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Recent arrivals here at the SF Site include new books from John Meaney, Chris Bunch, Rudy Rucker, Robert Sawyer, Stephen Lawhead, Brian Lumley, Dennis McKiernan, plus a collaboration between astronaut Buzz Aldrin and novelist John Barnes. We've also seen an array of reprinted fantasy and science fiction classics from the likes of Eric Frank Russell, Jack Vance, Robert Silverberg, E.R. Eddison, and Hal Clement.

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 June 2000
The Return
Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes
Forge, Tom Doherty Associates (hardcover, 301 pages, $25.95 US/$36.95 Can)
Publication date: May 2000

Yep, this is the same Buzz Aldrin who, along with Neil Armstrong, took the first steps on the moon on that historic day in 1969. He's teamed up with award-winning author John Barnes to present a speculative novel about the present-day space program. "When a tragic Shuttle accident kills a world-famous basketball player on his trip into space, a trip that had been planned as a PR coup for the space program, former astronaut Scott Blackstone is out of a job. Worse, he and his 'Citizen Observer' program are vilified in the media, and he's being sued for a billion dollars... Gradually, it begins to appear that the 'accident' might not have been an accident at all. Meanwhile, as long feared, India and Pakistan go to war -- and, worse, Pakistan deploys a nuclear device high in the upper atmosphere, putting the crew of the orbiting International Space Station in imminent danger of destruction by radiation exposure. While the world's space vehicles are all grounded by the radiation storm set off by the detonation, only a few weeks remain to rescue the crew, and there's no known way to do it. Save, perhaps, for a secret project of Nick's..."
The Rise of the Phoenix
Dawn Rivers Baker
Electric Umbrella (Available in Rocket Edition and PDF formats, $5.99 US)
Publication date: November 1999

"The previous Age has ended, the Phoenix is gone. The world has stopped, and the days have become years. But none of that concerns Lady Dia of Shae. Her only thought is to use her Talents to come to the aid of her twin brother, who is visiting the Imperial Palace and has become embroiled in Imperial schemes. She does not know why her brother has come under the influence of a mysterious and overwhelming dark power. She could not say why, among all the coldly shadowed souls in the Emperor's court, there is a single oasis of light in the form of Caelon of Aerandos. She does not even realize that she and her twin are the instruments of Prophesy. For all that Dia had been trained since childhood by a TimeKeeper Priest, her real education in the faith of her people will be a journey, filled with spiritual pitfalls and physical dangers, through doubt and anguish and despair, to the dawn of the New Age, for she is destined to bear witness to The Rise of the Phoenix."
Hilari Bell
Roc (mass market original, 336 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 12 June 2000

When aliens invaded Earth, the only way to ensure the survival of the next generation was to alter their genetic code. It worked for a while, but now the genetically altered are falling victim to a deadly disease -- one that, due to their current genetic makeup, cannot be cured. "Salvation may lie in outer space, in the DNA of humans who founded colonies before the alien attack. That is, if those settlers can be found. Planetary expeditions have turned up nothing but the debris of lost settlements -- until Navohar. There, scientist Irene Olsen has stumbled upon a population that may hold the answer. If only she can uncover the truth before time runs out..."
No Enemy But Time
Michael Bishop
Victor Gollancz (trade, 397 pages, £10.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 April 2000

Gollancz has a new series of classic reprints, called "Collectors' Edition SF," which are being packaged in the yellow jackets that will look familiar to some folks who have been buying SF for more than a few years. No Enemy But Time is Bishop's 1982 novel that delves into the nature and origins of humanity. Joshua Kampa travels back in time -- millions of years back. "In early Pleistocene Africa, living among the prehuman species Homo habilis, experiencing the same hardships and the same intense pleasures, Joshua finds, for the first time in his troubled life, not only contentment but real love -- a love that transcends almost everything."
Steve Youll
The Empire Stone
Chris Bunch
Aspect, Warner Books (mass market original, 415 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 1 June 2000

