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The past month has brought us some terrific new books, including a new collection from Stepan Chapman, an anthology of ghost stories from Jean Rabe & Martin H. Greenberg, new novels from the likes of Mercedes Lackey, Raymond E. Feist, Anne McCaffrey, Jack McDevitt, Tanya Huff, John Marco, Matthew Woodring Stover, reprints of classics from such greats as H.G. Wells, Keith Roberts, and James H. Schmitz -- and one of the highlights is the North American release of China Miéville's Perdido Street Station.

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 - 31 March 2001
Part I
Dirk A. Wolf
Blood of Winterhold
Stephen Almekinder
Hard Shell Word Factory (e-book, $6 US for disk or $4 for download)
Publication date: July 2000

Sequel to Winterhold and a nominee for the Frankfurt e-Book Award. "Blood plays a key role in the lives of the people who inhabit a planet locked in perpetual winter. A young novice Interpreter is brought from the far North to the Hold by the Queen's own bodyguard. He becomes enmeshed in the violent political and social battles which riddle the Hold. Revolutionaries try to tear apart the ancient social fabric, while the aristocracy attempts to preserve it. And the Interpreters use both factions to further their own ends. When he finds out the truth concerning his birth, he must struggle even more to free himself from the meshes of both Hold and Camp."
review Review by Lisa DuMond of Winterhold.
Steve Rawlings
Neal Asher
Macmillan (trade, 428 pages, £10 UK)
Publication date: 23 March 2001

A new, energetic SF thriller that is being likened to the works of Peter Hamilton and China Miéville. "Ian Cormac investigates megadeath and the destruction of a terraforming project, Samarkand. He encounters terrorists, a vicious psychopath and an intergalactic entity know as 'Dragon.' The challenge is to rescue the Samarkand project and protect his own life."
Paul Youll
Peter S. Beagle
Roc Fantasy (trade, 275 pages, $13 US/$19 Can)
Publication date: March 2001

This novel is an old-fashioned ghost story dovetailed with a very contemporary coming-of-age tale. While each alone would work as a separate book, the author's interweaving gives the piece a lively synergy that spirals around themes of love and family, loneliness and forgiveness.
review Review by Charlene Brusso.
John Ennis
The Wolf King
Alice Borchardt
Del Rey (hardcover, 375 pages, $25.95 US/$38.95 Can)
Publication date: March 2001

From the author of Devoted, Beguiled, The Silver Wolf and Night of the Wolf. "The armies of Charlemagne are poised in Geneva, ready to add Italy to their lord's growing list of conquests. On the other side of the Alps, the mercenary forces of the corrupt king Desiderus watch the mountain passes like cats crouched impatiently before the holes of mice. Lying between the two camps is a wild and forbidding land where shapeshifters live unmolested, protected by their leader, Maeniel, and his bride, Regeane. But now the wars of men threaten to undo the careful work of centuries. The human part of Maeniel owes fealty to Charlemagne. But the wolf acknowledges no master."
Stepan Chapman
Creative Arts Book Company (trade, 167 pages, $13.95 US)
Publication date: 2001

This is a collection of short stories from the author of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel, The Troika. Some of the peculiar fiction in this collection has previously appeared in such diverse venues as Chicago Review, Hawaii Review, Implosion, Indigenous Fiction, International Quarterly, Mississippi Mud, Talebones and Leviathan 2, an anthology.
Chris Moore
The City and the Stars
Arthur C. Clarke
Millennium, SF Masterworks #39 (trade, 255 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 8 March 2001

This book was first written in the 1940s under the title Against the Fall of Night, and was revised considerably for publication in 1956 under the present title. It is a masterful long-term vision of the human race, millions of years hence. "There had been cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar. For millennia its protective dome shut out the creeping decay and danger of the world outside. Once, it had held powers that ruled the stars; but then, the legends said, the invaders came, driving humanity into this last refuge."
Catch a Falling Star
Cheryl L. Daniel
Hard Shell Word Factor (e-book, 258 pages, $6 US for disk or $4 for download)
Publication date: January 2001

"Did a spaceship crash in the New Mexico desert? Has the government told all it knows? Have extraterrestrials visited Earth? Finding the answers to these questions becomes imperative for Robert Clark. Content with his placid life, Robert Clark expects to teach school uneventfully until he retires. Then cancer strikes his wife, Molly. After she has exhausted every available treatment, he takes her on what may be their final vacation together. But in a small New Mexico town near Roswell, Molly collapses. Clark admits her to the local hospital where he stumbles upon rumours of patients who have made sudden, mysterious recoveries. The doctors deny such things ever happened..."
Larry Elmore
The Sacred Pool
L. Warren Douglas
Baen (hardcover, 402 pages, $24 US/$35.50 Can)
Publication date: January 2001

