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New & Recommended Books

(From the June 1998 Locus.)

Flanders, Patricia Anthony (Ace 5/98, $23.95, hc) Anthony's interest in history dominates almost completely over genre elements in this intense epistolary novel of a soldier with visionary dreams fighting in the trenches in WWI.

The Wolf and the Crown, A.A. Attanasio (HarperPrism 5/98, $14.00, tp) A distinctively different Arthurian fantasy novel, third in the series begun in The Dragon and the Unicorn. Arthur faces his first year as king, while Merlin climbs the World Tree.

Nebula Awards 32, Jack Dann, ed. (Harcourt Brace 4/98, $13.00, tp) This gathering combines sometimes gloomy speculations on the future of SF with some fine fiction that should keep readers from despair.

Newton's Cannon, J. Gregory Keyes (Del Rey 5/98, $14.00, tp) Young Ben Franklin, Sir Isaac Newton, and other historical figures collide in this fascinating alternate-history fantasy adventure, first book in ''The Age of Unreason'' series set in a world where alchemy, not physics, is the science that changes the world.

The Knife Thrower, Steven Millhauser (Crown 5/98, $22.00, hc) The pursuit of pleasure provides the theme for this collection of 12 intense and often dark literary stories, several with strong fantastic elements, by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Signal to Noise, Eric S. Nylund (Avon Eos 5/98, $23.00, hc) A so-called ''hyperpunk'' novel of ''bubble realities'' that replace computer interfaces, alien messages disguised as noise, and a Faustian deal with an alien businessman. A weird, wild ride that pushes the boundary between SF and fantasy.

O Pioneer!, Frederik Pohl (Tor 5/98, $21.95, hc) A good old-fashioned SF adventure novel. Instant transportation lures a computer hacker to a colony world inhabited by many races and secretly threatened by humans' plans for it.

Weird Women, Wired Women, Kit Reed (University Press of New England 4/98, $16.95, tp; $40.00, hc) These 19 stories, including three originals, focus on what it means to be a woman, informed by Reed's psychological and sociological savvy, and enlivened by a quirky sense of humor and horror.

A Hunger in the Soul, Mike Resnick (Tor 5/98, $21.95, hc) ''Dr. Livingstone, I presume?'' Another Africa-inspired SF novel, this time about a journalist's quest to locate a great medical researcher gone missing in the jungles of the primitive planet Bushveld. A colorful tale of exploration and obsession.

Kirinyaga, Mike Resnick (Del Rey 4/98, $25.00, hc) SF collection/novel of a space colony attempting to recreate the old way of life of the people of Kenya, with very mixed results. Several stories are award winners.

Children of God, Mary Doria Russell (Villard 4/98, $23.95, hc) This sequel to The Sparrow further explores the role of evil and pain in God's vale of tears, as far-future Jesuits travel to alien worlds.

Black Butterflies: A Flock on the Dark Side, John Shirley (Ziesing 5/98, $16.95, tp) A collection of 17 noir stories, divided half-and-half between ''real'' world stories and tales of the supernatural and surreal. Two original stories and 14 never before collected, by a master of the short form.

Blueheart, Alison Sinclair (HarperPrism 5/98, $6.50, pb) SF novel of a waterworld divided between terraformers and transformed humans, an impressive mix of world building and personal emotion.

The Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy: Volume Two, Jonathan Strahan & Jeremy G. Byrne (Voyager Australia 5/98, A$14.95, pb) A year's best from the land down under, home of a surprising number of first-caliber writers. Here's your chance to sample the best, including Greg Egan, Terry Dowling, Lucy Sussex, and more.

Dreaming in Smoke, Tricia Sullivan (Bantam Spectra 5/98, $5.99, pb) Mind-bending, cyberpunkish SF novel full of jazz, drugs, and attitude. A mad statistician's Dream interface crashes the artificial intelligence that maintains a colony planet.

ART

H.R. Giger's Retrospective: 1964-1984, H.R. Giger (Morpheus International 5/98, $19.95, tp) Fascinating art book following Giger's development from art school to Alien and beyond, arranged chronologically with revealing biographical information, accompanying photos, and, of course, the art.

NON-FICTION

The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World, Thomas M. Disch (The Free Press 5/98, $25.00, hc) A stimulating and idiosyncratic non-fiction, critical look at science fiction's influence on popular culture. Occasional flashes of acerbic brilliance go a long way to make up for some extremely tenuous arguments.

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