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This Hallowe'en season brought us a new Dark Terrors anthology of horror shorts, plus new vampire novels from Anne Rice, Susan Sizemore, and P.N. Elrod. But that's nowhere near all; we've also seen new works from Steve Aylett, Stephan Grundy, a new collection from Michael Bishop, and continuations of series from Mark Chadbourn, Dave Duncan, Diana Wynne Jones, and George R.R. Martin.

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: 16 - 31 October 2000
Scott Idleman
Graham Roundthwaite
Steve Aylett
Four Walls Eight Windows (trade, 144 pages, $14.95 US)
Publication date: 1 November 2000

Phoenix House, Orion (hardcover, 137 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 12 October 2000

From the author of Bigot Hall, The Crime Studio and Slaughtermatic, whose work has been compared to that of Jonathan Lethem and Paul Di Filippo. Aylett's latest is a novel about Taffy Atom, cool, tough, noir detective, and his partner/sidekick, a venomous fish the size of a bulldog. "Beerlight is a very unpleasant city of the near-future illuminated by nightly shootouts and populated by bloodthirsty cops and a rogue's gallery of criminals worthy of Dick Tracy. In this world, where violence has become an art form, is it any wonder that a collection of underworld desperadoes are willing to kill, or worse, in their search for Kafka's brain and the existential solace it could offer?"
Ron Walotsky
Blue Kansas Sky
Michael Bishop
Golden Gryphon Press (hardcover, 262 pages, $24.95 US)
Publication date: October 2000

This collection of "Four Short Novels of Memory, Magic, Surmise & Estrangement" includes the new title story, and three previously published tales, each a nominee for at least one prestigious award: "Apartheid, Superstrings, and Mordecai Thubana," "Cri de Coeur" and "Death and Designation Among the Asadi." You'll go from the Kansas Heartland of the early 1960s for a coming-of-age story, "to 1980s South Africa for the story of a Black man's quest for the 'Theory of Everything' juxtaposed against the inhumanity of Apartheid." Later, you can "travel aboard a 21st century generation wheelship, with agrogeologist and poet Dr. Abel Gwiazda, and his Downs-syndrome son Dean, on course for New Home in Epsilon Eridani." And finally, "we are privy to ethnologist Egan Chaney's private journals of his attempt to study the alien Asadi."
review Review by Steven H Silver.
Jon Sullivan
Darkest Hour: Book Two of The Age of Misrule
Mark Chadbourn
Victor Gollancz (472 pages, hardcover £16.99 UK/trade £10.99 UK)
Publication date: 19 October 2000

Sequel to World's End. "The Eternal Conflict between the Light and the Dark once again blackens the skies and blights the land. On one side stands the Tuatha de Danaan, golden-skinned and beautiful, filled with all the might of angels. On the other are the Fomorii, monstrous devils hell-bent on destroying all human existence. And in the middle are the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, determined to use the strange power that binds them to the land in a last, desperate attempt to save the human race." The Age of Misrule will be concluded in Book Three: Always Forever, coming in 2001.
review Review by Victoria Strauss of World's End.
Chris Moore
The Fountains of Paradise
Arthur C. Clarke
Victor Gollancz Millennium (trade, 258 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 12 October 2000

SF Masterworks #34 is Arthur C. Clarke's 1979 novel in which he proposes a space elevator. Instead of punching holes through the ozone layer and expending huge amounts of energy and resources with something as clumsy as rockets, why not have an elevator with one end anchored here on Earth and the other terminus in space to take us cheaply and painlessly out of the planet's gravity well?
Edd Cartier
The Compleat Enchanter: The Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea
L. Sprague de Camp & Fletcher Pratt
Victor Gollancz Millennium (trade, 538 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 12 October 2000

Fantasy Masterworks #10 is an omnibus edition of the Harold Shea tales, being The Incomplete Enchanter (1941), The Castle of Iron (1941), The Wall of Serpents (1953) and The Green Magician (1954). "The Mathematics of Magic: the greatest discovery of the ages... at least, that's what Professor Harold Shea thought. With the proper equations he could instantly transport himself and his friend Reed Chalmers to other times, to visit the wondrous lands of ancient legend. But Shea's magic did not always work -- at least, not quite as he expected."
Servant of the Dragon: Lord of the Isles, Book 3
David Drake
Victor Gollancz Millennium (mass market, 614 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 12 October 2000

