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From the June 1999 Locus

The Twinkling of an Eye, or, My Life as an Englishman, Brian W. Aldiss (St. Martin's 5/99) Aldiss's recollections of WWII provide a vivid base for this eloquent autobiography of a life that ultimately led to one of the most respected careers in SF.

Enchantment, Orson Scott Card (Del Rey 4/99) Card works his unique magic in this contemporary tale of a young man, born Russian but raised in the US, caught up in a Russian version of ''Sleeping Beauty'', complete with Baba Yaga. Culture clashes and a sense of the absurd provide humor to balance grim and gritty adventure in this potent standalone fantasy.

Soul of the Fire, Terry Goodkind (Tor 5/99) The bestselling ''Sword of Truth'' fantasy series continues in this fifth novel. Richard and Kahlan scramble to stop the Chimes, wild magical forces with the power to neutralize all magics except their own.

Black Light, Elizabeth Hand (HarperPrism 4/99) The mysterious undercurrents of the artists' colony, Kamensic Village (encountered in stories collected in Hand's Last Summer at Mars Hill), and the secret Benandanti society from Waking the Moon are tied together with the 1970s New York arts scene, pop culture, and Dionysian myth in this elegant and highly atmospheric fantasy of a teen caught up in a battle between age-old forces.

The Quartered Sea, Tanya Huff (DAW 5/99) In this powerful, largely self-contained, fourth novel in the ''Quarters'' series, a Bard with a major talent but seriously low self-esteem is stranded in an exotic, violent land where he must re-evaluate his abilities if he wants to escape.

The Wild Swans, Peg Kerr (Warner Aspect 5/99) This moving novel addresses issues of love and intolerance through a retelling of the classic fairy tale reset in Puritan New England, with alternating sections set in 1980s New York, depicting the intrusion of AIDS in the gay community.

The Black Swan, Mercedes Lackey (DAW 5/99) Swan Lake gets a dramatically successful makeover in this full-fledged fantasy of a ruthless sorcerer, his devoted daughter Odile, a thoughtless prince, and the undaunted enchanted swan-queen Odette.

Pangaea, Book I: Imperium Without End, Lisa Mason (Bantam Spectra 5/99) A far-future culture patterned on Imperial Rome (with genetic engineering and a sexually repressive religion thrown in) faces upheavals from earthquakes, forbidden ideas, and forgotten science. A complex world with much to explore through the rest of the series.

The Tower and the Hive, Anne McCaffrey (Ace/Putnam 5/99) The Rowan's ever-growing family solves the problems of Mrdini overpopulation and Hiver aggression in this dramatic conclusion to the ''Talent'' series begun in The Rowan.

The Extremes, Christopher Priest (St. Martin's 5/99) Extreme's the word for this taut, tense, near-future tale of virtual reality and mass murder an exploration of ''the human capacity for violence and the way society eagerly packages it as entertainment.''

Waiting, Frank M. Robinson (Forge 4/99) A secret race lives among us in this taut thriller of a telepathic race that may be ready to replace Homo sapiens as Earth's dominant species.

Really, Really, Really, Really, Weird Stories, John Shirley (Night Shade Books 4/99) An author known for bending boundaries, Shirley presents 37 stories he considers his weirdest, arranged by increasing order of weirdness. Nine stories are previously unpublished, and many others appeared only in small-press or online venues.

Wrapt in Crystal, Sharon Shinn (Ace 5/99) Human passions, both worldly and religious, are explored in this standalone SF mystery of an offworld investigator searching for a serial killer who targets priestesses of two opposing sects.

Dragon's Fin Soup, S.P. Somtow (EMR 11/98) The magic beliefs of Somtow's native Thailand infuse this collection of ''eight modern Siamese fables'' by an acknowledged master of dark fantasy.

Tarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Creator of Tarzan, John Taliaferro (Scribner 4/99) An in-depth biography, drawing on Burroughs's own correspondence, memos, and manuscripts, this traces his colorful and sometimes controversial life, as well as his invention and masterly exploitation of his most popular character.

Singer from the Sea, Sheri S. Tepper (Avon Eos 4/99) A Regency Romance-ish plot provides the starting point in this tale of repressed women, an exploited planet, and their forgotten destiny, a heady mix of action, adventure, satire, and Tepper's own distinct brand of eco-feminism.

The Silicon Dagger, Jack Williamson (Tor 4/99) The old master turns to the near-future thriller to explore the implications of instant electronic communications and old-fashioned fanaticism in middle America, as the not-quite-heroic brother of a slain journalist goes undercover to investigate a redneck anti-government group with powerful new data encryption technology.


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