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SF Insite: Rich Horton gives us his view of which titles should be considered for the 1950 Retro Hugo Candidates.
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Matthew Woodring Stover
Matthew Woodring Stover A Conversation With Matthew Woodring Stover
An interview with Gabriel Chouinard
On good vs. evil:
"I know it's sometimes hard for people to get their minds around, but the whole concept of the Good/Evil duality was, essentially, invented circa 600 BCE in Persia. You'll discover that evil qua Evil does not even appear in the Old Testament of the Bible until the Prophets -- the books that were written after the Persian Captivity. It doesn't appear in the Illiad, or the Odyssey, or any work by Sophocles, Euripides, or Aeschylus."

Blade of Tyshalle Blade of Tyshalle by Matthew Woodring Stover
reviewed by Regina Lynn Preciado
The author returns to the caste-driven future Earth and Studio-exploited Overworld he introduced in Heroes Die. It's 7 years or so after Caine's ultimate sacrifice -- you remember, the one that should have Made Everything All Better -- and the situation is even worse than it was before. Not that it was in vain, but powerful forces at work in both worlds have conspired to put millions of people in danger. And because heroes die, it seems we have no one left to save them.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 2001 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 2001
reviewed by Nick Gevers
This "Special Lucius Shepard Issue" succeeds in its undertaking very well indeed. Katherine Dunn contributes a vivid Introduction to Shepard; William G. Contento adds a fairly full Bibliography of Shepard's works; Shepard himself scrags Lost Souls mercilessly in his Film column; and there is the centrepiece, Shepard's long new novella "Eternity And Afterward," a blistering existential salvo such as hasn't been seen from him since the 80s. One of speculative fiction's greatest prose artists is back to his best; one can only genuflect.

Ventus Ventus by Karl Schroeder
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
When the nannite swarms that terraformed the planet Ventus had nearly finished their job, something happened to prevent them from talking to the human beings whose arrival was ostensibly the reason for which the swarms had done their work. Those who have managed to survive on the planet live at a near medieval level of technology as the nano-machines go about their mysterious business. Unbeknownst to the inhabitants, the universe is about to intrude on them in a big way.

Deepsix Deepsix by Jack McDevitt
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
This is a pressure cooker of a novel. Intense popular and scientific interest is focused on a planet destined to be destroyed by a collision with a gas giant. Teams of scientists and tourists have gathered in starships to watch the fireworks. At the last minute, archaeological remains are discovered on the planet. A make-shift, emergency team is sent to the surface to study and collect everything it can grab.

Without Absolution Without Absolution by Amy Sterling Casil
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This author's first collection of stories and poems is the work of a good writer who is slowly but surely learning to be a good science fiction writer. As such, it is a solid example of what Greg believes to be a truism: that writing quality science fiction requires more skill on the part of the author than writing traditional mainstream fiction, not less.

Wayne MacLaurin's 2000 Fat Fantasy Awards Wayne MacLaurin's 2000 Fat Fantasy Awards
compiled by Wayne MacLaurin
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the most glamorous night in Fantasy.  That night when authors, publishers and readers gather together under the crisp spring moon to witness the presentation of the most sought after accolade, the renown Fat Fantasy Award; an award the recognizes all that is great about our beloved genre.

Forthcoming Books Forthcoming Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
Here's a sampling of some of the F&SF books that are headed our way in the coming months...

Outer Perimeter Outer Perimeter by Ken Goddard
reviewed by John Berlyne
Picking up where First Evidence left off, we find Cellars not exactly in the good books of his employers. Regulations and procedures have him under psychiatric review and the acting regional commander isn't on his side. He seems to be taking all this in stride, despite the fact there are at least 50 unsolved deaths or disappearances that he suspects may be linked to his previous encounters with some shadowy extra-terrestrials.

Endurance Endurance by S.L. Viehl
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In this third installment, Cherijo is put in charge of the ship's medical unit. It's a tough job, made even tougher by the hatred of her fellow slaves and the callous brutality of her captors, at least one of whom has conceived a psychotic hatred for her. Things don't get any easier on Catopsa, where a mysterious alien freedom fighter, a sadistic Hsktskt medical researcher, and some very peculiar alien lifeforms are added to the mix.

