2002  
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Fan votes have been counted and here are the Hugo Award Winners: read them all yet?
Dan Simmons Reading List: Hard Freeze is his latest. Try it or any of his books and you'll see why folks love his work.
Science Fact: Sometimes fiction isn't enough. Here are a few places to start.
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World Fantasy Awards Nominations: is your choice on the list?
The winners of the British Fantasy Awards were announced in London, UK on September 21, 2002.
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Worlds Glimpsed, Worlds Lost: Why Farscape Should Be Saved Worlds Glimpsed, Worlds Lost: Why Farscape Should Be Saved
by Caitlin R. Kiernan

"After a decade as a professional author of dark and speculative fiction, it's become apparent to me that television SF is often, at best, considered the ugly stepsister of written and motion picture SF. And, in most instances, it's easy enough to understand how such attitudes have come about and why they remain entrenched among many readers, and perhaps most writers, of science fiction. Indeed, in most cases, "ugly stepsister" would, no doubt, be an incredibly kind description of what television has passed off as SF, time and time again. It hardly seems necessary to invoke Sturgeon's Law at this point ("90% of everything is crud"), though tradition would seem to demand it, but with the added proviso that maybe as much of 99% of TV SF is crud. There are notable and marvelous exceptions, of course..."

The Darkest Part of the Woods The Darkest Part of the Woods by Ramsey Campbell
reviewed by William Thompson
A rather old-fashioned horror tale, this novel is as much about atmosphere and psychological insights into the author's characters as it is about the buildup of tension or horrific drama. The author is in no hurry to reveal what is lurking within his woods. Between seemingly strange and haunting events, everyday life continues: people go to work, attend art exhibits, send their children to ballet classes at the local community centre, and worry about the future of sons who seem unable to decide upon a vocation.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 2002 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 2002
reviewed by David Soyka
Bruce Sterling's contribution is a powerful satiric depiction of how the conformist consumerist mind-set alters little in response to the bureaucratic and technological ineptitude in a near-future America beset by heightened levels of terrorism. The story's title, "In Paradise," reflects the multiple layers of irony here. It is a sly comment of the American political ideal -- that "paradise on the hill" the early settlers saw as a refuge from religious intolerance but from which the oppressed too often became oppressor -- and the somewhat less profound paradise of our consumer culture -- the shopping mall.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New books to usher in the new season include the latest from Nancy Kress, Eric Brown, Raymond Feist, Robert Rankin, and the 18th edition of the Writers of the Future series, edited by Algis Budrys. Plus we've got some some interesting stuff coming our way in the next months, such a new novel from Stephen Baxter and a new collection from Paul Di Filippo. All this and more...

Ted Chiang A Conversation With Ted Chiang
An interview with Lou Anders
On his 1st story winning a Nebula:
"Winning the Nebula was bewildering. After years of receiving form-letter rejections, suddenly winning an award like that made me wonder if something were wrong somewhere; it's okay for art to be surreal, but uncomfortable when real life is. And yes, afterwards I felt the weight of expectation on me, which made writing difficult for me. It was so difficult for me, in fact, that I found it easier to put all my energy into my day job..."

Inquisition Inquisition by Anselm Audley
reviewed by Rob Kane
We rejoin Cathan and his friends Palatine, and Ravenna just after they have managed to foil a plot of the Domain, the overbearing and power hungry religious order of Aquasilva. After recent events, it is decided that iron and weapons from Lepidor, Cathan's city, can no longer be sent to the trading city of Taneth, as the supplies will eventually fall into the hands of Domain, who are preparing for war. Instead, our three young characters set out for the distant Archipelago to try and arrange to sell weapons to dissident factions there.

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.

The Silver Web, Issue 15 The Silver Web, Issue 15
reviewed by Rich Horton
Rich was particularly taken with Brian Stableford's "Oh Goat-Foot God of Arcady", in which he slyly interleaves a woman's conviction that she is being stalked by the randy god Pan with biotechnological speculation about producing chimeras. A very neat use of fantastical imagery in the service of SF. He also quite liked Carol Orlock's sweet, rather Bradburyan, fantasy "Ye Olde Ephemera Shoppe", about a man who acquires the title business, and after making it a success selling fairly typical antiques finds a more rewarding sort of "ephemera."

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick reminds us of what is coming later this month as the new TV season starts. As well, he provides us with a review of the DVD edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Kingdom of Cages Kingdom of Cages by Sarah Zettel
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Over the years, colonists from Earth, The Called, have spread across many worlds, trying to recreate the life they had on Old Earth. Unfortunately all planets, save one, Pandora, have fallen victim to plagues and disasters. All eyes turn to that one successfully colonized planet for answers and refuge, both of which the Pandoran Government refuse, until the Authority force their hand. Now the Pandorans, with their hard-line ecological rules, must find a cure for the crisis.

Black Gate #4 Black Gate #4
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The issue opens with a story that will cause anyone who has read H.P. Lovecraft to laugh out loud -- Michael Kaufmann and Mark McLaughlin's "The Loiterer in the Lobby." It continue with stories from Tina L. Jens, Cory Doctorow, Daniel W. Hill, Patrice E. Sarath and Nancy Varian Berberick. Sherwood's favorite is Bill Johnson's bravura "Mama Told Me Not to Come."

