Promises to Keep by Charles de Lint
reviewed by Amal El-Mohtar
This is a story about Jilly Coppercorn set in the early 70s, during her time at Butler
University. Having just recently set her life on track after struggling through abuse, drug addiction, prostitution, and life
on the streets, she gets a surprise visit from an old friend who offers her a very unusual choice: to stay where she is, or to
move with her to paradise.
Spook Country by William Gibson
reviewed by David Soyka
At a time when so-called literary writers are employing science fiction tropes, one of the granddads of cyberpunk seemingly
becomes mainstream, setting his last two novels in the present tense of post-9/11 America. Not exactly a sequel,
but rather a companion piece to the widely regarded Pattern Recognition, this novel explores moral behavior within an
impersonal society of global corporate and government interests saturated by advanced technology and mass media.
Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin
reviewed by Rich Horton
Gavir is a boy who was kidnapped from his home in the Marshes
as a tiny baby, and taken to the City State called Etra to be a slave in the House Arcamand. The Father of the House of Arca
is a relatively benign slaveowner, and Gavir, along with his sister Sallo, grows up fairly comfortably. Gavir does have a
magical talent, apparently unique to people of the Marshes -- he occasionally "remembers" future events.
But his sister urges him to conceal these visions.
The Mammoth Book of Monsters edited by Stephen Jones
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Monsters represent a standard, time-honored theme in horror fiction. They haunt our dreams, lurk in dark corners, stalk us
in dark alleys. It was high time, therefore, that one of the various Mammoth anthologies would be devoted to monsters and
who more suitable than Stephen Jones to deal with the task?
compiled by Neil Walsh
New and forthcoming works from Naomi Novki, Karl Schroeder, Robert Newcomb, Jennifer Fallon; some great new anthologies and collections; a wide variety of classics in new editions; plus a whole lot more -- that's what we've seen come to the SF Site office recently.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Instead of reviewing a TV show this issue, Rick is reviewing a fantasy game, The Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess.
Rick has invested better than one hundred hours and he has found it to be challenging, thrilling, awe inspiring.
Harvest of Changelings by Warren Rochelle
reviewed by Kilian Melloy
Set in North Carolina in 1992, this novel features everything that makes fantasy a potentially great genre: epic struggles between good and evil; a
blend of realism and magic; an enchanted view of the various fantastical species that dwell in realms other than our own, and
sometimes trespass here softly or in malicious, murderous force.
It starts with widower Ben Tyson meeting an enchanting woman of great beauty and charm named Valeria who
proposes marriage. Marriage and parenthood bring with them a certain transparency, which means that Ben becomes privy to Valeria's secret:
she is a leading figure among the Faerie.
Stealing Magic by Tanya Huff
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
This short story collection is really two collections, one telling of the wizard Magdalene, the other chronicling the adventures
of the thief Terazin. The
two "books" are bound back-to-back in a single volume. The telling is bright and breezy (a world away from the stilted, formal prose of so
much fantasy of that ilk), the tone generally light; as the author writes in the afterword, "there should always be room for
a few laughs."
In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Physics, jazz, and a world gone bad. The author's latest novel is sub-titled "An
Alternate-Universe Novel of A Different Present." It's a story of people caught up in war, and their growing feeling that the
world they live in is not what it should and could be. But if changing history means losing the people you love, can you afford
the price to be paid for setting things right?
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction edited by Jeff Prucher
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
In the wake of Heroes and the re-emergence of The Bionic Woman, the author's timing is
fortuitous. Pitched between familiarity and spandex-shifted reality, it is written in
the first person, split between the perspectives of two characters. One, a female cyborg called Fatale, newly recruited
to the newly reformed Champions, the world's greatest superteam, and the other, Doctor Impossible, who is the epitome of
a science-based evil genius.
What is a Graphic Novel: Defining Stardust
an article by Hank Luttrell
"A favorite book of mine was made into a movie recently. As is usually the case, the book is much better than the movie, but I liked
the movie as well. The book, and the movie, are titled Stardust, and the book was written by Neil Gaiman. The movie has gotten
mostly favorable notices by the reviewers that I've read, but, and here I want to make a complaint, every review I've seen has
made the same mistake. The book by Neil Gaiman has universally been referred to as a graphic novel."
Overlooked or Over-hyped?
a column by Neil Walsh
For years, Neil has been told to read these two books. Not by the same people, mind you.
They're not that much alike, except that they're both about earthlings
on far distant planets who get themselves into awkward situations. Brin's earthlings are dolphins, and the aliens are far
more technologically advanced than we are. Russell's earthlings are Jesuit missionaries and the aliens are less
So which one is the classic, and is it over-hyped? And which one is the forgotten treasure? Or has Neil gone totally off his rails?
The Year's Best Science Fiction: by Title
compiled by Rodger Turner
In 1984, Gardner Dozois gathered together what he thought was the best short science fiction of the previous year. He
scrutinized as many of the magazines, collections and anthologies published in 1983 that he could get his hands on and
chose those which he felt best represented the science fiction field. Jim Frenkel published it as part of his Bluejay
Books line (for three years) and it has been produced every year since then (by St. Martins's Press).
Balefires by David Drake
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
This book collects a bunch of stories previously published in various magazines and anthologies between 1967 and 2004,
displaying the many faces of a literary chameleon able to easily jump from a genre to the other.
Predictably, the book includes such a variety of themes, styles and atmospheres to constitute an interesting showcase of the author's
fictional work but also a tour de force for the average reader with well defined literary preferences.
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Although some authors, such as Lester del Rey, wanted the academics to "get out of my Ghetto," many other authors, and fans, have
yearned for social respectability they have felt was long denied. They wanted a chance for science fiction to prove that it had
put that "Buck Rogers" stuff behind it and graduated to a serious literature, not only of ideas, but of characterization, plot,
and even relevance. While this book can't bestow any of those things on the
genre, it does demonstrate that academics are taking it seriously.