Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Toll-House - W. W. Jacobs

http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/tollhous.htm

Haunted house bet.


3.5 out of 5

Railhead - Perceval Landon

http://www.litgothic.com/Texts/landon_railhead.pdf

Headbangers foretold.


3.5 out of 5

Number 13 - M. R. James

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/8jgst10.txt

Yes, that one really is unlucky.


3.5 out of 5

Wicked Captain Walshawe of Wauling - J. Sheridan Le Fanu

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12592/12592-h/12592-h.htm

These evil phantoms really get old.


3 out of 5

Long Past Midnight - David Moles

http://www.chrononaut.org/log/?page_id=325

Nightlight. Please? Mum?


3.5 out of 5

An Alternative History Of Chinese Science Fiction - Jess Nevins

http://nofearofthefuture.blogspot.com/2007/05/alternate-history-of-chinese-science.html

Showing that he is possibly plugged in to a Matrioshka brain from somewhere very strange.


4.5 out of 5

One Paper Airplane Graffito Love Note - Will McIntosh

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2007/20071022/paperairplane-f.shtml

Littering bad.


3 out of 5

Raindogs and Dustpuppets - Christ Gauthier

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2007/20070305/raindogs-f.shtml

Toads struck by lightning, wet creatures all dried up, same thing really.


3.5 out of 5

Limits - Donna Glee Williams

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2007/20070723/limits-f.shtml

More like a mule than a goat.


3 out of 5

Locked Doors - Stephanie Burgis

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2007/20070101/doors-f.shtml

Weredad.


3.5 out of 5

The Rapid Advance Of Sorrow - Theodora Goss

http://www.fantasticmetropolis.com/i/sorrow/full/

"You're acting funny, try to spend my money
Out there playing your high class games"


4 out of 5

Book Scouts Of the Galactic Rim - Jason Sanford

http://www.mendacitypress.com/12.2007Sanford.html

First edition girl's funeral boy's sci-fi dream alien jaunts.


4 out of 5

For Aging Kids Who Dream Of Star Trek - Jason Sanford

http://www.jasonsanford.com/StarTrekDreams.htm

A five year mission is just peanuts to an immortal.


3.5 out of 5

Freelanga - Jason Sanford

http://www.susurruspress.com/iamthismeat/Freelanga.html

Flight or fight, not both at once, doofus.


3 out of 5

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rumpelstiltskin Private Eye - Jason Sanford

http://www.jasonsanford.com/RumpelstiltskinPI.htm

The old straw into gold switcheroo.


3.5 out of 5

Virtual Best of the Year 2007 - Rich Horton

http://www.blackgate.com/articles/years_best_horton_2007.htm

SF, Fantasy, space opera, story percentages, type percentages, etc.


4.5 out of 5

Tis the Season - China Mieville

'Tis the Season - China Miéville

"I mean, I didn't win the lottery. But I was one of a bunch of runners-up, and it was a peach of a prize. An invitation to a special, licensed Christmas™ party in the centre of London, run by YuleCo itself."


3.5 out of 5

The Callisto Incident - Ken Wharton

The Callisto Incident - Ken Wharton

Many moons mad cow linkage.


4 out of 5

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Magic Carpets - Leslie What

Magic Carpets - Leslie What

What avocado do that for?


3 out 5

2:30 - Leslie What

2:30 - Leslie What

Mini mouth men.


3 out of 5

Death Penalty - Leslie What

Death Penalty - Leslie What

Execution extension.


4 out of 5

Thanksgiving - Leslie What

Thanksgiving - Leslie What

It's not easy being green. People eat you.


3 out of 5

Blind Date With the Invisible Man - Leslie What

Blind Date with the Invisible Man - Leslie What

Ghosty knock up.


3 out of 5

Hop-Friend - Terry Carr

Hop-Friend - Terry Carr

Marshie mellow frogger mates.


3.5 out of 5

Touchstone - Terry Carr

Touchstone - Terry Carr

Fossil luck.


4 out of 5

The Game This Year - Lisa Goldstein

The Game This Year - Lisa Goldstein

Sequential Diplomacy losses go down like a lead balloon.


4 out of 5

Grass Dancer - Owl Goingback

http://www.owlgoingback.com/Dancer01.html

We left lots of heart to the sappers 'round Khe Sanh.
Plenty of other bits, too.


3.5 out of 5

Awakening - Judith Berman

http://www.blackgate.com/fiction/2008/awakening-full.htm

Mage Revenant deception weapon deal Oracle discovery.


4 out of 5

The Hammer Of God - Arthur C. Clarke

http://timetravelershow.com/shows/tts26.mp3

Big space rock boom us without imparting a beating boof.


3.5 out of 5

Ink and Steel Act 1 Scene 1 - Elizabeth Bear

http://www.elizabethbear.com/inkandsteel2.html

"Puritans and Sorcery? Odd bedmates indeed."


3.5 out of 5

Supernatural Fiction Anthologies - R. B. Redden

http://homepages.pavilion.net/tartarus/editor.htm

A partial list of stuff, at Tartarus Press.


3.5 out of 5

Shining A Light On Australia's Gothic Literature - James Doig

http://blogs.abc.net.au/articulate/2008/04/say-horror-and.html

An interview talking about doing the Australian Gothic anthology.


4 out of 5

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The String - Kathleen Ann Goonan

The String - Kathleen Ann Goonan

Wife no puzzle, but pretty much useless.


3.5 out of 5

The Narcissus Plague - Lisa Goldstein

The Narcissus Plague - Lisa Goldstein

Self-absorption cure, handy capsule.


3.5 out of 5

Back To the Stone Age - Jake Saunders

http://www.revolutionsf.com/fiction/stoneage/01.html

Bombing them, maybe UFO.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, April 25, 2008

Biding Time - Robert J. Sawyer

Biding Time - Robert J. Sawyer

Fatty family upload killl exile.


3 out of 5

Wiping Out - Robert J. Sawyer

Wiping Out - Robert J. Sawyer

"Let's teach them what it means to mess with the Trisystems Interstellar Guard."

It's Annihilation time!


3.5 out of 5

Star Light Star Bright - Robert J. Sawyer

Star Light, Star Bright - Robert J. Sawyer

Chicken evidence Dirty seeing star ship trip.


3.5 out of 5

Sun Of Suns - Karl Schroeder

http://e2ma.net/go/1049190889/947609/34748631/goto:http://hbpub.vo.llnwd.net/o16/video/olmk/tor.com/SchroederSOSHTML/Schroeder,%20Karl%20-%20Sun%20of%20Suns.html


Wooden ships, iron men, fusion suns and speeder bikes.


With a setup like that, the only thing missing is pirates. Fortunately, there are a whole passel of pirates to be found here, in various flavours.

A young man bearing a grudge sets out on a mission to murder the man who had his parents killed, for trying to provide the town they lived in their own independent power source.

Things are much more complicated than they seem as he runs into resistance fighter, his target's spymaster wife, an alien woman engineer, and a greater plot to take over they city state he is now part of.

All very cool. The setting is a giant balloon full of floating rocks, providing an atmosphere as they drift in space, with small cities built spinning if necessary to give gravity, and strange creatures in between in the dark and the cold.

The important fusion engine at the centre of this structure that provides heat and light, no-one seems to understand the technology anymore.

Apart from all that, with flying airship pirates you need treasure, and a mapl.

Yep, check. Swords and broadsides? Check, likewise.

The book also says 'Book One of Virga' - I have read the second, or at least presumably most of it, serialised in magazine form, and didn't really need to know what happened in this one, to read the next, either, if you are thinking of doing so, or might be put off by that.

A good effort, this novel.



4 out of 5

Iterations - Robert J. Sawyer

Iterations - Robert J. Sawyer

'"You can't kill me," he — I — said. "I'm you."'


3.5 out of 5

Fallen Angel - Robert J. Sawyer

Fallen Angels - Robert J. Sawyer

Circus acrobat devil clown deal drives one batty.


4 out of 5

Stream Of Consciousness - Robert J. Sawyer

Stream of Consciousness - Robert J. Sawyer

Alien smart blood pattern.


3.5 out of 5

Distraction - Spider Robinson

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/Spider_Robinson_Distraction.mp3

Robbers rather stuck.


3.5 out of 5

La Cenerentola - Gwyneth Jones

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/Gywneth_Jones_La_Cenerentola.mp3

Twin disappearance.


