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The beginning of a new DragonLance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, a new Fairy Tale Anthology from Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, non-fiction from Bob Berman, and new novels from Sharon Shinn, Eric Garcia, Freda Warrington, Dean Wesley Smith, and John Marco -- these are a few of the books to look for at your local bookstore.

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 - 15 April 2000
Nebula Awards Showcase 2000
edited by Gregory Benford
Harcourt (320 pages, hardcover, $28 US/$42 Can, or trade paperback, $14 US/$21 Can)
Publication date: 21 April 2000

Showcase of the 1998 Nebula Award-winners, including Sheila Finch, Jane Yolen, Bruce Holland Rogers and Joe Haldeman; plus Author Emeritus, William Tenn; and Grand Master Award-winner, Hal Clement. But that's not all. Also included are Rhysling Award-winners John Grey and Laurel Winter (whose poem "why goldfish shouldn't use power tools" is my personal favourite in the collection), plus essays on SF's literary role from Jonathan Lethem, Gordon Van Gelder, George Zebrowski, David Hartwell and Bill Warren. And, of course, let's not forget Gregory Benford's introduction, in which he looks at SF and its relationship to both science and literature over the past 100 years.
Skylife: Space Habitats in Story and Science
edited by Gregory Benford and George Zebrowski
Harcourt (hardcover, 368 pages, $28 US/$42 Can)
Publication date: April 2000

"Long before a manned spacecraft successfully reached the Moon, and meteorologists began warning of global warming, visionary writers were predicting such events with great precision and panache. In fiction, the stories of Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and other forward-thinking authors were well ahead of the reality of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects in describing the technological details of how mankind would reach the stars -- and what our space homes would look like." Highly acclaimed SF authors George Zebrowski (whose novel, Brute Orbits, won the 1999 John W. Campbell award) and Gregory Benford have put together an anthology of essays and stories from these and other visionary writers. Most of the material has seen previous publication between 1950 and 1980, but there are also a couple of original stories from Paul J. McAuley and Stephen Baxter. Other contributors include Larry Niven, David Brin, Greg Bear, James Blish and more.
Cosmic Adventure: Other Secrets Beyond the Night Sky
Bob Berman (illustrated by Alan McKnight)
Quill, HarperCollins (trade paperback, 255 pages, $13 US/$19.95 Can)
Publication date: 7 March 2000

Bob Berman is the director of the Overlook and Cobb-Matthieson Observatories in New York state. He is also the author of Discover magazine's "Night Watchman" column and he has a weekly broadcast on Northeast Public Radio. In this collection of 26 essays, "he takes readers on a mind-bending tour of the universe, including our own planet Earth." He'll offer answers to some of those persistent questions that keep you awake at night: What happened before the Big Bang? How would we go about colonizing Mars? Did I remember to take out the trash? What would an alien invasion really be like?
Jim Burns
Richard Calder
Earthlight (mass market reprint, 360 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: April 2000

From the author of Dead Girls, Dead Boys, Dead Things and other novels not necessarily about dead people or things. This one, for example, is about Richard Pike, a demon-slaying swordsman and philanderer. "In the 53rd century, he is banished from his beloved Darkling Isle of England and scrapes a living in the Pilipinas -- Far Eastern islands -- with his lover, Gala. Gala is a malignos, and the cause of his exile... Calder's latest novel contains his own black humour as well as a welter of fantastical inventiveness that stands head and shoulders above most SF and Fantasy."
Thomas Canty
Black Heart, Ivory Bones
edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
Avon (trade paperback, 370 pages, $13.50 US/$20.95 Can)
Publication date: March 2000

This is the latest volume in Datlow and Windling's much acclaimed Fairy Tale Anthologies series. Collected in these beautiful and enchanting anthologies are stories based on or inspired by traditional fairy tales, retold by modern fantasy writers. This one "showcases 20 beguiling tales for the child-that-was and the adult-that-is, penned by 20 of the most creative artists in contemporary American literature. Here dissected are the darker anatomies of the timeless, seemingly simple stories we have long loved. Here wonder and truth have serious bites." Contributors to this edition include: Jane Yolen, Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Joyce Carol Oates, Charles de Lint, Brian Stableford, Esther Friesner, and others.
Steve Youll
Patriarch's Hope
David Feintuch
Aspect, Warner Books (mass market reprint, 528 pages, $6.50 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: April 2000

