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New & Recommended Books

(From the August 1998 Locus.)

Mir, Alexander Besher (Simon & Schuster 7/98) Near-future virtual reality novel and metaphysical thriller, sequel to Rim. An investigator tracks a sentient computer virus that spreads through tattooed ''epidermal programs,'' causing chaos in the hacker underworld.

Psychoshop, Alfred Bester & Roger Zelazny (Random House/Vintage 7/98) Begun by Bester, finished after his death by Zelazny, this posthumous collaboration by two groundbreaking authors is a wonderfully skewed tale of a mysterious shop where customers can trade for anything.

The Night We Buried Road Dog, Jack Cady (DreamHaven Books 6/98) Collection of six powerful ghost stories with distinctive style and a strong sense of place, by a multiple World Fantasy Award winner.

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eleventh Annual Collection, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds. (St. Martin's 7/98) The definitive ''Year's Best'' of the fantasy and horror fields returns with its annual overviews of the fields, along with summaries of the year in comics and media, the latter by Locus's own Edward Bryant.

The Boss in the Wall: A Treatise on the House Devil, Avram Davidson & Grania Davis (Tachyon 6/98) Posthumous dark fantasy novella by Davidson, Nebula Grandmaster and a true original, in collaboration with his ex-wife and long-time editor Davis. Professor Vlad Smith searches for the dark secret of the deadly Paper-Man, the Boss in the Wall.

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifteenth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin's 6/98) The heavyweight year's best anthology with 28 stories and over 600 pages, plus Dozois!e s always valuable, and sometimes provocative, summation of the year in SF.

The Witches of Eileanan, Kate Forsyth (Roc 7/98) Celtic fantasy, prophecy, intrigue, a lost prince, and a young woman learning an outlawed magic. A strong first novel.

Accidental Creatures, Anne Harris (Tor 7/98) A gritty exploration of exploitation through technology, updated in biotech style as a firm with a poor safety record wants to create humanoid ''biological machines'' slaves to perform dangerous tasks.

Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson (Warner Aspect 7/98) Caribbean magic transported to an apocalyptic near-future Canada brings fresh flavor to this impressive and energetic first novel.

The Centurion's Empire, Sean McMullen (Tor 7/98) Time travel through early cryogenics provides the background for this tale of a Roman centurion recruited by a mysterious organization to help save civilization: in Dark Ages Britain, medieval France, and finally in a bewildering 21st century.

The Iron Bridge, David Morse (Harcourt Brace 7/98) A woman goes back in time to prevent construction of the world's first iron bridge, thus derailing the Industrial Revolution and saving the ecologically precarious future but she finds the past more complex than she ever expected. In best SF style, this thought-provoking first novel illuminates the present while looking at the future and the past.

Antarctica, Kim Stanley Robinson (Bantam 7/98) Intriguing thriller of politics and eco-terrorism involving the development on a part of Earth so alien it might as well be Mars. Robinson's best book yet.

The Innamorati, Midori Snyder (Tor 7/98) Masks, mazes, and Commedia dell' Arte fill this rich fantasy of an alternate Renaissance Italy with a magical labyrinth rumored to remove curses, and desperate souls who seek its cure.

Six Moon Dance, Sheri S. Tepper (Avon Eos 7/98) The colony planet Newholme is not what it seems in this complex, semi-satiric, almost-fantasy exploration of sex roles and utopian theories in trademark Tepper style.

Going Home Again, Howard Waldrop (St. Martin's 7/98) This collection of nine stories (one new), originally published only in Australia, is finally available to US fans of Waldrop's uniquely wild, weird, and witty style.

The Death of the Necromancer, Martha Wells (Avon Eos 7/98) A master thief's plot for revenge is derailed by the discovery of a necromancer at large in the fascinating world of Ile-Rien, a country of sorcerers, steam trains, detectives, and elfin ruins in forgotten sewer tunnels. A crew of charming criminals and sinister supernatural villains add up to excellent entertainment.

Otherland: River of Blue Fire, Tad Williams (DAW 7/98) The possibilities of virtual reality go far beyond mere fantasy adventure (though there's plenty of that) in the second volume of this epic SF/mystery series of conspiracy, murder, and the search for immortality.

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