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From the April 2000 Locus

Catherine Asaro, Ascendant Sun (Tor 2/00) Space-opera romance returns in this sequel to Nebula nominee The Last Hawk. The heir to the Skolian Empire escapes the Mistresses of the Great Estates, only to become a slave to the Aristos of Euban Space, who use torture as an aphrodisiac.

Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter, The Light of Other Days (Tor 2/00) Two masters of hard SF have fun with history as they use quantum physics to open windows to anywhere - and any time, postulating the transformation of society when privacy becomes impossible and unexpected truths of the past are revealed, contradicting cherished beliefs.

Storm Constantine, Sea Dragon Heir (Tor 2/00) Magic, sexuality, and politics are deeply intertwined in this opulent epic fantasy in Constantine’s trademark gothic style, first in a new series set in a world where the gods take dragon form and conspiracies are rife.

Mary Gentle, The Book of Ash #2: Carthage Ascendant (Avon Eos 2/00) Some mysteries are unraveled in this second volume of four (originally written as one novel) about the female mercenary Ash, set in an alternate medieval Europe. Warfare, bizarre science, mysterious magics, and glimpses of near-future researchers’ reactions - make a powerful and entertaining mix that walks a tantalizing line between fantasy and SF.

David Gerrold, Jumping Off the Planet (Tor 3/00) A boy’s dreams of adventures - and reunion with his absentee father - go awry on a trip to the Orbital Elevator to the moon. A compelling tale of action, intrigue, and very real people.

Kathleen Ann Goonan, Crescent City Rhapsody (Avon Eos 2/00) The third book of Goonan’s ‘‘Nanotech Quartet’’ goes back to the beginnings to explain how her nano-transformed world came to be, an ambitious meditation on art and music and technology - perhaps her most solidly SF novel yet.

Nalo Hopkinson, Midnight Robber (Warner Aspect 3/00) Once again, Hopkinson brings her distinctive, original voice to shock us out of our SF expectations. Caribbean customs and folklore and future technology combine on the planet Toussaint and its prison planet, where a desperate young woman takes on the persona of a Carnival character, the masked avenger called the Robber Queen.

Guy Gavriel Kay, Lord of Emperors (HarperPrism 3/00) The sequel to Sailing to Sarantium, this historical fantasy probes into the workings of art and memory, a triumphant conclusion to a tale of alternate versions of ancient Byzantium and Persia, full of intrigues - and the art and magic of mosaics.

Jonathan Lethem & Carter Scholz, Kafka Americana (Subterranean 2/00) Lethem merges his unique brand of surrealism with that of Scholz in this collection of five stories (two each by the individual authors, one a collaboration) inspired by Franz Kafka.

Jack McDevitt, Infinity Beach (HarperPrism 2/00) Mystery, space opera, and first-contact SF combine in this far-future novel that explores the place of humanity in a vast cosmos. Humans have spread to other worlds without finding signs of non-terrestrial life - but rumors of one ship’s suppressed encounter sets a physicist on a desperate search for the truth.

Jamil Nasir, Distance Haze (Bantam Spectra 3/00) Dreams plague a science fiction writer who investigates an institute dedicated to using advanced technology to find God, as Nasir explores the interrelations between dreams, reality, and higher meaning.

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, The Burning City (Pocket 3/00) Los Angeles -- or the pre-historic equivalent in Niven’s world of The Magic Goes Away -- is the setting for this fantasy of a boy growing up in a strangely familiar city near-ruined by fading magic, recurrent fires, riots, and street gangs.

Mike Resnick, A Safari of the Mind (Wildside Press 2/00) Award-winning fiction mixes with fan writing (‘‘A Limerick History of Science Fiction’’) in this 16-piece sampler of Resnick’s wide-ranging style.

Allen Steele, Oceanspace (Ace 2/00) Steele heads for the deadly frontier of the ocean depths in this near-future, hard-SF thriller of a self-sufficient undersea research station, and the forces within and without that seek to manipulate it to their own ends.

David Weber, Ashes of Victory (Baen 3/00) In this ninth volume in the compelling military SF series, Honor Harrington returns to family and friends who believed her dead, only to find new political and military complications waiting.

© 2000 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.