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Cylons in America

Pat's thoughts on the latest Fantasy novels..

By Pat Ferrara, Columnist     January 28, 2008

Cylons in America--Critical Studies of Battlestar Galactica(2008).
© Continuum International Publishing

Ever since its conception in 1978, Battlestar Galactica has been offering viewers a layered SF universe, one that manages to stay grounded with the world around us and in sync with contemporary American society. Like any good sci-fi series BSG explores the realities of modern life from a wildly different lens, and with the last season quickly approaching it’s about time the show is academically legitimized (the first collection of critical essays on the series hits bookshelves this week). 

Hello Maniac readers and welcome to the Buzz. It’s the end of the month and so far January has seen its far share of big sci-fi, fantasy, and horror releases: last week’s debut of Alan Campbell’s Deepgate prequel Lye Street and George R.R.’s Wild Card novel Inside Straight take the cake for me. But today is the start of another week, and this upcoming batch of genre literature runs the spectrum from new Doctor Who novels to audiobook renditions of SF classics.

Keith DeCandido takes another jaunt into the Klingon culture with the paperback Star Trek Klingon Empire: A Burning House and John Crowley follows up his contemporary fantasy hit Aegypt with the softcover release of Love & Sleep. On the audio front Brilliance Audio brings an unabridged edition of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 to the shelves and, with the news of a big-screen DUNE remake on the horizon, Kevin J. Anderson’s collaboration with Frank and Brian Herbert, The Road to Dune, is also hittin’ stands this week to bring a comprehensive account of the series’ formation to the airwaves.

It’s no small task to build a successful SF screen mythos that can stand outside the shadows of Star Wars and Star Trek, and even harder still to keep it up to date and resonant with our culture. But Ronald D. Moore’s reboot of Battlestar Galactica did just that and turned an old space drama into a respectable, Emmy-winning television saga.

With the fourth and final season airing in early April, Continuum International Publishing is releasing the first collection of critical studies on Battlestar Galactica in hardback. Within these essays the show is deconstructed to highlight the cultural ties, gender and racial boundaries, and the morally gray non-sequiters which exist between America’s post 9/11 society and the fictitious space opera.

Having been inaugurated into BSG under Rymer and Moore’s 2003 miniseries, I’ve been an off-and-on fan of Galactica since its reboot. Now that the series’ end has finally been set and the writers can pace their story, I’ll be cutting through the rest of season three the way BSG was meant to be watched: in large, multi-episode blocks. Let’s all hope that the first 13 episodes of season four do well enough so the studio decides to finish shooting the final 9, which is by no means certain.

Other books to check out: The Road to Dune (Audio), Love & Sleep, Falling Free, & Command Decision

New in Hardcover:

Cylons in America: Critical Studies of Battlestar Galactica, Ed. by Tiffany Potter & C.W. Marshall (Continuum International Publishing)

With its fourth season due to air in January 2008, the award-winning Battlestar Galactica continues to be exceptionally popular for non-network television, combining the familiar features of science fiction with direct commentary on life in mainstream America. Cylons in America is the first collection of critical studies of Battlestar Galactica (its 2003 miniseries, and the ongoing 2004 television series), examining its place within popular culture and its engagement with contemporary American society. Battlestar Galactica depicts the remnants of the human race fleeing across space from a robotic enemy called the Cylons. The fleet is protected by a single warship, the Battlestar, and is searching for a "lost colony" that settled on the legendary planet "Earth." Originally a television series in the 1970s, the current series maintains the mythic sense established with the earlier quest narrative, but adds elements of hard science and aggressive engagement with post-9/11 American politics. Cylons In America casts a critical eye on the revived series and is sure to appeal to fans of the show, as well as to scholars and researchers of contemporary television.

An Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett, Alan Porter (Greenwood World Publishing)

In terms of worldwide sales (around 25 million copies to date, and no signs of stopping), Terry Pratchett is one of the leading writers in English. He is also a writer of complexity and allusiveness, whose rich work raises important issues about the real world within a fantasy/comic environment. This encyclopedia mixes shorter entries conveying specific information for foraging readers with longer, more discursive articles for readers wanting more reflective engagement with Pratchett's novels. Entries on novels and characters not only highlight Pratchett's celebrated inventiveness but also analyse the underlying meanings. Entries on 'Fantasy', 'Science Fiction', 'Fairy Tales' and related topics situate the novels within literary genres, and other articles discuss the scientific, social and philosophical idea underpinning Pratchett's playful but sophisticated narratives. Associates and collaborators, such as Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Ian Stewart, feature in articles discussing contemporary influences, and plentiful information about the fascinating peripheral detail of audio editions, radio broadcasts, TV adaptations and film scripts enhance the fun. A Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett is essential reading for fans who want to unpick the allusions and appreciate the rich complexity of one of the great bodies of contemporary popular literature. Edited by Andrew Butler.

G.I. Joe vs. The Transformers Omnibus, Josh Blaylock, etc. (Devil’s Due)

Optimus Prime! Snake-Eyes! Bumblebee! Scarlett! The two worlds of G.I. Joe and Transformers collide not just once, but four times in this incredible collection! Includes volumes I through IV.

Tracing the Shadow, Sarah Ash (Spectra)

Sarah Ash’s acclaimed trilogy, the Tears of Artamon, was a stunning blend of sorcery and intrigue, politics and breathtaking imagery. Now this gifted storyteller returns with a tale of a siege between kingdoms, and a battle between heretics and believers—each with their own truths, their own lies, and their own soul-shattering discoveries waiting to be made. The kingdom of Francia has purged its magi. But when a young Guerrier rescues an orphaned street waif, little does he know that she is the daughter of a magus who met his end on their pyres—or that she is guarded by an aethyric spirit and driven by the name of the traitor who condemned her father to flames. With the gift of song infused within her, the child’s voice will bring her before the most powerful heads of state. And she will craft herself into a weapon…aimed at the heart of the man she despises. From the alchymist’s apprentice whose discovery leads him into a dark partnership to a girl who will become the toast of three nations, a new magic will grant powers and ignite dangers beyond all reckoning. A timeless tale of adventure, battle, and beauty, this dazzling story spans the realms of the human and the immortal, the schemes of the power hungry, the dreams of lovers, and the resurrection of the fallen in one magnificent epic fantasy. Book one of the Alchymist’s Legacy series.

Let’s All Kill Constance, Ray Bradbury (William Morrow & Co.)

On a dismal evening in the previous century, an unnamed writer in Venice, California, answers a furious pounding at his beachfront bungalow door and again admits Constance Rattigan into his life. An aging, once-glamorous Hollywood star, Constance is running in fear from something she dares not acknowledge -- and vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, leaving the narrator two macabre books: twin listings of the Tinseltown dead and soon to be dead, with Constance's name included among them. And so begins an odyssey as dark as it is wondrous, as the writer sets off in a broken-down jalopy with his irascible sidekick Crumley to sift through the ashes of a bygone Hollywood -- a graveyard of ghosts and secrets where each twisted road leads to grim shrines and shattered dreams... and, all too often, to death.

Doctor Who: Wishing Well, Trevor Baxendale (Random House UK)

The old village well is just a curiosity - something to attract tourists intrigued by stories of lost treasure, or visitors just making a wish. Unless something alien and terrifying could be lurking inside the well. Something utterly monstrous that causes nothing but death and destruction! But who knows the real truth about the well? Who wishes to unleash the hideous force it contains? What terrible consequences will follow the search for a legendary treasure hidden at the bottom? No one wants to believe the Doctor's warnings about the deadly horror lying in wait - but soon they'll wish they had...

