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Look To Windward Look To Windward by Iain M. Banks
reviewed by Nick Gevers
The primary setting of the novel is one of the Culture's most noted Orbitals, the gigantic artificial ring-in-space known as Masaq. A cultural centre of some significance, it attracts alien luminaries in fair numbers. One is Mahrai Ziller, a universally famous composer from the militaristic and caste-based society of Chel. This irascible exile, fiercely critical of the oppressive practices of his home, is the focus of intrigue, drawing an emissary from Chel requesting his return. The Culture's intelligence agency, the Contact Section, is greatly interested in the matter, conscious that the recent Civil War that devastated Chel was a conflict provoked by the Culture's well-meaning interference. Perhaps the Chelgrian envoy is in fact an assassin, a terrorist, or something worse.

The Truth The Truth by Terry Pratchett
reviewed by Steven H Silver
William de Worde adapts the dwarven invention of the printing press to establish The Ankh-Morpork Times and provides a freshness that has been lacking from recent books. Not only is the reader treated to an alternative look at Samuel Vimes and the other members of the town watch, we also meet a new cast of characters who quickly take on lives (or deaths) of their own.

Fedogan & Bremer Fedogan & Bremer
compiled by Rodger Turner
In their 11-year history, small press publisher Fedogan & Bremer have concentrated on writers from the pulp era of horror and mystery. Their perseverance has paid off with 25 books thus far and several more planned for 2001. An eclectic mix, they have done 17 single author collections (including a new edition of their first book), 3 Lovecraftian anthologies, a supernatural detective anthology and 3 novels, all of which have ranged over old-fashioned SF, fantasy, weird-menace, Gothic, Lovecraftian & modern horror.

Cemetery Sonata II Cemetery Sonata II edited by June Hubbard
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This anthology, this duet of life and death, is a wide-ranging exploration of the thin line between self and spirit. It is a spellbinding journey through the dark valley, with the sun bright above us. Most important: the stories are more a comforting arm around the shoulders than an attempt to frighten.

Gardner Dozois A Conversation With Gardner Dozois
An interview with Jayme Lynn Blaschke
On what kind of editor he is:
"Well, I don't see myself as a John W. Campbell sort of editor. He was famous for assigning ideas to writers and coming up with a lot of the idea content for the magazine, and indicating the direction in which he wanted the magazine to go, the themes he wanted explored. That's not really my style. I'm not all that interested in my ideas. I know my ideas are puerile. It's the writers' ideas that I'm interested in seeing, so I see myself as a receptive or reactive editor, more along the lines of Anthony Boucher or Bob Mills or someone or that sort."

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...

Asimov's Science Fiction, August 2000 Asimov's Science Fiction, August 2000
reviewed by Nick Gevers
The one gem in this issue is Lucius Shepard's "Radiant Green Star." Narrated by a young Vietnamese man of the mid-21st century, exiled from power and fortune by his scheming father. His exile is with Radiant Green Star, a circus that travels the backroads of rural Vietnam; his mentor is the circus's owner, an old man withdrawing from this world towards the dubious bliss of a cybernetic Heaven; his narrative precursor is a miraculously long-lived American Vietnam veteran, who gradually remembers and exposes the moral failure of the previous century.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick tells us why he writes about some TV shows and not others. He also tells us what is coming up in November's Star Trek: Voyager episodes.

Analog, October 2000 Analog, October 2000
reviewed by Marc Goldstein
Highlights of this issue include such stories as "The Taranth Stone" by Ron Collins, Sean McMullen's "Mask of Terminus," James Van Pelt's "Friday, After the Game" and Catherine Wells' "The Nechtanite and the Inforat."

Artemis, Autumn 2000 Artemis, Autumn 2000
reviewed by Rich Horton
Subtitled "Science and Fiction for a Space-Faring Society," this is a magazine associated with the Lunar Resources Company, and explicitly devoted to promoting space exploration and colonization, particularly beginning with utilizing Earth's moon. To this end it features several stories, articles and poems per issue, almost all devoted to that subject.

