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New books from Kage Baker, Jack McDevitt, Diana Paxson, Neal Barrett, Allen Steele, as well as reprints from H.G. Wells, Ben Bova, Harry Harrison, Dennis Danvers, Frank Herbert, and Robert Silverberg -- these are only a few of the treats you're likely to find on the shelves of your local bookstore this month.

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: January 15th - January 31st
Mendoza in Hollywood
Kage Baker
Harcourt Brace (hardcover, 352 pages, $23 US/$34 Can)
Publication date: February 2000

From the author of In the Garden of Iden and Sky Coyote comes the latest Novel of the Company, featuring the time-travelling cyborg whose job is to loot the past for material gain, as well as to recover samples of species long extinct by the 24th century. This time out, "Mendoza has been posted to Company HQ in Cahuenga Pass, which fronts as a stagecoach inn on the road to Los Angeles. The year is 1863 -- long before the encroachment of mansions, swimming pools, sound stages, and traffic. A world away from the Civil War on the other end of the continent, Mendoza and her fellow operatives go about collecting specimens and artifacts that will be wiped out by drought and the future real estate boon. In this pastoral Eden, the ghost of the man Mendoza once loved is reincarnated when a handsome British spy, Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax, arrives at the settlement."
review Review by David Soyka.
Ron Walotsky
Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories
Neal Barrett, Jr.
Golden Gryphon (hardcover, 256 pages, $21.95 US)
Publication date: February 2000

This collection is full of stories, the best of which feature a familiar landscape full of diners, Wal-Marts, semis, and the quirky, usually good, sometimes malevolent people who inhabit them. It's also a world full of humour, poetry, dirt, magic, hope, despair, and the occasional alien.
review Review by Greg L. Johnson.
Amy Halperin
Immortality: How Science is Extending Your Life Span and Changing the World
Dr. Ben Bova
Avon (trade paperback reprint, 285 pages, $13.50 US/$20.95 Can)
Publication date: 5 January 2000

Written by one of the grand names of both science fiction and science writing, Immortality speculates that various biomedical advances could achieve human immortality within 50 years -- meaning some people alive today could be immortal. Happily, you wouldn't have to be born "fixed" to benefit; human immortality, once possible, would be retroactive.
review Review by Todd Jackson.
End of Days
Dennis Danvers
Avon EOS (mass market reprint, 390 pages, 6.50 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: 5 January 2000

The Bin is the computer created virtual paradise, to which the majority of people have downloaded their personalities, attaining a kind of simulated immortality. "70 years have passed since an army of religious zealots 'destroyed' the Bin. Now, in the rubble of New Jerusalem -- the ruined city once called Washington -- a young Christian Soldier named Sam has uncovered a prototype housing a single uploaded personality. The release of renegade geneticist Walter Tillman from his hundred-year prison leads Sam to an even more astonishing discover: the Bin, with its billions of inhabitants -- including Tillman's lost lover, Stephanie, who desires the freedom of death -- still exists, unbeknownst to the mad messianic leader Gabriel and his Army of the Lord..."
Queen of Demons: The Lord of the Isles #2
David Drake
Millennium (mass market reprint, 662 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 1999

"This is a great epic of magical conflict, set in a world full of rich and varied marvels." What lifts this novel and before it, Lord of the Isles, well beyond the ordinary run of epic fantasy is the outstanding world-building. It's rare to read books that evoke a period and a culture as vigorously as is done for Drake's imaginary realm of the Isles. He's built a fictive society as vivid, consistent, and believable as any real one.
review Review by Victoria Strauss.
Don Maitz
The Magic Dead: Book Three of the Changeling Saga
Peter Garrison
Ace (trade paperback, 339 pages, $13 US/$19 Can)
Publication date: February 2000

Concluding volume to the Changeling Saga. "The war between Earth and Castle has taken its toll on both worlds. Now, the ruler of Castle -- the insidious Pale Man -- plans to resolve the conflict by melding the technology of Earth with the magical powers of Castle. For the Pale Man, it means absolute victory, but for all others -- utter annihilation. The ultimate battle for the fate of two worlds is about to begin."
review Review by S. Kay Elmore of The Changeling War.
A Secret History: The Book of Ash #1
Mary Gentle
Avon EOS (mass market, 424 pages, $6.99 US)
Publication date: October 1999

