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The Black Chalice The Black Chalice by Marie Jakober
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
It's 1134. In a bleak monastery somewhere in Germany, Paul of Ardiun begins the chronicle he has been ordered by his religious superiors to write: the story of the knight Karelian Brandeis, for whom Paul once served as squire, who fell prey to the evil wiles of a seductive sorceress, thereby precipitating civil war and the downfall of a king. But before Paul can set down more than a sentence or two of this cautionary tale, the sorceress herself magically appears to him. He is a liar, she tells him, and always has been. She lays a spell on him: from this moment, he will only be able to write the truth.

Steven Erikson A Conversation With Steven Erikson
An interview with Neil Walsh
On being able to write full-time:
"The transition to a full-time writer was an immense relief. Unable to find archaeological work here in the UK (18 years' experience in North & Central America don't count for squat over here, it seems), I was falling into various office jobs, the last one what started out as a three month contract stretching out into two and a half years. Every moment sitting at that desk felt like lost time, time which I would never get back."

Habitus Habitus by James Flint
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
The line separating SF from mainstream literature becomes fuzzier all the time. Since definitions are in themselves a matter of drawing lines, it becomes harder and harder to say just what is SF and what is not. A way to look at SF is as fiction that portrays the world from a viewpoint that is based on scientific thinking. This is why Cryptonomicon was SF and it is why this novel, a dense, experimental, quirky, funny, poetic and puzzling book, is also SF.

Frequency Frequency
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It is almost impossible to write a time travel story that does not contradict itself. Probably the closest is Larry Niven's "All the Myriad Ways." In a Hollywood that usually doesn't even try to make sense, this movie tries, and deserves points for making the effort. But that is not why you should see the film.

Malignos Malignos by Richard Calder
reviewed by Rich Horton
This novel is an entertaining and baroque work, with a wonderfully imagined "journey to the centre of the Earth" as its centrepiece. It is full of action, full of weird landscapes, full of unusual characters, and it is fast-moving to boot.

Interzone, March 2000 Interzone, March 2000
reviewed by David Soyka
The highlights of this issue are Nick Lowe's regular dead-on witty movie review column, "Mutant Popcorn," and George Jenner's short story, "Loving Sancho," about a woman's strange relationship with a bioengineered cocker spaniel. It's a story that really has to be read in its entirety to be appreciated. Suffice it to say that we can all rest safely knowing Jenner has channeled his twisted mind into writing fiction as opposed to becoming a priest or a politician or a general.

New Arrivals Mid-May Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
Recent arrivals to bookstores near you (or near me, anyhow) include: the latest from some favourite authors such as Charles de Lint, Patricia McKillip, Brian Stableford, Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, Mercedes Lackey; début novels from Juliet Marillier, Jim Butcher, Maggy Thomas; and reprints of old classics from the likes of Octavia Butler and Elizabeth Lynn.

The Light Of Other Days The Light Of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Hiram Patterson has found a way to broadcast news as it happens from remote locations without the time and expense of transporting a live reporter and camera crew. He can create a temporary wormhole, point a camera through it, and capture the images from a home office, no matter where it is located. Or when. Once the ability to look into the past is discovered, wormhole technology supplants the internet as the primary time-waster. Privacy has ceased to exist as anyone can spy on anyone else, at any time, without any chance of detection.

To Visit the Queen To Visit the Queen by Diane Duane
a novel excerpt
    "Patel went slowly up the gray concrete stairs to the elevated Docklands Light Railway station at Island Gardens; he took them one at a time, rather than two or three at once as he usually did. Nothing was wrong with him: it was morning, he felt energetic enough—a good breakfast inside him, everything okay at home, the weather steady enough, cool and gray but not raining. However, the package he was carrying was heavy enough to pull a prizefighter's arms out of their sockets."

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.

Forests of the Heart Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Many of the author's Newford novels mix Celtic and Native American folklore and magic together against a gritty 20th-century urban background. Here, he places the two traditions in direct conflict. The Irish Gentry, or hard men, who had come to America with Irish immigrants, have decided it is time to claim the region near Newford as their own. This puts them up against the manitou, the Native American spirits who already inhabit the land.

Walk in Hell Walk in Hell by Harry Turtledove
reviewed by Nick Gevers
The 2nd volume of four, this novel is an exhaustive account of a First World War grown even more monstrous than its factual counterpart. There is a cool precise cruelty to this vision, the perspective of an historian with few sentimental illusions and with a profound understanding of inexorable historical process; this is deeply impressive, a rigorous antidote to the whimsy that so easily infects alternate history.

Pat Cadigan Pat Cadigan
An interview with David Mathew
On finding titles:
"Titles should encapsulate everything about the project you're working on, and to be honest, titles have never been my strong point. Meaning: I've always found them a little bit tough to do. Tea from an Empty Cup is obviously a pretty long title, but it's not as long as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, so I think I'm okay. None of my publishers liked "Bunraku."

Maudie And The Green Children Maudie And The Green Children by Adrian Mitchell
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This story is a discovery that everyone -- child and adult -- should make as soon as possible. It is one of those books that will never completely leave your mind. Take the message to heart and you just might become a better person.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
In his column, Rick has put together a 1999-2000 episode guide for Star Trek: Voyager, and The X-Files. Check it out, print off a copy of each one and keep them handy for the summer reruns.

Christopher Priest A Retreat from Reality by Christopher Priest
    "How does an experience turn into an idea for a novel? More to the point, since we have experiences all the time, how does one particular incident select itself from the sludge of memory to make the transition? Sometimes you can trace the process, perhaps instructively glimpsing the method. Here's something that happened to me."

New Arrivals Forthcoming Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
Among others, this summer will bring us new novels from Rudy Rucker, Stephen L. Burns, Eve Forward, Martha Wells, James Alan Gardner, Joan Vinge; continuations of series from Stephen Lawhead, Sarah Isidore, Anne McCaffrey; and collections from Gardner Dozois, David Hartwell, Sheree R. Thomas, and Ed Kramer.

First Novels

Daughter of the Forest Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Authors who work with fairy tales often twist or transpose them in some way. Here, instead, she expands the fairy tale, retaining its literal structure and all its fantastic details, but focusing her attention on the human story within the magical frame. It's based on the tale of the brothers transformed into wild birds, and the sister who must sacrifice herself to save them.

Second Looks

Mission Child Mission Child by Maureen McHugh
reviewed by Jean-Louis Trudel
The novel's opening showcases all the author's strengths as she brings to life the character of Janna, a mission child on a strange planet. A daughter of the world's native inhabitants, she has grown up within the confines of the small Earth mission. In quick succession, she is faced with the arrival of "outrunners," young unattached men from a nearby clan, a near rape, the shooting of her father, and the looting of the mission by the "outrunners."


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