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SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2000 SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2000
compiled by Neil Walsh
For the past 6 weeks or so, we've been soliciting your votes on what you thought were the best books of the year 2000. The result is this, the third annual SF Site Readers' Choice Best SF & Fantasy of the Year Top 10 List. And once again, SF Site readers know what they like. The number one choice was the clear winner very early on, and the votes just kept pouring in. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Best Read of the Year: 2000 Best Read of the Year: 2000
compiled by Neil Walsh
Just as our last Best Read of the Year: 1999 list did, this one had its share of surprises and treasures. As much effort as these kinds of Awards are to do, the rewards for the diligent compiler are considerable. The writers, reviewers and editors of the SF Site present their pick for the Top Ten Books of the year. Everyone who contributed to this list -- no matter how widely read we thought we were -- walked away with a discovery or 2 (or 10) that made all the work worthwhile.

Magic Can Be Murder Magic Can Be Murder by Vivian Vande Velde
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
Nola and her mother are witches -- not that it does them much good. They don't seem to be very powerful or versatile. Mostly, it is a source of concern for them, lest they be discovered. The pair could be arrested for witchcraft or, even more likely and dangerous, attacked by an angry mob. As a result, they must always be careful to not reveal themselves to others. They spend most of their lives travelling, unable to have a stable home or friends. But then Nola witnesses a murder while she is magically spying on someone...

Blind Vision Blind Vision by Marguerite Krause
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Set in a mediaeval ducal court, this is a well-written and detailed historical novel of intrigue and romance. Its forté is the development of its characters and, to a lesser extent, of the intrigue that surrounds them. It's a novel of people, not events; of burgeoning relationships not bloody battles; and of imperfect characters' emotional development, not of irredeemable evil despots or angelic do-gooders.

The Coming The Coming by Joe Haldeman
reviewed by Rich Horton
The novel opens with an astronomer at the University of Florida, Aurora Bell, recognizing an anomalous signal from a gamma ray telescope. It turns out to be a short message saying, in English, "We're Coming." And she is able to confirm that it comes from a source about a 10th of a light year from Earth. Soon the message's authenticity is independently confirmed, and Doctor Bell and her colleagues prepare for the media and political onslaught.

Forthcoming Books Forthcoming Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
Here's a sampling of some of the F&SF books that are headed our way in the coming months...

Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 2001 Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 2001
reviewed by David Soyka
This issue contains Harlan Ellison's "From A to Z in the Sarsaparilla Alphabet" and Amy Sterling Casil's "To Kiss the Star." These two very different novelets bookend an impressive collection of short fiction that demonstrate how effective storytelling is not so much the originality of an idea, but the originality in developing familiar archetypes in startling ways.

Children Of Rhatlan Children Of Rhatlan by Jonathan Fesmire
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Vayin and Garum are the closest of twins. Born duals, they are a brother and sister who exist inside one body, allowing only one of them to surface at any given time. Vayin's female form can only exist when Garum "switches" and his male body vanishes. They remain in constant contact in the internal space their thoughts share. It's not the ideal situation, but it would be bearable if only so-called normal people didn't fear and hate the mysterious duals.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
Rick offers his notes on what to watch in March on Star Trek: Voyager and a review of Star Trek Voyager's "The Void" in which Janeway tries to uphold Federation ideals in a dog-eat-dog Sargasso of space.

The Celtic Ring The Celtic Ring by Björn Larsson
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
The pure adventure novel, without fantasy or science fiction elements, has become a rare breed. But here's one that packs all the adventure, suspense, mystery -- and even a smidgen of pagan mysticism -- you can handle. It's a novel about small craft sailing in and around Scotland, something many might not associate with adventure. Notwithstanding this, if you are one of the few remaining addicts of good adventure yarns, don't miss this book.

Spectrum SF 4 Spectrum SF #4
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This issue features the start of a serial by John Christopher titled "Bad Dream." It's set about 20 years in the future when the effects of the European Union may fully be felt. There are also 3 stories by Mary Soon Lee, Keith Roberts (one in his Kaeti series) and Eric Brown.

