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Some highlights among recently released books include a new collection from Michael Swanwick, new novels from James Barclay, James Alan Gardner, Eric Brown, Sarah Isidore, and some classic reprints from the likes of Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Walter M. Miller, Jr., John Sladek and Terry Pratchett.

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 July 2000
The End of Eternity
Isaac Asimov
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 189 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 July 2000

First published in 1955, this is a classic of time travel paradox by one of the biggest names of SF. Some have even said it's Asimov's best work. That's high praise indeed. "Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, a man whose job it is to range through past and present centuries, monitoring and, where necessary, altering Time's myriad cause-and-effect relationships for the benefit of humanity. But when Harlan meets and falls for a non-Eternal woman, he uses the awesome powers and techniques of the Eternals to twist Time so that he and the woman he loves can stay together. Even if that means the end of Eternity..."
Fred Gambino
James Barclay
Dawnthief: Book One, Chronicles of the Raven
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market reprint, 529 pages, £6.99 UK/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 3 July 2000

Previously published in trade paperback by Victor Gollancz in July 1999, this novel opened a gritty new epic of mercenaries and magic, a tale of betrayal and half-truths versus loyalty and honour. It was recognized in the SF Site's Fat Fantasy Awards for 1999. "The Raven have fought together for years, 6 men and an elf carving out a living as swords for hire in the wars that have torn Balaia apart, loyal only to themselves and their code. But when they agree to escort a Xeteskian mage on a sinister mission, they are pulled into a nightmare web of politics and ancient secrets that will change their lives forever. How is it that they are fighting for the Dark College of magic? Searching for the location of Dawnthief; a spell to end the world, a spell that must be cast..."
Fred Gambino
Noonshade: Book Two, Chronicles of the Raven
James Barclay
Victor Gollancz Millennium (trade, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 July 2000

It's arrived: the second novel of Balaia's premier mercenary company, The Raven. "The spell Dawnthief has been cast and the Wytch lords have been banished. Hawk Denser's skill and dedication have ensured that the spell has been cast correctly and his prowess has earned him the acceptance of the bloodied remaining members of The Raven and the love of Erienne. But in the aftermath of the casting, The Raven are confronted with an even greater threat. Something has gone wrong. A rip has appeared in the sky, creating a door into the dragon dimension -- and it's getting bigger ever day."
review Review by Wayne MacLaurin.
Chris Moore
New York Nights: Book One in the Virex Trilogy
Eric Brown
Victor Gollancz (hardcover, 261 pages, £16.99 UK)
Publication date: 18 May 2000

A swift-running, think-on-your-feet SF thriller from the author of The Time Lapsed Man, Meridian Days and Penumbra. "America is struggling for survival, following a series of attacks on its nuclear power stations. A massive exodus of refugees has left much of the country empty and turned New York into a third world city, swamped by shanty towns. As the economy downshifts and the infrastructure crumbles in the face of massive hikes in oil prices, people are desperate for escape... The big software companies are rushing to perfect a new generation of VR environments to give people the heavens they have lost. Anyone asking awkward questions around them better have good life insurance..."
Bruce Jensen
Spider-Man: Goblin Moon
Kurt Busiek and Nathan Archer
Berkley Boulevard Science Fiction (mass market reprint, 280 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 10 July 2000

If you've followed Marvel Comics' Amazing Spider-Man or Spectacular Spider-Man, this novel fills in some gaps somewhere between issues 430-438 of the former series and issues 252-260 of the latter series. "A paramilitary organization of thieves is on a city-wide crime spree that no one -- not even Spider-Man -- seems able to stop. Millionaire businessman and Daily Bugle co-owner Norman Osborn calls for action to stop this threat to New York's citizens -- and gets himself appointed the new #2 man in the city's government in line to succeed the mayor. Daily Bugle photographer Peter Parker is suspicious because he knows that Osborn is really the super-villain known as the Green Goblin. But if Parker reveals Osborn's secret, he takes the risk of Osborn exposing his secret..."
Vor: The Rescue
Don Ellis
Aspect Science Fiction, Warner Books (mass market original, 250 pages, $6.50 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: July 2000

