The Green Knowe Series by L.M. Boston|
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Some of us are fortunate enough to have had that grandmother or aunt with a house full of fascinating things to discover
as well as all sorts of family stories to tell. In Georges pre-teenage years, his grandmother had a country house full of
Edwardian board games, authentic WWI cavalry swords, a working WWII-era
Coke cooler, buckets and buckets of more or less rusted thing-a-magigs behind a counter that shielded him from prying adult
eyes, 1930s dentistry equipment, complemented, in the yard, by the wreck of a 1940s Packard and an even earlier
International Harvester flatbed truck... not to mention the woods and the creek, the feral cats under the porch,
and the wild strawberries in the fields -- and besides, his grandmother had endless stories about her ancestors,
one a Royalist gun-runner who escaped the French Revolution and ended up in Louisiana, southern California, and
eventually Quebec. While the people, places and objects in this series are different and
the history spans close to nine centuries, these books capture the essence of such a time in a child's life when
an unfettered imagination, a locale which invites exploration, and an older adult present to pass on the historical
continuity of the family and locale, combine in a life-affirming and altering experience.
Sorcery Rising by Jude Fisher
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
From the northern kingdom of Eyra come young metalworker Katla Aranson of the Rockfall clan, with her father
and brothers; and Ravn Asharson, new King of Eyra, bored and frustrated and in need of both adventure and a
wife. From the Istrian Empire in the south, where strict religious observance circumscribes every aspect of
life, come dreamy Saro Vingo, perennially under the shadow of his dashing, massively self-centered older
brother, Tanto; and Lord Tycho Issian, heavily in debt and looking to make a lucrative marriage for his daughter,
Selen. From everywhere on Elda come the Footloose, a nomadic people who trade in many things, including small
magics. And from Sanctuary, a kingdom of ice somewhere in the far north, comes Virelai, a mage's apprentice who
has stolen both his master's magic (contained within his familiar, a black cat) and his greatest treasure.
A Conversation With Leslie What
An interview with Trent Walters
"I think my fascination with ghosts stems from my desire to interact with the
past. Ghosts are a metaphor for memory and remembrance and metaphorically
connect our world to the world we cannot know about.
So, in that sense, it seems that ghosts are the perfect literary device for
looking at religion -- because for many of us, spirituality is somewhere
outside of our day-to-day reality."
eWhat: The Electronic Leslie What by Leslie What
reviewed by Trent Walters
You want to investigate this "new" writer and Nebula-winner that Gardner Dozois calls "the Queen of Gonzo,"
but your buttocks are permanently glued to the seat in front of your computer. Or maybe you're a completist, a collector of What-nots,
assembling all those hard-to-find fictions not collected in The Sweet and Sour Tongue, so you can own a majority share of
her fiction oeuvre. What can you do? You rub the Leslie What compu-genie lamp and she kindly grants you eleven wishes.
Men in Black II
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Rick always walks into a movie with high hopes, even when other reviewers have all panned it. And sometimes his hopes are
realized: he loved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Not this time. There are some hints that there was
once a clever script by Galaxy Quest co-author Robert Gordon, but the current version by Barry Fanaro is stupid almost beyond belief.
Worlds That Weren't
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Sokrates and Alkibiades are the two main characters of the editor's story "The Daimon," about a world in which
Alkibiades refuses to allow himself to be recalled to Athens, instead continuing the sack of Syracuse and
turning his attention to Sparta before returning, triumphantly, to Athens.
A Fortress of Grey Ice by J.V. Jones
reviewed by William Thompson
The novel opens rather dramatically with new characters and settings, then moves quickly to Ash March's abrupt and covert departure
from Raif in order to join the Sull. Left with the Listener, Raif finds himself alone, now abandoned by clan and friend,
cut off from everyone and everything that he loves. Embittered and resentful of the lore that claims him as
Watcher of the Dead, Raif will wander the edge of the Want until he finds the only group willing to accept an outcast
and renegade, the outlaw Maimed Men.
The Silver Web, Issue 15
reviewed by David Soyka
The standout stories are "A Lesser Michaelangelo" by T. Jackson King and "The Apocrypha According to Cleveland"
by Daniel Abraham. The former is an allegory about deviancy and suffering to create great art, while Abraham's
parable of the ineffable and perhaps meaningless nature of reality that lies beneath the myths constructed to
give the appearance of an orderly universe is already on my "Year's Best" list. For my money, it doesn't
get any better weird than this.
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.
