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Lian Hearn A Conversation With Lian Hearn
An interview with Alisa McCune
On research for Tales of the Otori:
"I started to learn Japanese first: it's hard to learn a language when you are over 50 so I am happy I can speak a little and read quite a lot. I received a fellowship from Asialink, the Australian foundation which encourages artistic and cultural exchanges between Australia and Asian countries, to spend three months in Japan in 1999 and 2000. During these periods, I spent some time in Western Honshu which provides the landscape for the series. I have made many other trips to Japan as well in the last ten years, since I first had the idea of the story and characters. I went to museums, old temples and other buildings, watched many movies and read many books, including Japanese literature and poetry. And walked endlessly through rural Japan reflecting on its history and character."

The Devil In Green The Devil In Green by Mark Chadbourn
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Existence needs a new batch of heroes, as humanity struggles to recover, cowed by the lack of technology and industry, plus the terrifying knowledge that we are no longer the highest life form. The British countryside has become a deadly place, inhabited by supernatural animals, and ancient creatures remembered in legend as faerie folk or demons. At Salisbury Cathedral, the remnants of the Christian church are making a new start, getting ready to spread the Word, and training an army of Knights Templar.

Smoke and Shadows Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
For Tony, his job as a production assistant for the Vancouver based TV show "Darkest Night" is a bit of an irony. The show is about a vampire detective, and he, himself, has actually shared a life, bed and vein with a vampire who often has to act as a detective. Because of his association with Henry Fitzroy, he's seen some pretty terrible and scary things, but nothing he's faced yet can match the shadows that seem to move of their own accord.

The First Heroes The First Heroes edited by Harry Turtledove and Noreen Doyle
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
There is something here for every type of reader, from young adults who might be sampling the mixing of history and science fiction or fantasy for the first time, to the ancient history scholar who likes to take the occasional dip into fictive explorations of their favorite period. There is also good reading here for the most sophisticated postmodern reader of literature.

Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Matthew Peckham
This week Matt checks out Vertigo's answer to all those witchy teenage TV shows, Warren Ellis's brand new work for the evil empire, and the 2004 Eisner-award winning muscle-headed one in his own monthly; includes a complete list of the just-announced 2004 Eisner award-winners.

Xena: Warrior Princess Xena: Warrior Princess
a give-away contest
In a time of ancient gods, ruthless warlords and capricious kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty Warrior Princess forged in the heat of battle. Together with her sidekick Gabrielle in tow, Xena battles barbarians, overcomes oppressors and defeats demigods to protect the innocent and fight for peace in ancient Greece. Combining the series' trademark humor and dark mythological drama with Lucy Lawless's fiery and sexy persona, Xena: Warrior Princess completely redefined the role of the female action hero on television.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

It's Alive! Monsters HD Sweepstakes It's Alive! Monsters HD Sweepstakes
a contest
Monsters HD, the first and only all-monster movie channel in high-definition launches the "It's Alive! Monsters HD Sweepstakes" on Tuesday, June 29. Monsters HD is one of VOOM HD Originals, 21 HD channels available exclusively on VOOM, the first comprehensive high-definition satellite television service which offers over 35 HD channels.

The Twilight Zone: Memphis & The Pool Guy The Twilight Zone: Memphis & The Pool Guy by Jay Russell
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
There is nothing quite like time travel. Revisiting the past is something we all do, even if it's just to understand what we've been through. Reading this book was like traveling back in time. Being a child again, staring at a black and white television, enthralled as Rod Serling laid out yet another fabulous story that would stay with you for days to come.

The Twilight Zone: Upgrade & Sensuous Cindy The Twilight Zone: Upgrade & Sensuous Cindy by Pat Cadigan
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
The best thing about the original Twilight Zone is that it's a quick hit. You knew something was up by watching the teaser, before Rod Serling came in for his monologue. You didn't have to wait, because the stories depended upon easily identifiable stereotypes as characters. You knew immediately you were looking at a gangster, or a tired businessman or an absent-minded professor.

