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Summertime reading is in full swing, with the year's best compiled by Gardner Dozois, brand new books from Greg Costikyan, Larry Niven & Steven Barnes, J. Robert King, Katherine Kerr & Kate Daniel, continuations of popular series from Elizabeth Haydon, Kate Jacoby, and tons of republished and reprinted classics!

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: 15 - 31 July 2000
Part I
Danilo Ducak
The Serpent and the Grail
A.A. Attanasio
Eos Fantasy, HarperCollins (mass market reprint, 387 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: July 2000

Part of Attanasio's Arthurian cycle, which includes The Wolf and the Crown, The Eagle and the Sword and The Dragon and the Unicorn. "Without the Grail's protection, Britain lies parched and barren, a demon-haunted landscape where sulfurous vapours taint the air. To find the Grail, Arthor's mother, Ygrane, must strike a dark bargain with Bright Night, elf-prince of the 'pale people,' in the hollow hills. Merlin must use his magic to show the way. But it is Arthor himself who must confront the Serpent, sword in hand."
John Harris
Beyond Heaven's River
Greg Bear
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market reprint, 256 pages, £5.99 UK)
Publication date: June 2000

First published in 1980. "Kawashita had passed up the chance to die honourably, to go down with the mortally wounded carrier Hiryu. And when the alien spacecraft plucked him from the sea near Midway, he was sure he'd made the wrong choice: now he would certainly die, but it would be alone and without honour. But the aliens did not kill him. Instead, they gave him a world of his own, a world in which he was supreme master, able to recreate and alter history, to indulge any fantasy. Then suddenly, he was once again amongst humans -- for whom World War II was a half-forgotten memory, four centuries past..."
Peter Andrew Jones
Queen of Angels
Greg Bear
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market reprint, 474 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: June 2000

First published in 1990. "In a world of wonders, wealth and 'perfect' mental health, a famous poet commits gruesome murder. Why? That crime and that question lead a biotransformed policewoman to a jungle of torture and forgotten gods; a writer to the bohemian shadows of a vast city; and a scientist directly into the mind -- into the nightmare soul -- of the psychopath himself. This is science fiction at its best: a detective story, a story of virtual reality entrapments and the coming to consciousness of an Artificial Intelligence." John Clute refers to the works of Bear as "required reading."
Jim Burns
Greg Bear
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market reprint, 290 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: June 2000

This is a reprint of Bear's second collection of short stories, which were previously compiled and published in 1989. It includes two double-winners (Hugo and Nebula Awards): the title story, "Tangents" (1986) -- "a remarkable account of contact with beings from another dimension"; and "Blood Music" (1983), the original short story that formed the basis for his classic novel of the same title.
Fred Gambino
A Case of Conscience
James Blish
Victor Gollancz Millennium (trade, 192 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: June 2000

Number 30 in the SF Masterworks is this winner of the 1959 Hugo for best novel. "The planet Lithia appears to be a paradise world, resembling Earth in the age of dinosaurs. The Lithians themselves are intelligent reptiles, 12 feet tall, gentle, with no conception of hatred, greed or crime. Father Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez, a Jesuit biologist, confronted with an apparent Garden of Eden, whose people have no idea of God, has to decide whether they are a divine creation or are in fact creatures of the Devil."
Return to Mars
Ben Bova
Eos Science Fiction, HarperCollins (mass market reprint, 544 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 5 July 2000

Although a sequel to Mars, this novel stands very well on its own. Jamie Waterman returns to the Red Planet as the head of the 2nd expedition, which has been financed by a wealthy industrialist. The mission mandate is to make Mars profitable, and if the members of the expedition try to do anything outside that mandate, they risk having all funding cut for any future missions. One can't help but cross one's fingers while reading this book -- because in this future, the thrill of scientific discovery takes a back seat to the bottom line.
review Review by A.L. Sirois.
Anne Sudworth
Sea Dragon Heir: The Chronicles of Magravandias 1
Storm Constantine
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market reprint, 343 pages, £6.99 UK/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: June 2000

Mass market release to coincide with the simultaneous hardcover and trade release of Book 2, Crown of Silence, also from Victor Gollancz in June. "The emperor, seeking the powers and ancient wisdom granted to the Palindrakes by the sea dragons, forces them to submit to a rite that surrenders their heritage to the fire god Madragor. Though the emperor has succeeded in subjugating the family, a secret female sect keeps the memory of the old magic until the time comes for a new Sea Dragon Heir to reclaim the powers of his ancestors. Now, three generations on, the twins Pharinet and Valraven Palindrake are about to discover their secret heritage."
Shelley Eshkar
First Contract
Greg Costikyan
Tor (hardcover, 288 pages, $23.95 US/$34.95 Can)
Publication date: 7 July 2000

