The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison|
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This is a unique masterpiece of heroic fantasy. It is like nothing published
in fantasy today and few works could compare to it in its time or since. At
its publication even Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was compared to the
benchmark of Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros, and these comparisons
haven't always gone in Tolkien's favour. Besides its lush Shakespearean
English, and its sources in Homeric and Norse epics, it was probably the
first fantasy work to include appendices on historical time lines in the
imaginary world. One reason such a work as Eddison's couldn't possibly be
created today is that, as pointed out by others elsewhere, nobody today
receives the broad Classical educations that the great British fantasists
like William Morris, H. Rider Haggard, Lord Dunsany, C.S. Lewis, Mervyn
Peake and E.R. Eddison did.
Black Heart, Ivory Bones edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
reviewed by Margo MacDonald and Katharine Mills
The latest, and last, of these reinvented fairy tale anthologies seems to
have saved all the best stories for this volume! Margo's favourite is Ellen
Steiber's "The Cats of San Martino," while Katharine named Greg Costikyan's
"And Still She Sleeps" as one of her favourites.
Foursight edited by Peter Crowther
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Novellas are generally found only in the magazines, with perhaps one or two
finding their way into the annual "Best Of" collections. This anthology is a
worthy effort to redress that grievance by collecting four novellas -- by
Graham Joyce, James Lovegrove, Kim Newman and Michael Marshall Smith -- in
one well-designed hardcover volume.
Galveston by Sean Stewart
reviewed by David Soyka
Thanks to the administrative abilities of Jane Gardner and the supernatural
talents of Odessa Gibbons, the inhabitants of Galveston, Texas, have managed
to co-exist with the magic that swept over them 20 years earlier -- and to
which the rest of civilization succumbed. Occult forces have been confined
in an eternal Mardi Gras carnival celebration segregated from the "real"
city, which has contrived to maintain a sense of "normalcy" using
jury-rigged technology and an oligarchic government. But now Jane Gardner
is slowly dying...
Hunted by James Alan Gardner
reviewed by Rich Horton
Edward York and his dead sister Samantha were illegal clones.
She (with Edward along as bodyguard) was sent to the planet Troyen to improve relations among the
world's races but was killed along with their High Queen. 20 years later, Edward is evacuated
to Celestia, a human colony accepting millions of refugees at the start of a war.
But as soon as the ship leaves the system, everyone on board is killed, except Edward.
Secret Life of Colors by Steve Savile
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Gabriel Rush is a shattered man. Once a dedicated cop and family man, he is now little more than a
walking corpse. His occupation is private investigation, mainly of the sleazy variety, complete with
photographs. But one photo is about to give him purpose, and draw him back into the terror that haunts him.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick trades in his TV hat for his radio one.
He's been listening to City of Dreams, the new radio series by J. Michael Straczynski.
Broken Time by Maggy Thomas
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
This novel has a somewhat convoluted structure -- starting at
the Institute, jumping back to Siggy's childhood, skipping big
chunks of time and folding flashbacks within flashbacks. Nevertheless, for most of its length, it's
an engrossing, coherent story, with interesting action and intriguing science-fictional speculations.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Some highlights among recently released books include a new collection from Michael Swanwick, new novels from James Barclay, James Alan Gardner, Eric Brown, Sarah Isidore, and some classic reprints from the likes of Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Walter M. Miller, Jr., John Sladek and Terry Pratchett.
compiled by John O'Neill
The SF Site's FictionHome page brings you the latest news and
reviews of genre magazines and other short fiction. We look at brand new issues of
Talebones, Interzone, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and many more.
Noonshade by James Barclay
reviewed by Wayne MacLaurin
Truly excellent fantasy is rare. Truly excellent heroic fantasy is rarer
still. Discovering a new author who writes truly excellent heroic fantasy is
perhaps the rarest gem of all. This author, with his Chronicles of the
Raven, is such a find. Sequel to Dawnthief, this is a tale of
the Raven, a band of near legendary (and aging) mercenaries -- a diverse
assortment of fighters, mages and rogues -- in their encounters with
dragons, barbarian hordes, sorcerers, demonic summonings, shape-shifters,
and the threat of worldwide devastation.
Noonshade by James Barclay
Anonymous Rex by Eric Garcia
a novel excerpt
"Thraun had unshouldered his pack and was stripping off his leather before the sound of the fallen bell registered as trouble in Hirad's mind.
'You don't have to do this, Thraun,' said Will, his stance edgy, worry lining his face.
'We must have a diversion or Ilkar and Denser will be killed.'
'I doubt that,' said Hirad."
An interview with David Mathew
On finding time to write:
"Everybody here is extremely understanding, and the hours are rather flexible. That's one thing... I sometimes book some
holiday time from the company, just to be on my own to write. But after the third day of sitting in my dressing-gown at
four o'clock in the afternoon, having struck up an unnaturally complex conversation with the milkman, I think: Christ, I've
got to get out more."
Sable by Mike Grell
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Sable (for those not in the comics loop) is a Vietnam vet, pentathlete, mercenary, safari
guide, game warden, and writer. When a savage attack by an unknown enemy wipes out his family, he becomes an
animal set on vengeance. The lengths he goes to find his enemy edge just past the border of sanity. Finally,
these exploits will result in his exile from the Africa he loves.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Here's a sampling of some of the F&SF books that are headed our way in the coming months...
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Rick bought the first issue of The X-Men new off the newsstand for
12 cents in 1963 and sold it twenty years later to help pay off his mortgage.
He enjoyed the new X-Men film much more than he expected.
The one good review he's read said it wasn't dumb like the comic
book -- this from a reviewer who obviously never read a comic book.
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
Vinnie Rubio is your typical noir P.I. -- lonely, broke, depressed, fighting a substance abuse problem -- with one
difference: he also happens to be a Velociraptor in disguise. Blame Michael Crichton or even better,
Stephen Spielberg. Rubio is just one of millions of dinos living incognito, offspring of ancestors fortunate enough
to have survived the Great Shower by convenient evolution into more compact shapes with
The Time Machine and War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
reviewed by Neil Walsh
The author was certainly no Dickens or
Thackeray and, as a science fiction writer, he was no Frank Herbert or
even John Wyndham. However, his work is important to the history of the genre and
it is worth reading a sampling to understand the roots of contemporary science fiction. Imperfect as these two
stories are, they are probably the two best -- both for their historical importance
and for exemplifying the author's style and scope.