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Month in review

Amore by Laura Wolf
Andromeda on the Street of Ducklings by Judi Hendricks
Another Dawn by Sandra Brown
Another Perfect Day by Steven Popkes
Bad Manners by Chris Manby
The Bamboo Confessions by Lauren Weisberger
Bounty by Rand B. Lee
Busy Horsies by John Schindel and Casi Lark
"But Wait! There's More!" by Richard Mueller
Childrun by Marc Laidlaw
Church of the Dog by Kaya McLaren
Click edited by Arthur Levine
Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James
A Day in the Life of my Great Brit Book Tour by Adriana Trigiani
Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
The Dinosaur Train by James L. Cambrias
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
El Tigre by John H. Manhold
Five by Julianna Baggott
Flip and Flop by Dawn Apperley
The Fourth Watcher by Timothy Hallnan
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
A Grave Mistake by Stella Cameron
The Great Waldo Search by Martin Handfold
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I Know a Woman by Quinn Dalton
Leaving a Light On by Claire LaZebnik
Lifetime Loser by James Ross
Moving Day by Cindy Chupack
An Open Letter to Earth by Scott Dalrymple
Persistence of Memory by J. M. Snyder
Poison Victory by Albert E. Cowdrey
The Political Prisoner by Charles Coleman Finlay
Pump Six by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Regent's Knight by J. M. Snyder
Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace
Simplexity by Jeffrey Kluger
Smoky the Baby Goat by Mary Elting Folsom and Veronica Reed
There's a Cow in the Cabbage Patch by Clare Beaton and Stella Blackstone
The Truth About Nigel by Jennifer Weiner
The Two-Month Itch by Sarah Mlynowski
Voodoo Dolls, C-Cups and Eminem by Melissa Senate
Yoga Babe by Lauren Henderson

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Pump Six: 08/30/08

The first story in the September issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction, "Pump Six" was published earlier this year in Pump Six and Other Stories. Having so enjoyed the title story, I would love to read the rest of the book.

"Pump Six" is a near future tale of a water treatment engineer just trying to live his life and keep the sewage pumps running in a city that is slowly but steadily falling apart. The city happens to be New York but it's a New York in a time when the stock exchange is no longer running, skyscrapers are crumbling from a lack of maintenance, the last taxi was spotted years ago and blackouts are common.

The engineer protagonist knows something is amiss with the world and when pump six finally fails beyond his ability to repair it, he begins to wonder why and more importantly if the rest of the cities ills are interconnected.

The story takes place in the 22nd century based on the age of pumps. The technology that keeps the sewage from backing up is about one hundred years old and it has outlived the company that built it. It's a frank but chilling reminder of the legacy technology that modern day cities function with. Take for instance the New York subway system; it first opened for business in 1904. Or for a much older city, consider the many layers of history and legacy structures in London as described in Underground London and London: The Biography.

If you enjoy urban dystopian tales, I also recommend:


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