New novel from the author of A Plague of Change, Bright Islands in a Dark Sea, Glaice, Stepwater and The Wells of Phyre. "The Sacred Pool stands at the midpoint of a vast historic tapestry, looking both forward and back: From the sea-girt Palaeolithic caves of Sormiou and the enchanted forests of ancient Gaul, to the steamy swamps of Midicor IV, a million years hence; from old Polybius in his leather tent at the siege of Numantia, to Achibol the Charlatan in a cybernetic fortress buried beneath the Columbia Icefields of Alberta..."
Denise Ruzich

Lisa DuMond
Hard Shell Word Factory (e-book, $6.50 US for disk or $4.50 for download)
Publication date: August 2000

Philip Lew, ex-cop, has migrated to Hades to get away from the strange, dangerous craziness endemic all over Earth. It is an artificial satellite, built by The Darker Society who have transformed themselves by virus into the monster archetypes: vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. Things are coming together for Lew: he's seeing a new woman, Gina, and his buddy Percy seems somewhat genial despite his almost congenital paranoia. But Percy has popped up on someone's radar.
review Review by Rodger Turner.
John Williams Waterhouse
The King of Elfland's Daughter
Lord Dunsany
Millennium, Fantasy Masterworks #15 (trade, 241 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 8 March 2001

First published in 1924, the present book is the second showing of Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany (1878-1957), in the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series, which should be an indication to you of the influence Lord Dunsany had on fantasy writers who followed him. "When the men of Erl asked that they be ruled by a magic lord, their lord bowed to their wishes and sent his eldest son, Alveric, to the land of faery to win the hand of Lirazel, the King of Elfland's sweet and beautiful daughter. But marriage between a mortal man and an elf princess can only end in heartbreak, and the land of Erl discovers that the imposition of magic rule is, at best, a mixed blessing." Also included in this edition is an introduction by Neil Gaiman.
Damien Duncan
Chasing Tale
Whitson R. Evans
Black Rose Publications (chapbook, 20 pages)
Whitson R. Evans is the pen name for a Canadian writer of a TV documentary and several academic articles on military history. This is his first published speculative fiction story and it comes from a small press in Dublin, Ireland, publishers of the F&SF magazine Beyond the Rose. The story concerns a dogfight involving a WWII RAF fighter pilot and his rather unusual opponent...
Krondor: Tear of the Gods, Book Three of the Riftwar Legacy
Raymond E. Feist
HarperCollins EOS (hardcover, 384 pages, $25 US/$37.95 Can)
Publication date: March 2001

The epic of Krondor continues... "The nefarious enemies of Krondor have gained possession of a stone of immense power -- the fabled Tear of the Gods -- and they intend to use it to bring down the embattled Kingdom. Now, the fate of a wondrous land scarred by war is once again in the hands of Krondor's noble Prince Arutha -- and his loyal squires and the great magicians of Stardock, all of whom would give up their lives to preserve the realm. If they cannot wrest the Tear from those who would pervert its might, Krondor will surely perish."
review Review by Wayne MacLaurin.
The Year the Cloud Fell
Kurt R.A. Giambastiani
Roc Science Fiction (mass market original, 342 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: March 2001

Here's an alternate history, with some alternate geography to go along with it -- the map has much of the central southern US underwater. "President George Armstrong Custer orders his only son -- a captain in the US Army -- to fly an experimental dirigible over the Unorganized Territory to chart the locations of the United States' Indian enemies. Before he can complete his mission, a thunderstorm strikes the aircraft from the sky -- and George A. Custer, Jr., finds himself taken prisoner. The Cheyenne Alliance has grown weary of their conflict with the Horse Nations. Now, with the son of Long Hair in their possession, perhaps the enemy will listen to reason. But one young woman among them with visions of the future believes that their prisoner -- One Who Flies -- has been sent by the Thunder Beings in the sky to save them..."
Signs in the Sky
Adrian Gilbert
Corgi (mass market, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 8 March 2001

Is the Apocalypse almost upon us? Adrian Gilbert seems to suggest it may be, in this follow-up to The Orion Mystery and Magi: The Quest for a Secret Tradition. "The prophets of the ancient world, in their search for a fixed calendar on which to inscribe the dates of events far into the future, looked to the skies. In a world before electric light, the revolution of the stars and progression of the constellations of the zodiac were an accurate and lasting means of measuring the passage of time. The astrologically aligned monuments -- such as the pyramids -- were placed to record the progress of the years, counting down to the end of an age."
Rick Lieder
Black Oak: When the Cold Wind Blows
Charles Grant
Roc (mass market original, 245 pages, $5.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: March 2001

This #5 in the series about Black Oak Security, a team of private investigators who have come to specialize is unusual cases. "Ethan Proctor has just received a cryptic message from an old friend of his father. Proctor is being asked to look into a series of disappearances and brutal mutilations in the swampy woodlands northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. Some think the culprit is a real-life wolfman... What Proctor doesn't know is that the terror in the swampy backwoods is linked to something much more personal. It is an evil mystery that has haunted Proctor for months. And when he uncovers the truth, he will be lucky to survive it."
review Review by Lisa DuMond of Black Oak #3: Winter Knight.

review Review by Lisa DuMond of Black Oak #2: The Hush of Dark Wings.

review Review by Lisa DuMond of Black Oak #1: Genesis.