"A Novel of Big Business and Alien Invasion" from the author of By the Sword and Another Day, Another Dungeon. This looks like it could be a heckuva fun kick at the capitalist can. "Johnson Mukerjii is a happy man. He knows that the market can have its ups and downs but he's always ben at the top. But better technology can change the whole picture... and alien technology is more than a little better. With the arrival of the aliens, Mukerjii's world is turned upside down. Suddenly, his company is worthless, and his lovely wife becomes a lovely ex-wife, taking all of their worldly possessions with her. Before he knows it, Mukerjii has hit rock bottom and finds himself living in a park, cooking for other homeless tramps, desperately trying to recreate the gourmet meals of his previous existence with food marked 'not for human consumption.' Mukerjii's only hope to reclaim his life is to rebuild his connections with right-wing military SF writer Leander Huff, and to make his mark on the new market by introducing a product the aliens will have to buy..."
Web Craze
Ron Cox
Cox Publishing (hardcover, 397 pages, $23.95 US)
Publication date: December 1999

Second self-published novel from the author of Roadside Ron. "The Internet can best be described as a vast underground of interconnected electrical impulses. Who really knows what goes on in that unseen worldwide realm between reality and virtual cyber space? Is the Internet primed and ready for a catastrophic situation to occur? Is It possible that a computer program could take over the Human Race? Will the onset of the computer age mean the end of Mankind as we know it? In this novel, the unthinkable is about to happen. People no longer control their own thoughts as one man is called upon to try and stop this hideous dilemma . Does he have the determination and perseverance to overcome this horrific abomination? Will he have the strength and persistence to succeed?"
review Read an excerpt.
Minority Report: Volume Four of the Collected Stories
Philip K. Dick
Victor Gollancz Millennium (trade, 380 pages, £7.99 UK/$12.99 Can)
Publication date: May 2000

Fourth in the definitive 5-book collection of the complete short fiction of Philip K. Dick. "This volume comers the period from late 1954 to 1963. These were the years through which Dick began writing novels prolifically and so his short story output lessened; though the quality of the stories did not. The title story 'Minority Report' is presently being filmed by Steven Spielberg and is due to star Tom Cruise whilst the story 'The Days of Perky Pat' inspired Dick to write one of his greatest novels, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch."
We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: Volume Five of the Collected Stories
Philip K. Dick
Victor Gollancz Millennium (trade, 395 pages, £7.99 UK/$12.99 Can)
Publication date: May 2000

Final volume in the complete collected stories of PKD. This volume "shows Dick at the height of his powers and contains stories written between 1963 and 1981 (shortly before Dick's death). The title story 'We Can Remember it for you Wholesale' was made into the box-office hit Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger... and 'The Little Black Box' grew into the masterpiece Blade Runner."
[Cover] The Year's Best Science Fiction: 17th Annual Collection
edited by Gardner Dozois
St. Martin's Griffin (640 pages, hardcover - $29.95 US; trade paperback - $17.95 US)
Publication date: July 2000

The tireless Gardner Dozois once again brings us the annual report of science fiction. Like its predecessors, this hefty tome is a selection of some of the best SF from the previous year, plus Dozois' summation of the year and recommended reading lists. This edition includes stories from David Marusek, James Patrick Kelly, Kage Baker, Michael Swanwick, Robert Reed, Eleanor Arnason, Greg Egan, Stephen Baxter, Sage Walker, Brian Stableford, Walter Jon Williams, Kim Stanley Robinson and many more -- over two dozen stories collected from various magazines and anthologies.
review Review by Steven H Silver of the 15th Annual Collection.

review Review by John O'Neill of the 13th Annual Collection.

Keith Russell
Shrödinger's Kitten
George Alec Effinger (read by Amy Bruce)
Infinivox, Audio Text Inc. (audio cassette, 77 minutes, $11.99 US)
Publication date: February 2000

This novelette, first published in 1988, won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards. It is set in Effinger's cyberpunk universe of his novel, When Gravity Fails. "There were no minarets in the Budayeen, but in the city all around the walled quarters there were many mosques. From the tall, ancient towers, strong voices called the faithful to morning devotions. Leaning against a grimy wall, Jehan heard the chanted cries of the muezzins, but she paid them no mind. She stared at the dead body at her feet, the body of a boy a few years older than she, someone she had seen about the Budayeen but whom she did not know by name. She still held the bloody knife that had killed him. She killed him because he would do her harm in one of a number of probable, but uncertain, futures."
Joe Haldeman
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 185 pages, £9.99)
Publication date: June 2000

First published in 1977, this was Haldeman's second SF novel, after his Hugo and Nebula-winning début, The Forever War. "Jacque LeFavre is a tamer -- a member of one of the tough and honed exploration teams that, since the dramatic discovery of the Levant-Meyer Translation, humankind has been able to send the stars. And Jacque's first world is the second planet out from Groombridge 1618. It isn't an especially promising place; the planets accompanying small stars rarely pan out. But the strange and mysterious creature that Jacque and his colleagues find there, with its gift of telepathy, leads to contact with the alien and enigmatic L'vrai, and confronts humankind with an awesome opportunity -- and appalling danger."
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