3.5 out of 5

Gator - Robert J. Sawyer

Gator - Robert J. Sawyer

Alligators in the sewers? Nup. Rexes, a completely different story.


4 out of 5

Forever - Robert J. Sawyer

Forever - Robert J. Sawyer

Scaly astronomer big rock prediction honor.


3.5 out of 5

Peking Man - Robert J. Sawyer

Peking Man - Robert J. Sawyer

Stoneage vampires.


3 out of 5

You See But You Do Not Observe - Robert J. Sawyer

You See But You Do Not Observe - Robert J. Sawyer

Sherlock's Schrodinger's Fermi.


3.5 out of 5

Just Like Old Times - Robert J. Sawyer

Just like Old Times - Robert J. Sawyer

Dino transfer euthanasia extension.


4 out of 5

The Right's Tough - Robert J. Sawyer

The Right’s Tough - Robert J. Sawyer

Trusted history.


3.5 out of 5

The Hand You're Dealt - Robert J. Sawyer

The Hand You're Dealt - Robert J. Sawyer

Copshop finds incest foretold.


3.5 out of 5

Above It All - Robert J. Sawyer

Above It All - Robert J. Sawyer

Space station slaughter.


3.5 out of 5

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Foxwoman - Stephanie Burgis

http://stephanieburgis.livejournal.com/98667.html

Pining for tail.


3.5 out of 5

The Man Who Loved the Moon - Tim Pratt

http://tim-pratt.livejournal.com/58913.html#cutid1

Lightweighty relationship successor.


3.5 out of 5

A Death In the Working - Debra Doyle

http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/A%20Death%20in%20the%20Working.pdf

Really staffed that one up.


3 out of 5

Centrifugal - Brandon Sanderson

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/library/24/Early-Short-Stories-CENTRIFUGAL-(1994)

No Brainiac 5 in charge here.


1.5 out of 5

Silence Before the Horn - Marie Brennan

http://www.swantower.com/marie/stories/retellings/silence.html

Valkyrie sleep not elemental, Art.


3.5 out of 5

Crime Of Passion - Keith R. A. DeCandido

http://www.albeshiloh.com/passion.htm

A bloody demon of an investigation, this one.


3 out of 5

Fragments - Lawrence Watt-Evans

http://www.watt-evans.com/fragments0.html

" I asked my mother once what had happened to California, and she said she didn't know. I asked if it was still there, just all ruined, and she said she didn't know. It might have fallen into the sea, she said."


3.5 out of 5

Sundered - Sarah Monette

http://truepenny.livejournal.com/573634.html

Not angels, just pretty.


3 out of 5

The Memory Of Water - David Moles

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2003/20031013/memory.shtml

We is very fishy.


3.5 out of 5

Fetch - David Moles

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2003/20030512/fetch.shtml

"But, Dr. Akers," the reporter said. "People are saying it's a lost cause; that we're spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money, just to end up with a dead monkey and a dead dog."

"You wouldn't be asking that if it was a man up there, would you, son?" Akers said.

"But it's not a man up there," said the reporter.

"Son--" Akers began, and stopped. "Is this going out live?" he said.

"Yes, sir."

"Son," said Akers, "have you ever owned a dog?"

"No, sir," the reporter said.

"Then shut up," Akers said. "Next question, please?"


4 out of 5

On the Night - David Moles

http://www.chrononaut.org/~dm/pubs/on-the-night.html

Actor removal drop.


3.5 out of 5

Mothers and Other Monsters - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

A pretty low-key story collection, with a 3.27 just scraping in enough to get the 3.5.


Mothers and Other Monsters : Ancestor Money - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : In the Air - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : The Cost to Be Wise - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : The Lincoln Train - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : Interview: On Any Given Day - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : Oversite - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : Wicked - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : Laika Comes Back Safe - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : Presence - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : Eight-Legged Story - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : The Beast - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : Nekropolis - Maureen F. McHugh
Mothers and Other Monsters : Frankenstein's Daughter - Maureen F. McHugh


How to obtain an inheritance in the afterlife.

3.5 out of 5


Boyfriend that can see your dead twin is a bonus.

3 out of 5


Having to eat your dog will make you sad.

3 out of 5


Evil getaway.

3.5 out of 5


Adolescent lifestyle.

3.5 out of 5


Chip the kid.

3.5 out of 5


Flaming shopping.

3 out of 5


Werewolf boy lacking.

3.5 out of 5


Alzheimer's recovery.

4 out of 5


Step problems.

2.5 out of 5


Glove nicking monster.

3 out of 5


AI constraints.

3.5 out of 5


Slow clone.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Nekropolis - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

AI constraints.


3.5 out of 5

The Beast - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

Glove nicking monster.


3 out of 5

Presence - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

Alzheimer's recovery.


4 out of 5

Laika Comes Back Safe - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

Werewolf boy lacking.


3.5 out of 5

Oversite - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

Chip the kid.


3.5 out of 5

Interview On Any Given Day - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

Adolescent lifestyle.


3.5 out of 5

The Lincoln Train - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

Evil getaway.


3.5 out of 5

The Cost To Be Wise - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

Having to eat your dog will make you sad.


3 out of 5

In the Air - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

Boyfriend that can see your dead twin is a bonus.


3 out of 5

Wicked - Maureen F. McHugh

http://www.lcrw.net/mchugh/smp-dl.php?file=McHugh_Mothers.htm

Flaming shopping.


3 out of 5

Two Hearts - Peter S. Beagle

http://www.peterbeagle.com/works/shorts/two_hearts.htm

Griffin snacking leads to senile sovereign's swan song.


4.5 out of 5

Dying In Hull - David Alexander Smith

Dying In Hull - David Alexander Smith

It'd be just like lobstering, without the house flooding and vicious gangs.


4 out of 5

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Our Pulp Fiction Heritage and the Significance of Moldering Magazines - Robert Bee

http://www.irosf.com/q/zine/article/10412

Looks at magazine history, and talks about preservation issues, as well as the current state of things briefly in passing.

4 out of 5

Science Fiction Anthology List - Don D'Ammassa

http://www.dondammassa.com/ck_anth1.htm

Same again.


3.5 out of 5

Horror Anthology List - Don D'Ammassa

http://www.dondammassa.com/ck_anth3.htm

Found the others browsing for something like this.


3.5 out of 5

Fantasy Anthology List - Don D'Ammassa

http://www.dondammassa.com/ck_anth2.htm

Literally what the title says.


3.5 out of 5

Made Out Of Meat - Terry Bisson

They're Made Out of Meat - Terry Bisson

Robot Dreams.


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Inhabitant Of Carcosa - Ambrose Bierce

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext03/canbe10.txt

Death set in stone.


3.5 out of 5

The Sword Of Welleran - Lord Dunsany

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10806/10806-8.txt

Old hero ghost guides.


4 out of 5

For I Have Touched the Sky - Mike Resnick

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/034541702X/034541702X___2.htm

Reading not for local girls.


4 out of 5

Gadget vs Trend - Christopher Anvil

Gadget vs. Trend - Christopher Anvil

Quiet struggle statis.


3 out of 5

Monday, April 21, 2008

Freedom With A + Small f - Jeffrey R. DeRego

http://escapepod.org/2008/04/18/ep154-union-dues-freedom-with-a-small-f/

An undercover street level union member is working as a stripper, in a pilot program to actually secretly fight crime. She has gotten way too far into the lifestyle, when she works out where a kidnapped politician's kid is being held by some dirty private cops.


4.5 out of 5

The Detweiler Boy - Tom Reamy

The Detweiler Boy - Tom Reamy

Twin's a real weight on my shoulders.


3 out of 5

Waiting For Billy Star - Tom Reamy

Waiting For Billy Star - Tom Reamy

Dead soundtrack, maybe with burger.


2.5 out of 5

Jeff Beck - Lewis Shiner

http://www.lewisshiner.com/liberation/jeffbeck.html

Not the completist guitar hero.


3.5 out of 5

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sun Of Suns 1 - Karl Schroeder

http://www.analogsf.com/0511/sunofsuns.shtml

Hey! You! Get offa it!


4 out of 5

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Last Reef - Gareth L. Powell

The Last Reef - Gareth L. Powell

http://transmissionsfrombeyond.com/2008/12/transmission13/

Biker Posthumans Of Mars.


