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Cryptonomicon Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
reviewed by Kim Fawcett
Cryptonomicon alternates between the 40s, where the infant science of cryptography is winning World War II for the allies, and the 90s, where an eclectic group of businessmen, hackers, and thieves are using the same science to create an Internet data haven. That's the Cliff Notes version, of course -- even the simplest of Stephenson's plots defies description.

The Fear of God The Fear of God by B.A. Chepaitis
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
The author builds on an already extraordinary creation to create another enthralling adventure in the legend that is Jaguar Addams. No heroine on the scene today approaches the complexity of this enigmatic, feral woman. She astounds, offends, and defies classification.

Gypsy Rizka Gypsy Rizka by Lloyd Alexander
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
One picks up books by certain authors knowing they will be good. Even the weakest work by a Bradbury or a Tolkien has a certain something that places it above the rest of the field, and their best works are monoliths towering over the literary landscape. The same is true of Lloyd Alexander.

Sky Coyote Sky Coyote and Son Observe the Time by Kage Baker
reviewed by David Soyka
The second book in the Company series is related by Mendoza's mentor, Joseph. It is laden with a cynicism that, while in keeping with a being who has not only witnessed but collaborated in acts of human stupidity and cruelty over the course of several centuries, ultimately becomes wearisome. The novella in Asimov's May issue follows yet another Immortal, and this time gets all the elements right that made the first Company novel such a good read.

The Other Ones The Other Ones by Jean Thesman
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
Bridget Raynes has never been like other girls. She can read minds, move objects just by thinking about them, talk to birds and animals. For as long as she can remember, she has tried to suppress these talents, afraid of being different, wanting to fit in.

New Arrivals May Books
compiled by John O'Neill
Two big bestsellers top the list this issue, and they couldn't be more different: Terry Brook's fast-moving adaptation of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and Neal Stephenson's 928-page magnum opus, Cryptonomicon. What's your preference -- space battles and light saber duels, or hackers and ancient Nazi secrets? We've got those and everything in between.

A View Before Dying A View Before Dying by Sean Williams
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This chapbook is Sean Williams at his finest and, perhaps, his most menacing, but definitely at his peak. It's spell-binding, horrifying, and dazzling. Add to that intelligent commentary and you've got the total package.

Against the Tide of Years Against the Tide of Years by S.M. Stirling
reviewed by Steven H Silver
Sequel to Island in the Sea of Time, the Nantucketters work to integrate indigenous populations into the Nantucket way of life and to set in place an alliance which will help them corral William Walker and his band of degenerate renegades.

Wrapt in Crystal Wrapt in Crystal by Sharon Shinn
reviewed by James Seidman
Some books simply defy easy categorization into a genre. That definitely includes Sharon Shinn's latest effort. Set in the future on a distant planet, it is, at heart, a murder mystery. As much as anything else, however, the book is a vehicle for her to explore various religious concepts.

A Dangerous Magic A Dangerous Magic edited by Denise Little
reviewed by Thomas Myer
Without a doubt, this anthology just screamed out "don't read me, don't read me!" Tales of romantic fantasy, eh? Well, Thomas discovered that you can't be too hairy-chested for good writing. This anthology may even change your opinion of "romance."

Forthcoming Books Forthcoming Books
compiled by John O'Neill
Arthur C. Clarke looks back at 64 years of science fact and fiction with Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!, Lynn Flewelling prepares the newest volume in The Nightrunner Series, and we preview upcoming novels from Timothy Zahn, Jan Lars Jensen, Paul J McAuley, James Blaylock, and many others.

Dark Genesis Dark Genesis by J. Gregory Keyes
reviewed by S. Kay Elmore
Alice Kimbrell has a problem. Should she accept an oddball abstract for publication? Everyone knows that psychic powers are ridiculous, but two unknown grad students from Harvard seem to have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that telepathy exists. She publishes the article and predictably, all hell breaks loose.

The Lazarus Drop The Lazarus Drop by Paul Moomaw
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
A Lazarus drop, in spy lingo, implies that once the agent is inserted, the contractor will disavow all knowledge of them. In this case, Nathaniel Blue's employer is the US government. That means he's working for the "good guys" this time, right? Don't be so sure.

The Goblin Market The Goblin Market edited by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff and Raechel Henderson
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
Its content does tend to hearken back to the lush prose-poems and imagery of writers like James Branch Cabell, E.R. Eddison, William Morris, Clark Ashton Smith. While most of today's fantasy writers minimize their atmosphere and pseudo-mediaeval imagery, it is nice that there are still writers emulating the prose-poetry of the past masters.

