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In addition to the new books this month (including Joe Haldeman's latest and a collection taken from the pages of Asimov's SF Magazine), one of our book reps dropped off copies of some novels published several months ago -- thanks Jennifer! Maybe some of these were your favourites this year? Don't forget to vote for your top picks in the SF Site Readers' Choice: Best Read of 1999.

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: December 1st - December 15th
Jim Burns
Heaven's Reach
David Brin
Bantam Spectra (paperback reprint, 559 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: May 1999

For lovers of space opera, this is the real thing. Brin brews a heady mix of adventure and discovery that makes for a compulsive page-turner of a book. Infinity's Shore may have been a slow starter, loaded down with recapitulations, but Heaven's Reach takes off right away and keeps going.
review Review by Jean-Louis Trudel.
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume XV
edited by Algis Budrys
Bridge Publications (paperback, 452 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 1999

Every year, the best stories from the Writers of the Future international writers' program are collected, and illustrated by the winners in the Illustrators of the Future international illustrator's program. This volume also includes essays by L. Ron Hubbard, K.D. Wentworth, Leo & Diane Dillon, and Tim Powers. You may not recognize the names of the other contributors -- yet. But past Writers of the Future have included Leonard Carpenter, Karen Joy Fowler, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Dean Wesley Smith, David Zindell -- and that was just the first volume.
The Grandfather Paradox
Steven Burgauer
zero-g press (trade paperback, 294 pages, $14.95 US/$17.95 Can)
Publication date: 1998

"Marooned in the present, their only hope for the future lay in the past. But first there was still the small matter of staying alive. The planet was crawling with bird-beasts, parrotlike carnivores that stood 2 metres tall, weighed upwards of 50 kilos, and had a giant scooped beak like a pelican. They normally swallowed their prey whole, though not before crushing them to death in their vise-like jaws. Then there were the vipers -- writhing snake-like creatures armed with dozens of sucker-bearing tentacles. They sprayed their victims with acid, then ate them while they were still alive. But it got worse. Much worse... Now, join Andu Nehrengel and his 3 female clone companions on an intense voyage through time. First stop: the Civil War and the Battle of Shiloh, April 1862. Meet Mark Twain when he is still a riverboat pilot. Journey with him north to Missouri when he joins the Confederacy. Then it's back to the future and on to Mars."
Yvonne Gilbert
The Winter Queen
Devin Cary
Ace (paperback, 282 pages, $5.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: December 1999

The benevolent ruler of the northern kingdom of Albor is dead. The whole realm is in mourning. His son, however, is too young to rule, so a regent must be chosen to rule in his stead until the prince comes of age. "With his dying breath, the king chooses his wife -- Queen Elissa. Elissa isn't prepared to become regent, but she must if her children -- the prince and princess -- are to survive the machinations of the kingdom's lords and nobles. They will never accept a woman on the throne and will do anything to usurp her power. But the aristocracy of Albor is unaware of just how much power Elissa possesses. Descended from a family of mages, she secretly practices her skills in sorcery. But she can't completely control them..."
Gary Ruddell
Tom Deitz
Bantam Spectra (trade paperback, 486 pages, $13.95 US/$21.95 Can)
Publication date: April 1999

A new tale of Eron from the author of Dreamseeker's Road and Above the Lower Sky. "From a master of contemporary fantasy comes an unforgettable tale of heroes, heroines, and rogues whose two rival nations are scarred by suspicion, shadowed by war, and summoned to destiny by a magic that is both gift and curse. In the icy northern realm of Eron, three young artisans bound by an unspeakable act of violence arrive at an isolated gem mine on a special commission for their king. They are the arrogant but talented Eddyn; Avall, his archrival; and beautiful Strynn, newly wed to Avall... but carrying Eddyn's child. Meanwhile, to the south, in the heart of Ixti's scorpion-riddled sands and sensuous cities, a horrible accident has forced Prince Kraxxi into exile with blood on his hands and a price on his head. The four will be drawn together -- and torn apart -- by a magnificent find: a gem with magical properties beyond anyone's imagining or control."
Danilo Ducak
Isaac Asimov's Solar System
edited by Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams
Ace (paperback, 290 pages, $6.50 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: December 1999

Contributors are Brian Aldiss, Stephen Baxter, Nancy Kress, Geoffrey A. Landis, Dan Marcus, Paul J. McAuley, G. David Nordley, Lucius Shepard, Michael Swanwick and John Varley. Contributions are taken from the award-winning pages of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. "From the scorched surface of Mercury to the frozen landscape of Pluto, this unique collection explores the 9 planets and the sun of our solar system in 10 visionary tales from the masters of modern science fiction."
Luis Royo
Ring of Destiny: Dance of the Rings #3
Jane S. Fancher
Daw (paperback, 708 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: December 1999

