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The Jack Vance Treasury The Jack Vance Treasury edited by Terry Dowling and Jonathan Strahan
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
Among his devotees, the perennial question arises: of all the Master's works, what to choose when one wishes to introduce him to a new reader? The variety of answers delineates the subsects within the broad, and occasionally genteelly contentious, universe of Vance aficionados. Those who like best his decidedly non-Tolkienesque fantasies will recommend the Lyonesse trilogy. Fans of space opera will plump for the muscular saga of revenge and retribution spread over the five volumes of The Demon Princes. Lovers of planetary romances will offer Big Planet or the four sequential novels that combine in Tschai: Planet of Adventure. Those with a taste for far-future picaresque will hold high their tattered copies of The Dying Earth.

Missile Gap Missile Gap by Charles Stross
reviewed by Stuart Carter
During the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 everything on Earth was transplanted onto a gigantic flat disc in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud one million years in the future. But the old Cold War rivalries have continued unabated. Maddy Holbright and husband Joe are part of the ongoing US colonisation efforts, sailing for six months across this vast new world to start a new life in New Iowa, and Gregor Samsa is some kind of secret agent. He is working in a shell-shocked USA, still coming to terms with its superpower status being rendered functionally irrelevant in this strange new world. There he meets a certain Dr. Carl Sagan.

Best Read of the Year: 2006 Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2006
You've waited patiently for a whole year, but at last your favourite season has rolled around again. Yes, that's right, it's time to finish reading those new books that have been stacking up on your bookshelves, your floor or bedside table, because very soon you'll need to determine which ones you feel are the best of the best. Or at least, you will if you want to have a say in the annual SF Site Readers' Choice Awards! This year will bring the SF Site's 9th annual Readers' Choice Best of the Year Awards. But only with your help. As many of our long-time readers already know, every year about this time we solicit our readers for their input on what were the best books they read in the past year. We'll tally the results and post them in February or early March so that you can see how well your favourites fare -- and, with any luck, find some great recommendations too. The deadline for voting is February 9, 2007. If you've forgotten what you chose in previous years, you can find them all linked at Best Read of the Year including Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman which was the top choice last year.

Women of Sci-Fi 2007 Women of Sci-Fi 2007
an advertisement
Actors Christopher Judge and Michael Shank have gathered together actresses from favourite sci-fi shows, such as Andromeda, Smallville, Stargate SG-1, and Stargate Atlantis to produce the 2007 Women of Sci-Fi Calendar.

From Black Rooms From Black Rooms by Stephen Woodworth
reviewed by Trent Walters
Natalie is a Violet. In this parallel universe, souls communicate to the living world through mediums. Crimes can be solved by talking directly to the victims. Being a Violet means she not only has violet eyes, but that genetically she is one of the rare mediums for speaking to the dead. She has had to be trained to fend off souls from entering her, without her wishing them to. Also, if she wants to speak to a particular soul, she needs a touchstone, something -- usually meaningful to the soul -- that it came in contact with while alive.

Escape from Earth Travel Light Escape from Earth edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois and Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
All of the 420 pages of Escape from Earth, even the stand-out stories by Joe Haldeman and Orson Scott Card, are put to shame by the 135 pages of Naomi Mitchison's Travel Light. First published in 1952, it is a model of how a story should be written for teenagers. No, let's make this right, the book may have been written for teenagers, but it can be read with real pleasure by anyone. Which is probably the secret of its success: there is no implication of talking down to the audience, of an adult saying I know how you feel.

Dispatches From Smaragdine Dispatches From Smaragdine: January 2007
a column by Jeff VanderMeer
In this month's column from Smaragdine, Jeff attends the giant Logorrheic Coelacanth migration and celebration, provides an interview with Salon Fantastique's editor, Ellen Datlow. and, in his spare time, gives us a fiction review of Grey, a first novel by Jon Armstrong.

Hammerjack Prodigal Hammerjack and Prodigal by Marc D. Giller
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Earth is ruled by the super-corporations of the Collective, successor to the sovereign nations of the old world order, which collapsed more than a century earlier in a storm of terrorism and environmental crisis. The Collective also dominates the infosphere, known as the Axis, where semi-sentient security crawlers guard corporate cyber-citadels against the hackers called hammerjacks, who steal corporate secrets and sell them to the highest bidder. Outside the zones controlled by the Collective, the world is a dangerous, anarchic free-for-all of mobsters, drug dealers, flesh peddlers, and street cults, where anything, from sex slaves to illegal tech, can be had for a price.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New arrivals here at the SF Site office include the latest from the likes of Mary Gentle, Mike Resnick, and Guy Gavriel Kay, as well as previews of forthcoming highlights from 2007, including new works from Carol Emshwiller, Keri Arthur, Tim Pratt, and many more.

Eragon Eragon
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Eragon is a dragon movie that does not have an original bone in its body. The writers were saved the trouble of actually doing any writing, since the entire plot is borrowed from one source or another, and pasted into the template of the farm boy who saves the princess and fights the evil king, a plot that was old when the brothers Grimm were young.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick gives us some tips on what is coming in 2007 including a third season of Doctor Who along with its spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. He thinks that The Dresden Files may be amongst the best of the new TV season. He also gives us a list of what to watch on TV in January.

First Novels

The Steam Magnate The Steam Magnate by Dana Copithorne
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Kyra is sent by the Heiress Veridi to the Broken Glass City where she must find a man named Eson and take from him a certain deed. Eson has inherited his family's hot springs in the northern mountains, and is in control of the electricity generated by them -- but more than that, the springs also grant him the power to bind others to himself through deeds like the one Kyra has been instructed to retrieve.


Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction by Allen A. Debus
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Dinosaurs have fascinated the public imagination since they were first identified in the nineteenth century. In this thematic survey, the writer traces that fascination from its earliest days to the present. In effect, he has written eight essays, each of which can stand alone, but when taken together form a chronological overview of his topic, starting with a focus on Jules Verne's A Journey to the Center of the Earth and continuing on to Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park.

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