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SF Insite: Reviews Editor Neil Walsh continues his survey of some recent small press & self-published titles.
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HOMer Awards nominations include one for the fiction of SF Site's Charlene Brusso.
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The Grand Design The Grand Design by John Marco
a novel excerpt
   "The night burned a pulsing orange."
   "General Vorto, supreme commander of the legions of Nar, stood on a hillside beneath the red flash of rockets, safely distant from the bombardment hammering the walls of Goth. It was a cold night with frost in the air. He could see the crystaline snow in the sky and on his eyelashes. The northern gusts blew the battle rockets up and over the city and bent the fiery plumes of flame cannons..."

Oceanspace Oceanspace by Allen Steele
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Sea exploration has progressed to the point where companies mine volcanic ocean vents both for minerals and for the bacteria that live in conditions of extreme heat and pressure. Joe is picking up material accumulated by the mining robots when he encounters what seems to be a huge living creature. This brings to the scene a research scientist with an interest in sea monsters.

The Hidden World The Hidden World by Alison Baird
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Maeve O'Connor is 15, wants to be an actress, is not particularly pretty, and is a perennial outsider at her school near Toronto. To make matters worse her parents have sent her off to rural Newfoundland to spend the summer with her aunt and uncle. Through a talisman and her own fey nature she begins shifting back and forth between Newfoundland and a parallel universe of Celtic myth, Annwn.

Bloodwind Bloodwind by Charlotte Boyette-Compo
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This powerful novel provides more than enough testimony to account for the author's loyal following. An erotic love story, a space opera, an account of corruption on a universal scale -- it is an enthralling read from the first paragraph.

New Arrivals Forthcoming Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
The coming months will bring us new books by Stephen Lawhead, C.J. Cherryh, Martha Wells, Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, James Alan Gardner, and more.

Science Fiction Classics Science Fiction Classics edited by Forrest J. Ackerman
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Since the stories appeared between 1918 and 1963, and half the movies were released in the 50s, you cannot expect the latest in cyberpunk or VR. OK, so the science in some of the stories is ludicrous today, but much of this material was written in an age when SF had a sense of optimism and wonder that enthralled teenagers and adults alike, when science could solve anything, aliens bent on world domination were thinly veiled communists/fascists, and swashbuckling heroes fought for liberty and the American way.

Longtusk Longtusk by Stephen Baxter
reviewed by Steven H Silver
As with Silverhair, this novel is the author's attempt to portray the mammoth in as realistic and accurate a manner as possible while allowing for a certain anthropomorphic mentality to make their story understandable to humans. Although ostensibly aimed at children, it is not written in a condescending manner and is enjoyable for both children and adults, who can each find something in this coming-of-age story.

Interzone Interzone, February 2000
reviewed by David Soyka
In this issue, there's an interesting article by Bruce Sterling about how technology (meaning, of course, the Internet) is shaping the future, a funny movie review by Nick Lowe, and some cleverly observed book reviews. The two best stories here share the topic of death -- Zoran Zivkovic's "The Window" and "Dog Years" by Liz Williams, both told in the first person.

New Magazines New Magazines
compiled by John O'Neill
The SF Site's FictionHome page brings you the latest news and reviews of genre magazines and other short fiction. We look at brand new issues of Talebones, Interzone, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and many more.

Terry Pratchett Terry Pratchett
Part 1 of an interview with Steven H Silver
On building an audience:
"Then and now, it is only possible to start off and begin to build up a readership and build up a readership and build up a readership and then you get noticed. It is much harder to do that in the book industry in the US. Because unless you are an instant bestseller, the books are not going to stay on the shelves long enough to build up a readership except in a small number of specialty shops."

Queen of the Darkness Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Queen of the Darkness doesn't, as many concluding books do, suffer from any sense of staleness or formula: it's as engaging, as strongly characterized, and as fully-conceived as its predecessors in the Black Jewels trilogy, Daughter of the Blood and Heir to the Shadows.

Terror Incognita Terror Incognita by Jeffrey Thomas
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
A shout may catch your attention for a moment, then you tune it out. But there is something infinitely more dangerous and more hypnotic about a whisper. The hushed tones draw you closer. You strain to catch every word, searching the near-silence for a threat. The author speaks in a whisper. And the repercussions are lethal.

New Arrivals April Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
The beginning of a new DragonLance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, a new Fairy Tale Anthology from Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, non-fiction from Bob Berman, and new novels from Sharon Shinn, Eric Garcia, Freda Warrington, Dean Wesley Smith, and John Marco -- these are a few of the books to look for at your local bookstore.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his opinion on actors as writers, Gillian Anderson (and Vince Gilligan)'s script for The X-Files' "all things" and the suburban werewolf story in The X-Files' "Chimera" by David Amann.

Amazing Stories Amazing Stories, Issue 600
reviewed by David Soyka
To commemorate the 600th issue of the longest running SF magazine still in print, here is a "Special Collector's Edition," done in between its regular Winter and Spring quarterly issues. Amazing has reprinted one story from each of its centennial issues since its initial publication in April 1926 sandwiched between two originals -- Harlan Ellison's lead story, "the Toad Prince or, Sex Queen of the Martian Pleasure-Domes" and Pamela Sargent's "Common Mind."

Second Looks

Stand on Zanzibar Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
From the misty depths of the late 60s, Brunner gives us the ultimate dysfunctional society, a world of decadence spilling into decay, of high tech advances and the loss of common sense. There's a good bit of cyberpunkish foreshadowing here. The drugs, the mean streets, the ragged suburbs, and Mr and Mrs Everywhere on your TV set, who can be programmed to look just like you; through them you can attend the most exclusive parties, visit the most scenic places on Earth, meet the rich and famous, all at the flick of a remote control.

The Book Of Skulls The Book Of Skulls by Robert Silverberg
reviewed by Chris Donner
What happens when the promise of immortality lies directly and clearly ahead, a path to be followed absolutely or ignored forever? How would we respond if we knew we could live forever, but that it would require absolute dedication, unfailing pursuit, regardless of the personal costs? This question is addressed by the author in this masterful novel.

Beyond Lies the Wub Beyond Lies the Wub and The Father-Thing by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Rich Horton
These early collection do not really reflect the author's later obsessions with the nature of reality and memory, though there are a few hints to that effect. The biggest obsessions in these stories are the threat of nuclear war, the subsequent danger of mutation and the impact of PSI powers. As well, they reflect the 50s concerns with advertising and the growth of the suburbs.


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