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The past month has brought us some exciting first novels, some classic reprints, and long-awaited conclusions to some favoured series. On the shelves of your local bookstore, you can expect to find new titles by Guy Gavriel Kay, Nalo Hopkinson, Alan Dean Foster, William Shatner, Stephen Baxter, Piers Anthony, and more.

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: February 1st - February 29th 2000
Tristan Elwell
The Secret of Spring
Piers Anthony and Jo Anne Taeusch
Tor (hardcover, 256 pages, $22.95 US/$32.95 Can)
Publication date: 6 March 2000

A light-hearted blend of science fiction and fantasy. The subtitle is "A Romantic Tale of Wizardry and Botany." Herb Moss, a member of a genetically engineered species -- part human, part plant -- enters into correspondence with Spring, a wizard's daughter. Trouble is, Herb thinks their relationship is romantic, while Spring is only looking for an opportunity for intelligent discussions on botany. This might not be too much of a problem, since they live on separate planets. But then Spring's past catches up with her, in the form of an evil power-hungry wizard, and she can only think of one place to flee to.
Silverhair: Mammoth, Book 1
Stephen Baxter
Orion Millennium (mass market reprint, 277 pages, £5.99 UK
Publication date: 13 January 2000

A series about mammoths? Yup. That's what this is. And it's seen some very positive reviews. Who'd've thunk it. Silverhair is one of the last of his race, living in what is now Siberia. She and the rest of her kind face the greatest challenge of their long history -- possible extinction at the hands of man. Baxter gives his mammoth characters as much depth as any human characters; their culture and even religion is brought to life.
Longtusk: Mammoth, Book 2
Stephen Baxter
Victor Gollancz (trade paperback, 292 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 January 2000

Continuing the series, Baxter jumps back in time to chronicle the exploits of Longtusk, the legendary hero who was the inspiration for Silverhair's bravery in Book One. It is Longtusk who leads his fellow mammoths to safety when they are first threatened by human hunters.
Victoria Priebe
Treachery on the Dark Side
Steven Burgauer
zero-g press (trade paperback, 320 pages, $15.95 US/$18.95 Can)
Publication date: February 2000

Fornax Nehrengel considers himself to be the farthest thing from a hero. He resents his current status as a foot soldier, and the emphasis the army seems to place on the foot part of the job. The war isn't really any of his concern. Or so he thinks. Until he finds himself "on an intense, light-speed adventure that zooms from the moon to Mars and back again. With him is an undercover Secret Service agent, a crusty old economics professor, a nefarious brother, and a hot-blooded young woman. And chasing them? A power-hungry elite intent on stealing what could be mankind's most important invention since the internal combustion engine."
James Flint
St. Martin's Press (hardcover, 415 pages, $26.95 US)
Publication date: March 2000

A complex, witty and satirical debut novel from a former editor of the magazine Wired UK. It's a story of humanity on the brink of the next stage in its evolution, and 3 humans in particular (plus one dog) who are caught up in the convoluted connections between history, digital-age technology, and their own and each others' personal lives. "A heady mix of technology, philosophy, fascinating characters, and a story that will keep the gears turning in your head long after the book is put down."
Keith Parkinson
A Triumph of Souls: Journeys of the Catechist, Book 3
Alan Dean Foster
Aspect, Warner Books (hardcover, 406 pages, $24.95 US/$34 Can)
Publication date: 2 March 2000

Conclusion to Journeys of the Catechist. Ehomba and his companions are nearing the end of their impossible quest, which has already taken them through many strange and wonderful lands. But remember how Ehomba was warned that his quest would end in disaster and he, himself, would be killed? Well then surely you must be wondering if he's starting to sit up and take note. Will Ehomba and his exotic companions "be able to defend themselves against Hymneth's powerful and evil magic? Will they be able to collect the princess and bring her safely home with their lives intact?"
review Review of Book 2: Into the Thinking Kingdoms by Todd Richmond.

review Review of Book 1: Carnivores of Light and Darkness by Todd Richmond.

Bob Eggleton
Forever Free
Joe Haldeman
Victor Gollancz (hardcover, 277 pages, £16.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 January 2000

Just as The Forever War and Forever Peace dealt with the role warriors and veterans play in their society and the manner in which society responds to them, so does this novel. The author focuses on the point of view of a small group of veterans who may or may not be malcontents, depending on a person's point of view, led by William and Marygay Mandella.
review Review by Steven H Silver.
Leo & Diane Dillon
Midnight Robber
Nalo Hopkinson
Aspect, Warner Books (trade paperback, 336 pages, $13.95 US/$18.95 Can)
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Hopkinson's first novel, Brown Girl in the Ring, won a Locus Award and was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. Her latest is "a haunting new tale of innocence and experience, child abuse and displacement amidst a backdrop of shifting dimensions, alternative worlds, and mythological adventure." The Midnight Robber of the title is a sort of Caribbean Robin Hood figure. Set on a Caribbean-colonized planet called Toussaint, this novel follows young Tan-Tan as she and her power-corrupted father "are thrust into the brutal world of New Half-Way Tree. Here monstrous creatures from folklore are real, and the humans are violent outcasts in the wilds. Here Tan-Tan must reach into the heart of a myth -- and become the Robber Queen herself. For only the Robber Queen's legendary powers can save her life... and set her free."
Lord of Emperors: Book 2 of The Sarantine Mosaic
Guy Gavriel Kay
HarperPrism (hardcover, 432 pages, $24 US)
Publication date: 1 March 2000

