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Latest Recommended Books

Cumulative '97 Recommended SF novels | Fantasy/Horror novels | First Novels | Collections | Anthologies | Nonfiction & art books | Reprints


Latest Recommended Short Fiction

Cumulative '97 Recommended Novellas | Novelettes | Short Stories

Recommended 1997 Short Stories

John Barnes "Between Shepherds and Kings" (Free Space, ed. Linaweaver and Kramer; Tor, 7/97) Malzbergian tale of a writer planning a story for Free Space who ponders the plausibility of a universe containing capitalism, privateers, and FTL travel. [Reviewed 7/97]

Stephen Baxter, "Moon Six" (SF Age 3/97) A set of alternate history moon landings strands an astronaut in a 1960s Florida he never knew. [Reviewed 4/97]

Stephen Baxter, "Sun God" (Interzone 6/97) Baxter comes up with yet another way to look at variations of the space program, as a far future explorer tries to understand an ancient artefact found floating in space. [Reviewed 9/97]

Stephen Baxter, "Zemlya" (Asimov's 1/97) Yuri Gagarin sets off for Venus in 1964 despite reports from the American Mariner probe that Venus is not covered with oceans after all. [Reviewed 12/96]

M. Shayne Bell, "Bright, New Skies" (F&SF 6/97) A Siberian scientist has the key for saving species threatened by an ozone-stripped world drenched in UV, but does it mean changing them into something they're not? [Reviewed 7/97]

Gregory Benford, "Galaxia" (SF Age 7/97) A wormhole chase through interstellar space told in poetic, scientifically rigorous language, with a catchy aphorism or two: "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced." [Reviewed 8/97]

Gregory Benford, "The Voice" (SF Age 5/97) Young people in a far future underground society rediscover reading. [Reviewed 5/97]

Michael Bishop, "Cyril Berganske" (Omni Online 5/97) A man suffering nosebleeds visits a psychotherapist to complain he is not taken seriously as a potential messiah. Another Bishop investigation into the sacred and the profane. [Reviewed 8/97]

Terry Bisson, "An Office Romance" (Playboy 2/97) Playful, clever virtual reality tale about workers inside Microserf Office 6.9 exploiting easter eggs to reset options inside their environment. [Reviewed 3/97]

Mark Bourne, "Mustard Seed" (F&SF 8/97) A midwestern priest claims that the aliens who have come to Earth are not covered by Christ's salvation; then she meets one. A timely comparison to the film "Contact", which may be substantive by the standards of movie sci-fi but pales in comparison to the issues routinely tackled by prose SF such as this. [Reviewed 9/97]

Tom Cool, "Universal Emulators" (F&SF 7/97) Clever complications on a ship at sea with emulators, who stand in for people too busy to be everywhere at once. [Reviewed 8/97]

Stephen Dedman, "Tour de Force" (Asimov's 3/97) Scientists and pirates converge at the site of a buried alien spacecraft in remote Australia and engage in a war of wits and rash assumptions. [Reviewed 2/97]

Paul Di Filippo, "Alice, Alfie, Ted and the Aliens" (Interzone 3/97) Alice Sheldon and Alfie Bester meet a weird religious cult and mysterious aliens. Like something out of recent headlines. [Reviewed 5/97]

S. N. Dyer, "Sins of the Mothers" (F&SF 5/97) A middle-aged earth mother becomes host for her rock star son's clone. [Reviewed 6/97]

Greg Egan, "Yeyuka" (Meanjin, 1997) Disease has been conquered--at least for nations and individuals that can afford the HealthGuard monitors. Less abstract and ambitious than Egan's usual but still sharp and inventive. [Reviewed 8/97]

Nancy Etchemendy, "Saints and Martyrs" (F&SF 7/97) A woman takes in a stray cat after her husband dies of overindulgence. Quiet and homey. [Reviewed 8/97]

Karen Joy Fowler, "Standing Room Only" (Asimov's 8/97) In Washington, D. C., 1865, the daughter of a boarding house owner thrills to the presence in town of actor John Wilkes Booth. [Reviewed 7/97]

Peter T. Garratt, "The Inauguration" (Interzone 1/97) Obvious but hilarious political satire in which "Toad" Gettrich and his crony meet real aliens from outer space. [Reviewed 3/97]

James Patrick Kelly, "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (Asimov's 6/97) A woman finds her elderly father comforted by a robot version of herself as a girl. [Reviewed 5/97]

Mary Kittredge, "Her House in Order" (F&SF 7/97) Another quiet fantasy about a haunted house in New England -- but not haunted the way the residents think. [Reviewed 8/97]

