Monday, June 30, 2008

The Wild Cards Forum - Various Various

http://www.captaincomics.us/forums/index.php?topic=10475.0

If you like Wild Cards, you will certainly like this epic discussion, where many of the writers feature.


5 out of 5

Rebels - Lewis Shiner

Rebels - Lewis Shiner

This idea might be tanked, but I'm going to give it a shot.


3.5 out of 5

Americans - Lewis Shiner

Americans - Lewis Shiner

Rolling Stone revolution story.


3.5 out of 5

Cabracan - Lewis Shiner

Cabracan - Lewis Shiner

Maybe quaking at the end.


3.5 out of 5

The CWA Dagger Awards - Various Various

http://www.thecwa.co.uk/daggers/index.html#short

UK crime fiction awards list.


4 out of 5

The Edgar Awards - Various Various

http://www.theedgars.com/edgarsDB/index.php

Queryable database of winning work.


4 out of 5

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Who Killed Science Fiction - Earl Kemp

http://efanzines.com/EK/eI29/index.htm

Note, this was from 1960. :)


4.5 out of 5

The Circle - Lewis Shiner

The Circle - Lewis Shiner

A real, loopy Halloween horror story.


4 out of 5

The Best Anthologies of Reprints - Various Various

http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/best_anth.html

Of your Private Eye type crime story, it seems. A list from thrillingdetective.com.


4 out of 5

Other Mystery Anthologies and Anthology Series Worth Hunting Around For - Various Various

http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/anth2.html

To quote "Collections of original and reprinted stories that don't all necessarily featuring private eyes."


4.5 out of 5

Suggestions for Where to Start with AustCrime Fiction - Various Various

http://www.austcrimefiction.org/node/2089

A list of writers, with the type of crime stories PI, hardboiled, cozy, humour, etc.


4 out of 5

Editing A Best Anthology - Jon L. Breen

http://www.mysteryfile.com/Breen_editing.html

Pretty much what it says.


4 out of 5

Australian Women's Crime Fiction - Lucy Sussex

http://home.vicnet.net.au/~sincoz/history.htm

An article about some of the early writers.


4 out of 5

FSF Interview - P. E. Cunningham

http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/blog/2008/06/01/interview-pe-cunningham-on-monkey-see/

On actually selling a Sword and Sorcery story to them.


3.5 out of 5

Three Unbroken 39 Adversity - Chris Roberson

http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/three-unbroken/free/page39.asp

Let's take over this dump!


3.5 out of 5

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Karma Chameleon - Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

http://media.podiobooks.com/secretworldchroniclebooktwo/PB-SecretWorldChronicleBookTwo-15.mp3

John Murdoch gets forcefield-ibly recruited.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, June 27, 2008

Monster Nation - David Wellington

http://www.brokentype.com/nation/

A pretty reasonable zombie book.

Sort of somewhere in the middle of Dawn of the Dead (random people trapped by zombie horde) to World War Z (highly organised and led people trapped by zombie horde.)

This book has a few characters, a US National Guard captain, a government suit, and a girl who gets zombified but is still rational, unlike the others.

There is a strange supernatural rationale for all this, and is what the various people involved are working towards, with, of course, lots of slaughter of zombies and people in the process.

Apparently a prequel type story for an earlier book which I have not seen, but given this, likely to be quite readable, too.


3.5 out of 5

The War Of Dogs and Boids - Allen M. Steele

http://grmedia.co.uk/coyote/boids.swf

Canine point of view egg chomping protection revenge.


4 out of 5

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sir Agravaine - P. G. Wodehouse

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/6768

Matchmaking or not, it is plain you are the wife for me.


3.5 out of 5

The True Story of Guenever - Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

http://www.lib.rochester.edu/Camelot/phelps.htm

Woman pain.


2.5 out of 5

Alien Dreams - Jay Lake

""I don't like it," said Moline."

Boxed or otherwise.


2.5 out of 5

Adagio for Flames and Jealousy - Jay Lake

http://www.forteanbureau.com/june2004/Lake/index.html

Old burn.


3 out of 5

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Hoard Of the Gibbelins - Lord Dunsany

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/7477

If it looks too easy, and they provide the transport and the trail, then, well, it is a trap.


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Summer Of the Seven - Paul Melko

http://www.paulmelko.com/blog/index.php/the-summer-of-seven/

Pod people propagation.


3.5 out of 5

Clay's Pride - Bud Sparhawk

Clay's Pride - Bud Sparhawk

Alien encounter demotion protection.


3.5 out of 5

Monday, June 23, 2008

Flashing Swords 6 - Howard A. Jones

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/vol2-iss6-toc.asp

The sixth Flashing Swords against has an editorial, but it is a bit more personal to the editor this time (try moving intercontinentally next time, see how you go :)). He talks about the Howard Lamb rediscovery project, too, and finding Trey Causey's nifty little Asian mashup.

Flashing Swords 6 : A Covenant with Death - James Enge
Flashing Swords 6 : The Gray Mother - Steve Goble
Flashing Swords 6 : The Gods Have Left Us - Paul Jessup
Flashing Swords 6 : An Edge to a Sword - Harold Lamb
Flashing Swords 6 : The God of the Catacombs - Trey Causey
Flashing Swords 6 : The Dragon's Scale (Rise of a Necromancer part 1) - S.C. Bryce
Flashing Swords 6 : The Dead God's Punishment - Robert Burke Richardson

Unicorn saving problems.

3.5 out of 5


Wolves and ghosts for Calthus.

3 out of 5


Yes, Machete. Definitely. Please.

1.5 out of 5


Ayub and a weapon that isn't as nifty as it seems.

3.5 out of 5


"The chorus of voices cried and shattered, becoming discordant. The blow should have cut her head from her neck. Instead her head only lolled, and luminescent, viscous, blue liquid oozed from her wound instead of blood."

3.5 out of 5


"The dragon snorted. "Humanity in all its forms is too easily over-awed by gods. We dragons have never placed much trust in them. And, I should think, anything this god wants from me but is too timid to claim himself – well, such a thing I am not inclined to give."

Dragons, while not so much on the gift exchange thing, are a bit more hip to how dodgy gods are than Dermanassian.

3.5 out of 5


"What do you hope to gain from this little caper? She had asked him. The usual, he had replied. Eternal life. World domination."

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Dead God's Punishment - Robert Burke Richardson

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue6/vol2-iss6-07.asp

"What do you hope to gain from this little caper? She had asked him. The usual, he had replied. Eternal life. World domination."


3.5 out of 5

The Dragon's Scale - S. C. Bryce

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue6/vol2-iss6-06.asp

"The dragon snorted. "Humanity in all its forms is too easily over-awed by gods. We dragons have never placed much trust in them. And, I should think, anything this god wants from me but is too timid to claim himself – well, such a thing I am not inclined to give."

Dragons, while not so much on the gift exchange thing, are a bit more hip to how dodgy gods are than Dermanassian.


3.5 out of 5

The God Of the Catacombs - Trey Causey

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue6/vol2-iss6-05.asp

"The chorus of voices cried and shattered, becoming discordant. The blow should have cut her head from her neck. Instead her head only lolled, and luminescent, viscous, blue liquid oozed from her wound instead of blood."


3.5 out of 5

An Edge To A Sword - Harold Lamb

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue6/vol2-iss6-04.asp

Ayub and a weapon that isn't as nifty as it seems.


3.5 out of 5

The Gray Mother - Steve Goble

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue6/vol2-iss6-02.asp

Wolves and ghosts for Calthus.


3 out of 5

A Covenant With Death - James Enge

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue6/vol2-iss6-01.asp

Unicorn saving problems.


3.5 out of 5

The Shirley Jackson Awards Blog - Ellen Datlow

http://shirleyjacksonawards.blogspot.com/2008/06/chalres-tan-interviews-ellen-datlow.html

Where she is interviewed and talks about editing unthemed horror anthologies.