More SF-military/political intrigue from the author of The Still and the Nicholas Seafort series, of which this book is a part. "UN SecGen Nicholas Seafort is the most powerful person on Earth, but his merciless sense of honour and faith is about to be tested. The ecology of the planet is on the point of collapse -- a crisis Seafort himself helped cause. And from a hijacked orbital platform, political renegades hold millions hostage. Now, unarmed, with only civilians and children at his side, Nick Seafort must go to war against the most dangerous of enemies -- those from within. And the cost may be more than even Seafort's iron will can bear..."
Anonymous Rex: A Detective Story
Eric Garcia
Villard Books (hardcover, 277 pages, $23 US/$35 Can)
Publication date: 2000

Debut novel from an author with a sense of humour -- and a sense of the absurd. "Vincent Rubio, a Los Angeles private investigator, is down on his luck: He's out of work. His car's been repossessed. His partner has died under mysterious circumstances. And his tail just won't stay put. Vincent is a dinosaur -- a Velociraptor, to be precise. It seems the dinosaurs faked their extinction 65 million years ago and still roam the earth, disguised in convincing latex costumes that help them blend perfectly into human society." (I've always suspected as much. Certainly goes a long way to explaining the behaviour of my neighbour!)
Sisters of the Wind
Diana Kemp-Jones (illustrated by Slawek Wojtowicz)
Books OnScreen, Pagefree Publishing (CD-ROM, 347 pages, $24.95 US)
Publication date: September 1999

This is a collection on interactive CD-ROM of short stories by Diana Kemp-Jones. (Personally, I think the term 'interactive' may be a little misleading -- but it does have text, graphics and sound. You can try to interact with the CD if you like. What you do in the privacy of your own home is your business.) These stories take place in futuristic and/or fantastical settings. As the title hints, all the stories feature female protagonists. But don't let that deter you, guys, because it isn't just a "chick book."
Mizora: A World of Women
Mary E. Bradley Lane
Bison Books (trade paperback, 150 pages, $9.95 US)
Publication date: October 1999

University of Nebraska Press, through its Bison Frontiers of Imagination series, is reprinting some extremely interesting novels that, when they were written, pushed and kicked at the borders of the conceivable. These works have since fallen into relative obscurity. Mizora, for example, was first published in serial anonymously in the Cincinnati Commercial from 1880-1881. So it's probably not surprising if you've never heard of it; only unfortunate. It's a very early feminist utopian novel, set in a world without men. "Vera Zarovitch is a Russian noblewoman -- heroic, outspoken, and determined. A political exile in Siberia, she escapes and flees north, eventually finding herself, adrift and exhausted, on a strange sea at the North Pole. Crossing a barrier of mist and brilliant light, Zarovitch is swept into the enchanted, inner world of Mizora. A haven of music, peace, universal education, and beneficial, advanced technology, Mizora is a world of women."
Doug Beekman
The Grand Design: Book 2 of Tyrants and Kings
John Marco
Bantam Spectra (trade paperback, 575 pages, $14.95 US/$22.95 Can)
Publication date: April 2000

John Marco is definitely a name to watch in the circle of fantasy writers. The latest from Marco is the sequel to his forceful debut novel, The Jackal of Nar, which made it onto the SF Site's 1999 MacLaurin Fat Fantasy Awards. "In the wake of Arkus' terrible war, Prince Richius Vantran, the Jackal of Nar, has fled into exile with his wife, Dyana, and their young daughter, Shani. Meanwhile, with the emperor's death, Nar has exploded in civil war. Now a new conflict is being waged between the religious fanatics of Bishop Herrith, who follow the Light of God, and the ruthless followers of Count Biagio and his Black Renaissance. Each man believes he has been chosen to lead, and as the terrifying slaughter mounts, fueled by the development of hideous new war machines, Vantran is offered the chance to ally with a third faction and take his revenge against his ancient enemy Biagio. But Biagio, a master of deception and intrigue, has a grand design to gain total power, and part of it involves luring Vantran's new allies into a clever and deadly trap."
excerpt Read an excerpt.

review Review by Victoria Strauss of The Jackal of Nar.

