A Conversation With John Clute
An interview with Ernest Lilley
On his first taste of SF:
"The first science fiction story I read that I knew was a science fiction
story when I read it was "The Variable Man" by Philip K Dick, in (I think)
Space Science Fiction, in 1953. Like Proust's Madeleine,
the smell of the books and magazines of the early 50s yanks me
backwards, face burning with the speed of time, to that better world."
Appleseed by John Clute
reviewed by Ernest Lilley
This novel reprises the lone trader merchant with a fast ship and a
willingness to take on dangerous cargo. But Freer -- aka "Stinky" to the
artificial intelligences that surround him, merge with his consciousness and
crew his ship, the Tile Dance -- is no Han Solo. He's less hero and
more human, and thanks to the augmented technology of the author's future
universe, he's human in ways that we can only struggle to grasp.
Stories for an Enchanted Afternoon by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
reviewed by Steven H Silver
These stories do not fall into a single sub-genre of science fiction.
The author shows that she is equally comfortable in writing in an historical setting, as in
"The Gallery of His Dreams," about Civil War photographer Matthew Brady, or adoption in a futuristic dystopia in the
Hugo- and Nebula-nominated "Echea." It is impossible to pigeon-hole her, because no two stories have the same feel,
even when they deal with the same issues.
a column by Scott Tilson
Scott Tilson is taking a look at what has caught his attention
in the field of graphic novels. This time, he is recommending Heart of Empire and
The Wizard's Tale. And Scott asks Brenda W. Clough what she's reading these days.
Going, Going, Gone by Jack Womack
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Walter Bullitt is an independent man, a freelancer for the government, a voluntary lab rat for psychotropes, a
man-about-New-York, with a strong sense of self-preservation. The latest assignment "offered" to him doesn't sit well
with his conscience. Could be that he doesn't want to get involved with the notorious Kennedy clan. Certainly,
he's more than usually distracted by the arrival of two new female faces in town. And, really, the unannounced
company of two ghosts fading in and out whenever the mood hits them isn't adding to his attention span.
Ship of Fools by Richard Paul Russo
reviewed by David Soyka
One difference between literary SF and the type of simplistic SF
entertainment embraced by the major media is the depiction of the alien.
While the latter revels in its ability to show the alien, the more artistic
purveyors of the form know that the true alien is subversively elusive,
beyond our full comprehension even as we are sucked into the whirlpool.
This novel is a case in point.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on TV and the Best Dramatic Production Hugo Award nominees. Why are no programs among the nominations?
As well, he provides us with 2 capsule reviews for each of the May episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and The X-Files.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Here's a sampling of some of the F&SF books that are headed our way in the coming months...
Manifold Space by Stephen Baxter
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
Reid Malenfant, a retired astronaut giving a lecture to a group of colonists on the moon, proposes automated
probes to other stars as an advance wave for expansion. His words become ominous when robots or perhaps a life form,
which to us resembles machines, are discovered mining the asteroids, echoing Malenfant's proposal for other
compiled by Neil Walsh
New on the shelves are novels from Chris Bunch, Tony Daniel, Alan Dean Foster, Alastair Reynolds, and others; a collection from Kristine Kathryn Rusch; the first new Earthsea book in a decade, from Ursula K. Le Guin; classic reprints from Robert E. Howard, James Blish, Michael Moorcock, Samuel R. Delany, Frederik Pohl -- and a whole lot more besides.
Dossier by Stepan Chapman
reviewed by Rich Horton
The stories in this collection are all good reading. Many of them resemble fables, Native American legends,
or fairy stories. (Indeed, one story is an over-the-top admixture of "Sleeping Beauty" and Gothic
fiction.) The stories are often funny, and usually pointed.
Sometimes there is a neat twist at the end, at other times the whole story is a wild ride through a
bizarre imaginative landscape.
3 Broadsides by Bruce Boston
reviewed by Trent Walters
Long speculative poems have fewer venues than short, making broadsides
necessary. Though written over a span of about 7 years, these 3 more
distinct and necessary broadsides could be no more distinct than if 3
distinct poets had written them. The first is light and clean, the 2nd
narrative and cursorily expansive, and the 3rd gritty yet oblique. But one
poet wrote them all, the 6-time Rhysling winning poet and as yet its only
Asimov's Science Fiction, April 2001
reviewed by Nick Gevers
There's something to be said for convention, for a story fully conscious of
and grateful to the conventions that guide and nourish it; but such reverence
should never be taken too far. Unfortunately, two of the four novelettes in
this issue bend over backwards in their genuflection, to such an
extent that serious spinal damage is to be apprehended.
