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From the January 2001 Locus

Catherine Asaro, The Quantum Rose (Tor 12/00) Romance and adventure combine in this sixth novel of Asaro's ''Skolian Empire''. A noblewoman, ruler of an impoverished province on a backward planet, is saved from an unhappy marriage by a mysterious stranger who drags her off on a mission to his own homeworld. The writing is strong, the characters engaging, and Asaro walks the line between romance and intrigue quite well.

Alfred Bester, redemolished (ibooks 12/00) One of SF's most brilliant and influential stylists is showcased in this collection of mostly uncollected stories, essays on SF, and other miscellaneous writings including interviews with celebrities Rex Stout, Robert Heinlein, and Woody Allen. For completists, there is also a never-before-collected prologue to The Demolished Man.

P.D. Cacek, Canyons (Tor 12/00) Graphic violence and smart-ass humor alternate in this dark fantasy of werewolves in Denver, and the rookie tabloid reporter who stumbles on them and accidentally starts a war between rival werewolves and weremen.

Jeffrey Carver, Eternity's End (Tor 12/00) A space pilot escapes pirates only to be threatened by an interstellar conspiracy; his sole hope is to find the legendary ship known as the Flying Dutchman of space. A complex, action-filled SF epic set in Carver's ''Star Rigger'' universe.

Richard Chizmar & Robert Morrish, eds., October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween (CD Publications 10/00) Some of today's most noted horror writers provide the 22 stories, 30 personal reminiscences, three essays, and one poem in this hefty Halloween-themed anthology. Authors of the 11 new stories include Poppy Z. Brite, John Shirley, Richard Laymon, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Lewis Shiner, and Michael Marshall Smith.

John M. Ford, The Last Hot Time (Tor 12/00) Ford brings a distinctive flavor to contemporary fantasy in this tale of a young paramedic, looking for a new start, who ends up working for a gang in a Chicago transformed by the reappearance of elves and magic, where the streets have only gotten meaner.

Geoffrey A. Landis, Mars Crossing (Tor 12/00) Already a Hugo and Nebula Award winner for his short fiction, Landis turns out a predictably powerful first novel with this hard SF adventure of stranded astronauts on Mars making a desperate trek across the planet in hopes of finding the return module from a previous unsuccessful mission.

Tanith Lee, White as Snow (Tor 12/00) Tanith Lee weaves together ancient myth and early Christianity in this elegantly dark, sensual, and sometimes grisly version of ''Snow White''. The latest volume in Terri Windling's critically acclaimed ''Fairy Tale'' series of retellings.

Barry N. Malzberg, In the Stone House (Arkham House 12/00) One of SF's most distinctive writers, Malzberg picked his personal favorites from the last two decades for this collection of 24 stories, an intense (and occasionally bizarre) blend of horror, fantasy, SF, and history.

George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords (Bantam Spectra 11/00) The much-anticipated third volume of ''A Song of Ice and Fire'', this continues the rich and complex account of warring kingdoms, avoiding the usual clichés ''to take epic fantasy to new levels of insight and sophistication....'' Faren Miller.

Rowena Morrill, The Art of Rowena (Paper Tiger 11/00) These reproductions amply display the gorgeous, incredibly realistic human figures, lush fantasy settings, brilliant color and sneaky sense of humor that have made Rowena one of the most sought-after illustrators in the field.

Rebecca Ore, Outlaw School (Eos 11/00) An oppressive near-future society is vividly revealed through the eyes of a misfit who survives by taking illegal teaching jobs, in this intelligent exploration of some of the negative aspects of dependence on computers and the resilience of the human spirit.

Karl Schroeder, Ventus (Tor 12/00) Nanotech and artificial intelligence add a sense of magic adventure to this hard SF novel, a sweeping, far-future tale of a colony world, Ventus, where the terraforming nanotech has evolved in unexpected directions, and one teen's visions land him in the middle of nobles' feuds and the invasion of a rogue AI.

Bruce Sterling, Zeitgeist (Bantam Spectra 11/00) The end of the millennium provides the backdrop for this satirical fantasy technothriller featuring Sterling's shady hustler Leggy Starlitz, now manager for a hot if talentless girl group about to go on tour in the Muslim Middle East. The result is entertaining chaos and a brilliantly skewed exploration of reality as a ''narrative consensus.''

Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, Wheelers (Warner Aspect 11/00) A comet threatens Earth and reveals a high-tech alien civilization on Jupiter in this exuberant hard-SF first novel of first contact, alien societies, mysterious alien artifacts, and neo-Zen Buddhists in space.

Sheri S. Tepper, The Fresco (Eos 11/00) Aliens ask a New Mexico bookstore clerk to carry a message to Washington in this surprisingly upbeat contemporary satire. ''The most purely enjoyable of her novels to date, and certainly one of the wittiest.'' Gary K. Wolfe.


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