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Victoria Strauss
Victoria Strauss A Conversation With Victoria Strauss
An interview with Cindy Lynn Speer
On Writer Beware web site:
"In addition to maintaining the website (which is updated at least quarterly with new information and links), we collect complaints and documentation on questionable agents, publishers and others. Right now we have files on more than 350 agents, nearly 200 publishers, and assorted editors, contests, and services. It's the largest and most complete database of its kind in the world, and we use it to provide information not just to writers who contact us with questions (we get upwards of 50 letters a week), but to law enforcement officials, with whom we're currently at work on several ongoing investigations."

The Burning Land The Burning Land by Victoria Strauss
a novel excerpt
    "The rush of water caught Gyalo full in the chest. It felt completely real; he gasped and leaped aside before he could stop himself, brushing at his face and clothes. Even as he did, he understood the trick, and straightened up again, angry at himself for being taken in.
    He thought he could see the one who had done it: a skinny postulant with the yellow headband of a trainee Shaper, leaning over the back of a passing parade cart and grinning in Gyalo's direction. Packed in around him, other trainees tossed blessings to the crowd: a shower of spangles, streamers of transparent gauze, a burst of rainbow brilliance..."

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
New and forthcoming titles include new editions of old classics from Raymond Feist, Poul Anderson, Charles de Lint, and brand new works from C.J. Cherryh, Ken MacLeod, Ed Greenwood, Neal Barrett Jr., Gene Wolfe and many others.

Bumper Crop Bumper Crop by Joe R. Lansdale
reviewed by Alisa McCune
This is an imaginative collection of 26 short stories each introduced by the author. It, along with High Cotton, are a definitive collection of his short stories. The author's introductions to each story alone are worth reading the book. We are advised that many of his stories are the product of his wife Karen's popcorn.

Robinson Crusoe 1,000,000 A.D. Robinson Crusoe 1,000,000 A.D. by Terry Sunbord
reviewed by David Maddox
A man with memories of the present day finds himself marooned one million years in the future with no hope of rescue. The human race has been extinct for eons. His trials are horrendous as the world in which he wakes up is filled with lethal creatures murderous traps and unending loneliness for the last surviving human.

Brilliance of the Moon Brilliance of the Moon by Lian Hearn
reviewed by Alisa McCune
With a mix of Japanese folklore and medieval courtly drama, we are taken on a journey that started with Across the Nightingale Floor, was continued in Grass for His Pillow, and this is the wonderful conclusion to the Tales of Otori trilogy. Alisa highly recommends this series as both entertaining and thought provoking.

Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man 2 by Peter David
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
It has been two years since Peter Parker first donned the Spider-Man costume. Two years of fighting to protect the innocent and capture the guilty, while maintaining the guise of a normal human being -- one who doesn't dare reveal his secret identity, even if it means lying to his professors, his bosses, his best friend, and the two people he cares about most in the world: sweet old Aunt May, and dynamic, gorgeous Mary Jane (MJ) Watson, the woman he loves but can never have, for fear of making her a target for every bad guy who hates Spider-Man.

Highlander: The Series Highlander: The Series
a give-away contest
Follow Duncan MacLeod's epic journey through the ages with three HIGHLANDER TV Movies. Each title is edited together for the first time to create stand-alone films: Counterfeit, Unholy Alliance and Finale. Davis-Anderson Merchandising Corp and Anchor Bay Entertainment bring these favorite, two part episodes together seamlessly, as they are meant to be, along with electrifying bonus features.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Slightly lighter weight than the first two Harry Potter movies, the third ends leaving you wishing for more. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The film is long on fear, long on beauty, long on character, and short on explanations. In fact, while the rather complicated ways in which the plot advances in Book Three are made crystal clear, anyone who has not read the earlier books or seen the earlier films will be lost.

Ringworld's Children Ringworld's Children by Larry Niven
a novel excerpt
"   Louis Wu woke aflame with new life, under a coffin lid.
   Displays glowed above his eyes. Bone composition, blood parameters, deep reflexes, urea and potassium and zinc balance: he could identify most of these. The damage listed wasn't great. Punctures and gouges; fatigue; torn ligaments and extensive bruises; two ribs cracked; all relics of the battle with the Vampire protector, Bram. All healed now. The 'doc would have rebuilt him cell by cell. He'd felt dead and cooling when he climbed into the Intensive Care Cavity."

A Galaxy in a Jar A Galaxy in a Jar by Laurel Winter
reviewed by Chris Przybyszewski
The idea of a supernatural being of omnipotent power is standard fair. However, the poet turns this being into a child, one that is mischievous and up past her bedtime. This child god has a precious existence in her possession and also has a grasp at the wonder and beauty inherent there. The reader does not know specifically if the Godlet has specific knowledge of the creatures inside the jar, rather than a view of the celestial planes in general.

