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Edition 3: Book Review: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

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 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston

 Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Inheritance is the final of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, the series that began with a story called Eragon, written when Paolini was 15.

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Edition 3: The Spacesuit With No Spaceman… by Sergio Palumbo

flag USAn astronaut from the People’s Advanced Republic of China goes missing while in orbit and it is Xing Yi, a secret government agent, who must travel in the same footsteps. Will he be liberated by unknown sympathetic forces or is there a darker fate awaiting him on the edge of space? SY

The investigation Xing Yi had been assigned this time by the exacting Chinese Space Program staff wouldn’t be an easy one, to be sure.

Jian Juhi, was a young taikonaut—that is, he was an astronaut from China, the word ‘taikonaut’ coming from a mixture of the terms “taikong”, meaning space, and the Greek “naut”, meaning sailor. He had disappeared while aboard his spacecraft which was in Earth’s orbit, with the main hatch surprisingly still locked from the inside.

The People’s Advanced Republic of China could tolerate the deaths of plenty of expendable taikonauts when they were caused by accidents that occurred over the course of its new, exhausting space program, which had as its goal to quickly build a Chinese base on the Moon. But its tyrants could not accept the unexpected disappearance of one of them while still on board the precious Shenzhou 15 orbiting craft, leaving only an empty spacesuit inside the cockpit, no matter the reasons or the problems involved.

The appointed technicians at the Control Station back home immediately began pouring over the recordings and all the instruments about what had really happened up there in space, while the spacecraft was still orbiting our planet. Some politicians even suggested that such an event could have only occurred with help from some international organizations or a few countries which had helped the missing taikonaut defect from the government’s grip over its citizens—even though, regretfully, they couldn’t explain by what means exactly.

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Edition 3: Book Review: Mythic Resonance edited by Stephen Thompson

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith

Mythic Resonance edited by Stephen Thompson

The Specusphere is an online magazine normally devoted to reviews, writing news and articles suitable for anyone with a love of the written word. Mythic Resonance represents the dawn of their expansion into book publishing. Thirteen original tales form an anthology of new spins on legendary and creationist stories.

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Edition 3: Skinbucket by Stephen McQuiggan

flag UKIn a small neighbourhood, a teenage girl is missing, thought to be the latest victim of a serial killer. Bitter divorcee Tony just wants to be left alone to enjoy his time as a bachelor, looking for that one everlasting love. SY

The water moved in ghost light flame across her skin. The contrast of her heavy black hair against the crystalline suds made him think of fairytales, of Snow White. She lay, her eyes closed, luxuriating in thoughts he could only imagine. Maybe she was the one, maybe this time it would last longer than a quick soak and a frenzied union of flesh. He felt uncomfortable at the thought of her leaving, or perhaps that was because he had given her the lion’s share of the bath and the taps were digging into his back. Perhaps it was love after all.

He would let the water out soon, and they would sit there and let it slowly slide down them. It was something he longed to share with her, something to make her smile again. It was her smile he loved the most, and his desire to put it there. When she smiled her face was a palette of wonder.

When the water ran out you could almost believe you would be sucked down the plughole, it was an upsetting feeling, no doubt about it, but if you could just hold on a little longer then you would feel so light you’d swear you could fly. And then, feeling invincible, he would towel her down, dry her hair, comb it…

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Edition 3: The White Glove by Nick Seifert

flag USWhat do you do when the truth of an object becomes an obsession? This story shows the lengths some will go to in order to get to the heart of a mystery or to possess what they desire. SY

As my employer, Mr. Percy Esq., began to dictate litigation, I found my eyes constantly drifting away from my newly purchased quill towards Mr. Percy’s left hand. Whenever the opportunity arose, I had trained myself to study the hand so as to not draw suspicion from Mr. Percy. For you see, his appendage is always shrouded in a pristine white glove. The fabric looks extraordinarily smooth to the touch as though it came from an exotic land where materials, even white cloth, never get dirty. While with most gloves one can see the seams along the inside finger line, this particular mitt shows nothing to indicate a tailor crafted the item. Around the wrist a small oval mother of pearl belt buckle delicately secures the glove to the arm. As immaculate and interesting as this glove itself is, there is more to Mr. Percy’s story; for you see the hand never moves and is forever locked in a twisted position of discomfort. Mr. Percy’s fingers—long feminine extremities for such an obese and selfish old man—are frozen in some sort of crooked claw forever trying to hold a lost item in a frustrated embrace. What ill fate befell this hand my employer will not say or disclose to even the closest of acquaintances. I wholeheartedly believe Mr. Percy wears the glove to conceal the hideousness of what lies beneath. During times like these, when the opportunity to catch a glimpse arises, I find myself dreaming about the hand’s mystery or unholy scarring underneath the glove. This unhealthy obsession of conjuring is constantly making me yearn for resolve in regards to what the white glove so elegantly hides.

