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From the Editor
SF Insite: Vote for your favourite books of 2003 in our 6th annual Readers' Choice: Best Read Of The Year list. The deadline for voting is February 13.
Features
The Philip K. Dick Award Nominees for have been announced. It will be presented on April 9, 2004 in Seattle.
The Arthur C. Clarke Award is awarded annually to the best SF novel originally published in Britain.
Interviews: Curious about the person behind the writing? Here are some that'll interest you.
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In Memoriam: 2003 In Memoriam: 2003
a memorial by Steven H Silver
Science fiction fans have always had a respect and understanding for the history of the genre. Unfortunately, science fiction has achieved such an age that each year sees our ranks diminished. The science-fictional year 2003 could have been much worse for the science fiction community in sheer numbers. While there were a few tragic surprises, the mortality rate for 2003 was no higher than would normally be expected.

The Crystal City The Crystal City by Orson Scott Card
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This is the sixth novel in Orson Scott Card's long-running Alvin Maker series, begun in 1987 with The Seventh Son. This episode opens with Alvin sent by his wife to Neuva Barcelona, at the mouth of the Mizzippy River, for undisclosed reasons. By the end of the novel, Alvin is much closer to his dream of realizing the Crystal City, even if he isn't entirely sure what the exact purpose of the Crystal City is.

The Return of the King The Return of the King
a movie review by David Newbert
Wow. It finally arrived, and it was worth the wait. This is the capper to a great cinematic trilogy, with the geographically-stretched action and epic warcraft of The Two Towers, but also the superior energy and balanced feel of The Fellowship of the Rings. Things slow down a bit towards the end, but that's mostly because Jackson is in the position of having to wrap up what amounts to a ten-hour film.

Cloven Cloven by Sally Spedding
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Ivan Browning has come to quiet, quaint Northamptionshire in order to escape the tragic accident that robbed a young girl of her life and him of his peace. Now he teaches a pottery class and lives in Tripp's Cottage, a place with a long and tragic history. His journey begins, ironically, when his car is stolen. Before he left his car, he suffered a sucking sensation on his hand, as if something was sucking on his skin. It creates a funny mark to one on Valerie Rook. It is Valerie who explains the strange nature of the place. Soon, they'll be trying to solve something much less mundane than crooked politics and incestuous town affairs.

Incompetence Incompetence by Rob Grant
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Welcome to the United States of Europe, where incompetence is a way of life. According to Article 13199 of the Pan-European Constitution, "No person shall be prejudiced from employment in any capacity, at any level, by reason of age, race, creed or incompetence." In other words, knowing how to do a job is no longer a prerequisite for being hired... and not knowing how to do it can't get you fired. In the horribly mismanaged and incredibly inconvenient world of Article 13199, everyone goes round in circles, whether or not they're on a roundabout.

Jeremiah Jeremiah
a give-away contest
Set in the future, the series focuses on Jeremiah who must navigate his way through a world populated by the survivors of a deadly epidemic that spared only those who had not yet reached puberty. Now those same survivors must find their way in a decadent civilization and attempt to create a new world order of hope.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Forgotten Truth Forgotten Truth by Dawn Cook
reviewed by Michael M Jones
After several adventures, Alissa has finally discovered her true heritage and power. As one of the legendary Masters of the Hold, she can transform into a dragon like raku, and has great untapped magical potential which she's slowly exploring with the help of the Hold's last surviving teacher, Talo-Toecan. The only other inhabitants of the hold, the minstrel Strell and the ghostly Lodesh, vie for her affections, and deep in Alissa's mind, the feral nature of the raku still dwells, threatening to take over the body if she allows it.

Black Gate #6 Black Gate #6
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Its sub-title is "Adventures in Fantasy Literature." For the most part, adventure fantasy is not known for complex characterization or skillful prose. Each issue of the magazine has sharpened its focus on these two elements of good fiction, while never abandoning the brisk pacing, imagination, and swashbuckling fun, strangeness, or horror one expects in an adventure tale.

Flinx's Folly Flinx's Folly by Alan Dean Foster
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Philip Lynx -- or Flinx -- and a group of people are found unconscious at a space station. It has been happening to him a lot lately. He faints, has a horrible nightmare about an evil at the end of the universe, lurking, waiting to come and destroy everything, and when he wakes up he's subject to horrible headaches -- and it's getting worse. At first he was the only one who fainted. Now he's taking more and more people with him.

Geeks With Books Geeks With Books
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick Klaw gives us a look at how things work from behind the counter of a book store. This time out, he tells us how important it is that the store staff work well together, giving support when necessary, to provide the best level of service in order to meet the needs of customers.

Diary: A Novel Diary: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
reviewed by Neil Walsh
He is one of those authors who utterly defies categorization. As a result, he often gets lost in the mainstream. He's a bit too off-the-wall for the literary snobs, and he's not quite weird enough for the SF crowd. At least, that's what they seem to think. If you're looking for comparisons, Neil would say Palahniuk is like a cross between Tim Powers on acid and Kurt Vonnegut gone postal.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on what to watch on TV during the month of January. As well, he tells us about an ever-decreasing spiral surrounding the release of TV series on DVD. Where will it end and how will it affect what we'll be seeing in future years?

The Courtyard The Courtyard by Alan Moore
reviewed by Matthew Peckham
It's a hard-boiled Lovecraftian tale with a linguistic angle that plays with the signifying power of uttered words in altered states. The narrator is an FBI covert agent named Aldo Sax. His unique talent, as he puts it, is anomaly theory, the ability to "[take] the leftover pieces from various jigsaw puzzles and [see] what picture they make when you put them together." His investigation into a series of methodologically related homicides has deposited him into a seedy den of iniquity where he proceeds to unravel the mystery.

Stargate SG-1 Stargate SG-1
a give-away contest
The Stargate is a round portal that can instantaneously transport an object from one point in space to another by generating an artificial wormhole. A wormhole is created between any two Stargates when one Stargate dials the address of another Stargate. A Stargate uses 6 of 38 symbols, representing star constellations, to locate another Stargate and then uses a final 7th symbol, unique to each Stargate, as its point of origin.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

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. His column will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.

Memory Memory by Linda Nagata
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
The setting is a ringworld-orbital where things have gone Terribly Wrong. A long-ago war damaged the habitat, and the construction and maintenance nanoassembler-fogs (the silver), have become a menace to the players, their 'mechanics' (cool hi-tech machines) and their homes. The only safe places to live are temple-complexes around kobold wells -- the temple kobolds, small programmable mechanics, exude a sweet-smelling silver-repellent.

Robota Robota by Doug Chiang & Orson Scott Card
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Many art books take an artist's vision and then have an author write text describing the individual paintings or the artist's work. Similarly, many stories are written and then illustrated by an artist with a sparse assemblage of paintings which may, or may not depict the characters and places the author's text describes. Here, the artist and the author avoid both of these pitfalls.


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