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New & Recommended Books

(From the October 1998 Locus.)

The Best of Crank!, Bryan Cholfin, ed. (Tor 8/98) The off-beat best of a magazine noted for its consistently challenging fiction. The all-star roster includes authors Karen Joy Fowler, Brian Aldiss, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Bishop, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny, Martin H. Greenberg, ed. (Avon Eos 8/98) An original anthology of 23 stories, with an impressive array of authors paying tribute to Zelazny through stories and personal notes.

Last Summer at Mars Hill, Elizabeth Hand (HarperPrism 8/98) Hand's distinctive literary touch infuses her first collection of 12 SF and fantasy stories, including the World Fantasy and Nebula Award-winning title novella.

An Ornament to His Profession, Charles L. Harness (NESFA Press 8/98) A collection of 17 SF stories by a critically acclaimed, but seldom-anthologized, author noted for his extravagant use of ideas. Includes one previously unpublished story, new story introductions by Harness, and a bibliography.

Standing Wave, Howard V. Hendrix (Ace 8/98) A wave of light brings revelations and a strange new intelligence to Earth in this exploration of wave mechanics, mazes, religion, and the nature of intelligence and consciousness, set in the universe of Lightpaths.

Deepdrive, Alexander Jablokov (Avon Eos 8/98) Humans will do anything to gain the secret of the deepdrive used by the many alien races now inhabiting the solar system, in this complex and intense tale of intrigue, interspecies interactions, and drives both spacial and psychological.

Sailing to Sarantium, Guy Gavriel Kay (Viking Canada 8/98) A rich mosaic of alternate history, set in a city and empire very like Byzantium, full of intrigue and fantasy, with a hint of Yeats; the first volume in ''The Sarantine Mosaic'' duology.

First Contacts: The Essential Murray Leinster, (NESFA Press 8/98) The full spectrum of Leinster's SF career is represented in this retrospective collection of 24 stories, including the Hugo-winning ''Exploration Team'', and two previously unpublished stories.

Bloom, Wil McCarthy (Del Rey 8/98) Technology gone wrong provides hard-SF terror in this fast-paced thriller of nanotech-as-mold. Technogenic lifeforms get loose and spread, forcing humanity to flee to the moons of Jupiter to stage last-ditch efforts to fight or flee the deadly mycospores.

Song for the Basilisk, Patricia A. McKillip (Ace 8/98) Music, magic, and McKillip's unique talents make something fresh and new of this story of a boy with no memory of his past, raised as a bard, who then discovers he's the last of the royal family destroyed by the usurper king.

Proxies, Laura J. Mixon (Tor 8/98) Android bodies controlled through virtual reality are a boon to the handicapped, but also to assassins and to those who would hijack the first interstellar expedition. A fast-paced thriller, yet dense with the human details of life in the next century.

Vast, Linda Nagata (Bantam Spectra 8/98) In this far-ranging sequel to Deception Well, four humans, or near-humans, as well as ghosts, partials, clones, and other computer-generated personalities take (or are taken on) a sentient spaceship in an intergalactic quest to find the deadly enemies of humankind. Nothing is exactly what it seems in this fascinating future by one of our most underrated writers.

Inherit the Earth, Brian Stableford (Tor 8/98) A virtual-reality artist is caught up in terrorist plots in a seemingly utopian 22nd century where biomedical nanotechnology has made near-immortality possible. A hard-hitting, hard-SF thriller.

Lewis Carroll: A Portrait with Background, Donald Thomas (John Murray/Trafalgar Square 8/98) A fascinating, detailed biography of the author of Alice in Wonderland that confronts head-on the allegations that Carroll/Dodgson was a pedophile.

The Children Star, Joan Slonczewski (Tor 8/98) To save their world from drastic terraforming, biochemically altered humans seek the unseen sentient life form they believe controls the ecology; an entertainingly melodramatic plot that mixes smoothly with solid scientific speculation.

Leviathan, Volume Two, Jeff VanderMeer & Rose Secrest, eds. (Ministry of Whimsy 8/98) The second volume in an anthology series dedicated to the surreal and the fantastic, this has four cutting-edge novellas, by Richard Calder, Stepan Chapman, L. Timmel Duchamp, and Rhys Hughes.

Frankensteins and Foreign Devils, Walter Jon Williams (NESFA Press 8/98) This collection of 10 tales displays Williams's wide-ranging talents, from alternate history (serious and oddball) and space opera to Williams's own unique takes on fantasy, plus a prototype ''Wild Cards'' story, one of two previously unpublished stories.

© 1998 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.