Category Archives: Books

Neverwhere at the Lifeline Theatre

In considering the works of Neil Gaiman, it is difficult to think of a contemporary writer whose stories have so completely exploited the full range of multi-media possibilities of current media technologies. From comics to  to audiobook and film, Gaiman’s stories … Continue reading

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Troy Carrol Bucher‘s Lies of Descent

So sometimes, you just cannot connect with a book. Lies of Descent is the first book in a new trilogy by Troy Carrol Bucher. It is also a volume that fails in many ways to connect with the reader. The … Continue reading

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John Barton‘s Playing Shakespeare

John Barton co-founded the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) with Peter Hall in 1960, and Barton has been an active director with the RSC ever since. In 1982, Barton, working with such RSC luminaries as Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Judi Dench, … Continue reading

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Sharyn McCrumb’s Bimbos of the Death Sun and Zombies of the Gene Pool

Craig Clarke penned this review. Nowhere on her Web site does novelist Sharyn McCrumb mention her Edgar Allan Poe Award, the most coveted award in the mystery genre and something that most winners would be shouting from the rooftops. One … Continue reading

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Shirley Rousseau Murphy‘s Cat on the Edge

Naomi de Bruyn penned this review. In the quiet coastal town of Molena Point, cats are treated like kings and queens. People tend to drive slowly so as to avoid hitting any free-roaming cats; even the tourists observe some unspoken … Continue reading

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Kage Baker’s The Bird of the River

The late Kage Baker was one of those admirably unpredictable writers whose stories never seemed to fit into any sort of mold, whether they were part of a series or stood alone. There is, though, a kind of magic in … Continue reading

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Kage Baker’s The Anvil of the World

What do you get when you take an assassin sick of killing, a petulant half-demon and his hubba-hubba aide “Nursie,” a barely pubescent girl who would leave a marathoner in the dust, and a cook so amazing she could make … Continue reading

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Kage Baker’s The House of the Stag

Matthew Scott Wilson penned this review. One of the things I find most alluring about reading fiction, especially speculative fiction, is immersing myself in another world. For the limited time that I am reading a novel, I find myself totally … Continue reading

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Paul Green’s Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns

Craig Clarke penned this review. Traditional Westerns offer some of the best reading around, but an enthusiast also appreciates a blending of genres now and then. Westerns with crime-fiction tropes are fairly easy to find; that’s just your average historical … Continue reading

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Cherie Priest’s Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Cherie Priest is a first time novelist. However, she writes with ease and a deceptive power, like the flow of the Tennessee River through her home city of Chattanooga. Four and Twenty Blackbirds is a Southern Gothic with a hint … Continue reading

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S.M. Peters’ Whitechapel Gods

In an alternate nineteenth-century Britain, two powerful entities, emotionless and purely logical Grandfather Clock and passionate and creative Mama Engine, have conquered the Whitechapel area of London and now rule it as gods, acting through the human conduit of the … Continue reading

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Joe Nazzaro’s The Creatures of Farscape: Inside Jim Henson’s Creature Shop

What a fascinating book! I’ve long been a fan of the Henson-produced science fiction series Farscape, particularly the effort the program always put in to making the alien species that populated the Farscape universe seem, well, alien. In The Creatures … Continue reading

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Rebecca Munford’s Re-visiting Angela Carter: Texts, Contexts, Intertexts

I first discovered the works of Angela Carter when I was a teenager growing up in upstate New York. I can’t remember which book it was, though it was probably, knowing my teenage appetite for horror and gothics, The Bloody … Continue reading

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Isaac Asimov’s Azazel

Though known primarily for his works of science fiction, with such classics as the Foundation series and the Robot stories, Dr. Isaac Asimov (named Grand Master in 1988 by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) was a master … Continue reading

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Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot

It’s a splendid review indeed. It really is. And if we ever discover who wrote it, we’ll give them their proper due. Really. Truly. We will. When faced with a work of the stature of I, Robot, one is pretty … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury’s Where Everything Ends

Craig Clarke penned this review. The subtitle “The Mystery Novels of Ray Bradbury” quickly tells us what’s between the covers of Where Everything Ends, a collection of an underappreciated portion of the author’s bibliography: three crime novels written between 1985 … Continue reading

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Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s Troll’s Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales

Troll’s Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales is the third collection of fairy tale retellings for younger readers edited by the truly fabulous editorial team of Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, the first collection being A Wolf at the … Continue reading