"For three centuries the Rhomandi family has ruled in Rhomatum, the city whose magical leythium node is the richest in the world, more powerful than even that of rival city Mauritum. And with the passing years Rhomatum has become the most influential of all the Ring cities. But ancient hatreds have finally led to war, overturning the delicate balance of power, devastating the leythium-controlling Ring Towers of many city-states, fragmenting Rings, leaving satellite cities in darkness, and breaking down the very basis of civilization. And now, three telepathically linked brothers, the heirs to the Rhomandi dynasty, must desperately strive to regain stability and supremacy for their city."
Gary Ruddell
Traitor's Moon: Nightrunner, Book 3
Lynn Flewelling
Bantam Spectra (paperback, 546 pages, $6.50 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: July 1999

Although this is the 3rd book in the Nightrunner series, you won't be missing key plot points in previous novels since each stands neatly alone. Here, the warrior Queen Idrilain of Skala lies dying from wounds received in battle against the fierce armies of neighbouring Plenimar. Idrilain knows Skala will fall unless her people can convince the magical Aurënfaie to ally with them. This is a fast-paced fantasy adventure with fully realized characters and more than enough intrigue, magic, and danger to hold your attention.
review Review by Charlene Brusso.
San Julian
Men of War: The Lost Regiment #8
William R. Forstchen
Roc (paperback, 316 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: December 1999

For those who hung in for the first 7 volumes, you may be pleased (or disappointed?) to hear this is billed as 'the explosive conclusion.' "It has been over a decade since Andrew Keane's Union regiment was mysteriously pulled away from the Civil War and marooned in time on a hostile alien planet. But now it appears as if everything the Lost Regiment has fought and died for has been in vain. Gathering the remaining veterans of the 35th Maine to his side, Keane plans a campaign that will take the Lost Regiment into the heart of the Bantag Empire to annihilate their ability to wage war once and for all. The outcome of this suicide mission will decide the fate of the human race on a world far from Earth..."
The Players
Joseph Fullam
Sevenlong X Press (trade paperback, 168 pages, $12 US/$14.99 Can)
Publication date: September 1999

Sparked by creation/evolution debates, this novel explores -- through the eyes of a professor of evolution -- a universe in which a divine force shapes life. "Man was born on many planets. The highest order of Man lives on the doorstep to Heaven... On a planet called Juniper, only a few hundred years have passed since they entered intergalactic society. The Junipeans traverse the heavens in Lightstars, gargantuan, fire-spewing crafts that leave a signature nuclear wake. When a mysterious and intriguing series of events occurs on a nearby planet that may hold the key to a superior method of travel, they risk expulsion, and send someone to find out what has happened. That planet is Earth. The year is 2024."
John Howe
Sword in the Storm: Rigante, Book One
David Gemmell
Corgi (paperback reprint, 480 pages, £5.99 UK/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: 1999

From the imagination of the UK's best and most popular author of epic fantasy since Tolkien. "Deep in the green mountain lands of the Rigante lies the settlement of Three Streams, whose people worship the gods of Air and Water, and the spirits of the Earth. Among them lives a boy whose destiny is written in starlight. He is Connavar, the Demonblade, born in a storm that doomed his father. A man with the makings of greatness will always have enemies and from the start of this epic chronicle it is prophesied that the Armies of Stone will one day cross the water... and that their coming will be like an avalanche. Here the strangest forces, wise and evil, play their allotted part -- from the Ghost General and the malignant Morrigu to the Woods whose magic harks back to a world before the coming of Man."
Allan Pollack
Cauldron of Iniquity: Cloak and Dagger #3
Anne Lesley Groell
Roc (paperback, 437 pages, $6.50 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: December 1999

Sequel to Anvil of the Sun and Bridge of Valor. "They are known as Cloak and Dagger. The rookie assassins Jenifleur and Thibault barely survived their first official mission. Now they're looking forward to a change of pace: protecting life -- instead of taking it -- as temporary bodyguards... Their client: a wealthy owner of a successful illusion club, a place where any fantasy can be fulfilled -- at a price." There's always a price, isn't there? And, of course, it's one you really don't want to have paid.
Forever Free
Joe Haldeman
Ace (hardcover, 277 pages, $21.95 US/$30.99 Can)
Publication date: 13 December 1999

From the author of Hugo and Nebula award-winning novels The Forever War and Forever Peace. "A veteran of The Forever War, William Mandella has since settled on a planet set aside for his kind. But Mandella, his family, and his way of life have become obsolete. The denizens of Earth have evolved into a group consciousness known simply as Man, and they have taken control of Mandella's new home. Humans are considered dangerous because of their independent natures, though they are kept safe for the sake of their diverse gene pool. That's not how Mandella and his fellow soldiers want to exist. In a desperate gamble, he rallies the humans to hijack the spaceship Time Warp and take to the stars to begin humanity anew. Then something goes wrong. The crew is forced to abandon ship and return home in suspended animation 25 years later. But the planet has aged centuries during their interstellar voyage -- and the crew wonders what new world awaits them upon arrival..."
Robert Giusti
Flights of Fancy
edited by Mercedes Lackey
Daw (paperback, 309 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: December 1999