4 out of 5

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Heat - Dale Bailey

Heat - Dale Bailey

Can't stay.


2 out of 5

Flashing Swords 5 - Howard A. Jones

The fifth issue of Flashing Swords isn't as good as the earlier issues, with a 3.28 average only. The latter part in main is where the weaker work lies.

The editorial is still interesting, here's a quote

"Space opera, as every reader doubtless knows, is a perjorative term often applied to a story that has an element of adventure. Over the decades, brilliant and talented new writers appear, receiving great acclaim, and each and every one of them can be expected to write at least one article stating flatly that the day of space opera is over and done, thank goodness, and that henceforth these crude tales of interplanetary nonsense will be replaced by whatever type of story that writer happens to favour - closet dramas, psychological dramas, sex dramas, etc, but by God important dramas, containing nothing but Big Thinks. Ten years later, the writer in question may or may not still be around, but space opera can be found right where it always was, sturdily driving its dark trade in heroes."

Who wrote that? Leigh Brackett.

There actually is a science fiction story more along those lines in this issue, as well.

He also points out some small press anthologies from Pitch Black that have some Sword and Sorcery in them.

Flashing Swords 5 : By the Sword - John C. Hocking
Flashing Swords 5 : The Blood Marsh - D.K. Latta
Flashing Swords 5 : The Dead God's Puppet Show - Robert Burke Richardson
Flashing Swords 5 : Prayer of the Warrior - Nathan Meyer
Flashing Swords 5 : Tal's Tale - Nancy Virginia Varian
Flashing Swords 5 : Awakening on Sorenson's Planet - Lawrence Barker
Flashing Swords 5 : Island of Fear - John M. Whalen
Flashing Swords 5 : Betrothal in Darkness - Jay Stevol
Flashing Swords 5 : Homecoming - Bruce Durham

Some steaming berserk Viking action.

3 out of 5


Rescuing Vyanna might be becoming a habit for Zargatha. Only marsh monsters and wizards and lifeswappers to worry about this time.

3.5 out of 5


The Platypus gives non-lethal assassination a go.

3.5 out of 5


One stalwart, one demon. Have at it.

3.5 out of 5


A ballad of kisses and war.

4 out of 5


Having to get a bit primitive with the locals.

3 out of 5


A hot time in the jungle with witch doctors, flying monsters, snake sticks and more.

3 out of 5


"Thick, bedraggled gray hair sprung like a wormish mass of tendrils from its enormous head, perched atop a bloated, green body of squamous and frog-like appearance. Its arms were fat, webbed things, and its breasts drooped almost to the floor."

Or, kill it before it adds me to the pile!

2.5 out of 5


Dalacroy has a recuse from slayers to perform, and then some holes to put in people, with a bit of help from his rescuee.

3.5




3.5 out of 5

Homecoming - Bruce Durham

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue5/vol2-iss5-09.htm

Dalacroy has a recuse from slayers to perform, and then some holes to put in people, with a bit of help from his rescuee.


3.5 out of 5

Betrothal In Darkness - Jay Stevol

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue5/vol2-iss5-08.htm

"Thick, bedraggled gray hair sprung like a wormish mass of tendrils from its enormous head, perched atop a bloated, green body of squamous and frog-like appearance. Its arms were fat, webbed things, and its breasts drooped almost to the floor."

Or, kill it before it adds me to the pile!


2.5 out of 5

Island Of Fear - John M. Whalen

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue5/vol2-iss5-07.htm

A hot time in the jungle with witch doctors, flying monsters, snake sticks and more.


3 out of 5

Awakening On Sorenson's Planet - Lawrence Barker

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue5/vol2-iss5-06.htm

Having to get a bit primitive with the locals.


3 out of 5

Tal's Tale - Nancy Virginia Varan

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue5/vol2-iss5-05.htm

A ballad of kisses and war.


4 out of 5

Prayer Of the Warrior - Nathan Meyer

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue5/vol2-iss5-04.htm

One stalwart, one demon. Have at it.


3.5 out of 5

The Dead God's Puppet Show - Robert Burke Richardson

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue5/vol2-iss5-03.htm

The Platypus gives non-lethal assassination a go.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Blood Marsh - D. K. Latta

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue5/vol2-iss5-02.htm

Rescuing Vyanna might be becoming a habit for Zargatha. Only marsh monsters and wizards and lifeswappers to worry about this time.


3.5 out of 5

By the Sword - John C. Hocking

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue5/vol2-iss5-01.htm

Some steaming berserk Viking action.


3 out of 5

Elfleda - Vonda N. McIntyre

http://www.vondanmcintyre.com/Fiction/McIntyre-Elfleda.html

Equiform cavorting.


3.5 out of 5

A Modest Proposal - Jonathan Swift

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext97/mdprp10.txt

Yum!


3.5 out of 5

A Modest Proposal - Vonda N. McIntyre

http://www.vondanmcintyre.com/Fiction/McIntyre-ModestProposal.html

Not much left.


3 out of 5

Light - Kelly Link

http://www.tinhouse.com/mag/issue33/current_feature.htm

Very sleepy.


2 out of 5

Little Faces - Vonda N. McIntyre

http://www.vondanmcintyre.com/Fiction/McIntyre-LittleFaces.html

Symbiote, shag, ship, sibling, seeya.


4 out of 5

Till Human Voices Wake Us - Lewis Shiner

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

Mermaid clone affair ends quite fishily.


4 out of 5

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Flashing Swords 4 - Howard A. Jones

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/vol1-iss4-toc.htm

This issue is still pretty consistent in quality, some solid sword and sorcery tales, with a little variety, such as the sword and pistol historical The Blood Meridian, and the black 'Edges'.

An excellent editorial, too for example : "Certainly sword and sorcery has gotten short shrift. True, it's possible to find the occasional novel with sword and sorcery characteristics, and there is the Warhammer franchise, which reliably offers up sword and sorcery tales (note that two involved in the New Edge discussion--William King and C.L. Werner--are Warhammer novelists) but sword and sorcery just hasn't been very welcome in short fiction markets. A few places take it, occasionally, but in magazine guidelines you usually find "No sword and sorcery" alongside "No porn." Say what you will about modern fantasy magazine markets, but the truth of the matter is that sword and sorcery in only dependably found within Black Gate, anthologies such as those published by Pitch-Black and G.W. Thomas, and within e-zines like Sword's Edge and Pulp and Dagger.

And within Flashing Swords."

Also mentions a small press Lord of Swords anthology that may be of interest, and I think there may be some others.

Flashing Swords 4 : The Redemption of Calthus - Steve Goble
Flashing Swords 4 : The Dead God's Destiny - Robert Burke Richardson
Flashing Swords 4 : The Blood Meridian - Nathan Meyer
Flashing Swords 4 : Edges - Edward Muller
Flashing Swords 4 : The Hungry Apples - Richard Lyon & Andrew Offutt
Flashing Swords 4 : Jawbone of an Ass - Steven L. Shrewsbury
Flashing Swords 4 : The Lost Path Between the Worlds - John C. Hocking

A warrior summoned back to life supernaturally has some scary creature stopping to do :

"Why do you not band together and fight it?" Kirn looked at him blankly. "Fight it? A tentacled thing from nightmare, sent by godless men. . . fight it?"

Attacking Calthus means the above bloke gets to be monster bait!

3.5 out of 5


Jack Nimble and... The Platypus, for a night of thieving and assassination.

3 out of 5


To rescue a woman, an invitation extended to several to take the rest of their lives off on account of Sabbath.

4 out of 5


Don't push me, please slice me up instead, it was only a king.

3.5 out of 5


The lich this time wears bitter fruit trying to get the better of Caranga.

4 out of 5


A good barbarian thinks any flavour of wizard killed is a service to society. Ogres similarly, particularly if any of them interrupt drinking.

