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Surviving Frank Surviving Frank by David A. Page
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Georges was sort of expecting/hoping for a cross between Cornell Woolrich's Black Alibi and Dirty Harry, with a touch of lycanthropy à la The Howling thrown in. To make a parallel between the book's vengeful murderer and the protagonists of Woolrich's The Bride Wore Black and Rendezvous in Black would be quite a stretch indeed, but at least the villain wasn't immediately obvious and remained a fairly dark and largely humourless character.

Forry: The Life of Forrest J. Ackerman Forry: The Life of Forrest J. Ackerman by Deborah Painter
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
Uncle Forry. The Ackermonster. Dr. Acula. A few people despised him. Thousands loved him. He's been gone for three years now -- born 1916, died 2008 -- and Deborah Painter, a longtime friend of Forry's and sometime contributor to his magazines, has written a full-scale biography of the most Famous Monster of them all. Considering the long-term affectionate relationship between them, one would hardly expect this book to present an objective view of its subject. Nor does it. And that's all right.

A Paladin in Hell A Paladin in Hell
a gaming module review by Wayne MacLaurin
Every once in a while something comes along that you know is destined to become a classic. A Paladin in Hell is definitely one of them.

Diary: A Novel Diary: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
reviewed by Neil Walsh
He is one of those authors who utterly defies categorization. As a result, he often gets lost in the mainstream. He's a bit too off-the-wall for the literary snobs, and he's not quite weird enough for the SF crowd. At least, that's what they seem to think. If you're looking for comparisons, Neil would say Palahniuk is like a cross between Tim Powers on acid and Kurt Vonnegut gone postal.

Land Without Evil Land Without Evil by Matthew J. Pallamary
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
One glance at the flyleaf is enough to cue you in that this is not your standard fantasy novel. In fact, it might be better to think of it in the magic realism corner for now. You're going to be shown spirits, gods, and, well, astral projection, but it won't be quite like anything of that nature that you've seen before. Chances are, the people you discover in this book are a civilization you never knew existed and will probably never meet.

The Drune The Drune by Jane Palmer
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This book seems like madness, but this is madness with a message. The author has some points to make about humans, civilization, and civility. The fact that she works them in to a wild, through-the-looking-glass adventure eases the lessons into the most resistant brain, with little or no pain.

The Fate of Mice The Fate of Mice by Susan Palwick
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
The intelligent, literate stories in this collection -- eight previously published, three brand-new -- showcase the author's range and versatility, moving easily from science fiction to fantasy, from fabulism to realism, from humor to tragedy -- sometimes in the space of a single story. The book's standout is "Gestella," a novella about a female werewolf who has been tamed by her human lover.

The Wizard, the Witch and Two Girls From Jersey The Wizard, the Witch and Two Girls From Jersey by Lisa Papademetriou
reviewed by Dan Shade
In the tradition of National Lampoon's Bored of the Rings, William Goldman's The Princess Bride and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure comes a fantasy novel that equals them all. This book has all the elements of a good fantasy novel and all the fun of a roller-coaster-ride.

Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction, #13 Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction, #13
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Known for its showcasing talented writers and illustrators, the magazine also boasts new stories from such well-known writers as Steve Rasnic Tem who has penned many short fictional tales of fantasy and horror, Danny Adams who was also co-author with Philip José Farmer and T.L.Morganfield. These stories range from the fantastic to the inventive and the tales are woven with great style.

Paradox, Autumn 2003 Paradox, Autumn 2003
reviewed by Rich Horton
This is a new magazine featuring straight historical fiction, alternate history, and fantasy set in historical settings. History is the common denominator. The mix of stories in this issue is weighted toward "speculative fiction": five stories to two (with both "historical" stories by writers better known for SF).

Paradox, Spring 2003 Paradox, Spring 2003
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This new magazine has an emphasis on historical fiction and speculative fiction with an historical angle to it. In the first issue, these stories range from a brief interlude among foot soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars in Spain in Rita Oakes's "By Bayonet and Brush" to the neo-pagan beliefs associated with Celtic remnants in Ian Creasey's "The Chalk Giant."

The White Tyger The White Tyger by Paul Park
reviewed by Rich Horton
In previous volumes, Miranda Popescu, a Princess of Roumania was seen growing up a teenager in the contemporary USA, and then transported to another world, her home world -- it seems "our" world was only a construct of her aunt, a powerful sorcerer, to keep her safe. Ambiguously older, she returns to Roumania and joins the resistance movement, which opposes both the Germans who have invaded and installed a puppet government, and the leader of that government, the Baroness Nicola Ceausescu.

