Best Read of the Year: 2003|
compiled by Neil Walsh
Just as our last Best Read of the Year: 2002 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.
A Conversation With Greer Gilman
An interview with Sherwood Smith
On beginning stories:
"What I have is a junk heap, a congeries of stuff. A rag tag, a rat's nest. A button box of words. I jackdaw anything: this
bit of wordplay, that Vermeer. Ravellings of ballads, rags of folklore, postcards of old farm tools, shards of myth. All
things that fascinate me, riddles that I worry at. I brood on this; I try to make something of it, turning it this way and that. I'm clueless."
Recommended Reading 2003
compiled by William Thompson
"I have listed my recommendations by author's name, with brief comments that may aid the reader in making selections,
as some of the work included is wide-ranging in interest and scope, nor would I expect each work to offer equal attraction to
everyone. Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend any of these books, especially to the reader whose interests are varied and
open to all the differing riches that fantasy and science fiction represents, and believe that in 2003, these were amongst the
best the genre had to offer."
Falling Out of Cars by Jeff Noon
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
His latest novel revolves around Marlene, a journalist grieving for her dead daughter, and three
companions, an ex-thug named Peacock, an ex-soldier named Henderson, and a teenager named Tupelo. They, or perhaps the world around
them, are sick with a disease that doesn't have a name, but manifests itself as something called noise. The world
is still there, behind the corrupted messages of the senses, but it can't be understood: words can't be read and music can't be
followed and photos can't be interpreted and mirrors have grown terrifying, for to look in them is to fail to recognize what you see.
There Will Be Dragons by John Ringo
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In the far flung future, the world is perfect. A huge super computer named Mother watches over everything, making sure that the
Earth's balance remains unchanged. People use nannites to do everything for them. Disease, poverty, it has all gone.
Of course, not everyone's content to leave well enough alone. Paul, part of the council, thinks that mankind has gotten soft.
Several of the council are with him, several are
opposed, and the ensuing battle between the two factions drains the energy that runs everything else. Neither side
can relent, for fear that the other faction will blast them and emerge victorious. What does this mean for everyone
else? Utter disaster.
compiled by Neil Walsh
February has brought to the SF Site offices new novels from Robin Hobb, Laurell K. Hamilton, Victoria Strauss, a collection from Joe R. Lansdale, an anthology edited by Catherine Asaro, and a book on writing advice from Terry Brooks. Plus much more.
Highlander: The Series
a give-away contest
When his samurai mentor, Hideo Koto, commits Seppuku, Duncan not only takes on a deathbed oath to forever protect his fallen mentor's
family, but also takes possession of the extraordinary Dragon's Head Katana.
A darkly twisted turn of events leads Duncan into a battlefield alliance with the oldest living Immortal, Methos, an alliance
that may well end in the death of this legendary being.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?
Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Joanne Baldwin, Weather Warden, can control air and water and manipulate the weather to her own ends, so long as those ends are for
the greater good of an unknowing public and a strictly hierarchical Wardens Association.
Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. Except that she's on the run from her friends and co-workers, accused of murder and tainted by an unholy force.
Should she be caught, she'll be depowered, or killed, regardless of her innocence. Her only hope lies in finding Lewis Orwell.
Dragon's Kin by Anne and Todd McCaffrey
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Kindan has spent his life in the coal camp of Natalon, where he helps his father tend the watch-whers that
are so vital to the safety of the mines. A distant relative to dragons, they have large eyes that are painfully sensitive to the
sun, and an ability to tell if the air in a mine is bad. A tragic accident robs Kindan of his family and the mine's only
watch-wher. They need a watch-wher, and since Kindan is the only person there who knows anything about it, he gets to ride
on a dragon to get a new one. Kisk will do more than become the mine's new watch-wher.
An Interview with Greer Gilman
An interview with Michael Swanwick
"Jack Daw's Pack" appeared in the Winter, 2000 issue of Century. It is a dense, allusive work and one that rewards close study. Those
very qualities that make it most interesting, however, will also prove daunting to many who would otherwise enjoy it -- it is not the easiest
story in the world to appreciate. So, shortly after its publication, in the hope of opening it up to a wider readership, I began an
interview via e-mail with Greer Gilman about her work. The fruits of which are as follows.
SF Site News
Mulengro by Charles de Lint
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. His column
will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.
A Conversation With Gwyneth Jones
Part 2 of an interview with David Soyka
On adapting for the screen:
"I see the Bold As Love books more as TV material, a long-running TV serial, say a series per volume. That would be very
nice, though I can't pretend it's likely. Sometimes our UK serials are wonderful. I don't see the books as translating well into
movies: too many strands. But in a way, secretly, I think Bold As Love (the first volume) is already a movie. The legend
of the Dissolution, Hollywood version, with great chunks of the story left out or simplified and a bewildering thunder of terrible
events smoothed into the classic boy-meets-destiny arc."
The Fourth Circle by Zoran Zivkovic
reviewed by William Thompson
Imagine, if you will, finding yourself standing alone upon a horizon-less plain, devoid of all features except the level, dust-laid
ground and the night sky overhead, swept with stars constant in their brilliance. Though the constellations appear entirely wrong
to you, and the land lifeless and lacking in atmosphere, you are not disturbed by this or the pervading, preternatural silence: you
are here because of The Circle, before which all else seems inconsequent. When you first arrived, two suns had hung low in the
distance, just as you know a third will eventually rise behind you.
Path of Fate by Diana Pharaoh Francis
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Reisil spent her life being passed from one family to another, an orphan and burden being shared by all the village. Now a
grown woman, she is a skilled Tark, or healer, living in a tiny house in the very town she grew up in. As part of the agreement,
she's working for them for six months, a sort of trial period, after which if they decide they want her, she can stay. And it
looks like she's staying. In short, she finally has everything she has ever wanted, something many of us have and take for
granted -- a home and a dependable career. So it is no wonder that, when an ahalad-kaaslane goshawk flies towards her,
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on Oscar nominations and some news about Angel and Battlestar Galactica.
He reviews Dark Shadows, Volume Nine and Alice in Wonderland, The Masterpiece Edition.
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
The Gypsy culture comes to Ottawa. Patrick Briggs, an Ottawa cop, worries
that the murders brings with them an element he's unable to fathom and
incapable of stopping. Perhaps, it is only the Rom who can handle it.
John W. Campbell's Golden Age of Science Fiction
a DVD review by Trent Walters
James Gunn's Campbell film, as buttressed by new material from Eric Solstein taping authors who actually
knew the man, may shed new light on things. In fact, there may not have been a single movie (book may be too bold a
statement) more important to understanding the SF genre released last year. Or perhaps even in the last decade. If you want to write
science fiction with science in it, this is one movie you must watch.