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Jim Baenís Universe - June 2009
Edited by Eric Flint
Cover Artist: Garrett W. Vance
Review by Sam Tomaino
Baen  ISBN/ITEM#: 1932-0930
Date: 24 June 2009

Links: Jim Baen's Universe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The June 2009 issue of Jim Baenís Universe is here with stories from David Brin, Jay Lake, Bud Sparhawk, Maya Bohnoff, Nancy Fulda, and Gary Kloster along with a classic from Theodore R. Cogswell and the usual columns.

The June 2009 issue of Jim Baen's Universe is another good one and all the stories are well worth reading..

The Science Fiction section leads off with something you are not expecting. When you start reading "Gorilla My Dreams" by David Brin, you will notice familiar elements: old alien races resentful of mankindís "wolfling" status, intelligent chimps and dolphins, etc. Things go off on a strange tangent from there and Brin delivers a lot of fun. I canít say more except that his fans will have a great time.

"Leopard" by Jay Lake is more fantasy than science fiction. A young boy named Mattie follows a creature known as Leopard, who is his brother Benno. He had changed his shape through a leopard skin. Leopard is a beast with no human memory and leaps to rend Mattie. But Mattieís story is not done in this finely-told tale.

"Winds of Mars" by Bud Sparhawk is part of his series of stories featuring Louella & Pascal, who compete in different sailing contests. This one follows the events in "Primrose Rescue" in the April issue of Jim Baen's Universe as the two of them are ordered to Mars by their boss, Jerome Blacker to compete in a sail race Ė on land buggies. They are trained by Halsey "Sands" Ribblokenni, a former racer who had been badly injured in an accident. Sparhawk writes an entertaining story here as the intrepid pair, again, do more than just win a race.

The Fantasy section has two stories. The first is an amusing little piece called "The Resident" by Maya Bohnhoff. The property at 94 Twining Lane had a reputation for being haunted and was considered unsaleable. Ian Werther is an enterprising estate agent who likes a challenge and approaches the house, trying to find a way to sell it. He sees a rival agent enter it and is about to go in when he encounters The Resident who does not like intruders. This one was a real hoot.

Nancy Fuldaís "In the Halls of the Sky-Palace" features Aesva, a young girl who lives in the palace of the Sky-King. Her mother is one of the kingís dancers, but she was robbed of her heartfire and is now a living dead, unaware of her status. Aesva has a special gift and uses it to find out what is happening in the palace. Fulda has created an imaginative world here and written a good story about it.

This issue has just one story by a first-time author, Gary Kloster. "Adam, Unwilling" takes place on a spaceship headed for a distant planet to colonize. To keep alive, the colonists are in deep sleep but their minds inhabit a virtual world on the ship. Many regard this world as real but Amar does not, knowing that the real world can wipe out the virtual one without a momentís notice. He is asked by one of the shipís leaders to investigate the resource use of a man named Morgan. He uncovers a truly evil plot and must do something about it in this exciting story.

All this is rounded out by a Classic Reprint "The Specter General" by Theodore R. Cogswell. Donít waste time! Go to their web-site at www.baens-universe.com and subscribe!

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