The conceit here is that the story is presented as if it were an actual historical document based on real events in the 15th century, recently translated. "In a time when empires and alliances shifted like sand -- when Mithras the bull was worshipped freely alongside the Christ -- a great cloud arose out of Africa to darken the sun. The visigoths came with their terrible machines -- powered by magic or a science unknown to this day -- and aimed their irresistible might toward the rich Burgundian prize, wrenching the wheel of civilization in an unknown and unexpected direction. And with their coming, one incomparable warrior raised on Destiny's ash heap became more than anyone thought one woman could ever be." Carthage Ascendant: The Book of Ash #2 will be appearing this month from Avon EOS. And the UK publication is not far behind, as A Secret History is due to make its appearance in April from Victor Gollancz.
Kathe Koja
Four Walls Eight Windows (trade paperback, 208 pages, $13.95 US)
Publication date: 6 February 2000

This collection was first published in September 1998, although the individual stories were previously published in various magazines and anthologies including Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov's, Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, Omni and others. In Kathe Koja's world, there is the potential for horror in every situation. Here, she proves it with 17 lush and startling visions. Each story explores an extreme state of being: obsession, grief, survivors guilt, insanity, death, and what seems to be Koja's favourite subject, artistic expression.
review Review by S. Kay Elmore.
Bill The Galactic Hero
Harry Harrison
Millennium (mass market reprint, 160 pages, £5.99 UK)
Publication date: 1999

1965 classic of humorous SF, and the first of several Bill the Galactic Hero novels. "Bill was a peaceful farm boy until he was lured by the martial music of a passing recruitment sergeant, drugged, and made to enlist in the Empire Space Corps. His basic training is sheer hell, but somehow he manages to stay alive and achieve the rank of Fusetender 6th Class in the process. En route to an engagement with the lizard-like Chingers, Bill's spaceship is involved in a supreme conflict and -- by accident -- Bill is the man who saves the ship and wins the day. A grateful Galaxy awards him its highest accolade: the Purple Dart, to be presented by the Emperor himself on the fabulous aluminium-covered planet Helio. And then his adventures really start to take off in the most bizarre and surprising ways..."
John Shoenherr
Frank Herbert
Victor Gollancz (hardcover, pages, £16.99 UK/$)
Publication date: 16 December 1999

Well here's a book that shouldn't require any introduction. It's only the bestselling SF novel of all time. And this handsome hardback edition includes a dozen colour illustrations by John Shoenherr, "whose depictions of Dune were Frank Herbert's favourite interpretations of his vision." Presumably, this re-release of Herbert's 1965 classic is timed to coincide with the recent publication of Dune: House Atreides, the first of a projected series of prequels to Dune written by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert (Frank Herbert's son). If you haven't read Dune, do yourself a big favour and read it now. But above all, read it before you see the 1984 film version. I'm tellin' ya, the elephant just won't fit into the phone booth. Don't even try.
Octoberland: Book Three of The Dominions of Irth
Adam Lee
Avon EOS (mass market reprint, 310 pages, $6.50 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: January 2000

First published in trade last spring, this is the sequel to The Dark Shore and The Shadow Eater, and the conclusion to The Dominions of Irth trilogy. "The shadows of an exiled magic threaten a goddess' dream of light. Darkness lurks at the heart of a city rebuilt from the ashes -- as a weak-minded ruler and his renegade witch wife hoard technological trinkets and revel in a sinister sorcery. Evil has launched yet another assault on Irth and every sentient thing trembles in fear..."
Craig Attebery
Infinity Beach
Jack McDevitt
HarperPrism (hardcover, 450 pages, $25 US/$37.95 Can)
Publication date: 9 February 2000