Doctor Who: The Pirate Loop, Simon Guerrier (Random House UK)

The Doctor's been everywhere and everywhen in the whole of the universe and seems to know all the answers. But ask him what happened to the Starship Brillant and he hasn't the first idea. Did it fall into a sun or black hole? Was it shot down in the first moments of the galactic war? And what's this about a secret experimental drive? The Doctor is skittish. But if Martha is so keen to find out he'll land the TARDIS on the Brilliant, a few day before it vanishes. Then they can see for themselves... Soon the Doctor learns the awful truth. And Martha learns that you need to be careful what you wish for. She certainly wasn't hoping for mayhem, death, and badger-faced space pirates!

Doctor Who: Peacemaker, James Swallow (Random House UK)

The Doctor and Martha are about to find out if a sonic screwdriver is more powerful than a six-shooter in the latest in the bestselling series of Doctor Who novels. The peace and quiet of a remote homestead in the 1880s American West is shattered by the arrival of two shadowy outriders searching for 'the healer'. When the farmer refuses to help them, they raze the house to the ground using guns that shoot bolts of energy instead of bullets. Meanwhile, in the town of Redwater, the Doctor and Martha learn of a snake-oil salesman who's patent medicines actually cure his patient. But when the Doctor and Martha investigate they discover the truth is stranger, and far more dangerous. Caught between the law of the gun and the deadly plans of intergalactic mercenaries, the Doctor and Martha are about to discover just how wild the West can become...

New in Paperback:

Love & Sleep, John Crowley (Overlook TP)

Pierce Moffett stands at a turning point, when the world is changing from what it has been into what it will be. Is it only a moment in the history of his own soul? Or the course of his generation's progress toward maturity? As a child Pierce was no stranger to magic. Transplanted from his native Brooklyn to the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky, he and his cousins formed a secret club called the Invisible College. Fueled by books, adventures, and the imagination of youth, they scratched the surface of ordinary life and found the hints of something glittering and strange underneath. For most children these revelations fade with the coming of adulthood, but for Pierce the search for the hidden history of the world is just beginning. It is a search that begins with the unfinished manuscript of a writer named Fellowes Kraft and leads to the real-life history of the doomed heretic Giordano Bruno and the Elizabethan metaphysician John Dee. These mysteries reach from past to present, to intertwine themselves with the life of Rosie Rasmussen, who brought Pierce that unfinished manuscript and will be given charge of Pierce's destiny. And as he delves deeper, Pierce begins to apprehend a power beyond reckoning, a knowledge beyond imagining, and a love that can waken sleeping souls. Only rarely does an author emerge with the vision, the voice, and the courage to speculate on the alchemy that transforms the everyday into something transcendent. Crowley opened the gates to this feared and desired land in his magnificent novel AEgypt. Now he leads us far within.

Un Lun Dun, China Mieville (Del Rey)

What is Un Lun Dun? It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up… and some of its lost and broken people, too–including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book. When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.

Strange Relations, Philip Jose Farmer (Baen)

Two complete novels and five novelettes that broke new ground in science fiction and established Philip Jose Farmer as a master of the genre: The Lovers: One of the most controversial and groundbreaking novels in science fiction. Sent by the religious tyranny of a future Earth to the planet Ozagen, Hal Yarrow met Jeanette, an apparently human fugitive, hiding in ancient ruins built by a long-vanished race. Unconsecrated contact with any female was forbidden to Yarrow—and love for an alien female was an unspeakable abomination. But Yarrow’s lifelong conditioning was no match for his strange attraction to Jeanette. Flesh: The starship captain had been on a voyage lasting 800 years, and returned to find an Earth ruled by revived ancient pagan rituals. He was crowned the “Sunhero,” which was a very dubious honor… and unless he could escape, he would be the guest of honor at a fertility rite which would conclude with his very unpleasant death. Strange Relations: Five novelettes of unbounded imagination telling of strange—and often deadly—encounters between human and alien.

