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Linked titles can be ordered from Books. Or see SF specialty and independent bookstore links. Prices shown are list. 16 Feb 1998
Recent New and Notable

Diaspora, Greg Egan (HarperPrism, Feb 1998, $23.00, hc) A novel of cosmic proportions in which far future computer entities probe the universe, finding dangers from colliding stars and clues from aliens called Transformers to series of universes with more dimensions that ours. The book extends a theme of earlier Egan works (such as Permutation City) about the nature of consciousness, but it also expands outward to scales, both tiny and vast, befitting the classic ''cosmology operas'' of Olaf Stapledon. Locus reviewers Russell Letson (writing in the September '97 issue) and Gary K. Wolfe (January '98) agree that the book is not a light, or emotional, read, but that it is ambitious, philosophical SF of the highest order. Letson: ''In the great tug of war between feeling and understanding, this book tilts toward the latter -- it's cosmology opera with the emphasis on the first term.'' Wolfe: ''Diaspora is edge-of-the-envelope fiction.'' (Diagrams of situations described in this book at
Empire of the Ants, Bernard Werber (Bantam, Feb 1998, $23.95, hc) A novel with parallel stories, one about an eccentric scientist and a locked basement, the other about a complex, mysterious civilization of ants. Werber endows his ant society with human self-awareness and an elaborate culture. The book, first published in France in 1991, has become a minor best-seller in Europe, where, like the present Bantam edition, it was not specifically identified as SF or fantasy. Carolyn Cushman, in the February '98 Locus Magazine, calls it an ''odd and fascinating novel'', while Norman Spinrad, in the March '98 Asimov's, considers its success as evidence that a ''hard science fiction novel about ants'' can achieve wide readership if properly published.
Dinosaur Summer, Greg Bear (Warner Aspect, Feb 1998, $23.00, hc) An alternate history, young adult novel about dinosaurs. The book is set in 1947 in a world in which dinosaurs are not extinct; in fact, they were discovered by Professor Challenger in 1912 on a high plateau in Venezuela. The story follows a 16-year-old boy and his father as the last traveling dinosaur circus folds its tents and retires its dinosaurs to the South American jungles. Russell Letson, writing in the February Locus Magazine, praises the book's YA appeal and the author's inventive depiction of imaginary dinosaur species and speculations on dinosaur evolution. ''Because Bear exercises the same levels of craft and science-fictional thinking found in his adult novels, Dinosaur Summer achieves the same kind of broad appeal that makes the best YA efforts of Heinlein, Andre Norton, or Joan Vinge rereadable even long after one has left the target audience.''
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