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SF Insite: John O'Neill looks back fondly at the early days of the SF Site with Eighteen Months of Insite.
SF Insite: From our last issue, John O'Neill looked back at The Books of 1998. He invites you to help select the best.
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Our Contents Page highlights reviews of The Tomorrow Series by John Marsden, The Invisible Country by Paul J. McAuley, The Barrens and Others by F. Paul Wilson and Scion's Lady by Rebecca Bradley.
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Science Fiction Chronicle Science Fiction Chronicle
It is with great pleasure that we announce the addition of Science Fiction Chronicle to the SF Site. SFC is the latest magazine to join FictionHome, our sister website dedicated to the very best in SF and Fantasy magazines. The Hugo Award-winning Science Fiction Chronicle was founded in 1978 by its editor and publisher, Andrew I. Porter, and this month it celebrates its 200th issue. The website features information on current and back issues, as well as sample reviews, subscription info, a brief history of the magazine, and more.
Noir Noir by K.W. Jeter
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In a dark, dystopian, near-future world, a specialist in the investigation and punishment of intellectual property theft is called in to investigate a murder. Thus begins this rich and fascinating book with considerable depth and many challenging ideas.

Invasion America: On the Run Invasion America: On the Run by Christie Golden
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Biogenetics and big slavering monsters. Mental powers and heavy arms. Trust and betrayal. What more could you ask for? Keep it to yourself. The story lines start out impossibly far-flung and pull together naturally, bypassing miraculous coincidence.

Circuit of Heaven Circuit of Heaven by Dennis Danvers
reviewed by Duane Swierczynski
Many have called this novel a "Romeo and Juliet" in cyberspace. Sure -- if the Montagues were fanatic religious Fundamentalists living in a apocalyptic, Phildickian Earth, and the Capulets were souls uploaded into a massive utopian supercomputer.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
In his column, Rick's commentary on SF television includes his choices for the best and the worst of the year plus an episode of The X-Files, "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" written by Chris Carter.

Black Horses for the King Black Horses for the King and If Wishes Were Horses by Anne McCaffrey
reviewed by Regina Lynn Preciado
Both stories feature dedicated, hard-working youngsters making a difference in their worlds, sometimes without their realizing it -- Tirza in If Wishes Were Horses and Galwyn in Black Horses for the King.

The Dragon in Lyonesse The Dragon in Lyonesse by Gordon R. Dickson
reviewed by A.L. Sirois
This light fantasy (part of a loosely connected series) is a fast-moving, inventive, enjoyable book. Jim Eckert is a 20th century mathematician who has been swept back in time to a 14th century world where magic works. Here Jim becomes, reluctantly, known as Sir James, the Dragon Knight, largely because of his ability to turn himself (or, more humorously, parts of himself) into a whacking great dragon at will!

Forthcoming Books Forthcoming Books
compiled by John O'Neill
Part of the joy of reviewing books is the occasional glimpse at a future title or two. And to share some of that fun with you, we've crafted a set of pages devoted to news and info on forthcoming books -- including work from Kate Elliot, Dan Simmons, Larry Niven, J.V. Jones and many others. We think you'll find it very interesting.

Pacific Empire Pacific Empire by G. Miki Hayden
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Conceptually familiar and predictable -- assume that Japan was the big "winner" in WWII after going it alone without Germany and Italy. That's your typical what if? scenario, right? Forget it. Everything, after you turn to the first page, is going to be a surprise. And a good one.

Allen Steele Allen Steele
Part 2 of an interview with Steven H Silver
At Windycon XXV, Steven sat down with guest of honor Allen Steele to discuss his books, small presses and winning two Hugo Awards. Allen Steele specializes in writing stories set in the near future, so far in near Earth space, although he has gone as far afield as Mars, the asteroid belt and Jupiter.

Black Oak: The Hush of Dark Wings Black Oak: The Hush of Dark Wings by Charles Grant
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This book is another welcome dose of Grant's flowing, creepy style. The feeling is simply that it is all over too quickly; even before the gentle reader can get the nails chewed off one hand.

Hogfather Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
reviewed by Todd Richmond
Like most of Pratchett's books, Hogfather has its share of social commentary. The subject, of course, is Christmas and all that is associated with the holiday. As Death plays the role of the Hogfather, his naiveté about the mundane world brings plenty of opportunity to comment on life's many contradictions and absurdities.

Reave the Just and Other Tales Reave the Just and Other Tales by Stephen R. Donaldson
reviewed by Thomas Myer
The stories are all good, far better than you will read in your average short story collection, all of them infested with inventive characters and fantastical aladdinesque settings. "Penance" is probably the best story of the lot, with "The Woman Who Loved Pigs" a very close second (we're talking nano-meters, here).

The Books of 1998 The Books of 1998
compiled by John O'Neill
It's the end of the year again, and we've already begun the work of assembling our Top Ten lists. In the meantime, here's your chance to pick the best SF and Fantasy books published in 1998. Choose from a list of nearly 800 titles -- virtually every book we've received in the last twelve months.

Nanotech Nanotech edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois
reviewed by Todd Richmond
Different authors have different ideas about how nanotech will fit into the future. Many are content to relegate nanotech to the status of accepted, routine technology, while others write about the potential dangers. The editors of this collection explore all the possibilities.