4 out of 5

Sunsets and Hamburgers - Gareth L. Powell

Sunsets and Hamburgers - Gareth L. Powell

Monkeyboy breeding pair.


3.5 out of 5

Distant Galaxies Colliding - Gareth L. Powell

Distant Galaxies Colliding - Gareth L. Powell

Photography removal.


3 out of 5

Trouble On Titan - Arthur K. Barnes

http://manybooks.net/titles/barnesaother08Trouble_on_Titan.html

Gerry's ego can't resist a challenge, and when they basically call her chicken, off to Saturn she goes, Strike and all.

She has to deal with a slimy, unctuous competitor, and ends up on Titan, where the natives aren't too bad at all.


3 out of 5

Six Lights Off Green Star - Gareth L. Powell

Six Lights off Green Scar - Gareth L. Powell

Hyperspace roulette last gasp spin.


4.5 out of 5

A History Of the Twentieth Century With Illustrations - Kim Stanley Robinson

A History of the Twentieth Century, with Illustrations - Kim Stanley Robinson

War research cure.


4 out of 5

Dance Of the Dead - Richard Matheson

Dance of the Dead - Richard Matheson

Corpse club show.


3.5 out of 5

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Melancholy Elephants - Spider Robinson

Melancholy Elephants - Spider Robinson

""Senator, if I try to hoard the fruits of my husband's genius, I may cripple my race. Don't you see what perpetual copyright implies? It is perpetual racial memory! That bill will give the human race an elephant's memory. Have you ever seen a cheerful elephant?""


5 out of 5

Savage Pellucidar - Edgar Rice Burroughs

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601021h.html

How about some hi-tech to go along with all this Lost World and dino stuff?


3.5 out of 5

Cat and Mouse - Ralph Williams

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/24392

Interworld swarm shoot.


3 out of 5

Bookgasm Steampunk Anthology Interview - Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer

http://www.bookgasm.com/reviews/sci-fi/qa-ann-jeff-vandermeer/#more-2856

Talking about what this is - a reprint anthology that "aims to present a snapshot of a speculative-fiction movement that marries the Victorian era with modern technology."


4 out of 5

Three Unbroken 32 Perseverance - Chris Roberson

http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/three-unbroken/free/page32.asp

Bombing run rookie no-miss M*A*S*H.


4 out of 5

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Schwartz Between the Galaxies - Robert Silverberg

http://media.rawvoice.com/escapepod/media.libsyn.com/media/escapepod/EP153_SchwartzBetweenTheGalaxies.mp3

Anthropological boo-hoo.


2.5 out of 5

In the Queue - Keith Laumer

In the Queue - Keith Laumer

Bureaucracy disappointment.


3.5 out of 5

The Baum Plan For Financial Independence and Other Stories - John Kessel

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

A collection that is in the main, science fiction. There are 14 stories, which is a considerable number for a single-author book, so room for some variety, with excursions into fantasy, Frankenstein crossover pastiche, whacky, and even mainstream reptile loving.

The strength of this work is in the section the author calls "A Lunar Quartet": —The Juniper Tree —Stories for Men —Under the Lunchbox Tree —Sunlight or Rock, and the first two are the two best, and excellent tales.

Overall, a good quality group of stories, averaging 3.57.

Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Baum Plan for Financial Independence [short story] - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Every Angel Is Terrifying - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Red Phone - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Invisible Empire - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Juniper Tree - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Stories for Men - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Under the Lunchbox Tree - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Sunlight or Rock - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Snake Girl - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : It's All True - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Last American - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Downtown - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Powerless - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Pride and Prometheus - John Kessel

Magic money.

3 out of 5


Dead cat, not people?

3.5 out of 5


“My amygdala vibrates with primal impulse as the sensory overload threatens to reduce my IQ by forty points.”

3.5 out of 5


"The governor had vowed “to expunge the viper of female vigilance organizations” from the state."

Just another dead president in a line, why these blokes so upset?

4 out of 5


Colony murder mystery reconstruction results.

4.5 out of 5


Cousinly sexist society xx gene fight club.

4.5 out of 5


Boring retreat.

3 out of 5


Only bet when you know what you are doing.

3.5 out of 5


Overconfident ice chick, and I get stuck with the reptile.

3 out of 5


Welles into the negative.

4 out of 5


DAS Biography.

4 out of 5


I'm almost off, Duck.

3 out of 5


Dodgy experiment dwarf busted brain damage interlude.

3 out of 5


It's Alive with Prejudice.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

Sunlight Or Rock - John Kessel

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

Only bet when you know what you are doing.


3.5 out of 5

The Invisible Empire - John Kessel

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

"The governor had vowed “to expunge the viper of female vigilance organizations” from the state."

Just another dead president in a line, why these blokes so upset?


4 out of 5

Powerless - John Kessel

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

Dodgy experiment dwarf busted brain damage interlude.


3 out of 5

The Red Phone - John Kessel

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

“My amygdala vibrates with primal impulse as the sensory overload threatens to reduce my IQ by forty points.”


3.5 out of 5

Under the Lunchbox Tree - John Kessel

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

Boring retreat.


3 out of 5

The Last American - John Kessel

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

DAS Biography.


4 out of 5

The Juniper Tree - John Kessel

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

Colony murder mystery reconstruction results.


4.5 out of 5

An Equitable Distribution - Daryl Gregory

http://darylgregory.com/stories/EquitableDistribution.aspx

Will you just stop.


3.5 out of 5

In the Wheels - Daryl Gregory

http://darylgregory.com/stories/InTheWheels.aspx

“You know what’s the matter with Zeke. His father’s a drunk, a black magician, a road racer, a no-good consorter with demons—”


3.5 out of 5

Last Contact - Stephen Baxter

http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/newbookscifi/last-contact.asp

Ripped off.


4 out of 5

The Fish Merchant - Tobias S. Buckell

http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/exclusives/fishmerchant.pdf

Pepper first contact message hunt murder.


3.5 out of 5

Die! Vampire! Die! - Hal Duncan

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/al.duncan/die_vampire_die_download.pdf

Vampire experiment end.


3 out of 5

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Elvis Died For Your Sins - Sarah A. Hoyt

Elvis Died for Your Sins - Sarah Hoyt

New Age King sermon.


3 out of 5

Aliens Ate My Pickup - Mercedes Lackey

Aliens Ate My Pickup - Mercedes Lackey

Okies not wasted or stupid.


3.5 out of 5

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Occurence At Owl Creek Bridge - Ambrose Bierce

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/375

Dream brought up short.


4 out of 5

The Queen Of Pig Island - Gerald Kersh

The Queen of Pig Island - Gerald Kersh

Freak team fight remains.


3.5 out of 5

Men Without Bones - Gerald Kersh

http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/kersh/kersh1.html

Bama Likes Green Bananas. Also Alien Archaeology. Maybe anthropology?


3 out of 5

God and Mr Slatterman - Mike Resnick

http://media.blubrry.com/thesciphishow/www.archive.org/download/GodAndMrSlatterman/GodAndMrSlatterman.mp3

Have I got a deal for you, big guy. No crapping out now.


4 out of 5

Small Magic - Jay Lake

http://jaylake.livejournal.com/1450013.html?

Big magic, little magic. An arrow in the boof will still hurt. A lot.


3.5 out of 5

Every Angel Is Terrifying - John Kessel

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/EveryAngel.m4a

Dead cat, not people?


3.5 out of 5

Saturday, April 12, 2008

All Seated On the Ground - Connie Willis

http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0805/allseated.shtml

Space song carol communication goodwill breakthrough.


4 out of 5

A Most Unusual Greyhound - Mike Resnick

http://timetravelershow.com/shows/tts25.mp3

Lucky my girlfriend's not actually a werewolf.


4 out of 5

The Happy Unfortunate - Robert Silverberg

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25035/25035-h/25035-h.htm

Horny is in, hairy not.


2 out of 5

True Names 5 - Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum

http://www.archive.org/details/CoryDoctorowPodcast118TrueNameswithBenjaminRosenbaumPart05

Party traitor.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, April 11, 2008

True Names 4 - Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum

http://www.archive.org/details/CoryDoctorowPodcast117TrueNameswithBenjaminRosenbaumPart04

Computing bigger.


4 out of 5

True Names 3 - Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum

http://www.archive.org/details/CoryDoctorowPodcast116TrueNameswithBenjaminRosenbaumPart03

Computing the love.


