From the March 2000 Locus
Poul Anderson, Genesis (Tor 2/00) Expanding on his novella by the same title, Anderson explores the possibilities of human immortality as he shows how an astronaut has his personality uploaded into a computer so he can explore the stars – and a billion years later is returned to Earth to investigate its planetary mind, Gaia.
Camille Bacon-Smith, Science Fiction Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press 2/00) An ambitious study of the social structures of science fiction – fandom, the roles of women, conventions, and publishing – by an author with experience inside the field. Full of fascinating behind-the-scenes information from interviews and discussions with fans, writers, and editors.
Kage Baker, Mendoza in Hollywood (Harcourt 2/00) The third novel of the time-travelling ''Company'' brings the sharp-tongued agent Mendoza to 1862 California to collect soon-to-be-extinct plants for the future – but the arrival of a British spy calls up painful memories of her doomed first love from In the Garden of Iden. A Hollywood hometown girl herself, Baker brings plenty of local color to this lively depiction of the Old West.
Iain M. Banks, Inversions (Pocket 2/00) Two citizens from Banks's Culture visit a backwards planet and differ on whether to help advance the world's technology in this SF novel with something of a fantasy feel, as lovers mix and match and royals scheme.
John Barnes, Candle (Tor 2/00) The world has been virtually united into a group mind by memes in this dystopian SF novel of one man called to the wilderness to hunt the last free-minded ''cowboy'' – a survivalist adventure that turns into a thought-provoking debate on free will vs. the social contract.
Neal Barrett, Jr., Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories (Golden Gryphon 2/00) Barrett shows off the range and diversity of his short fiction in this collection of often offbeat stories originally published in the late '80s and early '90s.
George Foy, The Memory of Fire (Bantam Spectra 2/00) Repressive governments and global corporations wage war against quasi-independent anarchist enclaves in this grim near-future novel of an outsider musician whose dreams give her ominous clues to the bureaucrats' deadly plans.
Maggie Furey, The Heart of Myrial (Bantam Spectra 2/00) Magical walls separate the myriad lands of Myrial, each land with a different environment, and different magical inhabitants – but now the walls are falling with disastrous consequences. A mixed group of Loremasters (human, dragon, firedrake, centaur, and more) works secretly – but with plenty of amusing banter – to stop the tide of destruction in this first book of ''The Shadowleague''.
Steven Gould, Blind Waves (Tor 2/00) A catastrophic 100-foot rise in the sea level leaves Houston behind dikes and Galveston a floating city in this thought-provoking thriller of a young woman who runs an underwater salvage company, stumbles on a conspiracy in the Immigration and Naturalization Service to murder the masses of illegal immigrants flooding the US – and finds unexpected romance with an INS agent.
Barbara Hambly, Knight of the Demon Queen (Del Rey 2/00) Hambly continues to explore some of the darker ''realities'' of fantasy in this third novel in the series begun with Dragonsbane. The victorious con clusion of Dragonshadow didn't lead to a happy ending, after all; Jenny and Lord John are left emotionally scarred by their encounters with demons, and then Lord John is blackmailed by the demon queen into making a quest, through a series of alternate hells, that becomes a vivid exploration of the human nature.
Laurell K. Hamilton, Obsidian Butterfly (Ace 1/00) Vampire executioner Anita Blake takes a break from romance and heads to the Southwest to investigate some spectacularly gruesome murders, working with a group of deadly bounty-hunters operating just barely on the side of the law. One of the hardest hitting – and goriest – novels in this addictive series.
Darrell Schweitzer & Jason Van Hollander, Necromancies and Netherworlds (Wildside Press 1999) Fans of weird fantasy should check out this collection of all ten stories written by these two devotees of the macabre. Stories range from grotesque horror to dark comedy, several forming a cycle set in unknown countries, others dabbling in the worlds of Lovecraft.
James Stoddard, The False House (Warner Aspect 1/00) Return to the fantasy world of Evenmere, The High House, a structure that opens onto many worlds, and guards them all; in this sequel a false house has stolen the power of Evenmere, and its inexperienced young master must delve into the darkness to stop it.
Sarah Zettel, The Quiet Invasion (Warner Aspect 2/00) Humans attempting to colonize the hothouse planet Venus make first contact with aliens also in residence – a race whose own homeworld is dying, and for whom Venus is their only hope of refuge. Humans and aliens provide very different perspectives on the planet, just as their encounter creates a powerful exploration of the ethics of cultural collision.
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