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We've seen an excellent harvest of books this season, with new works from Ursula K. Le Guin, Spider Robinson, Steven Erikson, Terry Goodkind, Richard Paul Russo, Joan Slonczewski, Mary Gentle, and others. Plus we received a shipment of SF poetry from such notables as David R. Bunch, Keith Allen Daniels, and Steven Utley

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 August 2000
Part II
The Door Into Summer
Robert A. Heinlein
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 192 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 24 August 2000

First published in 1957, this is one of the novels Heinlein wrote at the height of his more optimistic period. The result is a fast-paced, funny and highly entertaining book that deftly deals with time travel paradox. "When Dan Davis is crossed in love and stabbed in the back by his business associates, the immediate future doesn't look too bright for him and Pete, his independent-minded tomcat. Suddenly, the lure of suspended animation, the Long Sleep, becomes irresistible and Dan wakes up 30 years later in the 21st century, a time very much to his liking. The discovery that the robot household appliances he invented have been mass produced is no surprise, but the realization that, far from having been stolen from him, they have, mysteriously, been patented in his name is. There's only one thing for it. Dan somehow has to travel back in time to investigate. He may even find Pete... and the girl he really loves."
Strange Attraction
edited by Ed Kramer
ShadowLands Press, Bereshith Publishing (445 pages, hardcover $29.95 US/ signed limited edition $75 US/ deluxe edition, traycased with sculpture $275 US)
Publication date: August 2000

This collection is based on the kinetic sculptures of Lisa Snellings, and in particular it was inspired by the piece entitled "Crowded After Hours." The result is this "unique anthology... of dark tales set within the nightmare realm of the Ferris wheel." It includes original stories and poems from Michael Bishop, Ray Bradbury, Charles de Lint, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, S.P. Somtow, Gene Wolfe, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Robert J. Sawyer, and many more. "A barker is calling out in the cold night air, offering tickets for the carnival's dark ride. The wheel looms above the bustling midway, seemingly safe, well lit and beckoning with promises of untold views of the surrounding landscape. But when the lights go out, and the carnival gates are locked for the long night, a mist creeps in and the wheel begins to creak again, the sound haunting and shrill in the empty night. If you have stayed behind, hiding out because you have heard stories whispered about this Ferris wheel, you will notice that the jerking wheel has changed, that its lights no longer beckon but warn away all who would gaze upon it and the passengers it bears. And if you peer deeper into the gloom, if you listen to the words behind the creaking wheel, you will hear their stories, these passengers stuck on this nightly, hellish ride."
Jon Sullivan
Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon
Victor Gollancz (326 pages, hardcover £16.99 UK/trade £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 24 August 2000

The third novel in the latest Valdemar series doesn't break any new ground, but it does give fans likeable characters, interesting personal relationships, magic, adventure, and the pleasure of visiting old friends. We meet Darian again, now a young man with an important role in the life of his adopted people.
review Review by Jeri Wright.
The Telling
Ursula K. Le Guin
Harcourt (hardcover, 272 pages, $24 US/$36 Can)
Publication date: September 2000

A new novel from Ursula Le Guin is certainly a big event; but even better news is that it's a return to the Hainish world of The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed. "Sutty, a young woman from Earth trained on Hain to be an Observer for the interstellar Ekumen, is sent on her first mission to the planet Aka. Expecting to find a peace-loving society based on an ancient belief system similar to Taoism and known as The Telling, she find instead that The Telling has been banned and the culture of Aka radically transformed into a restrictive society that worships pure science. The entire cultural and religious history of the Akans has been virtually erased. For the first time in 50 years, Sutty will be the first offworlder allowed to leave Dovza City, the capital, and journey to Okzat-Ozkat, a small city in the high mountains where remnants of 'antiscientific cult activites' may exist."
Tristan Elwell
Rebel Sutra
Shariann Lewitt
Tor (hardcover, 352 pages, $24.95 US/$35.95 Can)
Publication date: 12 September 2000

From the author of Memento Mori (1995) and Interface Masque (1997) comes this novel of oppression and rebellion. Maya is a colony world, run by the aristocracy of the Changed, who have been fine-tuning their genes for so long that they have become a distinct species. "Every year, the Changed generously allow a handpicked group of human children to come up from Babelion and be tested alongside their own young. But the Changed know, as the humans do not, that it's a sham. The humans will always fail. They don't have the right genetic make-up and the years of intensive training it takes to mesh properly with the computer system where the test takes place. Their best will never be enough. It's a subtle way of teaching them their place. Then, one year, Arsen shows up: strong, smart, wildly charismatic, and not at all convinced of the superiority of the Changed. Still, he's nothing the system can't cope with -- until he hooks up with Della. She's Changed born and bred, but every bit as rebellious as Arsen. She, too, doubts that the serenely self-absorbed Changed have all the answers. What starts between Arsen and Della will tip their whole universe on its side, and start it rolling downhill..."
David Lunde
Nightfishing in Great Sky River: Poems of Inner and Outer Space
David Lunde
Anamnesis Press (chapbook, 59 pages, $7.95 US)
Publication date: May 1999

Many of the poems in this collection first saw publication in venues such as Aboriginal Science Fiction, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Escarpments and several others. Lunde's SF poetry has won him two Rhysling awards several Nebula nominations. He is particularly adept at writing deeply thoughtful verse with a skilled economy of words.
Don Maitz
Callahan's Key
Spider Robinson
Bantam Spectra (hardcover, 352 pages, $23.95 US/$34.95 Can)
Publication date: 12 July 2000

