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December certainly won't be a dull reading month, with new books from the likes of Victoria Strauss, Robert Charles Wilson, Stan Nicholls, Andre Norton, Peter Atkins, Diana L. Paxson, Jay Russell, Babylon 5's Captain Sheridan, and Terry Bisson's novelization of the new Dreamworks film Galaxy Quest. Or, if you're feeling nostalgic, pick up a reprint of one of the classics from such giants as Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Vance, Paul J. McAuley, or J.G. Ballard.

Books are listed alphabetically by author. Only books received are noted. Where available, links to SF Site reviews and book excerpts are provided. Click on the thumbnail image to get a closer look at the cover.

New Arrivals: November 16th - December 1st
Part I
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Les Edwards
The Wishmaster and Other Stories
Peter Atkins
Pumpkin Books (hardcover, 255 pages, £16.99 UK)
Publication date: October 1999

Original screenplay of "America's most successful independent theatrical feature of 1997," plus 10 other short horror stories from the man perhaps best known for his work on the Hellraiser films. "In this collection he shows us: the strategies of a man for dealing with his fear of flying; how dangerous it may be to challenge the power of old fairy tales; the saturnine Doctor Arcadia at work; and how a man may react to the shock of new possession. All in all, a diverse and challenging read."
[Cover]
Jim Burns
The Drowned World
J.G. Ballard
Millennium (trade paperback, 176 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 30 September 1999

Number 17 in Millennium's SF Masterworks series. This was Ballard's first SF novel. "In the 21st century, fluctuations in solar radiation have caused the ice-caps to melt and the seas to rise. Global temperatures have climbed, and civilization has retreated to the Arctic and Antarctic circles. London is a city now inundated by a primeval swamp, to which an expedition travels to record the flora and fauna of this new Triassic Age.
[Cover]
Lisa Falkenstern
A.D. 999
Jadrien Bell
Ace (paperback, 310 pages, $5.99 US/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: November 1999

"Great Britain's King Edward is dead -- murdered by order of his stepmother, the queen, so that her son Ethelred can assume the throne. Under the tutelage of the mysterious Angelo, the young monarch's rule plunges England into chaos for over 20 years... At the dawn of a new millennium, the forces of darkness begin to gather. In his guise as Angelo, Satan has guided England into despair and ruin. Now, with the aid of the Norse god Loki, he will procure the 7 signs prophesied in Revelation to usher in the Apocalypse and create Hell on Earth... But Revelation also prophesies the appearance of 2 witnesses who will stand against the Antichrist. One is a crippled monk named Alwyn, the other is a Scottish witch-wife named Kennag. They possess magic from both Heaven and Earth that will enable them to battle the end of the world..." (Ah, the good old days! When men were Satan in disguise, and women were magic-wielding witch-wives. Kids these days don't appreciate how easy they have it.)
[Cover]
Galaxy Quest
Terry Bisson
Ace (paperback, 169 pages, $5.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: November 1999

Now a major motion picture, starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. Terry Bisson's novelization is adapted from a screenplay by Robert Gordon and based on a story by David Howard and Robert Gordon. "'Never give up... Never surrender!' With those words, the classic TV series Galaxy Quest came to an end, much to the dismay of loyal 'Questarian' everywhere. 20 years later, the intrepid 'crew' of the NSEA Protector has been relegated to costumed appearances at sci-fi conventions and electronics store openings for the legions of die-hard fans. After two decades, they're as sick of their characters as they are of one another -- that is, until a group of aliens offers them the opportunity to play their roles in a way the actors never could have imagined. Having no concept of fiction -- let alone science fiction -- the aliens whisk 'Commander Peter Quincy Taggart' and his crew into space to save them from obliteration. With no script, no director, and no clue about real space travel, the actors have to turn in the performances of their lives to become the heroes the aliens believe them to be."
[Cover]
Cliff Miller
Frontier Earth
Bruce Boxleitner
Ace (hardcover, 322 pages, $21.95 US/$30.99 Can)
Publication date: November 1999