An all-new collection of original stories of fantastic flying creatures by Diana Paxson, Josepha Sherman, S.M. Stirling, Ron Collins, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Mike Resnick, Samuel C. Conway, Susan Shwartz, Nancy Asire, Jody Lynn Nye, and Mercedes Lackey. "Soar through lands where revenge takes a decidedly avian incarnation... where Gawain reborn flies back to the field at Camlann to change his uncle's destiny... and in a never-before-published novella by Mercedes Lackey herself, 'flight' takes on a whole new meaning to a falconer-princess trying to escape an undesired marriage."
Kinuko Craft
The Silver Metal Lover
Tanith Lee
Bantam Spectra (paperback reprint, 293 pages, $5.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: May 1999

With so much of her work out of print, it's an occasion for rejoicing when one is re-issued. This re-publication (OP for more than a decade) is an especially exciting event, for it's one of the author's best -- lush, sensual, dark, and utterly enthralling.
review Review by Victoria Strauss.
Kinuko Craft
Song for the Basilisk
Patricia A. McKillip
Ace (paperback reprint, 306 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: December 1999

This novel is demanding reading. Yet such is the beauty of the writing, the vividness of the images, the truth of the emotions, and the strength of the characterizations, that it's possible to read the book for these things alone, without dipping more deeply into the complex web of symbol and allusion that lies beneath the fairy-tale surface.
review Review by Victoria Strauss.
Walter Simonson
Michael Moorcock's Multiverse
Michael Moorcock (illustrated by Walter Simonson, Mark Reeve, and John Ridgway)
Vertigo/DC Comics (full colour graphic novel, 288 pages, $19.95 US/$31 Can)
Publication date: November 1999

This was first published as a comic book series in 1997-98. "Starring his Eternal Champion, the series contained three interwoven tales that added up to a cosmos-spanning epic. Now this trade paperback collection adds new introductory material by Moorcock and reorganizes the chapters to turn the serial into a cohesive, mind-bending whole. Michael Moorcock's Multiverse may be read entirely on its own, but caps off decades of Moorcock's novels featuring characters such as Elric, Jerry Cornelius, Hawkmoon, and many more." Well, cosmos-spanning and mind-bending are certainly adjectives that apply to much of Moorcock's work -- particularly the Eternal Champion stories. And a class product like this is what I've come to expect from DC Comics.
Galen Rowell
Kim Stanley Robinson
Bantam Books (paperback reprint, 658 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: July 1999

This is a rousing book: reactions may vary according to your outlook, but indifference should not be one of them. It'll take you on an endlessly fascinating voyage to a little-known land. Comparable to the Mars of his Mars Trilogy in many ways, although smaller in scale, closer at hand, and not quite so sexy.
review Review by Jean-Louis Trudel.
Mark Harrison
The Black Queen: Black Throne, Book One
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Bantam Spectra (paperback, 440 pages, $6.50 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: August 1999

From the author of The Fey series. "The Fey Empire has been at peace for 15 years. But Queen Arianna, who holds the lack Throne, has become increasingly troubled by a mysterious presence that is waking in her mind. It is a force of ruthless power, determined to seize the throne even if it means destroying Arianna's very essence in the process. And when the queen's body is not her won, it spells trouble for a warlike empire already beginning to chafe under the strictures of peace..."
Duane O. Myers
Rick Shelley
Ace (paperback, 260 pages, $5.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: December 1999

The latest adventure of the DMC, Dirigent Mercenary Corps, from the author of Officer-Cadet, Lieutenant and Captain. "Lon Nolan has risen through the ranks of the DMC like none before him, consistently showing his courage under fire -- and making his mark as a leader of men. Now Lon has begun to grasp the higher responsibility that comes with higher rank -- and not all of it is welcome. But even as he begins to reconsider the path he has taken, duty calls once more. On a contract to the remote mining planet of Bancroft, a by-the-book training mission turns into a fight for survival when the outlying settlements are mercilessly raided by an unknown enemy. Lon and his men go into battle, only to find that the raiders are no mere bandits, but a well-trained force bent on completing their job -- no matter who has to die..." (No sissy stuff here!)
review Review by Lisa DuMond of Officer-Cadet.
Isard's Revenge: Star Wars X-Wing #8
Michael A. Stackpole
Bantam Spectra (paperback, 342 pages, $5.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: April 1999

Author of the first 4 X-Wing novels has returned with #8. "It's the kind of mission only Wedge Antilles and the Rogue Squadron would dare to undertake. Against impossible odds they will stage a daring raid into an enemy stronghold -- only to be rescued from certain destruction by an unexpected ally. Ysanne Isard, the ruthless Imperial commander, has appeared on the scene seemingly from out of nowhere. Now she proposes a most unusual alliance, offering to help Wedge rescue his captured comrades from Imperial Warlord Admiral Krennel's sadistic prison camp. But her offer is not without a price. Wedge must lead a Rogue Squadron in Isard's deadly struggle against an enemy made in her own image. It's an offer Wedge would love to refuse, for Isard is certain to betray them. But how can they leave their comrades at Krennel's mercy? The answer is: they can't -- even if it means being caught between Krennel's ruthlessness and Isard's treachery."
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