‘This Man Is Not Our Enemy’: A Review of Man of Steel

by Gary Westfahl

In the first version of an earlier review, I mistakenly described a moment from a film preview as part of the film itself – an inexcusable error, to be sure, but an understandable one, given the way that all contemporary action films increasingly blur together in one’s mind, each rigidly adhering to the same monotonous conventions. Figures with magical powers or high-tech vehicles race and chase each

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Colleen Mondor reviews A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman, eds. (Greenwillow 978-0-06-267115-8, $17.99, 336pp, hc) June 2018.

In the introduction to A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, editors Elsie Chapman & Ellen Oh write of their deep love for myth and leg­end, something many readers will likely identify with. However, for Chapman and Oh, immersion in tales of Greek and Norse gods, while exciting, was always a bit ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews Breach of Containment by Elizabeth Bonesteel

Breach of Containment, Elizabeth Bonesteel (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-241368-0, $16.99, 576pp, tp) October 2017.

Breach of Containment is Elizabeth Bonesteel’s third novel, the latest in her Central Corps series after The Cold Between and Remnants of Trust. Like the rest of Bonesteel’s novels, this is a book I wanted to like more than I did, but a book I enjoyed nonetheless, despite some flaws.

At the end of Remnants ...Read More

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A Working Model for Superhero Films: A Review of Wonder Woman

Without a doubt, Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman is the very best of the recent “DC Extended Universe” superhero films – yet the praise doesn’t mean as much as it should, inasmuch as its undistinguished precursors – Man of Steel (2013 – review here), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016 – review here), and Suicide Squad (2016 – review here) – set the bar very low, to put it mildly.

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Paul Di Filippo reviews Allen Steele

Avengers of the Moon, by Allen Steele (Tor 978-0-7653-8218-4, $26.99, 304pp, hardcover) April 2017)

Of the reviving of old franchises there is no end. No pulp hero is ever truly dead. I suppose that their unkillable nature is what made them true pulp heroes to begin with. And although some revivals seem crass and merely mercenary, we have no complaints of that nature when the result is an authentic,

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“No One Stays Good in This World”: A Review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Since debuting in 1938, Superman has confronted many imposing adversaries, including Lex Luthor – a formidable foe whether characterized as an obsessed bald scientist or scheming corporate tycoon; the alien computer Brainiac; Terra-Man, armed with an endless array of ingenious weapons; several Kryptonian supervillains who survived the destruction of their planet in the Phantom Zone; and the ancient Kryptonian monster Doomsday, who once succeeded in killing the Man of Steel.

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Paul Di Filippo reviews Emily St. John Mandel

Some scholar could construct a fine dissertation on the symbolic (and practical) importance of ruined highways in post-apocalypse fiction. (You might be able to work in Ballard’s famous empty, debris-strewn swimming pools too.) Representative of all our modern achievements and freedoms, highways, in a ruinous state, are quick and potent emblems of a fallen condition, futurity gone bad. I always recall the opening of William Tenn’s “Eastward Ho!” in this

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Russell Letson reviews Allen Steele

Allen Steele’s V-S Day fiddles with time in a more familiar manner. This is (if I’m counting correctly) Steele’s fifth take on his ‘‘Alternate-Space’’ story-family, in which the space race begins a couple decades early thanks to a German decision to abandon the V-1 in favor of the Silbervögel, a suborbital transcontinental bomber, which sets off a corresponding US project to build a Silbervögel killer. Steele has been working with

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Paul Di Filippo reviews Allen Steele

The alternate history or uchronia mode of science fiction is a particularly treacherous one for the writer. Done sloppily, with little rigor, logic, or true invention (and the temptation to be sloppy is enormous), it rapidly devolves into a slapdash game of casually inverting historical outcomes and casting famous folks into the most unlikely roles. What if Marilyn Monroe had been elected President of the USA, and JFK were a

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2013 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Nominees

Romantic Times Book Reviews has announced the nominees for their 2013 Reviewers’ Choice Awards. There are over a dozen categories of SF/Fantasy/Horror interest.