3 out of 5


When you go and try and beat up and kill the archivist for some ancient arcane info, read it carefully sorceress lady.

3 out of 5




4 out of 5

The Lost Path Between the Paths - John C. Hocking

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue4/vol1-iss4-07.htm

When you go and try and beat up and kill the archivist for some ancient arcane info, read it carefully sorceress lady.


3 out of 5

Jawbone Of An Ass - Steven L. Shrewsbury

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue4/vol1-iss4-06.htm

A good barbarian thinks any flavour of wizard killed is a service to society. Ogres similarly, particularly if any of them interrupt drinking.


3 out of 5

The Hungry Apples - Andrew J. Offutt and Richard Lyon

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue4/vol1-iss4-05.htm

The lich this time wears bitter fruit trying to get the better of Caranga.


4 out of 5

Edges - Edward Muller

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue4/vol1-iss4-04.htm

Don't push me, please slice me up instead, it was only a king.


3.5 out of 5

The Blood Meridian - Nathan Meyer

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue4/vol1-iss4-03.htm

To rescue a woman, an invitation is extended to several to take the rest of their lives off on account of Sabbath.


4 out of 5

The Dead God's Destiny - Robert Burke Richardson

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue4/vol1-iss4-02.htm

Jack Nimble and... The Platypus, for a night of thieving and assassination.


3 out of 5

The Redemption Of Calthus - Steve Goble

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue4/vol1-iss4-01.htm

A warrior summoned back to life supernaturally has some scary creature stopping to do :

"Why do you not band together and fight it?" Kirn looked at him blankly. "Fight it? A tentacled thing from nightmare, sent by godless men. . . fight it?"

Attacking Calthus means the above bloke gets to be monster bait!


3.5 out of 5

Abyss and Apex 26 - Carol Burrell

http://www.abyssandapex.com/

An ordinary assortment of stuff, about what you would expect I think. In fact, right on 3.00 again. Kaftan's story is clearly the class of this issue.

Abyss and Apex 26 : One Wicker Day - Andrew S. Fuller
Abyss and Apex 26 : Wolfling - Laura Anne Gilman
Abyss and Apex 26 : Xenosomnambulism - Lawrence M. Schoen
Abyss and Apex 26 : Ghosts of Cretaceous Park - Larry Hodges
Abyss and Apex 26 : Disarm - Vylar Kaftan

Hashed Harry recruiting.

3 out of 5


Joker future.

3 out of 5


Opening contact.

2.5 out of 5


Greedy billionaire murder bust.

3 out of 5


Tickheads come in peace.

3.5 out of 5




2 out of 5

Disarm - Vylar Kaftan

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200804-disarm.html

Tickheads come in peace.


3.5 out of 5

Ghosts Of Cretaceous Park - Larry Hodges

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200804-cretaceous.html

Greedy billionaire murder bust.


3 out of 5

All the Wonder In the World - Lavie Tidhar

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200604-wonderworld.html

Frog day afternoon and other plagues.


3 out of 5

Xenosomnambulism - Lawrence M. Schoen

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200804-xeno.html

Opening contact.


2.5 out of 5

Wolfling - Laura Anne Gilman

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200804-wolfling.html

Joker future.


3 out of 5

Hub 55 - Lee Harris and Alasdair Stuart and Trudi Topham

http://www.hub-mag.co.uk/images/hub_55.pdf

Someone get confused between prose and poetry somewhere?

Reviews of Doctor Who, and what would appear to be a crime novel from the bad guy's point of view.





1 out of 5

Hub 54 - Lee Harris and Alasdair Stuart and Trudi Topham

http://www.hub-mag.co.uk/images/hub_54.pdf

Ramsey Campbell and dodgy Lucy Liu horror movie reviews.

Hub 54 : Chapiesky - A J Brown

Drowned.

2 out of 5




1 out of 5

Chapiesky - A. J. Brown

http://www.hub-mag.co.uk/images/hub_54.pdf

Drowned.


2 out of 5

Hub 53 - Lee Harris and Alasdair Stuart and Trudi Topham

http://www.hub-mag.co.uk/images/hub_53.pdf

A couple of reviews of Doctor Who, including the dodgy Doctor's Daughter ep. Some Slaine, and a nifty little interview with Michael Moorcock.

Hub 53 : Blood - Simon Forster


Drippy.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Blood - Simon Forster

http://www.hub-mag.co.uk/images/hub_53.pdf

Drippy.


3 out of 5

Sorrowbird - Sean Markey

http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy/?p=607

Whoo-oo! Definitely let me out of here.


2.5 out of 5

On The Finding Of Photographs Of My Former Loves - Peter M. Ball

http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy/?p=596

“All those girls?” she said. “Christ, those girls, Deacon, they were monsters.”


3.5 out of 5

The Shadow In the Mirror - Mari Ness

http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy/?p=566

Linger longer denial. Snap out of it.


3 out of 5

The Small Door - Holly Phillips

http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy/?p=546

Weirdo defender, tired.


3 out of 5

Mirror Images - Rachel Swirsky

http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy/?p=545

Nervous old dog.


2 out of 5

The Stolen Word - Lisa Mantchev

http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy/?p=544

Should have asked for a six-pack to go with the demon child.


3.5 out of 5

Running - Benjamin Crowell

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2008/20080609/running-f.shtml

Burning ring of oxygen.


3 out of 5

On the Eyeball Floor - Tina Connolly

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2008/20080602/eyeball-f.shtml

Looking at the creepy cyborg job.


3.5 out of 5

No Love For the Middleman - Tony Frazier

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2008/20080526/middleman-f.shtml

A retired martial artist superhero finds out what the company he works for is really up to when a couple of young wonder-twin heroes come calling.


"Crap. Even though I won the fight, it still won't save the company. Not to mention the fact that I really have been working for a criminal empire for six years. This sucks. I limp toward Migi's body, slumped on the floor."


4 out of 5

Tell Her - Rachel Kincaid

.http://www.strangehorizons.com/2008/20080519/tell-f.shtml

Can't even follow instructions in capitals.


2.5 out of 5

The Refutation Of Rosemount - Barth Anderson

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2008/20080512/rosemont-f.shtml

Tarot nose picking.


3 out of 5

The Gadgey - Alan Campbell

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2008/20080505/gadgey-f.shtml

"That's no a predator!" Gordie said. "Predators hae loadsa weapons, and ye cannae see them unless it rains, and onyway, predators are big and look like crabs. That hing's wee and squishy."

"Might be a wee predator."


3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Red Worm's Way - James Enge

http://www.jamesenge.com/redworm.html

Sneaky witch necronose biters.

4 out of 5

Barrens Dance - Peter S. Beagle

http://media.rawvoice.com/podcastle/media.libsyn.com/media/podcastle/PC012_BarrensDance.mp3

Wizard swap.


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aristotle OS - Tony Ballantyne

http://browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061252099&WT.mc_id=news_InsideEos_JUN08

Philosophy of upgrades is of arguable effectiveness.


3 out of 5

Baby Doll - Johanna Sinisalo

http://browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061252099&WT.mc_id=news_InsideEos_JUN08

Accelerated cradle snatching.


3.5 out of 5

Monday, June 16, 2008

One Wicker Day - Andrew S. Fuller

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200804-wicker.html

Hashed Harry recruiting.


3 out of 5

Museum Beetles - Simon Kewin

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200507-beetles.html

Burning down the knowledge.


3 out of 5

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In the Season Of Blue Storms - Jude-Marie Green

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200601-BlueStorms.html

Herding First Contact.


3.5 out of 5

Lone Star Stories 27 - Eric Marin

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

A 3.50 average for this issue, think that might be a record. :) It has poetry too, like all the others, for those into that sort of thing there's plenty here.

Editor could maybe consider a permanent link (issue27) as well as just the current issue, given have to make one sometime anyway?