Sean Russell
Sean Russell A Conversation With Sean Russell
An interview with Rodger Turner
On having an agent:
"I believe writers should concentrate on writing, not on selling books and reading contracts. It's a lot of work when you add in foreign sales, etc. I can't imagine any writer is as good at all this as a really good agent can be. The best agents keep their finger on the pulse of the industry, and they have negotiating skills that few of us will ever master."

The One Kingdom The One Kingdom by Sean Russell
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
When is the last time you came to the last page of a hefty novel and wondered where the other chapters were? Have you ever zoomed through that many pages and scratched around frantically, hoping that there is more to come, that you just haven't found it, yet? Not often, if ever, I'm betting, because fantasy series as good as this just don't come along that often.

Krondor: Tear of the Gods Krondor: Tear of the Gods by Raymond E. Feist
reviewed by Wayne MacLaurin
What is astonishing is the ambition that it took the author to actually insert the tale within his well-known series. In effect, he rewrote history. But, he's done so almost seamlessly, to the point where it's possible to read the saga in chronological or published order without any major continuity flaws. Sure there may be anomalies, but it would take a careful (or perhaps overly serious) reader to really notice them.

Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Scott Tilson
Scott Tilson is taking a look at what has caught his attention in the field of graphic novels. This time, he is recommending Yukinobu Hoshino's 2001 Nights and Mark Smylie's Artesia. And Scott asks Joe Haldeman what he's reading these days.

New Arrivals Mid-March Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
The past month has brought us some terrific new books, including a new collection from Stepan Chapman, an anthology of ghost stories from Jean Rabe & Martin H. Greenberg, new novels from the likes of Mercedes Lackey, Raymond E. Feist, Anne McCaffrey, Jack McDevitt, Tanya Huff, John Marco, Matthew Woodring Stover, reprints of classics from such greats as H.G. Wells, Keith Roberts, and James H. Schmitz -- and one of the highlights is the North American release of China Miéville's Perdido Street Station.

The Octagonal Raven The Octagonal Raven by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Daryn Alwyn is his own man. Born into one of the richest, most influential families in the world, Daryn chooses to go his own way, living his life the way he wishes. Although he has all the advantages of the nanite-augmented body and mind of a "pre-select," he has no intention to use those gifts in the family business. In fact, Daryn fully believes he is living life on his own terms, independent and isolated. How little detachment he has really achieved is about to become painfully obvious to him.

Asimov's Science Fiction, March 2001 Asimov's Science Fiction, March 2001
reviewed by Nick Gevers
In his "On Books" column, Norman Spinrad complains with a measure of justice that the SF genre has gone predominantly "retro". Which is to say that, in accordance with the postmodern aesthetic, SF has become the reverse of progressive, content to recycle its commoditized tropes rather than innovate, and prone to a grievous kind of pasticheur's nostalgia. The remainder of the issue, in some cases, supports and, in other cases, contradicts Spinrad's thesis.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his notes on what to watch in April on Star Trek: Voyager and on The X-Files and tells us about a new Babylon 5 made for TV and appearing on the SciFi Channel.

Second Looks

Nova Nova by Samuel R. Delany
reviewed by David Soyka
If contemporary readers might wonder what the big deal is, it is only because they've grown accustomed to trails that were being newly blazed by this book. On its face, it would seem to be a traditional Space Opera, pitting a good guy against the forces of evil in an intergalactic setting. But if Space Opera is your thing, you might find yourself a bit puzzled. Discussions about "fitting in," about the nature of storytelling, about art, about, of all things, the Tarot. There is more discourse than battle here.

First Novels

Ninth Day of Creation Ninth Day of Creation by Leonard Crane
reviewed by Marc Goldstein
One part Tom Clancy, one part Gregory Benford, the story successfully weaves cutting-edge scientific speculation into a political thriller with a propulsive, Byzantine plot. Wrapped in the package of a taut techno-thriller, the novel's core themes revolve around advancements in genetic engineering and their implications for medicine and biological warfare.

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