Time Past Time Past by Maxine McArthur
reviewed by Martin Lewis
Commander Halley used to be the head of the space station Jocasta. Whilst testing an FTL drive she finds herself flung 99 years into the past where she becomes a refugee on Earth in the year 2023. Forced to abandon her ship, she is trapped in the past, just another down and out in the barrio surrounding Sydney. Luckily for her, however, 2023 is the year the Invendi make contact with humanity. They are the alien race whose technology Halley has utilised in her prototype jumpship.

Deryni Tales Deryni Tales edited by Katherine Kurtz
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
These 9 stories by several different authors originally came from the Deryni Archives, a magazine dedicated to this landmark fantasy series. The series is set in Medieval times, concerning itself with magic and politics as the Deryni peoples fight to fit into a non-magical society. Before each story, the editor gives an explanation of where that story fits into the timeline of the Deryni world.

Robert J. Sawyer A Conversation With Robert J. Sawyer -- Part 2
An interview with Steven H Silver
On rereading your work:
"Never! One has to read a book so many times during the writing, revising, editing, copyediting, and proofreading process that the thought of looking at one of them again has no appeal for me. Actually, I do look forward to reading them again in my dotage, when I won't remember having written them. My first novel, Golden Fleece, came out in 1990, when I was 30; I think re-reading it 40 years on, when I'm 70, would be about right for me."

Firefly Firefly
Set 500 years in the future in the wake of a universal civil war, FIREFLY tells the tale of Serenity, a small transport spaceship without a homeport. Captain Malcolm ("Mal") Reynolds commands Serenity for legitimate transport and salvage runs, as well as, more "entrepreneurial" endeavors.

The most twisted new show on TV is coming to FOX. FIREFLY premieres on Friday, Sept. 20th 9PM/8C.

Everyone In Silico Everyone In Silico by Jim Munroe
reviewed by Martin Lewis
Vancouver in 2036 is starting to empty as more and more people take up an offer to upload their personalities into Frisco, a virtual reality simulation of San Francisco. This is, seemingly, the ultimate way to avoid the strife of the modern world; there is zero crime, no hunger, sleep or need to commute. However Frisco is actually an ambiguous dystopia; the author shows its seductive appeal but at the same time why it is an empty promise, like the very corporate culture that has created it.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Mirror, Mirror on the Wall edited by Kate Bernheimer
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
It is a delicate cordial, to be sipped and savoured, sampling and tasting and coming back again and again to a selection of essays by such luminaries as Ursula K. Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, A.S. Byatt, Terry Windling, Midori Snyder, Fay Weldon, Julia Alvarez and Joyce Carol Oates amongst others. It is a rich celebration of the most ancient kind of story ever told -- the fairy tale -- seen with the feminine eye.

The Longest Way Home The Longest Way Home by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Joseph has spent all his life training to be a Master, learning his responsibilities and preparing for the day when he will take his father's place as a leader. When he flew in to visit some kin, little did he realize the true journey he would soon face. During an uprising, only the kindly actions of one of the elderly Folk help him stay alive. Having escaped the slaughter, it is now up to him to travel back the 10,000 miles to his home, where he is uncertain of what waits.

Second Looks

The Dragon Waiting The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford
reviewed by William Thompson
Framed around the metrical history of Shakespeare's verse, this clever and complicated narrative relates an alternate depiction of the events surrounding the life and ascension of Richard III, at the same time retelling and inverting the history of Europe until at times it is difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction unless steeped in a study of the period. Granted, many elements are obvious fantasy, but they are so threaded with accurate detail and re-imagined fact that it is easy to become seduced by the story's illusions.

A Voyage to Arcturus A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This seminal work of SF, originally published in 1920, begins with a séance which sets the story in motion. Following the strange séance, Maskull finds himself led by his friend Nightspore and the mysterious Krag to a deserted observatory in Scotland. Krag and Nightspore give Maskull a cock-and-bull story about the planet Tormance, which orbits the star Arcturus. By the time Maskull climbs the tower, he finds himself living on Tormance and beginning a pilgrimage to find the legendary Surtur.

Dorsai Spirit Dorsai Spirit by Gordon R. Dickson
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Dorsai Spirit is an omnibus edition of the two first novels of the Dorsai series. Dorsai is a world where the whole culture is dedicated to the way of the warrior, the solider, where the men leave to become paid solders in other people's wars while the women stay home to defend the world. The first book, Dorsai, is about Donal Grahame, a young man who has always known that he was unusual. In The Spirit of Dorsai, a young woman named Amanda tells the story of the two other amazing women to have held her name.

First Novels

Atmosphere Atmosphere by Michael Laimo
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Ever glare over your shoulder at the ghostly notes leaking out of some jerk's earphones and roll your eyes at their choice of music? No matter how old you are or to what your own tastes lean, you know you've done it. And if you're among the billions who just don't get what people see in trance? Then you can really relate. Mindless, some call it. Endlessly repetitive? Maybe so (okay, definitely so), but what if there is something between those monotonous tones. What if the rest of us just can't hear it?

The Fifth Sorceress The Fifth Sorceress by Robert Newcomb
reviewed by William Thompson
As it may come as no surprise to anyone, despite the publisher's claims on the cover, this is hardly "The Epic Fantasy of the Year." Instead, this book is a fairly typical fledgling effort by a new author, at times well told but marred by poor decisions. In addition, the author appears to have borrowed rather liberally if loosely from a variety of other sources, undermining moments of originality, and thereby identifying the work more as a clone than differentiating itself from the pack of what has come before.


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