Paradox by John Meaney
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
The populace lives underground, in vast cavern complexes whose layers reflect (and
effect) social position: the nobles in the Primum Stratum, the underclasses in the bottom strata, with many shades and
nuances in between. This rigidly classist culture is dominated by the Oracles, men and women who are able to cast their
consciousness up and down the time stream and thus unerringly predict the future. Despite its stagnant and archaic social
structure, Nulapeiron's is an extremely advanced society, with technology that borders on the magical.
Godplayers by Damien Broderick
reviewed by Rich Horton
The novel follows a young man from Australia named August Seebeck. His parents disappeared, presumed dead,
when he was a boy, and he was raised by relatives, in particular his Aunt Miriam and later his Great-Aunt Tansy. He comes home
to Tansy's house after herding cattle in the outback, to find that she claims dead bodies have been showing up in her bathtub.
Haunted by Kelley Armstrong
reviewed by Alisa McCune
Eve Levine, Savannah's mother and a ghost, is being sent on a mission to track a Nix, a Germanic demi-demon nymph who
feeds off chaos. This particular Nix has been jumping from woman to woman giving them the necessary drive to murder. The
Nix feeds off the chaos and anguish these murders create. Eventually she grows weary of her partner and devises a way for
them to be caught and create even more chaos.
Fourth Planet from the Sun edited by Gordon Van Gelder
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Mars orbits the sun at an average distance of 227.9 million kilometers with a period of about 22½ earth months. Its bright
red, potentially menacing glow early on linked the name of the planet to the gods of blood and war in numerous
civilizations. With the publication in 1898 of H.G. Wells's novel, The War of the Worlds, Mars became
inextricably linked in the public imagination with aliens and invasion.
Falling Into Heaven by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
The world is more inhabited with hopeless, lonely people than we care to admit
most of the time. Every other person who passes us on the street is trying desperately to forget something too painful to
carry around all their lives, someone they can never replace, some peace that cannot be theirs. In this collection
there are ways around this suffering, but they seldom lead where we and the characters hope. And pain has many more forms
than we imagine.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Some of the newest books to arrive at the SF Site office include the latest from Steve Aylett, Gwyneth Jones, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Jane Lindskold, Chris Wooding, Charles Stross, and others.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Batman Begins is a major disappointment, a muddled mess. It begins with an hour-long origin story, which is almost
identical to the origin story in the movie The Shadow -- not a great movie, but a better movie than this one.
The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1 edited by Karen Joy Fowler, Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin, Jeffrey D. Smith
reviewed by Kit O'Connell
The best thing about this anthology is "The Snow Queen," a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson newly translated
by Diana Crone Frank and Jeffrey Frank. It is followed by two modern, Tiptree award-winning
retellings of the story. "The Lady of the Ice Garden," by Kara Dalkey, is a Japanese retelling of the fable
and Kelly Link's "Travels with the Snow Queen," a clever, post-modernist interpretation that uses the fable as a metaphor for the emotional
upheaval of relationships and breakups.
The Severed Man by George Mann
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
The fifth entry in the Time Hunter series sees time travellers Honoré Lechasseur and Emily
Blandish on the trail of two mysterious figures -- a small boy and a tramp. Lechasseur has the ability to perceive
people's time-lines (or 'time-snakes' as he calls them here), and both these individuals have unusual ones. The boy's
time-snake has no end or beginning; in contrast, the tramp's has been cut, so he exists only in the present.
Enter the Real Matrix: an interview with Jake Horsley
conducted by Sandy Auden
"Generally, the first step to unplugging is an overwhelming sense of disgust, despair, and contempt with life,
the world, and everything. For many it begins at the home, with family members, possibly via "romantic" relationships, in which we begin to
feel the terrible suffocating influence of other people's thoughts and expectations."
Heart of Whitenesse by Howard Waldrop
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
There is a school of thought that holds a short story should stand on its own, without benefit of a foreword or an afterword
explanation. It's a debatable proposition that probably holds up well as an ideal critical standard, but like all rules it
eventually must meet its exception. That exception is Howard Waldrop, whose stories stand up fine on their own, and then
become even better after the author explains them.
Vox: SF For Your Ears
Was by Geoff Ryman
a column by Scott Danielson
Scott Danielson is looking at audio SF -- on tape, on CD, on whatever. This
time out, he is looking at podcasting. He has visited sites to find out how it works,
where you can find some and where it is going.
Computer Viruses in Books: an interview with Mark Chadbourn
conducted by Sandy Auden
"Stories are the best way for transmitting ideas, because the ideas are put into a structure where they can sink
deep into our subconscious, where memes do their work. One example that illustrates the power of stories to transmit
memes is the TV series Hill Street Blues. Academic studies have noted police acted a certain way before
the series was broadcast, and then subtly adjusted their behaviour, subconsciously, afterwards, so they acted more like the characters."
Mists of Everness by John C. Wright
reviewed by David Soyka
When last we left our heroes, the forces of evil had descended upon Everness House, a portal between the dream world and
ordinary human existence. The hearty band that had bravely tried to draw a "line in the sand" between the nightmare and the
mundane is dispersed, and darkness is poised to envelope the world.
Fearful Symmetries by Thomas F. Monteleone
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
The themes of the stories in this collection range widely from
revenge, black magic, Lovecraftian monsters to stories of cruel wagers, obsessive fatherly
love, sheer madness, sometimes with a gentle Twilight Zone touch, sometimes with a nasty taste.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on seeing Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith for a second time. He also
gives us some tips on why the DVD box set of Lois & Clark - Season One is worth watching.
Highlander: The Raven
a give-away contest
The HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN TV series extends the wildly popular HIGHLANDER series, charting the amazing journeys
of Immortal Amanda Derieux and following the action of the Immortal's age-old struggle for
dominion - Good vs. Evil. Through it all the moral conflict of The Raven unfolds and deepens as her captivating
story leaps time and emotions to bring us further into the mesmerizing world of the Immortals.
Read the contents, answer the questions, win a DVD. Easy, eh?
reviewed by Matthew Cheney
It is a novel woven from three main strands of narrative: the story of a girl
named Dorothy who lives a sad and painful life in 19th-century Kansas and once made an impression on a young substitute
teacher named Frank Baum; the story of Frances Gumm, whose difficult childhood forever haunted the persona she became
when she changed her name to Judy Garland; and the story of Jonathan, an actor dying of AIDS who dreams of one day
playing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, and who, before he dies, traces Dorothy back to Kansas and Baum.
The Immortals by James Gunn
Voices of Vision by Jayme Lynn Blaschke
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
There are two fundamental propositions that give rise to works of science fiction. One is What if? as in: what
if something new comes along that completely revises the paradigm of our existence? What if we discover life out
there? What if it discovers us?
The other is If this goes on... as in: suppose we logically extrapolate a trend in our current situation, where will
it take us and our posterity?
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This collection of interviews run the gamut of the field, including authors and editors and comic book writers. From recently
published authors such as Patricia Anthony to stalwarts of the field such as Jack Williamson, these interviews give a
broad look, not just at the history of the field, but at the breadth of topics which can be covered, and the manner in
which they can be covered, under the rubric of science fiction.