Mark V. Ziesing Books Mark V. Ziesing Books
compiled by Rodger Turner
From Gene Wolfe to Joe Lansdale, Stephen King to James Blaylock, Mark Ziesing has published an eclectic mix of titles since he did his first book in 1982. This is the fourth installment of a nine part series putting together a reading list of Mark V. Ziesing Books.

The War Amongst the Angels The War Amongst the Angels by Michael Moorcock
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Has Moorcock stretched the boundaries of the genre, or is this merely a semi-autobiographical novel presented in the framework of heroic fantasy? Is it brilliantly bold literature that redefines fantasy or self-absorbed drivel masked in complexity? Whatever it is, be prepared for innovative and experimental fantasy to challenge your humdrum reading, or be prepared for disapointment.

Rant and Ravey Rant and Ravey
UK video reviews by Colin Ravey
The little Empire remembers its glory days, sends its plummy toned natives to captain star ships and provide Hollywood with villains, dreams of blue boxes, black holes and beyond... Colin Ravey takes a thoughtful meander through the theatrical, frightening and fanciful world of fantasy and science fiction on the small island's small screen, courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation. In his column, Colin considers the differences in producing Doctor Who vs. those in North America.

A Second Chance at Eden A Second Chance at Eden by Peter F. Hamilton
reviewed by Rodger Turner
This is a collection for Hamilton fans (Rodger is an unabashed one). It is a delightful supplement to the Night's Dawn trilogy with its techno-chronology between stories.

The Flying Sorcerers The Flying Sorcerers edited by Peter Haining
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
The editor has collected a stellar cast of writers, some fairly recent, some long dead, so that while not every tale will appeal to all tastes, everyone should find something to their own taste.

New Arrivals Mid-December Books
compiled by John O'Neill
New novels from Neil Gaiman, Piers Anthony, Robert Sheckley, and Diana L. Paxson, new collections from Charles de Lint and Stephen R. Donaldson, and a long look at the early days of James T. Kirk, courtesy of Michael Jan Friedman -- all that and much more in the latest installment of our bi-weekly book column.


Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual by Herman Zimmerman, Rick Sternbach, Doug Drexler
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This books offers the same kind of enjoyment as reading the appendices after finishing the Lord of the Rings. It's not necessary to read the minutia, but there is a certain fascination in discovering the details of a well-imagined world.

The Science of the X-Files The Science of the X-Files by Jeanne Cavelos
reviewed by Todd Richmond
Todd enjoys The X-Files as much as anyone. But as a scientist, he finds some of the science speculative and some, utter fiction. Unfortunately, the author's unwillingness to dismiss the fictitious pseudo-science results in a disorganized, meandering book that superficially treats certain subjects while overemphasizing others.

First Novels

The Song of the Swan The Song of the Swan by Arthur D'Alembert
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
One hundred sixty thousand years after being sent, the last message transmitted by an alien being will reach Earth. But as humans struggle to understand the cryptic communication, will unraveling the mystery be the boon they hope for, or the end of life on Earth?

Series Review

The Complete Fuzzy The Complete Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper
reviewed by Jean-Louis Trudel
Reprinted in one volume, the three original Piper novels is an endearing flashback to a different brand of SF. By modern standards, the plot is extremely fast-moving with no lack of strongly drawn characters and plenty of action, in what would be hardly enough room for one of the modern behemoths swollen by the advent of word processors.

Second Looks

Forever Peace Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
reviewed by Robert Francis
For the longest time, Robert tried to figure out how to tell people that this was a very good book. Then it hit him... Forever Peace has already won the Hugo Award and the John W. Campbell Award. As much as he hates to admit it, his standing on the rooftops proclaiming the merits of this book would be a bit anticlimactic and unnecessary.

Kings of the High Frontier Kings of the High Frontier by Victor Koman
reviewed by Neil Walsh
In this important science fiction work, which should be read by everyone who has ever dreamt of space travel, the author tackles many difficult questions about who owns space. Originally published online, this is the first non-print novel to win the Prometheus award.

To Say Nothing of the Dog To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
reviewed by Thomas Myer
As the plot chases down the streets of Victorian Oxford and down the Thames, our hero collects a gaggle of hilarious characters, trying to set things straight, bungling about as many things as he gets right. In the background of the narrative, the entire time-space continuum is at risk, threatening the end of everything as we know it.

The Mandalorian Armor The Mandalorian Armor by K.W. Jeter
reviewed by A.L. Sirois
This novel is easy to read, makes absolutely no demands on the reader, includes plenty of chases, laser battles, intrigues and double-crosses, and ends with a good cliff-hanger. If you like Star Wars books, this one delivers the goods; if you don't, it won't change your mind.

Magician's Ward Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In a reprise review to coincide with the paperback release, Victoria found that she admires Wrede's lively writing style, likable characters, clever dialogue, and command of convincing period detail -- all of which combine to create a swift-paced, entertaining book. Fantasy fans and Regency buffs alike will thoroughly enjoy this sequel to Mairelon the Magician.


Calimport Calimport
a gaming module review by Don Bassingthwaite
Thumbs up to Calimport. Pull up your carpet and stay a while. Mind your purse, keep your hand on your dagger, and stay out of the shadows unless you're sure that's where you really want to be.

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