The Blue Flame
Barbara M. Hodges
Hard Shell Word Factory (e-book, 456 pages, $6.50 US for disk or $4.50 for download)
Publication date: January 2001

"Kelsey Cafferty has been dead for 7 years, or so her sister Regan believes. That is until a stranger, with a birthmark of a blue flame, shows up on her doorstep and informs Regan that he is a mage, and that she must come with him to save his world, Daradawn, and her sister, Kelsey. Regan, along with her friend Ben, and his basset hound Maggie, enter a rift, and find themselves in a world were magic rules, both good and evil..."
Paul Youll
The Second Summoning: The Keeper's Chronicles #2
Tanya Huff
DAW Fantasy (mass market original, 416 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: March 2001

Bet you didn't see this coming: a sequel to Huff's bestselling novel Summon the Keeper. "Claire Hansen is a Keeper, gifted -- or cursed -- with the job of being one of Earth's Guardians. Summoned to areas where rifts have opened, Claire's gift for reweaving time and space must be used to maintain the balance between Light and Darkness. But even with the help of her lover, Dean, and her talking cat, Austin, she will be hard-pressed to restore the balance of the mortal world when an angel and a devil take human form -- a raging, hormonal, teenage form."
review Review by Margo MacDonald of Summon the Keeper.
Paul Youll
Fools Errant
Matthew Hughes
Aspect Fantasy (mass market, 290 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: March 2001

Début satiric fantasy novel from a new Canadian author. "Foppish young Filidor Vesh is a wastrel ne'er-do-well, content with his shallow amusements. Then a simple errand for his uncle, the vaguely all-powerful Archon of Old Earth, sends Filidor on a frenetic odyssey across a planet speckled with eccentric nations. Harried at every step by the irascible dwarf Gaskarth and frequently in peril from wild beasts, unfriendly mobs, and a sinister thaumaturge who shows an unusually enthusiastic interest in his luggage, Filidor makes his reluctant pilgrim's progress. And awaiting him at journey's end is an encounter with an ancient and possibly apocalyptic evil."
Bill Gregory
Lord of Emperors: Book 2 of The Sarantine Mosaic
Guy Gavriel Kay
Earthlight (mass market reprint, 531 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 26 March 2001

This novel teems with colourful plots and subplots. Kay serves up assassinations, mobs, romance, a climactic chariot race, fabulous dinners and a dizzying cast of characters. All of this is tied up with Crispin's mosaic work on Emperor Valerius' sanctuary, as the Emperor continues his efforts to leave his mark on history. The story advances at a dizzying pace, with twists and turns cunningly laid out, as Kay lays the pieces that make up his own literary mosaic.
review Review by Wayne MacLaurin.
Jody A. Lee
The Serpent's Shadow
Mercedes Lackey
DAW (hardcover, 343 pages, $24.95 US/$34.99 Can)
Publication date: March 2001

"First in a 3-book historical fantasy series inspired by classic fairy tales. The Serpent's Shadow brings the magic of India into the gaslit streets of Victorian London, in a story inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. A young half-Indian woman has inherited magical gifts from her mother. Unfortunately, her mother was murdered before teaching her how to harness her powers. This brave young woman must learn to use her gifts while fighting to escape the mysterious magicians who murdered her mother, and have now followed her halfway around the world."
Stephen Hickman
Beyond World's End
Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill
Baen (hardcover, 331 pages, $24 US/$35.50 Can)
Publication date: January 2001

This novel follows Bedlam's Bard, The Chrome Borne and The Otherworld, each written by Mercedes Lackey and one or more different co-authors; this time it's Rosemary Edghill. Although 4th in the series, it seems the chronology places this book 2nd, after Bedlam's Bard. "This is your soul on drugs... When unethical drug researchers discover that they can induce amazing mental powers using psychotropic drugs, they begin planning to raise a drug-enslaved army of mercenaries and grow very, very rich. But this gets the attention of Aerune mac Audelaine, lord of the dark Unseleighe Sidhe, who hopes to use the drugs to break through to the human world and feed on the suffering there."
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