Jeff Easley
The Dark Elf Trilogy: Collector's Edition
R.A. Salvatore
Wizards of the Coast (trade paperback, 808 pages, $17.95 US/$23.99 Can)
Publication date: February 2000

Salvatore's Dark Elf series in the Forgotten Realms universe has already attained immense popularity. This is the paperback reprint of the 1998 compilation of the first 3 novels: Homeland, Exile and Sojourn. The hardcover edition of The Dark Elf Trilogy was chosen as one of the best fat fantasies of the year in the SF Site's 1998 MacLaurin Fat Fantasy Awards, and the continuation of the series was again selected for the 1999 MacLaurin Fat Fantasy Awards. This trilogy recounts the tortured beginnings and early struggles of Drizzt Do'Urden of the evil, subterranean drow.
Heart of Gold
Sharon Shinn
Ace (trade paperback, 360 pages, $14.95 US/$20.99 Can)
Publication date: 1 April 2000

From the author of Archangel, Wrapt in Crystal, and the Alleluia Files comes this SF Romeo and Juliet romance. "A scientist by nature, Nolan used his rational powers of observation to question the privileges he was born to enjoy -- and the people he was raised to despise. A rebel at heart, Katrini followed her fiercest passions in the struggle to overthrow a legacy of hate -- one that had poisoned her family for generations. On a planet divided between rich and poor, strong and week, intellect and feeling, only one thing could bring these two opposites together -- a strictly forbidden desire... for justice... for equality... and for each other."
Vor, The Maelstrom: Island of Power
Dean Wesley Smith
Aspect, Warner Books (mass market, 271 pages, $6.50 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: April 2000

This is the 3rd Vor novel, inspired by the game from FASA. The first 2 were: Into the Maelstrom, by Loren L. Coleman; and The Playback War, by Lisa Smedman. The premise is as follows: planet Earth is ripped out of alignment and hurled into a "grotesque parody of reality" known as the Maelstrom, along with countless other worlds and their inhabitant species. Much violence ensues. In this latest Vor novel, an island suddenly appears off the Oregon coast. It has an alien city on it. It may also have some answers... such as, how to escape from the Maelstrom. "But the Union soldiers and civilian scientists sent to the strange ruins aren't the only ones who want the island's power. For the humans are soon confronted by unearthly monsters -- the walking-dead Pharons and morphing Sand. And these horrors intend to claim victims on their unholy journey through the Maelstrom, even as the entire island itself begins to disappear."
Geoff Taylor
Into the Darkness
Harry Turtledove
Earthlight (mass market reprint, 623 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: January 2000

Turtledove sets up a rather complex situation in this book, first of a projected 6-volume series. As Steven Silver says in his review, Turtledove's "world is based on a combination of World Wars I and II with a modicum of magic thrown into the mixture. As his world goes to war, a series of alliances are called into play and kingdoms are dragged into the war. These alliances are every bit as complex as those which helped pull all of Europe into World War I in the early part of this century."
review Review by Steven H Silver.
Bob Eggleton
Darkness Descending
Harry Turtledove
Earthlight (trade paperback, 594 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: April 2000

Sequel to Into the Darkness, this novel returns to the story of a World War in a world where magic is a reality. When the Algarvian soldiers begin rounding up Kaunians and sending them off to work camps, the Kaunians who are left behind are concerned, but their fears are assuaged by Algarvian lies. Soon enough, people start to talk. "Rumours abound about the Algarvian work camps, rumours most cannot believe are true. But the mages know, for they can feel the loss of life in their very souls."
Mick van Houten
The Sapphire Throne: Book Two of the Jewelfire Trilogy
Freda Warrington
Earthlight (mass market, 527 pages, $ US/$ Can)
Publication date: April 2000

Sequel to The Amber Citadel. This UK author give us complex plotting and characterization in a world of high fantasy. "The war appears to be over. Helananthe, granddaughter of the mad king, Garnelys, has gathered her forces and defeated the Amber Citadel of Parione and its evil Bhahdradomen advisers... but matters are not so simple. The destinies of Tanthe and Ysomir, the sisters whose journeys from their village home of Riverwynde impinged so much upon the shaping of the war, have driven them apart. Ysomir is held in the palace, accused of killing Garnelys; Tanthe is pulled through a portal to the world of the mysterious Aelyr by a youth who calls himself her brother -- an Aelyr youth. However, there are darker schemes afoot..." Book Three, The Obsidian Tower, will conclude the series.
Matthew Stawicki
Dragons of a Fallen Sun: The War of Souls Volume I
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Wizards of the Coast (hardcover, 550 pages, $27.95 US/$42.99 Can)
Publication date: 14 March 2000

This is the first volume in a new series set in the DragonLance universe, by the bestselling author team of Weis and Hickman. The time is a (human) generation or so after the Chaos War. The gods have abandoned the world. Dragons are paid tribute by the enslaved people of Ansalon. But now it's time for a change... "A violent magical storm sweeps over Ansalon, bringing flood and fire, death and destruction. Out of the tumult rises a strange, mystic young woman. Her destiny is bound up with that of Krynn. For she alone knows the truth about the future, a future strangely and inextricably tied to the terrifying mystery in Krynn's past."
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