Star Trek Klingon Empire: A Burning House, Keith R.A. DeCandido (Star Trek Books)

They have been the Federation's staunchest allies, and its fiercest adversaries. Cunning, ruthless, driven by an instinct for violence and defined by a complex code of honor, they must push ever outward in order to survive, defying the icy ravages of space with the fire of their hearts. They are the Klingons, and if you think you already know all there is to learn about them... think again. From its highest echelons of power to the shocking depths of its lowest castes, from its savagely aggressive military to its humble farmers, from political machinations of galactic import to personal demons and family strife, the Klingon Empire is revealed as never before when the captain and crew of the I.K.S. Gorkon finally return to their homeworld of Qo'noS in a sweeping tale of intrigue, love, betrayal, and honor.

Knight’s Lady, Julianne Lee (Ace)

Magically transported to fourteenth-century Scotland, Alex and Lindsay MacNeil find their loyalty and love to each other tested when they are separated in battle.

Some Golden Harbor, David Drake (Baen)

The tyrannical Alliance continues its war against the Republic of Cinnabar, and Daniel Leary, newly promoted to Commander, and his crew have a new mission: Stop Dunbar’s World from falling to an invasion by the planet Pellegrino. Nataniel Arruns, son of the dictator of Pellegrino, has landed with a large contingent, intending to set himself up as the ruling warlord, with the planet’s population becoming workers—serfs—of the Pellegrinian overlords. And Dunbar’s world has no more than their local police force to oppose him. Leary again commands the corvette Princess Cecile, but on this mission her missile tubes are empty. Only one man is in a position to aid Leary, but the rich and powerful would rather see him fail than succeed in stopping the invasion. Leary must somehow overcome a large entrenched force on an island defended by powerful plasma cannon and shipkilling missiles and backed up by a heavily armed warship in orbit, all while commanding only a small and virtually unarmed spacecraft. But Leary again has the help of Signals Officer Adele Mundy, who can make computer networks do the apparently impossible. Leary, Mundy and the crew of the Princess Cecile have gone up against impossible odds before… and their opponents in those victorious missions are still wondering just what hit them.

Sidney’s Comet, Brian Herbert (Dorchester Publishing Co.)

For centuries the slobs that inhabit Earth have been rocketing their refuse into space, but now the universe is about to get even. An immense comet of garbage is on a collision course with Earth. Only one man can stop it: a lowly government worker who dreams of becoming a Space Patrol Captain but could never pass the physical.

Black Magic Woman, Justin Gustainis (Solaris Books)

Occult investigator Quincey Morris and his "consultant", white witch Libby Chastain, are hired to free a family from a deadly curse that appears to date back to the Salem witch trials. Fraught with danger, the trail finds them stalking the mysterious occult underworlds of Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans and New York, searching out the root of the curse. After surviving a series of terrifying attempts on their lives, the two find themselves drawn inexorably towards Salem itself - the very heart of darkness.

Myth-Gotten Gains, Robert Asprin & Jody Lynn Nye (Ace)

Someone is collecting animated treasures and keeping them from their heroic destinies. Reunited with the lovely Trollop Tananda, Aahz the Pervect must help out a sword called Ersatz, and embark on a quest that just may restore his lost magical powers.

Warhammer: Masters of Magic, Chris Wraight (Games Workshop)

Under constant pressure from its enemies, the human Empire maintains mighty armies to protect itself. Crucial among these troops are the Imperial battle wizards, trained to rain fiery death upon their foes, or summon the fury of the heavens. When Grey wizard Lothar and his colleagues ride to war against a massive orc invasion, can the wizards control their rivalry and ambition long enough to defeat the enemy?

Warhammer 40k: Ravenor Rogue, Dan Abnett (Games Workshop)

Inquisitor Ravenor continues his persecution of the arch-heretic Zygmunt Molotch - a hunt that has, for him, now become an obsession. In direct contravention of Inquisition orders, Ravenor and his team go rogue, in relentless pursuit of their quarry. Thrown through time and space, pitted against enemies of limitless power and cunning, just how much will Ravenor and his team have to sacrifice to save the day?

