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Digital Cirque Digital Cirque
a column by Matthew Peckham
Matthew Peckham brings us reviews of the latest trendsetters in video games. Here, he looks at a game called The Dark Eye, developed by a company called Inscape. It paired a collection of Edgar Allan Poe short stories with the spoken narrative talents of William S. Burroughs.

Rootabaga Stories Rootabaga Stories and More Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Take the whimsy of L. Frank Baum's Oz books, crank it up a notch, maybe two, throw in a pinch of nonsense, add the diction of a poet, mix well. Ah, there we have it... Now you ask, pray tell, what are these stories about? Well they're about the finding of the Zig-Zag railroad, the Pigs with Bibs On, the Circus Clown Ovens, the Village of Liver-and-Onions, and the Village of Cream Puffs, and that only covers the first 30 pages of the first book.

SF Site News 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.

In the Hall of the Martian King In the Hall of the Martian King by John Barnes
reviewed by Rich Horton
Jak is a citizen of the Hive, a huge space habitat at the Earth/Sun L5 point. In the two previous books, we have followed his career as a part-time secret agent, and somewhat of a celebrity, due to his involvement in a couple of high-profile adventures. As this book opens, he has graduated from the Hive's Public Service Academy, and taken a job as Vice Procurator of the Hive's base on the Martian moon Deimos. At the same time he is secretly an agent of Hive Intelligence. His life is further complicated by his continued conditioned lust for his former girlfriend, the sadistic Princess Shyf of Greenworld.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
a movie review by David Newbert
Lara Croft ought to be a fantastic action heroine. This combination of Indiana Jones and James Bond is, in no particular order: rich, capable of astounding martial arts prowess, handy with guns, well-supplied with every electronic gizmo one could ask for when one is unearthing ancient temples and the like, courageous, intelligent, dynamic, no-nonsense, dryly humourous, and very easy on the eyes. And she really does save the world. So she ought to be in a fantastic action movie.

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
a DVD review by David Newbert
Harrison Ford was once interviewed about being an actor in a George Lucas movie. His most enlightening comment was, "George only gives two directions: Faster, and More Intense." In the style of a Lucas film, if one approach (speed) doesn't work, the other (intensity) usually will. Sometimes it can be overwhelming.

Fluke Fluke by Christopher Moore
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Marine behavioral biologist Nate Quinn wants to answer one question: why do whales sing? He's in the right place to research 'til he drops in a compound in Maui. He has an extremely motley crew backing him up, an eccentric patron, a reborn whitebread Rastaferian, a tempting research assistant, etc. His rival may have more money and flash, but they are really the same animal/different plumage.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
There is nothing worth watching on TV in August. With that in mind, what could engage you until Jeremiah starts September 19th? Rick has a few ideas. He also has a few thoughts on why there is discussion between the merits of Stargate SG-1 (in) and Star Trek (out).

Carpe Diem Carpe Diem by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The authors continue their acclaimed Liaden Universe saga in Carpe Diem, which apparently is the fifth novel in that series. Their space opera canon goes on, brimful of the usual witches' cauldron of required ingredients: duty, honour, love, betrayal and folly, not to mention mercenaries, assassins, and the rigid clan framework of Liad which governs everyone's existence.

Paradox, Spring 2003 Paradox, Spring 2003
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This new magazine has an emphasis on historical fiction and speculative fiction with an historical angle to it. In the first issue, these stories range from a brief interlude among foot soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars in Spain in Rita Oakes's "By Bayonet and Brush" to the neo-pagan beliefs associated with Celtic remnants in Ian Creasey's "The Chalk Giant."

Those Who Walk in Darkness Those Who Walk in Darkness by John Ridley
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Years ago, a man showed up on the scene, foiling robberies with his mutant powers. More mutants came forward. Some could fly, some could throw fire. And with super heroes came the inevitable... super villains. It was OK, the heroes always stopped them in time until a tragedy destroyed most of San Francisco and caused to President of the United States to declare that the mutants no longer had any rights. They had to leave the United States or die. The mutants who stayed behind would find themselves facing specially trained MTac units.

