix pulp action heroes with the weird horror of H.P. Lovecraft, creating a hero who crosses paths with dread Cthulhu and comes out swinging. White-knuckle action or purple prose? Stephen Davis finds out.

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.

The Best of Xero The Best of Xero by edited by Pat and Dick Lupoff
reviewed by Rich Horton
Back in 1960, Pat and Dick Lupoff started a fanzine which they called Xero. They were part of the SF fan community and the 'zine certainly did feature plenty of commentary on SF. It also had a distinct slant toward commentary on comics, but also more general interest stuff. It was quite successful, eventually getting too big for comfort, and after some 10 issues the Lupoffs stopped putting it out. But it still won a Hugo for Best Fanzine in 1963 (and Pat Lupoff was the first woman to win a Hugo).

Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon by Richard Lupoff and Bruce Coville
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
Not to be confused with the barrage of popular and cult games you play with little plastic dice, this series was originally published as a collection of individual novels by four authors under the creative auspices of Philip José Farmer between 1988 and 1990. Borrowing liberally from Farmer's Riverworld saga thematically (without the after-life apparatus) the story concerns one Major Clive Folliot, an officer in Her Majesty's military service in 1878, who embarks on a quest into the deadly Sudd floodplain of central Africa to find his absent twin brother, gone fourteen months and last known exploring the Sudd region. He stumbles instead into a multi-dimensional labyrinth that spans a planet and houses creatures and technologies from throughout the galaxy.

Visions Visions by Richard A. Lupoff
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
This prolific author of fantasy, SF and horror fiction, although a veteran in the field, shows no sign of relenting his writing output, so much so that his latest collection includes not only a bunch of previously published stories, but also a few brand new tales. The first section of the volume collects stories reporting the adventures of the psychic detective Abraham ben Zaccheus, a San Francisco-based kind of Sherlock Holmes, whose Dr Watson is a certain John O'Leary.

Claremont Tales II Claremont Tales II by Richard A. Lupoff
reviewed by Rich Horton
Included in this collection are some straight SF, some supernatural horror (two stories, at least, fairly directly influenced by Lovecraft), and some straight mystery stories, as well as some amalgams of all of the above. Always noticeable, too, is the author's assured storyteller's touch, his engaging voice, and his ability to alter that voice in service of his aims, most notably here in "The Adventure of the Boulevard Assassin", a Sherlock Holmes story written in the style of Jack Kerouac. (Back in the 70s, he attracted some notice with a series of SF stories pastiching various author's styles, all written as by "Ova Hamlet".)

Claremont Tales Claremont Tales by Richard A. Lupoff
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
This collection hints at the richness of the author's talent. It includes a murder mystery which takes place in a Japanese scientific colony on the moon, 2 pastiches of James Thurber, 2 of H.P. Lovecraft, and 2 which may be autobiographic, "The Monster and Mr. Greene" and "Mr. Greene and the Monster."

The Menace from the Moon The Menace from the Moon by Bohun Lynch
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This book is a literary science fiction novel, with some similarities to H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds (1898), except that the aliens are "shipwrecked" humans and they launch only remote attacks on Earth. It is much more a look at the personal and sociological implications of the discovery and later threat from the moon people, so don't expect a literary version of Independence Day.

Red Seas Under Red Skies Red Seas Under Red Skies Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
reviewed by Rich Horton
Locke Lamora and his friend Jean Tannen have apparently suffered a disastrous setback leading to the deaths of all their compatriots, and a serious injury for Locke. On the bright side, they did defeat an evil Karthain Bondsmage. Eventually they land in the city of Tal Verrar, and they hatch a plot to steal from the Sinspire, an exclusive gambling den.

The Lies of Locke Lamora The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Locke Lamora is a thief so audacious, able and discreet that even the underworld crime boss of Camorr has no inkling that Locke has amassed a fortune by swindling the local nobility. Along with his close associates, the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is in the midst of his biggest con game ever, posing as a Vadran wine merchant to entice the Don and Dona Salvara to invest twenty-five thousand crowns in an entirely bogus business deal.

The Lies of Locke Lamora The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The story begins with a deal between a Thieftaker and a false priest for the life of a small orphan boy named Locke Lamora. The Thieftaker is going to either sell him or kill him. The priest, Father Chains, takes him but threatens the boy's life unless he tells his story honestly: why did the Thieftaker need to be rid of him?

Dragon's Treasure Dragon's Treasure by Elizabeth A. Lynn
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Dragonlord Karadur Atani, having warred with his sorcerer brother Tenjiro to regain the dragon birthright that Tenjiro stole, finds himself uneasy in the peace that follows. Of all the shapechangers in the world -- hawk and bear and wolf, all settled among their own kin and kind -- only Dragon is alone. Karadur longs for others like himself, or, if they are not to be found, for a woman through whom he can pass on his blood. His choice to marry would be welcomed by all his household, except, perhaps, his long-time lover, the crippled bard Azil Aumson.

Dragon's Winter Dragon's Winter by Elizabeth A. Lynn
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
Ippa is a land where rare bloodlines in certain families lead to changelings, children with the magical ability to shape-change into animals whose form and powers are straight out of totemic legend. The Dragons are the most revered and dangerous of the changelings, and most powerful of these is the Lord Karadur Atani.

Dragon's Winter Dragon's Winter by Elizabeth A. Lynn
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
There's not much that's new here: jealous twins, dark wizardry, shape-shifters, dragons, heroic warriors battling a consuming evil. But the author's character-driven approach breathes fresh life into these high fantasy conventions, and lends her narrative an emotional depth not often found in the genre.

Machina Machina by Jonathan Lyons
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The premise behind this novel is a bold one; what happens when God dies. The author speculates that from the moment God is not able to keep an omnipresent eye on the entire universe, reality begins to falter. Human scientist first notice something happening at the far edges of the observable universe, where telescopes reveal that stars are disappearing.

Burn Burn by Jonathan Lyons
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This is a fast-paced, well-plotted and entertaining novel of the near future. A combination of Sam Spade and cyberpunk, it takes us to an Earth where ecosystems have been devastated by unchecked industrial emissions and their consequences, old coastal cities have been flooded by rising oceans and rebuilt into smog enshrouded dark corridors awash with rains so acidic the buildings are slowly digested away. Amidst all this, apparently unconnected people appear to be victims of spontaneous combustion... enter Cage, the down-on-his-luck ex-cop turned private-eye.

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