Childe Morgan, Katherine Kurtz (Ace)

Alaric Morgan has been pledged to the king's service, for his Dernyi blood makes him ideal to safeguard the Haldane kings and ensure that Prince Brion shall have protection of his hereditary magic. But the Deryni are feared by the populace of Gwynedd and are viewed with deep suspicion by the Church. And the Camberian Council, which secretly oversees the activities of Deryni, scorns Alaric for his half-breed ancestry. Alaric has the king's protection, and a future mapped out for him that in time should ensure his survival as well as that of the king's heir. But Alaric is only four years old-and first he must survive to reach manhood.

Falling Free, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)

Leo Graf was an effective engineer... Safety Regs weren't just the rule book he swore by; he'd helped write them. All that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat. Leo was profoundly uneasy with the corporation exploitation of his bright new students - till that exploitation turned to something much worse. He hadn't anticipated a situation where the right thing to do was neither safe, nor in the rules... Leo Graf adopted 1000 quaddies - now all he had to do was teach them to be free.

An Exchange of Gifts, Anne McCaffrey (Dorchester Publishing Co.)

When Meanne, a princess of the realm, runs away from her father's castle and an unwanted suitor, little does she realize the hardships and difficulties that lie ahead of her. Loneliness is the worst part - until she finds a fellow refugee, a boy named Wisp. Together they must make new lives for themselves. Yet they both have secrets - hidden pasts and magical powers that can tear them apart!

Command Decision, Elizabeth Moon (Del Rey)

With the Vatta’s War series, award-winning author Elizabeth Moon has claimed a place alongside such preeminent writers of military science fiction as David Weber and Lois McMaster Bujold. Now Moon is back–and so is her butt-kicking, take-no-prisoners heroine, Kylara Vatta. Once the black-sheep scion of a prosperous merchant family, Kylara now leads a motley space force dedicated to the defeat of a rapacious pirate empire led by the mysterious Gammis Turek. After orchestrating a galaxy-wide failure of the communications network owned and maintained by the powerful ISC corporation, Turek and his marauders strike swiftly and without mercy. First they shatter Vatta Transport. Then they overrun entire star systems, growing stronger and bolder. No one is safe from the pirate fleet. But while they continue to move forward with their diabolical plan, they have made two critical mistakes. Their first mistake was killing Kylara Vatta’s family. Their second mistake was leaving her alive. Now Kylara is going to make them pay. But with a “fleet” consisting of only three ships–including her flagship, the Vanguard, a souped-up merchant cruiser–Kylara needs allies, and fast. Because even though she possesses the same coveted communication technology as the enemy, she has nowhere near their numbers or firepower. Meanwhile, as Kylara’s cousin Stella tries to bring together the shattered pieces of the family trading empire, new treachery is unfolding at ISC headquarters, where undercover agent Rafael Dunbarger, estranged son of the corporation’s CEO, is trying to learn why the damaged network is not beingrepaired. What he discovers will send shock waves across the galaxy and crashing into Kylara’s newly christened Space Defense Force at the worst possible moment. The fourth novel in the Vatta’s War series.

Brothers in Arms, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)

The daring interspace rescue of an entire Cetagandan POW camp by the Dendarii Mercenaries made for some deadly enemies. Having finally outrun the infuriated Cetagandans, Admiral Naismith (a.k.a. Lord Miles Vorkosigan) and the Dendarii arrive on Earth for battle shuttle repair and a well deserved rest. When the Mercenaries’ payroll doesn’t arrive on time and someone tries to kill Miles, he realizes he’s in trouble again. Miles must juggle both his identities at once to unravel the complicated plot, which reveals an unexpected ally. Just who is trying to assassinate which of his personas, and why?

