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Gregory Benford
Against Infinity
Avon EOS (reprint, paperback, 243 pages, $5.99/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: October 7, 1998 (First Printing: 1983)

Avon EOS continues to reprint classic works of hard SF, this time offering an early novel from the author of Cosm and the Galactic Center series. "On the poisonous, icy surface of Ganymede, a man and a boy are on a hunt for the Aleph--an alien artifact that ruled Ganymede for countless millennia, Infinitely dangerous, the Aleph haunts men's dreams and destroys all efforts to terraform Ganymede into an habitable planet. Now an ancient struggle is joined, as a boy seeks manhood, a man seeks enlightenment, and a society seeks the power to rule the universe."
Art: Tom Canty
Deep Time: How Humanity Communicates Across Millennia
Avon/Bard (hardcover, nonfiction, 225 pages, $20 US/$26 Can)
Publication date: February, 1998

The latest from the author of Cosm and Furious Gulf is a curious artifact indeed, the product of an unusual government project. In 1999 the US D.O.E. will begin storing nuclear waste 2,150 feet below ground in Carlsbad, New Mexico, at the first storage facility of its kind -- a site designed to store radioactive waste, hopefully forever. Benford was part of a team which provided design suggestions for the site, a lay out that would need to serve as a marker for the next 10,000 years... to a far-future time when human language would almost certainly not be English, or any other current language. How could they alert those future humans to the dangers below, warning away any future archeologists with symbols which would clearly communicate that this ground must never be broken? Benford documents this, and related experiences with the Cassini mission to Saturn, in his first work of non-fiction. "Human civilization has evolved to the point at which we have begun consciously sending messages into the far future. How should we communicate who we are, what we know, to as-yet-unmet intelligent beings elsewhere in both time and space? Will they be able to decipher what we say? And what information will we leave to Earth's occupants a million years hence?"
[Cover] Artifact
Avon/EOS (reprint, paperback, 416 pages, $6.99 US/$8.99 Canada)
Publication date: June 10, 1998

Okay, as hard SF plots go, this one is a grabber. The artifact is a small cube of black rock, topped with a strange amber horn, found by archaeologists in a 3500-year-old Mycenaen tomb. It's an incomprehensible object from an unknown time -- its exact age, purpose, and origins unknown. Its discovery has unleashed a global storm of intrigue and espionage, and has led nations to the brink of war. Its substance has scientists baffled, and the miracle it contains does not belong on this Earth. It is mystery and madness, mankind's greatest discovery -- and possibly its worst nightmare.
Jupiter Project
Avon EOS (reprint, paperback, 195 pages, $5.99 US/$7.99 Canada)
Publication date: July 8, 1998

Reprint of a very early (1975) novel from the author of Cosm and Foundation's Fear. "The Jovian Astronautical-Biological Orbital Laboratory circles Jupiter and its moons -- a metal shell bathed in lethal radiation, held in tenuous place by the gravity of the massive gas giant like a fragile glass ornament in a monstrous fist. For 17-year-old Matt Bohles and his friends, 'the Can' is home. Life on board the aging space station is cramped, spartan, and dangerous. Its mission -- to monitor incoming signals and transmissions in search of alien life -- has so far proven fruitless. But it is the only world Matt has ever known, and unless he can prove himself an invaluable member of the scientific team, and quickly, he will be exiled to a filthy, perilous and unfamiliar hell called Earth."
Avon/Eos (reprint, paperback, 378 pages, $6.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: January 5, 1999 (First Edition: February 1998)

The latest novel from the author of Artifact and Furious Gulf, and this month's Deep Time. "After an accident in a brilliant young physicist's most ambitious experiment, it appears: a wondrous sphere the size of a basketball, made of nothing known to science. Before long, it will be clear that this object has opened a vista on an entirely different universe, a newborn cosmos whose existence will rock this world and test one woman to the limit: the physicist who has ignited this thrilling adventure."
Review by Stephen M. Davis
[Cover] Foundation's Fear (The Second Foundation Trilogy, Volume 1)
HarperPrism paperback
I'm not sure I thought this was such a good idea when I first heard about it: three of the biggest names in hard SF -- David Brin, Greg Bear and Gregory Benford -- have teamed up to create the Second Foundation Trilogy, and complete the ambitious story arc conceived by the late Isaac Asimov. But so far this effort, authorized and approved by Asimov's estate, has been fairly noteworthy for a number of reasons. In the first volume, the quiet academic life of Foundation architect Hari Seldon is turned upside down when he is nominated as First Minister by Emperor Cleon.
[Cover] Far Futures
Five new novellas by hard s.f. authors Poul Anderson, Charles Sheffield, Joe Haldeman, Greg Bear and (Canadian) Donald Kingsbury.
Sailing Bright Eternity
Bantam Spectra
From the author of Tides of Light and Furious Gulf comes the sixth and final volume of the epic Galactic Center series. The mech-AI continue in their attempts to exterminate humanity, and three men possess the secret that could save the human race. Will they be able to discover and use the weapon they don't even know they control?
[Cover] Furious Gulf
Bantam Spectra
This is another Galactic Center novel.

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