A Conversation With Dan Abnett
An interview with Nathan Brazil
On which characters has been the most satisfying to write:
"I'd probably have to say some of the characters in the Gaunt's Ghosts or Inquisitor
series I write for Black Library. The first has run to thirteen books so far, the second six,
and you really begin to get to know characters when you've been writing them that long. It's like
working with good friends."
Primeval: Extinction Event by Dan Abnett
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Many readers will be familiar with the British TV show Primeval, that deals with anomalies,
holes in time, which allow creatures from the age of the dinosaurs, and occasionally things from the future,
to cross into the present. The TV show has returned for another series,
with lots of glitz.
Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2010
Happy New Year! Once again, it's time to voice your opinion about what your favourite reading was from the
year that just ended. Long-time visitors to the SF Site are familiar with the process. If you're new,
what this is about is that we want to hear what you thought was the very best of what you read from the past year.
And since we know how hard it is to pick just one favourite, you can tell us what you would put on your
personal top 10 favourites. We also understand that you may not yet have read all the books from 2010
that you meant to, so we're going to give you a chance to do that -- until March 4, 2011.
If you've forgotten what you chose in previous years,
you can find them all linked at Best Read of the Year including
The City and the City by China Miéville which was the top choice last year.
The Executioness by Tobias S. Buckell
reviewed by Rich Horton
The world here revealed is a promising setting. Based on
the briefish glimpse we see in this novella, the tech level is roughly Middle Ages, with, of course, magic. The
kicker is that magic use has terrible consequences: it fosters the growth of a poisonous bramble. There was
an "Old Empire" which seems to have mostly collapsed, and the rump of that Empire, apparently city-states, is
under attack from the Paikans, who seem to be slavers.
The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
If Scheherezade, Sleeping Beauty, and a committee of Middle Eastern and possibly Russian supernatural creatures
had got together to tell a tale, this tale would probably be the one they came up with.
Evocative and atmospheric, with an underlay of alchemy and wild magic and Machiavellian politics, it's a
slim volume which packs a world-building punch to it.
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
This is a collection of short stories, only loosely tied together in the frame story of a man covered with
tattoos. Each tattoo moves, and each tells a story. That is one of the many images Ray Bradbury re-imagines
over and over again. The illustrated man who serves as the frame story is likely not the same illustrated
man who serves as protagonist in the last story in the collection.
The Dosadi Experiment by Frank Herbert
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
In a far-distant future, the human race is part of a civilization known as the ConSentiency,
which covers many far-flung galaxies and multiple species of sentient beings. It is two of
these races that make the ConSentiency possible: the Taprisiots, who can make it possible
for any two minds within the ConSentiency to connect and communicate, and the Caleban,
who can create jump-doors, providing instantaneous travel between any two points in the
universe. But these conveniences have their downside, the most glaring of which is the
ability to abduct a person, or persons, and remove them to any spot in the universe,
completely against their will.
Transcendence, Part 3: The Demon Wars by R.A. Salvatore
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Sad to say, but adventures in the Land of Corona are coming to a close. With the finishing of this final
part of book 6, Gil realizes there's only one more book left and the story seems to be ready for
a huge finale. The Transcendence trilogy focuses on the new leaders in the land of
Behren and Honce-the-Bear. In particular, this book covers the land of Behren and how the Behrenese
have conquered the To-Gai. But Ranger Brynn Dhariell has arrived on the scene to set the To-Gai people free.
In Memoriam: 2010
a memorial by Steven H Silver
Science fiction fans have always had a respect and understanding for the history of the genre.
Unfortunately, science fiction has achieved such an age that each year sees our ranks diminished. Deaths in 2010 included
Kage Baker, Philip Klass (William Tenn), Patricia Wrightson, George H. Scithers, Frank Frazetta,
Everett Bleiler, Neil Barron, E.C. Tubb and Donald H. Tuck.
The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Joe Abercrombie is to fantasy literature what Quentin Tarantino is to action films. They are both decidedly
twisted, prone to moments of extreme violence and write very real characters and acrid dialogue that doesn't
pull any punches. High on any wish list is to see Quentin Tarantino direct an adaptation of The First Law Trilogy.
The Thief-Taker's Apprentice by Stephen Deas
reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Berren is a pickpocket who lives with a gang near the docks of Deephaven, a city with an underbelly as seedy as
its palaces are rich. After watching an execution, Berren attempts to steal the winnings from the thief-taker
who brought in the victims but gets a purse with just a few coins for his trouble. But because he succeeded
in getting the thief-taker's purse at all, Syannis offers him a chance to become his apprentice.
Our Jewish Robot Future by Leonard Borman
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This is the story of Margarita Haralson and her husband, Alex,
whose desire to have grandchildren causes them to create a future race of robots and found a new Garden of Eden.
The Haralson's story is told almost as a confessional, with Margarita describing a visit she and her husband
had to their rabbi to tell him about the strange events which happened to them.
Amortals by Matt Forbeck
reviewed by Michael M Jones
When Secret Service agent Ronan Dooley witnesses his own death, he's thrown into the heart of a murder mystery
which could topple everything modern society is built around. For in 2056, there are two kinds of people: the
haves and have-nots, the mortals and amortals, and Ronan's one of the latter. When he dies, as he's done eight
times now, he's immediately brought back to life as a clone.
compiled by Neil Walsh
This time we're looking at the newest works from Orson Scott Card, Adam Roberts, Robert McCammon, Peter S. Beagle, Jo Walton, Joe R. Lansdale, and many others.
News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media
a column by Sandy Auden
As promised last month, this is the second and final part of the looking back/looking forward
articles. This time, two of the busiest men in genre -- PS Publishing's Pete Crowther
and the ubiquitous Steve Jones -- share their recent releases in 2010 and their future
plans for 2011. Hold onto your hats, there's going to be a lot going on...
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
It's January, a time when, traditionally, the pickings for quality movies tend to be
slim. The studios have released what they consider to be their best work in time for Academy Award
consideration, and so have made the beginning months of the New Year, often right through April, to release,
to put it kindly, substandard product.
For movie fans, this is a pretty bad time. What's a cineaste to do during this fallow, infertile period?
Quite a bit, actually.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Being Human is a horror comedy series based on a British show of the same title about a
vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who share an apartment. It debuted on SyFy in January to an audience
in the two million viewer range. This would get a series cancelled on network television, but
for SyFy it's huge. See when it and other SF series on TV will be broadcast in February.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
Before Rick Klaw's discovery of the French artist Jacques Tardi, how did he enjoy comics? The three
reprints from Fantagraphics all appeared on his previous two best of the year lists: You
Are There and West Coast Blues in 2009 and It Was the War of the Trenches
last year. If he'd read their most recent Tardi publication (The Extraordinary Adventures
of Adèle Blanc-Sec Volume 1: Pterror Over Paris/The Eiffel Tower Demon) in time,
it would have joined its brethren.
Initially set in pre-WWI Paris, Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec
relates the unusual escapades of the novelist title character as she uncovers plots involving a recently
hatched pterodactyl, demonic cults, seedy underworld characters, and murder.