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Jon Courtenay Grimwood A Conversation With Jon Courtenay Grimwood
An interview with Rodger Turner
On the results of WWI:
"I have a strong feeling, from reading contemporary newspapers, that no one expected the collapse of the numerous German kingdoms that made up Wilhem's empire or the complete break up of the Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires. At least not until very late in the day. In fact, I think that our version of Europe was the unlikely one, driven probably by implications of the break up of Russia."

Effendi Effendi by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Rodger Turner
This book is set in the mid-east of a different 21st century world where the Ottoman Empire rules and Germany didn't lose WWI. All are beholden to the Kaiser and Berlin is its centre. As Ashraf Bey enters the city governor's office, he figures he's going to be chided for his lack of success solving the cities woes and finds himself promoted to running the city and the governor. Earlier, he thought he was in over his head; now he isn't sure which way is up. All he has is bluff and bluster plus his AI-augmented brain to keep him going. Now his AI, nicknamed Fox, is short-circuiting and won't answer his calls for assistance. Things are swirling out of control.

Effendi Effendi by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
a novel excerpt
   "'Of course,' said Ashraf Bey. 'We could just kill the defendant and be done with it...' He let his suggestion hang in the cold air. And when no one replied, Raf shrugged. 'Okay,' he said.
    'Maybe not.'"
Read the excerpt, answer the questions, win a prize. Easy, eh?

The Onion Girl The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint
reviewed by David Soyka
A number of SF and Fantasy authors are noted for their rock and roll sub-texts -- Lucius Shepherd and Elizabeth Hand come immediately to mind, and recently Gwyneth Jones began a new fantasy series steeped in the ethos of rock music. But perhaps no one else consistently weaves musical references into the underpinnings of their tales like this author, which is perhaps attributable in part to his also being a performing musician. In response to reader requests for more about the tunes that inspire him, he has begun making it a practice to include a preface to his novels listing what he's been listening to lately.

Vitals Vitals by Greg Bear
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
And you thought the 20th century was horrific. In this book, the 20th century is just the staging ground for the terrors that await us in the 21st. We start finding out what's going on when Hal Cousins' search for the biological underpinnings of death brings him face-to-face with a vast terrifying conspiracy. This is a horror novel with elements of SF and thrillers thrown in. Indeed, the author is playing with the expectations readers of all those types of writing bring with them.

Picoverse Picoverse by Robert A. Metzger
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
For those of us who haven't quite mastered all the principles of quantum mechanics, particles physics, and other such demanding theoretical disciplines of science, this book is one ride where we're just going to have to hold on and hope everything comes out okay. For you physicists out there, here is the roller coaster of your dreams. Regardless of your left- or right-brain orientations, keep the safety bar pulled down and your hands inside the car, because the story takes off at well past light-speed.

Angelmass Angelmass by Timothy Zahn
reviewed by Donna McMahon
The plot focuses on Chandris, a 16-year-old street kid on the run, and Kosta, a 20-something doctoral student who has been sent to the Seraph system by the warlike Pax government to spy on Angelmass, a peculiar black hole. For the last 20 years, people in the Seraph system have been harvesting "angels" (subatomic particles) from the hole and wearing them as necklaces. Allegedly, wearing an angel causes human beings to become good, ethical, and honest.

Channeling Cleopatra Channeling Cleopatra by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Leda Hubbard's greatest ambition was to be an Egyptologist, but lack of opportunity and lack of finances conspired to keep her from that goal. Instead, she settled for forensic anthropology, working mostly for law enforcement agencies. One day an anonymous gift arrives in her mailbox: an all-expenses-paid trip to the International Conference of Egyptologists. A little suspicious about her mysterious benefactor, Leda still can't resist going. The benefactor, it turns out, is Tsering, husband of Leda's old college buddy, Chime -- but Tsering isn't what he used to be.

redsine seven redsine seven edited by Trent Jamieson and Garry Nurrish
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
A person could certainly get used to the format of this magazine; after all, our hands are practically frozen into the claw-like grasp perfect for holding a paperback. More importantly, judging by the wide range of fiction here, who couldn't settle down and make themselves at home in this stellar example of small press publishing? And just when is the next one due? The editors have wisely chosen a broad array of material to fill the coveted slots in the fiction section.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers some tips on what to watch during late April. He also gives us his opinions on The X-Files episode titled "Improbable" by Chris Carter and one for Jeremiah called "The Bag" by Sam Egan.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 2002 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 2002
reviewed by David Soyka
It's doubtful if a 12-year-old (who some say is the prime demographic for SF with their pre-pubescent sense of wonder ripe for notions of intergalactic travel and marvelous inventions) can really appreciate Maureen F. McHugh's meditation on the effects of Alzheimer's not only on its victims, but their loved ones. It's one of those investigations into what exactly is it that defines a human being for which SF is noted. But instead of robots or mutations, McHugh's subject is the very real horror of a living person whose identity, the very essence of what defines an individual, is slowly stripped away.

The Pillars of Creation The Pillars of Creation by Terry Goodkind
reviewed by Rob Kane
This novel is the 7th book in the series, and it is as good as any of the others. Each is surprising uncomplicated. There are not countless numbers of plotlines intricately woven, and the cast of recurring characters is not all that large. Readers looking for something along those line might be better advised to consider different books. However, this simplicity is not at all a hindrance, as the stories that are told are imaginative and engaging.

Malachi's Moon Malachi's Moon by Billie Sue Mosiman
reviewed by A.L. Sirois
Vampires are created by a mutated form of the human disease named porphyria. The sickness does kill most of its victims, but some arise from a death-like state as vampires, supernatural beings who can live for centuries, shape-shift, and even dissolve themselves into a mist. The author's vampires come in three varieties: Predators, corresponding most closely to the classical type of vampire familiar to us from films and books; Naturals, who try to get by as more or less human beings; and Cravens, physically impaired vampires who cannot stand the light of day and who are too weak to supply themselves with blood.