This is the 4th Vor: The Maelstrom novel, inspired by the game from FASA. The first 3 were: Into the Maelstrom, The Playback War and Island of Power. 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 episode: "The Mars colonists watch, helpless, as the Maelstrom anomaly swallows Earth. Yet Dr. David Hutchins's horror is offset by scientific curiosity, and somehow he manages to tether a probe connecting our solar system to the Maelstrom... But the Union and Neo-Soviets must be willing to cooperate before the anomaly closes -- and before evil species from the Pharons to the Shard seize the escape route for themselves..."
[Cover] Hunted
James Alan Gardner
Avon EOS (mass market, 432 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: June 2000

From the author of Expendable, Commitment Hour and Vigilant. His latest is a clever, fast-paced, humorous SF novel of life in a universe of genetic perfection. Or not. Sometimes tinkering with genes can backfire on you. Edward, for example, has a faulty brain. But his father pulled strings to get him a commission in the Outward Fleet Explorer Corps -- "a fiercely independent band of misfits who referred to themselves proudly as Expendables." Then, after getting caught up in a civil war on the planet of Troyen, home to the alien Mandasar, Edward found himself in exile for about 20 years on one of Troyen's isolated moons. "But when escalating violence forces the evacuation of the system, Edward embarks on a perilous journey home that will lead him into a forgotten past -- and, with the assistance of another ex-Expendable... into a future thick with conspiracy and betrayal. For there lurks a dark secret powerful enough to bury the hopes of human and Mandasar alike... or give them a new and brighter beginning."
review Review by Rich Horton.
Jon Sullivan
Hawk & Fisher 2: Fear and Loathing in Haven
Simon R. Green
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market omnibus, 646 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 18 May 2000

This is the second Fisher & Hawk omnibus, which includes Vengeance for a Lonely Man (1990), Guard Against Dishonour (1991) and Two Kings in Haven (1991). "It's a typical day in Haven: wherever trouble rears its ugly head -- be it mortal or supernatural -- Captains Hawk and Fisher are there to sort it out. This husband and wife duo are the only honest cops in the low-down and dirty city of magic and mayhem. A city where murder and corruption flourish..."
review Review by Todd Richmond of the first Hawk & Fisher omnibus.
Daughters of Bast: Shrine of Light
Sarah Isidore
Eos (mass market original, 352 pages, $6.50 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: July 2000

Second in the Daughters of Bast fantasy series, blending Celtic goddess-worship with Egyptian mysticism. Sequel to The Hidden Land. "Damona has spent her life as a loyal priestess, serving the Egyptian cat-goddess Bast at her shrine in Eire. But when a ruinous lord destroys the shrine and Damona's family, the young priestess renounces the Shining One and begins a path to vengeance that could destroy the Emerald Isle."
The Glasswrights' Apprentice
Mindy L. Klasky
Roc (mass market original, 336 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 10 July 2000

Klasky's first novel brings us intrigue and conspiracy in a world of rigidly structured class-based hierarchy, with fully realized characters. "Being in the wrong place at the wrong time places Rani in the middle of a terrible conspiracy that leaves the Royal Prince dead -- and the Glasswrights' Guild torn asunder. Branded a traitor, she slinks through the city streets, changing her identity to avoid being caught. And as Rani rises from the city slums to the royal household, she uncovers an elusive brotherhood whose deadly venom reaches out to stain the heart of her guild, the heart of her family -- and the heart of her king..."
Jon Sullivan
Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market reprint, 389 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 13 July 2000

Previously published in trade paperback by Victor Gollancz, July 1999. Mercedes Lackey, with her husband and writing partner, Larry Dixon, have brought us another angle on the Mage Storms series. "Darian left his home at the Pelagiris Forest's edge when Errold's Grove was attacked by barbarians and his guardian, Wizard Justyn, killed in valiant defence of his people. Darian is now honing his craft under the watchful eyes of the Hawkbrothers. Though he fought long and hard to avoid his destiny, Darian is gaining new skills as a mage: a mage with an affinity for mind-speaking, particularly with the Hawk Owl, Kuari, who has become his closest companion."
The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ace (trade, 320 pages, $12.95 US)
Publication date: 10 July 2000

When it first appeared in 1969, this novel brought the name of Ursula Le Guin to the forefront of SF, winning both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards for Best SF Novel. It also brought gender consciousness to SF in an enlightened and intelligent way. It is "the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. The emissary's goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so, he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction."
John Mankowski
Echo's Voice
Sarah Mankowski (trade, 285 pages, $23.95 US)
Publication date: 17 July 2000