3.5 out of 5

True Names 2 - Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum

http://www.archive.org/details/CoryDoctorowPodcast115TrueNameswithBenjaminRosenbaumPart02

Comets and copies.


3 out of 5

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Agent Of Vega and Other Stories - James H. Schmitz

http://www.webscription.net/10.1125/Baen/0671318470/0671318470.htm

An earlier series of stories by James Schmitz, with a compilation of other tales that Baen's head compiler of old SF, Eric Flint has decided to include in this particular volume. Some of these are from the 50s (Vegan Agent stories, for example), and even one from the 40s.

There's an introduction by Mercedes Lackey, clearly a fan:
"So, thanks to James Schmitz, I became an author—first an under-the-bed author (who hid my notebooks full of illustrated stories under the bed where my brother wouldn't find them), then turning in my stories to high-school literary contests, then writing as a hobby in college—then writing fanfic and actually getting published (!!!)."

You can certainly see some of the more polished style of later work showing its face in some of these earlier stories.

More fun stuff, indeed.

Agent of Vega : 01 Agent of Vega - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 02 The Illusionists [Space Fear] - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 03 Second Night of Summer [Vegan Agents] - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 04 The Truth About Cushgar [Vegan Agents] - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 05 The Custodians - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 06 Gone Fishing - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 07 The Beacon to Elsewhere - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 08 The End of the Line - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 09 Watch the Sky - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 10 Greenface - James H. Schmitz
Agent of Vega : 11 Rogue Psi - James H. Schmitz

A new operative for an alien telepathic race uses her favored status to call in a Zone Agent to help. Space Pirate leaders and bodysnatching aliens await.

Not to mention some action any Lensman would be happy to take a crack at.

3.5 out of 5


Pagadan is now a horribly cheerful and sure of herself Zone Agent, breaking in some large newbies while fighting the bad guys.

3.5 out of 5


Grandma has a pony. All the better to help her defeat alien invastions.

4 out of 5


An unexpected victory thanks to a star Zone Agent.

3.5 out of 5


An asteroid housing some surprising research is raided by a pair, including an alien with some nasty built-in hunter-killer weaponry.

3 out of 5


Transport tube con extrasolar psych experiment.

4 out of 5


A few geniuses and their illegal time travel experiment turn up some aliens and surprising side effects, after a solar police investigation.

3 out of 5


Wild Variant humans prove a little surprising for all involved, Dominator or commander.

4 out of 5


Interstellar war records.

2.5 out of 5


Almost getting too big to toast.

3 out of 5


"Sending the best of our game telepaths after him was like setting spaniels on a tiger."

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The End Of the Line - James H. Schmitz

The End of the Line - James H. Schmitz

Wild Variant humans prove a little surprising for all involved, Dominator or commander.


4 out of 5

The Beacon To Elsewhere - James H. Schmitz

http://www.baen.com/library/0671318470/0671318470___7.htm

A few geniuses and their illegal time travel experiment turn up some aliens and surprising side effects, after a solar police investigation.


3 out of 5

Rogue Psi - James H. Schmitz

Rogue Psi - James H. Schmitz

"Sending the best of our game telepaths after him was like setting spaniels on a tiger."


3.5 out of 5

Greenface - James H. Schmitz

Greenface - James H. Schmitz

Almost getting too big to toast.


3 out of 5

Watch the Sky - James H. Schmitz

Watch the Sky - James H. Schmitz

Interstellar war records.


2.5 out of 5

Gone Fishing - James H. Schmitz

Gone Fishing - James H. Schmitz

Transport tube con extrasolar psych experiment.


4 out of 5

The Custodians - James H. Schmitz

The Custodians - James H. Schmitz

An asteroid housing some surprising research is raided by a pair, including an alien with some nasty built-in hunter-killer weaponry.


3 out of 5

The Truth About Cushgar - James H. Schmitz

The Truth About Cushgar - James H. Schmitz

An unexpected victory thanks to a star Zone Agent.


3.5 out of 5

The Illusionists - James H. Schmitz

The Illusionists - James H. Schmitz

Pagadan is now a horribly cheerful and sure of herself Zone Agent, breaking in some large newbies while fighting the bad guys.


3.5 out of 5

Agent of Vega - James H. Schmitz

Agent of Vega - James H. Schmitz

A new operative for an alien telepathic race uses her favored status to call in a Zone Agent to help. Space Pirate leaders and bodysnatching aliens await.

Not to mention some action any Lensman would be happy to take a crack at.


3.5 out of 5

Mallory - Leonard Richardson

http://futurismic.com/2008/04/01/mallory-by-leonard-richardson/

GAME evolution.


3 out of 5

Isis - Douglas Clegg

http://www.douglasclegg.com/story.html

Tomb backstory.


3.5 out of 5

Interstellar Patrol - Christopher Anvil

http://www.webscription.net/10.1125/Baen/0743436008/0743436008.htm

As David Weber puts it in the introduction:
"The stories in this volume are science-fiction in the grand, rip-roaring tradition. Anvil throws around powerful bureaucracies like the PDA, huge space navies like the Space Force, and deviously capable guardians of the Right and Good (although said guardians may be just a mite tarnished around the edges) like the Interstellar Patrol.""

Eric Flint's afterword has Anvil himself explain how he thought of them in previous correspondence :-
". . . As for what to call the group of stories that relate to colonization of interstellar space by humans—including stories about the Interstellar Patrol, the Space Force, Planetary Development Administration (or Authority, depending on what part of it is being discussed, and by whom), the Stellar Scouts, etc., and the colonists themselves...John Campbell and I both thought of these stories as the 'Colonization series.''"

Flint calls the stories that are about the other organisations that are not of the title group the 'second ring' stories, and certainly those featuring Roberts and crew are the better examples, as they get into head-spinningly complicated at times situations.

Old fashioned entertaining SF adventure, of the military hierarchical flavour.

Interstellar Patrol : Strangers to Paradise - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : The Dukes of Desire - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : The Kings Legions - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : A Question of Attitude - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : The Royal Road - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : The Nitrocellulose Doormat - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : Basic - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : Test Ultimate - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : Compound Interest - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : Experts in the Field - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : The Hunch - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : Star Tiger - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : Revolt! - Christopher Anvil
Interstellar Patrol : Stranglehold - Christopher Anvil

Universe Care escape danger generates want stuffups.

3.5 out of 5


Wants generated sorcerer impersonation battle plan.

3.5 out of 5


Take me down to Paradise City where the alien beasts won't eat me and the Space Force gets shitty.

Interstellar Patrol sneaky scuzzbuckets gave me a job, though!

4 out of 5


Patrol test.

3 out of 5


Operation New Vote recruits.

3 out of 5


Guilty blow up.

3.5 out of 5


Gate patience.

3.5 out of 5


Patrol pirahna avoidance.

4 out of 5


Pay own way.

2.5 out of 5


"Doyle, worn out, went back to his ship, congratulating himself that he wouldn't have to fight a war with telepathic entities that could kill at an unspecified range by overloading a man's brain circuits."

3 out of 5


New stuff Scout survival.

3 out of 5


Animal regeneration problem.

3.5 out of 5


Suit correspondence escalation.

3.5 out of 5


Own weapon problem.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Stranglehold - Christopher Anvil

Stranglehold - Christopher Anvil

Own weapon problem.


3 out of 5

Revolt! - Christopher Anvil

Revolt! - Christopher Anvil

Suit correspondence escalation.


3.5 out of 5

Star Tiger - Christopher Anvil

Star Tiger - Christopher Anvil

Animal regeneration problem.


3.5 out of 5

The Hunch - Christopher Anvil

The Hunch - Christopher Anvil

New stuff Scout survival.


3 out of 5

Experts In the Field - Christopher Anvil

Experts in the Field - Christopher Anvil

"Doyle, worn out, went back to his ship, congratulating himself that he wouldn't have to fight a war with telepathic entities that could kill at an unspecified range by overloading a man's brain circuits."


3 out of 5

Compund Interest - Christopher Anvil

Compound Interest - Christopher Anvil

Pay own way.


2.5 out of 5

Test Ultimate - Christopher Anvil

Test Ultimate - Christopher Anvil

Patrol pirahna avoidance.


4 out of 5

Basic - Christopher Anvil

Basic - Christopher Anvil

Gate patience.