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Edition 3: Film Review: The Cabin In The Woods

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 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston

 The Cabin In The Woods

Cabin in the Woods, an offering by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, is not your regular teen slasher film. Don’t worry—it contains all the blood and gore you’re looking for, but its plot is not what you would expect.

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Edition 3: Woman With Red Hair by Lawrence Buentello

flag USCassidy falls in love. If only he could remember the intimate moments he spends with her. Is he going insane or is there a more sinister reason for his black outs? SY

It was a Tuesday afternoon, and rain washed over the window before him. He knew it was Tuesday because his wristwatch told him so, but he had no sense of it. The rainstorm was actually quite beautiful, appearing before him like a sudden dream, but it wasn’t a dream. The faint pattering of the drops had wakened his senses to his presence in the room, the stale scent of closed spaces, the tingling in his hands as they gripped the arms of the chair. He didn’t remember–

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss them, she’d said—and now he sat in a chair before the large window in his apartment wondering how he’d spent the hours between that moment and this moment of perception. The rain obscured the reality of the city beyond the glass—his thoughts were no less convoluted. He realized he was hungry, as if he’d missed a meal. When he looked down at himself he saw that the soft silk shirt she’d caressed so sensually had transformed into a cotton polo. His pants and shoes were different, too, but he couldn’t recall changing his clothes.

Cassidy rose from the chair, found his cell phone and called her number. Then he closed the phone. What would he ask her?

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Edition 3: The Raptor and the Lion by Larry Ivkovich

flag USA centuries old battle exists between the Raptors and Lions. But these are the last of their kinds, tired of killing and the stench of death. Can such a powerful spell be broken and their peoples be freed? SY

Drunken Sacrifice

The Raptor Marceeka emerged from the shadows like a giant, demonic bird-of-prey. A long, pointed beak extended beneath glittering eyes; a thin, rangy body stood wrapped in voluminous, leathery wings.

She laughed to herself as she anticipated what the lone umana in the square was thinking. The wings—a cloak, of course; the beak—a long-nosed mask once worn by physicians during the Black Plague and thought to protect against the hideous outbreak. A very early morning Carnevale reveler, no doubt! Yes, even though the yearly festival was six weeks past, it was obvious the umana was drunk and would conjure up anything in his drink-befuddled mind to explain what he thought he was seeing.

Marceeka drifted back into the nighttime shadows cast by the Campanile, the tall bell-tower backlit against the full moon. The Piazza de San Marco was devoid of life at four in the morning. Even the ubiquitous pigeons that haunted every inch of the city were asleep at this hour. The umana, his heavy frame wobbly with drink, moved on, stumbling across the enormous stone-tiled square.

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Edition 3: Book Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker

Ashfall by Mike Mullins

Books about boy wizards will be compared to Harry Potter. Likewise will a teen dystopian novel be compared to The Hunger Games. Just like Katniss, young Alex in Mike Mullin’s Ashfall is thrown into an unspeakable life and death situation.

But that’s where the similarity ends.

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Edition 3: Ring Finger by John Claude Smith

flag USIn the wilderness, you do what it takes to survive. Cammie knows that better than anyone. But what that means you will have to read on to find out. SY

Cammie sucked hard on the rolled cigarette, the smoke threatening to warm her frigid innards, but failing.

The sky was bright and white and vast—infinite—though charcoal curled the distant edges.

Winter came and owned their souls. Took root in the marrow. Froze their dreams like arctic lakes that never thawed.

Ragged threads scratched spider-like at her fingertips, the home-made fingerless gloves meant to deter calluses on the palms, but the grip of flesh, of strong fingers, was deemed necessary to swing the axe.

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