From the author of The Demon King, The Seer King and The Warrior King. "Thieves whisper the tale of the Empire Stone, saying that no one knows what it looks like, nor where it's hidden, just that it's an immense jewel filled with the magic of the Gods... and that whoever seeks it is doomed. But Peirol of the Moorlands -- dwarf, gem trader, and rogue -- doesn't care, because he never believed in the legend in the first place. Then Peirol runs into bad luck, bad debts, bad blood, and one very powerful wizard who commands the dwarf to fetch the mythic Stone... or else. Thus Peirol becomes the reluctant hero of an impossible quest to reach a city that's on no map and steal an enchanted jewel he's sure doesn't exist. And if he survives pirates, warlords, monsters, damsels in distress, demons, ghosts, and death cults, Peirol must still find a way to outwit -- The Empire Stone itself."
Mission of Gravity
Hal Clement
Victor Gollancz (trade, 203 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 April 2000

Probably Clement's best and best-loved novel, Mission of Gravity was first published in 1954. "The remarkable and sympathetic depiction of an alien species and the plausible and scientifically based realization of the strange world they inhabit make it a major landmark in the history of hard SF." Mesklin is a flattened-out planet with a gravity 700 times greater than that of Earth, and oceans of liquid methane. "But the planet holds secrets of inestimable value, and an unmanned probe that has crashed close to one of its poles must be recovered. Only the Mesklinites, the small creatures so bizarrely adapted to their harsh environment, can help. Barlennan, the resourceful and courageous captain of the Mesklinite ship Bree, sets out on an heroic and appalling journey into the terrible unknown. For him and his people, the prize to be gained is as great as that for mankind..."
Sir Edward Burne-Jones
The Worm Ouroboros
E.R. Eddison
Millennium (trade, 521 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: April 2000

Fantasy Masterworks #3 is Eddison's classic fantasy adventure, which has been in and out of print since it first appeared in 1922. This is the book that Lord of the Rings was compared to, before Tolkien had supplanted all others as master of the quest fantasy genre. "Set on a distant planet of spectacular beauty and peopled by Lords and Kings, mighty warriors and raven-haired temptresses, Eddison's extravagant story, of a great war for total domination, is a work of unforgettable splendour."
Violent Stars
Phyllis Gotlieb
Tor (trade reprint, 288 pages, $14.95 US/$21 Can)
Publication date: 5 June 2000

First published last year in hardcover. Verona Bullivant is the bewildered target of a series of kidnapping attempts. Her father, who has been estranged from her mother and has not seen Vronni until her mother's recent death, hustles her off to the distant world Khagodis, which is inhabited by a race of intelligent and generally peace-loving saurians. He thinks she'll be safe there. But as Vronni learns more of the secrets surrounding her mother, she and her father come to understand that the fate in store for her is awful beyond description, part of a cycle of betrayal and vengeance that has been playing out for hundreds of years.
review Review by A.L. Sirois.
Year's Best SF 5
edited by David G. Hartwell
Avon Eos (mass market original, 400 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: June 2000

As Hartwell says in his intro, the selections in this volume are only representative of the best SF stories of 1999 -- there was far too much good stuff to choose from. He's chosen short works of science fiction from among some of the top names in the business, as well as some very promising newcomers. Contributors to this Year's Best SF include: Brian Aldiss, Michael Swanwick, Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Egan, Terry Bisson, Gene Wolfe, Robert J. Sawyer, Cory Doctorow, Hiroe Suga, Mary Soon Lee, and many more. You'll find "stories that explore the nature of reality and the effects of time travel on time itself; investigate killer chipmunks and a religions document scripted in blood; uncover a killer sport played by genetically engineered humanimals and the resurrection of the human race. The Future is back as never before."
review Review by Greg L. Johnson of Year's Best SF 3.
The Black Rood: The Celtic Crusades, Book II
Stephen R. Lawhead
Avon Eos (hardcover, 512 pages, $24 US/$36.50 Can)
Publication date: June 2000

