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Preview: SF Site -- May 2005

SF Site -- May 2005



The new issue of the SF Site is now online.



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Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Jake Sullivan is trying desperately to put together the shattered pieces of his life. Afflicted with a fatal neurological disease known as Katerinsky's syndrome, Jake is in his early 40s but due to his condition could conceivably drop dead at any moment. With his wealth, Jake decides to discard his potentially doomed biological body and replace it with a synthetic android body. The process, known as a Mindscan, is not quite consciousness transferring, but rather using quantum mechanics and advanced computer technology creates an instantaneous copy of an individual's mind, transporting every thought, memory, and emotion into a duplicate android body.



The Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction Series: Four Titles

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Looking back on futures past is one of the pleasures of reading classic science fiction -- our own lives may seem mundane compared to what old-time futurists thought they would be, but the overlay of yesterday's tomorrows onto awareness of today's now illuminates both the past and the present, and even restores a certain wonder in the everyday moments we take for granted.



Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

This being Harry Dresden's life, he's immediately plunged into a vicious multi-element struggle that makes the Maltese Falcon affair look like a Bobbsey Twins adventure. The crazies start popping out of the woodwork, everyone looking for either the Word of Kemmlar, or an ancient book about the mythical Erlking, and they either want Harry to find said books, hand them over promptly, or please die now. In some cases, all three. The really bad news? Six of the new nasties in town are necromancers. Before you know it, Harry's up to his wizard's staff in zombies, with no end in sight.



New Arrivals: compiled by Neil Walsh

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

New books this time include the latest novels from Ben Bova, Sara Douglass, Andre Norton, and Mark Chadbourn, plus sneak peeks at forthcoming works from Paul McAuley, Michael Moorcock, Connie Willis, and many more.



Vox: SF For Your Ears: a column by Scott Danielson

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Scott Danielson is listening to audio SF -- on tape, on CD, on whatever. This time out, he has been listening to the audio CDs included in Orson Scott Card's Posing as People. The book includes each original story, comments by the authors of the scripts, and the scripts themselves. A 4-disc audiobook is also there made up of a reading of each original story and a performance of each script by the actors.



Babylon 5.1: TV reviews by Rick Norwood

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Rick offers his thoughts on two episodes of Star Trek Enterprise, "Terra Prime" and "These Are the Voyages...", the latter of which is the series finale. He also gives us a list of his most fondly remembered Star Trek episodes.



A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

The Sidhe now have a murky coexistence with te modern world, based in North America. A nation within a nation, they are in some ways similar to Native Americans. The central character, and narrator, is Meredith Gentry, a runaway from the Unselie Court. Merry as she is known to her friends, has been in hiding for three years, establishing herself as a glamour shrouded member of The Grey Detective Agency, a firm specialising in cases involving magic.



Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree, Jr.

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Should an artist's life be kept separate from his or her work? Alice Bradley Sheldon thought it important enough at the beginning of her writing career that she used the name James Tiptree Jr. as a pseudonym and a P.O. box as an address in order to keep the rest of her life private. But she was writing science fiction, and her audience was a community in which readers knew writers, writers knew readers, and writers all knew each other.



A Terrible To-Do about Voodoo: an interview with Stephen Gallagher

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

"Voodoo is actually quite a sweet natured religion. I'd always fancied doing something about the reality of voodoo, but there are frequently surprises with the way a project can work out."



City of Pearl and Crossing the Line by Karen Traviss

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Welcome to the end of the 23rd century and the world of Superintendent Shan Frankland. Shan is just finishing a final case for her employer, the Federal European Union, on the Mars Orbital. She works in Environmental Hazard Enforcement -- the environment cops. Unfortunately her last day is about to get a bit longer -- about 150 years longer -- because she's been chosen to head up an interstellar mission to Cavanagh's Star, ostensibly to follow up on a missing colony there, but probably also for other reasons too.



Chaotic Lives: an interview with Michael Moorcock

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

"I'm naturally given to plunge into all kinds of things, though maybe less so these days. Linda, my wife, is the same. We'll go places that most people would be too scared to go. If we're travelling abroad, we'll wind up in the dark alleys rather than on the brightly lit boulevard. You'll find much more interesting stuff in the dark alleys."



Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Jason, Sookie's brother, is experiencing his first full moon as a werepanther. Amazingly enough, Jason embraces his new life and enjoys shifting. As much of a relief as this is for Sookie, trouble is looming. Someone is killing shifters and Jason is the prime suspect. To add to Sookie's turmoil, Eric does not remember his time with Sookie, but knows something important happened.



