FEATURES
Reviews
Articles
Editorials
Poetry
Fiction
SUBMISSIONS
Guidelines
Contests
How To
Online Help
Contact
SUPPORT US
Advertise
Support ARWZ
Bookstore
Search
Links
COMMUNITY
Editor's Desk
Discussion
Writing Forums
Workshops
Links
About ARWZ
Subscribe
Top Ten Project
Author Q&A
Associate Pages
ARWZ Book Club
For Authors & Publishers




In Association with Clarkesworld Books






Search Now:  
Amazon Logo
Search Now:  
Amazon Logo
Search Now:  
Amazon Logo
Jetzt suchen:  
Amazon-Logo
Rechercher:  
Logo Amazon




The Alternative Reality Web Zine
Reviews
Search Book Reviews by Author in our Book Store!

Featured Reviews

10/5/06: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Review by S.K. Slevinski
This audiobook on CD from HarperCollins is a well-done product that should please fans of the classic dystopian novel, and prove accessible to newcomers seeking to explore the roots of science fiction...


10/3/06: Nine Prince in Amber by Roger Zelazny
Review by Violet Kane
The first book of Roger Zelazny's well-loved Amber Chronicles shines when its main character takes center stage. Despite some concept-heavy middle chapters, this novel has much to recommend it...


9/28/06: The Menagerie #2: Tears of the Furies by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski
Review by Little Willow
Once again, Golden and Sniegoski have conspired to create an action-packed story that weaves classic mythology together with intrigue and suspense...


9/21/06: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
Review by Violet Kane
Speaker for the Dead shows the range of Card's talent that was only hinted at in Ender's Game...


9/19/06: Warrior by Jennifer Fallon
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Fantasy fans should be anxious to see what this author does next—and if they haven't yet read her novels, they should be anxious to catch up on what they've missed...


9/14/06: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Review by Violet Kane
Scott Lynch's much-hailed debut is a welcome addition to the contemporary fantasy scene, a story that is fresh and familiar in the right places...


9/7/06: Dune by Frank Herbert
Review by S.K. Slevinski
A young man comes out of boyhood to realize that his esoteric education was orchestrated by a powerful cult to prepare him for a singular destiny of incredible power... Wait! This isn't the lastest multi-volume epic of high fantasy. It's Frank Herbert's Dune...


9/5/06: Farscape Season One on DVD
Review by Violet Kane
In its first season, Farscape manages both to meet fan expectations and fashion its own sensibilities in splendid style...


8/31/06: Sarah by Marek Halter
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Despite the eventual—and perhaps inevitable—predictability of the plotline, this book will be worth a read to many booklovers...


8/24/06: 1984 by George Orwell
Review by Violet Kane
This audiobook version of 1984 will be a welcome discovery for old fans and curious newcomers...


8/22/06: Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
Review by S.K. Slevinski
In the first book of his four part Book of New Sun, Gene Wolfe proves that alternative reality literature is alive, productive and needn't be complicated...


8/17/06: Accelerando by Charles Stross
Review by Andrea Johnson
I never thought I would say "recently published" and "one of the best science fiction books I've ever read" in the same sentence. Then I found Accelerando...


8/10/06: Dusk by Tim Lebbon
Review by Violet Kane
This novel promises unique future storytelling in this horror/fantasy hybrid world...


8/8/06: The Menagerie #1: The Nimble Man by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski
Review by Little Willow
Bad guys, beware—The good guys (and girls) have gathered in Boston, and they will defeat you swiftly and nimbly...


8/3/06: Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Released last January in the US—after a 2004 printing in Australia—Wolfblade is the first book in Jennifer Fallon's prequel trilogy to the to the Hythrun Demon Child books. For fans who have read either or both of her previous trilogies, Wolfblade does not disappoint...


7/27/06: Bound in Flesh by David Thomas Lord
Review by Nickolas Cook
Bound in Flesh, the second installment in Lord's epic vampire saga, raises him to the zenith of the modern vampire fiction mountain. Not since Anne Rice's classic Vampire Chronicles have I found myself so immersed in a fictional vampire world...


