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Profiles of Recent Books
from reviews in Locus Magazine

Blue Light, Walter Mosley (Little, Brown 0-316-57098-2, $24.00, 296pp, hc, November 1998) This SF novel by a writer known for mysteries -- the Easy Rawlins novels -- is getting wide mainstream attention typical for a writer not consigned to the genre. (See Field Inspections for links to other reviews.) Locus critic Gary K. Wolfe, in the November issue, writes ''Mosley not only ventures into the fantastic here, he swerves all over it like a teenager with a new car, and the result is an odd amalgam of outsider SF, chunky-style horror, New Age mysticism, and even pastoral utopianism.'' He concludes ''it will remain memorable primarily as a diversion in Mosley's distinguished career, and not as an important new direction.'' (Thu 19 Nov 98)
Mission Child, Maureen F. McHugh (Avon Eos 0-380-97456-8, $20.00, 385pp, hc, December 1998) The author's third novel (a portion of which appeared in 1996 as ''The Cost to Be Wise'' in Starlight 1, and was nominated for a Hugo) is about Janna, a young girl living on a colony world devoted to appropriate technology and only recently recontacted by 'offworlders' from Earth. Gary K. Wolfe writes that in ''summary, Janna's life sounds like a catalogue of formula-romance disasters, but McHugh's pacing is so magisterial, her main character so engaging, her style so elegantly muted, that we find ourselves immersed in the unfolding epic of her world.''
(Thu 19 Nov 98)
Starfarers, Poul Anderson (Tor 0-312-86037-4, $25.95, 383pp, hc, November 1998, cover by John Harris) Anderson's new novel is solid traditional SF in which humans detect the wakes of spacecraft moving at near-light speeds and within three generations build a starship ready to go meet the aliens piloting them. What follows, writes Russell Letson in the November Locus, is ''any number of episodes and subadventures [about] mysterious alien ruins; mysterious, near-magical alien technologies; mysterious gigantic alien engineering projects (a planetary redesign with a half-billion-year schedule); mysterious alien psychologies and cultures.'' The overall themes recall earlier Anderson works from ''The Longest Voyage'' to Tau Zero and especially 1993's A Harvest of Stars and its sequels: ''Not only is there a question of how well suited to interstellar travel and colonization we (or any life) might be, but the possibility that the technology of starflight might destabilize not just cultures but the very fabric of the universe.'' (Thu 19 Nov 98)

Previous Profiles:
26 Oct 1998:
  • The Avram Davidson Treasury: A Tribute Collection edited by Robert Silverberg and Grania Davis
  • Elizabeth Hand's Last Summer at Mars Hill
  • Stephen Baxter's Traces
  • Nancy Kress's Beaker's Dozen

    19 Oct 1998:

  • Nicola Griffith and Stephen Pagel's anthology Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction

    26 Sep 1998:

  • Stephen King's Bag of Bones
  • Iain M. Banks's Inversions
  • Stephen Baxter's Moonseed
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    © 1998 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.