Web Site Reviews
Adele Long, Associate Editor,
Issue # 3: 04/01/01
A Theory of Alternate History
And you thought time travel was impossible.
The Steven Spielberg film AI, based on Brian Aldiss's story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long," will be released this summer, and the film's publicity campaign has apparently opened a port to the 22nd century using---what else?---the Internet. Astute web surfers of 2001 have uncovered numerous websites related to the untimely death of a Donu-Tech scientist in 2142. The timelines of the two centuries seem to be moving in tandem: news flashes and updates from 2142 appear on their equivalent dates in 2001. The alternate timeline is accessible by email, telephone, and even fax, and today's web denizens are hot on the trail. This could be the first crime to be solved almost 150 years before it even takes place.
The cleverest have found the puzzle's earliest entry point: a phone number encoded in the AI film trailer (also found here). Others have depended on various tip-offs regarding Jeanine Salla, whose interesting role in the film trailer's end credits has pushed sharp-eyed surfers to run Internet searches to uncover Salla's identity and, ultimately, the vast story behind Evan Chan's death.
No single person is likely to have the time or wide-ranging knowledge needed to unravel this tangled skein, and curious researchers will find ample help from the underground community that has been laboring to solve the puzzle since late March. Collaborative groups seem to be popping up across the Internet, each at a different stage of investigation, though patient investigators should be wary of the various think-tanks and clues pages lest they run across too much information too soon.
is Jeanine Salla? How did
Evan Chan die? Only the
patient and dedicated will be able to find out.
has been around for quite a while, providing good short fiction reviews of
both print and online stories. For
the past few weeks, though, their site hasn't been accessible.
But recently they relaunched with their new, independent domain (www.TangentOnline.com)
and a redesigned site.
before, the site has reviews of print magazines, listed by how often the
magazine is published (monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-annually,
irregular). It also has
reviews of online publications (right now, just SciFiction.com) and
anthologies and collections. Plus,
if you have a question or comment about Tangent, you can post it on their
newsgroup, which the editor and webmaster seem to keep close track of.
new site will be updated as reviews come in, so you'll be able to see
things faster than before. There
is one catch; to help with site costs, they're asking people to subscribe
for $2 or more per year. If
you subscribe, you get a login and password, and you'll be able to see
updates as soon as they go up. If
you don't subscribe, you'll eventually get to see everything, but you'll
have to wait until reviews are two weeks old.
This sounds like a good way to get support from people who want to
contribute while still keeping Tangent's resources free for those who
don't want to pay.
All material © 2001, Holly Lisle except where noted
versions of Vision