The epic continues in this sequel to Lord of the Isles and Queen of Demons. "The young King Garric is faced with all the burdens of kingship. Guided by the ghost of King Carus and the help of the sorceress Tenoctris, Garric should have few problems. But a threat emerges from the past -- the Wizard Purlio seeks to conquer the future with an army of the dead. And Garric's sister Sharina has gone missing, abducted through time itself by a gigantic bird. And if Garric hopes to defeat the dead, he must become one of them..."
review Review by Victoria Strauss of Queen of Demons: Book 2.

review Review by Alex Anderson of Lord of the Isles: Book 1.

Patrick Whelan
The Crooked House: Book Two of the King's Daggers
Dave Duncan
Avon Fantasy, HarperCollins (mass market, 246 pages, $5.99 US/$8.95 Can)
Publication date: 2000

Sequel to Sir Stalwart: Book One, from the author of The King's Blades trilogy. "When the King's friend Digby dies mysteriously in the midst of a royal ceremony, Sir Stalwart and Emerald, a White Sister, are dispatched to investigate the evil lurking at the heart of the King's chambers. The two set off for an ancient lord's house known as Smealey Hall, where they believe the source of evil lies. Stalwart invites Badger, a surly Blade-in-training, to join them on their journey, and the three must survive harsh terrain, sorcery, swordplay, and the company of a traitor... or another day may not dawn for the King's Daggers."
Paul Robinson
Lady Crymsyn: A Novel of the Vampire Files
P.N. Elrod
Ace Fantasy (hardcover, 410 pages, $22.95 US/$32.99 Can)
Publication date: November 2000

Latest in The Vampire Files series, featuring undead PI Jack Fleming. This time, Jack's finally managed to sock away enough dough to open up his own nightclub. As if Jack doesn't already have enough skeletons in his closet, his new place has one of its own -- walled up in the cellar. When the skeletal remains in their distinctive red dress are identified as the girlfriend (missing these 6 years) of a mobster, Jack's curiosity is aroused. "And he won't rest until he finds out who killed the lady in red -- even if it means resurrecting secrets the mob would kill to keep buried."
Jeffrey Ford
Eos Fantasy, HarperCollins (mass market reprint, 262 pages, $5.99 US/$7.99 Can)
Publication date: October 2000

This is the paperback reprint of Ford's 1999 sequel to his World Fantasy Award-winning novel, The Physiognomy (1997). When a plague of sleep is unleashed, Cley the former physiognomist must enter the illusory house of a madman's dreams, imagination and remembrances -- the intricate palace of memories Drachton Below has scrupulously constructed in the Stygian depths of his mind.
review Review by Rich Horton.

review Review by Lisa DuMond of The Physiognomy.

Dark Universe
Daniel F. Galouye
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 154 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 19 October 2000

Although he had been publishing SF short stories since the early 50s, this 1961 post-apocalyptic story was Galouye's first novel -- and it was a Hugo nominee. The survivors of the nuclear holocaust moved underground and now their descendants live in the darkness, safe from the ultimate evil lurking above them, the evil that goes by the name Radiation. "Then something strange and frightening begins: terrible monsters, who bring with them a screaming silence, are seen and people are disappearing. Jared Fenton is a young man who knows that to find out what's going on he must question the orthodoxies of his faith and defy the law. He must discover the nature of Darkness itself..."
Stephan Grundy
William Morrow, HarperCollins (hardcover, 592 pages, $26 US/$39.50 Can)
Publication date: October 2000