In the year 2475, the LTK Corporation controls all news and entertainment. After being reprimanded for insubordination, Rick Brock, a dedicated officer with the National Police, is reassigned to guard Echo Forrester, the rebellious daughter of an LTK executive. When Echo is accused of murder, and Rick becomes convince of but cannot prove her innocence, they flee the secure and idylic island from which LTK rules. Fugitives, they travel through the 'Wasteland' -- vast regions of the North American continent, abandoned after the plagues and left undisturbed for some 400 years.  The only inhabitants are those fleeing from the law...
review Read an excerpt.
The Best of Walter M. Miller Jr.
Walter M. Miller Jr.
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 472 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 July 2000

Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959) is a classic of SF, and one of my favourite books. It's also the only novel he ever completed. The sequel, Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman (1997), published after an interval of nearly 40 years, was published posthumously and the final touches were the work of Terry Bisson. This collection of Miller's short fiction first appeared in 1980 and has been sadly out of print for many years.
John Blackford
Tom Clancy's Net Force: Gameprey
Mel Odom
Berkley Books Young Adult (mass market original, 213 pages, $4.99 US/$6.99 Can)
Publication date: July 2000

Created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik; written by Mel Odom. The Net Force Explorers are "teenage whiz kids turned unlikely crime fighters." In the latest Net Force novel, number 11, "an unscrupulous game company has marketed a computer program that secretly attacks other programs. The goal is to use the game to infiltrate and steal information from secure systems around the world. Only the Net Force Explorers stand in the way of the racketeers. Computer convention turns hunting ground when the Net Force Explorers enter combat with the monsters from the new game."
Josh Kirby
The Gods Trilogy
Terry Pratchett
Victor Gollancz (hardcover, 758 pages, £16.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 July 2000

A Discworld omnibus, comprising the novels Pyramids, Small Gods and Hogfather. "The Discworld is, as everyone knows, and no one should now need to be told, flat. It rides through space on the back of 4 elephants (there used to be 5 but that's another story) which, in turn, are standing on the shell of an enormous turtle. But just because it is being borne through space on the back of a turtle, doesn't mean it doesn't need gods..."
review Review by Todd Richmond of Hogfather.
Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics
Julius Schwartz, with Brian M. Thomsen
HarperEntertainment (trade paperback, 224 pages, $13.50 US/$20.95 Can)
Publication date: July 2000

"The behind-the-scenes story of a true hero of American pop culture." Julius Schwartz is credited with the invention of SF fandom in the 1930s. He also became the first literary agent to specialize in authors of speculative fiction (he represented H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury and many others). And he's one of the most influential editors of comic books, having had a hand in the direction of such talents as Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Neal Adams, Denny O'Neill and (my personal hero of comic book writing) Alan Moore.
The Reproductive System
John Sladek
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 192 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 2000

This is Sladek's first novel, although not the first one he published. It's as clever, funny and imaginative today as it was when it first appeared in 1968. "Wompler's Walking Babies once put Millford, Utah, on the map. But they aren't selling like they used to. In fact, they aren't selling at all, and the only alternative to winding up the company is to tap the government for a research grant. And so Wompler Research Laboratories and project 32 come into being. The plan is to produce self-replicating mechanisms; identical cells equipped to repair intracellular breakdowns, convert power from their environment and create new cells. But suddenly the nondescript grey boxes are crawling around the laboratory, feeding voraciously on any metal they come across -- and multiplying at an alarming rate..."
Michael Dashow
Tales of Old Earth
Michael Swanwick
Frog Ltd./Tachyon Publications (hardcover, 277 pages, $25 US)
Publication date: June 2000

Multiple award-winning author, Michael Swanwick, offers a collection of the best of his short fiction from the past 10 years. The 19 stories in this book run the gamut of genre fiction -- "from the hardest of hard science fiction to the purest of fantasies, with stops in between and stories that defy categorization."
Big Planet
Jack Vance
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 218 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 July 2000

One of Vance's earlier works, first published in book form in 1957, although it had seen prior publication in the magazine Startling Stories. "Charley Lysidder, the Bajarnum of Beaujolais was ruthlessly expanding his empire on the Big Planet. The objective of the mission from Earth was to stop him and ensure that the whole world didn't fall under the domination of the tyrant. But when sabotage forced the spacecraft carrying the mission to crashland, the priority changed. The survivors faced an epic 40,000 mile trek to safety, across the vast and unknown surface of the planet, harassed by monsters, the native people and the agents of the Bajarnum, and riven by their own deadly disputes." A trend-setting work in the sub-genre of planetary romance.
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