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Linked titles can be ordered from Books. Or see SF specialty and independent bookstore links. Prices shown are list. 16 Mar 1998
Recent New and Notable

Foundation and Chaos, Greg Bear (HarperPrism, Mar 1998, $24.00, hc) The latest installment in one of the most popular and long-lived series in sf history, this is the middle volume in the ''Second Foundation trilogy'', three novels by the ''Killer B's'' -- Gregory Benford, Greg Bear, and David Brin -- that build on the legendary Foundation stories written by Isaac Asimov from the 1940s to the 1990s. Bear's novel expands on a central episode in Asimov's first Foundation book, Seldon's trial for treason and the Foundation's exile to Terminus. Gary K. Wolfe, writing in the March 1998 Locus, sees the series' enduring popularity as evidence of sf's close relationship to history, especially sf's seductive notions of manipulating it to create future worlds. ''This classical free will-vs.-determinism problem is even reflected in the novel's title, and it's what finally makes Foundation and Chaos a Greg Bear novel, an exploration of his own ideas and preoccupations expertly grafted onto a familiar and comfortable template.'' Wolfe concludes that the book ''succeeds or fails as a novel that lives in its ideas, as the Foundation stories have always done. That's something Asimov would no doubt have cheered, and devout Asimovians will celebrate.''
Halfway Human, Carolyn Ives Gilman (Avon Eos, Feb 1998, $5.99, pb) A paperback original in the new Avon Eos line, Gilman's first novel draws highly favorable reviews from both Faren Miller (Locus January) and Gary K. Wolfe (March). ''Hard-hitting social SF'' and an ''award-caliber paperback original'' writes Miller; ''one of the most compelling explorations of gender and power in recent SF'', writes Wolfe. The human variants on the planet Gammadis exist in childhood sexlessness before maturing into any of three sexes: male, female, or neuter. Only males and females are regarded as human; the adult neuters, called 'blands', are a slave class. The story follows a bland named Tedla, an attempted suicide who shows up on the planet Capella Two. There xenologists works with 'it' and learn the harrowing story of its childhood and training. ''Beauty, pain, wit, and wisdom all suffuse this powerful novel'' writes Miller, while Wolfe says the book ''deserves the wide audience that it's likely to get only if it stays in print. But since it is a paperback original, maybe you'd better track it down now.''
In the Garden of Iden, Kage Baker (Harcourt Brace, Feb 1998, $23.00, hc) A 24th century time-traveling 'Company' recruits agents from the past, turns them into cyborgs, and sends them on missions to recover 'lost' items from history. Mendoza, rescued from the Spanish Inquisition, is sent to Tudor England and the estate of an eccentric collector, Sir Walter Iden, where she falls in love with a local heretic. Baker's novel, her first, follows several stories in Asimov's over the past couple years about Mendoza's adventures along the 19th century California coast. In the January 1998 Locus reviewer Carolyn Cushman asks ''So, how do you classify a seriously philosophical time-travel story of a young cyborg's first love amid religious conflict? As a good read.''
War In Heaven, David Zindell (Bantam Spectra, Jan 1998, $5.99, pb) The conclusion of Zindell's ''Requiem for Homo Sapiens'' trilogy, following The Broken God and The Wild, and itself a sequel to his 1988 first novel, Neverness. Faren Miller writes in the January 1998 Locus that ''Zindell brings to his version of space opera a Stapledonian sense of the universe's vast mystery''. Hero Danlo Ringess is now on a diplomatic mission hoping to achieve peace according to the non-violent tenants of his personal code of honor. Zindell's impulse is epic, even Miltonic, writes Miller, but with a scientific twist. ''For just when things seem closest to pulp cliche (at worst) or spiritual metaphor (at best), Zindell will develop a glimmering planetary halo into a detailed troposphere populated by a fascinating array of vacuum-dwelling creatures, or turn a space battle into a rigorous exercise in differing military theories and tactics.''
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© 1998 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.