Pashazade Pashazade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
This novel is an SF/mystery hybrid set in an alternate world in which Germany won the First World War, and the Ottoman Empire never collapsed. Egypt is an autonomous province of the Empire; on its Mediterranean shore sits the free city of El Iskandryia, where sybaritic luxury rubs shoulders with desperate poverty, and the strict, ancient codes of Islam coexist uneasily with the decadent excesses of the modern world. A reprise review.

Pashazade Pashazade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
a novel excerpt
   "The sound of fountains came in stereo. A deep splash from the courtyard below and a lighter trickle from the next room, where open arches cut in a wall over-looking the courtyard had marble balustrades stretched between matching pillars.
    It was that kind of house."
Read the excerpt, answer the questions, win a prize. Easy, eh?

Celtika Celtika by Robert Holdstock
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Does the world really need another series about Merlin? The fantasy genre is awash in Arthurian books, many of them, it has to be said, pretty unexciting, no matter which approach to the legend they choose. But the author (who visited the Merlin story earlier in his 1994 novel Merlin's Wood) has dusted off this rather shop-worn subject and given it a unique twist, in a novel that situates Merlin mostly outside the Arthur legend, and blends Celtic themes with elements of Greek myth.

The Wild Boy The Wild Boy by Warren Rochelle
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
In some ways, this book is a throwback to such mid-20th century alien invasion novels as George O. Smith's Pattern for Conquest and Eric Frank Russell's Sinister Barrier, except, that in this case the humans don't save themselves in extremis, they become pets. The Lindauzi, a race of long-lived, highly advanced genetically-enhanced ursine-like aliens require a primate species as emotional symbionts, lest they revert to their former savage state. However, their former emotional symbionts have perished in a great plague -- and humans are the closest viable substitute.

Claremont Tales II Claremont Tales II by Richard A. Lupoff
reviewed by Rich Horton
Included in this collection are some straight SF, some supernatural horror (two stories, at least, fairly directly influenced by Lovecraft), and some straight mystery stories, as well as some amalgams of all of the above. Always noticeable, too, is the author's assured storyteller's touch, his engaging voice, and his ability to alter that voice in service of his aims, most notably here in "The Adventure of the Boulevard Assassin", a Sherlock Holmes story written in the style of Jack Kerouac. (Back in the 70s, he attracted some notice with a series of SF stories pastiching various author's styles, all written as by "Ova Hamlet".)

Darkness Rising Darkness Rising edited by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Fans of horror fiction have come to trust the judgement of the editors, and with good reason. This team has been editing some of the best anthologies and novellas in the genre for several years now. If we're very lucky, they'll continue to bring us this quality work for many years to come. This anthology is an excellent example of the kind of work the duo is famous for.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
This is the list of books recently received in the SF Site office. Highlights include the latest novel from Jon Courtenay Grimwood, a new collection from Ian Watson, classic reprints from the likes of Clark Ashton Smith and Arthur C. Clarke, and advance reading copies all over the map!


The New Critical Idiom: Science Fiction The New Critical Idiom: Science Fiction by Adam Roberts
reviewed by Martin Lewis
The author is a prolific new writer who was shortlisted for the 2001 Arthur C Clarke Award for his first novel, Salt. He is also a lecturer in English at Royal Holloway, University of London. This makes him ideally qualified to write this book aimed at academics. It is also of interest to the general SF reader. Of course there is a large swathe of SF readers for whom the phrase 'literary criticism' is an invitation to reach for their revolvers. However, for those of us who find the approach illuminating, there is much here to admire.

Second Looks

Tangled Up In Blue Tangled Up In Blue by Joan D. Vinge
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Nyx LaisTree and his brother Staun are police officers in the rough port city of Carbuncle, on the planet Tiamat. Frustrated by their inability to enforce smuggling laws because of corrupt authorities, a bunch of cops organize vigilante warehouse raids on shady operations. But one night a raid goes terribly wrong. When Tree wakes in hospital he discovers that he is the only survivor. Worse, he is embroiled in a lethal intrigue involving a mysterious group called the Survey, the Snow Queen herself, and perhaps even senior officers in the police force.

Metropolis Metropolis by Thea von Harbou
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Unless you are a science fiction fan who has hidden under a rock for your entire life, you will have heard of/seen Fritz Lang's Metropolis which is arguably one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. However, having no prior knowledge of the plot, the movie was exceedingly confusing -- of course the fact that close to a third of the original film had been excised and lost probably didn't help. Soon after Georges discovered the book from which the movie was made and read it... All he san say is "Wow! Now I get it!"

Ender's Shadow Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
reviewed by Donna McMahon
The street kids in Rotterdam named him Bean because the starving four-year-old was so tiny. But Bean was smart -- in fact, so phenomenally intelligent that he changed the whole social structure of the street and drew himself to the attention of Sister Carlotta, a nun who also happened to be a recruiter for Earth's International Fleet. At five, Bean became the youngest recruit ever sent into orbit to Battle School to join an elite team of children being trained to fight the Buggers -- aliens who threatened to destroy the whole human race.

Rules Of Conflict Rules Of Conflict by Kristine Smith
reviewed by Donna McMahon
18 years earlier, Captain Jani Kilian was caught up in a bloody uprising on the planet Shera, and in the chaos she was forced to kill her corrupt commanding officer. Lacking witnesses and evidence, she deserted the military and went underground to avoid court martial. But now her failing health has forced her to seek medical treatment, and the clinic immediately identifies Jani because she is unique.

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