The James Tiptree Award Anthology 2 edited by Karen Joy Fowler, Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin, Jeffrey D. Smith|
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The James Tiptree Award is probably the most idiosyncratic award in science fiction. While all other awards aim at recognising some
version of the 'best' in the genre, the Tiptree Award goes to fiction 'that explores and expands our notion of gender.' While other
awards announce a short list and then draw their winner from it, the Tiptree Award chooses a winner and then publishes a
short list. While other awards separate out novel, novella, novelette and short story (if they consider the shorter forms at
all), the Tiptree Award has recognised, without fear or favour, novels, short stories and collections. And no other award
finances itself by bake sales, cook books and auctions -- or would even dream of doing so.
Best of 2005
complied by Greg L. Johnson
Getting ready to make his best of the year list, Greg takes all the books he has read in the last year that
qualify and pile them on top of one of his bookcases. It gives him a good look at them, and also is a good way to get an
overall impression of what kind of year it was for readers of science fiction, fantasy, and all the related fictions
that appear in the space of a year. This time, two observations were readily apparent.
Shriek: An Afterword by Jeff VanderMeer
a novel excerpt
"There came a night so terrible that no one ever dared to name it. There came a night so terrible that I could not. There came a night so terrible that no one could explain it. There came the most terrible of nights. No, that's not right, either. There came the most terrible of nights that could not be forgotten, or forgiven, or even named. That's closer, but sometimes I choose not to revise. Let it be raw and awkward splayed across the page, as it was in life."
A Conversation With Jeff VanderMeer
An interview with Clare Dudman
On his vision of Ambergris:
"I remember going to bed in a kind of peaceful state. Everything around me seemed to be slow
and comprehensible in an odd way. I began to dream. I can't remember the
dream, but I remember waking from the dream with an image of the city of Ambergris in my head. And the image was wedded
to the character of a troubled missionary staring up at a third story window and falling in love with a woman he saw
there. I don't think I was really awake yet."
Numbers Don't Lie by Terry Bisson
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Irving, our narrator, has no head for science, so he can't understand how the Moon could be inside
a mechanic's shed when it's clearly still in the sky; or why a previously deteriorating car seat cover is now improving by the day;
or what's making planes and trains arrive on time all of a sudden. Luckily, his friend Wilson Wu is (amongst many other things) a
mathematical genius, and he knows what's going on.
New Wave of Speculative Fiction: The What If Factor edited by Sean Wright
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
Writers have strange minds. You may feel alone in this, but after reading this book,
you can be assured that not only are you in good company, but also your creative mind isn't as
strange as some. Thirteen speculative fiction writers contributed to this anthology of stories that will make you pause
in your seat, deep in thought, having just glimpsed something stranger than most would imagine.
a column by Michael M Jones
Michael is reading short fiction and young adult titles and he has some thoughts. This time, he looks at
Eldest by Christopher Paolini,
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and
Tales From The Brothers Grimm And The Sisters Weird by Vivian Vande Velde.
Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds
The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen
reviewed by David Soyka
A crew of commercial "space divers" recovers water-rich ice comets that are "pushed back" to the inner worlds
for mining. On one of their trips, Janus, a moon of Saturn, is moving out of orbit and behaving like an alien spacecraft.
Their company mining ship Rockhopper is the only vessel close enough to intercept for an intelligence mission.
Trouble is, the company owner isn't telling all it knows about Rockhopper's ability to return home.
Dogs of Truth by Kit Reed
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
She continues to turn out stories that are fresh, daring, clever, unexpected, all the things we love about really great
science fiction. Over the past decades, she has won plaudits from most of the top writers in the genre, and from most of the serious
press outside the genre. So how come there is still a sense of an undiscovered treasure about her? How come she isn't
automatically recognised far and wide for what she is, quite simply one of the best writers at work in the genre today?
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his movie predictions for what is worth seeing in 2006, reflects upon his predictions for 2005
and gives us a couple of corrections.
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
This trilogy takes us to the desert world of Austar IV. Once a penal colony, the planet's economy is now based
around its native dragons, whom the human settlers breed to battle each other in Pits. There is a two-tier social structure of
masters and "bonders," the latter wearing bags which they must fill with money before they can buy freedom and become masters
themselves. We meet Jakkin Stewart, a young bonder at the nursery of Master Sarkkhan (all descendants of Austar's
original convict population have a double-K in their names), who plans to steal a dragon and train it himself.
Collected Stories, Vol.3 by Richard Matheson
reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Originally part of a huge volume of collected stories published in 1989, the
present book includes some ageless classics as 'Duel' and ' Nightmare at 20,000 Feet' -- too widely known to require any
further comment -- as well as a number of less famous stories so fresh and entertaining that they give the impression of
having been written only yesterday.