Recommended 1997 Novellas
"A Cold Dry Cradle", a novella by Gregory Benford and Elisabeth Malartez (SF Age, Nov 97), depicts a Martian expedition inspired by the ideas--revolutionary and influential--of Robert Zubrin, who advocates a keep-it-simple-and-cheap, "live off the land" approach to getting to Mars. Discoveries inside a thermal vent suggest how biological evolution might work on a planet with static climate and geology. Hard sf employing the latest in technological speculation.
L. Timmel Duchamp, "Quinn's Deal" (Asimov's 4/97) A blue-collar worker in near-future Seattle agrees to a monitor implant in return for payment of his medical expenses. [Reviewed 3/97]
Eliot Fintushel, "Izzy and the Father of Terror" (Asimov's 7/97) Dazzling, extravagant tale about motel manager Izzy Molson in a battle of aliens from across time and space. [Reviewed 6/97]
Peter F. Hamilton, "Escape Route" (Interzone 7/97) Novella-length prequel to The Reality Dysfunction: asteroid miners discover a wrecked alien ship full of technological marvels.
"Everything's Eventual", Stephen King (F&SF Oct/Nov 97) A high school dropout named Dinky Earnshaw has it made: his own house and $70 a week through the mail slot. All he has to do is use his special powers to eliminate the bullies of the world.
Geoffrey A. Landis, "Ecopoiesis" (SF Age 5/97) Solid hard-SF mystery on a Mars abandoned to anaerobic bacteria; might have been called "Brown Mars". [Reviewed 5/97]
Ian R. MacLeod, "The Golden Keeper" (Asimov's 10-11/97) Magical and compelling tale of a once-wealthy Roman forced to take an assignment at a gold mine in remote Egypt, where he discovers secrets of the ancients.
David Nordley, "Messengers of Chaos" (Asimov's 1/97) Complicated detective story about a murder in the Cislunar Republic in 2068 and an experimental rendezvous with a passing comet. [Reviewed 12/96]
Robert Reed, "The Dragons of Springplace" (F&SF 2/97) Extravagant SF tale about a sociopath's attempts to overcome a protective ecosystem surrounding an ancient nuclear waste dump. [Reviewed 3/97]
Robert Reed, "Marrow" (SF Age 7/97) Spectacular tale with an exponentially-increasing time-scale, set aboard the Ship (from last year's "Chrysalis"), which is discovered to contain an inner planet deep within its core. [Reviewed 7/97]
James Sarafin, "In the Furnace of the Night" (Asimov's 5/97) Suspenseful, dramatic tale of hunting genetically-enhanced tigers in near-future India. [Reviewed 4/97]
Brian Stableford, "The Black Blood of the Dead" (Interzone 1-2/97) Sequel to "The Hunger and Ecstasy of Vampires"; now Oscar Wilde journeys into the far future. [Reviewed 4/97]
Allen Steele, "...Where Angels Fear to Tread" (Asimov's 10-11/97) Slick time-travel yarn in which a botched expedition to witness the Hindenburg crash leads to a military standoff at a Tennessee lake where the UFO-like timeship has ditched.
"Secrets", Ian Watson (Interzone Oct 97) The proprietors of a jigsaw puzzle shop are commissioned by an elderly Norwegian to photograph statues of naked men and women in a sculpture park in Oslo. For their troubles they experience bad dreams and learn more about the history of Nazis in Norway than they ever expected.
(Dates in brackets indicate issues of Locus where full reviews appeared.)
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