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1997 First Novels

Linked titles can be ordered from Books. Or see SF specialty and independent bookstore links.

The Seraphim Rising, Elisabeth DeVos (Roc 10/97, $5.99, pb) A noteworthy first novel, SF dealing with a shifty near-future Messiah.

The Seventh Heart, Marina Fitch (Ace 6/97, $5.99, pb) Contemporary fantasy novel where California disasters result from some disgruntled spirits of place, and the heroine must try to cope with both the difficulties of daily life and a fantastical search for solutions. A first novel.

Expendable, James Alan Gardner (AvoNova 7/97, $5.99, pb) SF novel, a first novel, of a future which cherishes lives -- except for those in the Explorer corps, sent into the dangers of deep space and hostile worlds.

Lightpaths, Howard V. Hendrix (Ace 9/97, $5.99, pb) Near-future SF of a utopia that isn't quite what it seems. An impressive first novel.

The Great Wheel, Ian R. MacLeod (Harcourt Brace 8/97, $24.00, hc) In this impressive first novel, MacLeod presents the vastly changed Earth of the 22nd century, following a century of catastrophic weather and social transformations, and gives it the convincing intimacy of mainstream literature as he deals with a troubled Euro priest in what once was North Africa.

An Exchange of Hostages, Susan R. Matthews (AvoNova 4/97, $5.99, pb) Intense SF novel of a young surgeon trained as a "Ship's Inquisitor" in deep space. A first novel.

The Merro Tree, Katie Waitman (Del Rey 10/97, $5.99, pb) SF novel of a galactic performance master, a first novel by a ''Del Rey Discovery.''

Waking Beauty, Paul Witcover (HarperPrism 2/97, $24.00, hc) On a patriarchal world, the scent of Beauty can draw men to their doom at night, and women the long-time caretakers are moving toward rebellion, in this mixture of fairytale and worldbuilding by a first novelist who melds religion, fairytale, and the battle of the sexes with a sophistication recalling Gene Wolfe.

Cinderblock, Janine Ellen Young (Roc 4/97, $5.99, pb) This first novel bring elements of "Cinderella" to a downbeat cyberpunkish Los Angeles of the near future, for a promising debut.

Reprinted First Novels

The Nature of Smoke, Anne Harris (Tor 7/97, $13.95, tp) Chaos theory meets riot grrls in this hard-edged near future. A first novel we missed reviewing last year when it appeared in hardcover. A belated recommendation.

© 1997, 1998 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.