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From the February 2001 Locus

Catherine Asaro, The Phoenix Code (Bantam Spectra 12/00) A defense project to create a deadly android designed to pass for human raises questions of ethics and intelligence and a quirky romantic triangle in this near-future hard-SF thriller with touches of both humor and romance.

Neal Barrett, Jr., The Prophecy Machine (Bantam Spectra 12/00) Barrett brings his distinct and often offbeat style to this alchemical fantasy of a maker of mechanical lizards who strays into forbidden territory with his love for a mouse-girl, his creation of an intelligent lizard, and a disastrous vacation in a crazed country divided by religious conflict.

Ben Bova, Jupiter (Tor 1/01) Bova's string of interrelated novels (his ''historical novels that haven't happened yet'') about mankind's expansion into the Solar System reaches Jupiter, where researchers discover possibly intelligent creatures, setting off new conflicts between science and religion.

Orson Scott Card, Shadow of the Hegemon (Tor 1/01) The second novel in a series parallel to the ''Ender'' trilogy, this sequel to Ender's Shadow provides a more independent and entertaining plot full of political intrigue as well as new areas for Card's musings on morality as Ender's classmate Bean helps Ender's brother become Hegemon of Earth.

Charles de Lint, Triskell Tales (Subterranean Press 10/00) This unique collection gathers 60 poems and stories originally published privately over 22 years as chapbooks, given as gifts from de Lint to his wife and as Christmas cards. For de Lint's many fans, a priceless look at a writer refining his skills over the years.

David & Leigh Eddings, The Redemption of Althalus (Del Rey 12/00) A goddess recruits an outrageous thief to help stop an evil god from destroying the world the Eddings's first complete fantasy epic in a single volume.

Frank Kelly Freas, Frank Kelly Freas: As He Sees It (Sterling/Paper Tiger 12/00) With help from his wife Laura Brodian Freas, the artist provides interesting comments on the business of art and advice for would-be painters to go with this colorful collection of recent works (late '80s and '90s), with a liberal sampling of earlier classics from Freas' long, much-honored career.

Joe Haldeman, The Coming (Ace 12/00) A message from space that someone or something is coming to Earth sets off a media and political frenzy in this compelling and provocative near-future SF novel, a complex portrait of human nature in the face of a major transformative event.

John Harris, Mass: The Art of John Harris (Sterling/Paper Tiger 12/00) The first collection of art by SF painter John Harris, known for his atmospheric images of monumental buildings and spectacular spaceships. The text by Ron Tiner covers Harris's training in art and influences (including years with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) to create an impressive portrait of an artist determined to follow his own vision.

Cecelia Holland, The Angel and the Sword (Forge 12/00) Holland's meticulous research brings this medieval historical fantasy to life, the story of a princess disguised as a man in ninth-century France, fighting against Norse invaders with the help of a guardian angel.

Dean Koontz, From the Corner of His Eye (Bantam 12/00) Koontz plays with ''the notion that human relationships reflect quantum mechanics'' in this taut suspense novel of a three-year-old prodigy who loses his eyesight, an oddly talented little girl who shares his birthday, and a ruthless killer who believes the boy is his mortal enemy.

Tanith Lee, White as Snow (Tor 12/00) Tanith Lee weaves together ancient myth and early Christianity in this elegantly dark, sensual, and sometimes grisly version of ''Snow White''. The latest volume in Terri Windling's critically acclaimed ''Fairy Tale'' series of retellings.

Barry N. Malzberg, In the Stone House (Arkham House 12/00) One of SF's most distinctive writers, Malzberg picked his personal favorites from the last two decades for this collection of 24 stories, an intense (and occasionally bizarre) blend of horror, fantasy, SF, and history.

Karen Michalson, Enemy Glory (Tor 1/01) Fantasy tropes get delightfully twisted as an earnest, unappreciated boy with magic talents grows up to become an evil cleric in a region torn by political conflicts. A rich and complex first novel, first in a new series, by a professional musician.

Chris Moore, Journeyman: The Art of Chris Moore (Sterling/Paper Tiger 12/00) Moore's wide-ranging skills as an illustrator are showcased here, with an emphasis on his SF art, with its dramatic perspectives and curvaceous machines. Accompanying text by Stephen Gallagher provides a revealing interview with Moore on the development of his career and his techniques.

Karl Schroeder, Ventus (Tor 12/00) Nanotech and artificial intelligence add a sense of magic adventure to this hard SF novel, a sweeping, far-future tale of a colony world, Ventus, where the terraforming nanotech has evolved in unexpected directions, and one teen's visions land him in the middle of nobles' feuds and the invasion of a rogue AI.

David Seed, American Science Fiction and the Cold War: Literature and Film (Fitzroy Dearborn 12/00) A valuable critical exploration of how science fiction used and transformed the metaphors of the Cold War, with specific discussion of a number of authors including Poul Anderson, Robert A. Heinlein, and Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Nancy Springer, Plumage (Morrow 12/00) An unhappy woman learns to look at herself and others differently after a transforming encounter with a parakeet in this delightfully different contemporary fantasy of birds, mirrors, and fancy clothing.


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