Lone Star Stories 27 : Death Follows Us to Restaurants - Vylar Kaftan
Lone Star Stories 27 : Whatever Shall Grow There, Dear - Erin Hoffman
Lone Star Stories 27 : No Leaving New Orleans - Josh Rountree

Going anti-Drone, mum.

4 out of 5


One severely grounded daughter.

3 out of 5


And doesn't like bloody hippie rabbit food much.

3.5 out of 5





4 out of 5

No Leaving New Orleans - Josh Rountree

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

Going anti-Drone, mum.


4 out of 5

Whatever Shall Grow There Dear - Erin Hoffman

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

One severely grounded daughter.


3 out of 5

Death Follows Us To Restaurants - Vylar Kaftan

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

And doesn't like bloody hippie rabbit food much.


3.5 out of 5

Ideomancer 07 02 - Marsha Sisolak

http://www.ideomancer.com/pdf/Ideomancer-08-06.pdf

A review of a Michelle West book included here.

Ideomancer 07 02 : The Altruist and the Dead Man - Edward Cowan
Ideomancer 07 02 : Pearl in Shadow - Darja Malcolm-Clarke
Ideomancer 07 02 : She's Taking Her Tits to the Grave - Catherine Cheek


Zombie bimbo.

2.5 out of 5


"..some of the malodorous aura of the street."

Err... no. Stone me.

1.5 out of 5


Not jumping for joy.

3 out of 5




2 out of 5

She's Taking Her Tits To the Grave - Catherine Cheek

http://www.ideomancer.com/main/vol7issue2/cheek/one.html

Zombie bimbo.


2.5 out of 5

Pearl In Shadow - Darja Malcolm-Clarke

http://www.ideomancer.com/main/vol7issue2/malcolm-clarke/one.html

"..some of the malodorous aura of the street."

Err... no. Stone me.


1.5 out of 5

The Altruist and the Dead Man - Edward Cowan

http://www.ideomancer.com/main/vol7issue2/cowan/one.html

Not jumping for joy.


3 out of 5

Clarkesworld 21 - Sean Wallace and Nick Mamatas

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/issue_21

A tale of two halves.

Fiction, bad.

Non-fiction, very good.

A very interesting interview with Laird Barron tells us he is working on more stuff. Hopefully some editors can 'pry it out of his' hands, tentacles, whatever, faster, and a science article from Sedia.

Some editorialising from he whose name is on the masthead on the whole death of short stories things. Something Asimov was worrying about in 1977, and Stephen King in 2002 to name a couple of prior examples.

Clarkesworld 21 : Clockwork Chickadee - Mary Robinette Kowal
Clarkesworld 21 : The Secret in the House of Smiles - Paul Jessup


"...From here, I can tell you if any dangers lie on your route."

"Only in this room and we are leaving it."

2 out of 5


"It was all wrong.. Now pieces are missing."

2.5 out of 5




2 out of 5

The Secret In the House Of Smiles - Paul Jessup

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/jessup_06_08

"It was all wrong.. Now pieces are missing."

Even with quantum vampire hunting.


2.5 out of 5

Clockwork Chickadee - Mary Robinette Kowal

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/kowal_06_08

"...From here, I can tell you if any dangers lie on your route."

"Only in this room and we are leaving it."

or

Let's wind this up now.


2 out of 5

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Nine Thousand Four Hundred Ninety-four Days - Vylar Kaftan

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200607-9494days.html

Done my bird time. May as well kill them all now.


3.5 out of 5

Boxed - Will McIntosh

http://www.abyssandapex.com/20041112-metta.html

"So what now, Einstein? I have no body, and no way of getting it back."


3.5 out of 5

New Spectacles - Will McIntosh

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200607-spectacles.html

Dead grandpa analysis.


3 out of 5

Interfaith - Lisa Mantchev

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200607-Interfaith.html

Noisy decorations.


2.5 out of 5

Paranoia - Samantha Henderson

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200405-paranoia.html

Dinner failure.


3 out of 5

Waiting For the Big Freeze - Ian Creasey

http://www.abyssandapex.com/archives/waitingforthebigfreeze.html

Not falling for it.


2.5 out of 5

My Kingdom - Hannah Wolf Bowen

http://www.abyssandapex.com/archives/mykingdom.html

Don't buy racehorses or football teams. Magic bits even dodgier.


3 out of 5

Next - Patrick Samphire

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200504-next.html

I axe you to please not hang around in the future.


3.5 out of 5

For the Sake Of Rock and Roll - Josh Rountree

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200407-rock.html

"You don't seem to understand." Freed's raspy voice was becoming blurred, like a crowd of people speaking the same words together. Hundreds of different voices screamed at Tommy. "I'm the fucking spirit of rock and roll. Where the hell would upstarts like you be without rock's fallen heroes? I am the embodiment of everything that's good about rock. Everything your generation killed with its rap and its corporate shit. We're all here and you will show us respect."


3 out of 5

Post-human Pat - Lavie Tidhar

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200407-pat.html

Very Pokey.


2.5 out of 5

Live From The Volgograd Blackout! - Barth Anderson

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200403-volgograd.html

Warzone ratings.


3.5 out of 5

Rich and Beautiful - Bruce Holland Rogers

http://www.abyssandapex.com/archives/richandbeautiful.html

Plastic pursuit.


2.5 out of 5

Little Guilt Thing Goin' On - James Maxey

http://www.abyssandapex.com/archives/guiltthing.html

"Don't play the fool," said Dirk. "This is the stone that killed Goliath."

Halo reached to the bookshelf and picked up something small and polished. Light played across its ancient surface.

"No, Baby, this is the stone that killed Goliath."

Dirk stared at the stone she held, then gazed at the rock in his fingers. "Then this . . . ?"

Rob grinned. "That's a pebble I found in the parking lot."

"Son of a bitch," said Dirk.

"Now here's how that mind control thing works," said Halo. "You're gonna go throw yourself in the river for me, ain't you, Dirk-baby?"

"Sure thing," said Dirk, smiling as best he could manage. He turned and left without further comment."


4 out of 5

The Road To Heather Cove - Richard A. Lovett

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200704-heathercove.html

Death, Toorak tractor uneconomical.


3.5 out of 5

Bittersweet - N. K. Jemisin

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200701-bittersweet.html

Stone cold failure.


3 out of 5

Inside the Witch's Oven - Eugie Foster

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200405-witchsoven.html

Prefer gingerbread.


3 out of 5

Weepers and Ragers - Aliette de Bodard

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200704-weepersragers.html

Not a real girl.


3 out of 5

The Ghosts Of Los Hellas - R. J. Astruc

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200607-LosHellas.html

SWIFTWATER virtual, no voodoo.


3.5 out of 5

The Difference Between Fiction and Life - Bruce Holland Rogers

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200510-fiction.html

"...but the end of the story is not here for me to find."


2 out of 5

What They Wanted - M. K. Hobson

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200504-wanted.html

Titty fish evasion expensive.


3 out of 5

Bears Discover Smut - Michael Bishop

Bears Discover Smut - Michael Bishop

Busted into ursine partnership.


4 out of 5

Sequel On Skorpios - Michael Bishop

Sequel on Skorpiós - Michael Bishop

Crucifixion fake crippling.


3.5 out of 5

Chihuahua Flats - Michael Bishop

Chihuahua Flats - Michael Bishop

"Why'd a gorgeous gal like Millie Chalverus breed the bat-eared midgets?"


3 out of 5

O Happy Day - Michael Bishop

O Happy Day - Michael Bishop

Ratpeople overbreeding.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, June 13, 2008

Three Unbroken 38 Contrariety - Chris Roberson

http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/three-unbroken/free/page38.asp

"There were simply too few operational objectives involved in Operation Great Strength to go around. Not that the operational objectives were actually attainable, but that was another matter. And with the division of authority and resources at the highest level thrown into mass confusion by the illogic of some of the tactics involved in Great Strength, it was only natural that signals would get crossed, and two units would be dispatched to take the same target."


