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Leena Krohn
Leena Krohn A Conversation With Leena Krohn
An interview with Matthew Cheney
On writing influences:
"Hans Christian Andersen and Anton Chekhov, both masters of short stories. Harry Martinson (not as much Aniara as his smaller masterpiece The Way to Klockrike), Edgar Lee Masters (I read Spoon River in Finnish for the first time at 10 and I loved specifically "Dippold the Optician" and "Theodore the Poet"), Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (Il Gattopardo), Albert Camus (especially The Plague) and of course Franz Kafka. Two American writers who have had a strong influence on me are Emily Dickinson and Don DeLillo."

Tainaron: Mail from Another City Tainaron: Mail from Another City by Leena Krohn
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
The author has, with a slim volume of thirty letters written from an imaginary city of insects, given us a lens of words through which to consider reality, a microscope to reveal yearning and wonder, a telescope to look for what it means to be human, a window and a mirror and an eye other than our own.

The Last Guardian of Everness The Last Guardian of Everness by John C. Wright
reviewed by David Soyka
A young man with a task. Strange signs of impending doom. The disbelief of elders. The young man sets off on a difficult quest that may determine the balance between Good and Evil. A loving husband makes an ill-fated bargain to save his wife from a terrible disease. His wife his saved, but the small print contains hidden contractual obligations for rendering payment due. Seems familiar, right? Well... not quite.

Exile's Return Exile's Return by Raymond E. Feist
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Kaspar, the deposed Duke of Olasko, is in big trouble. Dumped on the other side of the world, in the Novindus desert, Kaspar is captured by a group of nomadic tribesmen. Escaping, Kaspar struggles and sweats his way to civilisation. While attempting to reach the major port of Novindus, he meets a small group of traders, also on their way back to Midkemia. Their venture has been broken by bad luck, and only four of the original thirty remain. We learn that things began to go bad when they acquired a strange, sealed suit of black armour.

The Hedge Knight The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin
reviewed by Adam Volk
Taking place a hundred years before the events in the A Song of Ice and Fire, it chronicles the misadventures of Dunk, a burly and somewhat oafish commoner who has spent his life as a squire to Ser Arlan; a now elderly hedge knight who earns his living wandering aimlessly from both jousting tournament and battlefield alike. Dunk naturally longs for the day when he too can take up the mantle of a knight; a chance he is finally given when Ser Arlan finally passes away on a mud splattered road in the middle of nowhere.

Lost Truth Lost Truth by Dawn Cook
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Conflicted and rebellious, Alissa is thankful when something new comes up: it seems that her dreams of late are not entirely dreams. The former Master population of the Hold still lives, stranded far away on a distant island, unable to find their way home. So Alissa, Strell, Lodesh, and a young raku Alissa rescued from feralness, Connen-Neute, set off to find the missing Masters and bring them home after decades away.

Elphame's Choice Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Elphame, the great-granddaughter of Rhiannon and the daughter of Etain, the current Goddess Incarnate is struggling to find her way. Born part-human and part-centaur, she is worshiped by the people of Partholon and she hates it. Elphame is a woman -- not a goddess. Epona, the Goddess, has never directly spoken to Elphame. As a matter of fact, Elphame has never experienced anything magical except her hybrid looks.

Robots Robots
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It is very much what you expect from the makers of Ice Age. The dance on ball bearings was Rick's favorite bit. Robin Williams delivers so many one-liners that a few of them are bound to be funny. Like so many postmodern cartoons, the movie mocks sentimentality at the same time that it relies on sentimentality to keep the viewer interested.

Babylon 5.1 Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick has TV reviews of the Smallville episode titled "Lucy" and the Battlestar Galactica episodes titled "The Hand of God."

Sarah Micklem A Conversation With Sarah Micklem
On violence in Firethorn:
"I wanted to look at a warrior culture -- one that celebrates warfare as essential to manhood -- from underneath and outside. It takes violence to sustain this society and give it meaning. Everyday violence keeps women and low-caste people in their place. The violence of war allows men to win glory, not to mention the plunder that sustains their way of life."

Best Read of the Year: 2004 SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year: 2004
compiled by Neil Walsh
Once again we solicited our loyal SF Site readership to vote for their favourite books of the year. The results are in, and the Top 10 Readers' Choice Best Books of 2004 are a healthy mix of science fiction, fantasy, and other genre-bending, boundary-blurring work. You're invited to compare this list to the Editors' Choice Top 10 Books of 2004 to see what the SF Site staff recommends and where there is some overlap in what you, the readers, have chosen.