Sequential Art: a column by Matthew Peckham

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers is being marketed by DC as "the most ambitious new storytelling venture in modern comics history," an attempt to "redefine the concept of the super-hero," "a colossal tale unlike any seen in comics before."



The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 2005

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

This edition of Fantasy & Science Fiction offers writing from Alex Irvine, Esther Friesner, Paul Di Filippo, John McDaid, Arthur Porges, Lucius Shepard, and Bruce Sterling, among others. The results are mixed, though some bits are worth the price of admission by itself.



Seal Island by Kate Brallier

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

With its Gothic atmosphere and moody setting, this twist on the old selkie legend is the kind of romance Mary Stewart might've written thirty years ago -- in about 250 pages. Recently down-sized from her dull New York City office job, Cecilia ("Cecil") Hargrave is more than ready to head north when she inherits her Aunt Allegra's house on Seal Island, just off the Maine coast.



Boxing Stories by Robert E. Howard

Mon, 16 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

For many of the stories, some never reprinted before, the editor has gone back to the original typescripts or magazine appearances: restoring 10,000 words to "The Iron Man" cut by the editors of Fight Stories; restoring Sailor Steve Costigan as the protagonist of Dennis Dorgan stories, a name change brought on by Howard having to disguise his authorship to avoid having two stories under the same by-line in a single magazine issue.



Close To My Heart: Genesis by W.A. Harbinson

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

At its heart is the question of who builds flying saucers and where they come from. The characters and plot, while hugely entertaining and well written, are subservient to this central enigma. The author's approach was to tell the story from three sides, with the viewpoint shifting between Epstein and Stanford, an old scientist and his young sidekick who are eager to solve the mystery, Richard Watson, a student who is abducted and subject mind control experimentation, and Aldridge, an American traitor whose icy genius almost won WW II for Nazi Germany.



Alosha by Christopher Pike

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

With her mother dead and her father, a long-distance hauler, gone for days at a time, thirteen-year-old Alison Warner has learned to be self-sufficient. And it's not like the isolated city of Breakwater is rife with danger -- until Ali goes hiking up one of the local mountains and finds herself being stalked by something big and hairy. Something that tries to kill her, leaving her trapped under a rock slide. She manages to dig herself out, just barely, and limps home to safety, but that night she has a strange dream about a threatening darkness called Shaktra and awakens with the certainty that it's something important. Something familiar.



Banewreaker by Jacqueline Carey

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

The gods in the form of the Seven Shapers are still amidst us, but the siblings are quarreling. Satoris, the youngest god, gets cast out by eldest brother Haomane for getting too chummy with Men, and in the process suffers a deep wound that does not heal. A prophecy predicts the resulting imbalance, caused by this banishment, between both the gods and the races of creation will be healed and harmony restored with the destruction of Satoris.



The 3rd Alternative #40 and Interzone #196

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

With this issue, The 3rd Alternative celebrates ten years of publication. It is an auspicious anniversary, because the magazine has survived longer than might have been expected for a periodical publishing stories that don't always fit into neat genre categories, stories that struggle to mix the fantastic and mundane in new and profound ways. Because it is one of only a few places where such stories can really be at home, The 3rd Alternative is a truly necessary magazine.



Sidecar Preservation Society compiled by Rodger Turner

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Many rumours surround the Sidecar Preservation Society. Those contacted for confirmation get anxious and suggest it is better not to dig too deeply. They will confirm that the cocktail can be potent when consumed in quantity. Their choice of material for publication can be whimsical. And they insist that all their chapbooks are developed and published through their minions. What caused these otherewise upright citizens to be placed into minionhood is nobody else's business.



The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: a movie review by Rick Norwood

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

It is not as bad as you feared nor as good as you hoped, very different from any other version, but with a lot of the same lines. The movie version essentially adapts the first book with the cards shuffled, a few cards borrowed from other decks, and quite a few wild cards.



Titan: God-Machine by Dan Abnett

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

This is a series omnibus, book-sized graphic novel. Reproduced in black and white for half the book, the artwork changes to greyscale for the second half. The subject is the adventures of the Warlord Titan Imperius Dictatio and its crew. Titans are the ultimate in 41st Millennium war machines, standing over 100ft tall and armed with volcano cannons, turbo lasers and gatling blasters. They have but one purpose; to kill anything that potentially threatens the God-Emperor of mankind.



