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So far, this May has brought us new books from Rudy Rucker, Gregory Benford, Elaine Cunningham, and C.J. Cherryh, as well as some fabulous reprints from the likes of Neal Stephenson, Theodore Sturgeon, Joël Champetier, and Vernor Vinge. You'll also find some intriguing small press offerings on this list, including an e-novel from John Argo and an amusing vision of High Tech Hell from James Ignizio.

Books are listed alphabetically by author. Only books received are noted. Where available, links to SF Site reviews and book excerpts are provided.

New Arrivals: 1 - 15 May 2000
John Argo
Clocktower Fiction (e-book in Rocket eBook format, $5 US)
Publication date: January 2000

Even if it's not the final frontier, space is at least the new frontier in the 23rd century. "Paul Menard and Licia Krings are among the 6 pioneers who leave a dying Earth to colonize a promising world 25 light years away. Paul, Licia, and the other couples bring with them all the conflicts, passions, joys, and heartaches of Old Earth. But their hope for a bright future fades when they realize that he interstellar civilization, centuries ahead of their own, that lured them to the planet N60A has vanished. Instead, N60A is covered by enigmatic stone ruins -- and all the world's highways lead to the greatest ruin of all, the haunting city of Avamish, whose very name inspires awe among the primitive natives. What happened? Why? For Paul and Licia, these questions will provide answers to some of mankind's oldest questions -- and answers to some questions that have never been asked."
John Harris
Apocalypses & Apostrophes
John Barnes
Millennium (mass market reprint, 349 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: April 2000

This is a reprint of Barnes' first collection of short stories (many of which first appeared in Asimov's and Amazing) and thought-provoking essays. "Whether examining the alarming possibilities of VR sex, the paradox of our apparent solitude in a teeming cosmos or taking us back to the universe of Orbital Resonance this is a collection that shows one of SF's greats at the height of his powers."
review Review by James Seidman.
Amy Halperin
Gregory Benford
Avon EOS (hardcover, 352 pages, $24 US/$36.50 Can)
Publication date: May 2000

Latest novel from the Nebula Award-winning of Cosm, Timescape, The Galactic Centre series, and many more. "Dr Benjamin Knowlton and the staff at the High Energy Astrophysics Centre in Hawaii discover an anomalous signal that alerts them to the presence of a wandering black hole beyond the orbit of Pluto. The trajectory of the black hole, dubbed 'Eater', places it en route through the solar system toward Jupiter. When a message from Eater is deciphered, excitement turns to astonishment for the black hole is an alive, intelligent, and thinking creature that desires to add humanity to the store of information that it holds from seven billion years roving the universe..."
review Review by Chris Donner.
The Dragon's Eye
Joël Champetier, translated by Jean-Louis Trudel
Tor (trade paperback reprint, 297 pages, $13.95 US/$19.95 Can)
Publication date: May 2000

First published in French by Éditions Québec/Amérique in 1991 as La taupe et le dragon, this edition represents considerable revision and enlargement by the author. The author's revised version (Éditions Alire) and Trudel's translation (Tor) first appeared in 1999 in hardcover. "Turner is a spy, an agent for the government of Earth sent to the planet New China to investigate rumours of a declaration of independence from the home planet. He is to contact a Chinese turncoat and bring him back... or die trying."
Matthew Stawicki
Fortress of Dragons
C.J. Cherryh
Avon EOS (hardcover, 320 pages, $24 US/$36.50 Can)
Publication date: May 2000

This volume is the 4th and final in the tale of high fantasy which began in Fortress in the Eye of Time and continued in Fortress of Eagles. The 3rd book in the series, Fortress of Owls, has recently been released in mass market paperback. "It started long ago, in a tower at the Eye of Time, as a war between the shadowy Immortals who came long ago. Tristen is a Shaping, both more and less than human, who turned sorcery's tides in the legendary battle of Lewenbrook that brought his friend Cefwyn the burden of a kingdom, and the light of love. Now the Lines that hold the world in place are shifting once again, and Cefwyn's peril is Tristen's call to arms. But even Tristen's double-edged sword cannot cut through the knot of this new challenge, for he is facing more than a mere pretender to his friend's throne..."
John Foster
The Magehound: Counselors & Kings, Book I
Elaine Cunningham
Wizards of the Coast (mass market original, 312 pages, $5.99 US/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: April 2000

First book in a new Forgotten Realms series by Elaine Cunningham. "Matteo, un-magical counselor to the mighty of Halruaa, has devoted his life to the truth -- until he finds that he may have a hidden spark of magic after all. Now, with only a street waif for a companion, he's on the run from the mysterious Cabal. In the dismal Swamp of Akhlaur, Matteo will seek his own truth while battling a creature out of his nightmares. But something even worse is on his trail: a relentless persecutor of magic. The Magehound."
Fred Fields
Elfshadow: Songs & Swords, Book I
Elaine Cunningham
Wizards of the Coast (mass market reprint, 312 pages, $5.99 US/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: April 2000

