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30 Oct 1997

Titan, Stephen Baxter (HarperPrism, Nov 1997, $23.00) The latest novel by one of the most prominent hard SF writers of the past decade. In the near future, another Challenger-type disaster threatens to end the space program. But evidence of life on Saturn's moon Titan inspires an ambitious, one-way mission to the moon, while back on Earth a right-wing isolationist president transforms the US into a nightmarish dystopia. "His work, no matter how diverse, reflects an acute sense of the tone that defines the classic SF experience -- what used to be called wonder, before we all got cool -- and he embeds more of the history of SF in his work than almost any other young writer" wrote Gary K. Wolfe in the October Locus. (First edition: HarperCollins UK, August 1997.)
The Gift, Patrick O'Leary (Tor, Nov 1997, $22.95) After last year's acclaimed debut with Door Number Three, O'Leary returns with something completely different: a fantasy set in a fairy-tale world of alchemists, demons, kings, and nature spirits. The "gift" of the title is storytelling, bestowed upon humans by mysterious wizards from another star system. O'Leary "writes with grace and energy, and in the end, it's his unalloyed enjoyment of his own story -- and of all stories -- that enables him to pull it all off," said Gary K. Wolfe in the October Locus.
Axiomatic, Greg Egan (HarperPrism, Dec 1997, $13.00, trade paperback) First US edition of a short story collection by the brilliant Australian writer Greg Egan -- hard SF inspired by scientific and philosophical themes, not hard SF that's really engineering fiction or space opera. "The most striking feature of Egan's work is its nearly obsessive focus on metaphysical and epistemological themes. Over and over, Egan's characters confront situations that call into question fundamental assumptions about the world and the self," wrote Russell Letson in the August 1995 Locus. (The book was first published in the UK in 1995.) This is science fiction for the thinking person. [cover image not available]
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