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Context Context by Cory Doctorow
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Context is the second collection of essays from Cory Doctorow, following on from Content. And like that first collection, it consists of a large number of very short pieces culled from a wide variety of sources, the oldest first appeared in 2008, the most recent in 2011. Given that there are 44 pieces squeezed into 238 pages, you can tell that none of them is particularly long or goes into any great depth. And though Doctorow is well known not just as a novelist but also for his online presence, it may be something of a surprise to realize that the vast majority of these pieces first appeared as columns in print media.

City of Dragons City of Dragons by Robin Hobb
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
The story takes up with the crew of the liveship Tarman having reached its destination of the lost city of Kelsingra. After successfully navigating up the Rain Wild River, Captain Leftrin has delivered his cargo of dragons, keepers, and hunters and has embarked on his return voyage to Cassarick to collect on his contract and resupply for his return voyage to his beloved Alise and Kelsingra. Meanwhile, Thymara and the rest of the keepers are still struggling in their duties as dragon keepers to service and feed their dragons.

The Complete Binscombe Tales The Complete Binscombe Tales by John Whitbourn
reviewed by David Maddox
The reader sees the oddities in Binscombe through the eyes of Mr. Oakley, a new resident of the village who is begrudgingly accepted into the strangeness of the town only because his family lived there in generations past. He seems to have taken the interest of Mr. Disvan, a mysterious old man who knows more of the history of the town than anyone alive probably should know.

The Lion of Cairo The Lion of Cairo by Scott Oden
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Aimed squarely at readers who love action combined with an historical setting, the novel uses the backdrop of mid-12th century Egypt during the Crusades. The ruling Caliph, Rashid al-Hasan, is losing his grip on power. Possible successors circle, attempting to murder their way to the top, watched by the scheming Grand Vizier. Amid the turmoil, the enemies of Egypt seek to take advantage, including Shirkuh, the strong arm of the Sultan of Damascus, and Crusader knights sent by the King of Jerusalem. The wild card is an old man.

The Silent Land The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
reviewed by Trent Walters
Zoe and Jake, a married couple, take to the Pyrenees slopes early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Shortly thereafter, they are chased by an avalanche that swallows them. Finding a tree, Jake climbs out of the snow while Zoe, buried upside-down, has to fight for every centimeter to crawl out. When they make their way downhill, the land is empty of people and oddly quiet. If this scenario feels slightly familiar, it is but Graham Joyce infuses it with his own admirable style and descriptive panache.

Approaching Omega Approaching Omega by Eric Brown
reviewed by David Maddox
The idea of humans colonizing other worlds is nothing new. Mix in a ship that doesn't have faster than light capabilities and you end up with a bunch of frozen colonists, making their way out of our solar system, knowing that not only might they not find a new world to inhabit, but the Earth they've left will be unrecognizable through evolution.

Interzone #236, September/October 2011 Interzone #236, September/October 2011
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This issue begins in an interesting fashion with David Langford's Ansible Link where he mentions all that is right or terribly wrong in fiction. Personal favourites from this article are Court Circular, As Others See Us II, and the ever comical Thog's Masterclass. It is a mixture of humour and factual information that readers will find useful if they like hearing about everything in the fantasy and science fiction literary world to date.

In Memoriam: 2011 In Memoriam: 2011
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. Deaths in 2011 included Anne McCaffrey, Darrell K. Sweet, Glenn Lord, "Rusty" Hevelin, Les Daniels, William Sleator, Philip Rahman, Martin H. Greenberg, Joel Rosenberg and Jeffrey Catherine Jones.

The Restoration Game The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod
reviewed by David Soyka
This is a techno-thriller, though it's more precisely a geek-thriller in that the first person narrator, Lucy Stone, is an online game developer for a company called Small Worlds (one of number of jokes underpinning the novel's plotline). However, Lucy isn't so much a geek as a "chicks-kick butt"-styled heroine who is usually the smartest one in a room full of clueless testosterone.

Watching the Future Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Hollywood has declared war on Mars. Let's be more specific. With only a handful of days before it begins its theatrical release, John Carter appears poised to be one of the biggest flops in the history of cinema, a sort of Heaven's Gate for the geek set. No sooner did the trailer for director Andrew Stanton's adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars run during the Super Bowl than The Daily Beast's Chris Lee cited the as-yet unseen adventure film "with Avatar-size ambitions that's being greeted sight-unseen as the next Ishtar."

The Dervish House The Dervish House Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2011
Here we are again, offering you your annual chance to let the world know what you thought was the best of all the speculative reading material you encountered from the past year. If you've been a regular visitor to the SF Site for more than a couple of years, you are quite probably already familiar with this annual event. If you're new to us, all you need to know is that we want to hear what you believe was the very best of what you read from the past year. If you've forgotten what you chose in previous years, you can find them all linked at Best Read of the Year including The Dervish House by Ian McDonald which was the top choice last year.

Chronicle Chronicle
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Chronicle is a fun movie about teens with superpowers. It doesn't take itself too seriously, but it does take itself seriously enough. It is in the genre of found footage (remember The Blair Witch Project?), and also in the genre of teens who love making movies (remember Super 8?), but is better than either of those.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
No tv show in recent months has held Rick's interest, except for the Doctor Who Christmas Special, but he decided to watch a couple of shows written by writers he admires, even though he doesn't particularly like the series. Once Upon a Time, "Skin Deep" by Jane Espenson was much better than average, thanks to a great back story for Mr. Gold, which combines two different fairy tales in a clever way. Rick also gives us a list of what SF is on TV in March.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Mark London Williams has been going to award shows lately, and watching news of peoples' deaths. As some of you know, one of his other lives is that of a showbiz journalist covering various award shows, including, almost always, the VES Awards -- the accolades for the Visual Effects Society. And lately, he has been going to the Oscars as well. The VES show is always fun and, each year, there is a lifetime achievement winner. This year, the honoree was none other than Stan Lee.


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