Alaric Swifthand Alaric Swifthand by Steve Lazarowitz
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
Alaric Mason, later to be called Swifthand for a battle he had not intended to fight, lives in a dangerous world and often finds himself thrust into situations more perilous than he could conceive. Almost everyone he meets has a secret, sometimes shocking, sometimes deadly. His adventures lead him to a powerful magic sword, rat people, and maidens in peril.

Jonathan Lethem A Conversation With Jonathan Lethem
An interview with Zachary Houle
On absorbing literary and artistic knowledge in early life:
"I was very lucky to be brought up in what was basically an artist's household, where reading and going to museums was a privileged activity. It was seen as basic that you'd absorb a lot of art and do a lot of reading. That's a habit I've never lost. There's nothing as basic to writing fiction as reading it voraciously, and I think reading it diversely. And defining your own obvious tastes and inclinations, and finding out what other kinds of fiction are out there. It's enormously important, and that's how I entered the world."

Outlaw School Outlaw School by Rebecca Ore
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
This novel will be compared to classic dystopian novels like Brave New World and 1984; it is effective in evoking a distressing and unpleasant vision of an all too possible future. For just this reason it is a bit hard to read at first; it isn't a lot of fun. But after you get to know the author's main character, you'll have to keep reading to learn how her life turns out.

New Arrivals November Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
The latest batch of new books to arrive at the SF Site office include new novels from Bruce Sterling, Sheri S. Tepper, Rebecca Ore, and Terry Pratchett; collections from Martin H. Greenberg and Larry Segriff, filmmaker Mick Garris, and an anthology from the pages of Cemetery Dance; several reprinted classics; plus a whole lot more.

The Discworld Fools' Guild Yearbook and Diary 2001 The Discworld Fools' Guild Yearbook and Diary 2001 by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This is more fun than a month full of Octodays. The calendar, which provides a reasonably straightforward collection of days and weeks from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001 (with the addition of one unnumbered Octoday each week) provides plenty of room for the user to keep track of important (or even trivial) meetings and appointments. More to the point, it contains background material on the Fools' Guild of Ankh-Morpork.

Red Planet Red Planet
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The best Rick can say about this movie is this: if you are really desperate for a sci-fi fix in a year without any first rate SF films, you won't be completely bored.

Second Looks

The People of the Black Circle The People of the Black Circle by Robert E. Howard
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
To many people the character of Conan is the one they know from two films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; for others Conan is the barbarian character of comic book fame; for others still the literary character written of by a host of modern would-be sword and sorcery authors. Presented in this collection are the original unadulterated Robert E. Howard Conan tales, directly from the pages of Weird Tales and original manuscripts.

The Jagged Orbit The Jagged Orbit by John Brunner
reviewed by Marc Goldstein
It opens sometime in the early 21st century, when the U.S. has become divided into racially separate city-states of blacks and whites. These enclaves clash with each other in a kind of cold civil war. Against this backdrop, Michael Flamen carries on as the last spoolpigeon, a muckraking gossip reporter with his own daily television newsmagazine. For months his show has been interrupted by mysterious static interference. Flamen believes that the network is conspiring to force him off the air (to fill his time slot with infomercials). His investigation into the source of the interference accidentally uncovers a conspiracy within the Gottschalk gun-dealing cartel.

Firebird / Fusion Fire Firebird and Fusion Fire by Kathy Tyers
reviewed by Suzanne Krein
Lady Firebird Angelo knows her duty as a wastling. As the 3rd-born child in one of the ruling families of Netaia, her duty is to die. The Holy Powers worshipped by the Netaians demand this policy of "heir limitation." Her chosen method of "departure" seems honourable and natural -- she will go into battle as part of the attack force invading the planet Veroh and she will bravely die in that battle.

Roadside Picnic Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Red Schuhart is a "stalker" (perhaps better translated as a "scout"), a veteran scavenger and black market dealer of the bizarre technological wonders to be found in the Zones. These areas, where the physics of matter are warped in mysterious and dangerous ways, are thought to be the trash piles of aliens who dropped by for a picnic and didn't clean up after themselves. Schuhart lives a criminal/outsider's life in the frontier city near the Zone trying to support his wife and strangely mutated child.

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