Missile Gap by Charles Stross
reviewed by Stuart Carter
During the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 everything on Earth was transplanted onto a gigantic flat disc in
the Lesser Magellanic Cloud one million years in the future. But the old Cold War rivalries have continued unabated.
Maddy Holbright and husband Joe are part of the ongoing US colonisation efforts, sailing for six months across this vast new
world to start a new life in New Iowa, and Gregor Samsa is some kind of secret agent. He is working
in a shell-shocked USA, still coming to terms with its superpower status being rendered functionally irrelevant in this strange
new world. There he meets a certain Dr. Carl Sagan.
Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2006
You've waited patiently for a whole year, but at last your favourite season has rolled around again. Yes,
that's right, it's time to finish reading those new books that have been stacking up on your bookshelves, your
floor or bedside table, because very soon you'll need to determine which ones you feel are the best of the
best. Or at least, you will if you want to have a say in the annual SF Site Readers' Choice Awards!
This year will bring the SF Site's 9th annual Readers' Choice Best of the Year Awards. But only with your
help. As many of our long-time readers already know, every year about this time we solicit our readers for their input
on what were the best books they read in the past year. We'll tally the results and post them in February or early
March so that you can see how well your favourites fare -- and, with any luck, find some great recommendations too.
The deadline for voting is February 9, 2007. If you've forgotten what you chose in previous years,
you can find them all linked at Best Read of the Year including
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman which was the top choice last year.
Women of Sci-Fi 2007
Actors Christopher Judge and Michael Shank have gathered together actresses from favourite sci-fi shows,
such as Andromeda, Smallville, Stargate SG-1, and
Stargate Atlantis to produce the 2007 Women of Sci-Fi Calendar.
From Black Rooms by Stephen Woodworth
reviewed by Trent Walters
Natalie is a Violet. In this parallel universe, souls communicate to the living world through mediums. Crimes can be solved
by talking directly to the victims. Being a Violet means she not only has violet eyes, but that genetically she is one of
the rare mediums for speaking to the dead. She has had to be trained to fend off souls from entering her, without her wishing
them to. Also, if she wants to speak to a particular soul, she needs a touchstone, something -- usually meaningful to
the soul -- that it came in contact with while alive.
Escape from Earth edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois and Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
All of the 420 pages of Escape from Earth, even the stand-out stories by Joe Haldeman and Orson Scott Card,
are put to shame by the 135 pages of Naomi Mitchison's Travel Light. First published in 1952,
it is a model of how a story should be written for teenagers. No, let's
make this right, the book may have been written for teenagers, but it can be read with real pleasure by anyone. Which
is probably the secret of its success: there is no implication of talking down to the audience, of an adult saying I know how you feel.
Dispatches From Smaragdine: January 2007
a column by Jeff VanderMeer
In this month's column from Smaragdine, Jeff attends the giant Logorrheic Coelacanth migration and celebration,
provides an interview with Salon Fantastique's editor, Ellen Datlow.
and, in his spare time, gives us a fiction review of Grey, a first novel by Jon Armstrong.
Hammerjack and Prodigal by Marc D. Giller
The Steam Magnate by Dana Copithorne
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Earth is ruled by the super-corporations of the Collective, successor
to the sovereign nations of the old world order, which collapsed more than a century earlier in a storm of terrorism and environmental
crisis. The Collective also dominates the infosphere, known as the Axis, where semi-sentient security crawlers guard corporate
cyber-citadels against the hackers called hammerjacks, who steal corporate secrets and sell them to the highest bidder. Outside the
zones controlled by the Collective, the world is a dangerous, anarchic free-for-all of mobsters, drug dealers, flesh peddlers, and
street cults, where anything, from sex slaves to illegal tech, can be had for a price.
compiled by Neil Walsh
New arrivals here at the SF Site office include the latest from the likes of Mary Gentle, Mike Resnick, and Guy Gavriel Kay, as well as previews of forthcoming highlights from 2007, including new works from Carol Emshwiller, Keri Arthur, Tim Pratt, and many more.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Eragon is a dragon movie that does not have an original bone in its body.
The writers were saved the trouble of actually doing any writing, since the entire plot is borrowed from one
source or another, and pasted into the template of the farm boy who saves the princess and fights the evil king, a plot that was
old when the brothers Grimm were young.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick gives us some tips on what is coming in 2007 including a third season of Doctor Who
along with its spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
He thinks that The Dresden Files may be amongst the best of the new TV season.
He also gives us a list of what to watch on TV in January.
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Kyra is sent by the Heiress Veridi to the Broken Glass City where
she must find a man named Eson and take from him a certain deed. Eson has inherited his family's hot springs in the northern
mountains, and is in control of the electricity generated by them -- but more than that, the springs also grant him the power to
bind others to himself through deeds like the one Kyra has been instructed to retrieve.
Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction by Allen A. Debus
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Dinosaurs have fascinated the public imagination since they were first identified in the nineteenth century. In this thematic
survey, the writer traces that fascination from its earliest days to the
present. In effect, he has written eight essays, each of which can stand alone, but when taken together form a
chronological overview of his topic, starting with a focus on Jules Verne's A Journey to the Center of the Earth and
continuing on to Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park.