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Amy M. Clarke’s Ursula K. Le Guin’s Journey to Post-Feminism

Joseph Thompson penned this review. Learning about an artist is risky business. Near the end of my college career, I lost all respect for a musician I greatly admired after taking a senior seminar about this musician. The course confirmed … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles

Carter Napper penned this review. By June of 1949, Ray Bradbury was gaining recognition as one of America’s leading short story writers. He had won the O. Henry Award in 1947 and again in 1948. Bradbury’s friend Norman Corwin encouraged … Continue reading

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Steven Brust & Megan Lindholm’s The Gypsy / Steven Brust’s The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars / Boiled in Lead’s Songs From The Gypsy

Chuck Lipsig penned this magnificent, sprawling review. The novel was written from the point of view of Greg Kovacs, a struggling artist, who shared studio space with four other struggling artists. The four of them had hoped that working together … Continue reading

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Will Shetterly’s Cats Have No Lord

Kate Brown penned this review. It was not immediately clear when I began to read this book exactly how the title fit with the story. However, the characters brilliantly pull a reader in, until the question is revealed, “Why do … Continue reading

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Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett’s Point Of Dreams

Sarah Meador penned this review. Point Of Dreams is basically a murder mystery. The city of Astreiant may be in a world where magic works and ghosts walk, but it’s still a mystery. That magic only serves to complicate things … Continue reading

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Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems

Frank O’Hara is one of those American poets who hovers on the edge of what we are pleased to call “greatness.” Perhaps he hovers there because there is something tongue-in cheek about O’Hara’s work — and, one suspects, about his … Continue reading

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Roger Zelazny’s A Night In The Lonesome October audiobook

Leona Wisoker penned this review.  All it takes is the name — Zelazny — and you have my attention. Rather like a dog presented with a favorite treat, I’m completely attentive to anything following. So when an audio book of … Continue reading

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Roger Zelazny’s The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth and Other Stories

Although he published his first story in the early 1950s, Roger Zelazny didn’t really impact the science fiction scene until 1963. That’s when I remember reading “A Rose for Eccelsiastes” in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (with their … Continue reading

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Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold’s Lord Demon

Patrick O’Donnell penned this review. Roger Zelazny was a master among sci-fi/fantasy writers. From his first short-story sale in 1962 to his famous Amber series, he made it his business to create worlds that were at once believable and fantastic, … Continue reading

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Jane Yolen’s Take Joy: A Book for Writers

Confession time: as a working writer, albeit one who is as yet unpublished in the fiction realm, I have a weakness for books about writing by successful writers. I have quite the collection of them, sitting atop my desk — … Continue reading

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Robin McKinley’s Deerskin

In Deerskin, Robin McKinley delves into a dark tale of royal incest, derived from Frenchman Charles Perrault’s “Donkeyskin”. At its simplest, this oft-neglected, disturbing tale revolves around a deathbed promise extracted from a King by his Queen, to marry no … Continue reading

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Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End

Once upon a time, as the story goes, there was a princess. As an infant, she was blessed by some of the mightiest fairies in all the land, save one. That one, the most powerful and malevolent of creatures, resentful … Continue reading

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Patricia A. McKillip’s The Tower at Stony Wood

Patricia A. McKillip seems to write two kinds of novels. On the one hand, she has produced what I can only call thoughtful adventure stories, such as Riddle-Master. On the other are what I call the “mystery” stories — not … Continue reading

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Patricia A. McKillip’s The Book of Atrix Wolfe

Some of the GMR staff were having a conversation about books that are beautifully written, books whose authors obviously love the English language and use it skillfully, extravagantly, profligately, even orgiastically. Patricia McKillip’s The Book of Atrix Wolfe is on my … Continue reading

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Patricia A. McKillip’s The Bell at Sealey Head

Deborah J. Brannon penned this review. You look at the book: a woman, golden and wind-blown, spins your perception around her, a dizzying path into a sky the deep blue of the sea and down onto a wall white as … Continue reading

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Patricia A. McKillip’s The Changeling Sea

Once upon a time, there was a king who fell in love with a woman of the sea. In time, however, he married one of his own people and made her his queen. In anger, the sea woman exacted a … Continue reading

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Patricia McKillip’s The House on Parchment Street