3 out of 5

Three Unbroken 37 The Family - Chris Roberson

http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/three-unbroken/free/page37.asp

"Carter tried to imagine what it would be like for the girl, having known nothing but this unending war for her entire life. Did she think that stories of peace, of living without the threat of constant danger and death hanging always over their heads, were nothing more than fairy tales to sooth children at bedtimes?"


3.5 out of 5

Imaro's Ancestors - Charles R. Saunders

http://www.reindeermotel.com/CHARLES/charles_blog.html

The author talks about character influences.


4.5 out of 5

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Dark Tower The Waste Lands 1 - Stephen King

http://www.stephenking.com/DarkTower/the_waste_lands.html

"IT WAS HER THIRD time with live ammunition . . . and her first time on the draw from the holster Roland had rigged for her.
They had plenty of live rounds; Roland had brought back better than three hundred from the world where Eddie and Susannah Dean had lived their lives up until the time of their drawing. But having ammu­nition in plenty did not mean it could be wasted; quite the contrary, in fact. The gods frowned upon wastrels.
Roland had been raised, first by his father and then by Cort, his greatest teacher, to believe this, and so he still believed. Those gods might not punish at once, but sooner or later the penance would have to be paid . . . and the longer the wait, the greater the weight."


3.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

The Dark Tower Wizard and Glass 1 - Stephen King

http://www.stephenking.com/DarkTower/wizard_and_glass.html

"So what do we do?" Eddie asked. "You must have an idea, or you never would have sent him away."
"His great intelligence -- coupled with his long period of loneliness and forced inactivity -- may have combined to make him more human than he knows. That's my hope, anyway. First, we must establish a kind of geography. We must tell, if we can, where he is weak and where he is strong, where he is sure of the game and where not so sure. Riddles are not just about the cleverness of the riddler, never think it. They are also about the blind spots of he who is riddled."
"Does he have blind spots?" Eddie asked.


3.5 out of 5

The Dark Tower The Drawing Of the Three 1 - Stephen King

http://www.stephenking.com/DarkTower/the_drawing_of_the_three.html

"The gunslinger came awake from a confused dream which seemed to consist of a single image: that of the Sailor in the Tarot deck from which the man in black had dealt (or purported to deal) the gunslinger's own moaning future. He drowns, gunslinger, the man in black was saying, and no one throws out the line. The boy Jake."


4 out of 5

The Dark Tower The Gunslinger 1 - Stephen King

http://www.stephenking.com/DarkTower/the_gunslinger.html

"The Man In Black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."


4 out of 5

Duma Key 1 - Stephen King

http://www.stephenking.com/duma_key_video/audiobook_excerpt/duma_key_audiobook_hd.html

Stupid driving bitch sick dog putdown.


3.5 out of 5

Blaze 1-2 - Stephen King

http://www.stephenking.com/assets/blaze_chapters_1_and_2.pdf

I'm a dummy. A dead one.


3 out of 5

Dark Tower Wolves Of the Calla 1 Calla Bryn Sturgis - Stephen King

"The Wolves themselves are terrible fearsome, so ’tis said," Telford went on, moving smoothly from one campfire story to the next. "They look sommat’ like men, and yet they are not men but something bigger and far more awful. And those they serve in far Thunderclap are more terrible by far. Vampires, I’ve heard. Broken-helm undead ronin. Warriors of the Scarlet Eye."

...

"Sounds good, padrone," Adams said in his heavy accent. "Sounds brave. Yet there are still a few questions, mayhap. Haycox asked one of em. How can ranchers and farmers stand against armed killers out of the west?"

...

"There were no mutterings of support or dispute. No mutterings of any kind. The crowd was still frozen, caught in the reverberation of that one mythic word: gunslingers."


3.5 out of 5

The Dark Tower Song Of Susannah 1 Beamquake - Stephen King

http://www.stephenking.com/pages/works/Dark_Tower_VI/prologue.php

There was no celebration here. Benny and Margaret were dead, and Susannah was gone.


"Henchick, tell me, I beg: how long will the magic stay?"


The old man stroked his beard in a distracted fashion. "Gunslinger -- Roland -- I can't say. The magic of the door in that cave is beyond me. As thee must know."



...

"See the TURTLE of enormous girth!


On his shell he holds the earth,


His thought is slow but always kind;


He holds us all within his mind."


At this point, Rosalita took up the verse


"On his back the truth is carried,


And there are love and duty married.


He loves the earth and loves the sea,


And even loves a child like me."



3.5 out of 5

The Dark Tower VII 1 Callahan and the Vampires - Stephen King

http://www.stephenking.com/pages/works/Dark_Tower_VII/prologue.php

"Get back from me!" he shouted. "The power of God commands you! The power of Christ commands you! The ka of Mid-World commands you! The power of the White commands you!"


3.5 out of 5

Harvey's Dream - Stephen King

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/06/30/030630fi_fiction?currentPage=all

I think maybe bad news.


3 out of 5

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Starlight Jelly and Shadows - Mike Ashley

http://www.zone-sf.com/mikeashley.html

Wherein he is interviewed about a bunch of stuff, including committing anthology.


4 out of 5

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Thunder - Sherwood Smith

Summer Thunder - Sherwood Smith

Supposed courtly war avoidance and boychasing.


3 out of 5

Subspace Survivors - E. E. Doc Smith

Subspace Survivors - Edward E. Smith

"I doubt it; very seriously. I've tossed lots of two-hundred-pounders around, of course, but they were _not_ space officers." She laughed unaffectedly as she tested his musculature much more professionally and much more thoroughly than he had tested hers. "Definitely I couldn't. A good big man can always take a good little one, you know."

A few punches in the guts later on means maybe not.


3 out of 5

Frost - Bud Sparhawk

Frost - Bud Sparhawk

Cold execution.


3.5 out of 5

The Mississippi Saucer - Frank Belknap Long

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23568/23568.txt

Frog brothers kid.


2.5 out of 5

The Sky Trap - Frank Belknap Long

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24151/24151.txt

Slashaway evolution victory.


2.5 out of 5

Happily Ever Awhile - Ruth Nestvold

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2005/20050620/happily-f.shtml

Latin not the only thing that is a waste of time.


2.5 out of 5

In the Forest Of the Queen - Gwyneth Jones

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

Frog communion death.


3 out of 5

The Nothing Equation - Tom Godwin

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25628/25628.txt

On the hyperspace bubble.


3 out of 5

Limo - Neal Barrett

Limo - Neal Barrett, Jr.

Major perv.


3 out of 5

Four Times One - Neal Barrett

Four Times One - Neal Barrett, Jr.

Animal quarter corruption.


2.5 out of 5

Grunwelt - Neal Barrett

Grünwelt - Neal Barrett, Jr.

Big tree drop.


3 out out of 5

The Man Who Counts - William Barton

The Man Who Counts - William Barton

Fucking Killers.


3.5 out of 5

Expendables - Bruce Bethke

Expendables - Bruce Bethke

Valkyrie drone dishonor.


3.5 out of 5

The Skanky Soul Of Jimmy Twist - Bruce Bethke

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/skanky.htm

The bassist black magic.

(call it 3.25)
3.5 out of 5

Cyberpunk - Bruce Bethke

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/cpunk.htm

A little custom hacking.

(this story was from 1982, by the way!)

3 out of 5

A Simple Act Of Piety - Achmed Abdullah

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604171.txt

"HIS affair that night was prosy. He was intending the murder of an old Spanish woman around the corner, on the Bowery, whom he had known for years, with whom he had always exchanged courteous greetings, and whom he neither liked nor disliked."


3 out of 5

Charmed Life - Achmed Abdullah

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604171.txt

""We must get him--the foreigner--the Christian--the cannibal of the Holy Cow! Quick--by the heavenly light of Chandra!""


