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Letters to the SF Site

With an ever-growing readership at the SF Site, there has come an ever-increasing chorus of readers asking to be heard; to voice their opinions, to find help in looking for that lost book title, and to keep us informed.

This is what came over the wires to us at the SF Site over the last month. If you have anything to add to the discussion yourself, mail us at We'd like to hear it.

Sandman Searching for Susanna Clark

From: C. Tuit

I have recently read some wonderfully charming novellas by Susanna Clarke in Starlight 1 and 2 (ed. Hayden), Black Swan, White Raven (eds. Datlow and Windling), and The Sandman: Book of Dreams (eds. Gaiman and Kramer). Does anyone know who she is and what else has she written? Have I missed any stories? Are there any books on the way?


C. Tuit

These are the short stories of hers that we've managed to track down on the SF Site search engine. We'll be happy to add more if we've missed them.

  • "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" (1996)
  • "Stopp't-Clock Yard" (1996)
  • "On Lickerish Hill" (1997)
  • "Mrs Mabb" (1998)

Index of Black science-fiction writers

From: Glenn Reitz

I'm searching for a list/site/index of Black sci-fi authors. I can only come up with two and know there must be more. Any help? I am trying to set up a new syllabus....

Glenn Reitz

We can think of a dozen or so but are sure there must be many more. Rather than miss any whom we should list, we'd prefer to direct you to others who can be of more help. Here are two web sites of authors who can give you more help than we can:
Steven Barnes
Nalo Hopkinson


There is also a recently released anthology that may be of interest to you:
Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora edited by Sheree R. Thomas (editor of the literary journal Anansi: Fiction of the African Diaspora).

Isobelle Carmody

From: Catherine O'Farrell

I was just wondering if you could give me any idea of when Isobelle Carmody might be releasing another book as I am finding it very difficult to find any information on the subject. Any insights you have would be greatly appreciated.

According to our sources, the next book, The Farseekers, is due in August.

Times Roman Icky

From: Miguel Krippahl

if I may be so bold, one word of advice: can times new roman, since it's a much too "institutional" font type. I would use something without serifs, and arial works fine with your kind of layout anyway.

Miguel Krippahl

When we started the site about 4 years ago, control of browser fonts was limited to HTML tags and modems were much slower. We went for faster loading, knowing that browsers for both Macs and PCs had Times Roman and used it as a default. Subsequent software releases added Arial (for PCs) and Helvetica (for Macs). Nowadays, most browsers let visitors set their own default web page font. If we were starting over, we might pick another like a sans serif, but with close to 2,500 pages, it would take some time to do it.

Lost Stories

In which we identify two and are at a loss for a third.


Lost Children

From: Michael D. Aiken

A couple of years ago I was listening to National Public Radio and heard a review/interview with an author of a fascinating book whose title and author I cannot remember. Briefly the story was about a nurse/doctor realizing that over a period of time the maternity ward where she worked in London was becoming less and less busy. Calling a friend in America she compares notes and realizes that suddenly the entire population was becoming or had become sterile. The book covers humanity as it grapples with the end of the human species through extinction and how society changes and it's behaviour and outlook. Has anyone ever heard of this novel? If it rings a bell could you or your staff help me out with the author or title of said book?

Michael D. Aiken

This sounds very much like a novel by P.D. James, entitled The Children of Men. James is the grande dame of British mystery, and this novel was her first foray outside of the world of mystery writing and into science fiction. If anyone can think of anything else that it might be, I'd be glad to post your suggestions.


Domesday Book

From: Mark Frost

This has been driving me crazy for a while now. I read this fantastic SF book a few years ago and lost it when I moved. Now that I would love to get it again, I can't remember the title of the book or the author. What I do remember is that it was a by a female author and the title had something to do with winter, cold or a season -- sounds desperate, I know. The story itself concerned a young female research student in a world where time travel existed and was closely monitored. She was doing a paper on the Middle Ages and the Black Death and travelled back through time to do hands-on research, learning Old English in the process. The time machine malfunctioned though, and instead of arriving long before the Black Death, she arrived right at the beginning of it.

If anyone knows what this book is and who wrote it, I would really appreciate it.

This sounds like Doomsday Book (1992) by Connie Willis, which won both the Nebula and Hugo awards. It's a great book, I agree, and well worth tracking down. By the way, has anyone else noticed how much the plot of Michael Crichton's latest book, Timeline, is like Doomsday Book?

No Bells

From: Amy Rainone

Sorry to add to the list of lost stories, but I've been looking for this book for almost 15 years and I'm getting desperate.

I read this book sometime between 1983-87. The main character is a woman with very long "living" hair. Her gift is that she sees peoples' lives as threads in a tapestry and she can help untangle the threads where people have had troubles in their lives. She can also destroy them by tearing it apart if she's upset and they touch her hair. She is rescued during an attack on her planet by a man who was banished when they were both young to keep them apart. For some reason something like Armageddon occurs if these two consummate a relationship. In the course of their travels, the girl befriends a dog/wolflike creature which can kill a person with a thought by banishing their mind or soul to a kind of nothingness. With the help of the creature, the man and woman are able to get together by it sending them to this place at the critical moment. They return together to the woman's planet and are able to save it.

I really hope this rings a bell with someone. Thanks!

Amy Rainone

Two out of three isn't bad... I'm sorry, but I don't know what this is. I put the appeal out to our readers.

It's been awfully quiet in the letters column area this July, and it hasn't been for a lack of letters. I managed to break my arm in two places in a bike accident at the end of June, and have been a little slow getting back to the ol' keyboard. I thought that bike helmets were a good idea before the accident... I am now a fervent believer.

I'm still a little slow on the keys, but am getting better. We're now (hopefully) fully back on track, and I'm looking forward to reading more comments, questions, and requests from all of you.

Until next time,

Kristen Chew
SF Site

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