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Did Santa fill your stocking with books? You may want to check and see if he remembered all the latest, including new books from David & Leigh Eddings, Joe Haldeman, Robert Asprin & Peter J. Heck, Tom Arden, Jeffrey A. Carver, Peter F. Hamilton, Valery Leith, Pat Cadigan, and Nancy Springer.

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 - 31 December 2000
Part I
Kevin Jenkins
Sisterhood of the Blue Storm: Fourth Book of The Orokon
Tom Arden
Victor Gollancz (hardcover, 528 pages, £17.99 UK)
Publication date: 30 November 2000

Sequel to The Harlequin's Dance, The King and Queen of Swords and Sultan of the Moon and Stars. With his début fantasy series, Arden has been compared to Mervyn Peake, Jack Vance and Gene Wolfe. His style, however, remains distinctively his own -- with his dreamlike imagery, fantastical plot twists and larger-than-life characters. Moving from the desert lands of the previous volume, this installment of the tale takes Jem and his companions to the Isles of Wenaya "where slave galleys, ghost ships, shipwrecks and seamonsters are only preludes to Jem's confrontation with the evil Sisterhood of the Blue Storm..."
Kevin Jenkins
Sultan of the Moon and Stars: Third Book of The Orokon
Tom Arden
Millennium, Victor Gollancz (mass market reprint, 681 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 30 November 2000

The 1001 Arabian Nights is the main inspiration for the 3rd book of The Orokon. Driven by his quest to the exotic, desert lands of Unang Lia, Jem finds himself in a world of magic and mystery, with flying carpets, genies, harems of beautiful women, eunuchs, clever thieves, illusory palaces, real palaces, cobras, curses, sexual innuendo and explicit sex (although less of these last two items than in the original tales of Shahrazad). And it's all done with wit and style.
review Review by Neil Walsh.

review Review by Neil Walsh of Books 1 and 2.

Phule Me Twice
Robert Asprin with Peter J. Heck
Ace Science Fiction (mass market original, 316 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: December 2000

This is the latest addition to the series that includes Phule's Company, Phule's Paradise and A Phule And His Money. "When the planet Zenobia is invaded, Captain Willard Phule is made their military advisor. The first priority for Phule's Company: staying out from underfoot of the peaceful, dinosaurlike Zenobians... But, unbeknownst to the Zenobians, they're getting two Phules for the price of one. A robot double of Phule appears out of nowhere. And only the real Phule knows who the real Phule is..."
review Review by Steven H Silver of A Phule and His Money.
Paul Davis
James Bibby
Millennium, Victor Gollancz (mass market, 288 pages, £5.99 UK)
Publication date: 4 December 2000

Here's a novel of fantasy humour from James Bibby, known in the UK as a comedy writer for TV. "Death is nasty and not a little inconvenient. Being dead even more so. Especially when you're tied to an amulet that has its own designs on the world. For the Princess Macoby the annoying ghost with the axe in his head who keeps hanging around is just plain irritating. Little do either of them know that the fate of the world is in their substantial and not-so-substantial hands."
Thirteen Phantasms and Other Stories
James P. Blaylock
Edgewood Press (hardcover, 256 pages, $25 US)
Publication date: December 2000

Blaylock is well known as the author of such novels as Homonculus, Lord Kelvin's Machine and The Paper Grail, among many others. This new collection of 16 short stories, each previously published, displays a fine array of Blaylock's short fiction from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Jerry Vanderstelt
Scion's Lady
Rebecca Bradley
Ace Fantasy (mass market reprint, 300 pages, $5.99 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: December 2000

Sequel to Lady in Gil. The author's prose offers us a degree of tension rarely seen except in work of more experienced authors. It is a taunt, exhilarating yet poignant portrait of characters involved in circumstances not of their making. It's the kind of book that makes you glad to be reading it rather than being a part of it.
review Review by Rodger Turner.
Wild Seed
Octavia Butler
Victor Gollancz SF Collectors' Edition (trade, 248 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 3 December 2000

First published in 1980, this novel is, chronologically, the first book in Butler's Patternist series, which includes Patternmaster, her first novel; Mind of my Mind; Survivor; and Clay's Ark. She is also the author of the Xenogenesis series and the recent Nebula Award-winning novel Parable of the Talents. "Doro has been alive for almost 4,000 years. He has great power and influence and yet he is alone. He has watched generation after generation of his children grow old and die. But he still dreams of breeding a new race of immortal telepaths in his own image. When he encounters Anyanwu, the shape-changer and healer, he knows that he has met his true mate... But she has sprung from wild seed, beyond his control, and she is Doro's implacable enemy."
Dervish is Digital
Pat Cadigan
Macmillan (trade, 230 pages, £9.99 UK)
Publication date: 20 October 2000

