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Nexus Graphica: a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams

Mon, 17 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Mark London Williams was intending to spend the column writing about Nick Bertozzi's splendid graphical overview of Lewis & Clark, those plucky adventurers sent by Thomas Jefferson to explore the then-unknown (to most European-Americans) West. But he picked up the next book in his promising new year's start pile. GB Tran's Vietnamerica is his graphic memoir/historical recreation of his parents' journey from a war-torn Vietnam to America, where he became the first family born here.



Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2010

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Happy New Year! Once again, it's time to voice your opinion about what your favourite reading was from the year that just ended. Long-time visitors to the SF Site are familiar with the process. If you're new, what this is about is that we want to hear what you thought was the very best of what you read from the past year. And since we know how hard it is to pick just one favourite, you can tell us what you would put on your personal top 10 favourites. We also understand that you may not yet have read all the books from 2010 that you meant to, so we're going to give you a chance to do that -- until March 4, 2011.



The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead by Mark Twain and Don Borchert

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

From Jane Austen's Mr Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith to Bram Stoker's classic Dracula, the new version penned by Bram's descendant, Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt to create Dracula The Un-Dead, have all had a rewrite, though this one starts where the last one left off. In this story, the main horror feature is zombies.



Sybil's Garage #7

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

This is an anthology of pieces with suggested musical accompaniment. Oddly, as the reader will see, the writing tended to remind one of images from films; fragments, moments, individual scenes and shots rather than complete features. Music ostensibly permeates the collection but you may find images more prominent. After reading any literature (broadly defined), what remains can be emotions, quotes, images, characters, plot twists, ideas -- anything from an infinite assemblage from the jumble sale of life.



The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 21 edited by Stephen Jones

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

The book continues to be the source of exhaustive and invaluable information about what has happened in the field of horror (books, magazines, movie etc.) during the previous year. Of course, the core of each volume is represented by a number of horror stories considered to be the best of the year. The current anthology includes nineteen tales.



Kris Longknife: Redoubtable by Mike Shepherd

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Lieutenant Commander Kris Longknife, Princess of Wardhaven and "one of those damned Longknifes" is up to her eyeballs in trouble once again. She's been patrolling the Rim of human space, her ship of soldiers and scientists disguised as a merchant vessel, acting as bait in order to shut down the pirates and raiders plaguing humanity's far-flung outposts. Mostly, it's been routine.



Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

If there was ever a city that lived in the past, it's Gatlin, Tennessee. And if there were ever two star-crossed lovers, they are the caster Lena Duchannes and the mortal Ethan Wate. Beautiful Darkness continues the rousing story of the Lena and Ethan. Lena is a caster which are more or less witches but they each have a special gift. Ethan, whom we thought was a plain, vanilla mortal, turns out not to be.



World Made By Hand by James Howard Kunstler

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

It was scary how fast it happened. Terrorists detonated a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles, leveling the city. The nation's water ports clamped down, inspecting every piece of incoming cargo. Ships sat for days, or even weeks at a time, waiting to be inspected, until finally some of them began to turn away, their cargoes undelivered. America's economy was crippled, and the chances of recovery were slim. When the second bomb went off in Washington DC, even that slim chance was gone.



Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

The terrorist El Mujahid is being funded to create a virus/parasite that turns people into the walking dead. To help combat this threat, Joe Ledger is recruited from the Baltimore Police to become a special ops agent in a secret branch of the government. Ledger kicks butt like no other, and he does it with class. Just roll James Bond, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal, and Jean Claude Van-Damme into one and the outcome still couldn't stand up against Joe Ledger -- he is just that cool and tough. But is he tough enough for zombies?



Brothers in Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Miles Naismith Vorkosigan is used to living a double life. On his home planet of Barrayar, he's Lord Miles Vorkosigan, a member of the elite ruling and military class, and son to the second-most powerful man on the planet. Off-world, however, he's Admiral Miles Naismith, commander of the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet. It's critical that Miles keep his two identities separate -- not always the easiest thing when a prenatal gas attack left him with a crippled physical appearance and brittle bones that are distinctly memorable.



The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten by Harrison Geillor

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

So here you are, a longtime fan of Garrison Keillor's folksy yarns chronicling the ordinary goings-on in his fictional hometown of Lake Woebegone, Minnesota -- as featured weekly on his radio show A Prairie Home Companion and in many books and short stories -- and you're wondering, should I even bother with The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten by the pseudonymous Harrison Geillor?



