Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2012
Here we are again, offering you your annual chance to let the world know what you thought was the best of
all the speculative reading material you encountered from the past year. If you've been a regular visitor to
the SF Site for more than a couple of years, you are quite probably already familiar with this annual
event. If you're new to us, all you need to know is that we want to hear what you believe was the very best
of what you read from the past year.
If you've forgotten what you chose in previous years,
you can find them all linked at Best Read of the Year including
Ghost Ship by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller which was the top choice last year.
Fate of Worlds: An Interview with Edward M. Lerner
An interview with Dave Truesdale
On his favourite character:
"Sigmund Ausfaller, the paranoid intelligence agent, was a shadowy figure in some of Larry's early stories, more plot device than character. Those stories were written
in first person, from Beowulf's point of view, and we learned little about Sigmund. After Sigmund's starring role
throughout the Fleet series, however, we know all about him. It turns out (and I say this from reader
feedback, not merely expressing authorial opinion) that paranoia doesn't preclude a protagonist being charming and sympathetic."
Birds and Birthdays by Christopher Barzak
reviewed by Trent Walters
In the story, "Birthday," the narrator is a landlady who visits people's
apartments while they are gone. She dresses in their clothes and imagines her life as theirs. Embarrassed, she kicks out a
tenant, because of her desire to be that person. Later, she leaves her family to live in other apartments, with other
lives. When all fails, she turns inward and finds that a simple desire drives her.
The Time of Quarantine by Katharine Haake
reviewed by Seamus Sweeney
The post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel has become one the most respectable speculative tropes for mainstream literary types to
dabble in, without risking the snobbish ire that can be turned by critics on anything that even hints of sci-fi.
There are various reasons for this. The apocalyptic strain in Western thought is strong, and one that persists even if
the explicitly religious element declines (some might say it gets even stronger).
Science Fiction Trails #9
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Already into its eighth issue, this one is titled the All Martian Spectacular. It has
the bonus of being separate from the previous ones, as its speciality is Martians featured in one way or another. Being set in
the 1800s, the attitudes towards aliens were different. H.G. Wells wrote his novel about Martians attacking Earth, and many
believed there were beings and life on other planets, especially Mars.
Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine, Issue 22
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
It's already into its 22nd issue and is still going strong with the usual writers
Edoardo Albert, Ron Sanders, Dave Duncan, Nancy Kay Clark, and Robert J. Boumis. The cover art is provided by L.A.
based author, poet and illustrator Ron Sanders whose scene is a memorable one that wouldn't look out of place on a
future War of the Worlds novel's cover.
Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Shy South lives on her farm with her gentle stepfather Lamb and the rest of her siblings. While away, Shy and Lamb
return to find their farm has been attacked and destroyed and her brother and sister Pit and Ro, have been
stolen. Shy has never been one to take anything lying down so she and Lamb set off after them. Eventually, they are
joined by a host of colorful supporting characters and their fellowship begins their long journey into the untamed
Three Stories by Gregory Benford
Supergods by Grant Morrison
reviewed by Trent Walters
Down the River Road,
first published in the Tolkien tribute, After the King, is newly revised and introduced with personal history and story
origins, including photos. It's reminiscent topically of Mark Twain's stories of riverboats, but being Benford, of course, he
spins this into a science fantasy based on the idea that "any technology indistinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
Watching the Future
a column by Derek Johnson
Let's say that you want to spend this Valentine's Day with your significant other the way Derek Johnson
spends most of his evenings. And let's say you want to, if not embrace the holiday, then
give it a respectable nod with a love story. And let's say you're a science fiction and fantasy fan, and want something
with enough geek cred to maintain your identity, but you already know every line of Somewhere in Time,
The Empire Strikes Back, The Princess Bride, and The Fifth Element.
In that spirit, Derek offers these ten movies, which should suffice for any true blue fanboy (or fangirl) who wants to inject a
little skiffy romance in their evening's entertainment.
compiled by Neil Walsh
New books this time include the latest from Robert V.S. Redick, Andrew P. Mayer, Mark Hodder, some classic short fiction from Harlan Ellison, the latest installment of The Mongoliad, and plenty more.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick watched the final episodes of Fringe and Last Resort in January. Both
will soon be forgotten. He enjoyed the action-packed ending of Last Resort. The characters and acting are excellent. But
it only lasted half a season, and will probably go the way of Defying Gravity.
Rick also gives a list of what to watch in February.
a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams
So this is that time of year when Mark London Williams might be planning a tie-in with his "high season"
of film journalism, where he is off to award shows and
such (his tux is in for its annual dry cleaning), and would generally speak of the increasing overlap and tie-in between
the comics and film worlds.
Those overlaps mostly come with what Hollywood likes to call "tentpoles." Except, of course, studios don't make those films anymore.
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
Anyone who has read Marvel or DC comics over the past couple of decades will recognise Grant Morrison as someone who first came
to prominence in what amounted to a British invasion. A cultural and creative exchange that, like its musical equivalent back in
the 60s, helped to both reinvent and ultimately revitalise the art form.
Genetopia by Keith Brooke
reviewed by D. Douglas Fratz
In a degenerate far future, long after a nano- and biotechnology transformed the world, true humans live in small clans
seeking to avoid exposure to the "changing vectors" that infect the wilderness around them and threaten to mutate and
transmogrify them. One of their only remnants of high technology is a tenuous grasp of how to use these changing vectors
to create beings to serve them as slaves.