3 out of 5

Mystery Of the Talking Idols - Achmed Abdullah

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604171.txt

"If thou shouldst turn traitor, if thou shouldst try to send messages as we pass through the villages on our way up to Grand L'Popo Basin, I shall kill thee. I shall kill thee very slowly. I shall make long cuts into thy unclean skin, and shall afterwards pour boiling oil into the wounds. Also other things; considerably more painful. I shall think them out as the days go by . . . then, later on, while there is still breath left in thy lungs and blood in thy heart, I shall bury thee . . . in a shallow grave . . . where the hyenas and the many little ants will find thee."


3 out of 5

Pell Street Blues - Achmed Abdullah

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604171.txt

"I wish he had lost his head years ago , when I gave him the choice between losing it, and losing you. For had he chosen death, I would not have married you, O turtle-spawn!"


2.5 out of 5

Pro Patria - Achmed Abdullah

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604171.txt

"But, Crane told himself bitterly, these yellow-capped priests were the intellectual aristocracy of this vast land that stretched its religious feelers all over central Asia. They were in the "know," every last one of them. They all belonged to the same mysterious, sinister lodge, understood the same unspoken passwords and furtive
high signs"


3 out of 5

The Incubus - Achmed Abdullah

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604171.txt

"Tall he was, and gaunt and hunger-bitten and dreadfully, dreadfully pale, with yellowish-green spots on his high cheekbones, and his peaked chin covered with a week's growth of black stubbles, and a ragged mustache. His face was a mass of scars and bleeding scratches and cuts; and in his right hand he held a revolver--leveled straight
at my heart."


2.5 out of 5

Fear - Achmed Abdullah

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604171.txt

"Choice?" Farragut Hutchison had looked up, a gleam of hope in his eyes.

"Yes. Choice which one of you will die." The Bakoto had smiled, with the same suave courtliness which had, somehow, increased the utter horror of the scene. "Die--oh--a slow death, befitting the insult to the juju, befitting the juju's great holiness!"


3.5 out of 5

Wolverden Tower - Grant Allen

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602451.txt

"Three brothers builded churches three;
And fasted thrice each church shall be:
Fasted thrice with maidens' blood.
To make them safe from fire and flood;
Fasted thrice with souls of men.
Hatton, Bradbury, Wolverden!"


3.5 out of 5

Perilous Play - Louisa May Alcott

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603031.txt

"Eat six of these despised bonbons, and you will be amused in a new, delicious, and wonderful manner," said the young doctor, laying half a dozen on a green leaf and offering them to her.

"Why, what are they?" she asked, looking at him askance.

"Hashish; did you never hear of it?"


3 out of 5

Doctor Dorn's Revenge - Louisa May Alcott

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603011.txt

"He must not sacrifice himself; he would not be so reckless if he knew that any one cared for him."


2.5 out of 5

The Abbot's Ghost - Louisa May Alcott

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/8abgh10.txt

Speaking of this one evening as he lounged in the landlady's parlor, he asked why no one took it and let the rooms to strangers in the fishing season. 'For fear of the ghostissess, your honor,' replied the woman, and proceeded to tell, him that three distinct spirits haunted the house. In the garret was heard the hum of a wheel and the tap of high-heeled shoes, as the ghostly spinner went to and fro. In a chamber sounded the sharpening of a knife, followed by groans and the drip of blood. The cellar was made awful by a skeleton sitting on a half-buried box and chuckling fiendishly. It seems a miser lived there once, and was believed to have starved his daughter in the garret, keeping her at work till she died. The second spirit was that of the girl's rejected lover, who cut his throat in the chamber, and the third of the miser who was found dead on the money chest he was too feeble to conceal.


3 out of 5

Lost In A Pyramid Or the Mummy's Curse - Louisa May Alcott

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603041.txt

Niles had a mania for antiquities of all sorts, and forgot time, danger and fatigue in
the ardor of his pursuit. We rummaged up and down the narrow passages, half choked with dust and close air; reading inscriptions on the walls, stumbling over shattered mummy-cases, or coming face to face with some shriveled specimen perched like a hobgoblin on the little shelves where the dead used to be stowed away for ages.


3 out of 5

Lois the Witch - Elizabeth Gaskell

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0605541.txt

Better than burned alive, I suppose.


3 out of 5

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Nightmare! - Francis Stevens

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0607371.txt

"Beg pardon for hinterrupting, sir, but do you want this book packed in the trunk?"
"'Paradise Island'? Yes, pack the thing away. Did you ever read it, Philip?"

"No, sir. I don't care for them himpossible stories, if I may say so, sir."

"And welcome. Now, I'm thirty-two years old, I've yachted, ridden, motored and been about the world a good bit, and I've never had a real adventure in my life. People don't have adventures unless they're gentlemen in the filibustering line, or polar explorers, or something like that. This modern world of ours is as safe as a church, barring accidents, and they are never romantic. End in a hospital or a beastly
morgue. Anybody I s uppose, can find trouble by looking for it, but that's not exactly in my line."


"No, sir. Very bad form, sir, if I may say so, Mr. Jones."

Of course, if you say this at the start of a fantasy novel, then that is exactly what you will get.

Or, soon I won't be on my holiday cruise anymore, but a mysterious island:

"Another similar leg followed it into visibility. Then two eyes came into view, round, black, and fastened upon the ends of stalks like those of a lobster.

"Good God!" breathed the Russian.

"What is the thing, Holloway?"

"Just a little spider," responded their captor cheerfully. "But plenty big enough to make three mouthfuls of you. That's its web it's sitting in, wondering why you don't come on down to dinner. I'd shoot the old devil, but what's the use? He's only one. Shall we go on now?"

More adventuring and creature dodging to go on with, after that.


3.5 out of 5

Serapion - Francis Stevens

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0607361.txt

"Never heard of me, eh? That's a fault of mine--expect the whole world to be thrillingly expectant of results from my work. Ever hear of the Psychic Research Association?"

"Certainly." I looked as intelligent as possible. "Investigate ghosts and haunted houses and all that, don't they?"

"You're right, son. Ghosts and haunted houses about cover the Association's metier. Bah! Do you know who I am?"

Demons however, rather trickier.


3.5 out of 5

Claimed - Francis Stevens

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602981.txt

"Blair rather amused me by asking permission to carry away a keepsake of Belle Island as Kersae and I agreed to name it. Scattered over its surface are many irregular blocks and ball-shaped masses--"bombs" as they are termed--greenish-black lava. One of the smaller of the blocks was rather pretty, having a very regular rectangular shape, and the lava deep-green in color, flecked with brilliant scales of metallic
scarlet."

This wasn't the best idea, as the object involved is in the general class of 'horror artifacts'.

Gives you nightmares, at sea or on land and leads you back to no fun times on the water.

An early novel of this dark fantasy type, not too bad.


3 out of 5

Behind the Curtain - Francis Stevens

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0607021.txt

Spousal tomb.


3 out of 5

Unseen Unfeared - Francis Stevens

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602971.txt

"But the room--the whole room was alive with other creatures than that. Everywhere I looked they were--centipedish things, with yard-long bodies, detestable, furry spiders that lurked in shadows, and sausage-shaped translucent horrors that moved--and floated through the air. They dived--here and there between me and the light, and I could see
its bright greenness through their greenish bodies."


3 out of 5

The Elf Trap - Francis Stevens

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0607351.txt

Backfire exile.


3 out of 5

Raid From Mars - Miles J. Breuer

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603761.txt

"SWOOP" MARTIN in his monoplane made circles around over the Martian space-ship like a hawk. He swept around lower and lower. At a height of about 3,000 feet, he flew away to the distance of a half mile, and then dived steeply downward, toward the Martian vessel. A few hundred feet above it, he turned sharply upward again, making a sort of V. At the bottom of the V, a small black object left the scout plane, and described a parabola, striking the Martian vessel amidships. A ragged hole appeared, and then a dull explosion.