From the author of Rhinegold and Attila's Treasure comes yet another in the same vein: part historical fiction, part fantasy. "Impetuous and proud, two-thirds god and one-third man, Gilgamesh, the young warrior king of Erech, cares more for battle than for his other royal duties. And so he has brazenly spurned the gods with his arrogant refusal to take part in a sacred ritual. The gods, in response, have created a man who is his equal. Lord of his own feral kingdom, the lion king Enkidu will be at once the haughty young ruler's friend and nemesis. And he will lead Gilgamesh on a remarkable quest that will hasten the destruction of a tragically flawed hero's realm and legend."
Victor Stabin
Better Angels
Howard V. Hendrix
Ace (trade, 373 pages, $13.95 US/$19.99 Can)
Publication date: November 2000

From the author of Lightpaths and Standing Wave. This is a truly speculative science fiction novel that offers a near future in which the political history of the planet is in the process of being reshaped, deep space is being explored, first contact with an alien AI is made, and a strange artifact known as the "angel's shoulder blade" is unearthed in the La Brea tar pit.
Jon Sullivan
Year of the Griffin
Diana Wynne Jones
Victor Gollancz (218 pages, hardcover £16.99 UK/trade £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 19 October 2000

Fans of the Harry Potter books who haven't already discovered Diana Wynne Jones really ought to investigate her work. Jones has been writing for more than a couple of decades now and is generally recognized as one of Britain's foremost fantasy authors. Her latest, sequel to the award-winning The Dark Lord of Derkholm, takes place at the Wizards' University, which is unfortunately a little lacking in funds these days. When Wizard Corkoran solicits funding from the parents of the University's student body, he is rather unpleasantly surprised at the response, as it involves assassins, griffins, and very little money.
Bill Sienkewicz
Dark Terrors 5: The Gollancz Book of Horror
edited by Stephen Jones and David Sutton
Victor Gollancz (562 pages, hardcover £16.99 UK/trade £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 19 October 2000

Getting too much restful sleep lately? Here's something to keep those pesky pleasant dreams at bay: the latest addition to the Dark Terrors series of horror anthologies. This volume contains all new stories from Peter Straub, Kim Newman, Ramsey Campbell, David Case, Mick Garris, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Nancy Kilpatrick, Tanith Lee, Richard Christian Matheson, Michael Marshall Smith, Melanie Tem, Gwyneth Jones, Brian Stableford, and many others.
The Wind's Twelve Quarters
Ursula Le Guin
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 303 pages, £10.99 UK)
Publication date: 19 October 2000

This was Le Guin's first published collection of short fiction (1975), compiling most of her early shorts from throughout the 60s and early 70s. It includes a few award-winning classics and is overall as strong a collection as you could expect from a writer of her stature, showcasing the range and skill of the earlier part of her career.
Paul Brill (1554-1629)
The Dictionary of Imaginary Places
Alberto Manguel & Gianni Guadalupi
Harcourt (trade, 804 pages, $22.50 US/$ Can)
Publication date: 2 November 2000

Planning a road trip? Don't leave home without the updated and expanded version of the 1980 classic "indispensable guidebook to realms-that-never-were-but-should-have-been." There are over 1200 entries on places from Atlantis to Oz, from Tolkien's Middle-Earth to Neil Gaiman's London Below, from Jonathan Swift's Lilliput to J.K. Rowling's Hogwarts (Harry Potter's alma mater), and more -- lots more, with over 200 illustrations and maps.
Stephen Youll
A Storm of Swords: Book Three of A Song of Ice and Fire
George R.R. Martin
Bantam Spectra (hardcover, 975 pages, $26.95 US/$39.95 Can)
Publication date: 31 October 2000

Following A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, this is the next installment of Martin's gripping fantasy epic of war and magic in the Seven Kingdoms. "As opposing forces manoeuvre for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings bent on overwhelming the Seven Kingdoms arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others -- a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. And as the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest in the quest for victory until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords..."
review Review by Wayne MacLaurin of A Clash of Kings.

review Review by Wayne MacLaurin of A Game of Thrones.

