The Year of Our War by Steph Swainston|
reviewed by Martin Lewis
The Fourlands have been at war for the last two thousand years, ever since God left the world. Despite the fact that the war against
the Insects is such an integral part of life and it gives the calendar its name, a state approaching equilibrium has been
achieved. The Insects are separated from the three sentient species of the world by the Wall, a barrier of masticated detritus.
From time to time, the cancre of the Wall is lanced to drain the Insects into corrals and killing floors where they can be
slaughtered. The book opens with just such an event, a messy assault lead by Dunlin Rachiswater, the King of Awia. During the attack
and with his blood up, Rachiswater plunges through the Wall with a group of his men to take the battle to the Insects.
Market Forces by Richard Morgan
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
As society splits further into the haves and the have nots, government becomes less and less meaningful in peoples lives. Globalisation
allows international corporations to become powers unto themselves, their only ethics that of the bottom line. Add in an economic
depression which takes social services away from the middle and lower classes but preserves the status of corporate executives.
This is the world in which Chris Faulkner finds himself a privileged member.
The novel gives us the unrelentingly violent tale of a man who would probably be a fairly decent human being,
if his own past, and the world he lived in would only allow it.
Dragon's Treasure by Elizabeth A. Lynn
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Dragonlord Karadur Atani, having warred with his sorcerer brother Tenjiro to regain the dragon birthright that Tenjiro stole, finds
himself uneasy in the peace that follows. Of all the shapechangers in the world -- hawk and bear and wolf, all settled among their own
kin and kind -- only Dragon is alone. Karadur longs for others like himself, or, if they are not to be found, for a woman through whom he
can pass on his blood. His choice to marry would be welcomed by all his household, except, perhaps, his long-time lover, the crippled bard Azil Aumson.
A Conversation With E.E. Knight
An interview with Alisa McCune
"H.G. Wells in The War of the Worlds has that long conversation between the narrator and the sapper about a future for mankind under the
Martians. That little passage really started it off. As a teen, I used it as inspiration for a role-playing game (RPG) campaign about Earth under these
vampire-aliens (in The War of the Worlds, if you remember, the Martians live by drinking blood from a livestock species). My players loved
it. Much later on when I finally got around to seriously novel writing I started reshaping that world, because it had really stayed
with me over the intervening years as a dark place worth exploring."
Way of the Wolf by E.E. Knight
reviewed by Alisa McCune
In 2022, the world as we know it comes to an end. Aliens who call themselves Kurians have taken over Earth. The Kurians are not harmless
and have very sinister designs on humanity. Each Kurian controls a group of Reapers -- a vampire-like wraith who prowls the night stealing
a human's lifeforce or aura. The auras are the means with which the Kurians remain immortal. The Kurians have some of humanity
in league with them. Many people have agreed to help the Kurians by selling out their neighbors.
A Time to Die by Mickey Zucker Reichert
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
A few years back, Benjamin Nash was elected President of the United States on a platform that promised the most impossible of things:
an end to death. Not just sometime, but by the year 2030. It is a promise he has not really able to keep, but 2030 rolls around he's
still in office. Doctor Patricia Jewett is a chronic care specialist who obeys the strict laws of life at all cost. The patients must
be kept alive no matter the damage, and babies, even if the fetus proves to genetically mutated beyond all expectations of a decent
life, are brought to term. Patricia is the one who watches over them all, until two major things happen.
Coalescent by Stephen Baxter
reviewed by David Maddox
Millions of workers milling through corridors, looking alike, dressing the same, no specific leader, running on instinct and
pheromones just like an ant hill. But the denizens of the underground crypt are not insects. They are humans.
The author asks the question "What would happen if a group of humans
sealed themselves off from society for about 80 generations?" Would they still be human, or would they be evolving into
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. His column
will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his views on the Century City episode, "To Know Her."
He also tells us what to watch in April.
The Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
We return to the world of Corona in God's Year 54 where we meet Brother Bran Dynard, a devout follower
of the Blessed Abelle and carrier of amazing discoveries and an incredible book to share with his beloved church. Earnest and
naïve, Bran never thinks to take into account one of the dark truths of religion; those in power will do almost anything to
prevent change. It's a miscalculation that will cost the brother and his beautiful and amazing new bride dearly.