From the two-time winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award comes another novel of Dore Konstantin, Chief Officer in charge of TechnoCrime, Artificial Reality Division. Konstantin was first introduced in Tea From an Empty Cup, and the case here involves a stalker. "Hastings Dervish is the stalker. At least, that's what Susannah Ell claims, and she should know. Two reasons: first, she's the one being stalked; second, she used to be married to Dervish. Worse, Susannah says Dervish is a race traitor -- to the human race that is. He's swapped places with an ambitious AI, and now Dervish has all the processing power he needs to infiltrate every line of code in Susannah's AR design studio. What about the AI? It's using Dervish's body as a base to visit AR, hanging out in the gambling casinos of the lowdown Hong Kong mound."
Stephen Youll
Eternity's End
Jeffrey A. Carver
Tor (hardcover, 560 pages, $26.95 US/$38.95 Can)
Publication date: 8 December 2000

From the author of The Infinity Link and The Rapture Effect comes this new SF epic, latest in the series of The Star Rigger Universe. "After 7 years of captivity at the hands of interstellar pirates, star rigging space pilot Renwald Legroeder escapes, thinking himself free. Instead, he finds himself a target of a conspiracy that stretches across light-years -- from the centre of human civilization to the pirate stars beyond -- a conspiracy with its roots in an interstellar war, a hundred years past, and which has claimed the lives of millions, both human and alien. Legroeder's only hope of escaping the clutches of the conspiracy is to embark on a suicide mission that will plunge him back into the heart of the pirates' stronghold in search of a legend -- the phantom rigger Impris, a long-lost ship, known as the Flying Dutchman of Space."
Aiming for the Stars: The Dreamers and Doers of the Space Age
Tom D. Crouch
Smithsonian Institution Press (trade reprint, 338 pages, $16.95 US)
Publication date: September 2000

Here's some non-fiction to bring us back down to earth. It's the paperback edition of last year's guide to space exploration, from the curator of aeronautics at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, who is also the award-winning author of several other books on aerospace history. "Crouch describes space travel's emergence from the pages of science fiction into the laboratories of 20th-century rocketeers... The book also explains the goals and missions of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs and describes the 1986 Challenger disaster, the spacefaring adventures of astronaut Shannon Lucid, and the fortunes of the Mir space station in the wake of glasnost."
Something With Wings
Blair Dalton
AstroTrader Press (trade, 151 pages, $8.99 US)
Publication date: August 2000

Intended for a young adult reading audience, this is a first novel from a new author. "Larell, a gifted 17-year-old girl, defies the repressive and telepathic ruling elite of the planet Nerth, and runs away from school. She discovers her true destiny when she encounters a lone survivor of the earlier, devastating space war -- Ariadne -- who turns out to be a sentient spaceship. But their telepathic bonding poses a threat to the planet's ambitious ruler, Vanaedis, whose hatred for all technology drives her to put Larell and Ariadne at the top of her hit list."
Chris Moore
Samuel R. Delany
Millennium, Victor Gollancz (trade, 288 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 11 January 2001

SF Masterworks #37 is Delany's 1968 novel that followed his two consecutive Nebula wins for best novel. "Illyrion: the most precious energy source in the galaxy. The varied and exotic crew who sign up with Captain Lorq van Ray know the search for it is dangerous, and they soon learn that they are involved in a deadly race with the charismatic but vicious leader of an opposing space federation. But they have no idea of Lorq's secret obsession: to gather Illyrion at source by flying through the very heart of an imploding star." [Can this be a good idea?]
Chris Moore
Now Wait For Last Year
Philip K. Dick
Millennium, Victor Gollancz (trade, 225 pages, £6.99 UK)
Publication date: 4 December 2000

SF Masterworks #36 is the 1966 novel from the master of mind-warping paranoia and sanity-threatening shifting realities. "First, Gino Molinari was assassinated by a political rival. Then he died of a heart attack. But now he is back, younger and more vigorous than ever, giving Earth new hope of survival in the war against the alien reegs. But is this Molinari, or a robant masquerading as Earth's overlord? Whatever the truth, only he can save the Solar System -- if he can stay alive long enough, or at least not stay dead for too long."
Karen Duvall
Project Resurrection
Karen Duvall
Speculation Press (trade, 288 pages, $11.50 US/$14.25 Can)
Publication date: September 2000

"In the year 2013, a group of scientists in Alaska's frozen Arctic are reanimating cryopreserved dead. They don't realize they are stealing souls from the living, ripping through the barrier between life and death. LaNaya Seville, the project's physical therapist, is an empathic healer and a descendent of a tribe of Inuit sorcerers. LaNaya has walked the perilous path between the astral and physical worlds, but even she isn't prepared for the catastrophe Project Resurrection is creating. Humans, body and soul, are being sucked through a deadly vortex that links this world to the next. The lethal rift is guarded by an ages-old evil that feeds on the energy of his victims. LaNaya must use her psychic gifts to close the rift, or sacrifice her life to save humanity from extinction."
The Redemption of Althalus
David & Leigh Eddings
Del Rey (hardcover, 768 pages, $27.95 US/$41.95 Can)
Publication date: January 2001

