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Anathem Anathem Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2009
Traditionally, the arrival of the new year is a time to look ahead, and make plans for the future. But it's also a time to look back and reflect on the year we've just completed. And at the SF Site, it's traditional to review the past year's worth of reading and to vote on what you considered to be the best of it. This is your chance to have your say. The same rules apply as in previous SF Site Readers' Choice Awards: if you read it, you liked it, and you want to vote for it, go nuts. If you've forgotten what you chose in previous years, you can find them all linked at Best Read of the Year including Anathem by Neal Stephenson which was the top choice last year.

Blood Cross Blood Cross by Faith Hunter
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
In this second title of the fabulously dark and mysterious Jane Yellowrock series, the New Orleans vampire Council hires Jane to track down a vampire who has been creating young rogues and letting them loose on the city. But there's much more to the plot than tracking down one evil vampire. Jane must also outwit Leo Pellessier, vampire master of New Orleans who wants revenge because he believes she killed his son rather than the impostor who took his son's life decades ago.

Snakeskin Road Snakeskin Road by James Braziel
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The future's not pretty. That's the inescapable lesson to be found in this gritty, bleak look at a near-future United States torn apart by a collapsing ecology. That collapse is most notably seen in the desert that has made the Southwest uninhabitable and is spreading east across the southern U.S., or what's left of it. We are introduced to this world through the eyes of Jennifer Harrison, a young woman who has decided it's time to get out of the desert, but it's too late.

A Princess of Landover A Princess of Landover by Terry Brooks
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Mistaya Holiday, daughter to the king and queen of Landover, is now 15 years old and has been sent by her parents to the natural world to attend Carrington Women's' Prepatory Academy in present day America. She doesn't really fit in there and promptly gets suspended and has to return home to Landover to face her parents' ire. As a result, she decides to run away from home, ending up at the ancient library of Libiris where not everything is as it seems to be.

Avatar Avatar
a movie review by David Newbert
Mankind, in 2154, having ruined the Earth, is in search of a necessary but rare mineral to keep modern society going and this mineral, unobtainium, has been located in another system on a remote moon named Pandora. There are problems to getting it: most of Pandora's flora and fauna -- even its air -- are deadly to humans, and the biggest deposit of it yet found sits right below the ancestral home of Pandora's indigenous population, the Na'vi.

10th Anniversary Edition of Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
an article by Rodger Turner
In 1999, Bantam Press, an imprint of Transworld Publishers in the UK, published Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson, the first book in the multi-volume sequence, The Malazan Book of the Fallen. They have gone on to publish eight more titles in the series. In addition, they wanted to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the first book and have recently released a hardcover edition.

New Audiobooks New Audiobooks
compiled by Susan Dunman
Recent audiobook releases received by SF Site include works by Lois McMaster Bujold, Orson Scott Card, Cory Doctorow and Fred Saberhagen. At times it's more convenient (and enjoyable) to hear the latest in science fiction and fantasy.

The Magician The Magician by Michael Scott
an audiobook review by Amy Timco
The Dark Elders are immensely powerful Immortals who are seeking to regain their control over Earth. All they need are the last two pages of the Book of Abraham the Mage, which are in the possession of Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. Mixed up in all this are Sophie and Josh Newman, two ordinary human twins who have magical abilities they never imagined. There is a prophecy about twins with powerful, pure silver and gold auras... Are Sophie and Josh those twins?

The Maze Runner The Maze Runner by James Dashner
an audio review podcast by Brian Price
A sixteen year old boy named Thomas wakes up in a darkened, slow moving pit of a freight elevator. He remembers his name, but his past is shrouded in amnesia. He can't quite remember who he is or why some of the teenagers who lift him to the surface of this juvenile detention center they call the Glade seem familiar.

Batman: Inferno Batman: Inferno by Alex Irvine
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
As the story opens, Gotham City is burning and the police are still unsure about the intentions of the Caped Crusader, Batman. Batman doesn't worry too much about public opinion, focusing on his goal to keep Gotham City safe. As for the burning city, Batman is doing everything he can to find out who is starting all of the fires and what he can do to stop the firebug. Batman soon discovers that the up-and-coming villain goes by the moniker of Enfer, the French word for Hell.

Collected Stories Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Short story collections can be such good value for money, providing of course the contents are up to scratch. The first few works in this set had Nathan thinking the book was going to be one of the best of its type, delivering absolutely spellbinding visions spanning a rich diversity of subjects. It is quite a large collection, and has its share of ups and downs, but the ups have the numbers to make it a worthy addition to anyone's home library.

Transition Transition by Iain M. Banks
reviewed by David Soyka
What can we trust about an unreliable narrator? Among other things, our specific Unreliable Narrator relates his suffocation by an intruder into his hospital room. Which raises the question of how a first person narrator can relate their murder (if, in fact, that is what has actually happened, since, remember he is an unreliable narrator), unless you're reading The Lovely Bones. And then there is the subtitle -- "based on a false story." What is that supposed to mean?

The Best of Abyss & Apex, Volume One The Best of Abyss & Apex, Volume One edited by Wendy S. Delmater
reviewed by Rich Horton
It has become trite to mention the increasing importance of online short fiction in the SF world -- but there you are -- it's true! And one of the longer running, and higher quality, online sources of SF is Abyss & Apex. As Rich writes this they have just completed 7 years of continuous publication. They have always had a good mix of SF and Fantasy (and a wide range of styles of both), and some very fine poetry as well.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
The New Year brings us new books to read, including the latest from Kim Stanley Robinson, Charlie Huston, Mike Resnick, Elizabeth Bear, Robert Rankin, Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Alastair Reynolds, and plenty others.

News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
Actor Rob Benedict is a familiar face to fans of the Supernatural TV series -- he plays Chuck Shurley, the writer and prophet who just happens to be protected by archangels. But Benedict also has another creative role as the lyricist, lead singer and rhythm guitar player in his band Louden Swain. With their new CD -- A Brand New Hurt -- out now, Benedict took the time to tell us how the band was formed and give us an insight into the tracks on the new album.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
By 1990, the Reagan-promised American dream lay in ruins. The U.S. economy teetered on the verge of a recession. While crime rates eventually dropped dramatically later in the decade, American crime levels had achieved record highs throughout the 80s. After decades of neglect, the U.S. education system doomed an entire generation to lives of mediocrity and poverty. The Iran-Contra controversy combined with other scandals and the ridiculous excesses of consumption further eroded the weary American psyche. Rick Klaw follows how writer Peter Milligan and artist Chris Bachalo produced Shade, the Changing Man for DC Comics, an indictment and a chronicle of failed dreams and hopes.

Avatar Avatar
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Avatar is the first real science fiction movie in a long time that is not part of a franchise. It's an action adventure movie from one of our best action directors -- only Lucas and Spielberg are better. It is the first movie to show us the complexity of life on an alien world. Not only that, it is well on its way to becoming one of the top box office films of all time.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in January when Dollhouse ends, Heroes, Fringe, and Smallville return. Since Dollhouse is ending, the writers are free to send it out with a bang. Smallville, on the other hand, would be ending with a whimper -- except it's not ending. As for Heroes...


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