Category Archives: Books

Dave Pegg and Nigel Schofield’s Off the Pegg

Dave Pegg has been in the music business for more than 50 years. He started out on the Birmingham pop scene in the middle of the 1960s, first as a guitarist then turning to bass. He played in various groups … Continue reading

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CP Lee’s Like the Night (Revisited) — Bob Dylan and the road to the Manchester Free Trade Hall

The 1966 concert at the Manchester Free Trade Hall is the most legendary single performance of Bob Dylan’s career; perhaps of the entire rock era. This concert, at which an irate fan shouted “Judas!” at Dylan, almost immediately entered the … Continue reading

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Ursula K. LeGuin’s Lavinia

Ursula K. LeGuin seems to be getting better as the years go by. Her newest novel, Lavinia, is a historical fantasy that is in some ways even more ambitious than her previous work. First, some background: in book VII of … Continue reading

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Emma Bull and Susan Gaber’s The Princess and the Lord of Night

Marian McHugh wrote this review. Emma Bull is best-known to readers as a writer of urban fantasy novels, including War for the Oaks, Bone Dance, and Finder. She is also a musician involved with the bands Cats Laughing and the … Continue reading

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Helen Brennan’s The Story of Irish Dance

Kim Bates penned this review. Helen Brennan’s The Story of Irish Dance is an engaging, personal, informative, and opinionated look at the reclamation and revival of traditional Irish Dance in the past 40 years — it’s the sort of story … Continue reading

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Robert Frost’s A Boys’ Will and North of Boston

A Boy’s Will was Robert Frost’s first published collection, seeing print when he was nearly forty, in 1913. North of Boston, published in 1914, was his second collection. Published together, they provide a good signpost at the point where 19th-century … Continue reading

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Charles de Lint’s The Very Best of Charles de Lint

In his introduction, Charles de Lint informs us that he approached this project with some trepidation. And with a publisher dead-set on a title like The Very Best of Charles de Lint, it’s not hard to see that any author … Continue reading

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Eric Brown’s Helix

Elizabeth Vail penned this review. In a future not quite comfortably distant from our own, Earth is a wreck thanks to pollution, civil strife, and an almost complete political breakdown. In an effort to continue the human race, the European … Continue reading

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Robert Holdstock’s Avilion

Even before the untimely passing of author Robert Holdstock, it would have been impossible to read Avilion as anything other than a tale of partings, a resolution to many of the threads woven through the Ryhope Wood cycle. Now, it … Continue reading

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Patricia A. McKillip’s The Moon and the Face

In The Moon and the Face, Patricia McKillip revisits Kyreol and Terje from her lovely Young Adult novel Moon-Flash. Kyreol and Terje, having followed the river to the Dome in book one of this duology, now push beyond the new … Continue reading

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Patricia McKillip’s Moon-Flash

It’s quite gratifying to revisit books from one’s childhood. Actually, it can be gratifying or disastrous. I’m pleased to say it was the former for me with Patricia A. McKillip’s Moon-Flash. Originally published by Argo Books in 1984, Moon-Flash is … Continue reading

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Glenn Yeffeth’s Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Show

If you’re not a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this book isn’t for you, and this review isn’t, either. If you are a fan, it’s only fair to let you know my take before I comment on anyone else’s: … Continue reading

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Tanya Huff’s Summon the Keeper

Summon the Keeper is quite possibly the first of Tanya Huff’s books that I read – she’s another one of those writers who has a long history in my library. This one is a contemporary urban fantasy that is hilariously … Continue reading

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Wisława Szymborska’s View With a Grain of Sand

Wisława Szymborska is a highly regarded Polish poet who has a long and distinguished career. Born in 1923 in Kornik, in western Poland, she studied Polish Literature and Sociology at Jagiellon University in Krakow, and has published sixteen collections; her … Continue reading

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Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart

Rebecca Swain penned this rrview. Take a deep breath before you start this book. It’s a heavy 701 pages of adventure and sex. It’s also one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a long time. I recommend it … Continue reading

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Clive Barker’s Abarat: Book One of the Books of Abarat quartet

Sara Sutterfield Winn penned this review. Now, I’ve worked with chickens before. In small numbers, they’re cute little beasts — they gambol and peck and scratch and are generally hilarious bundles of feathers. I love ’em. But truth be told, … Continue reading