If you're a fan of SF TV, you may recognize the name: Bruce Boxleitner is Captain Sheridan from Babylon 5. (I won't make any comment here about Space Captains writing books, since I haven't read it yet. And besides, some actors can write -- don't forget Shakespeare was an actor before he was a playwright.) "In Tombstone, 1881, there's many a person without a past. But Macklin is a man with no memory, and what he doesn't remember could kill him -- for he is not of this world. A native of a far-distant planet, Macklin has been sent to Earth to warn humanity of a coming invasion. As Macklin struggles to make sense of this new frontier, brief visions haunt his memory -- flashes of death and destruction on an alien world. Each attempt to recover his memories becomes more and more desperate -- for only in his past can Macklin find the key to stopping Earth's destruction."
[Cover]
Les Edwards
Brotherly Love & Other Tales of Faith and Knowledge
David Case
Pumpkin Books (hardcover, 276 pages, £16.99 UK)
Publication date: May 1999

Brotherly Love This is David Case's 3rd collection of short horror fiction. Ramsey Campbell, in his introduction to this collection, says the author's "style and storytelling are as lucid as ever, and he clearly still enjoys reviving language -- but we haven't previously seen such a range of tales. Brotherly Love is in his best Gothic vein, dark with obsessive detail, eloquent with symbolism, witty in its reworking of tropes... The tales are unified by his vision of the world, both dark and clear, and by disarming flashes of his essential good nature."
[Cover]
Time of the Wolf
Julie D'Arcy
ImaJinn Books (trade paperback, 332 pages, $9.95 US)
Publication date: December 1999

"Brekan, Druid of the ancient order of Palandor sends Keahla, outlawed Princess of Carrum Bahl, through a time portal to seek Radin Hawk, reincarnated soul of Ambroch, King of the Wolfhead... Will the Blood King live and bring chaos down upon the world? Or be slain by the hand of Radin Hawk, as Brekan has planned?  And will Radin in following Brekan's plan, leave the woman he has loved in every lifetime undefended to once again die by an enemy's hand? What begins as a quest to stop a Witch Queen from raising her lover to destroy a nation, becomes a battle against the dark side of human nature... and a race against the crumbling gates of time." High fantasy, heroes, immortals and gods, curses and dark necromancy, time travel and a desperate search for a long-lost book of spells.
[Cover]
Chris Moore
A Scanner Darkly
Philip K. Dick
Millennium (trade paperback, 220 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 14 October 1999

Classic SF paranoia from the master of paranoid SF. Bob Arctor deals a lethal, addictive drug called Substance D.  Fred is a cop assigned to tail and to bust him. To do so, he goes undercover as a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. He's addicted to his wares, the principal effect of which is to split the brain into two distinct, combative entities. Fred doesn't realize that he is after himself.
[Cover]
Terry Oakes
Horror at Halloween
edited by Jo Fletcher
Pumpkin Books (trade paperback, 402 pages, £7.99 UK/$14 US/$19.99 Can)
Publication date: October 1999

This 'mosaic novel' is in 5 parts, each written by a different author. Edited by Jo Fletcher, created by Stephen Jones, and written by Stephen Bowkett, Diane Duane, Craig Shaw Gardner, John Gordon and Charles Grant. "Trick or Treat is crazy enough, with ghosts and goblins and witches and warlocks and all manner of other nasties roaming the streets. But in Oxrun Station, the masks aren't always made of rubber. This year, the fabric of the cosmos is unravelling and dark and dangerous things are leaking across the borders... For 5 unsuspecting teenagers, their lives will never be the same again as they discover the hidden terrors lurking beneath the surface of their quiet town and experience the most horrifying Halloween of them all..."
[Cover]
Les Edwards
White of the Moon
edited by Stephen Jones
Pumpkin Books (hardcover, 341 pages, £16.99 UK)
Publication date: May 1999

With the subtitle of New Tales of Madness and Dread, you gotta know this is going to be fun stuff. "In this original collection of all-new stories of psychological and supernatural dread, that moment comes when a web page predicts the death of everyone on Earth... an imaginary friend turns out to be a killer... the suicide rate starts spiralling out of control... a woman obsessed with fire is consumed by her terror... and an author enters a strangely familiar parallel world...  Such modern masters of the macabre as Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler, Graham Masterton, Paul J. McAuley, Kim Newman, David J. Schow, Michael Marshall Smith, Brian Stableford and others show you what it is like to lose your grip -- on your reason, your personality, even life itself, as they take you into the terrors that await us all when our darkest fears are revealed in the White of the Moon."
[Cover]
J.K. Potter
Dark Terrors 4
edited by Stephen Jones and David Sutton
Millennium (paperback, 351 pages, £6.99 UK/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 1999

