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From the December 1999 Locus

Algis Budrys, ed., L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XV (Bridge 10/99) This latest selection of annual contest winners provides a chance to check out some up-and-coming writers and artists, along with essays on writing and illustration by Tim Powers, L. Ron Hubbard, K.D. Wentworth, and Leo & Diane Dillon.

Jeffrey Ford, Memoranda (Avon Eos 10/99) In this sequel to World Fantasy winner The Physiognomy, ex-physiognomer Clay must enter his former master's dreams to find a cure for a plague of sleeping sickness, a quixotic quest with overtones of Kafka, Swift, and pulp noir.

Mary Gentle, The Book of Ash #1: A Secret History (Avon Eos 10/99) Framing sections, supposedly written after 2000, debating the validity of certain historical texts, suggesting there's much more than first meets the eye in this fantastic secret history of a woman mercenary in 15th-century Burgundy. The first volume in a series of four which make up one continuous novel.

William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties (Putnam 10/99) Gibson brings back all the interesting characters from Idoru and Virtual Light together in San Francisco, all seeking the next Big Change in this complex future portrayed with all of his usual prose pyrotechnics.

Howard V. Hendrix, Better Angels (Ace 10/99) Science, virtual reality, and the ancient remains of an alien ''angel'' provide galactic consciousness and transcendence in this complex, genre-bending near-future prequel to Lightpaths and Standing Wave.

Stephen Jones, ed., The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 10 (Carroll & Graf 11/99) This annual survey of horror for 1998 brings together 19 stories from a stellar group of authors including Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, and Avram Davidson & Grania Davis.

James Morrow, The Eternal Footman (Harcourt Brace 11/99) Apocalyptic wonders fill this penetrating exploration of life without God, third novel in the satiric trilogy begun in Towing Jehovah. God is still dead, but now His skull is in visible orbit over Times Square, leading to a lethal plague of ''death awareness'' that threatens Western civilization.

Charles Sheffield, Starfire (Bantam Spectra 11/99) Taut suspense and hard SF combine in this sequel to Aftermath. Earth faces a new wave of destruction from the Alpha Centauri supernova, but new evidence suggests the disaster isn't natural after all while the search for a very earthly serial killer provides parallels to the desperate efforts to protect the planet.

Norman Spinrad, Greenhouse Summer (Tor 11/99) Global warming has already left New York City behind dikes and turned Paris into a sultry swamp, but warnings of worse to come sparks an international conference, a riotous week of sex, science, parties, politics, corporate schemes and public relations that gives Spinrad plenty of room to exercise his trademark trenchant wit.

Connie Willis, Miracle and Other Christmas Stories (Bantam Spectra 11/99) Willis's style and humor infuse this collection of seasonal stories, a treat for those who like Christmas, but hate the commercialism and are tired of the sappy sentiment of It's a Wonderful Life.

Robert Charles Wilson, Bios (Tor 11/99) Wilson's favorite themes of biotech and alienation are here transformed into a tightly constructed adventure of planetary exploration. A woman genetically engineered to explore a deadly world begins to explore her own humanity even as she encounters possibly intelligent aliens.

ART BOOKS

Frank Frazetta, Legacy (Underwood 10/99) A gorgeous tribute to Frazetta's varied talents, this second volume edited by Arnie & Cathy Fenner (after Icon) continues to explore the man and his art, with a biographical sketch replete with photos and art, an examination of his illustrations of Edgar Rice Burroughs' works, and numerous samples of his work for comics and movies.

Neil Gaiman & Yoshitaka Amano, The Sandman: The Dream Hunters (DC/Vertigo 11/99) Gaiman returns to the fantastic series he created with this prose narrative (in the style of Stardust) based on a Japanese legend, opulently illustrated by Amano.

Dick Jude, Fantasy Art Masters: The Best Fantasy and Science Fiction Artists Show How They Work (Watson Guptill 10/99) Brilliant full-color illustrations and revealing text combine in this lavish art book as ten artists discuss their techniques, from traditional to computer. Artists include Alan Lee, Jim Burns, John Howe, and Dave McKean.

Frank M. Robinson, Science Fiction of the 20th Century: An Illustrated History (Collectors Press 10/99) The text provides an insider's look at the development of SF, but the pictures steal the show. Hundreds of photos in vivid color display covers from lurid pulp magazines and classic books, plus a sampling of movie poster art.


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