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From the August 2000 Locus

Ellen Datlow, ed., Vanishing Acts (Tor 6/00) Endangered species - including the human race - provide the theme for this potent anthology of consistently high-quality stories, with four choice reprints, a dozen new stories, and one poem.

Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds., A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales (Simon & Schuster 7/00) Young-adult anthologies don’t get much better than this, with its all-star authors and their intelligent, intriguing - and often dark and twisted - takes on fairy tales, kept short and snappy and thoroughly entertaining for all ages.

Dennis Etchison, The Death Artist (DreamHaven 6/00) Collection of 12 stories, one never before published, by a master of urban horror. Illustrated with the eerie photo-art of J.K. Potter.

David G. Hartwell, ed., Year’s Best SF 5 (Eos 6/00) The strictly SF Best-of-the-Year anthology returns with 25 stories (including Locus Award winners ‘‘Huddle’’ by Stephen Baxter, Border Guards” by Greg Egan, and ‘‘macs’’ by Terry Bisson) by an impressive roster of authors including Gene Wolfe, Kim Stanley Robinson, Michael Swanwick, and Lucy Sussex.

Elizabeth Haydon, Prophecy (Tor 7/00) The second book of the ‘‘Rhapsody’’ trilogy brings new prophecies, threats, and heartbreak to Rhapsody and her companions as they seek a way to defeat the evil F’dor. A powerful fantasy full of strange wonders and memorable characters.

Katherine Kurtz, King Kelson’s Bride (Ace 6/00) The long-awaited new installment in Kurtz’s ‘‘Deryni’’ series sees the King of Gwyneth beset by those who want him to choose a bride. Despite some foreign intrigues to counter, Kelson manages to find a bride, and wed, without dire consequences - a significant and unusually upbeat new development in a popular fantasy series.

Tanith Lee, Wolf Tower (Dutton 5/00) A fascinating future world forms the background for this YA SF novel, first in ‘‘The Claidi Journals’’ about a young woman who leaves her sheltered home to wander a devastated world, encountering a variety of strange cultures, and finally learning to trust herself. A memorable girl-grows-up story enlivened by Lee’s vivid style.

Robin McKinley, Spindle’s End (Putnam 5/00) McKinley returns to the fertile ground of fairy tales to retell the story of ‘‘Sleeping Beauty’’ in a small-town setting, with the baby princess taken by an apprentice fairy and raised in a small village.

Larry Niven & Steven Barnes, Saturn’s Race (Tor 7/00) Melodrama, ingenious hard-SF ideas, and a touch of satire combine effectively in this near-future SF thriller, a prequel of sorts to Achilles’ Choice, as a recently rejuvenated rich man and a brilliant young woman seek to stop the mastermind Saturn and his unpleasant plan to reduce the Earth’s population.

Tim Powers, Declare (Subterranean Press 6/00 [already out of print; trade edition from Morrow, January 2001]) Powers exercises his considerable talents for unpredictable dark fantasy in this taut supernatural thriller of espionage, 1960s international politics, Biblical wonders, and creatures out of The Arabian Nights.

Julius Schwartz & Brian M. Thomsen, Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics (HarperCollins 7/00) A remarkable career provides the backbone for this highly anecdotal autobiography by the legendary Julius Schwartz, one of the earliest SF fans, the first literary agent to specialize in SF (with a client list including Stanley Weinbaum, H.P Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Alfred Bester), and noted comics editor.

Bill Sheehan, At the Foot of the Story Tree: An Inquiry into the Fiction of Peter Straub (Subterranean Press 6/00) A solid critical examination of Straub’s works - the first such book on Straub, and an invaluable guide to Straub’s fiction.

S.P. Somtow, Tagging the Moon: Fairy Tales from L.A. (Night Shade Books 5/00) Somtow’s unique vision of Los Angeles is presented here in ten dark fantasy stories (one original) that mix myth and legend with urban horror, accompanied by a gallery of ten L.A. photos by the author.

Peter Straub, Magic Terror: 7 Tales (Random House 6/00) This collection brings together seven varied horror stories that range from disturbingly dark to black comedy, including the Stoker award-winning novella ‘‘Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff’’, and World Fantasy Award-winning ‘‘The Ghost Village’’.

Michael Swanwick, Tales of Old Earth (Frog/Tachyon 6/00) An impressive collection of 19 stories, including one original, from an acclaimed writer of short fiction. This includes three 1999 Hugo Award nominees (including the winner, ‘‘The Very Pulse of the Machine’’), two from 2000, and the 1996 World Fantasy Award winner, ‘‘Radio Waves’’ as well as other gems.

Sheree R. Thomas, ed., Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (Warner 7/00) A ground-breaking anthology of African-American SF and fantasy - heavy on the SF - with a strong selection of contemporary and younger writers, from writers unfamiliar to the field to old friends, including Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, Stephen Barnes, Tananarive Due, and Nalo Hopkinson.

Jack Zipes, ed., The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales (Oxford University Press 5/00) Noted fairy-tale scholar Zipes has assembled a wealth of information in this encyclopedic reference, covering stories, themes, and national trends, from medieval times to modern movies and literary revisions, with entries for numerous genre authors.

© 2000 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.