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Profiles of Recent Books
from reviews in Locus Magazine

Inherit the Earth, Brian Stableford (Tor, 0-312-86493-0, $23.95, 320pp, hc, September 1998, cover by Donato Giancola) Following a series of Plague Wars in the 21st century, the invention of an artificial womb revolutionizes the structure of family life and, along with nanotechnology, brings about an era of virtual immortality. But there are discontents: a band of kidnappers tries to expose a conspiracy that deliberately brought about the sterility plague in the first place. The inventor's son is led to ''such colorful locales as Hawaii [and] an L-5 colony, and to a series of revelations concerning a newly-discovered non-DNA-based life form, a technological advance that supplants VR with artificial dreams, and -- of course -- the True Nature of the World'', writes Gary K. Wolfe in the September Locus. An expansion of a novella published in Analog in 1995, this book is ''a deftly plotted and sharply written adventure, complete with multiple abductions, hidden identities, violent street fighting, and hardboiled romance. It's not the sort of thing we're used to seeing from Stableford in recent years, but it's certainly welcome.''
(Thu 17 Sep 98)
Song for the Basilisk, Patricia A. McKillip (Ace 0-441-00447-4, $22.95, 314pp, hc, September 1998, cover by Kinuko Y. Craft) A boy known as Rook grows up playing any instrument he touches, and eventually comes as an adult to Berylon, a decadent city ruled by a Prince known as Basilisk. ''McKillip has eloquence and insight aplenty'' writes Faren Miller in the September Locus for this ''tale of a boy who's lost all memory of his aristocratic heritage''. Though the book deals with familiar fantasy elements, including the possibility of a sequel, ''her unique brand of prose magic splendidly repays your attention.''
(Thu 17 Sep 98)
Echoes of Honor, David Weber (Baen 0-671-87892-1, $24.00, 569pp, hc, October 1998, cover by David Mattingly) The eighth novel in the popular military SF series follows upon the cliffhanger ending of the previous book, In Enemy Hands. Of course heroine Honor Harrington escapes the trap she was in, ''but the thrill is finding out just how she pulls it off'' writes Carolyn Cushman in the July Locus. ''Unfortunately, it takes almost forever to get there.'' Characters muse at length about political and military styles until ''the grand finale makes it all worthwhile, with enough emotional force in the denouement to bring a little tear to my eyes...''
(Thu 17 Sep 98)
Bloom, Wil McCarthy (Del Rey 0-345-40857-8, $23.95, 310pp, hc, September 1998, cover by Rick Berry) Artificial micro-organisms, mycora, mutate and quickly overwhelm planet Earth, forcing humanity to flee to the outer Solar System. Years later the human colony on Ganymede sends an expedition back to Earth to check on the progress of the Bloom, but encounters opposition from a human faction that apparently wants the Bloom to prevail. Preston Grassmann, writing in the August Locus, compares the book to Greg Bear's Blood Music: ''McCarthy succeeds on many different levels, combining a unique literary style with complex scientific speculation and political intrigue.''
(Thu 17 Sep 98)

Previous Profiles:
10 Sep 1998:
  • David Morse's The Iron Bridge
  • Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring
  • Alfred Bester & Roger Zelazny's Psychoshop
  • Charles Sheffield's Aftermath

    18 Aug 1998:
  • Robert Silverberg's The Alien Years
  • Jack Ketchum's The Exit at Toledo Blade Boulevard
  • Melissa Scott's The Shapes of Their Hearts
  • Tad Williams's Otherland: River of Blue Fire

    2 Aug 1998:
  • Orson Scott Card's Heartfire
  • Michael Marshall Smith's One of Us
  • Sean Stewart's Mockingbird
  • TOP  
    © 1998 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.