SF Masterworks

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

SF Masterworks is a series of classics that deserve to be in print and kept there rather than languishing as OP titles. They were published monthly by Millennium, which is an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, a UK publisher whose other imprints include Dolphin, Orion Media, Phoenix and Victor Gollancz. On the pages for the series, you'll find an overview of the series with cover/title links to the reviews we've done.



Babylon 5.1: TV reviews by Rick Norwood

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Caprica has ended. The next installment of the Battlestar Galactica story will be set at a time between the end of Caprica and the start of BSG. Rick found the last five episodes, which aired back to back on January 4, moderately enjoyable. The ending was more fun than some of the earlier episodes.



Hawkwood and the Kings and Century of the Soldier by Paul Kearney

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

With Monarchies of the Gods, Paul Kearney has created a complex society where the interplay between church and state creates plenty of lying, scheming and treachery among the upper power echelons, Kings, Queens, Pontiffs and princes all join in the fun and the backstabbing. Socially, the books take place during a time when gunpowder and iron are replacing magic and the practitioners of "dweomer" are ostracized and persecuted as heretics by the church.



Search for Philip K. Dick by Anne R. Dick

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Why are we so interested in the life of Philip K. Dick? Other than H.G. Wells, science fiction writers don't usually attract biographers, and when they do it is usually one book and no more. But Dick has attracted a whole host of biographers, his life has been fictionalized more than once, and we seem ever eager for more. For a writer of, mostly, paperback originals that were never that successful during most of his lifetime, a writer who barely travelled out of California, and someone whose greatest adventure seems to have consisted of finding different ways to fry his brains with drugs, his life seems curiously but enduringly fascinating.



Gateway by Frederik Pohl

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

It has long been considered a classic of the genre. In 1978, it won the Campbell, the Hugo, the Locus and the Nebula awards. Did it deserve such laurels? In a word, yes. The mysterious tunneled worlds and technology of the Heechee still feels fresh and full of wonder. The novel weaves the past and present of Robinette Broadhead, from his contemporary psychiatric sessions with a computer he has dubbed Sigfrid von Shrink to his reminisces of less fortunate days.



Superman vs. Muhammad Ali by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Two undisputed champions are forced to fight it out when alien invaders demand a title match between Earth's greatest fighters. The winner will face their own champion, a muscle-bound behemoth bio-engineered to pound others into the ground. And the stakes couldn't be higher for this fist-fest -- the fate of planet Earth rests on who is declared the final winner.



Death's Master by Tanith Lee

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Death's Master is about ancient times when the Earth was believed to be flat, and Gods reigned over all, and the world was separated into three different levels much like in the Norse pantheon. The Gods lived on the Upper Earth realm, while the Lords of Darkness and demons lived far below in the bowels of the Earth. Normal mortals resided in the middle world between the order and chaos and had a much harder life as a result.



Vote for SF Site's Readers' Choice Awards for 2010

Wed, 5 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Happy New Year! Once again, it's time to voice your opinion about what your favourite reading was from the year that just ended. Long-time visitors to the SF Site are familiar with the process. If you're new, what this is about is that we want to hear what you thought was the very best of what you read from the past year. And since we know how hard it is to pick just one favourite, you can tell us what you would put on your personal top 10 favourites. We also understand that you may not yet have read all the books from 2010 that you meant to, so we're going to give you a chance to do that -- until March 4, 2011.



The Secret History of Fantasy edited by Peter S. Beagle

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Some have argued that, over the last 30 or 40 years, the genre of fantasy has come to be identified with a bunch of multi-volume Tolkien clones that follow an overly-familiar trajectory. Although the formula is not specified here, we all know how it goes: a youth (almost always male) is unexpectedly revealed to have a special skill or be a long-lost prince and must then embark on a quest to recover various plot tokens before finally defeating the forces of evil. It's a format that accounts for an awful lot of what appears on the fantasy shelves of our bookshops.



The Unlikely World of Faraway Frankie by Keith Brooke

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Frankie Finnegan is a contemporary teenager living in a seaside English town where he is psychologically bullied by his peers. His sister (and closest companion) was killed in an accident. He is a terribly average teen whose only real talent is his vivid imagination. His imagined world is, at first, just a subtle variation of his own village, but it slowly becomes more and more different. When his sister inexplicably returns, he finds he can change things in his new world.



