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New & Recommended Books

(From the March 1997 Locus.)

Linked titles can be ordered from Amazon.com Books

Excession, Iain M. Banks (Bantam 2/97, $12.95, tp) Sentient ships, a failed human love affair, and the complexities of far-future Culture civilization come together with the mystery of an alien artifact for a heady mix in Banks's latest SF novel.

Dead Things, Richard Calder (St. Martin's 2/97, $21.95, hc) In this sequel to Dead Girls and Dead Boys, darkly horrific SF takes even stranger turns, as time and space threaten to collapse entirely.

Briar Rose, Robert Coover (Grove Press 2/97, $18.00, hc) Literary novella take on ''Sleeping Beauty'', featuring a dreaming beauty, the fairy in her dreams, and a prince trapped in the briars.

Trader, Charles de Lint (Tor 2/97, $24.95, hc) When an amorous wastrel and an honest lute-maker awake in each other's bodies, in de Lint's fictional Canadian city of Newford, Devlin the lady-killer prospers, while Max Trader the luthier must learn to make the best of a bad situation, with the help of new friends.

Silicon Karma, Thomas A. Easton (White Wolf 2/97, $11.99, tp) After the invention of mindscanning allows a virtual afterlife, people find revived relationships getting complicated and then villains begin to tap into the data base, in this wry SF novel.

King's Dragon, Kate Elliott (DAW 2/97, $22.95, hc) A land faces both civil war and otherworldly interventions, with a young couple in the midst of it all, in Volume One of ''Crown of Stars'', to begin Elliott's first solo epic fantasy.

Corrupting Dr. Nice, John Kessel (Tor 2/97, $24.95, hc) After humans discover a method of time travel to pocket universes, a pair of swindlers exploits the economic potential, and the wealthy young paleontologist of the title gets caught up in comic mayhem, as Kessel updates screwball comedy to the future and a variety of twisted pasts.

Fabulous Harbors, Michael Moorcock (Avon 2/97, $24.00, hc) The ridiculous meets the sublime in this splendid Moorcock collection, where world-weary idealists meet outright rogues, and antic adventure mixes with elegant angst.

Deception Well, Linda Nagata (Bantam Spectra 2/97, $5.99, pb) A young man from a far-future space-elevator city discovers his special powers in the course of a descent to the surface of a dangerous planet where his father vanished, in this tale of nanotech and mystery.

Dry Water, Eric S. Nylund (Avon 2/97, $12.50, tp) A science fiction writer inadvertantly gets involved with a dark magic that permits tinkering with the past, in an American Southwest infused with Old World mysteries.

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.

reprints:

The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury (Avon 2/97, $15.00, hc) Classic collection of linked tales exploring human hopes and dreams, and alien enigmas on the Red Planet, with a new introduction by the author. Some of the stories have been ''updated and revised,'' their dates pushed back 31 years. This edition also drops ''Way in the Middle of the Air'', but adds ''The Wilderness'' from the 1973 Doubleday edition.

The Final Encyclopedia, Vol. Two, Gordon R. Dickson (Tor 2/97, $25.95, hc) This revised and corrected version of the second half of the 1984 major novel in the ''Childe Cycle'' is one of Dickson's most provocative works.

Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction; Revised Edition, James Gunn (Scarecrow Press 2/97, $36.00, hc) Expanded edition of a study which first appeared in 1982, and won a non-fiction Hugo. Includes articles on his major works, an Asimov chronology, checklist, and select bibliography. There is a new chapter on Asimov's bestselling late novels, plus the text of an earlier interview.

The Road to Science Fiction, Vol.4: From Here to Forever, James Gunn, ed. (White Wolf 2/97, $14.99, tp) New edition of one of the classic SF teaching anthologies, first published in 1982, with 31 stories ranging from the '50s to the early '80s, and authors from Benford and Borges to Lem, Vance, and Wolfe, all with critical introductions.

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