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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 II
Elizabeth Haydon
Tor Fantasy (hardcover, 480 pages, $27.95 US/$39.95 Can)
Publication date: July 2000

Sequel to her forceful and highly acclaimed début novel, Rhapsody. "After battling the F'dor, an ancient force of evil, Rhapsody, along with her two companions Grunthor and Achmed, find themselves far from home. Coming to the shocking realization that fourteen centuries have passed, they finally return home -- and of course, all the people they once knew are long gone. Fighting against time, Rhapsody, Grunthor and Achmed -- the heroes spoken of in the Prophecy of Three -- are the only hope for their new homeland. The darkness is coming..."
Fred Gambino
The Dosadi Experiment
Frank Herbert
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market reprint, 336 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 13 July 2000

First published in 1977, from the author of the monumental Dune. "In the far future, humans and aliens have joined together in a galaxy-wide federation of intelligent species: The ConSentiency. But its existence is now threatened by the discovery of a secret, illegal and deadly experiment on the planet Dosadi. There the froglike Gowachin have created a brutal society: 850 million beings, human and Gowachin, are confined in an area of 40 square kilometres. But the experiment in overcrowding is getting out of control: the beings that have bred on Dosadi are so tough and resourceful that they are capable of breaking out of their monstrous prison and overrunning the galaxy."
Fred Gambion
The Jesus Incident
Frank Herbert & Bill Ransom
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market reprint, 405 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 13 July 2000

First published in 1979. "A determined group of colonists are attempting to establish a bridgehead on the planet Pandora, despite the savagery of the native lifeforms, as deadly as they are inhospitable. But they have more to deal with than just murderous aliens: their ship's computer has been given artificial consciousness and has decided that it is a God. Now it is insisting -- with all the not inconsiderable force of its impressive array of armaments to back it up -- that the colonists find appropriate ways to worship it..."
Jon Sullivan
Black Eagle Rising: Third Book of Elita
Kate Jacoby
Victor Gollancz (458 pages, hardcover £16.99 UK; trade £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 July 2000

Sequel to Exile's Return and Voice of the Demon, forming part of the vast epic of sorcery, romance and political intrigue that forms the Elita series. "The Sorcerer Nash, grievously wounded by Robert Douglas when he wielded the Word of Destruction, destroyed the evil Malachi and razed Elita almost to the ground, has spent years rebuilding his strength and increasing the unholy Bond that binds the usurper King Selar ever closer to him. Jenn, though kept virtual prisoner by Eachern, her brutish husband, has had the solace of her son Andrew as he grows ever more in his father's image. But times are changing: Selar plots to spread his iron rule even further, coveting Mayenne, his brother's kingdom. Eachern plots to send Andrew from his mother so he can subdue his young, unwilling bride even more... and Robert plots to raise an army and free his beloved country from the dual threat of Selar and Nash, the Angel of Darkness."
Polar City Nightmare
Katherine Kerr & Kate Daniel
Victor Gollancz (357 pages, hardcover £16.99 UK; trade £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 13 July 2000

An SF thriller that deals with the truly alien, in part through gender and colour role reversal. "The Republic: a human-run interstellar government caught between the Carli Confederation and the H'Allevae Coreward Alliance, trying to maintain its independence in the face of two huge galactic powers. A political incident is brewing on Polar City, Hagar, which might cost the Republic its autonomy. A Carli artifact is missing, along with a bureaucrat from the Confederation Embassy. And Yosef Mbaye, a troubled athlete from the successful Polar City Bears, is being blackmailed to carry something with him to the Galactic Series on Sarah, the capital planet of the Republic. When Yosef refuses to let Bobbie Lacey help him find the blackmailer, and the blackmailer turns up dead, Bobbie can't leave it alone. Whatever Yosef is carrying could lose the Bears -- and everyone else -- a whole lot more than the Galactic Series..."
Gary Ruddell
Mad Merlin
J. Robert King
Tor (hardcover, 480 pages, $24.95 US/$35.95 Can)
Publication date: 31 July 2000

Drawing on such sources and inspirations as the works of Joseph Campbell and T.H. White, this author has forged a new myth of Merlin and Camelot. "We first meet Merlin as a madman alleged to be cursed with the gift of prophecy. He is sent for by Uther Pendragon, who desires his supernatural counsel in order to enact a plan to sate his lust for the wife of his enemy. This sets in motion the story of the conception of the once and future King Arthur and his rise as the ruler of the kingdom we now know as Camelot. As Merlin unlocks Arthur's potential, he unlocks his own as well, discovering his previous identity as the great god Jove who was brought down by Wotan. As the tale unfolds, Merlin comes to understand his true self and embraces the inevitability of the fall of the gods and the end of magic in the realm of man."
The Wanderer
Fritz Leiber
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 346 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: June 2000

Although probably best known for his fantasy stories of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Leiber was a master in many genres. His SF novels garnered a couple of Hugo Awards: in 1958 for The Big Time and in 1965 for The Wanderer. "All eyes were watching the eclipse of the Moon when the Wanderer came. Only a few scientists had even suspected its presence, and then, suddenly and silently, it was there, dwarfing and threatening the moon, wreaking havoc on Earth with the tides and the weather. The huge, garishly coloured artificial world is a vast, impersonal force travelling through hyperspace, stopping in he Solar System only to refuel. But its mere presence is a catastrophe for the inhabitants of Earth, who all struggle to survive the climactic chaos it unleashes."
The Apostate
Paul Lonardo
Hollis Books (trade, 194 pages, $12.95 US/$20 Can)
Publication date: January 2000

