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From the Editor
SF Insite: Vote for your favourite books of 2001 in our 4th annual Readers' Choice: Best Read Of The Year list. The deadline for voting is February 15.
Dan Simmons Reading List: Hardcase is his latest. Try it or any of his books and you'll see why folks love his work.
EZines & Mags: can you spot tomorrow's big names?
Publishers: Who produces books, who sells them?
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Geeks With Books Geeks With Books
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick Klaw steps out from behind the counter of a book store to give us some thoughts. Ever since the events of September 11 Rick's been scared, but not for the reasons you might suspect. Flying doesn't scare him. And he's not particularly worried about a plane hitting a building either. So what's got him so upset, and what does it have to do with SF? Plenty!

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
reviewed by William Thompson
In this retelling of the pied piper Discworld-style, the reader encounters a travelling menagerie of rats led by a cat that have accidentally gained human intelligence by eating the refuse dumped outside Unseen University (well, the cat has come about his abilities differently, but that's a story best left unspoken). Their new-found reasoning and speech outweighing past instincts and traditional behaviour, they have banded together to make their way through the world by, suitably enough, scamming Discworld's human inhabitants.

The Watch The Watch by Dennis Danvers
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Do you ever wonder what went so wrong with the Russian Revolution? Some of the communist ideals were admirable; the promise of plenty for all is a wonderful concept, equality for all citizens is so just and natural. So what happened? Maybe, just maybe, it wasn't the theories that doomed the experiment from the start, but the people who ended up in power. If someone who genuinely believed in the best of lofty goals had taken the reins? Who knows what the world would look like now?

 Vox: SF For Your Ears Vox: SF For Your Ears
a column by Scott Danielson
Scott Danielson is looking at audio SF -- on tape, on CD, on whatever. This time out, he has been listening to The Voice from the Edge: Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral by Harlan Ellison and The Elephants of Posnan and Other Stories by Orson Scott Card.

Smoking Poppy Smoking Poppy by Graham Joyce
reviewed by William Thompson
With the ominous news that his estranged daughter has been arrested in Thailand for smuggling opium, Dan Innes sets out for a remote town in the northern interior where his daughter is confined under a possible sentence of death. He is accompanied by two unlikely companions, neither of whom he would have chosen. The mismatched trio soon find themselves in the midst of a mystery that leads them deep into the jungles of a region devoted to cultivation of the poppy and ruled by lawless and ruthless gangs of smugglers.

James Stevens-Arce A Conversation With James Stevens-Arce
An interview with Lisa DuMond
On any vehement feedback for Soulsaver:
"None hanging me in effigy, oddly enough. I say "oddly" because I had been concerned that some readers might mistakenly think the novel attacks religion, when, if it attacks anything, it's those who use -- and abuse -- religion to further their own agendas. But all I've received so far have been positive responses to the book as you can see in the comments that have come in via e-mail..."

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on what to watch in January with new episodes of Enterprise and The X-Files. Highlights include the new Babylon 5 tele-movie. He also has had a chance to watch the DVD of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Diamond Dogs Diamond Dogs by Alastair Reynolds
reviewed by Rodger Turner
The Childe family has spent 250 years in deep space exploration looking for signs of alien life or remnants of their civilization. In a far off corner, on a planet called Golgotha, a ship making repairs has found a building shaped like a cathedral spire with a bulb seemingly spiked on the top. Its purpose and its contents remain a mystery, for the spire's defenses repel with deadly force all those who enter -- unless they can solve the puzzles which control access to its rooms. Childe has brought together a group to crack the mystery of an alien artifact on this faraway planet.

Defender Defender by C.J. Cherryh
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Bren Cameron is the paidhi, the human most knowledgeable about and ambassador to the atevi. At least that is true in Foreigner at the beginning of the series. By this 5th volume, Cameron has become a force in atevi politics and close associate of Tabini, the most powerful Atevi ajii, or lord. It is Cameron who is in charge of balancing the negotiations between Tabini, the humans settled on Mospheira, and the humans living on the space station in orbit around the planet.