Second volume in a trilogy chronicling the successive generations of a Scottish noble family who become involved in the Crusades to reclaim the Holy Land from the Saracens. This book follows Duncan, son of Murdo Ranulfson (The Iron Lance), as he sets off on a quest for the Black Rood -- a piece of the True Cross. "The gates to the Holy Land, however, are protected by a magnificent company of warrior priests. Known as the Knights Templar, the very destiny of the West itself is in their keeping. Imaginative and rich in historical detail, The Black Rood continues an outstanding tale of fantasy and faith."
Bob Eggleton
Necroscope: Defilers
Brian Lumley
Tor (hardcover, 447 pages, $25.95 US/$36.95 Can)
Publication date: May 2000

Second volume in the E-Branch Trilogy of the Necroscope series. The E-Branch, of course, being the ultra-secret international organization that uses ESP and any other powers or tools available in their efforts to eliminate the vampires which plague our planet. "Jake Cutter is reluctantly learning how to be a Necroscope -- how to use the Möbius continuum to travel instantaneously from place to place, how to talk to the dead -- but the dead don't like him much. It seems Jake's got a hitchhiker in his mind, a dead vampire named Korath. Since Korath holds the key to the Möbius equations, Jake can't just kick him out... though he's certainly trying!"
Duane O. Myers
Silver Wolf, Black Falcon
Dennis L. McKiernan
Roc (hardcover, 475 pages, $23.95 US/$33.99 Can)
Publication date: 12 June 2000

McKiernan returns to his magical world of Mithgar, but in a time of great peril -- a time of war, pestilence, famine and plague. "The progeny of an Elf and a shape-changing Baeran, Bair is cursed with a destiny that places him in mortal danger, for according to prophecy, Bair is the Hope of the World -- perhaps the long-foretold Rider of the Planes himself. Unaware of the peril that surrounds him, Bair accompanies his friend Aravan on a quest to learn the whereabouts of the yellow-eyed demon Ydral. But the oracle they have travelled so far to consult tells them to prepare for the time of chaos and slaughter that will soon envelop the world -- for the time of Trine draws near..."
Jim Burns
John Meaney
Bantam Press, Transworld Publishers (hardcover, 408 pages, £17.99 UK)
Publication date: June 2000

From the author of To Hold Infinity. "Centuries of self-imposed isolation have transformed Nulapeiron into a world unlike any other -- a world of vast subterranean cities maintained by extraordinary organic technologies. For the majority of its people, however, such wonders have little meaning. Denied their democratic rights and restricted to the impoverished lower levels, they are subjected to the brutal law of the Logic Lords and the Oracles, supra-human beings whose ability to truecast the future maintains the status quo." Tom Corcorigan is given a tiny info-crystal by a strange woman. The next day she is assassinated in public by the military. "What Tom has still to discover is that his crystal holds the key to understanding mu-space, and so to freedom itself. He doesn't know it yet, but he has been given a destiny to fulfil -- nothing less than the rewriting of his future, and that of his world..."
The J'Argon
Sea Raven (trade, 573 pages, $26.95 US/$43.95 Can)
Publication date: 4 April 2000

"The J'Argon is the leader of a spiritual alliance that has voice, but not vote, in 22nd century global politics... She is the Keeper of the Chalice of the Well, High Priestess of the Old Religion, and direct descendent of the aboriginal people of the British Isles. She has the Power to deny Grace to the Wicked or speak the Word that opens the gates to Paradise. The year is 2157. The United States has become a repressive theocracy, where a great Evil holds sway and plans to conquer the world. The J'Argon's long-time lover, partner and soul friend, the Arch Deacon of the National Cathedral, is a leader in the Liberation Underground. The Arch Deacon must open his prophetic Christian mysticism to the J'Argon's ancient earth-based magic and awaken his own Adept Power so that together they can defeat the Dragon." (Ok, I've gotta say it: that price would be steep for a hardcover. Ever since the ironically titled Right Honourable Brian Mulroney -- Canada's equivalent to Tricky Dick Nixon -- decreed, back in the 80s, that books would be subject to the GST, Canadians have been paying 7% tax on all books. That's $47.03 in Canada for a trade paperback. Yikes! Good luck selling this one here in the Great White North.)
Rudy Rucker
Eos, HarperCollins (trade paperback original, 320 pages, $14 US/$20.95 Can)
Publication date: June 2000