3.5 out of 5

The Nitrocellulose Doormat - Christopher Anvil

The Nitrocellulose Doormat - Christopher Anvil
Guilty blow up.


3.5 out of 5

The Royal Road - Christopher Anvil

The Royal Road - Christopher Anvil

Operation New Vote recruits.


3 out of 5

A Question Of Attitude - Christopher Anvil

A Question of Attitude - Christopher Anvil

Patrol test.

3 out of 5

The King's Legions - Christopher Anvil

The King’s Legions - Christopher Anvil

Take me down to Paradise City where the alien beasts won't eat me and the Space Force gets shitty.

Interstellar Patrol sneaky scuzzbuckets gave me a job, though!


4 out of 5

The Dukes Of Desire - Christopher Anvil

The Dukes of Desire - Christopher Anvil

Wants generated sorcerer impersonation battle plan.


3.5 out of 5

Strangers To Paradise - Christopher Anvil

Strangers to Paradise - Christopher Anvil

Universe Care escape danger generates want stuffups.


3.5 out of 5

Three Unbroken 31 Reciprocity - Chris Roberson

http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/three-unbroken/free/page31.asp

“Fall back! It’s a trap!”


3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Graves - Joe Haldeman

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/Joe_Haldeman_Graves.mp3

Creepy crawly chopped corpse dreams.


3 out of 5

Martin - Bud Webster

http://www.watt-evans.com/martin.html

A cack-handed traitor.


3 out of 5

Howard the Tenth Reindeer - Jeff Strand and Janice Hansen

http://www.watt-evans.com/HowardtheTenthReindeer.html

" "Hahahaha!" Edward remarked. "You think two puny reindeer can stop my nefarious plot to ruin Christmas? Nothing can stop me! Because while the good little boys and girls were going to school and learning the state capitals, I've been gathering the supplies and doing the research and receiving the government funding that has enabled me to construct the Fearsome Death Ray of Doom! Hahahaha!""


3 out of 5

Clash Of Titans - Kurt Busiek

http://www.watt-evans.com/ClashofTitans.html

"...it was Demonica. Electric eyebrows, purple beehive, the works. She glared out into the room.
...
"You stupid drooling pigs!" ... "You worthless mouth-breathers! You're just wasting space on this planet. I could reduce you all to dust -- to protoplasm! -- and it wouldn't make an ort of difference to the world."
...
"And you know, I just might. It'd be fun. It'd be fresh. It'd be what you deserve. I've got a sweet little protobomb stashed under your miserable island, and when it goes off, it'll trigger the earthquake fault that runs down the East Coast.
...
You can save your worthless, repugnant lives, and I'll tell you how. You know who I want. You know where that no-good gob of phlegm who calls himself Mister Right is cowering. Deliver him to me. Deliver him to me by midnight tomorrow, or I promise you, New York, you won't live to see . . .""


3.5 out of 5

George Pinkerton And The Bloodsucking Fiend Of Brokentree Swamp - Lawrence Watt-Evans

http://www.watt-evans.com/BloodsuckingFiend.html

Librarian a sucker for monster hunting research.


3.5 out of 5

The Note Beside the Body - Lawrence Watt-Evans

http://www.watt-evans.com/thenotebesidethebody1.html

He's undead, Jim.


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

True Names 1 - Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum

http://www.archive.org/download/CoryDoctorowPodcast114TrueNameswithBenjaminRosenbaumPart01/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_114_-_True_Names_With_Benjamin_Rosenbaum_-_Part_01_64kb.mp3

Demiurge! Aaahhh! Brodbinag! AAAHHHHH!!


4 out of 5

Butcher Bird - Richard Kadrey

http://www.nightshadebooks.com/Downloads/ButcherBird.htm

Spyder man, Spyder man, likes a blind girl who swordfights can.

Sitting around, having a not so quiet drink in a bar, and not too long after it all literally goes to Hell.

Or, if someone wants you to retrieve a book and it is somewhere like there, then maybe they really aren't very nice at all. Reading more comics and books would have prepared you more for this situation.

A weird, crazy urban fantasy with norman living interspersed with monsters, demons, and angels. Or, after the start, it all gets a little Simon R. Green via Hellblazer, complete with weapon wielding maniacs and manically evil bad things.

Apparently there's an early, shorter version called Blind Shrike - the name of one of the main characters in the book.

""Idiot, you're a hero now. You're going to have to learn to think on a larger scale," said Lucifer. He used his kerchief to slap at the dust that had settled on his clothes. "You just cracked open a hole in the universe, deceived the devil, wrecked Hell and sent the Black Clerks packing. Even I couldn't do all that and I can do a lot. Yet with all that to your credit, you're telling me you can't defeat one dying hag?"
"I wouldn't know where to begin."
"You have a warrior by your side and the Prince of Darkness for a friend. What you don't know is how to ask for help, but that is how we gain knowledge and improve ourselves."
"Okay," said Spyder. He leaned back his head, threw out his arms and shouted as loudly as he could, "Help!" "

Pretty entertaining stuff, all around.


4 out of 5

Thraxas At War 1-5 - Martin Scott

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1416520503/1416520503.htm

"I'm sitting at the bar in the Avenging Axe, a beer in one hand and a thazis stick in the other, trying to decide whether to have a glass of klee with my next beer. It's a difficult decision. There's a bottle of klee upstairs in my office. I could wait till I get there. But there's nothing quite like a glass of klee washed down by a flagon of Gurd's freshly drawn ale. Having examined my options for a while, studied the problem using the full weight of my experience, I decide on the klee. And another ale while I'm at it.

Dandelion, the idiot barmaid, looks as if she might be about to make some comment as to the wisdom of embarking on an ambitious drinking programme so early in the afternoon. I direct a stern glance in her direction. The last thing I need is a lecture about my drinking from Dandelion, a young woman who, while not working behind the bar, is generally to be found on the beach, talking to dolphins.

I frown. This tavern is really going downhill. It's bad enough having to put up with Makri and her moods without having to endure Dandelion's own particular brand of foolish behaviour. Worse, there's still no sign of Tanrose, the tavern's cook, coming back. I haven't had a decent meal for weeks. Life just gets worse."


4 out of 5

Thraxas and the Sorcerers 1-6 - Martin Scott

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743499085/0743499085.htm

"I'm starting to feel trapped. There's nothing I want to discuss less than Makri's first romantic involvements. Tanrose dangles another slice of venison pie in front of me.

"Well, all right, goddammit. I'll listen if she brings up the subject. But only under extreme protest. I haven't had a romance for fifteen years. Longer maybe. I've forgotten what it's like. When it comes to love I'm about as much use as a one-legged gladiator. I don't want to hear about her encounters with a young Elf.""


4 out of 5

The Fix Interview - Sean Wallace

http://thefix-online.com/interviews/sean-wallace/

He talks about magazines more than books, here. Speaking of which, what she didn't ask him is what is up with the incredibly late examples of the latter.


4 out of 5

The Short Sell - John Scalzi and Mike Resnick and William Schafer and David Klecha

http://www.timetravelershow.com/cons/03%20The%20Short%20Sell.mp3

Talking about short fiction markets both print and online, and Resnick talks about editing both at Jim Baen's Universe, and also books a la Martin H. Greenberg. A panel from something called ConFusion. Plenty of bad organisation jokes there, I guess.


4 out of 5

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Clean Escape - John Kessel

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/A_Clean_Escape.mp3

You nuked us you looper bastard.


4 out of 5

The Tomb Wife - Gwyneth Jones

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gwynethann/Tomb.htm

Extradimensional big brain spaceflight fun, Batman.


4 out of 5

Saving Tiamaat - Gwyneth Jones

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gwynethann/Tiamaat.htm

Diaspora warpdrive fine young cannibal political assassination.


4 out of 5

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Stealing LIght 1-4 - Gary Gibson

http://www.stealing-light.blogspot.com/

“Maybe somebody blew them up,” Dakota muttered. “The Magellanic stars, I mean.”

or


Nova Corps.


3.5 out of 5

Wikihistory - Desmond Warzel

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200710-wikihistory.html

Removing your own ancestor not advisable.


4 out of 5

The Ranch - Gary Gibson

http://whitescreenofdespair.blogspot.com/2000/01/ranch.html

Susie's sex slave sucker succour story.


3.5 out of 5

Pride and Prometheus - John Kessel

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/PandPPart13.m4a

http://lcrw.net/kessel/smp-dl.php?file=John_Kessel_Baum_Plan.txt

It's Alive with Prejudice.