Watching the Future: a column by Derek Johnson

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

As 2010 winds down, Derek considers the best genre movies he has seen this year... and he feels as if someone has edited significant chunks of memory. It's not that you couldn't find something worthwhile showing at the multiplexes -- any year that offers Winter's Bone, The Social Network, The Ghost Writer and the Coen brothers' fine remake of True Grit certainly has done something right -- but few, if any, of those with geek chic matched the quality of 2008. Or 2009, for that matter.



The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October 2010

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

If readers thought the last issue's stories were unusual then they will really enjoy this most recent series of gems from such interesting writers as Richard Matheson, Ken Liu, James L. Cambias, and Fred Chappell. "The Literomancer," by Ken Liu will take readers back to fifty years. Its setting is China. The story is a cleverly constructed piece well worth being included in this issue.



Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Athos is one of the most isolated planets in the galactic community, which is exactly how the inhabitants like it. It's a planet entirely of men, where contact with off-planet sources is strictly limited, and each next generation is conceived in vitro and incubated in uterine replicators. This system has worked for hundreds of years, but now Athos is facing a serious problem: their carefully cultured lines of ovarian tissue, the same cell lines that have provided half of the genetic material of every Athosian for centuries, are failing.



Echo by Jack McDevitt

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

It all started innocently enough. A woman places a local ad to have a stone tablet removed from the house she recently purchased. The tablet made a nice centerpiece for her garden for a while, but now she is tired of it and is willing to offer it to anyone willing to come and haul it away. Interstellar antiquities dealer Alex Benedict is instantly intrigued by the photo of the stone, which is inscribed with runes that do not appear to be in any language known to man. Alex and his assistant, Chase Kolpath, have no idea that they are about to embark on a path that could uncover a monumental tragedy that occurred thirty years ago -- if they live long enough to reach its conclusion.



Blood and Honor by Simon R. Green

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

The kingdom of Redhart faces a succession crisis. Old King Malcolm has died, under ambiguous circumstances, and it's unclear which of his three sons is destined to take the throne. According to ancient Redhart tradition, the rightful ruler is the one who can produce the official crown and seal and then survive a blood-oath ritual on the ancient Stone beneath the throne. The trouble is, none of the three princes are exactly king material.



No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

First there was Romeo and Juliet, and more recently Edward and Bella -- couples who fall in love, but whose love is forbidden. Now there is Samia Savage and Devereaux Peltier. In a previous life, Samia was Queen of the Amazons, but now has joined the ranks of the Dark Hunters -- immortal warriors who hunt and kill Daemons to protect human kind. Devereaux is a Were Bear Shapeshifter, who is forbidden to have anything to do with Dark Hunters. But rules were made to be broken...



Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

An ice age is coming to the archipelago empire of Jamul. Peasants are gathering, seeking sanctuary, but they are being kept out. Adherents to a forbidden religion are gathering power and seeking to take control of the empire. It is against, and driven by, this backdrop that this jigsaw puzzle of a story opens. Looking at the scattered bits and discovering how they fit together is what makes this a most intriguing story.



Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Nick Gautier is your typical high school freshman -- full of sarcastic wit, worried about bullies, and fully aware of girls. On the other hand, he has some secrets, but there's one he doesn't even know himself -- he's not quite human. It is never fully revealed as to what he is, but it is powerful. It will be up to Kyrian, a supernatural Dark Hunter, to help show Nick what his true potential might be.



Transcendence, Part 2: The Demon Wars by R.A. Salvatore

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

This installment continues with the adventures of the Ranger, Brynn Dharielle. Brynn was trained by the elves to become a hero for her people, the To-Gai, who are being enslaved by the Behrenese. During the journey to her homeland, Brynn is separated from her two travelling companions when they come across the lair of a dragon. Brynn escapes and goes on to her country to find a small revolution already in progress.



The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

The Evolutionary Void is the third and final volume of Peter F. Hamilton's The Void Trilogy, but that is a little bit misleading. Yes, it is true and that is how it will be listed in bibliographies, but in reality it's really the fifth volume of the Commonwealth Saga and the culmination of one of the grandest modern space operas ever written. If you are unfamiliar with Peter F. Hamilton, don't even think of reading any of The Void Trilogy before you have read both Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained.



Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

The story revolves around three lovingly re-imaged characters. El Sombra, is a merciless, Zorro-esque Mexican swordsman. Once upon a time he was a poet named Djego. Now, he is the Saint of Ghosts, El Sombra, who believes the only good Nazi is a dead Nazi. Moving along a seemingly parallel path is the Blood Spider, who begins the book as a murderous masked vigilante, something like a cross between Batman and the Shadow. Then there's America's Greatest Hero, Doc Thunder, who is presented as an amalgam of Doc Savage, Hulk Hogan, and the original template for Superman.