Since the publication of Callahan's Crosstime Saloon some quarter century ago, thousands of tourists and fans have flocked to the mecca of the original Callahan's Place to enjoy a relaxing drink in that now famous establishment. I drop in every time I find myself in Long Island, and it's always good to be back. "The universe stands in desperate peril -- the United States' own defense system, orbiting above an unknowing populace, has become a perfect doomsday machine that threatens not only Earth, but all of Creation. The job of stopping the devastation falls upon the collective shoulders of bar owner Jake Stonebender, his wife Zoey, their superintelligent toddler Erin, two dozen busloads of ex-hippies and freaks, Robert Heinlein's wandering cat, a whorehouse parrot, and the misunderstood genius-inventor Nikola Tesla, who is in fact alive and well. Adding to this motley group's hilarious woes, their hangout, Stonebender's bar Callahan's Place (now renamed Mary's), is propelled out of Long Island by the machinations of local bureaucrats and crooked politicians. A wacky convoy treks to Key West in search of a place to drink and party in peace -- and hopefully unpack in time to save the whole universe."
Nicholas Jainschigg
Terminal Visions
Richard Paul Russo
Golden Gryphon Press (hardcover, 238 pages, $23.95 US)
Publication date: September 2000

This is the first short story collection from Philip K. Dick Award-winning author Richard Paul Russo. Previously uncollected, these 14 stories have all seen publication in one venue or another -- many in Asimov's or F&SF -- and a couple of them have been revised by the author for this edition. "Gritty alien encounters and the ultimate road story highlight this collection. In other stories we experience the hopelessness of the human condition on Earth, in space, and in an alternate reality; Russo then shows us how creativity and compassion enable the human spirit to rise above sadness and despair."
Brain Plague
Joan Slonczewski
Tor (hardcover, 384 pages, $24.95 US/$35.95 Can)
Publication date: August 2000

Another biological SF novel, set in the same universe as Slonczewski's The Children Star. "An intelligent microbe race that can live symbiotically in other intelligent beings is colonizing the human race throughout the civilized universe. And each colony of microbes has its own personality, good or bad. In some people, they are brain enhancers, and in others a fatal brain plague, a living addiction. This is the story of one woman's psychological and moral struggle to adjust to having an ambitious colony of microbes living permanently in her own head."
review Review by Greg L. Johnson of The Children Star.
Olaf Stapledon
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 200 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: August 2000

First published in 1944 under the full title Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord is, as its subtitle hints, a profoundly moving story of unattainable love. It's also an examination of alien thoughts and feelings. And it's a story about a talking dog. "Sirius is Thomas Trelone's great experiment -- a huge, handsome dog with the brain and intelligence of a human being. Raised and educated in Trelone's own family alongside Plaxy, his youngest daughter, Sirius is a truly remarkable and gifted creature. His relationship with the Trelone family, particularly with Plaxy, is deep and close, and his inquiring mind ranges across the spectrum of human knowledge and experience. But Sirius isn't human and the conflicts and inner turmoil that torture him cannot be resolved."
Roadside Picnic
Arkady & Boris Strugatsky
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 160 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 24 August 2000

Translated from the Russian in 1969, this is the story that formed the basis for Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker. The picnickers are aliens who stopped on Earth for lunch, and their rubbish is of great interest to many -- and of great danger to all. "Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those strange misfits who are compelled by some unknown force to venture illegally into the Zone and, in spite of the extreme danger, collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the Zone and the thriving black market in the alien products. Even the nature of his mutant daughter has been determined by the Zone. And it is for her that Red makes his last, tragic foray into the hazardous and hostile depths."
Jim Burns
In Green's Jungles: Volume Two of The Book of the Short Sun
Gene Wolfe
Tor (hardcover, 384 pages, $24.95 US/$35.95 Can)
Publication date: 21 August 2000

Following on the success of On Blues' Waters comes this second volume of The Book of the Short Sun, which itself follows the immensely popular The Book of the New Sun and The Book of the Long Sun. This is the volume that ties together the vast, dense and complex universe of the two previous multi-volume Sun books. "Horn discovers that he has the seemingly magical power to travel instantaneously between Green and Blue, though his body and those of his compatriots undergo strange changes with each shift. Horn engages in numerous adventures -- leading an army, slogging through a monster-inhabited jungle, touring several exotic societies -- and eventually he and his friends visit a dying red sun that may be the long-lost Urth. His personality now inhabits a different body, so that even his sons do not recognize him. And people mistake him for Silk, to whom he now bears a remarkable resemblance..."
Career Moves of the Gods
Steven Utley
Anamnesis Press (chapbook, 48 pages, $7.95 US)
Publication date: 2000

This is a short book of short poems. If you have a sense of humour about religion, gods, and your own place in the universe, it's worth a look. As you can probably guess by the title and the cover, the content is quite humorous. It's also, at times, quite caustically satirical. Utley takes pot shots at such pantheons as the Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian and Norse gods, as well as Jesus and Jehovah. (He even manages to find a rhyme for Quetzalcoatl.)
Victor Lee
The Bridge
Janine Ellen Young
Aspect, Warner Books (mass market original, 368 pages, $6.50 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: 1 September 2000

If I'm not mistaken, this is Young's second novel; her first was Cinderblock (1997). And at a glance, I'd guess that this second novel will create an even greater stir. It appears to be an intelligent and visionary look at first contact. "Somewhere in the cosmos, inquisitive, utterly unhuman aliens reach out, seeking intelligent life, sending greetings and knowledge encrypted within microscopic packets of genetic data. Their information takes on the form of a virus designed to bridge worlds through understanding. But its creators, the alien Kasarans, do not know that their communication might kill... For when it reaches Earth, the Kasaran virus can't completely adapt to human biology. Instead, it transforms into a plague called the Pandemic that annihilates billions of humans at random. And when the Pandemic ends, the Earth is changed forever..."
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