A Kingdom Besieged by Raymond E. Feist
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
In more ways than one, the author has zipped up his boots and gone back to his roots. There are plenty
of references, some subtle some a slap across the chops, to past fan favourites. Parallels, both natural
feeling and a little forced, are drawn with favourite plot lines and vintage characters.
There is a deliberate sense of history repeating in terms of what these
characters are doing, but Feist neatly sidesteps the trap of writing them as if they were no more than
The Year's Best Science Fiction: by Volume
compiled by Rodger Turner
In 1984, Gardner Dozois gathered together what he thought was the best short science fiction of the previous year. He
scrutinized as many of the magazines, collections and anthologies published in 1983 that he could get his hands on and
chose those which he felt best represented the science fiction field. Jim Frenkel published it as part of his Bluejay
Books line (for three years) and it has been produced every year since then (by St. Martins's Press).
Volume 28 has been added to the lists compiled by author, by title and by volume.
Doc Savage: Python Isle by Will Murray
an audiobook review by Steven Brandt
Python Isle is a small, uncharted island somewhere between Australia and Africa. Its inhabitants are the direct
descendants of King Solomon, trapped here for many centuries, and effectively cut off from the world by the savage
storms which encircle the island. Here they remain, faithfully guarding Solomon's vast treasure. It was only a
matter of time before their peaceful existence was disturbed.
Go Mutants! by Larry Doyle
an audiobook review by Susan Dunman
It's tough being a teenager. It's even tougher being an unappreciated alien living on Earth. And when, like J!m,
you're both of these things at the same time, there's enough adolescent angst to nuke the planet. In fact, nuking the
planet is exactly what humanity did years earlier in order to defeat an alien invasion led by J!m's father. Now,
J!m and his mother live in a run-down section of town and try not to attract attention.
A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
an audiobook review by Nicki Gerlach
While a lot of, if not most, science fiction has to do with the interplay between culture and
technology, A Civil Campaign uses that interplay in service of a romance -- or, as the subtitle puts it, "a comedy
of biology and manners." In this case, the manners come in the form of Barrayaran society, which is still clinging
to the feudal government and rigid sex roles that it developed during the Time of Isolation. The biology comes
primarily in the form of galactic uterine replicators.
However, now that this generation of sons has grown up, they're suddenly feeling the dearth of marriageable women
Leviathans of Jupiter by Ben Bova
an audiobook review by Dale Darlage
In Jupiter, Bova introduced Grant Archer, a researcher that made fleeting contact with gigantic creatures
(some are several kilometers wide) that live extremely deep in the oceans of Jupiter. Now, 20 years later, Archer
is in charge of Jupiter's research station and he is determined to prove that those Leviathans are intelligent. He
assembles a team of experts and the book follows those experts as they get to know one another and as they
determine how they can best meet and interact with an utterly alien life form that may or may not be intelligent.
Embassytown by China Miéville
reviewed by Rich Horton
The central idea is Language, which is the language of the Ariekei, the native intelligent species of the remote planet (remote as defined
by its accessibility through human FTL travel, which is based on something like wormholes) of
which Embassytown is the single colony city. Language is unique, in that it is spoken by two voices
simultaneously, in that it will not support a lie, and in that it is unintelligible to the natives if not
spoken by an intelligence.
Burning Days by Glenn Grant
Visions of Mars edited by Howard V. Hendrix, George Slusser and Eric S. Rabkin
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
One of the perhaps unexpected impacts of personal technology on our lives is a hyperlocalism. The futurism of days
gone by has often emphasised the abolition of distance and the opening up of a global arena of action for all
of us, but the smart phone and the social network seem to be instead opening up space for the nearby, the
quotidian local. Science fiction has often tended to emphasise universal dreams.
Among Others by Jo Walton
reviewed by David Soyka
It's an insider's book not just because of the myriad references to such iconic figures as Samuel R. Delany, Philip K.
Dick, Robert A. Heinlein and, big daddy of them all, but perhaps not nearly as hip as it once was since the
Peter Jackson cinematic trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. More importantly, it's the evocation of how you felt
as a teenager in first discovering authors whose extraterrestrial or otherwise fantastical settings somehow seem
to be speaking directly to your awkward, too-smart-for-your-own-good, virginal kid self.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
In the 50s the duo of Charles and Ira Louvin were the hottest thing going. With their
countrified brand of gospel music, the brothers sang of fire, brimstone, and Satan. One of
their biggest hits, the 1952 "Broadminded," told us that the Bible taught that broadminded is
really spelled S-I-N. They talk about how things must remain how they are. That drinking and
dancing are wrong. All this brings to Rick Klaw's mind the reaction of many SF fans to graphic novels.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Canadian postal workers were legislated back to work (boo!) so the mail is flowing again (yay!) bringing to the SF Site
doorstep the latest from Lisa Goldstein, Jacqueline Carey, Holly Black, Timothy Zahn, Daryl Gregory, Fiona McIntosh,
Harry Turtledove, and many others.
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
a movie review by Rick Norwood
There is quite a good movie hiding inside the over-loud, over-long third film in the most recent incarnation of
the venerable Transformers. It's likely that you have limited interest in watching two almost indistinguishable robots
pound each other, and the plot contrivances that allow puny humans to determine the outcome of the battle become
increasingly strained. But there are any number of small moments that make the film a joy.
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Our visions of Mars are subtle and complex, and have changed
repeatedly over the years. It is, after all, not just a close neighbour but also the planet about which we
have been able to learn most, there is a familiarity to Mars that cannot really be said about anywhere else
in the solar system other than the moon. There is also something tantalizing about the place.