SF thriller, a novel of first contact from the author of Moonfall and Ancient Shores. "After centuries of exploration, the only living things in the universe are found on the 9 worlds settled from Earth. Or so it seems, until Dr. Kimberly Brandywine decides to find out what happened to her sister, Emily, who disappeared mysteriously after the final, unsuccessful exploration expedition. Kimberly discovers that the log of the ill-fated Hunter was faked. Something terrible happened, out there in the darkness between the stars. Someone was murdered -- and something was brought back..."
Tom Canty
The Hallowed Isle, Book Four: The Book of the Stone
Diana L. Paxson
Avon EOS (trade paperback, 192 pages, $11 US/$16.50 Can)
Publication date: 5 January 2000

"After years of conflict, Britannia finally knows peace and Artor reigns from his throne at Camalot. But discontent rumbles through the kingdom. A new generation longs for the glory their fathers knew. Medraut, the son conceived by deceit, lusts for Artor's crown -- and his queen. Dreams of an empire draw the king to Gallia to battle again... and Artor must return home to a country in turmoil. Only he can heal the land and reclaim the kingdom -- or else the hallowed isle will be ripped asunder once again."
reviewReview by Jonathan Fesmire of Book 2: The Book of the Spear.

reviewReview by Jonathan Fesmire of Book 1: The Book of the Sword.

The Demon Spirit
R.A. Salvatore
Millennium (mass market, 530 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 1999

Although this is the first UK publication, this novel was previously published in 1998 in North America. Story grows out of character and the author's characters make this series rise above the plethora of similarly plotted fantasy trilogies. Salvatore has said he spent 6 months just building his world, getting to know his characters -- and it shows.
review Review by Regina Lynn Preciado.
Jim Burns
The Book of Skulls
Robert Silverberg
Millennium (trade paperback, 224 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: December 1999

SF Masterworks #23 is Silverberg's 1971 novel about the search for immortality -- an inevitably deadly quest. "Four students discover a manuscript, The Book of Skulls, which reveals the existence of a sect, now living in the Arizona desert, whose members can offer immortality to those who can complete its initiation rite. To their surprise, they discover that the sect survives, and is willing to accept them as acolytes. But for each group of four who enter the rite, two must die in order for the others to succeed." (I warned you -- there's always a catch to immortality. Nobody gives it away for free. Except maybe Ben Bova...)
Alison Sinclair
Millennium (mass market reprint, 300 pages, £5.99 UK/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: 1999

This rather unique novel of first contact was first published in 1998. "Just as the aliens promised, a ship has landed and taken away those who took up their invitation to a new, better life. But when the pioneers wake aboard the vessel there is no welcoming committee to be seen. All the watches have stopped, except for one old-fashioned pocket watch.. When the US Special Forces squad radio also malfunctions, it's clear that something on board the alien ship is decommissioning everything electronic, no matter how mundane. And if they are going to be able to survive, someone is going to have to find a way to communicate with the aliens that have taken them prisoner..."
Danilo Ducak
Allen Steele
Ace (hardcover, 375 pages, $21.95 US/$30.99 Can)
Publication date: February 2000

From multiple award-winning author of Orbital Decay, The Tranquility Alternative and A King of Infinite Space comes his latest novel of SF intrigue. "Tethys -- the world's first completely self-sufficient undersea research station -- is the stepping stone to a new frontier on Earth. Within this oasis of technology are those who seek to unlock the mysteries of the unknown deep. But they are not alone..."
Chris Moore
The Time Machine & The War of the Worlds
H.G. Wells
Millennium (trade paperback, 275 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: December 1999

SF Masterworks #24 brings us a pair of the most renowned SF works, from one of the grandfathers of the genre. Written more than a hundred years ago now, these stories are still considered to be "definitive treatments of the themes of time travel and alien invasion." The Time Machine introduces "an innovative scientist, who builds a contraption that can break the time barrier. He embarks on a journey to 802,701 AD where he meets the effete yet beautiful Eloi and the brutal subterranean Morlocks." The War of the Worlds is the story of "invading Martians who send their war machines to wreak havoc on the world. When Orson Welles adapted it for radio broadcast in 1938 it caused mass hysteria as Americans fled their homes fearing they were under attack from invading aliens." (So while you're reading this, remember: it's only a story; it's not really happening. If you begin to doubt this, put the book down, open up a window and take several deep breaths. You'll begin to feel better in a few moments... or maybe you'll be blasted to oblivion by a Marian heat-ray. Life's funny that way.)
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