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Best Read of the Year: 2006 SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year: 2006
compiled by Neil Walsh
As many of you know, since mid-December, SF Site has been soliciting your votes for your favourite books of the past year. We had a good rate of participation this year, and some very interesting choices. Thanks to everyone who participated. One suprise is how little overlap there is with the Best Read of the Year: 2006 list. It's almost like we weren't even reading the same books. But the good thing about that is it means there are even more great recommendations to be found by looking through both lists.

Mad Professor: The Uncollected Short Stories Mad Professor: The Uncollected Short Stories by Rudy Rucker
reviewed by Paul Raven
Rudy Rucker is a unique and idiosyncratic science fiction writer, who over the years has slowly carved out a niche for himself in the canonical landscape. Closely associated with Bruce Sterling's seminal cyberpunks, he has also defined his own sub-school of writing, "transrealism." The product of this colourful and care-free career is a brand of science fiction with its own distinctive sound and texture, dressed in surf-bum threads and sun-tanned by laid-back surrealism.

The Secret City The Secret City by Carol Emshwiller
reviewed by Rich Horton
Lorpas is an alien who was raised by alien tourists marooned on Earth. His whole life has been one of wandering, and of keeping the secret of his true nature. He is befriended by an old woman, but she dies, and he is unfairly suspected of foul play. He escapes, and continues a search for the rumored "Secret City" that some of his fellow aliens may have built somewhere in the Sierra Nevadas.

Dispatches From Smaragdine: March 2007 Dispatches From Smaragdine: March 2007
a column by Jeff VanderMeer
In this month's column from Smaragdine, Jeff is forced to participate in the annual rites of Backwards Month and provides an interview with Nick Mamatas who talks about his new novel, Under My Roof.

Command Decision Command Decision by Elizabeth Moon
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
This is the fourth novel in the Vatta's War series. Ky Vatta has decided that what the systems need is a space force to fight these pirates. Since no one else is starting one, she will. While looking for support for her nascent fleet, her cousin Stella is recovering from the shock of a nasty revelation by burying herself in business. And along comes the mysterious, rather charismatic covert ops guy, Rafe, who is somehow connected to them and has gone off on his own.

Hardboiled Cthulhu Hardboiled Cthulhu edited by James Ambuhel
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Lovecraftian mythos as the object and the target of harboiled investigations, or, if you want, Howard P. Lovecraft teaming with Raymond Chandler. Indeed an intriguing, original idea which has produced twenty-one new stories by a group of writers sharing an established enthusiasm for the universe and the disreputable inhuman entities created by the master from Providence.

Babylon 5.1 Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Battlestar Galactica seems to have lost some of its momentum this season. It has certainly lost some of its viewers -- less than two million people tune in each week. The good news is that Heroes just keeps getting better and better. Heroes currently has more than 14 million viewers every week.

Mythic 2 Mythic 2 edited by Mike Allen
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Back by popular demand, it's the second installment in the fabulously speculative, occasionally baffling anthology series, brought to you by the same people who produce the SF/Fantasy poetry magazine, Mythic Delirium. Once again, a crack team of creative talents has been assembled to put together a collection of short fiction and poetry. One can't say it's entirely unlike anything else you'll find on the shelves, but his half-fiction/half-poetry format is somewhat unusual: too much fiction for the poetry lovers, and too much poetry for the fiction lovers, or so it might seem.

Surviving Demon Island Surviving Demon Island by Jaci Burton
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
Gina Bliss is the top female action film star in the world (think Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft), a black belt with a killer body, a face with a regular role in a million male fantasies, and an attitude the size of Hollywood itself. Just off a demanding film schedule, Gina's ready for a vacation, and what better way to kick back than by accepting a role on the latest Survivor clone, 'Surviving Demon Island'? Little does she know (cue spooky music) the demons on the island are real.

Jack Williamson --In Memoriam: 2006 In Memoriam: 2006
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 2006 could have been much worse for the science fiction community in sheer numbers. While there were a few tragic surprises, the mortality rate for 2006 was no higher than would normally be expected.

Geeks With Books Geeks With Books
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick is back after taking some time off. He is beginning a multi-part article on the making of Weird Business, the 400+ page comic book anthology he co-edited with Joe R. Lansdale and his adventures in the publishing industry.

SF Site's Best Read of the Year: 2006 SF Site's Best Read of the Year: 2006
compiled by Neil Walsh
This is our 10th annual Top 10 Best Books list. As usual, we have a few surprises in store. The biggest surprise for Neil was our number one best read of 2006 -- but we'll get to that in due time. As many of our long-time readers already know, we can never quite manage to narrow down our Top 10 list to a mere 10 books. Every year the editors, reviewers, interviewers and other contributors to the SF Site are solicited for their top picks, and the results are compiled and amalgamated into this annual list. Because of the way we decided to weigh and calculate the results 10 years ago, we almost inevitably end up with a few ties on the list.

The Small Picture The Small Picture
TV reviews by David Liss
Among the things so remarkable about Lost's precipitous third season demise is the degree to which, in its effort to both answer question and complicate the drama, it has distanced itself from the formula that made it successful in the first place. Lost's early appeal was based not on the mysterious isolation of its characters.

No Dominion No Dominion by Charlie Huston
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Joe Pitt's a Vampyre. He's been infected by a Vyrus that slows aging, imparts phenomenal strength and sensory abilities, and survives by feeding off its host's blood -- which forces its host to go out and drink more blood so the Vyrus can survive. And now there's a growing drug problem in the Vampyre community, some really bad stuff that makes users go crazy -- not easy to manage for those infected with the Vyrus, which is solicitous of its hosts and cleans drugs and alcohol out of their systems almost as fast as they go in.

The Android's Dream The Android's Dream by John Scalzi
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
Harry Creek had the misfortune of being an infantryman in Earth's biggest military defeat of the 21st century. His best friend's brother died in his arms during the retreat. Now Harry's kind of drifting, but he's about to get a short, sharp shock.... Robin Baker runs a small pet shop on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. She's leading a dull-normal suburban life, but she's about to meet Harry, on a truly memorable first date....

Ghost Rider Ghost Rider
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Ghost Rider has two things going for it, good visual effects and Nicholas Cage. Sadly, director Mark Steven Johnson does not think he needs a writer, even though he lacks basic writerly skills himself. He does come up with some clever bits. But he has no idea how to establish a character, twist a plot, or build suspense.


You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing by John Scalzi
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Pundits are getting younger. Time was when it was a writer in the pomp of his career who would deign to dispense tidbits of advice to the young scribblers coming up; or at least a decent midlist author at some hiatus in mid-career who would plug a gap between books with a little 'how to' volume. But John Scalzi is barely past his Campbell Award, and to judge from everything he tells us in this book there is no looming hiatus in his career.

First Novels

The Lies of Locke Lamora The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Locke Lamora is a thief so audacious, able and discreet that even the underworld crime boss of Camorr has no inkling that Locke has amassed a fortune by swindling the local nobility. Along with his close associates, the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is in the midst of his biggest con game ever, posing as a Vadran wine merchant to entice the Don and Dona Salvara to invest twenty-five thousand crowns in an entirely bogus business deal.

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