7/25/06: The Dead Zone Season One on DVD
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Based upon the Stephen King novel, which was earlier made into a movie of the same name, The Dead Zone is a subtle and fascinating portrait of its main character in this first season...


7/20/06: Black Brillion by Matthew Hughes
Review by Violet Kane
This novel shows what is new and worthwhile among the current publications in alternative reality genres, and I would recommend it to any reader who appreciates a unique perspective...


7/13/06: The Triangle directed by Craig R. Baxley
Review by Lucian Rudder
The Triangle is a three part mini-series that was made for the Sci-Fi channel. On the front of the DVD it says: "From the director of 'X-Men' and a producer of 'Independence Day.'" Right away, I was not expecting Shakespeare...


7/11/06: "The Attraction" and "The Necromancer" by Douglas Clegg
Review by Nickolas Cook
The novelette format is a tricky business for writers. Too short, and a reader can feel as if it's rushed and incomplete. Too long, and it becomes perplexing as to why it wasn't written as a novel instead. Clegg, however, handles the format admirably with his newest release from Leisure...


7/6/06: Incubus Dreams by Laurell K. Hamilton
Review by S.K. Slevinski
As a long-time fan of epic fantasy, I'm not one to be daunted by the length of a novel. And I thought nothing of the length of Incubus Dreams when I first picked it up—but I found this novel utterly exhausting...


6/29/06: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Review by Violet Kane
In this novel, Gaiman weaves character, concept, humor and drama into a balanced whole. American Gods is precisely what an alternative reality novel should be...


6/27/06: The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
Review by S.K. Slevinski
It is when I read books like R. Scott Bakker's The Darkness That Comes Before that I realize how rare truly good fantasy is. The opener of Bakker's Prince of Nothing trilogy fits that definition precisely...


6/22/06: Stargate SG-1 Season 1 on DVD
Review by Violet Kane
The first season of Stargate SG-1 on DVD should be a crowd pleaser for both avid science fiction fans and casual viewers, mixing series-arching stories and episodic plots...


6/15/06: The Crystal City by Orson Scott Card
Review by Violet Kane
Orson Scott Card's newest novel in the Alvin Maker series has everything I look for in a good fantasy story. I am hoping that new writers and currently publishing authors take his example...


6/13/06: Bound in Blood by David Thomas Lord
Review by Nickolas Cook
With Bound in Blood (the first part of a proposed quintet) author David Thomas Lord shows us the best and worst faces of erotic horror...


6/8/06: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Review by Saundra Kane
I would recommend this book to anyone willing to commit to a long and intriguing tale...


6/1/06: The Myth Hunters by Christopher Golden
Review by Little Willow
The Myth Hunters is urban fantasy defined: detailed, engrossing, twisting the myths of yesteryear with contemporary characters...


5/30/06: Event Horizon directed by Paul Anderson
Review by Lucian Rudder
What is arguably director Paul Anderson's best film, Event Horizon finally gets the Special Edition DVD treatment. It is about time...


5/25/06: The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Tracy Chevalier shows her strength and skill—as more than simply a skilled historical novelist. The Lady and the Unicorn is one of the better novels, of any sort, I've read in the last year...


5/18/06: Viriconium by M. John Harrison
Review by Andrea Johnson
Viriconium is like a dream, never the same place twice, always shifting, always changing. The book reads more like a biblical testament, a history of a people, than a typical collection of short stories...


5/16/06: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Reviews by R.S. Gibson & Violet Kane
With Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman combines the depth of his more serious American Gods with a comedic sensibility reminiscent of his earlier Good Omens. Frothy comedy and silly supernatural slapstick are woven seamlessly around a tale of a dysfunctional magical family...


5/11/06: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Review by Violet Kane
While I am sure this book will find many fans among the "beach read" public this summer, I doubt that readers looking for greater depth will find much to recommend it...


5/4/06: Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Review by Violet Kane
Younger adults or newcomers to fantasy may find novelty in Eragon, but any well-read fantasy readers will find it largely imitative of old standards...


5/2/06: Treason Keep by Jennifer Fallon
Review by S.K. Slevinski
In her follow-up to Medalon Jennifer Fallon makes good on the promises of her first book while spinning a classic fantasy that new fans will enjoy...