Aimee Kratts, "Call Me Sue" (Asimov's 9/97) Madcap comedy with the flavor of Terry Bisson about a harried young woman who discovers that all time and space is collapsing into her kitchen. [Reviewed 9/97]

Ragnar Kvaran and S. J. Beadle, "The Hotel Vivienne" (tomorrowsf volume 1, online) A westerner succumbs to native forces on a remote Indian Ocean island. [Reviewed 4/97]

Geoffrey A. Landis, "Winter Fire" (Asimov's 8/97) A young girl's harrowing account of 22nd century Salzburg in the middle of ethnic war. [Reviewed 7/97]

Rand B. Lee, "The Pearl" (F&SF 3/97) A gay black hustler commits suicide and recapitulates his life as a ghost. [Reviewed 4/97]

Tanith Lee, "After I Killed Her" (Asimov's 7/97) A successful dragon-fighter contemplates the self-centeredness of humanity and changes his ways. [Reviewed 6/97]

Tanith Lee, "Old Flame" (Realms of Fantasy 2/97) Ornate tale of two star-crossed lovers and a cursed candle. [Reviewed 4/97]

Paul J. McAuley, "All Tomorrow's Parties" (Interzone 5/97) A prequel to McAuley's next novel, Child of the River: a grand party set on a recreated Earth five million years in the future sets the stage for a battle for the direction of human evolution. [Reviewed 8/97]

Rebecca Ore, "My Mother, the Alien, and Me" (F&SF 4/97) A girl and her mother, a sucker for males in pain, take in an injured alien. [Reviewed 5/97]

Paul Park, "Get a Grip" (Omni Online 3/97) A man learns the world doesn't make sense because it's not real. [Reviewed 5/97]

Kit Reed, "Rajmahal" (F&SF 6/97) Three points of view of a group of American tourists at a newly refurbished Indian monument. [Reviewed 7/97]

Robert Reed, "Blooming Ice" (SF Age 1/97) A troubled boy and his family hike on an ice colony world where ferocious animals are about to thaw from the ice. [Reviewed 2/97]

Robert Reed, "Graffiti" (F&SF 6/97) Well-crafted tale about two high school students who discover the secret of their town -- a sewer wall that depicts crimes in progress -- and try to use it to their advantage. [Reviewed 7/97]

Robert J. Sawyer, "The Hand You're Dealt" (Free Space, Linaweaver and Kramer, eds.; Tor, 7/97) Clever murder mystery aboard a habitat where everyone is required to have two soothsayings -- readings of their genetic propensities -- in their lives. [Reviewed 7/97]

Darrell Schweitzer, "Refugees from an Imaginary Country" (Interzone 2/97) An underground comic-strip artist claims the grotesque world he draws is real. [Reviewed 4/97]

Charles Sheffield, "What Would You Like to Know?" (SF Age 3/97) A new computerized library query system offers natural language answers to absolutely anything. [Reviewed 4/97]

Robert Silverberg, "The Church at Monte Saturno" (Realms of Fantasy 4/97) A western art historian is unsettled by evidence of ancient demons at a ruined church in Sicily. [Reviewed 6/97]

Lisa Tuttle, "Soul Song" (Interzone 5/97) A BBC researcher sets out to discover the truth behind a famous composer who disappeared in 1940 and the lover who may have completed his final work. [Reviewed 8/97]

Ian Watson, "Nanunculus" (Interzone 1/97) A cyber-agent ponders the nature of the pole on which Christ was crucified while in the service of a suicidal scientist investigating negative time. [Reviewed 3/97]

Robin Wilson, "Faster than a Speeding Bullet" (F&SF 1/97) Software genius, struck by tiny alien spacecraft, becomes Superman and ponders how best to do good in the world. [Reviewed 2/97]

Gene Wolfe, "No Planets Strike" (F&SF 1/97) Christmas SF tale inspired by a line from Hamlet; genetically enhanced animals on a world of alien Beautiful People. [Reviewed 2/97]

Batya Swift Yasgur & Barry N. Malzberg, "Blessing the Last Family" (Realms of Fantasy 4/97) Uriel the good angel and Ashmodai the bad angel vie for dominance over the harmony of the Davidson household. [Reviewed 6/97]

Jane Yolen, "Fallen Angel" (Realms of Fantasy 6/97) Charming tale about an angel that falls to earth and is found by three children whose parents don't believe in heaven. Full of wonder and discovery, good-naturedly challenging the skeptical nature of the modern world. [Reviewed 9/97]

(Dates in brackets indicate issues of Locus where full reviews appeared.)