Star Wars: Jedi Trial by David Sherman and Dan Cragg

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

The time draws near, a Jedi Padawan's training is almost complete and he nears full Knighthood. But there is something more growing within him, something dark and dangerous. Will this mission prove his courage and valor, or lead him down a darker path?



A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Continuing on where Seduced by Moonlight left off, Merry is the subject of a press conference. During it, a double homicide occurs -- a lesser Fae and a human reporter. Merry insists that a human investigation be done, and manipulates Queen Andais to this end. The importance of this investigation is never completely clear, other then as a way for Merry to avenge her father's murder.



2004 Nebula Awards

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Active members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America vote for the Nebula Awards. The awards are given each year for the best novel, novella, novelette, and short story eligible for that year's award. The script category was added in recent years. Each year, an anthology, including the winning pieces of short fiction and several runners-up, is also published.



Sidestepping Dimensions: an interview on Publishing Doctor Who Books

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

"Books that are entertaining, with something to say. We want to remain open to different approaches, and don't feel constrained by having to follow series continuity if we are presented with an idea which works well outside it. Ultimately it's our intention to present good fiction and that is uppermost in our minds at all times."



The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: a movie review by Alec Worley

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Prefaced by a cheerfully ominous musical number performed by a troupe of thankful dolphins, the movie begins familiarly enough. The Office's long-suffering Martin Freeman plays pyjama-wearing Earthman Arthur Dent, whose resentment at having his house bulldozed by the local counsel pales in comparison to the imminent demolition of Earth by the Vogons, a slobbering race of alien bureaucrats.



Druidic Intrigue: an interview with Terry Brooks

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

"I think most authors are fairly devious anyway. We're manipulating our characters, manipulating our stories, creating things out of thin air, and playing god in a lot of different ways on a very small scale. It's already a part of the craft and it occasionally spills over into the plotting of things too."



Sequential Art: a column by Matthew Peckham

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Revenge of the Sith is a poorly told tale of power corrupting the insecure and narcissistic, i.e. insert a coin into any number of Eastern philosophies and out pops an outline to match Lucas's juvenile distillations... if my inner-apologist was still hoping that George might at least go one for three, this final story has me washing my hands of any further exculpation.



The Silences of Home by Caitlin Sweet

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Here, we meet the real Queen Galha. Far from ruling "with wisdom and kindness" as billed in her legend, Galha is a ruthless power broker who rigidly controls her people and everything they write about her. The setting of the book is the same medieval landscape as in A Telling of Stars (though many centuries earlier) but the narrative structure of this novel is far more complex, involving a large cast of viewpoint characters.



Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

This is a wonderful addition to the Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop. The four stories contained in the collection are "Weaver of Dreams," "the Prince of Ebon Rih," "Zuulaman," and "Kaeleer's Heart."



New Arrivals compiled by Neil Walsh

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Recent arrivals in the SF Site office include new novels from Steph Swainston, Karin Lowachee, Karl Schroeder, Dan Abnett, and forthcoming collections from Paul Di Filippo, Maureen F. McHugh, Kelly Link, plus many more fine books.



Babylon 5.1: TV reviews by Rick Norwood

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Rick has TV reviews of the Star Trek Enterprise episode titled "In a Mirror, Darkly" and the Smallville episode titled "Blank." He also lists what to watch on TV in May.



Song of Kali by Dan Simmons

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Robert Luczak is something of an innocent idealist. A poet and journalist, he is commissioned to write an article on M. Das, a famous Indian poet who disappeared some years ago and is now rumoured to have resurfaced (or perhaps have been resurrected) in Calcutta. More than this, Das has apparently written a new epic work and Luczak is to negotiate for the rights to publish this in America. It all sounds fairly straightforward.



The Foresight War by Anthony G. Williams

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

Using his vast knowledge of the events and weaponry used during WWII, the author projects an alternate stream of events, where the flow of history is changed by two men. They are Don Erlang and Professor Konrad Herrman, who are both accidental time travellers from 2004, that wake up one morning to find themselves in 1934. Herrman in Germany and Erlang in England. Both men are military historians, who adapt quickly to their new circumstances, and independently set out to change history as they knew it.



Natural History by Justina Robson

Sun, 1 May 2005 11:00:00 GMT

The Forged, vat-born cyborg post-humans who do most of the heavy lifting in the 26th century, are getting tired of kowtowing to the Old Monkeys, the Unevolved guys who created them: us. As the book opens, Voyager Lonestar Isol has just made a disastrous First Contact with a mysterious alien artifact on her way to explore Barnard's Star.