3.5 out of 5

Some Like It Cold - John Kessel

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/some_like_it_cold.mp3

Wasted rescue.


2 out of 5

The Troll - T. H. White

http://www.agora.kva.se/meetings/abisko02/story.htm

"Now very few people can have been in a position to decide what to do when a troll earmarks them for its next meal."


3 out of 5

Three Unbroken 30 Cohesion - Chris Roberson

http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/three-unbroken/free/page30.asp

Monotony sapping our numbers.


3.5 out of 5

Oasis 4 - Patrick Urth

Yarn on the level.


2.5 out of 5

Wilkie's Lads - Jean Penna West

Little alien min man recovery.


3 out of 5

Warlord's World - Christopher Anvil

Mind transfer usurper removal.


Vaughan Roberts, go-to Interstellar Patrol interloper and guinea-pigs gets his mind transferred into the body of a nobleman on a planet where a takeover power play looks like happening.

Murder, drugs, corruption, all that good stuff requires some IP spy tech and tricks to get to the bottom of.

Throw in saving a space princess, too, of course.


3.5 out of 5

The Trojan Hostage - Christopher Anvil

The Trojan Hostage - Christopher Anvil

Earhole spacewarp takedown.


4 out of 5

The Throne and the Usurper - Christopher Anvil

The Throne and the Usurper - Christopher Anvil

Telepathic lack of analysis.


3 out of 5

The Unknown - Christopher Anvil

The Unknown - Christopher Anvil

Bat disease scammer scam.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, April 04, 2008

Leigh Brackett Queen Of Space - G. W. Thomas

http://www.gwthomas.org/brackett.htm

A cover retrospective bibliography. Pretty cool.


4.5 out of 5

This My Body - Jeremiah Tolbert

http://media.rawvoice.com/escapepod/media.libsyn.com/media/escapepod/EP150_ThisMyBody.mp3

That guy's really yummy, mum.


4 out of 5

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Heartstrung - Rachel Swirsky

http://media.rawvoice.com/pseudopod/media.libsyn.com/media/pseudopod/Pseudo083_Heartstrung.mp3

All sewn up, emotionally.


4 out of 5

Keeping Space Opera Relevant - J. P. Frantz

http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/006486.html

A discussion with some writers, and includes Super Editor Jonathan Strahan, too.


4.5 out of 5

Helix 08 - William Sanders and Lawrence Watt-Evans

http://www.helixsf.com/index.htm

Bah. Good again. What is up with that? :)

The editorials discourse at length about what is SF and what Helix publishes, but Sanders says "but I really don't give a rat's ass whether a story is science fiction or fantasy or what, and I don't think in those terms either in what I accept or what goes into a given ish."

A lot of editorialising for not caring, here. :)

Presumably sparked by reading Rich Horton's summaries-by-approximate-genre after I asked if he broke that down, or not, and he was kind enough to add that in. See http://ecbatan.livejournal.com for all this.

Sanders breaks down this issue for us, 3 sf, 3 fantasy, 1 very weird. Bill and Ben noir if you like. Given binary categorisation and having to choose, I'd call that fantasy - seem to remember a teddy bear noir, from someone else, same sort of choice.

Now, given Horton's numbers say there are a lot more fantasy stories published, Helix would seem to be statistically bucking the trend. If they are not getting sent more SF that is, of course. Maybe John Barnes can set up a webcam and study their slush-reading by genre. (Mr Barnes has a lengthy column discussing a semiotics study he did on how people read, published in this issue.) Barnes also has this to say: " (It may take a while — the average publisher does much less marketing research per dollar sold, and makes much less use of the little research they do, than just about any other for-profit enterprise, a fact which explains much about the book business). "

His basic point though, I believe, is: "But I didn't plan it that way; I wasn't trying for any sort of "balance" of genres or subgenres. I do sometimes try for balance in other respects — I like to have stories of different lengths, for example, and generally I try not to let a single issue become overwhelmingly dark or egregiously silly".

Having more SF of course is a point of difference in the 'decent web magazine' market, and even if it does happen to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of yankeeland, if you are after awards, it would appear more likely to be garnered for the former, than the latter.

A tip for the not-so-young editors, too, if you are pointing out your award nominated story in such a piece, and you are doing so on the intarweb, they have these things called links you can magically call into being to direct the punters right there.

Bud Webster's column is on Music Master Edgar Pangborn, this time.


Helix 08 : The Sorrow Fair - A.M. Dellamonica
Helix 08 : Holiday in Hot Zone 16 - Clifford W. Dunbar
Helix 08 : Clapping for the Fairies - Sara Genge
Helix 08 : Why the Cop With a Rose For a Head Wears a Rose Head Mask - Robert Jeschonek
Helix 08 : The God of Au - Ann Leckie
Helix 08 : Weapons of Discretion - Robert Reed
Helix 08 : The Einstein-Rosen Hunter-Gatherer Society - George S. Walker

Misfortune show.

3 out of 5


War tourism can make you cry.

3.5 out of 5


Rogue rotten kill snap choice.

3.5 out of 5


Pruning investigation.

3 out of 5


Righteous Vengeance sacrifice sunk.

3.5 out of 5


Bombs away got soul.

3.5 out of 5


Mass Deficit multiverse dragon mission.

4 out of 5





4 out of 5

Weapons Of Discretion - Robert Reed

http://www.helixsf.com/fiction/Q4_reed_weapons.htm

Bombs away got soul.


3.5 out of 5

The Einstein-rosen Hunter-gatherer Society - George S. Walker

http://www.helixsf.com/fiction/Q4_walker_einsteinrosen.htm

Mass Deficit multiverse dragon mission.


4 out of 5

The God Of Au - Ann Leckie

http://www.helixsf.com/fiction/Q4_leckie_godofau.htm

Righteous Vengeance sacrifice sunk.


3.5 out of 5

Why The Cop With a Rose For a Head Wears a Rose Head Mask - Robert T. Jeschonek

http://www.helixsf.com/fiction/Q4_jeschonek_cop_rose_head.htm

Pruning investigation.


3 out of 5

Clapping For the Faeries - Sara Genge

http://www.helixsf.com/fiction/Q4_genge_fairies.htm

Rogue rotten kill snap choice.


3.5 out of 5

Holiday In Hot Zone 16 - Clifford W. Dunbar

http://www.helixsf.com/fiction/Q4_dunbar_hotzone16.htm

War tourism can make you cry.


3.5 out of 5

The Sorrow Fair - A. M. Dellamonica

http://www.helixsf.com/fiction/Q4_dellamonica_sorrowfair.htm

Misfortune show.


3 out of 5

Flurb 05 - Rudy Rucker

Another issue of oddness with cyberpunk, complete with an interestigly eclectic whacky bunch of photos throughout, that is certainly different to anyone else's mag. Pretty much the same as the others in quality, barring issue 4, at 3.17.

Flurb 05 : Tangiers Routines - Rudy Rucker
Flurb 05 : Black Glass Samples - John Shirley
Flurb 05 : We're awake, let's talk. - Nathaniel Hellerstein
Flurb 05 : Cathedrals - Alex Hardison
Flurb 05 : Captain Ordinary - Terry Bisson
Flurb 05 : Uganda - Lavie Tidhar
Flurb 05 : The Masonic Dream Engine - Thom Metzger
Flurb 05 : DMV - Richard Kadrey
Flurb 05 : Donald Asshole and Los Elementos de Rock - Brendan Byrne


Interzone miasma correspondence.

2.5 out of 5


Rack off to VR shag.

3 out of 5


"We’re a class-four computation now, we’re gnarly and we’re determined to stay this way"

4 out of 5


Meatman incarnation run.

3.5 out of 5


"“Then all is lost,” groaned the failing Scot. “This impenetrable Mundanity Shroud doubtless portends some awesome evil, I fear. And we are powerless against it.”"

3 out of 5


Chaliko trip.

3 out of 5


Muso mystic magic malaka.

3 out of 5


Want me back termination.

3.5 out of 5


Different girl hard to understand.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Donald Asshole And Los Elementos De Rock - Brendan Byrne

http://www.flurb.net/5/5byrne.htm

Different girl hard to understand.


3 out of 5

DMV - Richard Kadrey

http://www.flurb.net/5/5kadrey.htm

Want me back termination.


