Broken Angels by Richard Morgan,
The Separation by Christopher Priest and
The Tain by China Miéville|
reviewed by David Soyka
While Tony Blair lines up behind the Bush administration in positing war with Iraq as a clear-cut case of good versus evil, some of his
countrymen provide persuasive commentary that such a dichotomy is never the case. War is only black and white in movies from the 40s; in
reality, it runs blood red, and its tributaries are not always so easily or clearly defined. Which isn't necessarily to say that war is
never unjustified or unavoidable; only that the "make-believe" needs to be sifted from the actuality in hopes of making reliance on it less likely.
Ironically, it is the purveyors of "make-believe" who articulate doubt upon this simplistic precept invoked by both sides in any
conflict. Although British writers Christopher Priest, Richard Morgan, and China Miéville may all be shelved together in the SF and
Fantasy aisle, each works in decidedly different sub-genres to provide compelling commentary on the considerable shades of gray between
the seeming dark and light.
SF Site News
compiled by Steven H Silver
Every day, items of interest to you arrive in our email. Our bi-monthly format doesn't lend itself to daily updates.
However, this is a small inconvenience to our Contributing Editor Steven H Silver. He's begun a new column which
will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.
The Mount by Carol Emshwiller
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Charley is a "mount" -- a teenage human bred and trained to carry an alien rider on his back. There is nothing that Charley wants more
than to win glory for his stable by becoming the fastest runner in the world, and the best mount for his master, a young "Hoot" who is
destined to be The Ruler Of Us All.
These cherished dreams are crushed when a raid by wild humans forces Charley and his master to flee into the mountains.
The Briar King by Greg Keyes
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
It begins on the pre-history of a world other than our own. The mysterious Skasloi have been defeated by the human slaves they
have kidnapped from various lands and periods on our earth, in an uprising led by powerful mage Virginia Elizabeth Dare.
But as she stands victorious above the last Skasloi lord, he utters a warning: Virginia and her champions don't understand the
darkness of the sedos magic they have stolen to gain their power, and their use of it has doomed them.
compiled by Neil Walsh
The New Arrivals page offers a look at the new books received here at the SF Site from publishers and distributors. This will give you a sampling of some of the exciting new titles that are just hitting the shelves now or that will be available in the near future.
Stealing the Elf-King's Roses by Diane Duane
reviewed by Regina Lynn Preciado
This is as much a mystery novel as it is science fiction.
Sure, the story involves alternate universes, takes for granted
technologies we won't see for generations yet, and stars a crime-fighting team composed of a
Sighted woman and a wolfhound-like alien. But it's still a first-rate murder mystery.
It's also the best kind of science fiction.
The SF Writer's Online Resource: The Family of Summer SF Workshops
a column by Trent Walters
"The obvious choice as to which is best does not exist. If you get into one and not the other, don't whine that this one
obviously isn't as good. You just didn't fit for the readers over there. Or maybe
the cosmic powers of fate decided you will learn more here at this
point in your learning curve. Now, let's touch on each in the not-who's-best order of age."
Hades' Daughter by Sara Douglass
reviewed by Steven H Silver
From the very first pages of of this book, it is clear
that the author has a tightly packed and plotted series in mind. Epic in proportion, she is tackling nothing less than the course of
Western civilization, from the fall of Troy until the Second World War, all set against a rotating cast of eternal heroes and
villains and the Byzantine game they play -- The Troy Game.
Divine Intervention by Julia Ecklar
a music review by Rob Kane
This is a CD of music inspired by stories of fantasy and
science fiction. Originally released in 1986, it has undergone remastering and has
been recently released on CD. Additionally, three bonus tracks have been appended
to the original album.
Stylistically, the album a mesh of different of different styles. Primarily folk-based, it
brings in elements of rock and orchestral music. The styles mix together on the
album to create a texture just right for the content.
Keeper of the Realm by H.J. Ralles
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
One exposure to a group of LARP gamers is more than enough to convince anyone that these role players live inside the world
of the game. Are video and computer gamers that... well... obsessive? How many people would want to be in the game, following the
rules and doing there best to survive? Come to think of it, how many would make it through when the new reality hits them in the
face and they have only one life to risk; no reset for when the boss beats them?
