From the April 1999 Locus
Not of Woman Born, edited by Constance Ash (Roc 3/99) The timely topic of high-tech possibilities for human reproduction is explored in thirteen new stories (and one classic by Robert Silverberg) by authors including Susan Palwick, Patricia A. McKillip, and Walter Jon Williams.
Finity, John Barnes (Tor 3/99) Nothing is quite what it seems in this amusingly complex near-future SF adventure of US expatriates who remember different pasts – and their search for an explanation that might involve alternate history, multiple dimensions, virtual reality, a Nazi plot, or the secret of perfect happiness.
Silver Birch, Blood Moon, edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling (Avon 3/99) The dynamic duo of editing continue their acclaimed series of adult fairy-tale anthologies, with all-new stories told by a stellar group of authors including Tanith Lee, Nancy Kress, Neil Gaiman, and Patricia A. McKillip.
Vigilant, James Alan Gardner (Avon Eos 3/99) A dark history of plague and survivor guilt lies behind the breakneck action of this wild tale of a deadly race for lost alien technology that ultimately involves Admiral Festina Ramos of Expendable.
My Favorite Science Fiction Story, edited by Martin H. Greenberg (DAW 3/99) Some of SF's biggest names pick their favorite SF stories and explain their choices in this revealing, and occasionally surprising, anthology of 17 tales by authors including Cordwainer Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, and Howard Waldrop.
Dragonshadow, Barbara Hambly (Del Rey 3/99) Hambly's earlier Dragonsbane turned a number of fantasy conventions about dragons and dragonslayers on their heads. Now Hambly, in top form, returns to that world for this welcome sequel of demons, dragons, and reluctantly aging heroes.
Tesseracts7, edited by Paula Johanson & Jean-Louis Trudel (Tesseract 3/99) This influential annual anthology of new Canadian speculative fiction brings together 10 poems and 25 stories by authors including Jan Lars Jensen, Candas Jane Dorsey, Andrew Weiner, and Elisabeth Vonarburg.
Deep Secret, Diana Wynne Jones (Tor 3/99) A too-serious magician with multi-dimensional responsibilities searches for a new trainee at a science fiction convention, with hilarious results. One of Jones's more adult fantasies, a delightfully satiric look at some of fandom's foibles.
Speaking Stones, Stephen Leigh (Avon Eos 3/99) The complex roots of cultural conflict are explored in this provocative sequel to Dark Water's Embrace, when the kidnapping of a child kindles half-hidden animosities between a struggling human colony and the natives of the planet Mictlan.
Aniara, Harry Martinson (Story Line Press 3/99) This epic SF poem by a Swedish Nobel Prize winner has been translated into seven languages and adapted into an avant-garde opera. Now the tale of Earth refugees trapped on an off-course spaceship has a new, significantly different translation, apparently the first complete version in English.
Space and the American Imagination, Howard E. McCurdy (Smithsonian Institution Press 3/99) An insightful, in-depth exploration of how the ideas of SF became part of the American dream and translated into the space program – and how its failure to live up to romanticized expectations brought about its downfall. [Note: the hardcover edition appeared 11/97.]
Rainbow Mars, Larry Niven (Tor 3/99) Niven's classic ''Flight of the Horse'' and related time-travel fantasy stories are all collected here, with a new novel that takes highly trepid time-traveller Svetz to Mars – the Mars of Burroughs, Bradbury, Wells, etc. A grand mix of wonders out of old-fashioned pulp SF, comics, myth, and Niven's own distinct brand of Big Object.
Sex and Violence in Zero Gee, Allen Steele (Meisha Merlin 3/99) Solid SF marks this future-history collection containing all of Steele's ''Near Space'' short fiction, including the first US publication of the short novel The Weight, and one previously unpublished story (a guide to sex in 0.00 gravities, no less.)
Colonization: Second Contact, Harry Turtledove (Del Rey 3/99) The master of alternate history returns to the world of ''Worldwar'' for a new series set in the tumultuous '60s, as the precarious balance between human and alien nations is upset by social upheaval – and a new alien invasion.
A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinge (Tor 3/99) Set in the universe of the Hugo-winning A Fire Upon the Deep, but thousands of years before, this sweeping space adventure reveals some of the life of the legendary Pham Nuwen, as a vicious rivalry develops between two merchant fleets over an unusual solar system whose inhabitants are just starting to learn the advantages of technology.
No Go the Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling, and Making Mock, Marina Warner (Farrar Straus Giroux 3/99) Having analyzed female roles in fairy tales in the critically acclaimed From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers, Warner gives men equal time in this detailed study of the common role of males as monsters in fairy tales and horror.
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