The Tourmaline The Tourmaline by Paul Park
reviewed by Rich Horton
This novel continues the new fantasy series that began last year with A Princess of Roumania. It opens with Miranda having magically made her way to Roumania, but five years in the future. The Baroness is now the head of Roumania's puppet government after a German occupation. Miranda's two companions, a boy named Peter Gross and a girl named Andromeda who alternates between being a dog and a man are marooned in America but soon find a strange way to Turkey. The Elector of Ratisbon has been confined to his home in Germany, but he still holds Miranda's mother and the Baroness's son, and he remains a powerful sorcerer.

A Princess of Roumania A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
It's a fabulous conceit -- an alternative world where Romania (sorry, Roumania!) is a world power. If nothing else, it's ripe new territory -- it is probably doubtful if the average reader, even one who has heard of the place, could accurately point to it on a map other than helplessly waving their hand over the general region of Eastern Europe. This makes it perfect as a fantasy setting, since a good writer could do anything they damn well pleased with it, and still come out on top.

If Lions Could Speak and Other Stories If Lions Could Speak and Other Stories by Paul Park
reviewed by Rich Horton
This is the author's first collection, and it assembles most, if not all, of his published short fiction to date, with one story first published here, two other stories new to 2002 and stories dating back to 1992, as well as an excerpt from Soldiers of Paradise. It is truly a first-rate group of stories.

The Annunciate The Annunciate by Severna Park
reviewed by Thomas Myer
Eve is involved in the manufacturer of Staze, a drug so potent that it addicts you on the first try. Eve and her companions are Meshed, which means they have nanobots inside their systems that can communicate with other nanobots spread throughout their solar system, giving them instant access to any and all information about anything or anyone. When this power source is threatened, they began manufacturing Staze to get back at their enemies.

Hand of Prophecy Hand of Prophecy by Severna Park
reviewed by Thomas Myer
In reading, Thomas found this to be a multi-layered novel. At the very core is fear and love and hate, and each layer above it is different: the gore of bodily fluids, the politics of relationships, the greed of the bloodsport managers, the intricacies of governmental disinformation, and the desire for freedom.

The Infinite Instant The Infinite Instant by Danielle L. Parker
reviewed by John Enzinas
The story is your basic hard boiled detective story with some SF trappings. The main character is the detective, a tough broad who's being bullied into taking on job she's not interested in. The manipulating party pushes her too far in framing her for murder. She decides to fight back using everything at her disposal. She's assisted in this by her mafioso boyfriend, the cop who wants to jail her and her boyfriend and her AI secretary, who has gone rogue.

Blue and Gold Blue and Gold by K.J. Parker
reviewed by Rich Horton
Saloninus, our narrator, tells us he is the greatest living alchemist. Apparently that's true, though as he also tells us, he doesn't always tell the truth. Indeed, he opens the book by telling someone "In the morning, I discovered the secret of changing base metal into gold. In the afternoon, I murdered my wife." Whether either or both or neither of these claims is true is much of what the story is about.

Purple and Black Purple and Black by K.J. Parker
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Over the past eleven years, K.J. Parker (a pseudonym; the writer's true identity has never been revealed) has built a reputation for her own particular style of genre fantasy: a style characterized by down-to-earth, rather brutal portrayals of warfare and politics; earthily humorous, but with an ultimately serious tone -- a sense that this is the real messy business of how such affairs would be conducted in a pre-industrial world.

The Whispers The Whispers by Dan Parkinson
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Would you like to make more money? Sure, we all do. So, why not start your own business? A travel agency? Yeah, that can be risky, but your travel agency is going to be different. Your clients are heading for the past, not Fiji. Lucas and Maude Hawthorn did.

Storytellers Storytellers by Julie Anne Parks
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
The author has you by the naughty bits from the start and maintains that grip until the final page. Genuine horror and the beauty of the Carolina wilds. It's an intoxicating blend. You may be a little wary of taking any long solo hikes in the near future, but you'll enjoy the mental scenery along the way.

The Science of Doctor Who The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
The brain behind the book is Paul Parsons, a science writer with a PhD in cosmology, years of popular science writing under his belt, and an unabashed love for all things Doctor Who. Parsons begins right off by telling us that he intends his guide to be "a gathering of amazing possibilities" rather than an exercise in scientific pedantry -- all the better to celebrate one of the most unabashedly fun science fiction shows around.

Lesser Demons Lesser Demons by Norman Partridge
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Trying to label and explain the main features of Norman Partridge's style to those still unfamiliar with his work is not an easy task. He is a horror writer endowed with a powerful imagination, a vivid narrative technique and the ability to move effortlessly from the terror tale to pulp fiction, from the crime story to dark fantasy.

Mr. Fox and Other Feral Tales Mr. Fox and Other Feral Tales by Norman Partridge
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
First published by Roadkill Press in 1992, this is the debut collection by an author who has become one of the most prolific and respected writers in the horror field. The present edition collects all the stories appeared in the original volume plus a bunch of early tales from the beginning of his successful career.