3.5 out of 5

The Green Beret - Tom Purdom

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24278/24278-h/24278-h.htm

African Inspector tank kill.


3.5 out of 5

The Yazoo Queen - Orson Scott Card

http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i2&article=_002

Bowie knifeless.


2.5 out of 5

The Fear Gun - Judith Berman

http://www.judithberman.net/feargun/feargun.html

Don't mind me giving you a present.


4 out of 5

The Masonic Dream Engine - Thom Metzger

http://www.flurb.net/5/5metzger.htm

Muso mystic magic malaka.


3 out of 5

Uganda - Lavie Tidhar

http://www.flurb.net/5/5tidhar.htm

Chaliko trip.


3 out of 5

Captain Ordinary - Terry Bisson

http://www.flurb.net/5/5bisson.htm

"“Then all is lost,” groaned the failing Scot. “This impenetrable Mundanity Shroud doubtless portends some awesome evil, I fear. And we are powerless against it.”"


3 out of 5

Cathedrals - Alex Hardison

http://www.flurb.net/5/5hardison.htm

Meatman incarnation run.


3.5 out of 5

We're Awake Let's Talk - Nathaniel Hellerstein

http://www.flurb.net/5/5hellerstein.htm

"We’re a class-four computation now, we’re gnarly and we’re determined to stay this way."


4 out of 5

Black Glass Samples - John Shirley

http://www.flurb.net/5/5shirley.htm

Rack off to VR shag.


3 out of 5

Tangiers Routines - Rudy Rucker

http://www.flurb.net/5/5rucker.htm

Interzone miasma correspondence.


3 out of 5

Thraxas and the Dance of Death 1-5 - Martin Scott

"Down each narrow alleyway youths are dealing dwa, the powerful drug that has the city in its grip. The Civil Guard, bribed or intimidated by the Brotherhood, look the other way. Their customers eye us as we pass, wondering if we might be potential targets for a swift street robbery, but at the sight of the swords at Makri's hips, and my considerable bulk, they look away. No need to tangle with us when there are plenty of easier targets to be found.

The sun beats down cruelly. The crowds around the market stalls kick up clouds of choking dust. By the time we reach the Avenging Axe I'm practically begging for ale. I march through the doors, force my way through the afternoon drinkers and reach for the bar like a drowning man clutching at a rope.

"Beer. Quickly.""


4 out of 5

Hub 48 - Lee Harris and Alasdair Stuart and Trudi Topham

http://www.hub-mag.co.uk/images/hub_48.pdf

Reviews of Planet terror and more on the audio brightonomicon.

Hub 48 : Gritty Candyfloss - Simon Fay


Busted angel.

2.5 out of 5




2 out of 5

Gritty Candyfloss - Simon Fay

http://www.hub-mag.co.uk/images/hub_48.pdf

Busted angel.


2.5 out of 5

A Handful Of Dust - Will Shetterly

http://www.shadowunit.org/dust.html

A superhuman blade-wielding boyfriend is a definitely serious problem.


3.5 out of 5

ChiZine 36 - Brett Alexander Savory

http://www.chizine.com/fiction.htm

The editorial is a book ad. One decent (which is pretty much to be expected from Pratt, anyway, being a 3.50 level writer pretty much, even in team-ups like this one), one average, one not after this.


Chizine 36 : The Dude Who Collected Lovecraft - Nick Mamatas and Tim Pratt
Chizine 36 : Dry Rain - Grant Palmquist
Chizine 36 : Small Monuments - An Owomoyela


Bloody annoying visitor now less so.

3.5 out of 5


Friend goes through girls pretty fast.

3 out of 5


Gaad awful radiation.

2.5 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

Small Monuments - An Owomoyela

http://www.chizine.com/small_monuments.htm

Gaad awful radiation.


2.5 out of 5

Dry Rain - Grant Palmquist

http://www.chizine.com/dry_rain.htm

Friend goes through girls pretty fast.

(call it 2.75)
3 out of 5

The Dude Who Collected Lovecraft - Tim Pratt and Nick Mamatas

http://www.chizine.com/dude_who_collected_lovecraft.htm

Bloody annoying visitor now less so.


3.5 out of 5

Clarkesworld 19 - Sean Wallace and Nick Mamatas

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/issue_19

An interview with K. J. Bishop (whose book one day I will find), and the self-inflicted variety from Pratt.

Clarkesworld 19 : After Moreau - Jeffrey Ford
Clarkesworld 19 : Flight - Jeremiah Sturgill


Doc quite tasty.

3.5 out of 5


The Life and Loves of a She-Devil blows away.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Flight - Jeremiah Sturgill

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/sturgill_04_08.html

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil blows away.


3 out of 5

After Moreau - Jeffrey Ford

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/ford_04_08.html

Doc quite tasty.


3.5 out of 5

Subterranean Online 05 - William Schafer

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/winter-2008

About the same quality as the last issue, although a smaller story account presumably on account of the tedious extended Disch bit.

So, some good quality stories and some standard stuff, so this publication is below the major magazines, but the next step down, after five issues, so certainly worth looking at. Layout is very nice, rss, email updates, etc. Obvious table of contents. All very good.

Non-fiction mostly about writer stuff, and not too interesting, although some Barrett autobiography, too.

SUBTERRANEAN05 : Trunk and Disorderly - Charles Stross
SUBTERRANEAN05 : A Jaguar Never Changes Its Stripes - Mike Resnick
SUBTERRANEAN05 : A Monkey Will Never Be Rid of Its Black Hands - Rachel Swirsky
SUBTERRANEAN05 : Ceremony - Lewis Shiner
SUBTERRANEAN05 : Dragon Chili From the Grand Church Cookbook - Joe R. Lansdale
SUBTERRANEAN05 : No Need of Wings - Tia V. Travis
SUBTERRANEAN05 : The Pile - Michael Bishop
SUBTERRANEAN05 : The Voyage of the Proteus An Eyewitness Account of the End of the World - Thomas M. Disch


Dwarf mammoths are heavy. Supreme planetary overlords have bloody big houses. Multigendered metalflesh relations are jolly complex, old chap.

4 out of 5


Skin hunt men revoltin'.

3 out of 5


Phantom pain death.

4 out of 5


Voodoo developments.

3.5 out of 5


Big, tasty lizard bits.

3 out of 5


Governess ghost.

3 out of 5


Gorilla macarena curse.

4 out of 5


Apollo? Please?

2 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Voyage of the Proteus: An Eyewitness Account of the End of the World - Thomas Disch

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/winter-2008/fiction-the-voyage-of-the-proteus-an-eyewitness-account-of-the-end-of-the-world-by-thomas-m-disch/

Apollo? Please?


2 out of 5

Death and Thraxas 1-10 - Martin Scott

""Do you ever win at the races?"

"Of course, I win plenty."

Makri scoffs. She claims she could find more winners at the chariot races than me by simply throwing a dart at the form sheet. I remind her that she's an ignorant Barbarian with Orc blood in her veins who's so unused to civilisation she still finds it awkward to use cutlery.

"Stick to what you're good at, Makri."

"Like what?"

"Like killing people. You're good at that."

Makri accepts the compliment. It's true enough."


4 out of 5

Three Unbroken 29 The Constant Sink Hole - Chris Roberson

http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/three-unbroken/free/page29.asp

"“Contact?” the Ethiop called out.

“No sign of dung-eaters,” came Cong’s clipped reply."


3.5 out of 5

The Stickball Witch - Peter S. Beagle

http://greenmanreview.com/mp3/beagle_the_stickball_witch.mp3

Granny has one mean pitching arm.


4 out of 5

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Shark God vs Octopus God - Jeff VanderMeer

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/Jeff_VanderMeer_Shark_God_vs_Octopus_God.mp3

Dakawaqa? No wuckers. I've pissed off that fishy motherfucka.


4 out of 5

Working For A Living 2 - Steve Libbey

http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/secretworldchronicle/~5/258143452/PB-SecretWorldChronicleBookTwo-14.mp3

Check out Ramona, all battle hardened ordering the super types around. Pity a Giant Nazi Super Robot puts a crimp in her plans.


3.5 out of 5

Lone Star Stories 26 - Eric Marin

http://literary.erictmarin.com/current.htm

A little more in the science fictional
direction this issue, it seems.