4/27/06: Berserk by Tim Lebbon
Review by Nickolas Cook
Tim Lebbon is building a one-man empire of stylistic horror tales within a genre that needs a shot of pure literary power. He is the needle in the arm of the genre, and Berserk is a heck of an injection...


4/20/06: Ramses: Son of Light by Christian Jacq
Review by S.K. Slevinski
In the first novel of this series, Christian Jacq recreates the world of ancient Egypt in intriguing detail, but he doesn't do much for the characters...


4/18/06: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Review by Violet Kane
In his spoken afterword to this new, unabridged audiobook version of Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card names audio the ideal medium for his work. His classic novel certainly comes to dynamic new life in this twentieth anniversary edition...


4/13/06: Uzumaki directed by Higuchinsky
Review by Lisa Schussler
This Japanese horror film is based on the manga, of the same name, created by Junji Ito. It's, literally and figuratively, a twisted tale of insanity and death...


4/6/06: Pavane by Keith Roberts
Review by S.K. Slevinski
In Pavane Keith Roberts tells an ambitious story about an alternate twentieth century, but it ultimately struck me as too ambitious...


4/4/06: The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay
Review by Violet Kane
In this novel, Kay takes readers into a Viking-like culture of his fant-historical world first created in Lions of Al-Rassan. It is his first foray out of Mediterranean-like cultures since the advent of his fant-historical work...


3/30/06: Stage Beauty directed by Richard Eyre
Review by S.K. Slevinski
This film creates a fascinating world by speculating on eighteenth century English theatre culture, and creates intriguing characters in the processes...


3/23/06: Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
Review by Violet Kane
Tim Powers spins a humorous tale of time travel, sending his characters—and readers—through the centuries, but the twists and turns often led me to question where I was heading...


3/21/06: Love Bites by James Newman and Donn Gash. Artwork by Alex McVey
Review by Nickolas Cook
Love Bites was released as a signed and numbered (250) limited edition chapbook from Nocturne Press. The story is short and to the point. The cover art, as is usual with the talented Alex McVey, is some great looking black and white work...


3/16/06: Medalon by Jennifer Fallon
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Fallon's Hythrun Chronicles gets off to a great start with Medalon. In many ways it is a classic fantasy, with centuries old sorcerers, newly awakened powers and a cast of quirky gods...


3/9/06: Momento Mori by Angeline Hawkes-Craig
Review by Lisa Schussler
Angeline Hawkes-Craig's tales are littered with all manner of haunting images: crumbling castles, lovers returning from the dead, disease, violence...


3/7/06: Wildwood Road by Christopher Golden
Review by Violet Kane
Christopher Golden brings intrigue to old-fashioned horror by complementing the unknown with the eerily familiar...


3/1/06: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Review by Violet Kane
This book is not particularly science fiction—or any other genre—but rather a stunning example of true alternative reality literature...


2/23/06: Changing Planes by Ursula K. LeGuin
Review by S.K. Slevinski
This collection is a subtle genre cross-over in which LeGuin creates and explores a series of alternative reality cultures, infusing them with the weight of social and political commentary readers expect of good science fiction, as well as an emphasis on cultural world-building one typically seeks through fantasy...


2/21/06: Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
Review by Violet Kane
Anne McCaffrey's world of Pern comes to life in this fan favorite, but apart from the concept—unique at its inception in alternative reality fiction—I found Dragonflight largely unremarkable...


2/16/06: The Hawk Eternal by David Gemmell
Review by S.K. Slevinski
The Hawk Eternal is a smart heroic fantasy that spices up its "battles and swords" action with the chaos of time travel and manipulation. I kept hoping to see his characters move beyond the standard, but I did not ultimately get the dimension I was looking for...


2/9/06: Song for Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay
Review by Violet Kane
While not my favorite of Guy Gavriel Kay's work, Song for Arbonne is still heads above the average fantasy novel...


2/7/06: Fantastic Worlds edited by Eric S. Rabkin
Review by S.K. Slevinski
The works anthologized in this volume represent a collection of stories from classic authors, diverse mythologies and more modern writers...


