Locus Online


Linked titles can be ordered from Books. Or see SF specialty and independent bookstore links. Prices shown are list.Just Published and In Stores
7 Dec 1997

To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis (Bantam Spectra, Jan 1998, $23.95). Willis is an awards record-holder, but this is only her third full-length solo novel, her first since the multiple-award-winning Doomsday Book, to which this book is related though not a direct sequel. This one is more the comedic flipside to the previous novel, a P. G. Wodehouse, Jerome K. Jerome inspired farce involving the same 21st century time travelers. Faren Miller, in the November 1997 Locus, wrote
...The formidable 21st-century matron whose project it is, and the Time corps who'll do almost anything to avoid her, are the stuff of much splendid absurdity, as our narrator escapes having to explain one fruitless mission by jumping back again, half-briefed, to Victorian times, where he arrives with a towering case of Time Lag (think Jet Lag, then add touches of surrealism and mawkishness), symptoms of love at first sight, and no clear idea of his mission.
The book has already been selected as one of the best of the year by Publisher's Weekly.
The Science Fiction Century, edited by David G. Hartwell (Tor, Nov 1997, $40.00). The latest anthology tome from SF expert Hartwell, this is a companion to the 1989 World Treasury of Science Fiction, and like it is a Book-of-the-Month club co-publication. Considering SF to have begun with H. G. Wells in 1895 (The Time Machine), this anthology represents the century since then. Remarkably, this book includes no authors included in the previous anthology -- which means it's missing Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and other obvious candidates, but including Wells, van Vogt, Clement, Blish, Silverberg, and many others omitted before. Selections include works by little-known writers outside the American/English SF mainstream, such as Dino Buzzati, Wolfgang Jeschke, and Alexander Kuprin, as well as by contemporary masters Bruce Sterling, Connie Willis, and Michael Swanwick. This is an expensive book, but at 1005 pages it's a better deal than most other SF books around on a penny per page basis. And it fills the important role of preserving important works by writers who are otherwise out of print and unknown to many current SF readers -- works such as Tiptree's ''Beam Us Home'', Blish's ''A Work of Art'', Silverberg's ''Sundance'', Zelazny's ''He Who Shapes'', Harness's ''The Rose'', and many others.
Virtual Unrealities: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester, by Alfred Bester (Vintage, Nov 1997, $14.00, trade paperback), with an introduction by Robert Silverberg. Who says SF isn't treated with respect, when Alfred Bester gets the Vintage trade paperback treatment? Bester's two novels from the 1950s, The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination, are undisputed classics, and this volume contains equally dazzling works of short fiction. ''Disappearing Act'', ''5,271,009'', ''The Men Who Murdered Mohammed'', ''The Pi Man'', ''Fondly Fahrenheit'' -- any SF reader worth his salt should know these stories. Also included, two previously unpublished works, one complete and one fragment.
Previous new books
© 1997 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.