Boundary, Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor (Baen)

What is a paleontologist doing on Mars? Pushing her boundaries… Problematica, n: a term used in paleontology to refer to fossils that appear to be either of unknown taxonomic origin, or whose occurrence in the location they are found contradicts current beliefs of the field. The find was made by a teenager. A “funny fossil” no one had seen before out in the middle of the Arizona desert. And right in the middle of controversy: the strangely shaped fossil could help explain one of the greatest mysteries of Earth’s past, the great die-off at the KT boundary. It warranted a big dig, one that could lead to the mother lode, andprofessional immortality. But what Dr. Helen Sutter didn’t realize was that it would take her all the way to Mars…

Star Wars Legacy Vol. 2: Shards, John Ostrander, etc. (Dark Horse)

Cade Skywalker returns to the place of his father's last stand against the Sith and finds far more than ghosts in this volume filled with revelations about the future of Star Wars! Discover how the Empire joined forces with the Sith to defeat the Galactic Alliance in the war to dominate the galaxy - only to have Darth Krayt and his legion of followers usurp ultimate power for themselves! Follow the fate of an Empire divided, with battles pitting stormtrooper against stormtrooper, and Sith assassins bent on taking the life of deposed Emperor Roan Fel! Witness a galaxy in turmoil, and the decisions that will shape its future forever!

Probability Moon, Nancy Kress (Forge Books)

Humankind has expanded out into interstellar space using star gates-technological remnants left behind by an ancient, long-vanished race. But the technology comes with a price. Among the stars, humanity encountered the Fallers, a strange alien race bent on nothing short of genocide. It's all-out war, and humanity is losing. In this fragile situation, a new planet is discovered, inhabited by a pre-industrial race who experience "shared reality"-they're literally compelled to share the same worldview. A team of human scientists is dispatched-but what they don't know is that their mission of first contact is actually a covert military operation. For one of the planet's moons is really a huge mysterious artifact of the same origin as the star gates… and it just may be the key to winning the war.

Unquiet Dreams, Mark Del Franco (Ace)

Fueled by a mysterious new drug, Celtic fairies and Teutonic elves battle for turf and power-with humans caught in the middle. As the body count rises, Connor Grey uncovers a vast conspiracy that threatens to destroy not only the city, but the world.

The Borderkind, Christopher Golden (Spectra)

For centuries they lived amongst us. The frightful and wondrous, the angelic and bloodthirsty. Living in a reality just beyond the Veil, humanity’s myths and legends are caught in a struggle for their very survival—against hunters far more powerful than they are. Into this struggle has stepped a New England lawyer who once wanted to be an actor—a man who both longs for the mortal woman he was to marry and is desperate to rescue the sister who’s been taken hostage. Neither hero nor warrior, Oliver Bascombe now finds himself brandishing a magical sword, walking in the company of a woman who sometimes appears as a fox and a man made of pure ice, and dueling with albino giants and winged killers. For in the world of the Borderkind—and the realms that exist beyond it—Oliver is discovering just how vulnerable are humankind’s myths, the dire consequences of their extinction, and the reason he was chosen to save them… The second novel in The Veil series.

The Blood King, Gail Martin (Solaris Books)

The second installment of the Chronicles of the Necromancer. Having escaped being murdered by his evil brother, Jared, Tris must take control of his magical abilities to summon the dead, and gather an army big enough to claim back the throne of his dead father. But it isn't merely Jared that Tris must combat. The dark mage, Foor Arontala, has schemes to raise the Obsidian King...