2/2/06: Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
Review by Violet Kane
This book both fulfills expectations as one of the best reads in modern fantasy, and it promises juicy conflict and intrigue to come. While Martin fans may be frustrated by the absence of some characters, they will not be disappointed...


1/26/06: Blade of Tyshalle by Matthew Stover
Review by Violet Kane
Matthew Stover pens a multilayered tale of friendship and ugliness, hope and devolution. It is an intriguing intersection of alternative reality genres and themes...


1/24/06: Nocturnes by John Connolly
Review by Lisa Schussler
This collection of supernatural stories is a superb addition to the library of any horror fan. The stories within feature demons, lost children, heartbroken lovers, and monsters from the depths of the earth and the soul...


1/19/06: The Gilded Chain by David Duncan
Review by Violet Kane
Fantasy fans looking for a satisfying read, but not a multi-book epic commitment, will be pleased with this novel...


1/12/06: Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Swordspoint is a fantasy about adult characters, an inexplicable rarity among fantasy novels. Fans on the lookout for subtle, character-based fantasy will be thrilled to have found this book...


1/10/06: Eye of the Labyrinth by Jennifer Fallon
Review by Violet Kane
No writer, that I have yet read, is doing as much to bolster the best trends in mainstream fantasy as Jennifer Fallon...


1/5/06: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe directed by Andrew Adamson
Review by Eleanor Kane
The new movie, The Chronicles of Narnia, is a tale within a tale of four children caught in a time of wars—in their real world and the world of Narnia...


12/29/05: Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
Review by Violet Kane
This sequel actually tops both of its predecessors. At a point where more epic fantasy series have crested the hill and have begun their descent, Martin wows audiences with a book beyond reader imaginations...


12/27/05: Corpse Bride directed by Tim Burton
Review by Lisa Schussler
Tim Burton has created yet another surreal world and populated it with his bizarrely loveable characters...


12/22/05: King Kong directed by Peter Jackson
Review by Violet Kane
This film is so diverse in its imagery and emotion, that I hardly believed I was watching the same film by the end of it. The mood and characters evolve in ways that transport the audience both visually and emotionally to the Empire State climax...


12/15/05: Rusalka by C.J. Cherryh
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Cherryh's Rusalka is an engaging historical fantasy. Her research into Russian folk belief is accurate and richly woven into this tale...


12/13/05: Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
Review by Violet Kane
If you're looking for a breather after dire-fate sweeping epics, or if you're tired of fantasy that takes itself too seriously, Pratchett will be a welcome addition to your reading list...


12/6/05: Lion of Senet by Jennifer Fallon
Review by Violet Kane
This book is a welcome addition to the modern fantasy scene. It picks up on many of the best trends in the current fantasy scene, and leaves out many of its worst...


12/1/05: Jaran by Kate Elliott
Review by S.K. Slevinski
With the opening book of her Jaran series, Kate Elliott shows her well-developed storytelling sensibilities in both science fiction and fantasy...


11/29/05: Mimus by Lilli Thal
Review by Lisa Schussler
If you're looking for a great medieval story that keeps you turning pages with lots of action, likeable characters, and a few laughs, Mimus is one to go for...


11/22/05: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Review by S.K. Slevinski
The author masterfully weaves the lives of the characters at fictional Kingsbridge into the tides of history. He paints in exquisite detail the hardships and joys of the unforgiving medieval landscape. This is a novel about war, revenge, catastrophe and love...


11/17/05: Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Review by Saundra Kane
Anxiety and emotion send the hero of this book, Henry DeTamble, "time traveling"—not into a new culture or past history, but the history of his own life...


11/15/05: Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay
Review by Violet Kane
These two books are only the latest example of Kay’s unique and stunning skills as a storyteller. The Sarantine Mosaic is a wonderfully engaging duology and I cannot recommend it more highly...


11/8/05: Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Martin Amis tells the story of a seemingly ordinary man having common experiences, leading a seemingly ordinary life. But this is no ordinary biographic. The main character in Amis's novel lives life in reverse, from death to birth...