Ancients of Days Ancients of Days by Paul J. McAuley
reviewed by Neil Walsh
Many questions, posed in Child of the River, are finally answered in this 2nd volume of the trilogy. Yama's adventures on the artificial world of Confluence continue and his quest remains constant: to find out who he really is and to discover his own people, if indeed they still exist. The route to this goal, however, is as convoluted as the River is straight.

The Original Anthology Series in SF The Original Anthology Series in SF
compiled by Rich Horton
It is said that short fiction is central to SF, a convenient form for presenting a single idea, and as such is natural for a "literature of ideas". Many's the clever notion that won't carry a whole novel, but nicely drives 5000 words. This is the final installment of Rich Horton's comprehensive article on original anthology series.

Choice of Evil Choice of Evil by Andrew Vachss
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
This -- like all of Vachss' novels -- is an exhausting experience. It also induces absolute commitment, unbreakable control of your attention, and investment of emotions. All of Vachss' work has an almost hypnotic quality that will push you on when the scenes seem too horrifying to bear.

Northern Suns Northern Suns edited by David Hartwell & Glenn Grant
reviewed by Steven H Silver
One contention of the editors is that Canadian SF is different from the SF published throughout the rest of the world. Another is that SF is alive and thriving north of the US border. The latter is readily proven.

Babylon 5.1: Televison Reviews Babylon 5.1
TV reviews by Rick Norwood
In his column, Rick's commentary on SF television includes an episode of Star Trek Voyager, Relativity", by Nicholas Sagan, Bryan Fuller, and Michael Taylor and The X-Files episode, Field Trip", written by Frank Spotnitz, Vince Gilligan, and John Shiban.

New Magazines New Magazines
compiled by John O'Neill
Looking for the best in new magazines? The FictionHome page has news, reviews and links to the finest short fiction on the market, from SF magazines to anthologies and collections.

First Novels

Before & After Before & After by Matthew Thomas
reviewed by Margo MacDonald
The cover promises "exploding sheep, Nostradamus, and the end of the world". And it delivers. It's wickedly funny, slickly written, positively contemporary.

Crowheart Crowheart by John Gist
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
How to classify this novel? Certainly, it is dark realism, but completely unlike any other book you will find in the genre. The horror is there, though subtle, and in a backdrop outside the normal, expected setting. Perhaps, it is opening an entire new genre; call it cowboy noir.

Second Looks

The Wizard in the Tree The Wizard in the Tree by Lloyd Alexander
reviewed by Jonathan Fesmire
Life for Mallory, a young servant, is about to take several strange turns. Until now, the worst part of Mallory's life has been working as a maid for the grumpy Mrs. Parcel. However, her peaceful town is undergoing changes thanks to the selfish leadership of Squire Scrupnor.

Time Cat Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander
reviewed by Georges T. Dodds
This was the author's first children's book way back in 1963, even before his famed Prydain Chronicles, and it has aged remarkably well. The premise is simple: Gareth the black cat has 9 lives, except that his occur each at a different time in history.

Supping With Panthers Supping With Panthers by Tom Holland
reviewed by Kim Fawcett
Sleeping too well at night? Plagued by sweet dreams? Well, here's a book to cure you. It reads like a nightmare -- dark, twisted, frightening, and surreal. Don't say you weren't warned.

Non-Fiction

The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places by Brian Stableford
reviewed by Steven H Silver
This is an interesting and entertaining look at the wide variety of worlds created by more than a century of SF authors. Beginning with the writing of H.G. Wells and continuing to such recent authors as Mary Doria Russell, it includes brief descriptions of places which have enthralled SF audiences.

Gaming

New Arrivals May Games
compiled by John O'Neill
Over 30 new games and gaming novels pack our mid-May gaming round-up, including a new boxed set for Dungeons and Dragons, FASA's Third Edition Shadowrun rules, the latest in science fiction gaming -- including Battletech, Trinity and Alternity -- and much more.

Revelations of the Dark Mother Revelations of the Dark Mother by Phil Brucato
a gaming module review by Don Bassingthwaite
This is Lilith's story, a counterpoint to Caine (The Book of Nod), and the story of the Bahari, those denizens of the World of Darkness who follow her. If you compare the two books side by side, you'll notice several things right away but other subtleties will become apparent.


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