2 out of 5

The Lanson Screen - Arthur Leo Zagat

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604281.txt

Cut off a whole city, might get some serious breathing problems.


2.5 out of 5

The Romance Of the Secret Service Fund - Fred M. White

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600481.txt

"The gun is the invention of a clever young Russian, Nicholas Mazaroff by name. We have tested the weapon, which, as a matter of fact, we have purchased from Mazaroff. The rifle is destined to entirely revolutionise infantry tactics, and, indeed, it is a most wonderful affair. The projectile is fired by liquid air, there are no cartridges, and, as there is practically no friction beyond the passage of the bullet from the barrel, it is possible to fire the rifle some four hundred times before recharging. In addition, there is absolutely no smoke and no noise. You can imagine the value of the discovery."


3.5 out of 5

The River Of Death - Fred M. White

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603561.txt

Millions of plague germs flowing down into London. Bacillus of bubonic plague in the river. New River and Kent Companles alone can supply pure water. Stupendous discovery by Professor Darbyshire. Death in your breakfast cup today. Shun it as you would poison. If you are not connected with either of the above companies, or if you have no
private supply.


3 out of 5

A Bubble Burst - Fred M. White

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603511.txt

Stock scamming doesn't always go how you want.


3.5 out of 5

The Ebony Frame - E. Nesbit

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602551.txt

"The devil came, and I sold my soul to eternal flame. But I got a good price."


3.5 out of 5

In the Dark - E. Nesbit

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602531.txt

'Yes,' I said. 'I haven't seen him since I came back. Some one told me he'd gone to some island or other to preach vegetarianism to the cannibals. Anyhow, he's out of the way, bad luck to him.'

'Yes,' said Haldane, 'he's out of the way. But he's not preaching anything. In point of fact, he's dead.'


3 out of 5

The Lost Continent - C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/285

Just an Evil Empress to overthrow.


A feisty girl to save, too, once you realise that yes, you might be interested in the female sort of thing.

A man returning to Atlantis after being away for some time finds the new ruler is not really to his liking. She also has the serious hots for him, but he is a lot keener on rebelling against her than rogering her.

So cave-tigers, giant turtles, huge lizards, giant birds, war engines, priests, and battle to be done.


3.5 out of 5

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Dragon Tamers - E. Nesbit

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks07/0700681.txt

""Well, get to work, then," said the dragon. "You mend my wing, and then
I'll go out and eat up all the town, and if you make a really smart job
of it I'll eat you last. There!"


3.5 out of 5

The Power Of Darkness - E. Nesbit

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602561.txt

"I don't know," said Edward. "Let's have a vermouth, shall we? There's something uncanny about those wax things. They're like life-but
they're much more like death. Suppose they moved? I don't feel at all sure that they don't move, when the lights are all out and there's no
one there."


3 out of 5

The Mystery Of the Semi-Detached - E. Nesbit

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602591.txt

Cutthroat discovery.


2.5 out of 5

The Mortal Immortal - Mary Shelley

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602391.txt

Especially if hair going grey.


3.5 out of 5

Flashing Swords Magazine 3 - Howard A. Jones

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/vol1-iss3-toc.asp

Another fine editing job by Jones here, and a rather interesting new Sword and Sorcery manifesto. That is Sword, singular, not small s swords and sorcery used by those who know no better. Not a trace of hobbit pollution, cackling dark lords out to expand their jewellery collections, or farmboy, princess and dragon threesomes to be seen in Flashing Swords.

A bunch of enjoyable stories are to be found here.

Flashing Swords 3 : Web of Pale Venom - John C. Hocking
Flashing Swords 3 : The White Wyrm - C.L. Werner
Flashing Swords 3 : The Covenant - Christopher Stires
Flashing Swords 3 : Two Fools Make a Tragedy - C.J. Burch
Flashing Swords 3 : The Demon War - S.C. Bryce
Flashing Swords 3 : End of Duty - Joe McCullough V
Flashing Swords 3 : Raven's Eye - Jay Caselberg
Flashing Swords 3 : The Catacombs of Dharwataqan - Bruce Durham


"A librarian who throws daggers?" I’d thought I was alone in the dry courtyard behind my apartment, but there was a woman leaning on the rickety fence, watching me. "I’m not a librarian," I said, surprise giving my voice an irritable edge. "I am an archivist."

Weapons handy to have around sorcerous drug dealers who have big spiders, too.

3.5 out of 5


"It is no use, Ragnar! By Odin's axe, cast the Christian overboard!" one of the giants struggling with the beitass snarled.

...

"With a terrific yell, the savages were upon him once more. Wolf spun on his heel, splitting the skull of a club-wielding dwarf with a downward thrust of his sword, dropping the creature immediately in a puddle of brains and blood."

...

"The dagger, caked in the dried blood of innumerable sacrifices to the every hungry Huitzilopotchli so that it scarcely retained the shape of a blade at all, seemed to exude a preternatural stench of death and corruption."

...

"Blood slopped from Quetzalcoatl's neck in a gory waterfall as the monster reared upwards."

3 out of 5


Devil deal death revelation despair.

3.5 out of 5


"Wizards were dangerous prey, best ambushed and killed silently before they marshaled their forces. Speaking with one before attacking him was a monumental error."

4 out of 5


""You are starting a demon war?" "Is there any better kind?" She sighed wistfully. "You have not lived until you've seen a demon war. Demons on wing, on hoof, on paw. Demons riding upon demons. In armor of every design, with every weapon imaginable. It's as the poet sang, 'The dust turns to mud with demon sweat and blood.'"

...

"Aradan is kin to you?" "He is my brother." "And this prohibition against kin-killing does not extend to commissioning assassination?" "No." Dermanassian grimaced. "I fail to understand demon ethics." "I shall guide you through them," she offered cheerily."

3 out of 5


"Jakes, you got point. Ogden with me. Stevan, Renny, cover our backs. Don’t make any noise you don’t have to, but if someone does spot you, go ahead and shoot. He’s going to scream anyway."

3 out of 5


With four on one odds, nice to get a magical crow warning from her mentor.

3.5 out of 5


A slave girl freed, some magic gear, and a nasty tome that needs no guardian.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

The Catacombs Of Dharwataqan - Bruce Durham

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue3/vol1-iss3-08.asp

A slave girl freed, some magic gear, and a nasty tome that needs no guardian.


4 out of 5

Raven's Eye - Jay Caselberg

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue3/vol1-iss3-07.asp

With four on one odds, nice to get a magical crow warning from her mentor.


3.5 out of 5

End Of Duty - Joseph A. McCullough

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue3/vol1-iss3-06.asp

"Jakes, you got point. Ogden with me. Stevan, Renny, cover our backs. Don’t make any noise you don’t have to, but if someone does spot you, go ahead and shoot. He’s going to scream anyway."


3 out of 5

The Demon War - S. C. Bryce

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue3/vol1-iss3-05.asp

""You are starting a demon war?" "Is there any better kind?" She sighed wistfully. "You have not lived until you've seen a demon war. Demons on wing, on hoof, on paw. Demons riding upon demons. In armor of every design, with every weapon imaginable. It's as the poet sang, 'The dust turns to mud with demon sweat and blood.'"

...

"Aradan is kin to you?" "He is my brother." "And this prohibition against kin-killing does not extend to commissioning assassination?" "No." Dermanassian grimaced. "I fail to understand demon ethics." "I shall guide you through them," she offered cheerily."


3 out of 5

Two Fools Make A Tragedy - C. J. Burch

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue3/vol1-iss3-04.asp

"Wizards were dangerous prey, best ambushed and killed silently before they marshaled their forces. Speaking with one before attacking him was a monumental error."


4 out of 5

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Covenant - Christopher Stires

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue3/vol1-iss3-03.asp

Devil deal death revelation despair.


