Saturday, 1 March 2008

Sci-Fi Fan Letter Issue 19

World’s Biggest Bookstore’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Newsletter
Issue 19 March 2008

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, due to time constraints, this will be the final issue of the Sci-Fi Fan Letter. I’m hoping to keep up the website, though the content will be changing depending on the responses to the poll I’ve set up on the site. This month will still have two author interviews (Jim Hines and John Varley) and a themed SF reading list. Thank you for supporting our work and please keep visiting the site!

American Gods
By: Neil Gaimen

What makes Neil Gaimen’s American Gods an excellent read is the author’s acute attention to detail. Gaimen draws from a wide range of sources, mixing obscure references to classic mythology and religion with pop culture in an interesting way. The result is a novel unlike any other. Part thriller, part Joseph Campbell, American Gods is at once an engaging adventure story, while at the same time an intellectual rumination on the fabric of North American culture and its religious attitudes. Gaimen is able to create a fascinating fantasy world where ancient gods are our next-door neighbours, quietly waiting to reassert themselves and their importance in a way that grips the reader and leaves them guessing.

- James Bernard

City of the Beast
By: Michael Moorcock

The ‘pulp SF’ of the early decades of the last century is negatively construed nowadays having been replaced with the ‘serious SF’ works of modern authors. Unfortunately by turning our backs on these somewhat campy stories, we’ve also forgotten how much fun they are to read.

Rather than the purely escapist fantasy I was expecting, I found myself thoroughly enjoying this book. Why? Because Moorcok is able to explain, in surprisingly acceptable terms, how his hero, Michael Kane, became an experienced swordsman and how he ended up on an inhabited Mars of the ancient past. He even has a plausible explanation of how Michael Kane is able to communicate with the beautiful princess Shizala when he arrives there. His Martian races are varied and culturally diverse, and the descriptions vivid enough that it’s almost hard to believe TV has replaced such stores.

If you’re interested in SF’s colourful past, looking for a nostalgic story or simply want escapist literature, this is a great place to start.

-Jessica Strider

Halfway to the Grave
By Jeaniene Frost

Years ago, a young, sixteen-year-old girl was raped. However, that was not the end of the story. The man who raped this young girl was a newly turned vampire, and in that night the unthinkable happened: a child was produced. Now, twenty-two years later, the half-human, half-vampire Catherine (Cat) Crawfield is tearing a swath through the vampire community armed with her unusual abilities and a silver stake. But Cat’s plans for vengeance against all vampires and most especially her father are put on hold the night when she encounters Bones, a vampire bounty hunter. Though he was originally her next prey, the hunted became the hunter and Cat was captured instead. In exchange for her life, Cat agreed to Bones’ demands and entered a partnership with pure evil….

Sometimes one vampire story becomes like the next: been there, done that, just stake him already and put him out of my misery! But I have to admit that Halfway to the Grave had a new twist on the typical vampire myth which had me finishing the book in only two days. Despite the author’s attempt to make it apparent that Bones is British through his dialogue (ad nauseam), this is a book well worth reading and well worth the wait for the next one in the series.


Dreamsongs, Volume 1
by George R. R. Martin

Fans of George R. R. Martin have something of an obligation to check out Dreamsongs. This book highlights various short stories Martin has written over the years but more than that, it shows his progress as a writer as each segment contains an introduction wherein he describes what stage of his writing career he was in when he wrote them. For anyone interested in seeing how a writer develops and how a great career blossoms, this book and its second volume are a must. Be warned; it will make you want to want to write which is always a dangerous urge.


Coming in April Hardcover:
Personal Demon - Kelley Armstrong
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame - Ben Bova, Ed.
Passage- Lois McMaster Bujold
Small Favor - Jim Butcher
Keeper of Dreams - Orson Scott Card
In Milton Lumky Territory - Philip Dick
Shadow Gate - Kate Elliott
Maximum Offense- David Gunn
Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison
Moon Flower - James Hogan
Varanger - Cecelia Holland
Caliphate - Tom Kratman
And Less Than Kind - Mercedes Lackey & Roberta Gellis
The Hidden World - Paul Park
Galaxy Blues - Allen Steele
Lord of Lies - David Zindell

Trade Paperback:
Magician & the Fool - Barth Anderson
Dragon’s Wild - Robert Asprin
Nebula Awards Showcase 2008 - Ben Bova, Ed.
Purge the Unclean: Dark Heresy Adventure Anthology - Kate Flack, Ed.
Blood Ties - Pamela Freeman
Piaras Legacy - Scott Gamboe
The Lost Ones - Christopher Golden
Blood Ravens: The Dawn of War Omnibus - C.S. Goto
Samarkand Solution - Gary Gygax
Make Room! Make Room! - Harry Harrison
Dragon in the Sea - Frank Herbert
Clan of the Dung-Sniffers - Lee Danielle Hubbard
Martian General’s Daughter - Theodore Judson
Button, Button: Uncanny Stories - Richard Matheson
Queen’s Bastard - C.E. Murphy
Cry of the Wolf - Rachel Roberts
Operation: Save the Innocent - Tony Ruggiero
Starfish - Peter Watts
Crooked Letter - Sean Williams

Mass Market Paperback:
War Hammer: Brothers of the Snake - Dan Abnett
War Hammer: Legacy - Dan Abnett
Magic Burns - Ilona Andrews
Wanderer’s Tale - David Bilsborough
Hungers of the Heart - Jenna Black
Aftermath - Ben Bova
Orphan’s Journey - Robert Buettner
Legacy - Lois McMaster Bujold
Embrace the Night - Karen Chance
Misspelled - Julie Czerneda
War Hammer: Ancient Blood - Robert Earl
Warlord - Jennifer Fallon
1635: Canon Law - Eric Flint
Harald - David Friedman
Interworld - Neil Gaimen & Michael Reaves
Forgotten Realms: Swords of Dragonfire - Ed Greenwood
Vampire’s Betrayal - Raven Hart
Dreamquest - Brent Hartinger
Personal Demons - Stacia Kane
Murder of Angels - Caitlin Kiernan
Fortune’s Fool - Mercedes Lackey
Mainspring - Jay Lake
Eberron: Obsidian Ridge - Jess Lebow
War Hammer: Wolf’s Honour - Lee Lightner
The Incredible Shrinking Man - Richard Matheson
What Dreams May Come - Richard Matheson
War Hammer: Heldenhammer - Graham McNeill
Empress - Karen Miller
Natural Ordermage - L.E. Modesitt Jr.
The SFWA European Hall of Fame - James Morrow & Kathryn Morrow
Inferno - Larry Niven
Star Trek: Night of the Wolves - S.D. Perry
Poison Sleep - T.A. Pratt
Finest Challenge - Jean Rabe
Unto the Breach - John Ringo
Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
Edenborn - Nick Sagan
Starfist: Firestorm - David Sherman
Star Wars: Sacrifice - Karen Traviss
Beyond the Gap - Harry Turtledove
Ninth Talisman - Lawrence Watt-Evans
War Hammer: Relentless - Richard Williams
Dangerous Dames - John Zakour & Laurence Ganem
Sword of the Deceiver - Sarah Zettel
Silver Sword - David Zindell

No comments: