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September has seen some fabulous new arrivals so far, including new novels from Louise Marley, Judith Tarr, Jeffrey E. Barlough, Steven Krane, Juliet E. McKenna, Kristine Smith, Paul J. McAuley, James Stevens-Arce, and Richard Matheson -- well, ok, the Matheson isn't new; it's his first novel, written half a century ago, but it's finally seeing publication for the first time ever.

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 September 2000
Jeff Barson
Dark Sleeper
Jeffrey E. Barlough
Ace (trade reprint, 484 pages, $14.95 US/$20.99 Can)
Publication date: September 2000

"Something has awakened in the fog-enshrouded city of Salthead. An undead sailor dances along the wharves. A sunken ship rises from the waters and sails into the harbour. The ghost of a long dead boy haunts a tavern. The vicious canine of the local miser evolves into an even more terrifying beast... And in the course of investigating these events, the eminent professor of metaphysics, Titus Tiggs, and his colleague, Dr. Daniel Dampe, encounter something more sinister than anything they had found before -- a mystical presence intent on destroying the city of Salthead and every person in it..." The back cover features a glowing recommendation from Tim Powers, which would be sufficient to pique my interest.
Mike Wimmer
The Fires of Merlin, Book Three of The Lost Years of Merlin
T.A. Barron
Ace Fantasy (mass market reprint, 304 pages, $5.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: 5 September 2000

Until a teenage Merlin arrives on the scene to tell king Vortigern why his royal tower continually collapses, English texts never mention the Arthurian sorcerer. T.A. Barron details Merlin's childhood in this series, which is packed with excellent fantasy, entertaining adventures and nasty beasties. These books are intended for a young adult reading audience. The series review by Georges Dodds, linked below, was written when only the first 3 volumes were available: The Lost Years of Merlin, Book 1; The Seven Songs of Merlin, Book 2; and this one. Since that time, The Mirror of Merlin, Book 4 has been released, and the concluding volume, The Wings of Merlin, Book 5, is due in October.
review Series review by Georges T. Dodds.
Requiem for Boone
Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald
Tor (trade, 253 pages, $13.95 US/$19.95 Can)
Publication date: August 2000

From Gene Roddenberry's popular TV series, Earth: Final Conflict, comes this story of the history of the man who became the enigmatic leader and speaker for the alien Companions. "Boone became many things: confidant, bodyguard, interpreter... and undercover agent for the human Resistance. But little has been revealed of Boone's past, of the events that prepared him for his perilous assignment. Now it is revealed: from his duty overseas during the S/I War to his life in the United States, from the arrival of the aliens on Earth to his first encounter with the mysterious Augur, here for the first time is the story behind mankind's first double agent in the underground war between human and alien -- and the Resistance's first martyr."
Bob Warner
Far Frontiers
edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Larry Segriff
Daw Science Fiction (mass market original, 310 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 12 September 2000

The latest Greenberg anthology contains 13 new tales of exploration from some of SF's top authors -- pushing at the frontiers of technology, knowledge, space and even our conception of the universe. "From a civilization of humans living in a Dyson sphere to whom the idea of living on a planet is pure mythology... to an ancient man so obsessed with alien legend that he will risk ship and crew in the Void in the hopes of proving it true... to the story of the last free segments of 'humanity,' forced to retreat to the very edge of the galaxy in the hope of finding a way to save themselves when there is nowhere left to run..." Contributors include Robert J. Sawyer, Alan Dean Foster, Jane Lindskold, Julie Czerneda, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Lawrence Watt-Evans, and others.
Highlander: An Evening At Joe's
edited by Gillian Horvath
Berkley Boulevard Books (trade, 288 pages, $12.95 US/$18.99 Can)
Publication date: September 2000

Original fiction by the cast, crew and writers of the TV series Highlander, based on their own show. These are "the stories that have remained untold until now: character histories dreamed up by the actors who played them... spin-offs of favourite episodes... plots that existed only in the producer's imagination. These all-new adventures of Duncan MacLeod and the Immortals offer a once-in-a-lifetime look inside the minds of the people who know Highlander best."
Paul Youll
The Nations of the Night, Book Two of The Lightbringer Trilogy
Oliver Johnson
Roc Fantasy (mass market reprint, 500 pages, $6.99 US)
Publication date: 12 September 2000