A Conversation With Tom Arden
An interview with Neil Walsh
On the accessibility of his fiction:
"Accessibility is not an absolute thing that a book either has or doesn't have. Sure, you might say that
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is more accessible than Ulysses, in that a lot more people can read
and understand it. But for the most part a book is accessible to you or not depending on the kind of book it is,
and the kind of reader you are. If you hate fantasy, you won't find fantasy accessible, even if it's easy to read."
Geeks With Books
Thunder Rift by Matthew Farrell
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick Klaw is SF Site's new columnist. He'll be giving us a look at how things work from behind the counter of a book store.
In this issue, he tells us about the impact a book cover can have in determining what people will see when browsing in their local independent book store.
Dream Factories and Radio Pictures by Howard Waldrop
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Finally, there is some vindication for those of us who have lived with heads crowded with movie, television, radio, and all that
other minutiae that everyone told us we'd never use! No matter how bizarre our knowledge of celebrity marriages, scandals, and forgotten
stars, the author knows infinitely more. Most importantly, he's consented to share that information and his blinding imagination with
all of us.
The Mummy Returns
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Start with the water rushing through tunnels from Indiana Jones, cut to the creatures
crawling under the skin from The X-Files, then move on to Lara Croft's London mansion,
and so on. Along the way, toss in the airship from Master of the World, the face in the water
from The Abyss, and the creatures moving through tall grass from Jurassic Park II.
Pretty soon, you've got a movie.
a column by Gabriel Chouinard
Dedicated to exposing the risk-takers working in SF and fantasy, Gabe provides the beginnings of an open letter to SF readers
encouraging them to open their minds, to open their eyes, and to pay attention what is going on in publishing and how
you can change it. He also offers a recommendation or two on what's worth reading these days.
The Doom of Camelot edited by James Lowder
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This anthology gathers 14 short tales and a pair of poems on the matter of what led to the collapse of
Camelot and King Arthur's fellowship of Knights of the Round Table. Some tales come from novices to Arthurian fiction
(Susan Fry's "The Battle, Lost"), others from long time anthologists and collectors of Arthurian lore (Mike Ashley's "The
Corruption of Perfection") and even some from professors of mediaeval literature (Verlyn Flieger's "Avilion: A Romance of
A Conversation With Matthew Woodring Stover
Part 2 of an interview with Gabriel Chouinard
On literary themes:
"One of the primary themes of 20th Century literature has been the way the world -- society, reality, what
you will -- inevitably erodes our hopes and dreams; there is volume after volume about the death of
everything that's fun about being human. There has been a time when a story could not be considered
serious literature unless its protagonist is crushed by the futility of existence -- the existential void --
figuratively, if not literally."
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 2001
reviewed by Nick Gevers
The emphasis of the May issue falls heavily on the side of Fantasy,
and why not? The results, in the magazine short fiction field, that preserve far
removed from the genre's customary bug-crushing Tolkienian gigantism, can
be very pleasing, if the lineup here is anything to go by.
Judas Eyes by Barry Hoffman
reviewed by Lisa Dumond
It's the 3rd volume in this series and the lethal
Shara Farris is back for another hunt. Her prey this time is a female killer as driven and
deadly as Shara, but one she has mixed feelings about tracking down. A mysterious mental
link between the two women will make the case both more
challenging and more personal than any she has tackled yet.
Shara is a bounty hunter, though; she has a job to do and a mission to fulfill.
The Second Summoning by Tanya Huff
reviewed by Margo MacDonald
This direct sequel to Summon the Keeper follows the continuing adventures of the Keeper (one responsible for keeping Hell from manifesting on
earth) Claire Hansen, her powerful but irresponsible younger sister Diana, her cleaning-obsessed Newfoundland
boyfriend Dean, and her sarcastic talking cat Austin. This time they battle demented, animated statues of
storybook characters; a ghost with bleached blonde hair; subway demons; and an actualized angel and his demon
opposite -- both fully formed teenagers with all the baggage that goes along with it.
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
This story begins with the arrival of a bright flash of light in the sky and
a cascade of electromagnetic energy that wipes away much of modern
technology. It turns out to be a wormhole which has appeared in the solar
system near Jupiter. Since humans always tend to assume they are the centre
of the universe, the theory about the wormhole is that it must have been
placed there either for us to use or perhaps to facilitate an invasion of
Earth. Whichever it is, Earth must mount an exploratory mission.