Payseur & Schmidt: The Definitive Interview|
An interview with Jeff VanderMeer
On its early history:
"Payseur & Schmidt has always been a family institution. Of course, in 1912, when Martina Faye Payseur and Hilde
Frauke Schmidt began their venture together, there were no formal job titles, just lots of work to be done. Martina
and Hilde shared editing duties until 1920, when the increased workload (as well as the birth of Hilde's daughter
Maude) necessitated the need for a full-time editor. From here, as far as I can piece together, the
Payseur & Schmidt editorial helm was manned (or womanned) successively by no less than 37 different editors,
most of whom are lost in our records. Some editors of note: Salius Pempe (1934-1935) the Austrian wunderkind,
began his short tenure when he was merely 12 years old, but with puberty, his stellar editing skills vastly
diminished, and he was sent back to his homeland. Rachel Thorpe (1946-1962) was born blind and armless, and
required all manuscripts (in triplicate) to be presented unabridged in Braille. Despite this difficulty, she
maintained the longest editorship at P&S."
Lost Books Resurrected: Notable Books by Famous Authors (2006)
collected and annotated by Jeff VanderMeer
They are found in attics, libraries, file cabinets, under beds and elsewhere. A relative, an agent, a friend brings them
to the attention of a publisher.
Each year, new books by authors revered for particular novels are published in the hopes that another of their work will
find their way into the pantheon of titles in print for a generation or two. Jeff VanderMeer has combed the 2006 catalogues and found
works by Milorad Pavic, Bruno Schultz, Alasdair Gray, Marcel Proust, Vladimir Nabokov, Cormac McCarthy and Angela Carter.
compiled by Neil Walsh
The month of March brought us a wide variety of new and forthcoming titles from the likes of Paul Di Filippo, Ben Bova, Robin Hobb, Barth Anderson, Amanda Hemingway, Bruce Sterling, George Zebrowski, Dave Duncan, and many others.
Operation Vampyr by David Bishop
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Subtitled 'Fiends of the Eastern Front,' this is the first in a new series, combining WWII
military action with the supernatural. Set in 1941 it features the adventures of the brothers Vollmer, not a circus
troupe but three German soldiers battling their way across Russia. These Germans have a unique ally,
the 1st Rumanian Mountain Troop. As the brothers' adventures progress and intertwine, we find out just what makes
the Rumanians so feared by the retreating Russians, and so dangerous to the Fatherland.
Transcendent by Stephen Baxter
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Set millennia after the events depicted in Exultant, tens of
thousands of years have passed after the centralized government that was necessary for the conquest of the Milky Way has broken down
into many cultures, each pursuing its own evolutionary path. Alia is a young woman in that distant future, just coming of
age in her generation-ship home. Her life changes when a visiting stranger informs her that she has been chosen to become
part of the Transcendence.
Shimmer, Autumn 2005
reviewed by Amal El-Mohtar
Shimmer is a glossy, perfect-bound quarterly magazine devoted to speculative short fiction. The first issue,
released in the autumn of 2005, features stories by J. Albert Bell, Mel Cameron, Dario Ciriello, Edward Cox, Richard S.
Crawford, Stephen M. Dare, Kuzhali Manickavel, Michael Mathews, and Jeremiah Swanson; it also showcases artwork by Sam
Tsohonis, Mary Robinette Kowal, Chrissy Ellsworth and Stephanie Rodriguez.
War Surf by M.M Buckner
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Nasir Deepra, in his mid-200s—but kept young by nanotechnology and replacement parts—has seen it all. Now a semi-retired hugely
wealthy and powerful executive who has survived ecological Armageddon and rebuilt the world economy with a handful
of friends, he can and has done pretty much everything that can be done. He is bored
silly and out of touch with the greater mass of humanity. Rather than sink into a funk, he and a group of like-bored
execs, the Agonists,
make an extreme sport of showing up and sauntering through armed conflicts opposing plebes (workers) and commies (giant corporations).
V for Vendetta
a movie review by Rick Norwood
This is an old fashioned movie, fashioned from words and images instead of villains and
violence. It is not as good as the comic book. It is a kinder, gentler terrorism -- a terrorism that blows
things up but doesn't actually hurt anybody (except for bad guys of course).
Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories by Gregory Frost
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
It is a rare writer who is well served by a large retrospective collection of their short fiction, and, unfortunately, Gregory Frost
is not one of them. He is a good writer, a skilled writer, a writer responsible for a couple of stories that are, in fact, better than
average. A collection of 150 pages or so would have shone his strengths well.