Filet of Sohl Filet of Sohl by Jerry Sohl
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This collect contains seven short stories from the early 50s which were to form part of a projected but never published 1959 paperback collection of the same name, along with its never before published introduction by Sohl himself. Another three more modern short stories are also included along with two previously unknown scripts, bought but never produced for The Twilight Zone, and a previously unpublished script from Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Blood Is Thicker Than Water Blood Is Thicker Than Water by W.A. Hoffman
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Amy Reilly has some very dangerous friends. Amy is unable to feel pleasure and as a result, experiences pain as pleasure. This little quirk has brought her to S&M and a very dangerous, degenerate vampire. Through help from an unknown source, Amy survives her encounter, but she is changed. Her sadistic vampire has marked her for death and is not happy she has survived.

Eastern Standard Tribe Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
A man sits on the roof of a psychiatric hospital, his mind poised on the edge of a question: Is it better to be smart or happy? Art is a member of the Eastern Standard Tribe, working in London to undermine the working of companies located in Greenwich Mean. Instantaneous global communication has produced a newly-emerging social structure in which people organise themselves not necessarily by the geographic area in which they live, but by the sub-culture they most personally identify with.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
Books to look for now and in the near future include new novels from Jasper Fforde, Diana L. Paxson, R. Scott Bakker, Robert Newcomb, Peter Watts, plus some noteworthy collections, anthologies and magazines. Plenty of good reading for the summer.

Slave Trade Slave Trade by Susan Wright
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Rose Rico is a woman with a chip on her shoulder. Rose lives in Mexico in a post-apocalyptic Earth where people just disappear regularly. Rose learns that her mother and the rest of the World Council have entered into an arrangement with aliens called the Domain. In return for technology, Earth provides slaves -- innocent human lives. Through treachery, Rose finds herself in a cube hurtling through space as a slave.

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.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Totally predictable. Not only is the plot predictable, not only are the characters predictable, even at the level of camera angles and music, it is easy to know exactly what is going to happen next -- pastoral music, tracking shot, close-up, ominous music, overhead shot, close-up. Evidently a lot of people like their SF totally predictable.

Negima! Magister Negi Magi Negima! Magister Negi Magi by Ken Akamatsu
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Ten-year-old Negi Springfield has just graduated from sorcerer's school and gotten his first assignment, one that will determine if he becomes a Magister or not: to teach English at an all girl's school. Unfortunately, his well meaning mistakes, combined with the fact that he's taking over classes usually taught by the gorgeous Takahata-sensi, both alienate him with his new roommate and student, Asuna. Negi wants to succeed at two things.

Gundam Seed:  Mobile Suit Gundam Gundam Seed: Mobile Suit Gundam by Masatsugu Iwase
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Kira Yamamoto has lives a peaceful existence on the satellite Heliopolis, which belongs to the neutral nation of Aube. The war between Earth and the Zaft has been raging a long time, and this supposedly neutral nation has been developing mobile suits. Imagine huge, humanoid-like robot tanks controlled by a single driver. This will remove Zaft's edge in the war, since only they so far have the suits. But the Zaft have found out and they're launching a strike.

First Novels

Counterfeit Kings Counterfeit Kings by Adam Connell
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Inventing a way to harness a new energy source, John Kingston, parlayed it into a lucrative monopoly that quickly all but replaced earth's fossil fuel industry. With his domineering personality and genius for order, Kingston soon had ten orbiting energy mines. But all was not peaceful in his "kingdom." A botched assassination attempt has killed his son and wounded him, and, in its wake, he has disappeared. According to law, after twenty days of absence he must be declared dead; his kingdom will then be up for grabs. There's no shortage of claimants.

Second Looks

The Fall of the Towers The Fall of the Towers by Samuel R. Delany
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
What made this book different when it first appeared? The characters, so much more ambiguous and unpredictable, following science fantasy traditions in one place and totally overturning them elsewhere. A plot with false leads, unexpected twists, quirky characters with unusual qualities, keeping the reader not entirely sure of himself and not always sufficiently informed to know quite where things are headed, without being so confused as to abandon the story.

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