The Book of the Year category includes the following works of genre interest: Omens, Kelley Armstrong (Dutton); The Shining Girls, Lauren Beukes (Mullholland); Written in Red, Anne Bishop (Roc); Wicked as She Wants, Delilah S. Dawson (Pocket); The Chocolate Kiss, Laura Florand ...Read More

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Blinks: Harlan Ellison, Kit Reed, Samantha Shannon; reviews; KGB photos

» Salon interviews Harlan Ellison

» LA Review of Books interviews Kit Reed

» Salon: Laura Miller likes Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season

» Seattle Times: Nisi Shawl reviews Will McIntosh, Charles Stross, Alan Averill

» Sydney Morning Herald: Colin Steele reviews Matt Haig, Hari Kunzru, Christopher Priest

» Ellen Datlow’s photos from KGB with Libba Bray and Nova Ren Suma ...Read More

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Steele and Kondo Win 2013 Heinlein Award

Allen Steele and Yoji Kondo are the winners of the 2013 Robert A. Heinlein Award, given for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space. Administration of the award has been taken over from the Heinlein Society by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, and the award is now given out annually at Balticon.  Winners receive a plaque, a sterling silver medallion, and ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo reviews Allen Steele

The press release from Pyr for Allen Steele’s new book, Apollo’s Outcasts, labels it “YA—Ages 12 & Up.” Such a statement is of course both true and not true. This compelling and solidly engineered near-future tale is straightforwardly “the latest Allen Steele,” a typically Steele-ian novel written to his usual high standards and exhibiting his recurring concerns, which also simply happens to feature not an adult but a sixteen-year-old

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Once More Out of the Breach: Gary Westfahl Reviews Pacific Rim: Uprising

If you are delayed by inclement weather while traveling to see Pacific Rim: Uprising, do not be overly dismayed, because the film might actually be more enjoyable if you walk into the theater an hour after it has started. True, you will struggle to understand some aspects of the plot, but when you are watching enormous, human-controlled robots (jaegers) battling against loathsome reptilian monsters (kaiju) in brilliantly choreographed sequences ...Read More

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Six Characters in Search of an Auteur: A Review of Justice League, by Gary Westfahl

Much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed watching Justice League, which can be appreciated as unpretentious fun, featuring likable characters and some moments of genuine humor. To be sure, it is not an ideal film, but the concept of bringing together popular superheroes to battle against common foes is appealing enough to overcome the recurring infelicities that have marred almost all of the recent films in the DC Extended ...Read More

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Dawn of Injustice: A Review of Suicide Squad

by Gary Westfahl

It is not a critical term that often comes to mind, but David Ayer’s Suicide Squad strikes me as a very meh kind of film – a hodgepodge of characters and moments that work, and characters and moments that don’t work, tossed together in a story line that sometimes makes sense and sometimes doesn’t. Further, the film cannot escape the perception that it is a stopgap measure,

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Karen Burnham reviews AfroSF v2

AfroSF v2, Ivor W. Hartmann, ed. (StoryTime 978-91-982913-1-5, $16.00, 488pp, pb) December 2015.

In 2015 editor Ivor W. Hartmann returned to the theme of his 2012 anthology, AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers. While the original volume contained stories by over 20 authors, this second volume takes a riskier approach, present­ing five novellas by six authors. The novella is sometimes called the perfect vehicle for science fiction: long

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The 2014 Scribe Awards Winners

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers announced the winners of the 8th Annual Scribe Awards, for the best in tie-in fiction of 2013, at Comic-Con International in San Diego, July 24-27, 2014.

General Novel Original

  • Mr. Monk Helps Himself, Hy Conrad (Penguin)
  • The Executioner: Sleeping Dragons, Michael A. Black (Gold Eagle)
  • Murder She Wrote: Close-Up on Murder, Donald Bain (Penguin)
  • Leverage: The Bestseller Job, Greg
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Dinosaur Train Wreck: A Review of Godzilla

by Gary Westfahl

So, if you’re longing for the experience of watching an enormous dinosaur trample his way through a contemporary city this weekend, access your Netflix account, or find one of the few remaining DVD rental stores, and check out a Godzilla movie. Any Godzilla movie. The original 1954 film is, of course, a must-see, preferably the version without Raymond Burr (though his edited-in performance has its moments); films

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2014 Scribe Award Nominees

The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers announced the nominees for the 2014 Scribe Awards, honoring excellence in licensed tie-in writing:

General Novel Original

  • The Executioner: Sleeping Dragons, Michael A. Black (Gold Eagle)
  • Murder She Wrote: Close-Up on Murder, Donald Bain (Penguin)
  • Leverage: The Bestseller Job, Greg Cox (Berkley)
  • Leverage: The Zoo Job, Keith R. A. DeCandido (Berkley)
  • Mr. Monk Helps Himself, Hy Conrad (Penguin)
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2019 Imadjinn Awards Winners

Winners for the 2019 Imadjinn Awards were announced during Imaginarium 2019, held October 11-13, 2019 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Louisville KY. Categories of genre interest include:

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • WINNER: Storm Forged, Patrick Dugan (Falstaff)
  • The Shadow Beneath the Waves, Matt Betts (Severed)
  • Jurassic Jail, William Alan Webb (Dingbat)

Best Fantasy Novel

  • WINNER: Fey West, Michael J. Allen (Bell Bridge)
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New Books : 24 September 2019

Time slips in mysterious ways with this week’s titles, including SHATTER WAR (the sequel to TIME SHARDS), THE FUTURE OF ANOTHER TIMELINE by Annalee Newitz, and a new edition of R.A Lafferty’s PAST MASTER!