11/3/05: Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead
Review by Violet Kane
This book is a well-researched tour of Eastern Medieval Europe, and for that I would have to recommend it to fantasy readers looking for a change of venue from the typical Anglicized fantasy world. However, the book is not without its troubles...


11/1/05: Medieval Romances in translation
Review by S.K. Slevinski
This anthology is an excellent source book for modern fans of fantasy, who are interested to discover fantastical entertainments from an earlier era, to glimpse back into the historical roots of their favorite genre...


10/25/05: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
Review by Violet Kane
Who can quibble with the genius of Kay? His characters are, no surprise, exquisite. His story is beautifully drawn with both heart and despair...


10/20/05: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Review by S.K. Slevinski
In this novel, Philip K. Dick speculates: "what if" the Allies had lost World War II. An alliance of the Nazis and the Japanese now oversee government in what was the United States. The world of his characters is strangely familiar and normal, but for the jarring oddities of historical happenstance...


10/18/05: Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
Review by Violet Kane
If you're looking for a page-turning, big magic fantasy, then Terry Goodkind's debut novel is right up your alley. Wizard's First Rule follows the story of an unassuming woodsman who finds the forces of good and evil thrust upon him...


10/11/05: Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
Review by Violet Kane
Martin proves that he is a modern master. Speculative fiction readers of all types will enjoy this series, and fantasy fans especially will delight in the novelty and fast-pace. The only readers who might not enjoy it are the faint of heart...


10/6/05: Deception Point by Dan Brown
Review by Saundra Kane
Was there ever life outside our planet? In Deception Point Dan Brown delivers another page turner, using a plausible premise of NASA finding proof that at one time life existed in outer space...


10/4/05: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Ghostwritten taps into the themes and sensibilities that drive the cravings of speculative fiction readers. The great strength of this book is the vivid exploration of characters and cultures, the subtle and peculiar details that connect their lives...


9/29/05: Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One on DVD
Review by Violet Kane
This DVD set will give fans of the show a dose of nostalgia along with its futuristic speculation...


9/22/05: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Old-fashioned utopian speculation mixes with solid prose and allegorical culture clash to create a classic of speculative literature...


9/20/05: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Review by Saundra Kane
This novel is the perfect book for long winter nights. It is a fantasy book that leaves you thinking: Did this really happen?


9/13/05: Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
Review by Violet Kane
Carey creates a world where Classical and Renaissance sensibilities mix, where orders of courtesans and warriors exist instead of monastic orders, where beauty is holy and where political treachery runs rampant...


9/8/05: Beowulf translated by Constance Hieatt
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Fans of old fashioned heroic fantasy in the vein of Tolkien will delight in this trip back into folkloric source material...


9/5/05: Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
Review by Violet Kane
Lions combines the essence of traditional fantasy with a fresh cultural spin...


9/1/05: Book to Movie: Timeline by Michael Crichton
Review by Eugene Neil
Fans of Michael Critchton should rest assured that the movie version has far less possibility of becoming a timeless science fiction classic than the literary work...


8/30/05: King's Dragon by Kate Elliott
Review by S.K. Slevinski
Kate Elliott opens her Crown of Stars series with a richly developed fantasy world that will both satisfy and tantalize readers...


8/26/05: Xena: Warrior Princess on DVD. Director Rob Tapert, et al
Review by Violet Kane
Fans of the Xena: Warrior Princess television show should expect the same quality from the DVD box sets as they do from the show itself: Generally good, with shining highlights, but far from perfect...


8/22/05:Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. Director Joss Whedon, et al
Review By Violet Kane
Buffy may be the only television series I would recommend buying, even if you've never seen it before. Since watching the DVDs, they have become the standard against which I measure all TV on DVD box sets...


8/19/05: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Review by Violet Kane
For those who have grown weary of multi-epic fantasy, George R.R. Martin has rescued the 800 page saga from its maligned status among fantasy connoisseurs! I do not exaggerate when I describe Game of Thrones as a modern classic...



Reviews Archive



All materials on these pages (including fiction, poetry, essays, articles, interviews and opinion pieces) are copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission.





See who's visiting this page.View Page Stats