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Games and game accessories are listed by publication date; most recent first. Where available, links to SF Site reviews are provided. Click on the thumbnail image to get a look at the full size cover.

New Gaming Arrivals: May 1999, Part II
[Cover]
Art: Omar Rayyan
The Artisans Handbook (for Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade)
Phil Masters with Lindsay Woodcock
White Wolf (sourcebook, 96 pages, $14.95 US)
Publication date: May, 1999

Just when it seems that you're going to be overwhelmed with one more grim tome of unrelenting darkness, the clouds break and you get The Artisans Handbook -- the book of high craftsmanship for Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade. I approve. "The Age of the Machine is at Hand! The Artisans Handbook details Daedalean guilds and skills, politics among the lodges, and the theories of the reasoning Art." Boy, that sounds tranquil.
[Cover]
Art: Brad Noble
Children of the Night (for Vampire: The Masquerade)
Justin Achilli et al
White Wolf (sourcebook, 104 pages, $14.95 US)
Publication date: May, 1999

Ah, now this is more with the program. Talk about enfants terrible -- Children of the Night is a finely detailed (and very nicely illustrated) gallery of characters for Vampire: The Masquerade. Included are some of the most powerful and influential Kindred in the World of Darkness, numerous character-driven story hooks "for political chronicles, Gehenna chronicles and everything in between," and characters from the Camarilla, Sabbat and independent clans -- and even the mysterious Inconnu.
[Cover]
Art: John van Fleet
Clan Novel: Tzimisce (Clan Novel #2)
Eric Griffin
White Wolf (paperback, 273 pages, $5.99 US/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: April, 1999

There's a lot of gaming fiction on the market these days, but I consider White Wolf's Clan Novel saga to be one of the most ambitious undertakings I've seen. Stewart Wieck kicked off this 13-part dark opus last month with Clan Novel: Toreador, which focused on Leopold and Victoria, two vampires of the Toreador Kindred clan. Now Eric Griffin picks up the tale as the storyline accelerates. "The Clan Novel series takes a sinister turn as the dread Tzimisce emerge from their macabre dungeons and laboratories to take a decidedly unhealthy interest in events..."
review Clan Novel: Toreador review by Jonathan Fesmire
[Cover]
Art: Leif Jones
Kindred of the East Companion (for Vampire: The Masquerade)
Phyllis Bowen et al
White Wolf (sourcebook, 140 pages, $19.95 US)
Publication date: May, 1999

We gave a hearty thumbs up to Kindred of the East Companion when it first appeared, even though reviewer Henry Harding noted it was "a daunting work. You ain't going to have a game up and running an hour after getting this book. A large reason for this is having to become familiar with a large set of new concepts and phrases..." We should have seen this coming -- the Kindred of the East Companion, just what the doctor ordered to work out that big culture kink in your neck. Two hours with this tome and you still may not have a game up and running -- but you'll never be caught off-guard by Kuei-Jin assassins again.
review Kindred of the East review by Henry Harding
[Cover]
Laws of the Hunt Players Guide (for Mind's Eye Theatre)
Coranth Gryphon, Jess Heinig and Cynthia Summers
White Wolf (sourcebook, 296 pages, $14.95 US)
Publication date: May, 1999

Mind's Eye Theatre is a system (and concept) rich in all manner of gaming goodness, but you've really got to have your homework done when the lights go down. Enter the various Player's Guide's. These weighty and extremely well-presented volumes function both as useful reference guides and terrific sources for campaign ideas. If you haven't tried live action gaming before, and feel more than a little naked without the gaming screen you've hid behind since the sixth grade, the sourcebooks for Mind's Eye Theatre are the safety net you've been looking for.
[Cover]
Art: Brian LeBlanc
Tales from the Trails: Mexico (Werewolf the Wild West sourcebook)
James A. Moore
White Wolf (World of Darkness sourcebook, 96 pages, $14.95 US)
Publication date: May, 1999