New titles this week are by R.J. Barker, Stephen Baxter, Jillian Boehme, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Dana Fredsti & David Fitzgerald, Jennifer Giesbrecht, Bendict Jacka, Paul Krueger, Annalee Newitz, Beth Revis, K. Arsenault Rivera, Vivan Shaw, and Lauren ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry

When the Sky Fell on Splendor, Emily Henry (Razorbill 978-0-451-48071-2, $17.99, 340pp, hc) March 2019.

The publisher makes a direct comparison to Stranger Things in the dust jacket copy for Em­ily Henry’s latest, When the Sky Fell on Splendor. While I can see some similarities – teens on bicycles in a sleepy midwestern town who encounter some­thing otherworldly with very negative results – I find that the novel ...Read More

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2019 Imadjinn Awards Finalists

Finalists for the 2019 Imadjinn Awards have been announced, including several categories of genre interest.

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • The Shadow Beneath the Waves, Matt Betts (Severed)
  • Storm Forged, Patrick Dugan (Falstaff)
  • Jurassic Jail, William Alan Webb (Dingbat)

Best Fantasy Novel

  • Winter’s Heir, Sarah Joy Adams & Emily Lavin Leverett (Falstaff)
  • Fey West, Michael J. Allen (Bell Bridge)
  • Terra Australis, Cody Higgins (Zen Mob)
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SF in Beijing Report

I had the good fortune of attending Another Planet Science Fiction Convention from May 22-23, 2019 at the Chaoyang Museum of Ur­ban Planning in Beijing, China. It’s the second year of this four-track con celebrating Chinese and world science fiction. The conference is organized by the Future Affairs Administration (FAA), a private multimedia SF company look­ing to create a meeting place for authors, fans, movie producers and directors, special effects ...Read More

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2019 Chesley Awards Winners

The 2019 Chesley Awards winners have been announced:

Best Cover Illustration: Hardcover

  • WINNER: Jon Foster for I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land, Connie Willis (Subterranean)
  • Tommy Arnold for Red Rising, Pierce Brown (Subterranean)
  • Jensine Eckwall for Soulless: Illustrated Edition, Gail Carriger (Orbit)
  • Michael Komarck for Low Chicago, George R.R. Martin, ed. (Tor)
  • Maurizio Manzieri for The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de
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Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey

The Grand Dark, Richard Kadrey (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-267249-0, $26.99, 432pp, hardcover) June 2019

The history, culture, folklore, politics and superstitions of Middle Europe — otherwise Central Europe or, more exotically, Mitteleuropa, countries including Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Switzerland, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and Albania — offer a rich mine of narrative and thematic possibilities. The same goes for the lands ...Read More

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2019 Chesley Awards Finalists

The 2019 Chesley Awards nominees have been announced:

Best Cover Illustration: Hardcover

  • Tommy Arnold for Red Rising, Pierce Brown (Subterranean)
  • Jensine Eckwall for Soulless: Illustrated Edition, Gail Carriger (Orbit)
  • Jon Foster for I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land, Connie Willis (Subterranean)
  • Michael Komarck for Low Chicago, George R.R. Martin, ed. (Tor)
  • Maurizio Manzieri for The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard
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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Finder, Suzanne Palmer (DAW 978-0-7564-1510-5, $26, 400pp, hardcover) April 2019.

The tropes and tools and furnishings of hardcore classical science fiction, as established and refined over the past hundred years or so, have proven remarkably durable, productive and adaptable. Humans colonizing the galaxy via FTL ships; robots and AIs; aliens; heroes and villains of operatic dimensions; new sciences and technologies; cosmic vistas. The apparatus and favored narrative strategies of ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Asimov’s, Analog, Robots vs Fairies, The Book of Magic, and An Agent of Utopia

Asimov’s 11-12/18 Analog 11-12/18 Robots vs Fairies, Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga Press) January 2018. The Book of Magic, Gardner Dozois, ed. (Ban­tam) October 2018. An Agent of Utopia, Andy Duncan (Small Beer Press) December 2018.

The stories in the final 2018 issue of Analog that worked best for me seem also exem­plars of “Analog being Analog” – pure SF extrapolation, both near-future gadget stuff ...Read More

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