Oliver Johnson first dabbled with gaming fiction with the Golden Dragon Fantasy Gamebooks, before releasing The Forging of the Shadows in the UK. The Lightbringer Trilogy has been reprinted in the US, and is now being re-released in mass market edition. "The once-glorious city of Thrull has become a place of death and despair. Seven years before, Lord Faran Groton, High Priest of the God of Darkness, overthrew Thrull and set loose his army of vampires to plague the city, waiting for the day the sun would rise no more... But the God of Light has his champions as well. A motley trio of survivors searches for the three ancient artifacts which can defeat the darkness. Travelling far beyond their own lands, they will encounter nightmares and disasters before facing their most dangerous enemies -- the Dark-born Nations of the Night."
The Omega Game
Steven Krane
Daw (mass market original, 390 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 12 September 2000

The latest novel from the author of Teek is about a game you'd probably rather not play. But for some reason, with no memory of having done so, Quaid Loman and his fellow players in the Game have apparently signed a contract to play -- right through to the end. When one player refuses to play any more, he soon turns up dead. "My name is Quaid Loman. I don't know what the Game is or who is running it. I don't know where I am -- although it seems to be some isolated island resort -- and I don't know how I got here. There are 19 total strangers here with me who appear to have no more idea than I do what is going on. We have discovered no means of communicating with the outside world, and no boat or plane with which to escape from here." (Survivor taken one step too far?)
J.K. Potter
High Cotton: Selected Stories of Joe R. Lansdale
Joe R. Lansdale
Golden Gryphon (hardcover, 267 pages, $23.95 US)
Publication date: September 2000

Lansdale has been a fairly prolific writer for many years and he is the recipient of many awards, including the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Bram Stoker Award (several times), the International Crime Writer's Award, and more. From this variety, you may get the sense that Lansdale doesn't limit himself to a single genre. That's very true. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that he writes in his own unique style. The selections in this collection, each with an introduction by the author, include "tales about a modern gladiator arena, about dark crimes where the 'good guys' are bad, and the 'bad guys' define evil, about alternate history with Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok as an ambassador and a clerk, about large lizards, about a disastrous night out for a trio of lads, and other eerie, horrific, and/or amusing themes. With a dash of Twain, a sprinkle of Poe and an innate East Texas ability for story telling, Lansdale's creations are riveting, difficult to put down or to forget."
4 Stories
Kelly Link
Jelly Ink, Small Beer Press (chapbook, 64 pages, $4 US)
Publication date: May 2000

First in a planned series of chapbooks by new writers is, as you might guess from the title, 4 stories from Kelly Link, winner of the World Fantasy Award and the James Tiptree Junior Award. These stories previously appeared in the magazines Realms of Fantasy, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Dark Planet Online, and Fence.
Judy York
The Glass Harmonica
Louise Marley
Ace (trade, 337 pages, $13.95 US/$19.99 Can)
Publication date: 12 September 2000

From the author of the much praised The Terrorists of Irustan, comes a novel about two young women from different times, bound by their passion for an ethereal music. "Eilish Eam is an orphan living in London, 1761. She stands on an icy corner and plays her instrument: water-filled glasses. Fingers raw from the cold, her only comfort is the place her music takes her... to visions of a young girl, much her own age, but with odd short hair. Eilish survives on pennies and applause, and nothing more. Until the night Benjamin Franklin stops to listen, awestruck by her gift -- and with plans for her future. Erin Rushton is a musical prodigy living in Seattle, 2018. She stands in the orchestra, consumed by the music of her instrument: the glass harmonica. Like a current of electricity, the music moves throughout her body. And the only thing that alters the rhythm are visions that haunt her... of an odd, old-fashioned girl, much her own age, who needs her help."
Harry O. Morris
Hunger and Thirst
Richard Matheson
Gauntlet Press (618 pages, signed limited cloth hardcover, $80 US / leatherbound traycased lettered edition with CD of the author reading from the book, $250 US)
Publication date: 21 September 2000

Here's a rare treat for collectors and fans of Richard Matheson's works of fantasy and horror, including I Am Legend, Hell House, What Dreams May Come and Stir of Echoes. Gauntlet Press is now making available, in limited edition, and for the first time ever, Matheson's first novel. The manuscript sat collecting dust for the past 50 years, after negative feedback from the author's agent at the time. "Erick Linstrom, paralyzed, lies helpless in his furnished room in New York City. As days go by, faced by probable death from hunger or thirst, he re-lives his past, recalling the varied experiences which brought him to his frightening state."
Shrine of Stars: The Third Book of Confluence
Paul J. McAuley
Eos, HarperCollins (hardcover, 384 pages, $18 US/$27.50 Can)
Publication date: September 2000

Conclusion to the trilogy begun in Child of the River and continued with Ancients of Days, set on an artificial world ten million years in our future. In the final book of Confluence, "Yama falls into the clutches of his nemesis, Dr. Dismas, and finds that he has been infected with a machine intelligence, which is harnessing his powers to further Dr. Dismas's plans. While the dispossessed peoples of Confluence hope that Yama may renew their world, he must discover the strength to fight not only his enemies without, but also the enemy within. And he must take his search into the galaxy, long ago abandoned by the Preservers -- a journey that will encompass his own beginning and the end of Confluence."
review Review by Rich Horton.
The Swordsman's Oath: The Second Tale of Einarinn
Juliet E. McKenna
Eos, HarperCollins (mass market original, 544 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 5 September 2000

Sequel to The Thief's Gamble: The first Tale of Einarinn. Ryshad the warrior, loyal to the Empire; Livak the beautiful and dangerous thief; Shiv the crafty wizard -- 3 unlikely allies brought together by fate to unravel an ancient mystery. "Instead, though, they discovered death and worse at the hands of the Elietimm, a band of evil sorcerers who nearly destroyed them. Now, the Elietimm have infiltrated the Empire using their strange and deadly power. It is up to a reunited Ryshad and Livak, joined by Shiv, to discover the secret knowledge that can save the Empire -- a mission that will lead them far from the lands they know. It is Ryshad, though, who will journey farthest, to a distant country where nothing is what it seems, not even the magical sword that has long protected him. And if that sword should turn against him now..."
Alien: The Complete Illustrated Screenplay
script by Dan O'Bannon, foreword by Ridley Scott, edited and introduced by Paul M. Sammon
Orion (hardcover, 192 pages, £17.99 UK)
Publication date: 28 September 2000

This is the complete, official screenplay (endorsed by Fox) of the 1979 Ridley Scott film Alien -- possibly the scariest SF film ever, featuring the strongest female character in any film up to that time. It includes the full script by Dan O'Bannon, a foreword by Ridley Scott and an introduction by journalist and film-maker Paul M. Sammon (editor & director of documentaries on such films as Platoon, Dune and Robocop). It also includes dozens of full colour photos from the film, plus previously unseen out-takes and photos.
Discworld Fools' Guild Yearbook and Diary 2001
Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, illustrated by Paul Kidby
Victor Gollancz (hardcover, £10.99 UK)
Publication date: 24 August 2000

This is a functional diary and yearbook, with space to scribble your appointments and important dates. Each full week is given a double-page spread, and holidays are indicated for the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Discworld. Marginalia and illustrations pertaining to the Fools' Guild add spice to what might me an otherwise dull week. But that's not all; there's also about 20 pages of invaluable info about the Guild. Of course, if you're already a Complete Fool, then you have no need of this diary.
review Review by Steven H Silver of The Discworld Assassins' Guild Yearbook and Diary 2000.
Josh Kirby
The Terry Pratchett Discworld Calendar 2001
illustrated by Josh Kirby, Paul Kidby, Graham Higgins, Jay Hurst, Colin MacNeil
Victor Gollancz (wall calendar, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 24 August 2000

Ok, so this isn't even pretending to be a book. It's a calendar. But it's a Discworld calendar, and I like it so I'm including it in this list so that you'll be aware of it too. It measures 15 x 12 inches (15 x 24 on your wall -- if you want that in cm, feel free to make the conversion yourself; I was educated during Canada's changeover from imperial to metric and now I switch between the two standards on alternating days). It's a UK calendar, apparently for distribution in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ankh-Morpork, judging by the holidays indicated. It includes 12 Discworld illustrations, most of which have never been displayed before, from Kirby (who has painted all the covers for the Discworld novels), Kidby (illustrator of the diaries and other tie-ins), Higgins (illustrator of graphic novels and Discworld cards), as well as Hurst and MacNeil (both making their Discworld début in this calendar).
Rules of Conflict
Kristine Smith
Eos, HarperCollins (mass market original, 384 pages, $6.50 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: 5 September 2000

Sequel to her début novel, Code of Conduct. "For 18 years, Captain Jani Kilian has ben hiding from her bloody past. Now she faces trial for what she once did, what she knows now, and what she has become. In the chaos of an alien civil war, she was saved by a radical -- and illegal -- medical procedure that added alien genetic material to her own. But her hybrid body is breaking down, along with all the world. Relations between the human and alien idomeni are deteriorating, and Jani's reemergence has caused old wounds to reopen and new wounds to form. Perhaps it's time for a damaged soldier to stop fighting; to let the desperate architects of a vast and devouring conspiracy keep the truth well hidden; to let the universe and everyone in it go straight to Hell. Perhaps not..."
review Review by Marc Goldstein.
James Stevens-Arce
Harcourt (hardcover, 272 pages, $24 US/$36 Can)
Publication date: September 2000