First novel from a new author. "An invasive evil is spreading through Caldera, a burgeoning desert metropolis hat has been called the gateway of the new millennium. And as the malevolent shadow settles across the region, the prospects for the 21st century begin to look bleak. Three seemingly ordinary people are brought together: Julian, an environmentalist, sent to Caldera to investigate bizarre ecological occurrences; Saney, a relocated psychiatrist, trying to understand why the city's inhabitants are experiencing an unusually high frequency of mental disorders; and Chris, a runaway teenage boy. The three quickly discover that they are the only people who can defeat the true source of the region's evil -- which may or may not be the Devil himself."
John Ennis
Acorna's People
Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
HarperTorch, HarperCollins (mass market reprint, 400 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: July 2000

First published in hardcover in July 1999. "With the help of her 'uncles' and the thousands of humans who love and admire her, Acorna has found her true people, the peaceful, telepathic Linyaari. But Acorna still has much to do before she can enjoy her new home. The legendary resting place for the lost Linyaari ancestors has yet to be found. And with the help of a rogue spacetrader and his feline sidekick, Acorna must strive to right an unspeakable wrong and defeat an enemy even crueler than the Khleevi. Along the way, she will at last uncover the Universe's most carefully guarded secret -- the true nature of the ancient link between the Linyaari and he space-faring humans she has also come to think of has her people."
Bob Eggleton
Saturn's Race
Larry Niven & Steven Barnes
Tor (hardcover, 320 pages, $24.95 US/$35.95 Can)
Publication date: 31 July 2000

Latest from this bestselling author duo. "The future is a strange and dangerous place. Japanese-American computer expert Chaz Kato can testify to that. He is a citizen of Xanadu, a city-sized floating artificial island populated by some of the wealthiest men and women on Earth. It is a place filled with hidden wonders ad dark secrets of technology gone awry. Lenore Myles is a student when she travels to Xanadu and becomes involved with Kato. When Kato unwittingly lends her his access codes, Lenore stumbles upon the grisly truth behind Xanadu's glittering facade. Not knowing whom to trust, Lenore is soon on the run, hunted down by Saturn, a mysterious entity that moves aggressively to contain the security breach. With the interests of the world's wealthiest people at stake and powerful technology at Saturn's fingertips, Lenore is on a race for her life..."
Josh Kirby
The Bromeliad
Terry Pratchett
Doubleday, Transworld (hardcover reprint, 512 pages, £12.99 UK/$34.95 Can)
Publication date: July 2000

This tome comprises the novels Truckers (1989), Diggers (1990) and Wings (1990). It is the epic tale of a race of little folk struggling to survive in a world full of humans. The saga begins with the demolition of a large department store. To the thousands of nomes who had lived for generations beneath the floorboards of that department store, this is almost the end of the world. In order to survive, they are now going to have to think BIG!
Chris Moore
Adam Roberts
Victor Gollancz (248 pages, hardcover £16.99 UK; trade £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 July 2000

First novel, being compared to Dune. (That's a pretty tall yardstick; we'll have to see if it measures up.) "Salt is a crystal compound of Sodium and Chlorine; faceted and transparent. Simple and pure. What life could there be without salt? It is known as God's diamond, by which we should be aware of the infinite variability of scale for the divine perspective. Every grain is a landscape, a world. And us? We are fragile. We dissolve in immensity like salt in water. And after 37 years of travel through the vastness of space we arrive on the planet Salt. And we took Heaven and Hell with us. Told by two people, Petja and Barlei, Salt is the story of a planetary colonization that slips into a tragedy of biblical proportions. The two communities who went to Salt were united by the dream of a new beginning and, isolated in a landscape of cruel majesty, torn apart by ancient enmities."
Cordwainer Smith
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 277 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: June 2000

First published posthumously in 1975, this represents the only science fiction novel from one of SF's most original voices. "It starts with Rod McBan. We known his family was distinguished. We know the poor kid was born to troubles. He was due to inherit the Station of Doom. And then he gets around. he crosses all sorts of people. C'mell, the most beautiful of the girlygirls of Earth. The wild old man of Adaminaby. The trained spiders of Earthport. The Lord Jestocost, whose name is a page in history. Ruth, in pursuit. C'mell, in flight. The Lady Johanna, laughing..."
John Howe
The Chronicles of Amber
Roger Zelazny
Victor Gollancz Millennium (trade, 773 pages, £8.99 UK)
Publication date: June 2000

Fantasy Masterworks #6 This book encompasses the first 5 volumes of The Chronicles of Amber (1970-1978), being the only ones you really need to read. The series continued for several volumes beyond this point, but it degenerated significantly. Don't be discouraged, however: as far as the first 5 volumes, this is one of the best fantasy series of all time. "Amber is the one real world, casting infinite reflections of itself -- shadow worlds, which can be manipulated by those of royal Amberite blood. But the royal family is torn apart by jealousies and suspicion; the disappearance of the patriarch Oberon has intensified the internal conflict by leaving the throne apparently up for grabs; and amnesia has robbed Corwin, Crown Prince of Amber, of his memory -- even the fact that he is rightful heir to the throne."
This Immortal
Roger Zelazny
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 174 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: June 2000

Zelazny's stunning début novel, also published under the title And Call Me Conrad, won the 1966 Hugo Award. It is viewed by many as one of his best. "Conrad Nomikos has a long, rich personal history that he'd rather not talk about. And, as Arts Commissioner, he's been given a job he'd rather not do. Escorting an alien grandee on a guided tour of the shattered remains of Earth is not something he relishes. Especially when it is apparent that this places him at the centre of high-level intrigue that has some bearing on the future of Earth itself. But Conrad is a very special guy..."
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