3.5 out of 5

The White Wyrm - C. L. Werner

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue3/vol1-iss3-02.asp

"It is no use, Ragnar! By Odin's axe, cast the Christian overboard!" one of the giants struggling with the beitass snarled.

...

"With a terrific yell, the savages were upon him once more. Wolf spun on his heel, splitting the skull of a club-wielding dwarf with a downward thrust of his sword, dropping the creature immediately in a puddle of brains and blood."

...

"The dagger, caked in the dried blood of innumerable sacrifices to the every hungry Huitzilopotchli so that it scarcely retained the shape of a blade at all, seemed to exude a preternatural stench of death and corruption."

...

"Blood slopped from Quetzalcoatl's neck in a gory waterfall as the monster reared upwards."


3 out of 5

Web Of Pale Venom - John C. Hocking

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue3/vol1-iss3-01.asp

"A librarian who throws daggers?" I’d thought I was alone in the dry courtyard behind my apartment, but there was a woman leaning on the rickety fence, watching me. "I’m not a librarian," I said, surprise giving my voice an irritable edge. "I am an archivist."

Weapons handy to have around sorcerous drug dealers who have big spiders, too.


3.5 out of 5

The New Edge - Howard A. Jones

http://flashingswords.sfreader.com/issues/issue3/vol1-iss3-00.asp

"So what are those New Edge guiding principles?

Briefly:
1. A hardboiled tone - as in terse and unsentimental
2. Exotic settings and/or settings that live - as in NOT faux Tolkien (if the settings echo Tolkien or other writers then they must be twisted or seen from some new perspective)
3. Evoking a sense of wonder - magic is never banal or easy, the fantastic should not be mundane
4. High energy storytelling - as in fast and without padding"


4.5 out of 5

Honing the New Edge 2 - Howard A. Jones

http://bg-editor.livejournal.com/21285.html?view=208421#t208421

Where the esteemed Mr. Jones continues to expound upon sword and sorcery. Go forth and read, or we shall slay you, by Crom you lily-livered sons and daughters of a mangy Keshian rat.


4.5 out of 5

Honing the New Edge 1 - Howard A. Jones

http://bg-editor.livejournal.com/21089.html

In which said sword and sorcery editor expounds upon the genre's definition.


4.5 out of 5

Know How Can Do - Michael Blumlein

http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/fiction/reprint01.htm

Madam I'm Adam, and smart for a worm, too.


4 out of 5

Orphans Of Chaos - John C. Wright

http://e2ma.net/go/1128637248/1023938/37534295/goto:http://hbpub.vo.llnwd.net/o16/video/olmk/tor.com/WrightOOCHTML/Wright,%20John%20-%20Orphans%20of%20Chaos.html

Zeus is gone, and the power struggle between Hephaestus and Mars is ongoing, and threatens to breakout into war.

The previous rulers, Uranus, Saturn and their ilk, are not gone for good. This is particularly the case for some of their descendants.

Five children of this earlier time of Chaos are being held at a boarding school in an unassuming part of England by an assortment of forced servants and minor deities. They are drugged and otherwise kept oblivious, but as they get older, they beging to discover their powers and legacy.

An escape attempt is averted, as they really don't know what they are doing, and their captors have long been ready for them.

As Amelia, the master of space and time is told : "You are a dangerous and super-human being, child, and we must take what steps we can."

Not often you get this sort of thing talking about conic sections and the integrations of hypercubes, that is for sure.


3.5 out of 5

Three Unbroken 36 Suppression of the Light - Chris Roberson

http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/three-unbroken/free/page36.asp

"Corporal Eng had quickly pointed out that the shelters wouldn’t stand up to a tossed rock, much less a Mexic bullet, and if any Jaguar Knights in the area had seen the flare sent up by the fallen prisoner escorts only moments before, bullets would doubtless be flying again in short order."


3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sliding Down Mount Shasta - Earl Kemp

http://www.efanzines.com/EK/eI33/index.htm#shasta

In this fanzine which I discovered purely by accident looking for something else, this particular article talks about T. E. Dikty and the Year's Best SF he was involved with - apparently he had the help of the above gentleman quite considerably.


4 out of 5

Template 1 - Matthew Hughes

http://www.fantasybookspot.com/node/2694

"Where did we err?" said the skinny one.

Conn thought for a moment. "Too much foofaraw in his style," he said, indicating the fat one. "Or too much deliberation behind the zaniness. The incongruity was just a little too sharp to be convincing."


3.5 out of 5

Yokel With Portfolio - Robert Silverberg

Yokel with Portfolio - Robert Silverberg

Handling the alien monster like that is a load of bull.


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Quasi-Official Robert Silverberg Web Site - Jon Davis

http://www.majipoor.com/

A brave man indeed to try and detail the gazillion things that Silverberg has scribed. Nice work.


4.5 out of 5

The Purple Terror - Fred M. White

http://retirees.uwaterloo.ca/~jerry/orchids/purpleterror.html

Flowers of grasping doom.


3.5 out of 5

The Invisible Force - Fred M. White

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603551.txt

Blunderground busted.


3 out of 5

The Great White Moth - Fred M. White

http://www.strangeark.com/cryptofiction/great-white-moth.html

Big, fuzzy. Don't swallow.


3 out of 5

The Four White Days - Fred M. White

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603541.txt

Whoever asked for a White Xmas? Burn them first.


3 out of 5

The Four Days Night - Fred M. White

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603531h.html

"The moral of which is that we are going to be plunged into Cimmerian darkness".

or

Yes, the fog did come down.


3 out of 5

The Dust Of Death - Fred M. White

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603521h.html

Quick plague.


3 out of 5

The Green Spider - Sax Rohmer

http://www.hillsdalesites.org/personal/hstewart/Mystery/Rohmer%20(1904-10)%20The%20Green%20Spider.pdf

More media than monster.


3 out of 5

The Shadow and the Flash - Jack London

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext97/mface11.txt

Not really as cool as the two named, more like 'Rainbow-Sparkly-Hard-To-See-Guy' vs 'Ink-Blotted-Out-Rather-Blurry-Bloke'.


4 out of 5

The Lady Automaton - E. E. Kellett

http://www.forgottenfutures.com/game/ff9/aut.htm

Heart As Dry As Dust, this bloodless chick.


3 out of 5

The Lizard - C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

http://www.horrormasters.com/Text/a1036.pdf

Next time someone dies and leaves me with a giant cave monster, please leave say a sword, or rifle. Pen-knife ain't gonna cut it.


4 out of 5

The Monster Of Lake Lametrie - Wardon Allen Curtis

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0605351h.html

Cannoning into elasmosaurus.


3.5 out of 5

The Thames Valley Catastrophe - Grant Allen

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602071h.html

Hot In the City tonight.


3 out of 5

Monday, June 02, 2008

Long Live the Kejwa - Robert Silverberg

Long Live the Kejwa [vt Run of Luck] - Robert Silverberg

Landing getaway leaves him worshipfully in over his head


3.5 out of 5

Postmark Ganymede - Robert Silverberg

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25629/25629.txt

Worms, pirates, more than fun than poodles.


2.5 out of 5

The Man Who Never Forgot - Robert Silverberg

The Man Who Never Forgot - Robert Silverberg

Photographic memory pain.


3.5 out of 5

To Be Continued - Robert Silverberg

To Be Continued ... - Robert Silverberg

Long childhood.


3.5 out of 5

The Hunted Heroes - Robert Silverberg

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25627/25627.txt

Atomic legless revenge.


3.5 out of 5

Guardian Of the Crystal Gate - Robert Silverberg

Guardian of the Crystal Gate - Robert Silverberg

Manjacked giant diamond bitchfight freedom.


3.5 out of 5

Choke Chain - Robert Silverberg

Choke Chain - Robert Silverberg

Breathing tax.


3.5 out of 5