Jupiter Magnified Jupiter Magnified by Adam Roberts
reviewed by Gabe Mesa
"Jupiter, magnified so as to fill half the horizon, appeared in the night sky." That first line effectively sets the stage for the entire book, which is about the effect of magnified Jupiter's mysterious appearance on humanity in general, but specifically on the narrator, a young female Swedish poet by the name of Stina Ekman.

Babylon Sisters and Other Posthumans Babylon Sisters and Other Posthumans by Paul Di Filippo
reviewed by Jayme Lynn Blaschke
This author may be too clever for his own good. It's almost like he pushes too hard to live up to his reputation as a speculative fiction writer who is totally unpredictable. Well, not totally -- any reader that has encountered his brand of writing knows to expect the unexpected. With that in mind, this collection encompasses both the best and worst of his stylistic quirks. Here is a writer that effortlessly evokes envy one moment, only to prompt curses the next for some literary shenanigan he has perpetrated.

Extremes Extremes by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
reviewed by Donna McMahon
In this sequel to The Disappeared, Kristine Kathryn Rusch's moon-based detectives are back. Prickly, bull-headed detective Noelle DeRicci is in the doghouse with her police superiors again, so she gets the latest assignment that nobody wants -- a fatal accident at the moon marathon.

Point of Honour Point of Honour by Madeleine E. Robins
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Marketed to appeal to a mainstream audience, this novel will also appeal to genre readers who like a well-researched historical feel -- the same readership, perhaps, that likes Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman. From the very first pages, the author skillfully lets the reader know that this novel is not set quite in the Regency England we know.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
The month of July brought to the SF Site offices a tottering stack of great new and forthcoming books. Some of the highlights include new novels from James Barclay, Alice Borchardt, Raymond E. Feist & Steve Stirling, and Geoffrey Huntington, plus forthcoming books from Harry Turtledove, Judith Tarr, Norman Spinrad, Terry Pratchett, David Langford, and Orson Scott Card.

A Writer's Life / The Human Front The Human Front by Ken MacLeod and A Writer's Life by Eric Brown
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
There are basically two ways to approach the publishing of these two-in-one paperbacks, you can pick stories that are similar in style and content, hoping they will each appeal to the same readers, or you can present a contrast, pair up two stories that are quite dissimilar in content, written by two writers with different styles, and give readers familiar with one the opportunity to discover someone new.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and Rick felt like seeing a movie. He'd already seen all of the good ones (saw Finding Nemo twice) so I took a chance on this one. It was two hours of his valuable time watching the film, just so you won't have to bother sitting through it.

Spy Kids 3D: Game Over Spy Kids 3D: Game Over
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It's boring, but worse than boring, it's preachy in a way only kid movies can be preachy. This film, with its stiff, cheap, red and green cardboard 3-D glasses, causes the viewer actual physical pain. Even the credit cookies are dull.

Second Looks

The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
This is the second book in an extended sequence called The Dark Tower which concerns the quest of the world's last gunslinger -- Roland Deschain of Gilead -- to put right whatever is wrong with his world, which is in a progressive state of decay. At the center of space and time lies the Dark Tower, and presumably whatever force is behind the perversion of what Roland thinks of as "love and light." Having hunted and finally caught the "man in black," his portal to the tower in The Gunslinger, Roland is told he will be vested with the power of drawing.

Tales of Wonder by Mark Twain Tales of Wonder by Mark Twain edited by David Ketterer
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
He was a man who used his razor wit to expose much of what he saw as inhumane and degrading in the society of his time. Some of his more caustic material remain very topical even today. This volume collects a score of tales, some exceedingly obscure, bearing a number of science fiction tropes, from time travel to telephone-marriage to miniaturisation akin to that in Isaac Asimov's The Fantastic Voyage.

The Briar King The Briar King by J. Gregory Keyes
reviewed by John Berlyne
The Empire of Crotheny has a black history, its various nations forever warring with each other. This age of bickering men follows on a millennia or two after humans broke free of their enslavement by monstrous Skalsoi. But a great evil is awakening in the land. In the King's forest, scenes of foul murder are discovered, bodies despoiled and desecrated. This has caused the Sefry (a kind of indigenous, gypsy people) to leave the forest where they have foraged for generations. The King's Holter, Asper White, sets off to find the cause of their migration. En route he rescues a young cleric, Stephen Darige, from bandits and together they begin to unravel the signs that a dark prophecy is finally coming to pass.

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