At last! The eagerly awaited second and concluding volume of the epic begun with his much acclaimed Sailing to Sarantium. (Also the book most requested by SF Site staff reviewers this month.) "Crispin the mosaicist, having finally achieved his journey to fabled Sarantium, wants nothing more than to confront the challenges of his art high on the scaffolding of destiny -- but in Sarantium no human may easily withdraw from the turmoils of court and city, or forget that the presence of the half-world is always close by. Another voyager comes on a journey of self-discovery. Rustem of Kerakek learns that saving the life of Bassania's King of Kings is not enough to ensure a fortune. He must find his own balancing of family and ambition, healing and death, as he, too, is drawn into the deadly webs of Sarantium."
review Review of Sailing to Sarantium by James Seidman.
Chris Moore
Flowers for Algernon
Daniel Keyes
Millennium (trade paperback, 217 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 13 January 2000

As I had been expecting the series to end at #24, I was surprised to see this book, SF Masterworks #25, arrive in the post. Looks like the immense popularity of the series has prompted its extension -- which makes all of us at the SF Site very happy indeed. Certainly there's no shortage of SF masterworks to reprint. And this heartbreaking story of artificially enhanced intelligence is an excellent choice. Keyes' novella won a Hugo in 1960; when it was expanded to a novel, it won a Nebula in 1966; and when it was adapted to the screen in 1968, the movie won an Oscar.
[Cover] Northwest Terrorstories: A Novel
Liam Kiernan
Indelible Publishing (mass market, 452 pages, $5.99 US/$6.99 Can)
Publication date: July 1994

Not sure how a book from '94 slipped in, but since it's here, let's have a look... For those unfamiliar with the political geography of Canada's north, let me explain the pun in the title: a large chunk of northern Canada is known as the Northwest Territories. (Get it now?) Interestingly, the borders of what in the book is called the Independent Aboriginal Republic (IAR) are fairly close to the borders of the recently created self-governed territory of Nunavit. Given the title and the cover, I'd guess it's a work of horror, although it may be simply speculative fiction -- I'm not sure since I never saw the film (this novel is adapted from the author's screenplay of the same title). Gaar is a half-Inuit lawyer and the grandson of a legendary shaman. He's married to the daughter of a northern developer who oversees a gold mining prison in the IAR. Gaar "finds himself torn between loyalties to his family, his heritage and himself. By bloodline, his calling is to assume his inheritance as a shaman. The benevolent spirits of the Arctic draw him back to rectify his relationship with his aging father -- the storyteller -- and his homeland which beckons its native son to right the wrongs of a depraved shaman who has cast a shroud of despair upon the ethereal Tree of Life."
The Power
Frank M. Robinson
Tor (trade paperback, 222 pages, $12.95 US/$17.95 Can)
Publication date: 2 March 2000

Robinson's 1956 classic of chilling speculative fiction is now being reprinted by Tor. This tale of a mutant superman in hiding and the terrifying search for him may be familiar to you even if you haven't read it before now. It was adapted to the small screen and produced as a TV special. Robinson is also the co-author of The Glass Inferno, which many will recall from it's film incarnation, The Towering Inferno. But it was really The Power that first brought Robinson's name to the attention of SF aficionados.
Beyond the Stars: Quest for Tomorrow #4
William Shatner
HarperPrism (hardcover, 240 pages, $24 US/$36.50 Can)
Publication date: February 2000

Although best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk, Shatner is also the author of a dozen and a half novels. This one follows Step Into Chaos, where Jim Endicott attained oneness with the Omega Point, using its awe-inspiring intelligence to alter his own past. "Now, in that alternate universe, he finds a way to spare the father figure his extra-human DNA had programmed him to kill. But does the 'new' Jim remember the 'old' Jim? Only dimly aware of his vast Omega powers, Endicott must seek his new destiny aboard a world-sized star colony which an alien race has sabotaged with a seductive drug known as Heat. And lead a rag-tag crew of Plebs known as the Cowboys on their journey from outlaw gang to starship crew."
Geoff Taylor
The Lord of Necrönd: Book 3 of The Book of Önd
Jane Welch
Earthlight (mass market 512 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 7 February 2000

This UK writer has been compared to Raymond Feist and Robert Jordan. Certainly her work falls into what SF Site's Wayne MacLaurin would label "Fat Fantasy." The current book is the final volume of The Book of Önd, which grew out of The Runespell Trilogy. When 3 young lords of Torra Alta set out on their epic journeys, they discover "they must fight the evil in themselves as well as those who seek to destroy them -- and the entire kingdom... When their nemesis is eventually unmasked, their lives, and the fate of their country, will be forever changed."
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