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Glen Cook’s Port of Shadows

Glen Cook’s Port of Shadows is another installment in the saga of the Black Company, once again narrated by Croaker. Cook has given us two story lines in this one: The first takes place in the distant past, in the … Continue reading

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Charles de Lint’s Somewhere in My Mind There Is A Painting Box

One of the great joys of the digital publishing age is that it allows authors like Charles de Lint to offer up their back list of short stories and novels to us on their own terms. Some of these stories … Continue reading

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Jennifer Cruise (editor), Totally Charmed: Demons, Whitelighters And The Power of Three

Our offices are filled with Benbella offerings. And we review them, you betcha. from Buffy to Farscape , Harry Potter to Flirting With Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece – some successful, others merely well typed. So … Continue reading

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Mike Resnick’s Stalking the Unicorn and Stalking the Vampire

Mike Resnick is one of those protean writers who should be much better known than he is. I remember Santiago as one of the most quietly spectacular works of science fiction I’ve ever read: a Quest, an Odyssey, beautifully conceived … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury’s One More for the Road audiobook

J.L. Emory penned this review.  Ray Bradbury used to write tales in the Twilight-Zone-meets-sci-fi vein, but with the publication of One More For the Road it appears that he has ballasted the scientific and kept the fantastic. In place of … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man

Carter Nipper penned this review. The Illustrated Man is a short tale wrapped around eighteen short stories. The framing story is of a tattooed man whom the narrator meets, and whose tattoos foretell the future. The eighteen short stories inside … Continue reading

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Clifford D. Simak’s City

To one who grew up on science fiction (and I really did — the first book I ever bought all on my own was The Big Book of Science Fiction, edited by Groff Conklin; I think that was about fifth … Continue reading

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Erle Stanley Gardner’s Turn On The Heat

Turn On The Heat is the second of the twenty nine Cool and Lam mysteries Erle Stanley Gardner published under the pen name A. A. Fair, and it is widely regarded as the best of the bunch. It’s not hard … Continue reading

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Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling’s The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest

Once in a while, we get a publication that’s so good that I as, editor of Green Man, say, ‘That’s mine, all mine!’ The Green Man — Tales from the Mythic Forest, which I’ve known about for over a year … Continue reading

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Jim Carroll’s Fear of Dreaming

Jim Carroll is probably best known for his 1978 book The Basketball Diaries, which became a feature film with Leonardo DiCaprio, released in 1995. However, he first made his reputation as a poet. He had been widely pubished in various … Continue reading

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Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds

Bridge of Birds is an old favorite that has been sitting in a corner gathering dust for way too long. I recently hauled it out, dusted it off, and gave it another read, and it’s still as good as it … Continue reading

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Erle Stanley Gardner’s The Count of Nine

How do you steal a six foot long blowgun from a party where all the guests are X-rayed on their way out? Believe it or not, that’s only the tertiary mystery in The Count of Nine, a twisty, sneaky thriller … Continue reading

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Elsewhere (first chapter)

Chapter 1—On the Elflands Express I knew I was in the Nevernever when I saw a wild elf through the train window. Maybe I said something. Maybe I just stared like a tourist. The armless kid in the seat across … Continue reading

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Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood

The first fully fledged novel in the Robert Holdstock’s epic novel cycle is Mythago Wood. The book, which first saw print in 1984 (though part of it appeared earlier in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction) is awash in both the … Continue reading

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Jonathan R. Eller and William F. Touponce, Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction

Ray Bradbury has always presented a problem for the science-fiction establishment: from Judy Del Ray’s comment defining the field by invoking Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke, and noting “one could almost add Bradbury,” to his being solemnly consigned to the nether … Continue reading

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Humphrey Carpenter’s Benjamin Britten: A Biography

Whatever one may think of Benjamin Britten’s place in the history of music, there is no doubt that his life provides a fascinating and insightful look into the place of the artist in the twentieth century. In Humphrey Carpenter’s biography, … Continue reading

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George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords

Since the creation of the first three novels of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, inevitable comparisons have been made, a great deal between him and another revered author and pioneer of the fantasy epic: … Continue reading

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Emma Bull’s Territory: A Unique Retelling of An American Legend