Seven Ghosts and One Other by C.E. Ward

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

In the era of internet, smartphones and digital technology, it may seem silly and unfashionable to seek pleasurable shivers by reading ghost stories set either in a long gone past or, at most, in the age of gaslight lamps and hansom cabs. Yet, classical ghost stories, as the ones penned by a master of the genre such as M.R. James, continue to fascinate readers from all over the world.



Shotgun Sorceress by Lucy A. Snyder

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

This one picks up where Spellbent left off, with the titular hero, Jessie Shimmer, coming to terms with the fact that her hand has been replaced with demonic plasma and she's just killed a couple of extremely powerful creatures. Just as she's wondering if maybe her flaming hand is just some kind of gift, she discovers that she now feels death (and other memories).



She Nailed a Stake Through His Head: Tales of Biblical Terror edited by Tim Lieder

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

The title of this slim collection of nine stories that recast Biblical legends reminds us that a lot of really nasty things were going on a few hundred centuries ago among so-called religious people all in the name of serving God. For that matter, God himself performs some really nasty things.



New Arrivals compiled by Neil Walsh

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

With the new year, we're looking at some old and some new, including the latest titles from Orson Scott Card, James Lovegrove, Michael Moorcock, Tom Piccirilli, as well as a fresh look at old classics from Robert Silverberg, H. Beam Piper & John F. Carr, Stephen R. Donaldson, plus plenty more.



News Spotlight -- Genre Books and Media: a column by Sandy Auden

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

At this time of year, we often find ourselves looking back at the year that was and looking forward with hope and high expectations for the year to come. Authors and publishers are no different to the rest of us so here is part one of a whole range of talented people -- including Peter Hamilton, Mark Chadbourn, Jasper Kent, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Lebbon, Juliet McKenna and James Barclay -- talking about what's out and what's coming in 2011.



Nexus Graphica: a column by Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Perhaps Rick Klaw's favorite comment that he and Mark receive in response to their annual "Year That Was" sequences of the best graphic novels goes something likes this: "I love your selections, even though I've never heard of half of the books." In this spirit, Rick presents this list of perhaps lesser known works that would have made the cut if they had been preparing best-of compilations when they were originally published. Sadly, half of these books are currently out of print.



The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Rick loved this film. The weight of critical opinion says it's the weakest of the Narnia series. Rick liked it best. Other reviewers found it uninvolving. Rick cried. Some critics complained that the characters were cardboard. Rick loved the characters.



Tron: Legacy

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Tron: Legacy is essentially about a stock character (rebellious teen abandoned by father) fighting meaningless battles (I can throw a Frisbee faster than you can) amid 3D special effects that are supposed to be awesome but aren't.



Babylon 5.1: TV reviews by Rick Norwood

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Rick offers his thoughts the comings and goings of TV series in January 2011 including Doctor Who, "A Christmas Carol," Stargate Universe, Medium, V, Primeval and the final five episodes of Caprica.



The Jedi Path by Daniel Wallace

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

It comes in a black cardboard box, and weighs just shy of 5 lbs. Open the box, unpack the thing inside, and you have the "vault," a slightly smaller box of gray and silver plastic with beveled corners, about the size of an old-fashioned family bible. The front is decorated with images from that very first film: Tatooine's twin suns, solar discs intersecting like a Venn diagram, and hands -- undoubtedly Luke's -- raising a light saber in a salute. Press the black semicircle at the bottom and you hear the hiss of a pressure equalizing as the top splits into two panels that spread apart, like an ancient tomb, Indiana-Jones style. A palette within rises, lifting the Book.



Horrors: Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators by Rocky Wood, illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne

Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:00:00 GMT

Certainly an ambitious project, and one worthy of the attempt, this is an attempt to provide a history of gothic literature, taking as its point of departure the famous (or infamous) 1816 party at the Villa Diodati in Italy. There, Lord Byron challenged his companions, Dr. Polidori, Percy Shelley, Claire Claremont and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (aka Mary Shelley) to a ghost story contest.



RSS Feeds

Sat, 1 Jan 2005 11:00:00 GMT

After constructing our first RSS feed, it soon became apparent that the size of files could grow quickly. We decided to separate them into smaller ones, breaking them up by month. On this page you will find RSS feed files for all of our content beginning with January 2005.