Gift from the Stars, The Immortals and The Listeners by James Gunn|
reviewed by Trent Walters
A few months ago, James Gunn was named as the latest Grandmaster of Science Fiction. Since the majority of science fiction fans have probably
never heard of him, they may wonder why, in light of the fact that Gunn has never won a major award for his
fiction, although he has come close. As all literary award systems are flawed, it should come as no
surprise that the most important novels are not always selected. Hindsight
is 20/20.His novel, The Listeners not only influenced SETI, but many genre novelists as well. Gunn's main concern
is how it might really happen. He opens the reader to the process of an idea. How might it unfold in real life?
This attitude was appreciated in its time, garnering runner-up positions for the Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial awards -- which
you might suppose would be the kiss of death: a miss that might as well have been a mile. Instead, writers and scientists spread
the word of its achievement.
Stamping Butterflies and End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Each novel feature a connection between a character from our own time and a mysterious figure from the far future. In both stories,
the mystery of just what that connection is is hidden within the intimate details of the characters lives, revealed only at last
in casually oblique hints and twists of phrase. But even with their similarities in set-up and style,
both are more than distinct enough to lay to rest any criticism of a writer repeating
himself. The effect is instead akin to that of a master composer using a memorable melody to craft two separate symphonies,
each worthy of standing on its own.
The Small Picture
TV reviews by David Liss
By now, anyone with even a vague interest in science fiction on television know of Battlestar Galactica's
buzz as one of the best programs on the air, a distinction particularly remarkable given the high quality serialized
dramas currently airing. The show's reputation is well deserved, though David had a hard time signing on to
the first season.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Our newest arrivals at the SF Site office include the latest titles from Joe Abercrombie, Christopher Golden, Rudy Rucker, plus forthcoming works from Stephen Baxter, John Crowley, David Gemmell, and many more.
The Space Opera Renaissance edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer
reviewed by Stuart Carter
Before reading this anthology, Stuart thought that space opera came to be called space opera
because "opera" was the equivalent of the Hollywood blockbuster from before they had
Hollywood -- big, brash, wide screen entertainment full of fickle gods, exotic foreigners, passionate lovers and mighty warriors,
all mashed up into stories of inspired, over-the-top mayhem and exhibitionism, and topped with bellowing divas howling like
Hurricane Katrina in a ball gown.
Howling Moon by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Once a top agent of Wolven, the organization dedicated to internally policing the hidden society of shapeshifters known as
the Sazi, Raphael Rameriz has lived in quiet obscurity ever since a deadly political scandal forced him into
retirement. He thought he was out for good. He was wrong.
Angelos by Robina Williams
reviewed by Steve Lazarowitz
Steve enjoyed this book, the sequel to Jerome and the Seraph, better than its predecessor. He enjoyed Angelos
less than its predecessor. That he enjoyed it both more and less than the original novel is perfectly in keeping with the quantum
backdrop of the book, contrasted nicely by a day to day life at a friary, the other side of this book's quantum equation.
Daughters of Earth edited by Justine Larbalestier
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
Feminism as a philosophy has travelled quite a rocky road over the time frame covered by this anthology -- it
is in fact debatable if it was anything like the same animal in the era from which the first story in the book dates,
and the era of the final story (which, having been published in 2002, is barely within the scope of this volume).
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.
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.
Terry Pratchett's Hogfather: The Illustrated Screenplay by Vadim Jean (& Terry Pratchett)
The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist
reviewed by Steven H Silver
The guild of Assassins has accepted a job to kill the Hogfather and sends Mr. Teatime, who spends his spare time plotting the murders
of mythical figures, off to do the job. Death devotes his time to filling into for the missing Hogfather while his
granddaughter, Susan takes time off from her duties as a nanny to find the missing Hogfather, the Disc's version of Santa Claus.
Changeling by Delia Sherman
reviewed by Amal El-Mohtar
Set in a place called New York Between, one of many potential New Yorks sharing the same space as
New York, it's a vibrant, colourful mishmash of folkloric and literary creatures and characters living in Central
Park, on Broadway, in the Metropolitan Museum, in Chinatown or Wall Street. Each of these places has a Genius, a spirit that
embodies it. Into all this comes Neef, a mortal changeling girl being raised in Central Park and longing to take part in adventures.
Before long, her curiosity has her breaking rules and getting into trouble
and the only way to get out of it is to complete a quest.
Children of Men
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Along with Pirates of the Caribbean, this is one of the two most entertaining films of 2006.
From the previews one might think it would be a bummer, but it has all the virtues of pulp fiction that Hollywood so often forgets. We
care about the people, because they have both character and individuality. The plot makes sense, and throws seemingly
insuperable obstacles in the hero's path. And there is a consistent theme that holds the story together.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his thoughts on the "Hydro" episode of Smallville and
the "Fallout" episode of Heroes.
reviewed by David Soyka
It is about genre -- multiple genres actually, encompassing science
fiction (primarily of the H.G. Wells variety), mystery, Victorian romance with a dash of Gothic horror, all with a bit of tongue
planted firmly in cheek -- a timeworn phrase perhaps, but one that is nonetheless particularly apt. And it is a story we're
all familiar with, which, despite knowing that our heroes will outwit their nemesis and the various traps planted to ensnare
them, is quite enjoyable. As long as we don't ask ourselves why.
The Turning by Paul J. Newell
reviewed by David Hebblethwaite
Lleyton Quinn is a forecaster of consumer demand by trade whose help is sought covertly by Detective Sergeant Melissa
Keller in investigating a series of cases in which people (more than one of whom is known to Quinn) have run away for no obvious
reason. It transpires that the runaways have been "turned" -- they have somehow come to stop caring about
anything at all -- as Lleyton discovers first-hand when it happens to Keller.