This book has one of the best opening lines I've read in a fantasy novel in quite some time. Immediately following the prologue's epigraph, the story opens: "In defense of Althalus, it should be noted that he was in very tight financial circumstances and more than a little tipsy when he agreed to undertake the theft of the Book." You know you're in for a treat with the Eddings -- creators of such multi-volume epics as The Belgariad and The Malloreon -- in their new standalone novel.
Bouncing Worlds
David Elroy
Caterpillar Press (trade, 224 pages, $9 US)
Publication date: February 2000

First novel and the début publication from Caterpillar Press, this book "fuses fantasy, surrealism, and action-adventure to tell the story of an earnest young man's journey across a hundred unknown and unlikely new worlds. Meet righteous Knights, skiing Thieves, cowboy Poets, an Inca emperor, a kung-fu Master, an Indian matriarch, a hippie leprechaun, and dozens more uncanny folks. Attend a Renaissance masque, a Chinese puppet show, a baseball game in which points are awarded for strikeouts rather than runs, and a circus that features a four-armed ringmaster..." Never a dull moment.
Steve Stone
Deadhouse Gates: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Steven Erikson
Bantam (trade, 684 pages, $22.95 Can)
Publication date: 2000

Now available in Canada. If you're looking for a low-calorie dish of light fantasy, this ain't it. If you're looking for a nine-course riot of taste and texture, exotically spiced to make your eyes water, your heart pump faster and your brain do cartwheels inside your cranium, I know a great little Thai place downtown. Or, if you want something analogous to that in your reading, stop at the 'E's and pick up the latest from Steven Erikson.
review Review by Neil Walsh.
Sergio Martinez
The Silent Gondoliers: A Fable by S. Morgenstern
William Goldman, illustrated by Paul Giovanopoulos
Del Rey (trade, 120 pages, $10 US/$15 Can)
Publication date: 9 January 2001

First published in 1983, this is the first English work from the great Florinese author of The Princess Bride, S. Morgenstern. This Goldman character did a terrific (if incomplete) translation of that former work, but I don't understand why he's credited as the author here. Must be an error; probably he was the editor or something. "Once upon a time, the gondoliers of Venice possessed the finest voices in all the world. But, alas, few remember those days -- and fewer still were ever blessed to hear such glorious singing. No one since has discovered the secret behind the sudden silence of the golden-voiced gondoliers. No one, it seems, but S. Morgenstern. Now Morgenstern recounts the sad and noble story of the ambitions, frustrations, and eventual triumph of Luigi, the gondolier with the gooney smile."
Danilo Ducak
The Coming
Joe Haldeman
Ace Science Fiction (hardcover, 217 pages, $21.95 US/$30.99 Can)
Publication date: December 2000

From the author of The Forever War, Forever Peace and Forever Free, comes a new novel of near-future Earth. "Astronomy professor Aurora Bella gets a message from space that seems to portend the arrival of extraterrestrials. According to her calculations, whoever is coming will arrive in 3 months, on New Year's Day to be exact. Earth is in chaos, struggling in the wake of nuclear war and certainly unprepared to face invasion of any kind. The more Aurora investigates, the more she doubts the authenticity of the transmission. If the message is an elaborate hoax, who's behind it, and why? And so the world waits. But the question remains as to what, exactly, everyone is waiting for."
Jim Burns
The Naked God, Part 2: Faith
Peter F. Hamilton
Aspect, Warner Books (mass market original, 778 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 1 December 2000

The intergalactic epic began in The Reality Dysfunction and continued in The Neutronium Alchemist is now concluded in the second part of The Naked God, direct sequel to The Naked God, Part 1: Flight. Did you follow that? I hope so, because the series is rather complex -- no light fluffy read, this. "On Earth, a satanist Quinn Dexter possesses a new army of the damned, using them to initiate The Night's Dawn, the entropic annihilation of all Creation. At the same time Joshua Calvert, master of the Lady Macbeth, seeks a miracle in a haystack: the truth behind a legend that 15,000 years ago the alien Tyrathca intercepted a single message from unexplored space beyond Orion: 'It sees the universe. It controls everything. Our arrival woke it.' Could a God be sleeping somewhere between the stars? And can Joshua possibly find this unknown Deity before The Night's Dawn devours the cosmos?"
Tim Barrall
A Red Heart of Memories
Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Ace (trade reprint, 329 pages, $12.95 US/$18.99 Can)
Publication date: December 2000

This book is full of beautiful, impossible magic, and the reader is sucked right in. The two main characters are both damaged, both outside the realm of ordinary living, both in need of something they cannot quite define. Matt sees people's dreams and talks to things -- all kinds of things: sidewalks, walls, houses, cars... She gets itchy feet if she stays in one place too long. Edmund is a witch who follows the spirit that leads him to where he is needed.
review Review by Jeri Wright.
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