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Site of the Week—September 2, 2003

Chronos—The Future of Time Travel
http://www.chronos.ws/

F ounded in 2105 (according to the "About Us" section of the Web page), Chronos Technologies will one day be a hotbed of scientific developments near and dear to an SF reader's heart: biotech, androids, medical nanotech and—most importantly—time travel. "Making Tomorrow's History Today" is its motto, and to that end the Chronos site offers a wealth of information on the theories surrounding time travel and the specifics of teleportation through the sixth dimension.

Writers of time-travel fiction often focus on the ramifications of meddling in past events without worrying overmuch about the mechanisms of the voyage to eras past. Chronos, on the other hand, is strongly concerned with hardware and logistics, discussing such technicalities as the placement of time gates in geologically stable regions, the required angle for a tachyon stream to meet a gravitic lens, and the need for time travelers to have an interspatial teleporter on hand once they have ventured into the past.

As for temporal paradoxes, Chronos has a single stern answer: They cannot occur. Rejecting free will, the site insists that "time travelers" are in fact visiting a parallel dimension: Any changes they make there will affect the future course of that timeline, but when the visitors returns home to their own dimension they will find no alteration. Their fate, Chronos insists, is predetermined.

Though its content is whimsically presented—check out the hilarious FAQ!—Chronos is utterly serious about time-travel theory. It presents a single, fully rounded view of the possibility of time travel. Offering this theory as a basis for philosophical and theoretical discussion, the site does make a few concessions to the realities of the present. For one, it provides a small series of links to time-travel movies, noting that though fictional treatments of the subject are scientifically flawed, they can be entertaining. For another, it has a series of site-related merchandise and goodies in its gift shop. No matter what its future holds, the Chronos site is definitely a highlight of the Web of today.

— A.M. Dellamonica


Site of the Week—August 25, 2003

CHUD—Cinematic Happenings Under Development
http://www.chud.com/

W ebzines about the film industry aren't exactly rare, but sometimes a site takes thoroughness and in-depth coverage to a wonderful new level. CHUD.com is such a place, lavishing dedication and sheer affection for the movie genre on every well-written paragraph of content it posts.

CHUD offers all the basics a movie fan might expect—reviews of new releases and DVDs, film industry news, interviews with actors and directors and—for interested participants—chat rooms and discussion forums. As always, though, it is the extras that give this site its individuality. A section called "Fetal Films" is dedicated to movies in such an early and tenuous stage of production that they might never be made. Another somewhat esoteric offering is CHUD's coverage of film-related print magazines. From Cinefantastique to Starlog, these follow a full stretch of subjects—broad topics like anime or video games and narrow ones like the Star Wars movie franchise. The CHUD DVD review section also includes "Ten Grabs," whereby screen captures from various films are presented with humorous captions.

This site does everything it can to involve its readers in the fun. In addition to bringing fans together with its forums, CHUD regularly runs contests for film-related merchandise and goodies. The site also hosts advance screenings of movies in a number of U.S. cities, offering its readers a chance to get away from the computer and out to the big screen—which is, after all, the point.

CHUD's true means of hooking Web surfers into visiting regularly, though, is the all-around quality of its articles. Serious in intent, this site never loses its delicious sense of fun—a combination that explains its growing and loyal following.

— A.M. Dellamonica


Site of the Week—August 18, 2003

Romantic Science Fiction & Fantasy
http://www.romanticsf.com/

T he folks at Romantic Science Fiction & Fantasy know there's more to their subgenre than Princess Leia saying "I love you" and Han Solo replying "I know" before being encased in carbonite.

They endeavor to prove that fact to the rest of geekdom with a Web site that covers the genre from multiple angles. There are regular updates—sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly—on what staff members are reading, lists of upcoming romantic fiction from a variety of publishers, and a wealth of links to related genre and author sites. Additionally, those looking to talk with like-minded individuals can do so two ways: via the site's online discussion boards and its e-mail-based Yahoo discussion group.

Those new to the genre should check out the site's "Features" section, which includes a six-book list entitled "Romantic Fiction 101" designed to introduce people to romantic SF (it would've been nice if these books were linked directly to reviews). The section also holds a handful of interviews with genre authors.

By far the site's strongest offering is its reviews section. It lists dozens upon dozens of authors, and easily more than 100 books. Each book entry notes which of the site's contributors liked and disliked it, as well as short reviews by the self-same moderators. It would be nice if the section had a search feature, but it's still useful as is.

— Ken Newquist


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