The Last Light of the Sun The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Many people come together in this story, set in the Norse-Celtic-Saxon inspired Northlands, where Erlings raid and fight, and peace is a tenuous dream. There is Bern Thorkellson, who lost everything and was made a slave when his father killed a man over a game. He decides to steal the fine horse that is about to be burned in the morning with its dead master. It is a foolish thing to do on such a small island, but a young woman's advice saves him from the trickery of the local wise-woman and sends him on his path. He'll become a mercenary and eventually to be reunited with his father.

The Atrocity Archives The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
reviewed by Rich Horton
The novel is a neat mix of horrific fantasy -- demons and Lovecraftian monsters and the like -- with smart contemporary SF. Add aspects of spy thrillers and Dilbertian office comedy, and throw in Nazis and nasty Islamists and a very secret branch of British Intelligence. It's told very wittily, though the central horrors are still pretty scary. The overall tone is snarky and fun, not horrific.

Bubba Ho-Tep Bubba Ho-Tep
a give-away contest
When mysterious deaths plague the Shady Rest retirement home, it's up to an aging, cantankerous Elvis Presley (Campbell) and a decrepit - and black - JFK (Davis) to defeat a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy with a penchant for sucking the souls from the barely living! Will this Bubba Ho-Tep make sure there's never another Elvis sighting? Or can the King show the world that he can still take care of business?
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

Frek and the Elixir Frek and the Elixir by Rudy Rucker
reviewed by Rich Horton
Hundreds of years before, NuBioCom destroyed the remaining natural species on Earth, and replaced them with a very few genetically engineered variants. They even destroyed the records of the genetic code of the natural species. Now, in 3003, Houses are grown from trees, the only pets are dogs, much of the food comes from anyfruit trees, and in many other ways it is clear that species diversity is rare. Frek Huggins is a 12-year-old boy living with his mother and his two sisters. He resents the fact that his father, Carb, left for the asteroids several years before. His life is nominally fairly pleasant but he doesn't quite fit in.

Heaven Heaven by Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
This book has an ambitious high concept; likely the authors wanted to write a humorous, satirical study of the evil often wrought by religious fanatics. The difficulty is that it is hard to make such an unpleasant subject funny. Frankly, there is a lot of evil in the name of religion going around these days. So while this book can't be as amusing as it might, the theme is still important.

Storyteller Storyteller by Amy Thomson
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Only eight years old, Samad was orphaned and mistreated by foster parents, so he ran away and lives out of garbage cans on the streets of Melilla. His life changes utterly when he meets and is adopted by Teller, a senior master of the storyteller's Guild, who spends her life sailing across the huge oceans of this archipelago planet. Samad turns out to be a natural storyteller himself, and he is even one of the rare gifted humans who can communicate telepathically with 'harsels' -- huge, sentient, ocean-dwellers whose song stories stretch back for thousands of years before the arrival of human colonists.

The Skein of Lament The Skein of Lament by Chris Wooding
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Five years after Lucia's rescue, the Weavers' influence on the nobility of Saramyr has become a stranglehold, and the blight their witchstones have brought upon the land threatens full-scale famine. Though the resistance's reach now extends throughout Saramyr, it's no closer to uncovering the Weavers' secrets, and still not strong enough to openly oppose them. Lucia, who has grown into a fey young woman, is the resistance's titular leader, a semi-mythic role she seems passively to accept, though her mysterious talents, which even she doesn't fully understand, seem to hint at a different destiny.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
a movie review by David Newbert
There are stories for kids and then there are stories about kids, and this is one of the latter. Its subject is the adolescent transition from childhood into adulthood, and it gladly doesn't pander to an audience that it knows has, by this time, grown old enough to appreciate (often painfully so) that transition, and the often symbolic storytelling used to render it here.

The Day After Tomorrow The Day After Tomorrow
a movie review by David Newbert
It's a cold end to the world in director Roland Emmerich's latest smackdown of American icons. The film eagerly, but too confidently, serves a political message with its mayhem, mixing a finger-wagging lecture about global irresponsibility with the thrills of watching civilization being pummeled by giant tornadoes, drowned beneath rising oceans, buried under titanic snowdrifts, and finally frozen solid.

Stories Of Your Life and Others Stories Of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The author burst onto the SF scene in a way that few others have when his first published story, "Tower of Babylon," won the Nebula Award in 1991. "Tower of Babylon" is the story of an alternate Babylon in an alternate universe building a tower to heaven. It's one of several stories in this collection that explore religious themes, while at the same time being unmistakably the work of a writer immersed in the world of science and science fiction.

Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Matthew Peckham
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the all-comics McSweeney's #13, with 3,732 pictures, clocks in at the content equivalent of 12 copies of War and Peace.

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.

Living Dead in Dallas Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Our favorite cocktail waitress is back again for another adventure. We are introduced to the various political goings on in the vampire world. Sookie and the Vampire Bill have been invited to Dallas. The Dallas vampires need Sookie's telepathic skills and she is drafted by Eric, the Viking vampire sheriff of Area 5 to help them. Sookie feels obligated to Eric as he has recently saved her from a very nasty creature with a venomous bite.

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