Big Planet by Jack Vance|
reviewed by Nick Gevers
This novel, the conceptual template for all Vance's baroque lawless locales to come, was perhaps the first attempt at a
convincingly complete imaginary world in genre SF. Instead of a thinly rationalized displacement of the opulent East
or some other mundane historical epoch to an extraterrestrial setting, Big Planet was fully thought through,
its ecology, economics, technology, and political organization carefully formulated, so much so that the conviction
persists that it is not the characters who serve as the book's protagonists, but rather Big Planet itself.
Tales of Old Earth by Michael Swanwick
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
The stories in this collection range from the charming, but somehow
disturbing, "Ice Age" to the chilling "Radiant Doors" to the erotic fantasy
of "Midnight Express." Also included are 2 Hugo-nominees for this year.
It's an impressive display of dexterity and range -- although you realize
that the author has much more to say and more ideas to explore. Lisa is
convinced we can't see the edge of his horizons from here.
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 13th Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling
reviewed by Nick Gevers
Like its predecessors, this volume casts the widest possible net for the
best short fiction of the year, ransacking for their treasure prosperous
genre magazines and obscure literary quarterlies, well-publicized
anthologies and the smallest of small press chapbooks; and like its
predecessors, this is consequently superb. After over 100 closely-printed
pages of intensive summary and discussion of the state of the Horror and
Fantasy fields in 1999, the editors present a very well-considered 500 pages
of short fiction, poems and an essay.
Tangled Up in Blue by Joan D. Vinge
reviewed by Rich Horton
Nyx LaisTree, from the planet Newhaven, is a young policeman in the Tiamat capital city of Carbuncle. On the night of his nameday
he and his brother participate in an illegal raid on a warehouse which is a conduit for passing illegal
tech to the Tiamatans. But something goes horribly wrong leaving only Nyx alive.
Upon his recovery, LaisTree realizes that his superiors are after something they think he knows about the
raid, but he can't remember anything.
compiled by Neil Walsh
Here's a sampling of some of the F&SF books that are headed our way in the coming months...
Sister Emily's Lightship by Jane Yolen
reviewed by Robert Francis
Did you ever wonder what Snow White would have lived through had she grown
up in Appalachia? Or where Shakespeare got the inspiration for Romeo and
Juliet? Or what might have happened to Icarus had he not drowned? When
Jane Yolen borrows from familiar folk tales, that borrowing is only the beginning...
Analog, July/August 2000
reviewed by Marc Goldstein
This impressive double issue has a lot to offer. First up is Catherine
Asaro's novella, "A Roll of the Dice." The characters are complex, human,
memorable, and sympathetic. As the plot progresses, the relationships deepen
and expand in surprising and satisfying ways. Next up is Larry Niven's "The
Wisdom of Demons," a brief "be careful what you wish for" parable. This
theme has long since descended into cliché, but the author leaves the
outcome ambiguous. Was the wish worth the price paid? Niven offers no easy answers.
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his opinion on the music for the Star Trek DVD release of "The City on the Edge of Forever"
and has a few comments on how well The Avengers on DVD has stood the test of time.
The Glasswrights' Apprentice by Mindy L. Klasky
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Although this novel serves as a cultural tour, it is not the
raison d'etre of the novel. The author includes a Byzantine plot which is only set in motion with the murder of
Prince Tuvashanoran. In Rani's attempts to secure her safety and find her family, she discovers that the Prince's
death is tied to a cabal which is intent on eradicating the caste system which permeates every aspect of society.
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.
All The Rage by F. Paul Wilson
reviewed by Rodger Turner
Pride can be dangerous sin. It can lead you into such temptations that you find it impossible to resist. Certainly that
is the case for Dr. Luc Monnet. He thinks he can retrieve his family's lost fame as a vintner by wholesaling a new
designer drug, Loki, through his legitimate pharmaceutical company. He is stymied by being unable to stabilize the drug's
chemistry. He hires Nadia Radzminsky, a brilliant organic chemist he seduced while he was her university
tutor. He thinks his charm will overcome her reluctance. Enter Repairman Jack.
A Conversation With Gordon Van Gelder
More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
An interview with Jayme Lynn Blaschke
On differences in editing a magazine and books:
"It's a faster schedule, for one thing.
Editing a magazine is like running wind-sprints, while editing books is more like middle-distance running (and in
a few cases, it's like a marathon). It's also a bigger playing field -- in book publishing, I may only work
with twelve or fourteen writers a year, while with the magazine, I may be publishing that many people in an issue."
Patternoster Row by Brian Hughes
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Cecilia Doyle's life is a model of misery, except for the fantasies that run through her head. She hungers for
more from life -- a better body, a decent job, and some genuine excitement for a change. That's a good thing, because
excitement such as she has never imagined is about to touch down in her neighbourhood. Excitement, she's about to find,
can be far more than she bargained for. In this case, it could be the death of her.
fiction review by Trent Walters
The fiction section ("The Writer's Corner") at this website, under the
editorial helm of short-story writer Rick Wilber, recently joined the ranks
of professional web magazines. It features three strong reprints by Robert
Silverberg, Robert Heinlein, and Jack McDevitt, as well as a new piece by
Orson Scott Card. Other magazines would do well to take note of the
insightful author commentaries.
compiled by Neil Walsh
August seems to be a good month for anthologies, with new collections arriving on the scene from Jane Yolen, Robert Charles Wilson, Ellen Datlow, and Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling. In addition, we have new novels from Nancy Kress, Stephen L. Burns, Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Joan D. Vinge, Nick O'Donohoe, and more.
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It says something about the movie that we never think of the invisible man as a character, only as Kevin Bacon in an
invisibility suit. There are a lot of ideas in this movie, most of them visual. The movie shows you every invisibility
special effect you can imagine, plus a few more you've never thought of. There is even a purely visual
Shakespeare reference, involving a fly.
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
This book is powerfully written, in a style both
sinewy and poetic. The characters -- each of whom follows a path of
personal evolution that echoes the evolution of the Gestalt -- are
strongly and compassionately drawn: the story turns on them, on
their weaknesses and their strengths, as much as it does on
the author's tightly-conceived plot.
Bloom by Wil McCarthy
Reckless Sleep by Roger Levy
reviewed by Peter D. Tillman
It has been 20 years since humanity was driven from Earth and the Inner System by a runaway Bloom of mycora
that has eaten all of Earth's life, and most of its crust. Humans
have retreated to the moons of Jupiter and the asteroids where constant vigilance is required to keep the
Mycosystem at bay. The mycora are generally thought to have been created
in an industrial accident, but human malice -- or an extrasolar origin -- can't be ruled out.
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
This is a superbly confident work by a new novelist. The plot is well
thought-out and the characters are perfectly believable. These two elements
are missing in so much of what is published today that it is refreshing to
find both handled so expertly in a first novel.