Okay, I know this is supposed to be a Werewolf the Wild West sourcebook. And I'm sure it's well-rounded and versatile in all the ways you'd expect. But after recent exposure to both From Dusk to Dawn and John Carpenter's Vampires, it's all I can do to snatch these and mutter, "Mexican vampire nest -- whoa!" Maybe I'm a victim of Hollywood programming, but I know a great creepy campaign theme when I see one.
[Cover]
Art: George Pratt
The Thousand Hells (for Vampire: The Masquerade)
Kraig Blackwelder, et al
White Wolf (Kindred of the East sourcebook, 120 pages, $17.95 US)
Publication date: May, 1999

It's a good week to be a Kindred of the East fan. If you're in a group with a GM who slips this volume into his library, here's a piece of advice: pack for warm climates, get some sunscreen, and buy a deluxe canteen. You're gonna need it. "The Thousand Hells includes a history of the Yomi World and its most fearsome inhabitants, ideas for creating your own domains and Yama Kings, and the secrets of the most famous -- and infamous! -- of the Thousand Hells."
[Cover]
Art: John Zelenik
Stellar Frontier (for Trinity)
John R. Snead and Greg Stolze
White Wolf (sourcebook, 144 pages, $19.95 US)
Publication date: May, 1999

A Psi Order Upeo wa Macho & Extrasolar Space Sourcebook for Trinity. Say that five times fast. Don't remember the Upea wa Macho? They were the psions who were able to teleport at will, intrepid explorers who were the only means of contact with millions of people on colony worlds lights years from Earth... people who were cut off and stranded when the teleports mysteriously vanished years ago. Stellar Frontier covers both the long-lost Upeo wa Macho psi order and the isolated extrasolar colonies -- learn how the colonies survived, what threats emerged while they struggled... and why the Upeo vanished.
[Cover]
Art: Pauline Benney
Wraith: The Great War
Bruce Baugh, Richard E. Dansky, Greg Stolze and others
White Wolf (hardcover, sourcebook, 240 pages, $25.95 US)
Publication date: April, 1999

I'm forced to admit that I've never played Wraith, but it's supplements like this that make me regret it. I am in awe of the jacket copy alone. "The First World War is over. Outside the walls of Stygia, the Fourth Great Maelstrom rages. Overhead, ghostly pilots engage in dogfights against shrieking Spectres. The gates of the Necropolis slam shut in the face of the storm. And at the heart of the Empire of the Dead, a traitor works to topple what Oblivion never could... For the dead, the Great War has only begun." Does your game have that kind of narrative pull? And even if it comes close, I'll bet it's still missing the Spectre dogfights.
[Cover]
Art: Gerber Studio
The Umbrella Conspiracy (Resident Evil #1)
S.D. Perry
Pocket (paperback, 262 pages, $6.50 US/$8.50 Can)
Publication date: September 8, 1998

Now we're cookin'. A novel of horror/dark fantasy based on the million-selling video game involving zombies, ghouls, heavy munitions, foolish scientists tearing back the veil on what Man Was Not Meant to Know, and one seriously haunted domicile. Okay, it's high in sugar and un-saturated fats, but you just know it's gotta be tasty. "Deployed to investigate the strange goings-on is the Special Tactics and Rescue Squad (S.T.A.R.S.), an unusual paramilitary response unit boasting an eclectic assortment of mission specialists... But what unfolds as the S.T.A.R.S. penetrate the mansion's long-locked doors is terror beyond their worst nightmares."
[Cover]
Art: Gerber Studio
Caliban Cove (Resident Evil #2)
S.D. Perry
Pocket (paperback, 242 pages, $6.50 US/$8.50 Can)
Publication date: September 8, 1998

S.D. Perry is a real veteran of the media tie-in. Her last novel was Aliens: Berserker, based on a Dark Horse comic inspired by a movie franchise based on the original Alien. Two books based on a zombie video game must've been a snap for this woman. "The first all-original Resident Evil novel bridges the events depicted in the bestselling games Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2. In the aftermath of their ordeal, the surviving members of the Special Tactics and Rescue Squad attempt to warn the world about the conspiracy to create terrifying biological weapons."
[Cover]
Gerber Studio
City of the Dead (Resident Evil, Book 3)
S.D. Perry
Pocket (paperback, 338 pages, $6.50/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: May 11, 1999