The gunfight at the O.K. Corral is one of those seminal historical events that every American knows about — or at least thinks they know. In the materials accompanying the ARC for Territory Emma Bull comments that there are many … Continue reading

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Jim Butcher’s Summer Knight

The White Council of Wizards is meeting in Chicago to discuss the war with the Red Court Vampires (and by extension, all the vampires). Chicago is the home of Harry Dresden, a wizard for hire who combines his wizardry with … Continue reading

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Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book

In many ways, Bod Owens is a typical little boy. He’s very inquisitive. He doesn’t like yucky food. And he wants to explore the world. In one key way, though, Bod’s a wee bit different from other kids: he’s been … Continue reading

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Kevin Hearne’s A Plague of Giants

The author of the best-selling urban fantasy series The Iron Druid Chronicles has begun a new series that promises to be, well, huge. Kevin Hearne’s new The Seven Kennings series begins with A Plague of Giants. It’s a hefty tome … Continue reading

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Mark Doty’s Sweet Machine

I don’t know if it’s possible for anyone not to be taken by Mark Doty’s poetry. Reading one or two (which I try to do with poetry, so as not to become too glib about it) is like eating one … Continue reading

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William E. Deal’s Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan

If the title sounds daunting, don’t be worried. William E. Diehl’s Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan is a well-organized and eminently usable reference to the history, arts, and customs of Japan from 1185, the beginning of … Continue reading

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Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold’s Donnerjack

I believe that someone has just begun a game,’ Death said as he headed across Deep Fields through a meadow of blackest grass, black poppies swaying at the passage of his cloak, ‘and, next to music, they have invoked a … Continue reading

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Recent Reading Wrap-up: Mutinies, Black Dogs, and Dreams on a Distant Ice Planet

I’ve been letting some of the books to be reviewed pile up, so this is the first of two “armload reviews,” this one focusing on indie and small press books. Camouflage by Kyell Gold is something I hadn’t really hit … Continue reading

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Katharine Eliska Kimbriel’s Night Calls series

Once in a while I find out I’ve missed something important in the book world, some classic that’s been out forever that I somehow never noticed when it was first published, something that turns out to be wonderful. Then once … Continue reading

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Jennifer Stevenson’s Trash Sex Magic

Wes Unruh penned this review. “‘Giddover here,’ he said, ‘don’t you know trouble’s coming? Gummit inspectors! Lightning! The chaos of an accumulation of unmediated vital waveforms!’” – p.96 A storm’s a’brewing, the women restless, the men conflicted, and there are … Continue reading

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Basho’s On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho ( trans. Lucien Stryker)

Basho is, to many, synonymous with haiku. He took his name from a wide-leaf banana tree, rare in Japan, given to him by a student, which stood beside the door of his hut near Edo (modern Tokyo). Basho wrote during … Continue reading

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Sean Russell’s The Initiate Brother/Gatherer of Clouds

I have a reread list of books that have impressed me one way or another over the years. One that I only recently took up again is Sean Russell’s duology, The Initiate Brother and Gatherer of Clouds, which really is … Continue reading

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George Khoury’s The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore

Rebecca Scott penned this sterling review. Who is Alan Moore? Goodness, what a question! If you read comics, then you probably already know. If you don’t read comics… well, after you’ve finished Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, go pick up Moore. … Continue reading

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Various Authors on Where Writing and Gaming Meet

My recent nonfiction reading has tended to be driven by the fact that as a writer and gamer, I’m always looking for new tools to put into my virtual toolbox. Here’s three recent reads aimed in that direction. Beating the … Continue reading

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Jimmy Santiago Baca’s Black Mesa Poems

Jimmy Santiago Baca was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1952 and abandoned by his parents when he was two years old. After living with one of his grandparents for several years, he was placed in an orphanage and … Continue reading

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Simon R. Green’s Swords of Haven

Swords of Haven is a trade paper omnibus of the first three books of the Hawk & Fisher series: Hawk & Fisher, Winner Take All, and The God Killer. (The first two novels had alternate titles in the U.K. — … Continue reading

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Simon R. Green’s Once in a Blue Moon audiobook

First, a thanks to the GraphicAudio staff for providing this for review. I’ve reviewed quite a number of their productions in the past, including several in their World of Lipi,  Ghost Finders and Rogue Angel, so I’m going to lead this review … Continue reading

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