First published in 1991 by TSR as part of their Forgotten Realms universe (the Harper series), the volumes about these characters are now being republished as part of a new, on-going series. "Silent death stalks the Harpers of Faerûn. One by one, members of the semi-secret society for good in the Realms are falling to a murderer's blade. Now a Harper agent and a beautiful half-elf assassin must solve the mystery. If they fail, they will be the next victims... But things in the Realm are rarely that simple."
Daniel Horne
Elfsong: Songs & Swords, Book II
Elaine Cunningham
Wizards of the Coast (mass market reprint, 310 pages, $5.99 US/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: April 2000

Sequel to Elfshadow, first published in 1994. "The bards of Waterdeep remember the past. Or do they? Even as they sing their ballads, a mysterious spell is changing their memories. Danilo Thann, Harper and would-be bard, sets out to uncover the mystery. In this quest, his closest companion is his deadliest enemy, the rogue elf Elaith Craulnober. At stake is not merely the future of Faerûn but also its past."
The Sea Came in at Midnight
Steve Erickson
Perennial, HarperCollins (trade paperback reprint, 259 pages, $14 US/$20.95 Can)
Publication date: April 2000

Reprint of the 1999 hardcover, this is an intriguing and highly inventive novel. It's not going to be shelved in the same place as Tolkien.† Kafka, Borges, and Garcia Marquez, yes, for this is the type of fiction that is often called "experimental" -- although, were it not for the connotations of fairies and sorcerers, fantasy is what it is. If we must affix labels, perhaps "modern fable" is the most apt.
review Review by David Soyka.
Keith Parkinson
Soul of the Fire
Terry Goodkind
Millennium (mass market reprint, 643 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: April 2000

This is the 5th book in the Sword of Truth series, sequel to Temple of the Winds. "Richard Rahl, Keeper of the Sword of Truth, faced an evil even he could not stand against -- the dread plague heralded by a Red Moon and loosed by the mad Emperor Jagang. Only by journeying to he Temple of the Winds was he able to thwart Jagang and save not only the life of his beloved Kahlan, but that of the whole of the New World. But when Kahlan in turn summoned the magical Chimes to save Richard, she unwittingly set free a worse scourge than any Jagang might have dreamt of. Now Kahlan and Richard are destined to see their souls tempered in the fiery cauldron of battle, and for them there is no place so dangerous as a world without magic, a world where the Chimes run free..."
Gone Awry: A Virtual Tour Through High Tech Hell
James Ignizio
1st Books (192 pages, trade paperback - $13.95 US; electronic download - $4.95 US)
Publication date: March 2000

In this satiric novel of speculative fiction, Ignizio has created "a special place in Hell for those people who have made our lives so much more complex and frustrating -- those scoundrels who gave us ATM cards, PIN numbers, Internet chat rooms, Linux, Windows 2000, call-waiting, cell phones, personal digital assistants, the World Wide Web, virtual reality, and -- in particular -- telemarketing." Follow Les Smart on his guided tour of this High Tech Hell, the 25th Circle of Damnation, and learn the answers to some questions that have no doubt been keeping you awake at night. Questions like: "How many pieces of luggage are you allowed to take to Hell?"  "What's the Supreme Being's opinion on Internet Stocks?" and "How long does it take to earn a smiley face in Hell?"
Judith Clute
Uncommonplaces: Poems of the Fantastic
edited by Judith Kerman & Don Riggs
Mayapple Press (trade paperback, 148 pages, $15 US)
Publication date: March 2000

An anthology of speculative poetry, featuring poems by leading SF and fantasy authors, including†Brian Aldiss, Joe Haldeman, Jeanne Larsen, David Lunde,†Patrick O'Leary, Rick Wilber, Jane Yolen and others. Each poem is based on fantastic themes or 'spaces,' and all the contributors have provided brief comments, compiled at the end of the book, concerning the relationship they perceive between the fantastic and their own work. Kerman suggests in her introduction that some of these poems may "demonstrate that the 'ordinary' is always the fantastic when seen from a certain angle." That should be obvious to anyone who remembers, for example, the mystical wonder (and sometimes the stark terror) of being a child. But too often we forget, and it becomes the poet's job to remind us.
The Songster: The Whiteblade Saga, Book Two
Adam Nichols
Millennium (mass market, 488 pages, £6.99 UK/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: April 2000