Chris Moore
The Collapsium
Wil McCarthy
Victor Gollancz (325 pages, hardcover £16.99 UK/trade £10.99 UK)
Publication date: 28 September 2000

Our hero, wealthy super-scientist Bruno de Towaji, is experimenting with collapsium, a dangerous, metastable material made of proton-size black holes, when he receives a Royal Summons: the new near-solar collapsiter ring is unstable, and will fall into the sun (and eat it) unless something is done...
review Review by Peter D. Tillman.
The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear
Walter Moers, translated by John Brownjohn
Secker & Warburg, Random House (hardcover, 703 pages, £18.00 UK)
Publication date: 12 October 2000

Captain Bluebear is a cartoon cult hero in Germany, now making a breakthrough into the English language market. The full (translated) title of this international bestseller, which has already sold over a quarter million hardcover copies in Germany alone, is The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear, Being the demibiography of a seagoing bear, with numerous illustrations and excerpts from the 'Encyclopedia of the Marvels, Life Forms and Other Phenomena of Zamonia and its Environs' by Professor Abdullah Nightingale. You see, unlike cats, who only have 9 lives, bluebears have 27. Or more. Anyhow, Captain Bluebear here tells us of his first 13½, beginning with his life as a minipirate...
Anne Rice
Alfred A. Knopf (hardcover, 320 pages, $26.95 US/$34.95 Can -- simultaneously available from Random House Audiobooks and in a large print edition)
Publication date: 19 October 2000

Bestselling author of the Vampire Chronicles and the saga of the Mayfair Witches brings her two dark realms together in this new novel. "At the centre is the beautiful, unconquerable witch, Merrick. She is a descendant of the gens de coleurs libres, a caste derived from the black mistresses of white men, a society of New Orleans octaroons and quadroons, steeped in the lore and ceremony of voodoo, who reign in the shadowy world where the African and the French -- the white and the dark -- intermingle. Her ancestors are the Great Mayfair witches, of whom she knows nothing -- and from whom she inherits the power and magical knowledge of a Circe. Into this exotic New Orleans realm comes David Talbot, hero, storyteller, adventurer, almost-mortal vampire, visitor from another dark realm. It is he who recounts Merrick's haunting tale -- a tale that takes us from he New Orleans of past and present to the jungles of Guatemala, from the Mayan ruins of a century ago to ancient civilizations not yet explored..."
Way Station
Clifford D. Simak
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 189 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 19 October 2000

This 1963 novel from Clifford Simak is one of those that brought him a reputation as a writer of pastoral SF. Enoch Wallace was a volunteer in the Union Army who survived the American Civil War and returned home to the family farm, which became a way station for space travellers, of course. "Now, nearly a hundred years later, the US government is taking an interest in the seemingly immortal Enoch, and the Galactic Council, which set up the way station, is threatening to tear itself apart..."
Vampire Nation
Thomas M. Sipos
XLibris (256 pages, hardcover $25 US/trade $18)
Publication date: February 2000

This satirical horror novel is expanded from the author's short story of the same title, which appeared in the 1998 anthology Horrors! 365 Scary stories. "A young American travels to Communist Transylvania on business during the closing years of the Cold War, discovering to his horror that Communism is vampirism, and a man is better dead than undead."
Dave Dorman
Partners: Laws of the Blood #2
Susan Sizemore
Ace Dark Fantasy (mass market original, 280 pages, $5.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: November 2000

This is the second book in a series about the Enforcers, an elite group of vampires dedicated to upholding the rules of their kind, the Laws of the Blood. "The city of Seattle has become a supernatural hunting ground. Enforcer Char McCairn is on the prowl for a young renegade vampire. Vampire hunter Jebel Haven is searching for a missing teenager who may have been abducted by the undead. Now, they've joined forces because their quarry is one and the same, and his fate remains in question. But the two reluctant partners find that they have a third, much bigger problem: There is a strange, dark cult flourishing in the shadowed streets of Seattle. It is growing in power -- power that could prove deadly to humans and vampires alike..."
review Review by Steve Lazarowitz of Laws of the Blood: The Hunt.
The Dreaming Jewels
Theodore Sturgeon
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Editions (trade, 156 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 19 October 2000

Sturgeon's first published novel (1950) is still regarded as one of his best. After all, who can resist a story of a young kid who runs away to escape his abusive parents (alleged parents, that is) and joins the circus, only to discover he is more than anyone had suspected...
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