Locus Online

current month

last month


Complete Locus reviews are available in
back issues

index to
Locus reviews

Linked titles can be browsed (or ordered) from Books.





From the September 2000 Locus

Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds., The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Thirteenth Annual Collection (St. Martin's 8/00) The essential ''Year's Best'' anthology for readers of fantasy and horror short fiction, this packs in 38 stories, plus poems and an essay, along with summations of the year 1999 in literature, film and TV, and comics.

Gardner Dozois, ed., The Year's Best Science Fiction: Seventeenth Annual Collection (St. Martin's 7/00) Influential editor Dozois provides his take on the year (1999) in SF along with 27 scintillating stories in his annual, award-winning ''Year's Best'' anthology. Probably the best one-volume coverage of SF short fiction.

Marie Jakober, The Black Chalice (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing 9/00) A warped narrator adds a piquant flavor to this historical fantasy set in medieval Germany. A monk, desperate to please the Church and achieve salvation despite his repressed homosexuality, is required to write the story of his youthful experiences in a war between princes armed with powerful magics but magic forces him against his will to write the unbearable truth.

Edward E. Kramer, ed., Strange Attraction (ShadowLands Press 7/00) The kinetic sculpture of Lisa Snellings, specifically her carnival Ferris wheel, inspired the 24 dark fantasy stories here, by some of the field's best authors including Neal Gaiman, Charles de Lint, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Each story is prefaced with a photo of part of the wheel; coming full circle, Snellings also provides a gallery of drawings inspired by the stories.

Nancy Kress, Probability Moon (Tor 7/00) Terrans come to the planet called World (also the site of Kress's Nebula-winning novelette ''The Flowers of Aulit Prison'') with mixed scientific and military agendas, unaware the Worlders with their unique ''shared reality'' are trying to determine whether humans have souls and are ''real'' or should be destroyed. Kress skillfully manipulates three perspectives to fully explore this fascinating culture in a promisingly complex universe.

Ken MacLeod, The Sky Road (Tor 8/00) Set in both MacLeod's destabilized mid-21st century of The Stone Canal and in a more distant future just recovering from an anti-technology dark age to start a new space program, this presents an unusually complex view of the interactions of new technologies and society, woven together into ''...a challenging intellectual adventure tale...'' (Gary K. Wolfe).

Wil McCarthy, The Collapsium (Del Rey 8/00) Science so advanced it seems like magic is behind events in this hard-science comedy of manners, in which a genius is repeatedly dragged from his research to save the Queendom of Sol from disasters related to his own innovations. A light-hearted look at the burdens of immortality and omnipotence, with plenty of ingenious physics and special effects thrown in.

Sean McMullen, The Miocene Arrow (Tor 8/00) Australian meddlers from the post-holocaust SF novel Souls in the Great Machine have made their way to the American Rocky Mountains, where they are busy destabilizing a rigid technocratic society centered on the construction and use of lightweight aircraft. ''Every bit as much ingenious fun as the first book....'' (Russell Letson)

Robert Reed, Marrow (Tor 8/00) An immortal crew on a ship larger than many planets discover a planet Marrow at the ship's core an extraordinary and audacious variation on the ''Hollow Earth'' theme.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Scholastic/Levine 7/00) Rowling is in fine form with this fourth Harry Potter novel, which brings not just a new year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but also a trip to the Quidditch World Cup, a budding interest in girls, and a magic competition that could spell doom for Harry, if the evil Lord Voldemort has his way. Good fun for kids of all ages.

Joan Slonczewski, Brain Plague (Tor 8/00) Slonczewski loosens up with a touch of pulp that extends well beyond the title. In this loose sequel set some time after The Children Star, a brain plague has struck the human worlds, turning victims into zombies or vampires but in some cases, the microbes act as ''brain enhancers'' for creative types. A provocative tale of biological SF.

Robert Charles Wilson, The Perseids and Other Stories (Tor 8/00) Wilson's first collection brings together nine loosely linked stories (three original), all revolving around Toronto and an archetypal magic bookstore but ranging from the past to the distant future, with plenty of memorable characters (often outsiders and loners) and intriguing ideas. A heady mix of fantasy and SF.

Gene Wolfe, In Green's Jungles (Tor 8/00) Gene Wolfe mixes elements of SF and fantasy and the result approaches horror in this powerful second volume of the ''Short Sun'' trilogy. Still seeking the legendary Patera Silk, the narrator Horn discovers he can move magically between worlds and becomes involved in a war, but uncovers little more than paradoxes and uncertainties the central one the question of his own identity.

Jane Yolen, Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories (Tor 8/00) A master storyteller, Yolen demonstrates her knack for bringing the unexpected to familiar forms, particularly fairy tales, in this collection of 28 fantastic stories, including the Nebula-winning title story in which Emily Dickinson is abducted by aliens.

© 2000 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.