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Reviews and Articles in General Publications

Time October 11, 1999
Letters in response to the magazine's Harry Potter cover story 3 weeks ago include one from SFWA Grand Master Andre Norton congratulating the author's success; one calling the series a ''watered-down version of Diane Duane's far superior juvenile Wizard series''; one excoriating the story as shameless self-promotion for Time owner Warner Bros.'s licensing of the books' film rights; and remarks from a Minnesota reader who banished the books from her household for fear her children ''might want to become involved in witchcraft''. Also in this issue: a brief review of Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn (Doubleday).

§ The Onion 6 October 1999
Back to Harry: the satirical online magazine has this helpful Infographic to chart reasons for the series' success.

§ The Village Voice Sept. 29 - Oct. 5
Amy Taubin reviews Abel Ferrara's New Rose Hotel, the film version of William Gibson's short story. We were afraid of this: ''... what's on the screen is so dreadful that it inspires the ontological question 'What are films and why is this not one of them?' ''. The film opens in Los Angeles this coming Friday.

§ Salon Oct. 5
Nikki Finke's Media column explores the reasons Michael Crichton's forthcoming Timeline (Random House) has not sold to the movies.

The online merchant presents extensive ''Best of the Century'' lists of books, music, and videos, including The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Century. The 25 selections are all familiar: Orwell, Miller, Burgess, Huxley, Herbert, Card, etc.; and, perhaps not coincidentally, all of them are in print and available from

§ Zoetrope October 1999
Fiction: writer Cezarija Abartis [full disclosure: wife of Locus reviewer Russell Letson] has a story, ''On Grandmother's Farm'', in the On-Line Extras section of Francis Coppola's Zoetrope: All-Story magazine.

Bestseller Watch, 4 October

Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn (Doubleday), which is getting new-discovery treatment from reviewers who've never heard of, or who've dismissed, his SF, debuts at #13 on the LAT list this week. It's #15 on the San Francisco Chronicle list.

Kurt Vonnegut's Bagombo Snuff Box remains #1 on the LAT list. It's 23rd at NYT. Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, after several months, remains 10th at SFC.

The Harry Potter books, and Stephen King's latest, haven't moved noticeably from their positions last week, as of Monday. (Though's Hot 100 list became dominated, on Tuesday, by a slew of dieting books.) Card's Ender's Shadow has dropped off the LAT and NYT lists -- it's among runners-up at 17th at NYT -- but holds at #7 at WP, #10 at PW, and #8 on Amazon's fiction hardcover list.

In the UK,'s Top 100 list has Terry Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant in 11th place.

Amazon's not-yet-published bestselling books ranks Michael Crichton's Timeline (Random House) in 5th place.

Ender's Shadow leads Amazon's SF bestsellers, followed by books by Neal Stephenson, Connie Willis (in paperback), Greg Bear, and Eric Idle. Barnes & Noble's SF bestsellers are led by Card, R.A. Salvatore, Tad Williams, Connie Willis, and Robert Jordan.

Things are quite different on the list in Canada, where Stephen King's previous book, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, is still #1, and books by Terry Goodkind, Anne Rice, and George R.R. Martin place among the top ten.

Links to the Bestseller lists:

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Borders |

(Wed 6 Oct 1999)

© 1999 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.