Dreamer Dreamer by Steven Harper
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Sejal is an angry young man who has just made a very old discovery. He can earn 2 kesh in 3 hours busking on the street corner, or he can earn 70 kesh in 20 minutes selling his ass. It's too much temptation for a troubled teenager on the planet Rust, where an invasion by the Empire of Human Unity twenty years before wrecked the world and turned the inhabitants into a permanently impoverished underclass.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Ring in the New Year with new novels from Greg Bear, Robin Hobb, Mindy Klasky, John Marco, Patricia McKillip and many more. But don't miss out on the late releases for 2001, including Ray Bradbury's latest novel, Peter Watts' sequel to his début Starfish, Nalo Hopkinson's first collection, and Don Hutchison's anthology of The Best of Northern Frights.

The Fellowship of the Ring The Fellowship of the Ring
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Visually, this movie is a dream come true. New Zealand was the perfect place to film, with exactly the right mix of the familiar and the exotic. The action is exciting, the landscapes grand, the recreations of Hobbiton and Rivendell as good as anything this side of our imaginations could be. The acting is near perfection. There is never a moment when you doubt the reality of the characters, despite the fact that they are very different heights from the actors who play them.

Second Looks

Dark Universe Dark Universe and Impact-20 by William F. Nolan
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
He is probably best known as the co-author of Logan's Run, but these two collections show the full range of his short fiction, with Dark Universe presenting the best work of a top notch modern horror writer in chronological order, each with an introductory blurb from Nolan himself. Besides reminding us that many of these stories have been included in best of the year anthologies and much anthologized elsewhere, the author explains the genesis of many of the stories. This temporal sequence also allows one to see where his horror writing has taken him, beyond the influence of The California Group, to claim a voice all his own.

The Foreigners The Foreigners by James Lovegrove
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Jack Parry got his start in the London Metropolitan Police, battling urban violence in a world rapidly descending into brutal anarchy. But 17 years ago all that changed overnight when the aliens arrived on Earth. Since the Foreigners appeared, striding in golden, enigmatic majesty through the streets of every city, Earth has been at peace. Alien "crystech" has replaced polluting human technology, and large resorts have been built to lure alien tourists. Now a Captain of the Foreign Policy Police in the wealthy resort city of New Venice, Parry is deeply grateful that this shining new future has given him a career as a moral persuader instead of a uniformed thug.

Pirates of Venus Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs
reviewed by Steven H Silver
In the wake of the rise of Soviet Russia, the 1920s saw a rise in a Communist movement in the United States. The author saw Communism as a threat and responded by writing up the adventures of Carson Napier, a man who has found himself caught in the struggle between conflicting social orders on a fanciful Venus in Pirates of Venus, the opening novel in a short and incomplete series.

Bios Bios by Robert Charles Wilson
reviewed by Donna McMahon
In the 22nd century mankind has discovered a method of interstellar transit that is allowing us -- albeit slowly and expensively -- to explore the galaxy. One planet of great interest is the lush, beautiful world Isis, with a rich, complex ecosystem that looks deceptively similar to ours, but it is utterly deadly to Earth-evolved DNA.

First Novels

Ill Met By Moonlight Ill Met By Moonlight by Sarah Hoyt
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Nineteen-year-old petty schoolmaster Will Shakespeare arrives home one evening to find his wife Nan and infant daughter Susannah missing. Will tells himself that Nan has simply been called away to help her pregnant sister-in-law; but this logical explanation doesn't quiet the strange foreboding he feels. Setting off to look for Nan, he passes through the wilds of the Forest of Arden, where he stumbles upon a miraculous shining palace with crystal walls, in a place where no palace has ever been before. Inside are lords and ladies in exquisite clothing... and Nan, standing before the throne of the king.

Mothership Mothership by Tony Chandler
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
The end has come for the Earth and for all humanity. The T'kaan, a single-minded race that seeks only to wipe out other species wherever they find them, has come for the final battle. But not every human being is killed; an intelligent and unstoppable starship has become Mother to the last three orphan children of humanity. Now, the question is whether a sentient ship can truly perform all the duties of a mother to her charges.

The Mothman Prophecies The Mothman Prophecies
a film preview
The film is a cerebral and creepy tale of the paranormal that, like the book it's based on, claims to be based on actual events that allegedly transpired in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, between November 1966 and December 1967.

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