Sequel to Book One of The Whiteblade Saga, The Paladin. "Forced out of the only home he has known with nothing but the clothes on his back, Ziftkin is alone in the wild mountains when he is assailed by a strange apparition. When he wakes, confused, on the point of starvation, he is clutching a bone flute that makes the most beautiful music. A gift from the Fey, the flute opens up a world of new horizons, a world of talking animals, a world in which for the first time Ziftkin is listened to, a world in which he has to face up to the potential of his gift for harm as well as good."
Lorie Reeves
Touch of Frost and The Last Intergalactic Sighting of Melgor Lich
Joel and Greg Reeves
Awe-Struck (e-book available as HTML, Rocket Reader or PRC Doc, 50,000 and 26,600 words, $4.30 US)
Publication date: December 1999

Touch of Frost: "It has been a hot, dry summer in Doverdale and people are dropping dead of exposure to extreme cold. G.P. Rowley, county agricultural agent and amateur sleuth, discovers the deaths may be far more strange than they seem, and anything but natural."
The Last Intergalactic Sighting of Melgor Lich: "In a galaxy full of law-abiding aliens, why is one little human criminal causing so much trouble? That's what two agents of Irthian World Peace Correspondence Schools, Pym the white dwarf and Ebulliant, a red giant, wonder as they chase Melgor Lich across Nogh, a strange world full of stranger creatures. Even after regaining custody of Lich, the wily human puts his keepers into one mad scrape after another, then tries a final exit into the unknown."
Rudy Rucker
Four Walls Eight Windows (566 pages, hardcover - $35 US; trade - $20 US)
Publication date: April 2000

Gnarl! is the first major story collection from Rucker in 17 years and represents his SF stories from the last quarter of the 20th century. It's also the companion volume to his selected non-fiction, Seek!. Throughout the stories in Gnarl!, "there is the unique Rucker mix: cutting-edge physics, a wild but perversely logical imagination, and a decidedly punk attitude." Several of the stores were previously uncollected and one was previously unpublished. A few are co-written by such authors as Bruce Sterling, Paul Di Filippo and Marc Laidlaw.
review Review of Seek! by Greg L. Johnson.

Warrior-Woman: The Forging of the Legend
Mary Ann Steele (e-book available in PDF format, 285 pages, $9.95 US)
Synopsis: "Signe, a warrior of legendary prowess, drives a force of Columbian invaders off Gaea. The warrior-woman parlays a single space ship captured during a raid, into a fleet. Signe fights Arlen, Commander-in-Chief of Columbia's military forces, to a draw, but a climactic development creates bitter misunderstanding in the minds of two gallant archfoes." Steele put 15 years into the development of her story cycle (11 volumes, of which only the first 2 are currently available online -- others coming in the near future) and the pair of mutually hostile, wholly imaginary cultures in which the tales take place. She says: "The novels are not typical of the hard science fiction that sells conventionally. Much of that targets readers who prefer an emphasis on explosive action and far-out technology to a focus on the interactions among complex characters facing futuristic challenges."
review Read an excerpt.
Neal Stephenson
Perennial, HarperCollins (trade paperback reprint, 918 pages, $16 US/$24.50 Can)
Publication date: 1 June 2000

This books has been nominated for the Hugo Award. It's the first volume in a proposed series and it caused quite a stir, garnering a lot of attention from the mainstream. Here at the SF Site, it was voted the #1 Best Book of 1999 by our contributors and the #2 Readers' Choice for 1999 by our readers. SF Site founder John O'Neill says: "Without a doubt, Cryptonomicon is our answer to the question 'If I could read a single SF title in 1999, what should it be?' Thought-provoking, original, and at times wondrous, Cryptonomicon somehow combined the impenetrable art of cryptography with a page-turning story, a feat we would have thought impossible. It educated and thrilled us like no other novel this year, and it is likely destined to sweep most of the major awards. Make sure it finds its way onto your shelves. You won't be sorry."
review Review by Kim Fawcett.
Fred Gambino
More Than Human
Theodore Sturgeon
Millennium (trade paperback, 234 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: April 2000

SF Masterworks #28 brings us a classic from 1953 by one of SF's Masters. "All alone: an idiot boy, a runaway girl, a severely retarded baby, and twin girls with a vocabulary of two words between them. Yet once they are mysteriously drawn together this collection of misfits becomes something very, very different from the rest of humanity. This intensely written and moving novel is an extraordinary vision of humanity's next step." Other Sturgeon classics include The Dreaming Jewels (1950) and Venus Plus X (1960).
Chris Moore
A Deepness in the Sky
Vernor Vinge
Millennium (mass market reprint, 757 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: March 2000

Sequel to the 1993 Hugo-winning A Fire Upon the Deep, this novel is both a Hugo- and a Nebula-nominee for this year. It was also voted #2 on the SF Site contributors' list of Best Books of 1999 and #3 on our Readers' Choice Best Books of 1999. Several thousand years from now, expeditions from two human cultures meet near an astronomical oddity known as the OnOff star. The Qeng Ho are interested in trade, the Emergement in more direct forms of exploitation. Neither group is there just for a chance to study a unique star system.
review Review by Greg L. Johnson.
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