Cagebird by Karin Lowachee
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Yuri Kirov is only a small child when his home colony is destroyed by the aliens and, after a confused evacuation, his family washes up at
a barren, remote refugee camp. The kids run half wild in the camp, and eventually Yuri is recruited by a visiting "merchant" ship. Once
he goes aboard, he discovers that the ship is manned by pirates.
Chainfire by Terry Goodkind
reviewed by Lise Murphy
The ninth book in the Sword of Truth series picks up after Naked Empire,
once Richard Rahl has left Bandakar in the Old World. He awakes after a near deadly
wound to find that his wife Kahlan is missing. But worse, discovers that not a single person remembers
her. Cara and Nicci, two of his closest advisors and friends, believe that Richard is suffering from
delusions. Richard, holding fast to his knowledge and love of Kahlan, knows that he is the only person
that will be able to save her.
SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year: 2005
compiled by Neil Walsh
In past years, there has frequently been considerable overlap between the SF Site Editors'
choices and the Readers' choices for the best books of the year. This time, however, we were surprised to find
that the top two books chosen by the SF Site Readership hadn't even made it at all onto the Editors' Choice Top 10.
Oh, your top 2 choices received votes from the Contributors and Editors here,
but they just didn't make it onto our Best of the Year recommendations -- and not because we don't think
they're excellent books. Perhaps it was simply because there was just too much to choose from. At any
rate, we're glad the lists are a little different from each other this year, because it gives us an opportunity
to highlight an even wider array of great books. Read on to see what you and your fellow SF Site readers
considered to be among the best books of 2005.
Like a Virgin: A Conversation with Jayme Lynn Blaschke
Moonlight and Vines by Charles de Lint
Part 2 of an interview with Rick Klaw
On his favourite aspect of interviewing:
"Just the interconnection with the interview subjects. I've met so many people through the interviews, and a number of them I've kept in contact with. It's kind of a friendship level. There's networking, but I've never been a really tremendous, tremendously impressive networker. I kind of accumulate acquaintances and contacts and everything, but I'm not working the angles so I can get in so-and-so's next book. Possibly a lot of ambitious authors out there would dog me for that and say, "Aw, you're squandering such opportunities; you should be flogged." "
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on what to watch on TV in April (and late March) along with what he thinks of the new Doctor Who.
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
These are stories of people who get more out of their everyday reality in one hour of some enchanted day than
most of the rest of us are capable of siphoning out of our humdrum lives in a year. These are the people who share their city
with elemental spirits, with shapeshifters, with ghosts and with invisibles; with the shadows of their earlier selves; with
gnomes and sprites and crow girls. They are not perfect people; most if not all of them are damaged in some fundamental way,
through things that they wish they could remember and things that they wish they could forget.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Anybody who takes a delight in Dickens or Thackery, or in Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon books, is likely to have a fine time
reading Susanna Clarke's first novel. This is definitely a book that requires you to sit back and enjoy the journey because it is long and
discursive, and even has footnotes. But the journey is full of delight -- quaint period detail, sly characterizations, and charming language.
Temeraire / His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
Alma couldn't seem to begin this review without gushing -- she tried it a half-dozen different ways, and it always came
down to this: "Naomi Novik is one of those authors whose books, on the strength of Temeraire, I will be buying
on sight from now on as soon as I see a new one in the shops.
It really is that good."
Silver Screen by Justina Robson
reviewed by Jakob Schmidt
AI-psychologist Anjuli O'Connel's friends really give her a hard time: the obsessed genius Roy Croft is suddenly lying dead in
his bedroom, leaving her with cryptic clues obviously designed to make his dreams of machine evolution come true. Just before
his death, he filed against OptiNet, the company employing him and Anjuli, at the World Court of Human Rights. His case is
about granting legal subject status to the artificial intelligence
901 -- an entity attached to Anjuli by more than just a professional relationship.
The Cunning Blood by Jeff Duntemann
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Peter Novilio is in trouble. Having fallen foul of 1Earth's anti-violence laws, his sentence is transportation to the prison
planet Hell -- unless, that is, he accepts a mission from the Governor General of America, Sophia Gorganis. Hell's technological
development was supposedly stalled two hundred years earlier, when Earth placed a nano-mechanism in the planet's atmosphere
that would destroy all electrical conductors -- but now it seems that something strange is occurring on Hell...