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Ghost Ship 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 far country.

Three Stories Three Stories Three Stories Three Stories by Gregory Benford
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 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.

New Arrivals New Arrivals
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.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
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.

Nexus Graphica Nexus Graphica
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.


Supergods Supergods by Grant Morrison
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.

Second Looks

Genetopia 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.


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