SF Site Discussion Forum SF Site Discussion Forum
Each day we get many emails from SF Site visitors. Some are simple to answer. Others ask questions which stump us and we refer them to others who may have the answer. Several just want to exchange views with somebody who will listen. All of this correspondence convinced us to try installing a discussion forum. Drop by for a visit. Browse the topics. If you see something that piques your interest, register and send your reply.

The Twist The Twist by Richard Calder
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
The central character is a 9 year-old anti-hero named Nicola E. Newton. She runs away from home, and makes friends with Venusian Necrobabe Viva Venera, and John Twist, her half-dead cowboy boyfriend. The story is set in Tombstone, a version of the Wild West, which exists in perpetuity as part of a Venusian plan to save humanity from the dangerous technology acquired as a result of interplanetary contact.

Crystal Soldier Crystal Soldier by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
Jela is alone on a planet after a crash landing, with enough supplies to survive a short time. As he follows a line of dead trees down toward what once was an ocean, he reviews his situation: shot down in the on-going war against the sherieka, who were once human, but who redesigned themselves so radically that they now consider themselves perfect, and in order to make the universe sublime enough for them to live in, they must eradicate all traces of their human past. Oh, and the human worlds as well.

SF Site News 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.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh
The latest shipment of new books to the SF Site office include new and forthcoming works from John C. Wright, Robert J. Sawyer, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Robert Charles Wilson, Caitlin Sweet, Richard Morgan, Orson Scott Card, and many others. Check out the full list below.

Sliding Scales Sliding Scales by Alan Dean Foster
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
Every adventure Flinx has seems to bring him more troubles. Hunted all over the universe, the very same universe that depends on him to save it, and separated from his one true love, who is very ill, he is understandably stressed. And depressed. So his ship mind makes a rather pleasant suggestion. Take a vacation. A real vacation. To a little, not very well known planet called Jast on the edge of the Commonwealth.

The Autumn Castle The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins
reviewed by Alisa McCune
One fateful day, Christine injures herself and is transported to Ewigkreis. In this strange land, Christine encounters a talking fox named Eisengrimm and the Fairy Queen. Queen Mayfridh is Christine's childhood friend, May. As children, they performed a 'blood bond' that allowed Christine to enter Ewigkreis. Queen Mayfridh is amazed and intrigued to be reunited with her friend Christine. After Christine returns to the real world, Mayfridh longs for all she lost.

 Vox: SF For Your Ears Vox: SF For Your Ears
a column by Scott Danielson
Scott Danielson is looking at audio SF -- on tape, on CD, on whatever. This time out, some of the titles he has been listening to include Roger Gregg' s Diabolic Playhouse, Dinotopia from ZBS, the Anne Manx adventures of The Radio Repertory Company of America and Jeff Green's Soundings.

Encounters Encounters edited by Maxine McArthur and Maree Hanson
reviewed by Steven H Silver
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ford Prefect explains the concept of buzzing to an incredulous Arthur Dent. According to Prefect, aliens "find some isolated spot with very few people around, then they land right by some poor unsuspecting soul whom no one's ever going to believe and then strut up and down in front of him wearing silly antennae on their head and making beep beep noises." This is a concept which is played up in the first two stories of this anthology.

The Pretender The Pretender
a give-away contest
The Pretender is the story of Jarod, a boy-genius taken from his family as a child. Jarod possesses the ability to quickly learn and impersonate different jobs and occupations. His abductors, a facility simply known as The Centre, tested his abilities through various simulations. But after years of these performances, Jarod becomes wise to the fact that these simulations aren't being used to help people. Knowing this, Jarod breaks free from his captors and sets out to find his family.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?

First Novels

City of Towers City of Towers by Keith Baker
reviewed by Craig Shackleton
The novel lends a new grittier edge to the setting. It's refreshing to see a fantasy world in which the impoverished underclass is truly downtrodden and living in filth and misery. Racism, class conflict and post-war tension abound, right alongside vice and corruption. The stark contrast of the opulence of the wealthy and their blind indifference to those (literally) beneath them serves to reinforce this picture.

Second Looks

To the Stars To the Stars by L. Ron Hubbard
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Alan Corday, engineer-surveyor 10th class, is shanghied on to the long passage ship Hound of Heaven under the orders of cantankerous Capt. Jocelyn. Angry and frustrated, he eventually learns how the ship operates, but upon his return to Earth, his girlfriend is long dead, and the world entirely different from the one he left, so he can never go home. He becomes part of a community of de facto outcasts who live on the ship, traveling from planet to planet.


The New Masters of Fantasy 2004 The New Masters of Fantasy 2004
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This CD-ROM is published by Epilogue.net, an on-line artists' community with a focus on the fantastic in art. This collection of art was selected by Don Maitz, Jeff Easley and Larry Elmore. It is the second annual collection and it includes more than twice as many artists that appeared the first collection.

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