Couch Couch by Benjamin Parzybok
reviewed by John Enzinas
There is a set of stories best described as "guy stories," a category that contains such notable tales as Easy Rider, City Slickers and Deliverance. In such a story a group of young males decide to set them selves to some inconsequential task. The journey is filled with adversity, strife, joy and tragedy as the men struggle to finish their quest. In the end the characters discover who they really are. This is one of these stories.

The Removal The Removal by Warren Patabendi
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Some people go for horror with scary monsters, mutated insects, nameless evils. Some people go for horror with scary people -- the real monsters to watch out for. Alfred Hitchcock had it down to an art form; nothing is more frightening than the things human beings are willing to do to each other. Want some horror like that?

Watching Anime, Reading Manga Watching Anime, Reading Manga by Fred Patten
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
Few English-speaking authors on anime or manga could have the credentials of Fred Patten, purely by virtue of having been one of fandom's earliest members in the United States, not to mention a founding member of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, America's first anime fan club.

Best in Show Best in Show edited by Fred Patten
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
When furry fandom got started in the early 80s, it was focused almost entirely in comic books, such as Omaha the Cat Dancer and the small press comic book explosion that started with Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles. There were also anthropomorphic fanzines and amateur press associations. The editor points out that, in addition to the comic book stories, there have also been many text short stories published, many of high quality, and the purpose of this book is to present those stories in an accessible format, so they can be read and preserved outside of the relentlessly ephemeral environment of small circulation amateur magazines and internet websites.

The Jester The Jester by James Patterson and Andrew Gross
an audio review by Lisa DuMond
Allow Lisa to ignore the story-in-story nature of the novel and concentrate on the travails of Hugh De Luc, crusader, common man, and victim of violence. De Luc, though, is not a man to lie down and give up when faced with tragedy; this is one innkeeper who is going to make the cruel and ruthless men in power wish they never came within a hundred miles of him.

The Granite Shield The Granite Shield by Fiona Patton
reviewed by Jean-Louis Trudel
Fantasy is too often the preferred venue for light adventure, stock characters, and comic relief for this one not to come as a rather refreshing change of pace. The stakes are weighty and the confrontations unforgiving. The complexity of the characters and their occasional ruthlessness lend the novel a rare verisimilitude. As a result, the Branion Realm feels exceptionally true to its medieval ambience.

The Painter Knight The Painter Knight by Fiona Patton
reviewed by Alexander von Thorn
The author of The Stone Prince tells another tale in the chronicle of the Aristoks of Branion, set a century and a half earlier. The unpredictability and freshness of these characters brings the story to life in a way that few fantasy authors manage.

The Stone Prince The Stone Prince by Fiona Patton
reviewed by Alexander von Thorn
Fiona Patton writes with clarity and conviction, rare and required qualities for a writer of epic fantasy. With a genuine late-medieval flavour, hers is also a world where magic plays a central role in the affairs of nations.

East East by Edith Pattou
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Rose's mother didn't want her youngest child to be north born. To enter the world facing north means that you will be a wanderer, and besides, years ago a fortune teller informed her mother that her north-born child would be buried under snow and ice -- a dire prediction that she will try her best to foil. But north-born Rose is filled with mischief and wildness as well as honor.

Fire Arrow Fire Arrow by Edith Pattou
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Volume 2 of the Songs of Eirren is replete with fascinating and fantastical images, creatures, and settings. Victoria particularly enjoyed the story's integration -- and transformation -- of Irish myth and folklore.

The Book of the Spear The Book of the Spear by Diana L. Paxson
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
This 2nd novel in the Arthurian series, The Hallowed Isle, starts shortly after the first one left off, except with a twist. The reader leaves Artor and the Britons for a while to spend time with their main enemies, the Saxons.

The Hallowed Isle The Hallowed Isle by Diana L. Paxson
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
It's the goal of many mainstream authors to write the Great American Novel, and the goal of many fantasy writers to pen the Great Arthurian Novel. Paxson's off to a strong start with this first installment of The Book of the Sword, effectively mixing history with her own slant on the legend, creating a story that feels solid and real.

The Blood Jaguar The Blood Jaguar by Michael H. Payne
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
There is no way that this novel is going to escape being compared to Watership Down. Intelligent animals, living in structured communities, with a spiritual belief system, working together to overcome the threat of certain doom... The parallels are there but does it matter?

A Rift in Time A Rift in Time by Michael Parziale
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
When science fiction and fantasy collide, the result can often be a magical fantasy society located on an alien planet or far future Earth. The setting of this début novel (the first of a series), though, is pretty much the opposite: a Fantasyland "gone all sci-fi." The map at the front and the place names would be right at home in an epic fantasy; yet Aldurea is a futuristic world of hover-cars, energy swords and "dark matter" gateways. It's a set-up full of possibility.

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