Queen of the Amazons by Judith Tarr
reviewed by Alisa McCune
The novel is an incredible mythological journey that captures you and doesn't let go. The Amazons
of legend are reborn here as a tribe of women in the time of Alexander the Great. These women live a nomadic, female-dominated
society. Queen Hippolyta, the current ruler has just given birth to a child.
The Burning Land by Victoria Strauss
a novel excerpt
"The rush of water caught Gyalo full in the chest. It felt completely real; he gasped and leaped aside before he could stop himself, brushing at his face and clothes. Even as he did, he understood the trick, and straightened up again, angry at himself for being taken in.
He thought he could see the one who had done it: a skinny postulant with the yellow headband of a trainee Shaper, leaning over the back of a passing parade cart and grinning in Gyalo's direction. Packed in around him, other trainees tossed blessings to the crowd: a shower of spangles, streamers of transparent gauze, a burst of rainbow brilliance..."
The Ethos Effect by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Commander Van Albert is an accomplished career military officer, but a constant source of annoyance to his politicking superiors in
the upper ranks of the RSF. After achieving dramatic success , he is promoted into retirement. But still young and wanting to work as a
ship's captain, he accepts a lucrative and mysterious offer from a foundation called Integrated Information Systems.
When war breaks out, Albert finds himself in a pivotal position and he must face tough choices about who lives, who dies, and
who will control the fate of the galaxy.
a column by Matthew Peckham
Matthew Peckham reviews selected titles of one week's worth of comics.
But don't look for frequent reviews of the more popular stuff here, e.g. Spider-Man or Batman,
X-Men or JLA -- they get plenty of attention.
Instead, he is dipping into a combination of the low print run mainstream and independent, alternative, web-based or small press stuff.
Xena: Warrior Princess
a give-away contest
In a time of ancient gods, ruthless warlords and capricious kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty Warrior Princess forged in the heat of battle. Together with her sidekick Gabrielle in tow, Xena battles barbarians, overcomes oppressors and defeats demigods to protect the innocent and fight for peace in ancient Greece. Combining the series' trademark humor and dark mythological drama with Lucy Lawless's fiery and sexy persona, Xena: Warrior Princess completely redefined the role of the female action hero on television.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?
Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Let's recap, Sookie Stackhouse is being pursued by four men: Bill, the local vampire who is sort of an ex- but not really; Eric the
Viking vampire, who is also the Vampire Sheriff of Area 5; Alcide, a werewolf with a vicious ex- who is definitely still in the
picture; and lastly, Sam, the loyal collie, owner of Merlotte's and Sookie's boss. The vampires need Sookie for her telepathic abilities.
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 13
reviewed by David Soyka
This quirky magazine goes upscale (for at least this one issue) with its lucky thirteenth issue, replacing its chapbook-style 'zine
look with a perfectly bound higher quality color cover and paper stock, while still remaining, well, quirky. For
all the complaints about the supposed demise of genre magazine fiction, it's nice to note that the publishers
see an expanding market niche for their peculiar (and I mean that in the best sense of
the word) tastes.
Dawn of the Dead
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Times have changed. The audience was rooting for the humans when we watched the original George Romero movie Dawn of the Dead,
affectionately called Mall of the Living Dead by its many fans. Now, the audience is rooting for the zombies.
As zombie movies go, Dawn of the Dead is pretty good.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Recent arrivals to the SF Site office include the first poetry collection from Orson Scott Card, and many new and forthcoming books from the likes of Charles Stross, Robert Silverberg, Laurie J. Marks, Joe R. Lansdale, Cory Doctorow, Peter Crowther, and many more.
The Bachelor Machine by M. Christian
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
Justine is a high-priced hooker that is wired for a perverse but unique kind of thrill. Thanks to extensive implants and
modifications, she can have her throat slit by a client who can then fulfill
necrophilic fantasies on a body that can wake up again, save them from criminal charges, and collect a hefty fee. In the story,
"Everything But the Smell of Lilies," her pimp asks her to stage a distraction from a crime and act as a real victim, placing her
in the hands of a paramedic with a taste for actual corpses.
reviewed by Sam Ashurst
When George Orr is arrested for misuse of prescription drugs, the authorities decide to send him to a behavioural psychologist to try and
cure his unusual addiction. George believes that his dreams can alter reality, and has been using sleep repressants to try and control them.
His therapist, Dr William Haber, is initially sceptical. But when Haber discovers that George is telling the truth, he decides to use
Orr's powers to try and change the world for the better...