Rudy Rucker is a true innovator of SF and the real hero of the cyberpunk sub-genre. Grab your sense of humour, your appreciation for satire, cutting-edge science, wild and thought-provoking speculation; now sit back and enjoy the ride. "It's 2054, and Phil Gottner's girlfriend is hooked on a drug used in 'bacteria-style' sex, his father has just been swallowed by a hyperspatial anomaly, and he's met and fallen in love with a young lovely visiting from the Moon. Now there appears to be an alien presence at the bottom of the sea, a mysterious species with a magnificent gift for humankind -- accompanied by a fourth-dimensional entity, a godlike being who's taken a special interest in humans. Now Phil must solve the mystery of the 'Metamartians' and their god, before humanity uses its newfound powers to destroy itself altogether."
Eric Frank Russell
Victor Gollancz (trade, 175 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 April 2000

"The Return of the Yellow Jackets" takes on a double meaning for this SF Collector's Edition. First published in 1957, this novel may be dated, preposterously archaic in its technological and social assumptions, and distinctly patronizing towards its aliens, but it redeems itself by being wryly amusing, well-paced, and quite instructive on the subject of guerrilla and psychological warfare. It is a superior example of the stylishly undemanding SF adventure tales of the 50s.
review Review by Nick Gevers.
Calculating God
Robert J. Sawyer
Tor (hardcover, 335 pages, $23.95 US/$34.95 Can)
Publication date: June 2000

A new novel from the award-winning author of Flashforward and Factoring Humanity. "An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges, who says, in perfect English, 'Take me to a paleontologist.' It seems that Earth, and the alien's home planet, and the home planet of another alien species travelling on the alien mother ship, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at about the same time... Both alien races believe this proves the existence of God. God has obviously been playing with the evolution of life on these planets."
Tower of Glass
Robert Silverberg
Victor Gollancz (trade, 206 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 April 2000

Another Gollancz SF Collector's Edition. This one is Silverberg's exploration of egomania, first published in 1970. Simeon Krug is building a monumental glass tower, which soars and sparkles over the Arctic tundra. He intends to use this tower to communicate with the stars. "The androids who are working on it are perfect synthetic creations, created by Krug's own process in Krug's own factories, and their commitment to the project and their loyalty to Krug are beyond question. For they have made him their god and believe that through him they will become flesh and blood. But Krug is not a god, and when the androids learn the bitter truth their anger is terrible and uncontrollable and threatens much more than Krug's tower."
J.K. Potter
The Man on the Ceiling
Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem
American Fantasy, Garcia Publishing (limited edition chapbook, 28 pages, $10 US)
Publication date: May 2000

This husband and wife team, each with an established writing career, are now offering a "stunning semi-autobiographical short story about living with the devastating fears that lurk in our everyday lives. An examination of common dreads that will haunt you every time you see a shadow cross a wall or hear a noise in the dark, especially in the safety of your own home." This is the first chapbook from American Fantasy Magazine, and there are only 500 copies for sale.
Xina Marie Uhl
XC Publishing (285 pages, available in PDF, HTML, RTF, PRC, or trade - $5.95 for download, $8.95 for diskette, $9.95 for CD, or $12.95 for trade)
Publication date: May 2000 (download, diskette or CD) / November 2000 (trade)

"In an ancient desert city where the spirits of long dead rulers rustle through the winding streets, a prison guard is forced to save the life of a young priest whose lost memory holds the key to the fate of two cities. Become entangled in the web of political rivalries, sorcerous intrigues, headlong adventure and deep emotion that is... Necropolis!"
Geoff Taylor
Tales of the Dying Earth
Jack Vance
Millennium (trade, 743 pages, £7.99 UK)
Publication date: April 2000

Fantasy Masterworks #4 is the 1950 classic from one of F&SF's giants, winner of Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. "Travel to a far distant future, where magic and science are one, and the Earth has but a few short decades to live. Here, in one volume, is Jack Vance's masterpiece, the Dying Earth saga, comprising The Dying Earth [Vance's first book], The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel's Saga and Rhialto the Marvellous."
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