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New & Recommended Books

(From the May 1997 Locus.)

Linked titles can be ordered from Books

God's Fires, Patricia Anthony (Ace 4/97, $22.95, hc) When aliens land in Portugal during the latter stages of the Inquisition, this passionate, troubling SF novel tells us little about extraterrestrials, but a great deal about the joys and horrors of humankind.

Bijapur, Kara Dalkey (Tor 4/97, $23.95, hc) Fantasy novel, sequel to Goa, also set during the Inquisition, but in the Portuguese colony, in which the British hero moves deeper into the dangerous, exotic interior of India, and political intrigue mixes with magic.

The Forest of Time and Other Stories, Michael Flynn (Tor 4/97, $23.95, hc) Collection of 10 SF stories all from Analog, including two award nominees, by one of that magazine's leading writers.

The Calcutta Chromosome, Amitav Ghosh (Knopf Canada 4/97, C$29.95, hc; Avon 10/97, $23.00, hc) Described as "a medical thriller, a Victorian ghost story and a scientific quest," this novel defies easy definition -- postmodern fable? Whatever it is, it's highly enjoyable.

Assassin's Quest, Robin Hobb (Bantam Spectra 4/97, $22.95, hc) The "Assassin" fantasy trilogy concludes with a journey into strange realms, numerous surprises, and a bittersweet complexity rare in the genre. Hobb (aka Megan Lindholm) has worked wonders.

The Best of Weird Tales: 1923, Marvin Kaye & John Gregory Betancourt (Bleak House 4/97, $12.00, tp) This anthology of 1923 stories combines classics with long-forgotten genre exotica, and ranges from "The Bloodstained Parasol" by James L. Ravenscroft to H. P. Lovecraft's "Dagon". The individual story introductions given an issue-by-issue history of the magazine.

The Blackgod, J. Gregory Keyes (Del Rey 4/97, $24.00, hc) In this dramatic sequel to The Waterborn, inspired by Native American and ancient myths, Keyes creates complex characters where even the villains are likeable, and best of all, this volume completes the duology!

The Dark Shore, Adam Lee (Avon 4/97, $13.00, tp) Writing under a pen-name, SF writer A. A. Attanasio introduces a floating city under attack, and begins a large fantasy sage, "The Dominions of Irth".

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 Best of Interzone, David Pringle, ed. (St. Martin's 4/97, $25.95, hc) From Aldiss and Ballard to Stableford, Baxter, and Egan, this anthology of 29 stories will help introduce American readers to the wealth of '90s SF available in this top-notch British magazine.

Alternate Tyrants, Mike Resnick, ed. (Tor 4/97, $11.99, tp) This mostly original anthology of alternate-historical SF also includes Maureen F. McHugh's Hugo winner "The Lincoln Train".

The Stars Dispose, Michaela Roessner (Tor 4/97, $23.95, hc) A thoroughly charming, witty, and delicious historical fantasy of Renaissance Florence, where politics, witchery, art, and cuisine all mingle -- and the recipes are included.

Nebula Awards 31, Pamela Sargent, ed. (Harcourt Brace 4/97, $13.00, tp) Gathering stories from 1994 and 1995, this anthology presents SFWA members' choices for "year's best" SF and fantasy, interspersed with non-fiction surveys of the year(s) in fiction, films, etc. It shows how rich the field can be.

Convergence, Charles Sheffield (Baen 4/97, $5.99, pb) This fourth and final book in the "Heritage Universe" series features the strange Artifacts of a vanished alien race -- and a dangerous quest to understand some sudden, unsettling changes in them.

The Return, E. C. Tubb (Gryphon Books 4/97, $20.00, tp) The SF pulps ride again, as Dumarest of Terra rises from the (mostly) dead in this concluding volume #32 of the sage, in its first English-language edition -- "a long-lost science fiction classic".

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.

Fool's War, Sarah Zettel (Warner Aspect 4/97, $5.99, pb) This substantial but fast-moving SF novel manages to avoid space opera stereotypes, with a combination of subtlety and tension, as a cargo spaceship captain must contend with a dangerous techno-virus.

© 1997 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.