This novel is the author's expanded version of his 1997 novella that shared the highly prestigious UPC Prize for Science Fiction (Barcelona). It's a clever satire set in a near future Puerto Rico. "Juan Bautista is a young man who drives a Freez Van for the Suicide Prevention Corps of America; his partner, Fabiola Muñoz, rides shotgun. Their job is to ice the bodies of the self-inflicteds and rush them, siren yowling, to the Saint Francis of Assisi Resurrection Centre. Juan Bautista is proud of his responsibilities but can't help wondering why the suicide rate is climbing. And Fabiola, why is she so sour? Could she be one of those New Christers, heretics who believe in the Twin Messiahs? No surprise that the Shepherdess has had to suspend the Bill of Rights. As the Christian-American nation and its squads of Avenging Angels hunt for the Antichrist children (Emma and Noel), who seem very sweet and apparently can work miracles, Juan Bautista begins asking questions -- and these questions lead him not only to his father, the famous televangelist Reverend Jimmy Divine, but also to the Father of Lies himself."
Jerry Vanderstelt
Kingdom of the Grail
Judith Tarr
Roc Fantasy (trade, 464 pages, $14.95 US/$20.99 Can)
Publication date: 11 September 2000

The Chanson de Roland is a medieval French epic, recounting the legend which grew out of the the treachery and resultant slaughter of the rearguard of Charlemagne's army, under Duke Roland, during a Spanish expedition in the year 778. It is the epitome of the medieval chivalric code. The myths of Merlin, you've no doubt encountered before. Tarr's latest novel is a melding of these two legends. "Centuries after the fall of Camelot and the disappearance of King Arthur, the wizard Merlin remained a prisoner in an enchanted forest. After years of isolation, he receives a visitor, a boy named Roland, with strong magical abilities. Roland swears to free Merlin, unaware of the consequences of such an oath... Roland has since become a knight and a mighty warrior. But his mystical powers are untested and his mentor remains imprisoned, when an old enemy of Merlin's returns, seeking the very object that tore apart the Knights of the Round Table -- the Holy Grail. Now, with the help of a beautiful Saracen healer and a magical sword, Roland must face his test, fulfill his oath -- and find his destiny..."
review Review by Steven H Silver.
GemQuest, The Twins
Gary Wassner
Writer's Showcase, (trade, 485 pages, $22.95 US/$37.95 Can)
Publication date: March 2000

A first novel, and first in a 2-3 volume fantasy epic. "The great trees, the Lalas, are mysteriously dying, and along with them, their Chosen, their bond-mates. The balance of power on the planet is in jeopardy. The heir to the throne of Gwendollen lays unconscious in the heights of Seramour, the treetop city of the Elves. The three who were 'called' to educate the heir are in transit to Pardatha from their various homes. Unaware of the Dark Lord, Colton dar Agonthea's attack on the city, all three believe that the heir, Davmiran, is still in Pardatha. Colton mounts a massive attack on the garrisoned city. Everyone arrives at Pardatha during various stages of the battle, and each contributes in his or her own way to the provisional defeat of the enemy. Their relationships are solidified under these trying circumstances and they are united in purpose, though heartbreak and hardship has touched them all."
Michael Whelan
Mountain of Black Glass: Otherland, Volume Three
Tad Williams
Daw Fiction (mass market reprint, 750 pages, $7.99 US/$10.99 Can)
Publication date: 12 September 2000

Once again, the author's inventiveness is on dazzling display. There are fewer worlds in here than in River of Blue Fire (in which we visited 11 different ones), but they're explored in more depth, from the House -- a truly fascinating place, in which a whole series of novels could be set -- to the strange and savage world of Homer's Odyssey.
review Review by Victoria Strauss.
Aleta Jenks
N. Lee Wood
Ace Fantasy (mass market reprint, 501 pages, $7.50 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 5 September 2000

The third effort from the author of the well-received SF novels Looking for the Mahdi and Faraday's Orphans is a departure into the realm of fantasy. "Born of the royal leaders of Adalon and the White Sea Islands, Antonya Terhune was orphaned as a babe when her wicked uncle usurped her father's rule and invaded her mother's realm. She was raised by the Brothers of Blessed Reason, her existence a secret kept from her family's enemies. She learned skills most women of the land were never taught -- reading, writing, and mathematics -- but she yearned to be a warrior. Then when she left the monastery, she ventured out into the world under her uncle's dictatorship -- adopting and shedding disguises like snakeskin -- and witnessed firsthand how the common people slaved for church and state. Now Antonya has come of age, and she's ready to reclaim her lands. And with the aid of the lone defender Kerric of Myro, she will lead a small fighting force in an attempt to topple a tyrant... and set the people of two lands free."
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