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The great sunliner 'But the Sky, My Lady! The Sky!' is nearing the end of a four-hundred-year journey. A ship-born generation is tense with expectation for the new system that is to be their home. Expecting to find nothing more complex than bacteria and algae, the detection of electronic signals from one of the planets comes as a shock. In millennia of slow expansion, humanity has never encountered aliens, and yet these new signals cannot be ignored. They suspect a fast robot probe has overtaken them, and send probes of their own to investigate. On a world called Ground, whose inhabitants are struggling into the age of radio, petroleum and powered flight, a young astronomer searching for distant planets detects an anomaly that he presumes must be a comet. His friend, a brilliant foreign physicist, calculates the orbit, only to discover an anomaly of his own. The comet is slowing down .. Review: standard "close encounter" material with a difference. Science fiction doesn't get any better than this - Ken Macleod's writing is a pure delight. Good story, good characters, it has the lot.

Perhaps this book's best element is the diverse range of characters that form the Republic team (even though most of them are clones). There's Omega Squad, of course, but also Delta Squad, fresh from the second campaign of the 'Republic Commando' game. Representing the Jedi are the eager-to-please Bardan Jusik and Etain Tur-Mukan, both now Jedi Knights and Generals. Etain plays the important role of being the one who is constantly trying to find the balance between necessity and morality and questioning how that fits into the Jedi's understanding of the dark side. Oddly the character that endeared himself to me the most is the ordinary infantry clone, Corr, who finds himself caught up with the commandos. The most interesting new characters are the Null ARCs, a group of super-clones who aren't entirely stable and who only answer to their father figure, Sergeant Kal Skirata. Review: Star Wars goes from strength to strength, and with novels filling in the missing details between the films like this, it's little wonder. Excellent adventure fayre.

Synopsis: Four thousand years ago, a great war took place among the gods, which shattered their heavenly realm. This Sundering created the land of Myrillia, where near-invincible gods live amongst men. Yet the weapon that fashioned the Sundering may also strike down the immortals, as failed Shadowknight Tylar discovers. He witnesses the death of a god, whose blood heals his deformities but brands him a Godslayer and a hunted criminal. Tylar flees with now god-like powers, seeking to avenge the god's death and clear his name. He must ultimately confront the greatest god of all and face the supreme treachery...Review: I love books that start off in dark alleyways on strange planets where the hero comes to the aid of...well, in this case it's a Goddess, and the previously deformed hero is mysteriously restored to full health - then thrown in jail for killing the goddess! This is a great read, full of strange and mysterious creatures and situaions - Clemens has the makings of a fantasy great.

Synopsis: All opposition to the man once derided as the Prince of Nothing has vanished or been vanquished. Their leaders slain, the heathen Fanim have fled in disarray. One final march will bring the Holy War to the fabled city of Shimeh. But so very much has changed. Anasurimbor Kellhus, the Warrior-Prophet, now leads the Men of the Tusk. The cuckolded sorcerer Achamian serves as his tutor, betraying his school to keep safe the man he believes can prevent the Second Apocalypse. The Scylvendi barbarian, Cnaiur, succumbs finally to madness. The Consult, sensing the endgame of millennia of planning, work frantically to prepare for the coming of the No-God. The final reckoning is at hand. Faceless assassins will strike in the dead of night. Kings and Emperors will fall. The sorcerous Schools will be unleashed. And Anasurimbor Kellhus will at last confront his father and the dread revelation of the Thousandfold Thought. Review: Bakker's style is dark and sinister, and the story simply sucks you in. One of the better serial fantasists around right now. Spellbinding.

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Gateway is published by Paul Edmund Norman on the first day of each month. Hosting is by Flying Porcupine at - and web design by Gateway. Submitting to Gateway: Basically, all you need do is e-mail it along and I'll consider it - it can be any length, if it's very long I'll serialise it, if it's medium-length I'll put it in as a novella, if it's a short story or a feature article it will go in as it comes. Payment is zero, I'm afraid, as I don't make any money from Gateway, I do it all for fun! For Advertising rates in Gateway please contact me at Should you be kind enough to want to send me books to review, please contact me by e-mail and I will gladly forward you my home address. Meanwhile, here's how to contact me: Gateway banner created by and © Paul Edmund Norman

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