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New & Recommended Books

(From the July 1998 Locus.)

Flanders, Patricia Anthony (Ace 5/98, $23.95, hc) Anthony's interest in history dominates almost completely over genre elements in this intense epistolary novel of a soldier with visionary dreams fighting in the trenches in WWI.

Galilee, Clive Barker (HarperCollins 6/98, $26.00, hc) A big, Southern Gothic family chronicle with a supernatural edge. A clandestine love affair renews an old conflict, gradually revealed, between a rich and powerful American family and a more-than-human family with ancient members.

Komarr, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen 6/98, $22.00, hc) In this latest ''Miles Vorkosigan'' adventure, sequel to Memory, Miles travels to Komarr in his new job as Imperial Auditor, looking for a conspiracy, and finding romance.

Bhagavati, Kara Dalkey (Tor 6/98, $24.95, hc) Muslims, European pagans, Hindus, and members of the Catholic Inquisition travel together to find the source of a magical powder, in this colorful novel of culture clashes and exotic adventure in 16th-century India, the final volume in the ''Blood of the Goddess'' trilogy.

Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary, Pamela Dean (Tor 6/98, $24.95, 350pp, hc) An almost-mainstream seeming, lavishly detailed, story of three girls growing up in an unusual family becomes oddly disrupted when a very strange new boy moves in next door. A striking, if uneasily eerie, contemporary fantasy.

Mother of Plenty, Colin Greenland (Avon Eos 6/98, $5.99, pb) The quirky British space opera trilogy of Captain Tabitha Jute and the alien starship Plenty comes to a sweeping finale as the captain seeks to regain control from the Capellan brain parasites.

Year's Best SF 3, David G. Hartwell (HarperPrism 6/98, $6.50, pb) The strictly-all-SF contender among the ''year's best'' anthologies weighs in with 22 stories.

Silk, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Penguin/Roc 6/98, $6.50, pb) Alternately ultra-realistic and somewhat hallucinatory horror novel of struggling rock musicians caught in the web of a strange, disturbed woman. A first novel by a writer getting plenty of attention from Those Who Know (horror division).

Dawn Song, Michael Marano (Tor 6/98, $24.95, hc) Two rulers of Hell hold a turf war in Boston during the Gulf War, while a gay man deals with a Succubus. A theologically complex first novel of horror, passion, faith, and redemption.

Child of the River, Paul J. McAuley (Avon Eos 6/98, $14.00, hc) The first book of ''Confluence'', an SF series set ten million years in the future, on an artificial world run by machines and inhabited by humanoids of mixed animal and alien races, a rich backdrop for this tale of a young man of mysterious origin looking for his destiny.

Jingo, Terry Pratchett (HarperPrism 6/98, $23.00, hc) Pratchett turns his satiric gaze on war in this latest ''Discworld'' humorous fantasy novel. The City Watch of Ankh-Morpork invades the desert country of Klatch.

Ever: A Trickster in the Ashes, Felicity Savage (HarperPrism 6/98, $14.00, tp) This third volume concludes what is really one huge epic fantasy novel and an impressive example of fantasy world-building, set in an alternate world where daemons are imprisoned to provide power.

Factoring Humanity, Robert J. Sawyer (Tor 6/98, $23.95, hc) Messages from space, a quantum computer, and accusations of sexual child abuse entangle two academics in a web of SF ideas resulting in revelations about human intelligence and the nature of awareness. An ambitious effort with some intriguing ideas, despite a plot burdened with coincidences and some excess sentimentality.

The Shapes of Their Hearts, Melissa Scott (Tor 6/98, $22.95, hc) Computers and religion merge in this provocative far-future SF novel, as an AI merged with the uploaded mind of a nominally Christian religious prophet becomes a god to its followers, but a cause of religious terrorism on other worlds.

Dreaming in Smoke, Tricia Sullivan (Bantam Spectra 5/98, $5.99, pb) Mind-bending, cyberpunkish SF novel full of jazz, drugs, and attitude. A mad statistician's Dream interface crashes the artificial intelligence that maintains a colony planet.

The Playboy Book of Science Fiction, Alice K. Turner, ed. (HarperPrism 6/98, $23.00, hc) Impressive anthology of fiction previously published in Playboy, by a stellar group of writers including Ray Bradbury, J.G. Ballard, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen King, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Darwinia, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor 6/98, $22.95, hc) Alternate history SF, or maybe fantasy, this novel presents a totally different 20th century in which Europe was miraculously replaced in 1912 by a strange, wild land. Wilson foregoes the potential pulp adventure for a vivid exploration of the changes in history and society.

© 1998 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.