Paperback reprint of last year's original horror anthology, from the award-winning Dark Terrors series. This collection "takes you on a terrifying journey into the heart of darkness with such modern masters of unease as Poppy Z. Brite, Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison, Christopher Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Geoff Nicholson, David J. Schow, Michael Marshall Smith, Thomas Tessier, Lisa Tuttle and many others."
[Cover]
Chris Moore
Corrupting Dr Nice
John Kessel
Millennium (paperback, 287 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 30 September 1999

"August Faison and his gorgeous young daughter Genevieve are rogues of the first water -- seasoned swindlers who rove across time in search of new victims to fleece. Now the most precious pigeon of them all has fallen into their laps, in Jerusalem, at the time of Jesus Christ..." First published in 1997, Kessel's clever vision of the social transformations worked by the novel's time travel core are meant to amuse rather than to educate -- he's satirizing, but not darkly.
review Review by Victoria Strauss.
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Owlflight
Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon
Millennium (paperback, 293 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 30 September 1999

First published in 1997. After the death of his parents, Darian is apprenticed to Wizard Justyn, who believes the boy has 'talent'. "But for Darian, magic is just nonsense -- his only solace is the forest where he can mourn in private. From his secret retreat at the forest's edge, Darian watches northern barbarians lay waste to Errold's Grove, killing his would-be mentor. Pursued, he flees deep into its heart -- to find himself picked up by the mysterious Hawkbrothers. They too have a kind of magic, but one Darian is not ashamed to admit to. It is the beginning of a new life and a greater challenge than Wizard Justyn had ever foreseen..."
review Review by Thomas Myer.
[Cover]
Paul Young
Ancients of Days: The Second Book of Confluence
Paul J. McAuley
Millennium (paperback, 320 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 30 September 1999

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. "But Yama is not the only one searching for his bloodline: there are those who covet his mysterious powers, and there are those for whom he is the fulfilment of ancient prophecies, a messiah for the end of time."
review Review by Neil Walsh.
[Cover]
Paul Young
Eternal Light
Paul J. McAuley
Millennium (paperback, 463 pages, £6.99 UK/$14.95 Aus)
Publication date: 30 September 1999

First published in 1991. Dorothy Yoshida is abused earthborn telepath and prime player in the secret history of the galaxy. Perhaps the seeds of destiny were sown a million years in the past when a giant sun exploded and vast civilizations died in the feud of ten thousand alien family nations. Or perhaps it all began a dozen years before her birth -- when a Greater Brazilian flyby drone was destroyed above a red dwarf star, drawing an uncomprehending human race into a very old genocidal conflict that was not their own. Dorothy's mental ability to touch the past and the future has made her the pawn of a wealthy immortal's vengeance. It sends her to the black hole at the core of the galaxy and into the perilous heart of a fanatical religious sect's relentless search for hidden gods.
[Cover]
Paul Young
Fairyland
Paul J. McAuley
Vista (paperback, 416 pages, £5.99 UK)
Publication date: 30 September 1999

Winner of the 1996 Arthur C.Clarke Award, Fairyland is set in the 21st century. Europe is divided between the First World bourgeoisie, made rich by nanotechnology and the cheap versatile slave labour of genetically engineered Dolls and the Fourth World of refugees and homeless displaced by war and economic upheavals. In London, Alex Sharkey is trying to make his mark as a designer of psychoactive viruses, whilst staying one step ahead of the police and the Triad gangs. At the cost of 3 hours of his life, he finds an unlikely ally in a scary, super-smart little girl called Milena, but his troubles really start when he helps Milena quicken intelligence in a Doll, turning it into the first of the fairies. Milena isn't sure if she's mad or if she's the only sane person left in the world; she only knows that she wants to escape to her own private Fairyland and live forever. Although Milena has created the fairies for her own ends, some of the Folk, as fey and dangerous as any in legend, have other ideas about their destiny.
review Review by Rodger Turner.
[Cover]
Jim Burns
Pasquale's Angel
Paul J. McAuley
Millennium (paperback, 384 pages, £6.99 UK/$14.95 Aus)
Publication date: 30 September 1999

Reprint of the 1995 winner of the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. In a grim, early age of artists, princes, and philosophers, a struggling painter follows his angel through the twisting, soot-stained streets of 16th century Florence. But, on the eve of the Medici Pope's visit, an assassin has murdered an assistant to the immortal Raphael, the city's most renowned personage. It is a crime that draws Pasquale, a young artist, and the brilliant, alcoholic investigative reporter Niccolo Machiavegli into the deepest shadows of the steam-driven city. More deaths are sure to follow.
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