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Travel Arrangements Travel Arrangements by M. John Harrison
reviewed by Rich Horton
This collection is almost obsessively about contemporary England. The England depicted is closely observed, and very real -- very much the post-Thatcherite land, trying to simultaneously shuck off and preserve the images and the myth of "Albion." Despite a seeming "mainstream" tone, many of the stories use SF or fantasy tropes to illuminate concerns of character and contemporary life that are exactly the ones that dominate contemporary realistic fiction. Nevertheless, the author is one of the best SF writers of the present day.

Papaya Myths Papaya Myths by Kimberly Scott
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Don't you fall for any labels attached to this book; it defies such comfortable categorization to become more than the sum of those simple parts. The author has found a way to take a little science fiction, a bit of mystery and suspense, and a tale of lives past, and combine them into a narrative that flows like a river through deep, quiet pools into deadly white water. Dive in at the first chance.

Realware Realware by Rudy Rucker
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
In this fast-paced and cheerful homage to Edwin Abbott's Victorian classic Flatland, San Francisco-based chef Phil Gottner discovers that his father has apparently been swallowed whole by a multidimensional holographic toy modeled on a Klein bottle. His seriously messed-up and needy girlfriend Kevvie is addicted to merge, which breaks down cell structures, allowing bodies to flow together into a single gloopy organism. Clearly their relationship is doomed. Then Phil meets sexy Moon-born Yoke Star-Mydol, whose mother Darla was eaten by a bizarre multidimensional alien...

Year's Best SF 5 Year's Best SF 5 edited by David G. Hartwell
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
As is becoming a hallmark of this year's best anthology, several of the stand-out stories are from young and relatively unknown writers. Australian Chris Lawson's "Written in Blood" is a moving tale of a young Islamic geneticist's struggle to live up to her father's faith. "100 Candles" by Curt Wohleber is equally effective in its portrayal of a woman whose children are changing beyond her comprehension. And Hiroe Suga's "Freckled Figure" takes us inside the life of a Japanese comic arts fan.

Animist Animist by Eve Forward
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Fantasy series that can be enjoyed by young adults and, well, adult adults are few and far between. Fewer still are the ones that are well done. With this title, the author launches a new trilogy that should please readers and critics of all ages. It is the creation of a land where magic exists, but is hard to come by -- where peace and plenty is possible, but seemingly impossible to come by.

Calculating God Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer
reviewed by David Soyka
How does an outspoken advocate of cold hard logic that leaves no wiggle room for concepts such as God and an afterlife deal with his own soon-to-be demise? Or, to put it another way, if there are indeed atheists in foxholes, what do they think about? In meditating on this subject, the author has created a highly readable, entertaining, and informative work.

Forthcoming Books Forthcoming Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
Here's a sampling of some of the F&SF books that are headed our way in the coming months...

Brightly Burning Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey
reviewed by Robert Francis
This is the story of Lavan Chitward, a youth of 16 just moved to Haven, the capital city of Valdemar, with his parents and siblings. His parents are engrossed with climbing the social ladder within their respective Guilds, and his sibs are also thrilled, and intent on following their parents in the Cloth Merchant and Needleworkers Guilds. Lavan isn't sure exactly what he wants to do, but has very definite opinions on what he doesn't want to do -- and following in the family trade tops the list.

Skull Full Of Spurs Skull Full Of Spurs edited by Jason Bovberg and Kirk Whitham
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
At first blush, some people might be dubious about the idea of mixing horror and westerns; those would be the people who never considered the consequences of a compound fracture with "qualified" medical attention four days' ride away. And no anesthesia once you get there. Then you learn the limb has to come off. The horror is already there waiting for the right authors to pump it up. The editors have rounded up those tumbleweed terrorists for you.

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.

John Marco
The Grand Design The Grand Design by John Marco
reviewed by Trent Walters
There is nary a dull moment. Before the reader even gets to know the characters, a medieval battle rages with catapults and chemical weapons against the city of Goth. Once that city is destroyed and the evil ones of Nar bring the traitor to his knees, the scene moves to a torture chamber. From there, we're whirled off to join Richius in the hunt for an escaped lion that has killed a man... Then off again to the laboratory where a scientist creates the ultimate weapon of war... Soon the reader learns that this story is more than just a simple case of us versus them.

John Marco A Conversation With John Marco
An interview with Trent Walters
On an outline's level of detail:
"For The Jackal of Nar, I went into extensive detail in the outline. I had hundreds of pages of notes, and the actual outline itself was well over a hundred pages. That seems ridiculous looking back at it, but I think I needed to have that kind of detail. I needed to have the world fully fleshed-out and the story firmly pinned down before I began, probably as a way to boost my confidence. The sad part is that a lot of that outline never even got used."

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..."

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
While waiting for the Fall Preview Issue of TV GUIDE, Rick tells us about his philosophy of art and some wonderful music and films that he knows about and you don't.

New Arrivals Mid-July Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
Summertime reading is in full swing, with the year's best compiled by Gardner Dozois, brand new books from Greg Costikyan, Larry Niven & Steven Barnes, J. Robert King, Katherine Kerr & Kate Daniel, continuations of popular series from Elizabeth Haydon, Kate Jacoby, and tons of republished and reprinted classics!

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, June 2000 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, June 2000
reviewed by David Soyka
If you're looking for an ideal mix of fantasy -- sword and sorcery, magic realism, slipstream, humorous, literary -- look no further than the June issue of F&SF. In this issue, Joyce Carol Oates' novelette, "In Shock," is one of those "am I crazy or is this really happening" stories; Ursula K. Le Guin once again plumbs her background and interest in anthropological subjects; "Thief of Two Deaths" by Chris Willrich is a story of the questing variety; while "Le Morte D'Volkswagyn" pokes fun at the genre. There's also some contemporary horror and even a nod to the science fiction element of the magazine's title in Gregory Benford's semi-regular column.

First Novels

Storm Front Storm Front by Jim Butcher
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Harry is a wizard for hire (in the Yellow Pages, under "Wizards"). He doesn't have a lot of competition. Then again, he doesn't have a lot of business. At the turn of the millennium, popular awareness of the paranormal has skyrocketed, but most with paranormal skills still prefer anonymity. When the police department asks Harry to assist with a particularly gruesome double murder that may have been accomplished by magic, he can't afford to say no.

Second Looks

Behold the Man Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock
reviewed by Neil Walsh
This 1967 Nebula winner has a very mainstream feel to it. Sure, it begins with a time machine, and the story, after all, is about a guy who travels back to 28 AD to meet Jesus, but the flashbacks of that guy are to his previous life in England -- from the time of his childhood in the late 40s to his thoroughly mixed up adult life into the early 70s. The character of Karl Glogauer, the time traveller, is extremely realistic -- complex, contradictory, multi-layered, and both emotionally and psychologically messed up big-time.

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