Book cover art can be a tricky topic. Publishers insist they take many things into consideration when choosing cover art. They balance things like branding, marketing, genre identification. They consider such factors as target audience, and author recognizability from book … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury’s A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories

To read A Pleasure to Burn as a straight fiction collection is to make a serious mistake. A straight readthrough, unaware of context or consequences, is liable to frustrate the reader as tropes and phrases are repeatedly dragged out, put … Continue reading

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Julie E. Czerneda‘s The Gossamer Mage

The stand-alone fantasy novel is something of a rarity in this day and age, and Julie E. Czerneda as produced an excellent example of it. Czerneda is already an experienced hand in the fantasy genre, with 20 novels under her … Continue reading

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P. Djèlí Clark‘s A Dead Djinn in Cairo

This story precedes The Haunting of Tram Car 015 and lays down some of the backstory that’s not quite explained in that book. It, like that other story, makes me hope Clark will actually write a novel set in the alternate twentieth … Continue reading

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John Gimlette’s Theatre of Fish

It occurs to me, reading John Gimlette’s Theatre of Fish, that there are certain prerequisites for being an effective travel writer. One must be, obviously, fairly peripatetic in nature, and interested in the exotic and new. One must also be … Continue reading

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Joel Dane’s Cry Pilot

Military SF has a long history and more than one tradition, complicated by the issues of patriotism and war. Some are in the business of glorifying one or both of these, others are dismissing one or both as folly. Joel … Continue reading

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Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass

Isak Dinesen is the pseudonym of Karen Blixen, who was, when all is said and done, quite a remarkable woman. Born in Denmark in 1885, she arrived in Africa in 1913, where she married Baron Bror Blixen, a Swedish cousin; … Continue reading

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ZBZ Media: Four Picks

ZBS Media has been around since the 1970s, but I became aware of them in the 80s, when my spiritual advisor, Mindy the Pagan Hairdresser, lent me cassettes of The Fourth Tower of Inverness and Moon Over Morocco.  This year, … Continue reading

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Kathleen Tigerman’s Wisconsin Indian Literature: Anthology of Native Voices

I don’t think there can be too many anthologies of American Indian writings. That, of course, is personal opinion, but I think I have strong support in both the Native and academic communities, especially where those two overlap. Kathleen Tigerman’s … Continue reading

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Neal Stephenson’s Reamde

I’ve liked everything I’ve read by Seattle speculative fiction writer Neal Stepehson, starting with Snow Crash and The Diamond Age but haven’t kept up with him since 2010’s Anathem. With a new book out in 2019 that is apparently a … Continue reading

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P. Djèlí Clark‘s The Haunting of Tram Car 015 audiobook

This is a remarkably detailed story for something a mere three and a half hours in length. It was in the Recorded Books folder that I have ongoing access to and which has any number of Really Great Books in … Continue reading

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Lord Dunsany’s The King of Elfland’s Daughter

Laurie Thayer Penned this review. Del Rey has recently introduced a new imprint called Impact, under which they plan to release classic and ground-breaking novels of speculative fiction. One of their new releases is The King of Elfland’s Daughter, originally … Continue reading

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Merritt Ruhlen’s The Origin of Language: Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue

Being the purist that I am, I wince when people talk about the evolution of this, the evolution of that – evolution has nothing to do with automobile design or cell phones or political systems. It is, however, a legitimate … Continue reading

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Richard Kadrey’s The Grand Dark

In the past I’ve enjoyed Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series for its supernatural noir flavor, featuring engaging characters, taut plotting, touches of arcane lore, and an underlying cosmology that shows in glints beneath the thriller stories, like a knifeblade’s flash … Continue reading

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Friends of Photography/Roland J. Hill’s Eikoh Hosoe

“Take art as your weapon and use it to destroy the present and create the future.” This was the motto of a group of artists in post-War Japan who called themselves the Democrats, working in various mediums and allied in … Continue reading

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Lavie Tidhar‘s The Violent Century

The Violent Century is a historical sci fi novel by Israel author Lavie Tidhar. Featuring a wide array of preexisting kudos from the likes of Charles Stross and James Ellroy, this is a volume that will make a reader take … Continue reading

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Richard Kadrey’s The Grand Dark

Richard Kadreys’ The Grand Dark is an interesting combination of alternate history and the strange genre that is often called steampunk but more suitably termed “gaslamp fantasy”. There are giant mechanical spiders, drugs which enable learning things almost instantly, a recent … Continue reading

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