Best Read of the Year: 2002|
compiled by Neil Walsh
Just as our last Best Read of the Year: 2001 list did,
this one had its share of surprises
and treasures. As much effort as these kinds of Awards are to do, the rewards for the diligent compiler
are considerable. The writers, reviewers and editors of the SF Site present their pick for the Top Ten Books
of the year. Everyone who contributed to this list -- no matter how widely read we thought
we were -- walked away with a discovery or 2 (or 10) that made all the work worthwhile.
reviewed by Trent Walters
Unfortunately, reviews of the magazine have not been enlightening,
reading more like a laundry list of the contents page rather than an
analysis of the magazine's specific strengths and weaknesses.
They pass over editor John Klima's monumental discovery: Catherine Dybiec Holm who, if editors are
willing to take the chance, may turn out to be the genre's next Connie Willis or Nancy Kress.
Conjunctions: 39 -- The New Wave Fabulists edited by Bradford Morrow
reviewed by William Thompson
Boasting some of the most well-known names associated with contemporary fantastic fiction and accompanied by
essays from noted critics John Clute and Gary K. Wolfe, one approaches this anthology with a degree of anticipation.
Expectation is perhaps also whetted by the format of its publication: this respected literary
journal. Rarely does fantastic fiction receive such a forum, let alone acknowledgement in an academic press. The reader
might therefore justifiably expect to read, as the publication release promises, a gathering of "bold, distinctive fiction."
The Hacker And The Ants, Version 2.0 by Rudy Rucker
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
There are robots, and then there are robots. Some people hear the word and think of those annoying mechanical sidekicks from science
fiction (I'm looking at you, Twiki...) and decide that real robots are still in our not-so-distant future. Robots, though,
are in our midst every day and we seldom notice because they don't fit our space opera definition. Aside from our assembly-line machines
and not-remotely-lifelike techno-pets, our world is filled with robots in human bodies.
The Duke of Uranium by John Barnes
reviewed by Rob Kane
He didn't get admitted to the Academy, now he'll have to join the army and his girlfriend has
been kidnapped. Oh, and the Galactic Council just might decide that humans are not worth
the bother and order extermination. Yet, all in all, eighteen-year-old Jak is having the
time of his life.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on TV -- the relationship of the current Twilight Zone to that done by Rod Serling
more than a generation ago, the future of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and what we can expect from Enterprise
for the rest of the season.
Probability Space by Nancy Kress
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Sun, Moon, and Space. The titles of the three novels in Nancy Kress's Probability series
invoke the basics of physical reality. They are fitting titles for hard science fiction stories based on speculations concerning
quantum physics and the probabilities that lie in the equations. That alone would make them worthwhile for most hardcore SF readers...
i-o: input output by Simon Logan
reviewed by Gabe Chouinard
The author's fiction stands poised, triangulated, frozen in a half-step between the interstices of science fiction, horror and
fantasy. The eight stories here are all half-steps, frozen moments, pieces of industrial waste cast up on the shores of
literature. And they're good.
SF Site News
compiled by Steven H Silver
Every day, items of interest to you arrive in our email. Our bi-monthly format doesn't lend itself to daily updates.
However, this is a small inconvenience to our Contributing Editor Steven H Silver. He's begun a new column which
will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.
Alpha Transit by Edward McSweegan
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
In the mid-22nd century, humankind is taking its first steps into
interstellar space. Two living worlds have been discovered in the Alpha
Centauri system -- one even has sentients, the Bronze-age Troodons. A
small human colony has been established on the other, dubbed Norumbega.
The third starship to Centauri is damaged by a meteorite as it is
decelerating towards Norumbega...
Up in a Heaval by Piers Anthony
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
It starts out as a run-of-the-mill bet between the Demon Jupiter and Demoness Fornax -- if he won, he'd get her planet, and, perhaps,
her to play with; if she won, she'd get Xanth, and she'd would get to vivisect its creatures for research. They create Umlaut to
fulfill the bet. Not a true human, if he figures out who he is before he completes his task, Fornax wins.
Curse of the Shamra by Barry Hoffman
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
At first glance, the peaceful Shamra would seem to have everything a society could want. Their time is spent at satisfying work, rest,
and celebration. True, the bounds of tradition keep women from full participation, and the holy men are determined that nothing will
change, but they know nothing of the danger creeping ever closer.
A Conversation With Barry Hoffman
The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
An interview with Lisa DuMond
On the changing preferences of kids:
"What I've found over the years is that, due to TV, movies and video games, today's children want far more action
and violence in what they view and read than kids when I started teaching. I remember, in my early years of teaching, my students
loving stories by Ray Bradbury. Kids the same age today would yawn because there's not enough action. Part of the problem rests
with the media, but they're not the main culprits, in my opinion. There's plenty of blame to go around."
compiled by Neil Walsh
Our latest batch of new arrivals includes new novels from William Gibson, Alan Dean Foster, Robert Jordan, Timothy Zahn, Roger Levy, Robert J. Sawyer, and more.
Star Song and Other Stories by Timothy Zahn
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
In his introduction to this collection, Timothy Zahn explains that he has always liked short stories, and especially short story
collections. "Unless there was a novel by a [new and unknown] author X that looked particularly intriguing," Zahn says, "I always
preferred to start with a short story collection. Why? Because a collection gave me a better idea of the author's range than a novel ever could."
Geeks With Books
a column by Rick Klaw
Rick Klaw gives us a look at how things work from behind the counter of a book store.
He addresses the timeless question, "Does size matter?" For those whom it does, they are
missing out on some of the finest alternate history SF titles ever written.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Marvel is three for three with this new movie. It's deeply imbued with the spirit of superhero comics, where plot
consistency and the laws of physics do not count for much, as long as the characters are cool and the action fast, and where
nobody in a costume ever stays dead except Bucky.
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
In a world two millennia beyond an Apocalypse precipitated by the followers of the No-God, Mog, the high prelate of the Inrithi
church calls a Holy War against the Fanim -- a people who follow a heretical variant of Inrithism, and whose mages practice a deadly
magic the sorcerer Schoolmen of the Inrithi kingdoms don't understand. For centuries the Fanim have held Shimeh, the Holy City of
Inri Sejenus, Latter Prophet of Inrithism; it is time now to take it back.
The Faded Sun Trilogy by C.J. Cherryh
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
This trilogy was originally published as 3 separate volumes, almost 30 years ago. When encountering these books
for the first time, back in the early 80s, Alma remembers being struck most forcibly by one single aspect of the narrative -- its ALIENNESS.
It read as though it had been written by a non-human mind and hand, and then translated or transliterated into our language and
idiom. It treated the humans as just another alien species in a Universe teeming with them.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy by Douglas Adams
reviewed by David Maddox
This trilogy needs no introduction. It has become one of the most recognizable series in the SF genre,
transcending SF barriers and delighting fans of all ages for
decades. If you haven't read it, go read it now because you're missing out.
Although the increasingly inaccurate trilogy has been in print for many years, these three new editions by Victor Gollancz truly do the