Guardian of the Vision by Irene Radford
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
This book is the latest instalment of the story of the
descendents of Merlin and NimuŽ and their battle for the powers of the Pendragon
continues in Elizabethan England. Twins Griffin and Donovan Kirkwood were once as close as their looks. The main difference
is that Griffin has inherited the magic that is needed to claim the title of Pendragon.
Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey
reviewed by Regina Lynn Preciado
This sequel to Kushiel's Dart opens with a choice. Phèdre has received her
sangoire cloak from her nemesis and obsession Melisande -- it's a challenge
to a high-stakes game of thrones, risking lives at every step. If
Phèdre accepts the challenge, she risks losing the love of her
Perfect Companion, Joscelin. But if she does not, what will happen to Queen
Ysandre, and to Terra d'Ange itself?
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick spent a week watching a variety of SF TV programs. He offers us his thoughts on what was good and what wasn't.
Does his opinion match yours?
The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Instant addiction. You hear about it -- maybe you even laugh it off -- but you never think it could happen to
you. Well, you just haven't run into Miles Flint and the other Retrieval Artists looking for The Disappeared. It
only takes one innocent hit, just a single novel, and you are hopelessly hooked, impatiently waiting for the next
shipment of the good stuff to enter the pipeline.
Carolan's Concerto by Caiseal Mór
The Golden Age by John C. Wright
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The back blurb on this book calls it a "joyous romp" -- and never has a truer blurb been written. It
has the kind of legendary hybrid Celto-Catholic vigour which seems to have originated
in, and flourished nowhere other than, old Ireland. This is the sort of world where it is not only possible but practically
expected of you to go straight from a mid-winter revel with the Sidhe in the Hollow Hills to the Christmas Midnight Mass,
by way of a confession that a priest is not only expected to believe verbatim but also to forgive and, much harder, tolerate.
A Conversation With Michael Swanwick
An interview with Lou Anders
On his love of dinosaurs:
"I loved dinosaurs from the time I was able to shove a plastic
one into my mouth. My actually writing about them began in 1998 in
Dinofest in Philadelphia. Dinofest is the World's
Fair of dinosaurs. It is held periodically in major cities around the world.
Dozens of enormous skeletons, robot dinosaurs, hundreds of genuine dinosaur
eggs, a world class dinosaur art show featuring almost every dinosaur artist
you've ever heard of, chunks of amber bigger than your head. It's a toy store for the mind."
compiled by Neil Walsh
Some great summer reading has arrived in the SF Site in-box, including the latest from Ray Feist, Jack Vance, Alastair Reynolds, China Miéville and many more.
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 2002
reviewed by David Soyka
Well, it's that time of year for "beach reading," a cultural indulgence focusing on light entertainment that doesn't
divert you from the more important thoughts of putting on sufficient sun screen and imbibing the next alcoholic
beverage. Whether by editorial intention or not, this issue would be a good choice
to put in your beach bag for that purpose.
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Baroque is back, and better than ever. This first novel is in some ways a
throw-back to the grand, extravagant visions of SF's past. But it is also a thoroughly 21st century look at a future
solar system-spanning civilization, comprised of artificial intelligences, group minds, and immortal humans. Humans
live almost entirely in a virtual reality tuned to their own personality and philosophy. One man has a plan to shake things up.
Ethan Hamilton Trilogy by Jefferson Scott
reviewed by Suzanne Krein
Ethan Hamilton is an unlikely hero. He is a computer nerd who is completely immersed in the world of virtual reality. The
virtual world has become as real to him as his wife, son, and daughter. Perhaps this is why Ethan is able to perceive
the pattern in a series of "accidental" deaths where each victim was in the virtual world at the time of death.
The Menace from the Moon by Bohun Lynch
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This book is a literary science fiction novel, with some similarities to
H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds (1898), except that the aliens are "shipwrecked" humans and they
launch only remote attacks on Earth. It is much more a look at the personal and sociological implications of the discovery and
later threat from the moon people, so don't expect a literary version of Independence Day.
Fine Prey by Scott Westerfeld
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Since the age of five, Spider has lived at immersion school, learning the immensely complex alien language of the Aya,
an interstellar race which has colonized Earth. Only the very best students are enrolled, and those who excel (and whose
parents can pay their enormous tuition fees) are guaranteed a secure, prosperous future in the colonial bureaucracy.
Eon by Greg Bear
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
Even in 1985, when the Cold War was still very much within living memory and the way of life it had dictated something familiar
to every thinking reader out there, this book must have had a terribly anachronistic feel to it. The technology is there, the
potential is there, but none of the characters seem to have evolved past the primal Cold Warrior types.