New in Audiobook:

The Road to Dune, Frank & Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson (Tom Doherty Associates)

The definitive audio companion to the world of Dune, shedding light on and following the remarkable development of the bestselling science fiction novel of all time. At long last, millions of Dune fans can now hear the unpublished chapters and scenes from Dune and Dune Messiah. The Road to Dune also includes the original correspondence between Frank Herbert and famed editor, John W. Campbell, Jr.; excerpts from Herbert’s correspondence during his years-long struggle to get his innovative work published; and the article, “They Stopped the Moving Sands,” Herbert’s original inspiration for Dune. The Road to Dune features newly discovered papers and manuscripts and also “Spice Planet,” an original 60,000 word short novel by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, based on a detailed outline left by Frank Herbert. The Road to Dune is a treasure trove of essays, articles, and fiction that every Dune fan will want to add to their collection. Narrated by Scott Brick.

2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke (Brilliance Audio Unabridged)

It has been forty years since the publication of this classic science fiction novel that changed the way we look at the stars and ourselves. From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn as man adventures to the outer rim of our solar system, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a journey unlike any other. This allegory about humanity's exploration of the universe, and the universe's reaction to humanity, was the basis for director Stanley Kubrick's immortal film, and lives on as a hallmark achievement in storytelling. Narrated by Dick Hill.

The Black Unicorn, Terry Brooks (Brilliance Audio Abridged)

A year had passed since Ben Holiday bought the Magic Kingdom from the wizard Meeks, who had set a series of pitfalls against him. Ben survived, by the aid of three loyal friends: Questor Thews, an ill-trained wizard; Abernathy, a talking dog, the Court Scribe; and the lovely Willow, who sometimes had to be a tree. But Ben had been troubled by dreams of disaster to his former partner, Miles Bennett. Yet when he returned to Earth, Ben found Miles doing splendidly. Unknown to Ben, the dreams had been a trap by Meeks, who had returned to the Magic Kingdom as a tiny insect hidden in Ben's clothing. That first night back in Landover, Ben awoke to see Meeks gloating over him, claiming to have the medallion that could summon the mysterious knight-protector, the Paladin, and that he had cast a spell to switch appearances with Ben. Ben found himself outcast, no longer recognized by any friend, though all his powerful enemies seemed to know him. Without the medallion, he couldn't seek the help of the Paladin against Meeks. There was only the prism cat - whatever that might be! And where was Willow - and the mysterious black unicorn she'd set out to find? Narrated by Dick Hill.

Master of Dragons, Margaret Weis (Unabridged Audio Cassette)

In Mistress of Dragons we were introduced to a world where political deception, greed, and avarice have lead to a violation of the “hands off” policy of the Parliament of Dragons concerning the affairs of men. In The Dragon’s Son twins born out of violence and raised apart discover the secrets of their legacy and the plot to incite a war between dragons and men. Now as the evidence of deceit, betrayal, and perdition is revealed to them, who will emerge as mankind's savior as the Master of Dragons. A divided Parliament of Dragons where division and self preservation incite war and threaten the order of the ages. A hidden stronghold where insidious and outlaw dragons hatch a race bent on the subjugation of all mankind. The ancient city of Seth and its mystical order of warrior priestesses who have the power to fight back against the attacks of dragons. The twins Marcus and Ven must unlock the secrets of these places and their own powers and overcome their own personal differences as they prepare to clash in a war that may pit brother against brother and dragon against dragon to determine dominion of the world and the survival of the fittest. Master of Dragons is the epic conclusion of Margaret Weis's triumphant Dragonvarld trilogy, an epic of politics, war, and the delicate balance of the ways of dragons and men. Narrated by Suzanne Toren.

Alright Maniacs that’s it for this week’s Buzz. Check back next Monday for all the latest info on current sci fi, fantasy, and horror book releases. Questions or comments? Hit me up at


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SinCity 1/28/2008 5:41:34 AM
When I saw the title of the book, I thought it was going to be a commentary on the Bush Administration... ;)
kaybar 1/28/2008 8:19:12 AM
Hah, zing! Actually Sin even if there is no direct mention of Bush in the critical essays you're not far wrong. The show very clearly reflects the same issues the country faces since his administration took office, specifically in terms of international diplomacy, response to terrorism, the justification of torture, etc.


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