Lone Star Stories 26 : The Stamp - Terry Bisson
Lone Star Stories 26 : The Hero of Ward 6 - Sandra McDonald
Lone Star Stories 26 : The Wreck of the Grampus - Jeremy Adam Smith


Licky sticky inspiration.

3 out of 5


Local patrol.

3.5 out of 5


Cognizant escape.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Wreck Of the Grampus - Jeremy Adam Smith

http://literary.erictmarin.com/grampus.htm

Cognizant escape.


3.5 out of 5

Jonathan Hive Sells Out! - Daniel Abraham

http://www.georgerrmartin.com/wc-s.html

Excerpt from getting a reality gig.


3.5 out of 5

The Hero Of Ward 6 - Sandra McDonald

http://literary.erictmarin.com/hero.htm

Local patrol.


3.5 out of 5

The Stamp - Terry Bisson

http://literary.erictmarin.com/stamp.htm

Licky sticky inspiration.


3 out of 5

The Devil You Know - Mike Carey

http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/books/21/0446580309/chapter_excerpt25070.html

Magicians are supposed to be nice to people who hire them, if it is for kids.


2.5 out of 5

Devil's Cape 1 - Rob Rogers

http://www.uber-world.com/Devils_Cape_Chp1.pdf

Baptism of fleece, with piss.

Writing not too flash either, it seems, so far.


2 out of 5

Thraxas 1-12 - Martin Scott

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743471520/0743471520.htm

""One whole venison pie feeds a family of four," comments Makri, passing with a tray.

"Not if I get there first," I reply, moving on to the pork and apple pastries, one of Tanrose's specialities. By now the beef stew has cooled sufficiently to let me mop it up with my pancakes, and I wash it all down with the rest of my ale, calling Makri over to bring me a second giant "Happy Guildsman" tankard to accompany my apple pie.

Some time later, pomegranate cake finished to the last crumb, third "Happy Guildsman" resting invitingly in front of me, I reflect that life is not so bad. Okay, you might get chased around sewers by the Society of Friends, but there's always Tanrose's cooking and Gurd's ale. Make a man glad to be alive. Makri appears beside me during her break. She makes a few snide comments about my appetite, but I wave them away benevolently."


5 out of 5

Flag In Exile 1-9 - David Weber

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743435753/0743435753.htm

""Baseball bats?" Honor repeated blankly, and LaFollet nodded as he freed one hand from his ribs to wipe his eyes. "What's a baseball bat?" she demanded.

"My Lady?" He was plainly astonished by the question, but then he shook himself. He wiped his eyes again and sucked in a deep breath, trying to force the echoes of laughter from his voice. "Baseball bats are what the batter uses in a baseball game, My Lady," he said, as if that explained something.

"And what," Honor asked through gritted teeth, "might a baseball game be?"

"You mean people don't play baseball on Manticore, My Lady?" LaFollet seemed as confused as Honor was.

"Not only do they not play baseball—whatever it is—on Manticore, they don't play it on Gryphon or Sphinx, either. And I'm still waiting for you to tell me what it is, Andrew!"

"Ah, of course, My Lady." LaFollet cleared his throat and nodded. "Baseball is a game. Everyone plays it, My Lady."

"With clubs?" Honor blinked. She'd always thought rugby was a violent sport, but if these people went about whaling away at one another with clubs—!"


3 out of 5

What Price Dreams? - David Weber

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0671578553/0671578553.htm

Got to check out those humans, boss.


3 out of 5

The Stray - Linda Evans

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0671578553/0671578553.htm

Treecat partner murder revenge.


3.5 out of 5

Stalking the Vampire 1 - Mike Resnick

"“Hey, Mister—pretty goblin girls!”

“The name’s Mister Mallory,” said the detective in bored tones. “Mister Pretty Goblin Girls lives on the next block.”

“A humorist,” muttered the goblin. He turned to Rupert. “Pretty goblin girls, dirt cheap.”

“Not interested,” said Rupert.

“Well, then, exceptionally ugly goblin girls, wildly expensive, if that’s to your taste.”

“No, thanks.”

“Goblin boys, perhaps?” said the goblin.

“Go away,” said Mallory.

“Goblin octogenarians?” Mallory and Rupert increased their pace.

“Blind deaf mute goblin quadruple amputees?”

“You really have one?” asked Mallory.

“Sure,” said the goblin. He pulled a hatchet and a sledgehammer out of his overcoat. “Give me five minutes.”

“Forget it,” said Mallory. “I was just curious.”

“Curiosity killed the cat,” said the goblin. Suddenly he snapped his fingers. “How about a dead cat?”"


3.5 out of 5

Stalking the Unicorn 1 - Mike Resnick

http://www.pyrsf.com/chapters/PyrSampler.pdf

"It takes a virgin to catch a unicorn, right? Well, there can’t be two dozen virgins left in the whole of Manhattan. Just pay each of them a visit until you come to the one with the unicorn."


3.5 out of 5

Multireal 1 - David Louis Edelman

http://www.pyrsf.com/chapters/PyrSampler.pdf

"She had watched a dozen trials of the teleportation process from unobtrusive corners, and it wasn’t anything like the teleportation she had read about in stories. You couldn’t zap someone instantaneously from one place to another. The procedure required two people of similar biochemical composition to be strapped into a metal container for hours on end while particle deconstructors transposed one body to the other, molecule by agonizing molecule."


4 out of 5

Son Of Man 1 - Robert Silverberg

http://www.pyrsf.com/chapters/PyrSampler.pdf

"You have to forgive me my deficiencies. I come from the Vertebrate Age. Closer to Pithecanthropus than I am to you, I bet."


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Martian General's Daughter 1 - Theodore Judson

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743435737/0743435737.htm

"“Why do you say he likes death, sir?” I asked. “They say he threw a poor cook onto a barbeque grill just because the wretch made his spareribs too spicy,” said Father. “He has kept company with those thugs who call themselves the new gladiators. Some say he has killed unarmed men in the gladiators’ practice arena merely for the thrill of doing it."


3.5 out of 5

Before They Were Hanged 1 - Joe Abercrombie

http://www.pyrsf.com/chapters/PyrSampler.pdf

"So this was a Northman. Not the kind who rolled drunk in the gutters of Adua. Not the kind who had come to his father’s farm to beg for work. The other kind. The kind his mother had scared him with stories of when he was a child. A man whose work, and whose pastime, and whose purpose, was to kill. West looked from that hard blade to those hard eyes and back, numb with horror. He was finished. He would die here in the cold forest, down in the dirt like a dog."


4.5 out of 5

The Short Victorious War 1-9 - David Weber

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743435737/0743435737.htm

"Yet Walter Frankel's assassination was frightening. Dolist violence was almost legitimized, part of the power structure which kept the mob satisfied while the Legislaturalists got on with the business of running the government. Occasional riots and attacks on expendable portions of the Republic's bureaucratic structure had become a sanctioned part of what passed for the political process, but there was—or had been—a tacit understanding between the Dolist leaders and the establishment that excluded cabinet-level officials and prominent Legislaturalists from the list of acceptable targets."


2.5 out of 5

The Souls of Dead Soldiers are for Blackbirds Not Little Boys - Ben Peek

http://benpeek.livejournal.com/651631.html?#cutid1

No pie, a crapload of blackbirds, and an overload of propaganda and souls.


3.5 out of 5

The Bloodbaths - Steve Libbey

http://www.subatomicbooks.com/ebooks/The_Bloodbaths_(Aqua_Pura_Book_One)_Steve_Libbey.rtf

Vampire plumber.


Ok, well maybe he is a mason or whatever, but he is certainly working on plumbing.

Leaving your girlfriend to end up working at Castle Nistru is perhaps not the most sensible thing you could do. Not a promising name to start with, and Romanian sounding castles often have what problem in fantasy?

Yep, chock full of vampires.

These particular bunch of lamiae like the good life and efficiency, so want efficient transport of copious amounts of blood around the place, which is where our hero comes into the picture.

Longevity not likely in this situation, so he has to decide what to do, and what to do with the pretty non-girlfriend girl stuck there with him.

G.O.D. - Jay Lake

http://jaylake.livejournal.com/1433271.html#cutid1

Creative mismanagement.


3 out of 5

Wormwords - Mat Weber

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/1815

Dead hubby author.


3 out of 5

A Handful Of Pearls - Beth Bernobich

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2008/03/a-handful-of-pearls/

Wild girl possibilities.


3 out of 5