Paul T. Riddell A Conversation With Paul T. Riddell
An interview with Rodger Turner
On E-books chances of success:
"They'll be successful if the companies involved are willing to advertise, but a lot of these E-book publishers are looking for get-rich-quick schemes by taking advantage of wannabe novelists who are certain that their works are being held down by jealous editors and publishers. That's not to say that the publishing business doesn't suffer from laziness and bias in the ranks, but a lot of these books were rejected by dead-tree publishers for a perfectly good reason. Namely, they sucked farts from dead cats."

Sequential Art Sequential Art
a column by Scott Tilson
Scott Tilson is SF Site's new columnist. He'll be taking a look at what has caught his attention in the field of graphic novels. This time, he is recommending Transmetropolitan and The Magic of Aria. And Scott asks Greg Bear what he's reading these days.

Guards! Guards! Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, adapted by Stephen Briggs
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Stephen Briggs has adapted many of Terry Pratchett's works to stage and map and now turns his attention to the graphic novel form. This rendition is faithful to the plot of the original novel. While it cannot serve as a replacement for the original novel on which it is based, this is an excellent graphic version of Pratchett's story which will delight his fans and, perhaps, introduce new readers to the joys of the Discworld novels.

As The Sun Goes Down As The Sun Goes Down by Tim Lebbon
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Through an accident of birth, some of us are born into a hostage situation. Children are the property of their parents until they reach the age of majority, and few will step in to intervene. By the time endangered children are grown -- if given the chance to grow -- the damage is done and the path is inevitable. So often people forget that, but this author is not one of those oblivious people. The terrors and pain of childhood are never far from his mind.

Crown of Fire Crown of Fire by Kathy Tyers
reviewed by Suzanne Krein
The author once again sweeps us away into the stellar whorl of Firebird and Brennen Caldwell. Brought together from very different societies, they now find themselves fighting a common enemy who threatens both of their home worlds. The Shuhr are star-bred telepaths who do not share the moral imperatives of Brennen and his star-bred people, the Sentinels. The Shuhr are determined to destroy the Sentinels and to begin their conquest of the Federacy by conquering Netaia, Firebird's home planet.

Beyond the Void Beyond the Void by Mark Marsay
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Interested in a rollicking if shallow pastiche of the original Star Trek, with Captain James Armstrong Custer at the helm of the Erasmus, the pointy-eared reptilian Sadeck as first officer, Stumpy McGregor the Scottish engineer, Tuttle the senile ship's doctor, Daisy-May the buxom blonde bimbo communications officer, and Dweeb the whiny robot? Replete with "mates at the pub" (i.e. frat boy) humour and colourful Yorkshire-enhanced language, along with the occasional forays into sexual situations makes for a story where no Star Trek has gone before.

New Arrivals Mid-February Books
compiled by Neil Walsh
February brought us new titles from Jonathan Carroll, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Alan Dean Foster, Sean Williams & Shane Dix, Katherine Kurtz, Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett, Caro Soles, Sean Russell -- and a whole lot more!

First Novels

Darkers Darkers by Lisa DuMond
reviewed by Rodger Turner
Philip Lew, ex-cop, has migrated to Hades to get away from the strange, dangerous craziness endemic all over Earth. It is an artificial satellite, built by The Darker Society who have transformed themselves by virus into the monster archetypes: vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. Things are coming together for him: he's seeing a new woman, Gina and his buddy Percy seems somewhat genial despite his almost congenital paranoia. But Percy has popped up on someone's radar.

Second Looks

The Stars My Destination The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
You've probably seen this novel included in every SF Top 10 List published.  45 years have passed since it was first published and it's yet to be knocked out of the masters' circle. That's a pretty impressive statement. Bester's classic has the stuff to back it up. Gully Foyle is not exactly one of the good guys, but he's your hero for this trip. Foyle's life has never been easy, but as the novel opens he is in about the worst predicament of his life -- stranded in space, alone, with little or no chance of rescue.

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