Acorna's Rebels by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Becker has convinced Acorna to take a brief vacation. They go to MOO, the Moon of Opportunities,
where they find out that another planet may have supplies they need to help them in the goal of rebuilding Vhiliinyar. A ship
emergency forces them to land on a dangerous swamp planet but help is on its way...
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on DVD as a replacement for television drama, what we have to look forward to in that medium, and when it is scheduled for
release. Best news: Babylon 5 Season 2 is finally ready to order.
A Conversation With Betsy Mitchell
An interview with Steven H Silver
On her first SF job:
"My first job was as advertising copywriter for Dell Books, where I met Jim
Frenkel, who at that time was running their late-lamented SF/fantasy line. Jim hired me to write freelance cover copy for some of
their hardcovers and introduced me around to the New York professional crowd, and as soon as a genre job opened
at Asimov's and Analog, as editorial assistant, I took it."
The Line of Polity by Neal Asher
Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
In the myriad worlds that make up the Polity and those on the fringe, can be considerably worse than we soft humans can
imagine. After the lethal-at-every-turn Spatterjay of The Skinner, anyone would feel safe in assuming no place could be
more deadly, more hostile to human life... Ah! But we all would be sadly wrong. Of course, we had never even heard of Masada,
then, so how could we imagine anything more chilling? Little did we know the author was just biding his time until he was ready to take
us to this hell-hole, where people cannot even live on the surface without oxygen or breathers.
SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2002
compiled by Neil Walsh
Once again we solicited our loyal SF Site readership to vote for their favourite books of the year. The results are in,
and the Top 10 Readers' Choice Best Books of 2002 are a healthy mix of science fiction, fantasy, and other genre-bending,
boundary-blurring work. You're invited to compare this list to the
Editors' Choice Top 10 Books of 2002 to see what the SF Site staff recommends and where there is
some overlap in what you, the readers, have chosen.
Night Visions Anthologies
compiled by Rodger Turner
The Night Visions anthology series was intended to be a vehicle to display the short fiction talents of established horror
and dark fantasy writers and to provide a method of showcasing new writers in the field. Dark Harvest, a publishing house
out of Chicago, began doing the series in 1984. Their last one came out in 1991.
After a ten year hiatus, Subterranean Press revived the series with a 10th volume.
Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
reviewed by Jayme Lynn Blaschke
Lou Arrendale is a high-functioning autistic adult born in a time when intensive childhood therapy
allowed him the opportunity to become a productive member of society, but born too soon to be
helped by the medical advances that "cured" those autists came after him. Nevertheless, Lou has
earned a good life for himself. His life follows a comfortable, dependable pattern, until a
new supervisor arrives at work -- one who sees autistic employees as a
problem to be eliminated. Lou suddenly finds himself faced with a decision: Submit to an
experimental, untested surgical treatment for autistic adults or face unemployment.
Geeks With Books
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick Klaw gives us a look at how things work from behind the counter of a book store.
This time out, he tells us how those loyalty cards, discount plans, web site accounts and other info about you are stored away
and can be made available to governments and those who can impersonate them.
Through the Darkness by Harry Turtledove
reviewed by Ian Nichols
This is a novel of war, a vast war, fought on many fronts, but mainly in Unkerlant, an enormous continent of many different
races. All the conventions of the fantasy novel are here; dragons and magic and strange and wonderful natural forces. The plot
is enormously complex, and the back-story in the novel is really not quite sufficient to explain how it has all come about. The
writing is as skilful and detailed as anything Turtledove has ever written...
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
In 1967, The editor sought to shake up the science fiction universe with the publication of this anthology. In
many ways, he succeeded. Different ways of telling stories were introduced, writers who might otherwise have escaped the attention
of the hardcore SF reader gained a reputation and an audience. But what was its long-term influence? Is
science fiction different now than it would have been without this ambitious anthology? The publication
of a 35th Anniversary Edition brings with it not only the chance to remember a milestone of the field, but also to take a look
at how science fiction has changed in the thirty-five years since it was first published.
The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Brian Duffy, an aging sword master wandering the streets of Venice, is more likely to be considering returning to his homeland of Ireland
than going on another adventure, but when Aurelianus offers him a job as a bouncer at an infamous Vienna inn and brewery, Duffy finds more
adventure than he bargained for. He's always had odd events happen to him. Recently he has seen odd things.