A novelization of the events of the Resident Evil 2 computer and video game. Am I bad to think these are cool? Have I lost any basic sense of discretion? Or is there just an inherent coolness to anything dealing with zombies, women, and advanced weaponry? "A rookie cop and a resourceful young woman in search of her brother venture into Raccoon City on the very night that a horrifying viral outbreak has transformed every man, woman, and child into one of the living dead." Talk about lousy timing. "Raccoon City" -- I told you these were cool.
[Cover]
Gerber Studio
Underworld (Resident Evil, Book 4)
S.D. Perry
Pocket (paperback, 244 pages, $6.50/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: May 11, 1999

Like Caliban Cove, the second in the series, Underworld is an original novel set in the world of the Resident Evil game. "Umbrella has secrets. Beneath the deserts of the American Southwest, one of the company's most elaborate facilities is about to go online. Somewhere inside may also be the key to stopping Umbrella once and for all... if Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Rebecca Chambers, and their friends can survive the genetically engineered horrors awaiting them below the sun-scorched Earth."
[Cover]
Descent: Stealing Thunder (Descent, Book Two)
Peter Telep
Avon (paperback, 304 pages, $5.99 US)
Publication date: April, 1999

Back in the mid-80s TSR was producing Dragonlance and other hugely popular AD&D tie-in novels, and conventional wisdom said the end of civilization was not far off. Now the rage is for computer games -- such as the popular Descent series from Interplay and Parallax -- the same thing is happening, and I hear a lot of the same rhetoric. I guess the verdict will have to wait for 2010 or so. But until then, I'm gonna curl up with some of these gaming tomes. Especially the ones featuring cool explosions. "The Universe, as the Post Terran Mining Corporation knows it, is about to end. Reports show massive build-ups of mining drones infected with the alien transmode virus outside the Sol system; estimates put total contamination at forty-eight hours. When intelligence reveals that an alien command post or ship is directing the mech invasion, Benjamin St. John is ordered to find and destroy the alien stronghold. But first he must battle through an unprecedented attack by mercenary forces and contend with his blackmailing, double-crossing senior officer."
[Cover]
Descent
Peter Telep
Avon (paperback, 304 pages, $5.99 US)
Publication date: January, 1999

Okay, I spent a great many hours hunched over my computer when I should have been working, playing the computer game Descent from Parallax Software and Interplay. And yes, it had a much better plot hook than most of its shooter contemporaries. Does that mean I want to read the novelization? Weelll... maybe. As long as it doesn't make my trigger finger itch. "Lunar Outpost MN 0012, the most complex off-world mining operation in the solar system, is in danger of total annihilation. Programmed flying drones have gone berserk, turning on their masters and spreading a hideous plague of devastation and death. An unseen alien force has corrupted the powerful machines as a terrifying first act of war. The moon will fall first. And after that, the Earth. The Post Terran Mining Corporation needs one man to lead a suicide mission into the labyrinthine depths of MN 0012, to take the battle to the white-hot core of the rebellion. That man is Benjamin St. John -- a veteran Maine flyer with nothing left to lose, teamed with a beautiful company flak and his most hated enemy. A stranded computer scientist trapped in the bowels of the moon holds the key to human survival. Her rescue is essential, and St. John is the only man good enough -- and crazy enough -- for the job."
[Cover]
The Beast Within (Gabriel Knight, Volume II)
Jane Jensen
Roc (paperback, 351 pages, $6.99/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: December 1, 1998

Jane Jensen is a triple threat -- author and lead designer of the extremely popular Gabriel Knight computer games from Sierra, and now a novelist. Based on the second game in the series of horror/adventure games, this is the sequel to Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. "Just as Gabriel Knight is finally settling into his ancestral home in Germany, he is called upon in his role as schattenjagger, or "shadow hunter", to help solve the savage killing of a young girl. The authorities claim it was a wolf escaped from the zoo, but the townspeople say it is a werewolf. Gabriel soon becomes certain the answer lies within an exclusive hunting club in Munich that celebrates the nature of the beast. As his loyal assistant Grace delves into the past to discover the truth, Gabriel finds himself ensnared in a sinister trap, in which the beast within himself becomes the greatest threat of all."
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